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Top 20 D/ST options for Week 5 fantasy football

The QB carousel in the NFL continues to open up strong spots for defensive units heading into Week 5. We rank the top 20 D/ST for this week.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers nose tackle Ndamukong Suh and linebacker Shaquil Barrett during the second half at Raymond James Stadium.  Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

I’d like to start out this week’s edition of the D/ST rankings by (sort of) touting my Bills pick from Week 4. While Buffalo didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard, the Bills didn’t completely embarrass themselves at home vs. the Patriots, limiting New England to 16 points. It translated into a measly 3.0 fantasy points, but hey, that’s show biz!

Now, let’s focus our attention to Week 5, where we’ll see our first London game of the season, another influx of terrible QBs due to injuries (excluding the GOAT Gardner Minshew), and as always, look at a few streaming options in season-long fantasy football.

Let’s start across the pond, shall we? The Bears slot in as one of the top D/STs coming off another stellar performance last Sunday vs. the Vikings — allowing just six points with six sacks and two forced fumbles. Chicago limited Dalvin Cook to his worst performance of the season, 35 yards on 14 carries (though Cook made out OK thanks to six receptions and 19 fantasy points in PPR). If the Bears continue to dominate on the ground, this only means more passing attempts for Derek Carr, who has been sacked eight times the past three weeks. With could see another high sack total for Chicago, plus a turnover or two given how sloppy games in London tend to be.

Because of this, it’s not a bad idea to look at the Raiders D/ST unit either. It’s unlikely QB Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder) will suit up on Sunday, so that means we get a Chase Daniel start. Last season in five games, Daniel had a sack rate of 10.6 percent. Oakland’s pass rush isn’t anything spectacular, but neither is the Bears offense. Daniel isn’t threatening anyone and all it would take for the Raiders to return some value are a few turnovers, possibly a pick-6.

Moving on to more cringe-worthy QB play, we’ve got the showdown of Marcus Mariota and potentially Matt Barkley going down in Nashville. Because it’s unclear which Bills QB will clash with the TitansJosh Allen has a concussion and could return in time — we don’t even have lines posted on DraftKings Sportsbook for this game. But one can only assume the OVER/UNDER will hover around 38-40 points. Tennessee’s offense has clicked a bit with A.J. Brown emerging as Mariota’s favorite target, plus there’s always Derrick Henry. But the Bills D/ST just limited Tom Brady and the Pats to 16 points, so yeah, they aren’t so bad. I like both units in what should be a low-scoring slugfest that could see plenty of turnovers.

As far as streamers, my favorite of the bunch are the Cowboys and Buccaneers. Dallas gets the Packers at home. Green Bay just got torched on the round by — wait for it — Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders. Now, they’ll go on the road most likely without top WR Davante Adams and have to try and stop Ezekiel Elliott. This may not have much to do with defense, but if the Packers can’t stop Elliott, the Cowboys figure to control a lot of the clock. Plus, Aaron Rodgers will have nobody to throw to really, so Green Bay’s offense could be lackluster.

Sure, the Bucs allowed a healthy 34 points and over 500 yards of offense to the Rams last week in their 55-40 win, but they also forced four turnovers and scored a TD, finishing with 15 fantasy points. If Tampa Bay can allow that much offense and STILL throw up positive D/ST numbers, I mean, sign me the hell up. We saw the Saints struggle against the Cowboys with Teddy Bridgewater, managing 266 total yards while scoring zero TDs. The Bucs defense is opportunistic with four INTs and four forced fumbles, plus Shaquil Barrett is one of the more intimidating pass rushers so far this season with nine sacks.

Also, I know this is crazy, but don’t sleep on the Giants, particularly in DFS. A home game against Kirk Cousins is always a good spot and we saw what New York did to Cousins’ former team last week. Good luck!

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Ranking Team Opponent
Ranking Team Opponent
1 New England Patriots at Washington
2 Chicago Bears vs. Oakland Raiders
3 Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Jets
4 Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans
5 Los Angeles Chargers vs. Denver Broncos
6 Carolina Panthers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
7 Houston Texans vs. Atlanta Falcons
8 Tennessee Titans vs. Buffalo Bills
9 Oakland Raiders vs. Chicago Bears
10 Jacksonville Jaguars at Carolina Panthers
11 Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
12 Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
14 Minnesota Vikings at New York Giants
15 Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers
16 New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
17 New York Giants vs. Minnesota Vikings
18 Atlanta Falcons at Houston Texans
19 Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers
20 San Francisco 49ers vs. Cleveland Browns

Defense/Special Teams rankings, Week 5

Ranking Team Opponent
Ranking Team Opponent
1 New England Patriots at Washington
2 Chicago Bears vs. Oakland Raiders
3 Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Jets
4 Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans
5 Los Angeles Chargers vs. Denver Broncos
6 Carolina Panthers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
7 Houston Texans vs. Atlanta Falcons
8 Tennessee Titans vs. Buffalo Bills
9 Oakland Raiders vs. Chicago Bears
10 Jacksonville Jaguars at Carolina Panthers
11 Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
12 Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
14 Minnesota Vikings at New York Giants
15 Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers
16 New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
17 New York Giants vs. Minnesota Vikings
18 Atlanta Falcons at Houston Texans
19 Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers
20 San Francisco 49ers vs. Cleveland Browns

“All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS contests.”