Picking D/STs in the playoffs is always a tough job, as we don’t have the dregs of the NFL to to attack this week. We’ll need to look at pricing, how offenses have been playing of late and possible game flow.
The only defense I’m completely staying away from is Minnesota. They’re a good all around defense, but playing in New Orleans against a strong offensive line and efficient Drew Brees is just asking for negative points.
New Orleans Saints ($3000) vs. Vikings
I like Kirk Cousins as a sleeper pick in the wild card round, as this game is set up for scoring, but he also is set up for a game where he is forced to drop back more than he’d like and he looked awful last week against the Packers as he took five sacks and threw an interception.
The Saints defense ranks 13th in DVOA against the pass and fifth against the run. They have been beaten through the air of late though, as Ryan Tannehill, Jimmy Garoppolo, Mat Ryan and Kyle Allen have all put up good numbers. But they have shown good upside and rank ninth in adjusted sack rate. If the Saints can live up to the -8 point spread and get a lead early, we could see Cousins again be forced to throw under duress.
Tennessee Titans ($2,400) at Patriots
I believe in Bill Belichick and Tom Brady to not give up huge D/ST points to the Titans but I don’t believe they will blow out Tennessee, as they are missing too many pieces to be a consistent offense right now. The Titans are the second-cheapest D/ST going this weekend and they will also get cornerback Adoree Jackson back from injury. He has been missed in their secondary and should give them a nice boost.
Getting to Brady is still tough to do and I don’t expect him to throw a pick-six like he did against Miami last week, but with Julian Edelman hurting, Sony Michel playing inefficiently and no other receivers stepping up, the Titans have a decent floor at a cheap price.