The defenses I touch on are not my ranks, but my overall thoughts on the defenses I find notable. The goal of these pieces is to give you a concise, actionable rundown on defenses for the upcoming week.
Defensive order is based on their opponents implied team total, from lowest to highest. The team in parenthesis is the defenses opponent.
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Defenses that are highly owned, or worth noting overall.
Jaguars (vs. Bengals — 17.5-point implied team total)
This one is easy as you’re not sitting the Jaguars and their league-low 24.1 percent scoring rate allowed and league-high 18.4 percent turnover rate and it just so happens the Bengals have a bottom-five scoring and turnover rate.
Texans (vs. Colts — 18-point implied team total)
The Texans’ defense will take a step back after losing J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus, but the Colts aren’t an offense to fear. They have the ninth-lowest scoring rate this season. Since the Colts are 13-point underdogs, Jacoby Brissett may be in a pass-heavy game script, leading to more sack opportunities for the Texans — the Colts’ offensive line has surrendered 32 sacks this year.
Seahawks (vs. Redskins — 19-point implied team total)
The Seahawks got throttled by the Texans at home, by Deshaun Watson and his league-leading 9.3 percent touchdown rate. While the Redskins are capable offense, I’m not quite ready to think it’s a matchup downgrade, especially if they’re still down almost half of their offensive line.
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Rams (@ Giants — 20-point implied team total)
It’s a good spot for the Rams as they take on a Giants team that has barely thrown more touchdowns (10) than the Rams have interceptions (nine). In fact, the Rams have allowed just eight passing touchdowns this season. Offensive production against the Rams has been funneled towards the run, but the Giants struggle on the ground, averaging 3.9 yards per attempt and have scored just two rushing touchdowns this season.
Lions (@ Packers — 20.3-point implied team total)
The Lions have been a solid fantasy defense this season as they boast the league’s third-highest turnover rate. It’s not ideal they’re on the road, but they face a scaled down Green Bay offense that is implied for just 20.3 points.
Panthers (vs. Falcons — 21-point implied team total)
The Falcons have been a lackluster offense behind Matt Ryan’s 3.9 percent touchdown rate that ranks 19th in the league. The Panthers are allowing the fifth-lowest scoring rate to opposing offenses this season, but they’ve done a terrible job at forcing turnovers, ranking 26th in turnover rate. The Falcons have historically struggled outdoors away from the Georgia Dome and they’re implied for just 21 points, slightly below the league average.
Saints (vs. Buccaneers — 21.5-point implied team total)
As of now, coach Dirk Koetter was noncommittal on Jameis Winston’s (shoulder) status headed in Week 9. Winston admitted it was bothering him last week, but he still suited up and they forced just three points on the Panthers. Even if Winston does suit up, he won’t be fully healthy, which bodes well for the Saints’ defensive outlook.
Highly Owned Defenses with limited upside in the current matchup.
Broncos (@ Eagles — No Line)
The Denver defense has looked more human lately and now on a short week they head to Philadelphia to take on Carson Wentz and the Eagles, who boast the league’s fourth-highest scoring rate among offenses, scoring on 44.7 percent of the drives. Aside from the efficiency, they don’t turn the ball over often with a turnover rate of 8.5 percent, the seventh-lowest mark on the league.
Chiefs (@ Cowboys — No Line)
With Ezekiel Elliott being suspended as I write this, there is still no line from Vegas in this game. It’s not as severe as a downgrade now with Elliott out, but the Chiefs’ defense isn’t amazing to begin with. Although, they made Trevor Siemian look awful last night, but who hasn’t? The Chiefs rank in the bottom-third of the league in scoring rate allowed and turnover rate. They’ll have a low floor against a Dak Prescott-led offense that doesn’t make many mistakes and he has been sacked just nine times this year.
Ravens (@ Titans — 24.3-point implied team total)
The Ravens aren’t in an ideal spot as they head to Tennessee where the Titans are implied for 24.3 points. Per the FantasyLabs Trends tool, when defenses are on the road against offenses implied between 24 and 26 points, they average 5.53 fantasy points per game. However, the Ravens do sport a bottom-four scoring rate allowed and a top-four turnover rate.
Cardinals (@ 49ers — 18.25-point implied team total)
The 49ers aren’t too thrilled with C.J. Beathard’s play as they just traded for Jimmy Garoppolo. Beathard will still get the nod this week as it will take some time for Garoppolo to get acclimated to the offense. It’s not ideal the Cardinals are on the road, but the 49ers are implied for just 18.25 points, and Beathard shouldn’t be forcing an abundance of points.
Titans (vs. Ravens — 18.8-point implied team total)
The Titans are a viable streamer as the Ravens are implied for just 18.8 points, but they come with a very low floor as they’ve forced just 10 sacks this season.
Bills (@ Jets — 20-point implied team total)
49ers (vs. Cardinals — 20.75-point implied team total)
With Carson Palmer out, they’ll have to turn to Drew Stanton as they’re starting quarterback. With Arizona in the last four years, Stanton has completed 51.1 percent of his passes with 2.8 percent touchdown rate and 3.4 percent interception rate.
Kickers in Order of Implied Team Total
Kicker fantasy points have a strong correlation to Vegas implied team totals. Here are the top kickers who garner low-to-medium ownership (70% or lower) in order of implied team total (minimum 22-point implied team total) in order to help you find possible streamers.
Ka’imi Fairbairn (31-point implied team total)
Wil Lutz (28.5-point implied team total)
Blair Walsh (26-point implied team total)
Giorgio Tavecchio (23.35-point implied team total)
Stephen Hauschka (-point implied team total)
Graham Gano (23-point implied team total)
Matt Prater (22.8-point implied team total)
Greg Zuerlein (22.5-point implied team total)
Josh Lambo (22-point implied team total)
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