Six Defenses To Attack Every Week in DFS (Fantasy Football)

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With Week 1 just around the corner, it’s time to start turning our attention to DFS. Matchups, especially at the extremes, are vitally important in fantasy football and even more so when rostering players for literally just one game.

With only 16 games on the schedule and a week between games, it’s easy to fall victim to recency bias during the season. That’s why it’s important to have foundational beliefs throughout the entire season you make adjustments to, but ultimately rely on.

So let’s highlight six defenses we should be attacking both through the air and on the ground routinely until further notice:

Carolina Panthers

2019 ranks
Yard per game allowed: 23rd
Points per game allowed: 31st
Overall Defensive DVOA: 25th
Pass DVOA: 11th
Run DVOA: 32nd

Carolina’s defense is set to be historically bad. They lost Luke Kuechly, James Bradberry, Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, Mario Addison, Bruce Irvin, and Vernon Butler in Free Agency and hardly made any significant defensive additions in Free Agency which explains why they went defense with all seven of their 2020 Draft Picks. Yes, all seven. That tells us the organization themselves understands just how bad their defense is as well.

Their run defense ranked dead last in 2019 and could be even worse this season. Although their pass defense was much more respectable, the loss of CB James Bradberry will likely be significant. The Panthers need Free Agent addition, CB Eli Apple, to step up in a big way.

Jacksonville Jaguars

2019 ranks
Yard per game allowed: 24th
Points per game allowed: 21st
Overall Defensive DVOA: 29th
Pass DVOA: 22nd
Run DVOA: 31st

The Jaguars’ defense struggled mightily in 2019 and since then, lost DL Calais Campbell and CB AJ Buoye this offseason. Edge Yannick Ngakoue appears to be on the verge of being traded any day now as well. The Jaguars won six games last season, which projects to be their absolute ceiling in 2020. In fact, they’re in the running to be the worst team in the league.

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Jacksonville will need Free Agent acquisition, LB Joe Schobert, and first-round draft picks, CB CJ Henderson and DE/OLB K’Lavon Chaisson, to step up in a huge way just to make this defense respectable in 2020.

Atlanta Falcons

2019 ranks
Yard per game allowed: 20th
Points per game allowed: 23rd
Overall Defensive DVOA: 20th
Pass DVOA: 25th
Run DVOA: 14th

The Falcons managed seven wins last season largely due to their offense that ranked fifth in yards per game, 13th in points per game, and 15th in Overall Offensive DVOA. Things didn’t work out as well for their defense. Outside of DL Grady Jarrett and LB Deion Jones, Atlanta has very few impact players on that side of the ball.

CB Desmond Trufant and DE Vic Beasley have left town and been replaced by first-round pick, CB AJ Terrell, and Free Agent addition, DE Dante Fowler. They’ll need Terrell and Fowler to contribute immediately as well as a bounce-back campaign from a hopefully healthy S Keanu Neal in order for this defense to even be average.

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Washington Football Team

2019 ranks
Yard per game allowed: 27th
Points per game allowed: 27th
Overall Defensive DVOA: 24th
Pass DVOA: 24th
Run DVOA: 24th

Washington only won three games last season and their 2020 outlook doesn’t look much better. CB Quinton Dunbar ranked second out of 115 CBs last season according to Pro Football Focus and he’s now a Seattle Seahawk.

However, Free Agent acquisition, CB Kendall Fuller, and second-overall pick in the draft, DE Chase Young, should definitely help. Young actually adds to an already solid defensive line that also includes Daron Payne, Ryan Kerrigan, Montez Sweat, and Matt Ioannidis. New Head Coach Ron Rivera will need to get a ton out of this unit if Washington’s defense is going to be respectable in 2020.

Houston Texans

2019 ranks
Yard per game allowed: 28th
Points per game allowed: 19th
Overall Defensive DVOA: 26th
Pass DVOA: 26th
Run DVOA: 22nd

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The Texans struggled on defense last season and then lost DL DJ Reader, DL Barkevious Mingo, and CB Johnathan Joseph in Free Agency. They also didn’t have a first-round pick in the draft to replenish some of this lost defensive talent.

JJ Watt and Whitney Mercilus solidify the edges but Houston’s interior DL and secondary are both extremely questionable. They even lack continuity with their coaching staff as well. This will be Anthony Weaver’s first season as the Texans’ Defensive Coordinator.

Los Angeles Rams

2019 ranks
Yard per game allowed: 13th
Points per game allowed: 17th
Overall Defensive DVOA: 9th
Pass DVOA: 10th
Run DVOA: 8th

I debated whether the Rams should even be included in this article since my major focus is to highlight the extremes and some of the worst defenses in the league. The Rams’ defensive numbers were solid overall last season. However, I just don’t see that continuing and need to address it.

Legendary defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips, stepped away after last season and S Eric Weddle decided to join him in retirement as well. The Rams also lost LB Cory Littleton, CB Nickell Roby-Coleman, and DE Dante Fowler in Free Agency.

Aaron Donald is the best defensive player in football and Jalen Ramsey is a true #1 CB but outside of those two stalwarts, the Rams all of a sudden are extremely thin on defense. They didn’t bring in a defensive player until the third round of the draft either.

They’ll need Free Agent addition, DE Leonard Floyd, to produce in a big way and new defensive coordinator, Brandon Staley, to quickly fill Phillips’ shoes. Until this unit proves me wrong, I’ll be targeting them weekly.

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