Week 6 Fantasy Football DEF/ST Strategy
In what was an awesome week for some offensive players in fantasy football, it also turned out to be pretty solid for fantasy defense too. The Eagles had our 2nd highest point total by a D/ST this season and we had three teams tie for 3rd place in fantasy scoring. Defenses combined for five TDs this week, a stat that is always sure to make or save some fantasy days, and two of those TDs were scored by the Eagles. Philadelphia’s defense scored more points than five offenses were able to muster in Week 5.
Week 6 brings us some interesting matchups. The Patriots get another cakewalk but a lot of my other starts for the week are far lower owned. It should make for an interesting article next week, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Here are your top DEF/ST from Week 5 and who I think will hold the crown in Week 6.
Week 5 Top Performances
Philadelphia Eagles vs NYJ
It was the perfect “get right” game for the Eagles. They are very good against the run (#1 in the NFL) and the Jets can’t pass with Luke Falk at QB. The end result was only allowing six points, sacking Falk ten times, and forcing three turnovers. Two of those three were taken back for TDs and that just about assures you the top spot when it comes to fantasy defense.
Week 6 Matchup: @ MIN
As I noted when I told you to start the Eagles last week, they have been unreliable for most of this season. You can play them in the most favorable of matchups. The Jets were that, but the Vikings are not. Minnesota has allowed two top-10 weeks this year, but they also have two weeks were they gave up 0 or -1 points to the opposing defense.
San Francisco 49ers vs CLE
To say that the fantasy community was wrong about this Cleveland offense is a huge understatement. Cleveland almost certainly had this game circled as a win before the season kicked off. Instead, Baker Mayfield was held to 100 yards passing, in a blowout, and the 49ers held Cleveland to three total points. The Niners forced four turnovers and also sacked Baker four times on their way to the #2 fantasy score this week.
Week 6 Matchup: @ LAR
The 49ers have looked great on defense, and rank as the #2 fantasy DEF/ST on the season, but I don’t like them this week. The Rams have scored 20+ points in every game this season and have only given up one top-10 performance to the opposing defense all year.
New England Patriots @ WAS
Unlike in San Francisco, this game went as we all expected. The Patriots allowed just seven points, sacked the QB six times, and forced two turnovers. The Redskins are a mess and the Patriots are not, there was no other outcome even possible.
Week 6 Matchup: vs NYG
No need to waste time on any deep analysis here. It’s the Patriots vs a rookie QB on an already bad offense. Start of the Week…again.
Carolina Panthers vs JAX
The Panthers didn’t exactly have a great game but they were saved by fumbles and a defensive TD. The Jaguars put the ball on the turf three times and one of those was taken for a house-call by rookie Brian Burns. It wasn’t pretty but TDs hide a lot of warts.
Week 6 Matchup: @ TB
The Panthers do a great job of getting after the QB and Tampa Bay has allowed Jameis Winston to be sacked quite a bit. The issue is that the Buccaneers also score the 4th most points in the NFL. Carolina didn’t do much against them at home in Week 2, I don’t see things going much better this time around.
Los Angeles Chargers vs DEN
While all of the focus was on how Melvin Gordon would look in his first game back, the Chargers defense had a decent day. They did give up 20 points but they had three QB sacks, two takeaways, and a punt return for a TD. Much like the Panthers, we wouldn’t even be talking about them if not for that return TD but in the end, they finished tied as the #3 fantasy defense of Week 5.
Week 6 Matchup: vs PIT
The Steelers will be down to their 3rd string QB in this game and traveling to the west coast. It’s a recipe for disaster unless you own the Chargers D/ST. Great start again this week.
Week 6 Starts
Dallas Cowboys @ NYJ
Dallas suffered a set back vs Green Bay last week but had finished in the top-10 in each of the two previous weeks. The Jets just gave up the #1 performance to the Eagles and will either have Luke Falk or a just returning from mono Sam Darnold to faceoff against. Either one is a far better matchup than Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
Baltimore Ravens vs CIN
The Bengals are just bad and this could be an ugly game in Baltimore. The Ravens defense hasn’t finished in the top-10 since Week 1 but the Bengals should help fix that. Cincinnati has allowed a top-10 finish for the opposing defense in three of their five games.
Green Bay Packers vs DET
The Green Bay defense has been solid every week outside of their Philadelphia game. This Lions offense has put up decent points but hasn’t really faced a tough defense yet this year. Green Bay will be their biggest test and Detroit already gives up the 11th most points to fantasy D/ST.
Stream of the Week
Washington Redskins @ MIA
It’s Miami, so that means it’s my Stream of the Week! While the Redskins offense is equally putrid to the Dolphins, their defense has been serviceable in 2019. While they only have nine sacks, they do have seven takeaways on the year. Miami is the perfect recipe for a “get right” game and Washington should have a chip on their shoulders after getting their head coach fired. The Dolphins offense has given up a top-10 performance every game this season and the Redskins are unsurprisingly available in 95% of leagues.
Other Streaming Options: Broncos, Buccaneers
Week 6 Sits
Jacksonville Jaguars vs NO
The Jaguars have had one good game and not much else this season. The Saints are coming off their best offensive performance of the season and give up the 5th fewest points to fantasy defenses. Jacksonville only has 16 sacks this year, nine of those came in one game, and only two takeaways all on the season. The Saints are going to eat them up, especially if Jalen Ramsay remains sidelined.
Los Angeles Rams vs SF
The Rams do not have a double-digit fantasy performance yet this season and the Niners do not appear to be the team to fix that. San Fran is in the bottom half of the league when it comes to fantasy points surrendered to defenses and has only allowed four sacks all season long.
Minnesota Vikings vs PHI
While the Vikings defense hasn’t been allowing many points to opposing offenses, they also haven’t made much fantasy impact. They only have two top-10 finishes this season and haven’t exactly been playing many high-powered offenses. The Eagles offense ranks 6th in points scored and gives up the 8th fewest points to fantasy D/ST.
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.