“The Amateur Ward” Defensive Targets: D/ST, IDP, and DFS Week #3
Week 2 is in the books and Week 3 is upon us. We are all probably scouring the line, looking for players to make our teams better, or standing pat, happy with our teams. Wherever you are in your league, we all have one thing in common; we can’t wait for Sunday when games begin again. Special note to get your Jaguars and Ravens players in Saturday night as the game starts at [9:30] AM EST. Hopefully this article gives you some insight on players you should pickup, or give you insight on players to avoid as it is geared toward not only IDP leagues and dynasty leagues, but also weekly players.
Packers D/ST (vs. CIN) DK $3400/FD $4800- The Packers may not be the best defense in the league, but they make for a nice play this week versus the Bengals, who apparently have no interest in playing offense, scoring nine points through two games. The Pack have the players to come up with big plays, and if the Red Rocket is not careful, he could see himself throw two picks to a Packers’ secondary that is looking for its first pick of the season. The Packers’ offense will carry the team in this one, but the Packers’ defense, even if without Mike Daniels, should be able to put up a respectable day versus the Bengals this week.
Buccaneers D/ST (@ MIN) $3200/FD $4600- The Bucs’ defense, anchored by Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander and Gerald McCoy is for real and have a juicy matchup versus the Vikings this week. We all saw the train wreck that unfolded with Case Keenum at QB last week versus the Steelers (167 pass yards), and this week could be even uglier as the Bucs are on the upswing defensively and will sink its teeth into a one-dimensional offense that will be reliant upon the run. The Bucs’ defense will be ready to take advantage of any/all mistakes and will create at least two turnovers this week. The time is now to snap them up if they are available in your league, as they will allow under ten points this week and will be after opposing offensive lines all season.
Chiefs D/ST (@ LAC) $2900/FD $4700- The Chiefs boast one of, if not the, most dangerous punt returner in football, Tyreek Hill. Whenever he touches the ball, he is a threat to take it the distance. With Hill on special teams, the Chargers will need to game plan for him, and it will not be easy. In addition to having a dangerous punt returner, the Chiefs defense is very solid as the team is off to an 2-0 start and has created four turnovers through two games. Yes, the defense is dangerous, is well-coached, and has playmakers in Justin Houston and Marcus Peters. The defensive line is nasty, and the Chargers’ offensive line better be up for the challenge as Houston, Allen Bailey, and Bennie Logan are coming fast and furious. This unit should be a top play in daily and weekly formats.
Blake Martinez (GB/LB)- Martinez could be in for a nice day versus the anemic Bengals‘ offense. Although he has only logged seven tackles through the first two games, he has a sack and is improving on the inside of the Packers’ defense. A fourth round pick, playing alongside Clay Matthews Jr. has helped his play as it has opened up tackle opportunities and improved his ability versus the run. He will never be a tackle machine, but is a good bet for a handful of tackles and likely a sack this week.
Morgan Burnett (GB/S)- Burnett, a staple of the Pack defense, is a hard-hitting safety who puts his helmet on the ball. He has created/recovered at least two turnovers every season since 2011. He is the enforcer of the defense and knows how to make plays. Versus the Bengals, look for him to be in on big plays and seek to create turnovers, or create opportunities for others in what should be a one-sided affair.
Vincent Rey (CIN/LB)- Filling in at weak side linebacker for the suspended Vontze Burfict, Rey has quietly amassed 11 tackles in each of the Bengals’ first two games and is a strong play versus the high-flying Packers who are looking to bounce back after a Week 2 loss to the Falcons. Rey is a tackling machine, who although receives negative grades from PFF, understands the game and is always on the field. He should continue to see tackle opportunities in Burfict’s absence and could approach double-digit tackles this week.
Lavonte David (LB/TB)- David, a playmaking extraordinaire, is the center of the Bucs’ defense and will look to exploit a weak Vikings offense that will be without quarterback Sam Bradford, instead starting Case Keenum for the second straight week. David is a lock for at least eight tackles this week and a good bet to have his first pick of the season. He drops in coverage well, is solid against the run, and can play from varying depths at weak side linebacker.
Trae Waynes (MIN/CB)- Due to his underwhelming performance thus far during his career, Waynes has been oft targeted by opposing quarterbacks. He is starting for the first time this season. He has sixteen tackles through the Vikings first two games and is a strong candidate for more this week versus the Bucs who figure to put Mike Evans on his side of the field. He has not created any turnovers yet, but has shown the ability to breakup passes in the past. Fantasy owners should view Waynes as a CB2 this week.
Allen Bailey (KC/DT-DE)- The Chiefs defensive line is nasty, and Bailey is at the center of it at defensive tackle/end. Bailey is a solid run stuffer who also has shown the ability to get to the quarterback. More of a defensive end, look for Bailey to rush Rivers this week and keep an eye on Melvin Gordon who has shown he can be dangerous as a runner and as a receiver.
Terrance Mitchell (KC/CB)- Playing opposite a shutdown corner has its advantages and that is exactly the situation Mitchell finds himself in. Playing opposite Marcus Peters, Mitchell will be targeted early and often as the season draws on. However, he is far from a liability in coverage as he has shown that he can hold his own this season, knocking passes away and going toe to toe with bigger receivers. The Chargers will attack him, but do not be discouraged; he is a sneaky play and should at least net a few tackles.
Joey Bosa (LAC/DE)- Of course I do not have to tell you to start Bosa. If the Chargers are to have any shot of winning this divisional match, they need their D to step up and it will start with Bosa, a sack machine, and linebacker Jatavis Brown, who is off to a hot start. Out of Ohio St., we all knew what a talent Bosa was and he has shown that on the field. He brings a toughness and playmaking ability to a Chargers team that needs it and is always a threat for a sack. He should be in for a big day against what is a strong offensive line for the Chiefs. Expect him to pursue the ball carrier and Alex Smith all afternoon, and do not be shocked if he finishes with two sacks.
D/ST to Avoid
Avoid the Arizona Cardinals defense this week, as the Cowboys-Cardinals could be a higher scoring affair than we think with two solid offenses on tap. Yes, the Cards are without stud David Johnson, but Carson Palmer is a savvy veteran who can make all the throws despite ugly numbers thus far this season, and RB Chris Johnson is going to be a threat going forward if he can stay healthy. The Cardinals defense will be on the field a ton on Monday Night because the Cowboys are a methodical offense that moves the ball, does not turn the ball over, and takes deep shots at all the right times. After getting suffocated by the Broncos defense, the Cowboys will look to get back on track in this one and seek ways to move the ball a la ground game with Zeke Elliot. The Cardinals’ defense is solid, but they will need to find a way to get off the field versus a Dallas team that will play it conservatively and smartly. If Carson Palmer struggles again, the Cards will run the ball, which the Cowboys know and will try to limit the damage CJ2K does. The challenge for the Cardinals will be stopping Zeke, who will come out with a vengeance after being limited to eight rush yards last week.