“The Amateur Ward” Defensive Targets: D/ST, IDP, and DFS Week #7
Week 7 is upon us and with no perfect teams, everyone is jockeying for playoff position. Yes, the Falcons defense is really horrid and Miami exposed that last weekend in the second half. With the Chiefs losing two in a row, the AFC West is wide open, as is the NFC South, and all other divisions. Now is the question of who will step up and claim their division and who will falter? Hopefully Week 7 will provide some answers. In the meantime, we are all looking at our defensive squads and pondering ‘could we be doing better?’ The answer is always yes, and you should look no further than here if rthese players are unowned in your league.
Seahawks D (@ NYG) (FD $5500/DK $4000)- The Seahawks D has allowed 17 or fewer points four times this season, and this week get a Giants offense that, well…is in sad shape. With playmakers in Earl Thomas, Bobby Wagner and Co., the Seahawks should see plenty of opportunities to create turnovers and rack up the stats. Their punt and kick return games may not be strong, but they remain a strong play this week given the opponent and their propensity for creating turnovers.
Jets D/ST (@ MIA) (FD $4400/DK $3000)- Leave it to the Falcons for making the Dolphins look dangerous, which they are not. Yes, last week was a fluke performance versus a weak defense and the Jets will remedy that this week. The Jets play tough defense and nearly beat the Patriots last week, so a bounceback is in the cards this week. The Jets do a good job of stopping the run, and the secondary is improving and leading to a more tenacious defense. Start with confidence as Jay Cutler will struggle to move the ball.
Bills D/ST (vs. TB) (FD $4500/DK $3400)- Jameis Winston (shoulder) is not expected to be limited this week, but the matchup is brutal, versus a team that has allowed the sixth fewest rush yards per game this season and is for real. The Bills defense should have no problem keying in on Doug Martin and Mike Evans, eliminating the top two threats and forcing the Bucs to beat them with role players. Tre’Davious White and the secondary will blanket the receivers and the defensive line, partly anchored by Lorenzo Alexander, will make life hard on Doug Martin. This should be a low scoring affair where the Bills could limit the Bucs to fewer than 2 touchdowns.
KJ Wright (LB/SEA)- Wright has had a down year by his standards, but the opportunity to turn things around could come this week versus the Giants. Yes, he will always be overshadowed by Bobby Wagner, but Wright is a key cog in the Seahawks defense and offenses have learned to shy away from him after he forced eight turnovers between 2014-2016/17. He is a risky play this week, but worth the gamble and seems ready to pop onto the screen this season at a moments notice. With no sacks or turnovers through the Seahawks first five games, his stats are suffering some.
Frank Clark (DE/SEA)- Clark had a breakout game last week versus the Rams and should be able to at least record his third and a half sack on the season versus a weakened Giants’ offensive line. He is relentless, gets in the backfield and wreaks havoc. He may not be a pass rush extraordinaire, but he is tough as nails and can stop the run. He is a DE2/high-end DE3 in deeper leagues and could put up around 10 points this week.
Jason Pierre-Paul (DE/NYG)- JPP is an elite pass rusher, and if the Giants are to have any prayer at all of winning this game, it will come from the defense, starting with Pierre-Paul. The Seahawks O-line is suspect, which opens up the possibility for JPP to record more than one sack and continue to be a fantasy monster after last week’s monstrous outing. Look up JPP as a DE1 with a high projection for Week 7.
Buster Skrine (CB/NYJ)- Skins suffers in coverage which leads to him being an oft targeted corner, but make no mistake about it, he turns those opportunities into turnovers and is rough around the ball. Versus Miami, look for Skrine to play the field and be in line for his second pick of the season, as we all know Cutler is less than reliable and Skrine has a history of picks.
Jamal Adams (S/NYJ)- The number six pick in the 2017 Draft has yet to put it all together, but his future is bright. He plays all over the field and has plus playmaking ability, which makes him a sleeper any given week. Versus the Dolphins this week, he should be able to put his early season woes (albeit injury) behind him and produce a fantasy worthy week.
Lawrence Timmons (LB/MIA)- Timmons is horrible in coverage, but remains tough versus the run, and if the Dolphins are to have a shot of beating the Jets this week they will need Timmons to step up his game. He provides a toughness and run defense that the Dolphins sorely need and he will continue to play role of the enforcer on the Dolphins defensive line.
Lorenzo Alexander (LB/BUF)- At 34, Alexander continues to be a fantasy force, and though he will not reach his sack total from last season, he remains a solid fantasy start and a high upside play versus the mobile-limited Winston this week. He plays well versus the run, understands his role as edge rusher and can blowup any offensive line. Look for him to post a sack and a couple tackles versus the Bucs this week en route to another solid week.
Gerald McCoy (DT/TB)- McCoy means more to his team than in fantasy, but he is still a valuable fantasy commodity in leagues that score DTs as he racks up the tackles and sacks. This week versus the Bills, he has a tall order versus a tough offensive line and Tyrod Taylor, but that does not mean he could won’t blowup a few runs and contribute in the run game. He is a worthy play at DT this week and should contribute to all fantasy teams with stuffs.
Be wary of the Philadelphia Eagles defense this week, as divisional rivalries usually produce competitive games and the Redskins are no slouches as they know how to score and defend, and have a competent QB at the helm. The Redskins bring a solid run game to the table, and though they lack a true WR1, they find ways to get balls to receivers and make opposing defenses pay. The Eagles front seven may have gotten the best of Cousins in Week 1, but the tide could change in Week 7, so be wary of the Eagles D/ST.