Figuring out which defenses to play in DFS is one of the trickiest aspects of the game. There’s no formula that’s going to predict a pick-six or a sack-fumble-TD. Sure, you can assume the Bears defense is a solid play against a bad offense. But finding that gem is often a crapshoot. What you really want to avoid is taking a 0 or a negative number, if possible. Here’s a look at the worst defense options in Week 1.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Atlanta Falcons, $3,300
The Vikings are fifth-most expensive defense on the slate against a team that thoroughly upgraded its offensive line this offseason, which should reduce the amount of available sacks against Matt Ryan. Defenses are going to give up points in DFS, so the key is finding a defense that can get you bonus points for sacks and turnovers. This Vikings defense doesn’t appear poised to excel at either. They are the biggest overpay at the position this week.
Los Angeles Rams at Carolina Panthers, $3,200
The next most-expensive defense after Minnesota, the Rams have a tough job against a healthy Cam Newton and explosive Christian McCaffrey on the road. Newton’s running ups the chances to tackle him behind the line for some sacks, but if the Panthers take care of the ball, there’s little scoring available to the Rams defense to justify the salary.
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets, $3,000
Maybe in the Mark Sanchez Era I’d be on board here with the Bills as the ninth most-expensive defense. But with Sam Darnold under center and Le’Veon Bell in the backfield, the Jets’ offense is poised to be a productive unit that scores points and doesn’t allow turnovers and sacks. I’d much rather take my chances with the Jets defense in this game at $100 and let Josh Allen throw as many interceptions as he pleases.
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