Week 3 Fantasy Football DEF/ST Strategy

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Two weeks in and I already have my first Big Win and Huge Loss in my predictions. I gave five start recommendations, including the Patriots and they all finished in the top-12. Unfortunately, two of my four Sit recommendations also finished in the top-12. Worst of all, I told you to Stream the Bengals and they were by far the worst fantasy DEF/ST in Week 2. I put too much stock in their pass rush and heavily underestimated the 49ers offense. Lesson learned.

Another lesson, I hope we all learn is that we should not be wasting high picks on DEF/ST. It has only been two weeks but the Chicago D/ST is already outside of the overall top-12. The Bears did not show up in Week 2, so let’s look at who did and who we can trust in Week 3 (Not the Bengals!)

Week 2 Top Performances

New England Patriots @ MIA
So this was the ugly game we all expected after the Ravens blew out the Dolphins in Week 1. The Patriots had seven sacks, four interceptions, and two defensive TDs. They also did not allow the Dolphins to score a single point, the only shutout of the season so far. Their 37 fantasy points were the most scored, regardless of position, in Week 2. Patrick Mahomes was in 2nd place, with 31.

Week 3 Matchup: vs NYJ
The Patriots have only allowed 3 points this season and the Jets only managed three points against Cleveland in Week 2. If you owned the New England DEF/ST in Week 2, you’ll enjoy them again in Week 3…maybe just not to the tune of almost 40 fantasy points.

Cleveland Browns @ NYJ
The Browns smelled blood in the water after the Jets lost Sam Darnold before the game and quickly lost their backup Trevor Siemian during the game. Cleveland finished with four sacks, three by Myles Garrett, who looked unblockable and currently leads the NFL in sacks, and one fumble recovery. In the end, they only allowed the Jets to score three points and that propelled them to #2 in the week’s top fantasy defenses.

Week 3 Matchup: vs LAR
The Rams offense has been solid through two weeks and they have allowed the 7th fewest fantasy points to opposing DEF/ST. As solid as the Cleveland D/ST looked on Monday Night, you should not play them in Week 3’s Sunday Night game.

Kansas City Chiefs @ OAK
Nothing about the Chiefs Week 2 win over Oakland really jumps off the stat sheet. They only had three sacks and two takeaways but they also only allowed one TD and one FG. While it’s nothing to write home about, it was good enough to crack the top-3 in Week 2.

Week 3 Matchup: vs BAL
While the Chiefs played well enough last week against Oakland, Baltimore is looking like Kansas City-lite on offense. Sit the Chiefs D/ST in what should be Week 3’s highest-scoring game.

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Week 3 Starts

Dallas Cowboys vs MIA
It’s Miami. Not much analysis needed here. Dallas in my Start of the Week and, after they have disappointed through two weeks, they may be available in your league!

Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings vs OAK
While the Oakland Raiders offense has been plenty hyped so far this season, they did give up 11 fantasy points and a top-3 finish to the Chiefs defense last week. The Vikings defense is far better than Kansas City and should have a good game at home against the Raiders. Xavier Rhodes will shut down Tyrell Williams and the Vikings will add to the six sacks they already have in 2019.

Buffalo Bills vs CIN
The Bengals have given up the 7th most points to fantasy defenses so far and the Bills match up well against them. Buffalo has five sacks in two games and the Cincinnatti has given up nine sacks in their first two games, so we can expect to see this front-7 get after Dalton. Sacks and pressure lead to turnovers and that should lead to a good week for the Bills defense.

Stream of the Week

Tennessee Titans @ JAX
The Jacksonville offense only managed 12 points and allowed four sacks last week. The Titans have finished in the top 12 in consecutive weeks and both games were against better offenses. All four defenses to play in the Thursday Night game have scored at least six fantasy points this season and the Titans are available in 64% of leagues.

Week 3 Sits

Baltimore Ravens @ KC
The Ravens defense is great but so is Patrick Mahomes and at no point am I betting against the Chiefs offense. Baltimore didn’t look their best in a far easier Week 2 matchup against Arizona so they are safe to sit in Week 3.

Los Angeles Chargers vs HOU
Houston has scored 41 points through two weeks and has a ton of firepower on offense. The Chargers only have two sacks and two takeaways thru two games. This could be a high-scoring game and you don’t want any part of either DEF.

Denver Broncos @ GB
After two weeks, the Broncos have only scored 1 fantasy point. If they aren’t scoring against David Carr and Mitch Trubisky, you can’t start them against Aaron Rodgers.

Top DEF/St Year-to-Date

All Stats and Scores from FantasyData.com, your league scoring may differ. Ranks vs Pass/Run are based on Yards per Game allowed.

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