The elite and the not so elite teams are becoming clear earlier than usual so far this season. Because of that, I think things are as clear as they can be for one of the most random positions in fantasy football — D/ST. It’s tough to predict defensive and special teams touchdowns, but I think we can identify which units have the highest upside in Week 3, and which ones come with virtually no upside.
Below are my three least favorite D/ST plays for the Week 3 main slate on DraftKings.
I would feel bad if I wrote both of these defenses up separately, as they’re a couple of the most obvious fades of the season. Both of these teams sit as underdogs of 22 points or more, on the road against a couple of the NFL’s elite.
The Dolphins are clearly the worst defense of the two, and have zero fantasy value for the remainder of the season. The Jets actually are solid defensively, and average 11.5 DKFP through two games. While they may slightly exceed expectations in Foxborough, they’re in a terrible spot to succeed. While New York might be able to limit Tom Brady and company better than the Dolphins, they’ll still get hit for plenty of points in this game. Some of the fault falls on the Jets’ incapable offense, which should continuously leave the defense hanging.
Giants D/ST — ($3,000) @TB
How in the world are the Giants $3,000 on this slate? This defense has been torched through two games, and is averaging negative DKFP per game. Yet somehow, there are 16 D/ST options on this 13-game main slate that are cheaper than this one.
Jameis Winston tossed two pick-sixes in Week 1, which allowed the 49ers D/ST to rack up 27 DKFP, and that’s factoring into the pricing here. That was more of a fluke situation. Tampa came back and looked solid in Carolina in Week 2, and has now had 10 days to get ready for this home game against one of the worst defenses in football. This offense will be ready to give the Giants a tough time.
49ers D/ST — ($3,200) vs. PIT
This is another spot where the pricing just doesn’t make sense. The 49ers had the huge Week 1 in Tampa, but then scored just 7.0 DKFP against the Bengals, yet their salary rises $400 for a matchup against the Steelers. Perhaps some of this pricing is because Ben Roethlisberger was hurt on Sunday, although pricing was released before we knew for sure he’d miss this game.
Mason Rudolph is an extremely capable backup that was drafted to succeed Ben in Pittsburgh. Rudolph looked better than Roethlisberger in the half he played against the Seahawks, tossing a pair of touchdowns. San Francisco’s defense should be going down in salary, not up. Don’t fall for the trap of facing a “backup” QB here, Pittsburgh’s getting an upgrade to its offense.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.