1. Los Angeles Rams
Aaron Donald against Philadelphia’s offensive line. Jalen Ramsey against any Philadelphia receiver. What more needs to be said? Carson Wentz is certainly a talented player, but there is only so much one man can overcome. Philadelphia’s patch worked offensive line simply cannot stop Aaron Donald, or whomever Donald frees up with double teams. Philadelphia has no wide receiver who can beat Ramsey’s coverage to make an impact. Washington’s defense just had eight sacks against Philadelphia, along with a pair of interceptions. A similar performance from the Rams is highly likely, and they are probably the best defensive play of the weekend.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City will square off with divisional foe Los Angeles this week. As expected, the Los Angeles Chargers offense was very anemic this past weekend. They managed to score only 16 points against a young Cincinnati defense that ranked bottom of the league last season. Tyrod Taylor looked like a backup quarterback, and their play calling was uncreative and predictable. Not only that, the Chargers will likely be missing a few key offensive linemen. Los Angeles will likely be playing from behind most of the day, setting up some turnover potential for Kansas City’s defensive play-makers. Considered Kansas City a safe floor play with scoring upside.
3. Arizona Cardinals
Arizona makes the list for the second week in a row. Arizona’s defense played better than expected against San Francisco, getting three sacks and relenting only 20 points. Now, it hosts a Washington team that is less talented than San Francisco by a considerable margin. Washington does have one exceptional talent in Terry McLaurin, but veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson should keep him in check. Other than that, Washington’s offensive players are quite pedestrian. Arizona’s improved pass rush should give Washington plenty of problems. Arizona should have no issue scoring points, forcing Washington to try and keep pace. Dwayne Haskins could quickly become careless and risky with the football, giving this unit turnover upside as well.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay’s defense had plenty of bright spots against New Orleans. This will go unnoticed due to the final score, but there was certainly a silver lining in the contest. Much like last season, Tampa Bay was able to stuff up the running game with ease. Surprisingly, it managed to limit Michael Thomas as well. Playing Carolina will be much different than the Drew Brees-led Saints. Teddy Bridgewater had some shining moments last Sunday, but his only touchdown pass came from a broken play. Tampa Bay should be able to make him feel uncomfortable in the pocket, possibly leading to some poor throws for turnovers. More importantly, Tampa Bay’s excellent rushing defense should at least prevent Christian McCaffery from running wild all over the field. This game could quickly become a blowout, as the Carolina defense is not in the same league as New Orleans. Brady and company should rebound with a week under their belt. Starting this unit against a Bridgewater-led offense playing catch up could pay off big for fantasy lineups this Sunday.