With Week 5 done there is only the Chiefs left with a perfect record, but it remains a wide open race in every division. Who is for real and who is a pretender? Tsk tsk tsk. Week 6 could help determine that as the season ramps up. There have been some surprises and some disappointments to date, but not so much on offense as defense, as defense is built on talent that shows up any given week. While offense puts up points, any given week defense wins it and wins championships. No, I don’t always go with the obvious pick, but I try to help fantasy owners see the right pick any given week.
Redskins D/ST DK $3400/FD $4700- The Redskins’ defense is quietly posting a top ten season thus far, thanks in large part to a young, talented defense. Johnathan Allen is as good as advertised and then some, and the Redskins continue to play solid defense thanks to a good defensive front seven. Versus the Niners, the Redskins front seven should have a field day, with over four sacks and a turnover. They are an elite play.
Jaguars D/ST (vs LAR) DK $3600/FD $4900- After watching the Seahawks shutdown the Rams offense last week, and the Jaguars pick off Big Ben five times last week, it is a reasonable bet that this defense could cause problems for Jared Goff and Co this week. Jacksonville’s secondary does a good job of mixing up looks and forcing ill-advised throws, and is emerging as a dominant force in the league. Goff is not the strongest of passers, and with his mediocre group of receivers, the Jaguars secondary will take full advantage of a favorable matchup.
Broncos D/ST (vs NYG) DK $4000/FD $5400- The Giants, without Odell Beckham Jr., will continue to struggle to win games as they will need to find a new go-to receiver with OBJ, Shepard and Brandon Marshall all out with injuries, two of the three likely done for the season. With a No-Fly secondary, Denver will look to key in on the run game and make life hard on Eli Manning as they dominate with their defense. Denver has a solid defense all around, but this week makes them especially enticing.
Ryan Kerrigan (LB/WSH)- Kerrigan is playing on an underrated defensive line and he continues to make plays. Although he had a dud day versus the Chiefs on Monday night, he should have no problem rebounding versus the Niners, who are still looking for their first win of the season. Kerrigan is a good pass rusher as he has a good first move and beats blockers off the snap. With a weak offensive line, Kerrigan could be in for a big day and is an LB2 in most leagues.
Kendall Fuller (CB/WSH)- Fuller is a physical corner who goes for the homerun play, will get burnt, but still maintains his own in coverage. Without a true QB (Brian Hoyer) in S.F., Fuller should be able to capitalize on an underwhelming receiving core and make plays on the ball. He is a boom/bust play in most leagues, but worth the gamble this week.
Reuben Foster (LB/S.F.)- Foster has not played since suffering a high ankle sprain Week 1, but seems to be gearing towards playing this week versus the Redskins. When healthy, he is a tackle specialist who can do it all as he is a missile and always around the ball. He may never create many turnovers, but he hits hard, can finish plays and understands the game. The Redskins pose a challenge, but should he suit up, he could be a lock for approaching eight or nine tackles and a tackle for loss.
Dante Fowler Jr., (DE/JAX)- Fowler continues to rack up the sacks while playing limited snaps and has a decent matchup versus the upstart Rams this week. As the season goes along, Fowler should see more snaps as the Jaguars are merely being cautious with him as he continues to deal with off-field issues. He has been a disappointment since entering the league in 2015, but could be emerging into a sack beast if he can stay on the field. He is a DE2 in most leagues.
Calais Campbell (DT/JAX)- Campbell is an elite tackle/end who’s stats show more on the real stat sheet than in real life because he makes plays for others, but this season Campbell has yet again been a force on the fantasy sheets. With six sacks on the season, Campbell is showing why the Jags signed him, and he will continue to dominate versus the Rams this week.
Trumaine Johnson (CB/LAR)- Johnson is a shutdown corner who will rack up the tackles as he is always around the ball when it is on his side of the field and he understands the game. Versus the Jaguars on Sunday, he should be able to take advantage of a weak Jags receiving core, slingshot QB Blake Bortles, and collect his second INT of the season. He is a CB2/high-end 3 this week.
Bradley Roby (CB/DEN)- Oft overshadowed by Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr., Roby has been a solid contributor to a solid Broncos’ secondary since being drafted in 2014 and is emerging behind Talib. He is not quite a ballhawk, but understands the game and how to defense passes. He should be considered a CB3 with upside for more versus the Giants without Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard.
Justin Simmons (S/DEN)- Simmons is the boom/bust play of the week, but could be worth the risk this week as the Giants will need to find an offensive identity versus a tough secondary, one that does not give many points. While he is not a must start, he does provide some upside for pass breakups and should be viewed as someone to eye in deeper leagues if you need a safety this week.
Avoid the Arizona Cardinals D/ST this week as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seem to want to feed the Muscle Hamster (Doug Martin) and the Cardinals have allowed more rushing yards each week this season, and Martin could be in for a nice day versus the Cards front seven. Yes, the Cardinals boast one of the elite secondaries, but their front seven without Calais Campbell is not as strong as it used to be and the Bucs will try to exploit it. If the Cardinals can not establish a pass rush early, it could be a long day for the defense as the Bucs can score in bunches.