“The Amateur Ward” Defensive Targets: D/ST, IDP, and DFS Week #13
Last week I stated I would say what I am thankful for in this week’s edition. That frankly is life. I have made some mistakes in life, some that could have cost me dearly. But I am human, and have learned from those mistakes to make me a better, stronger person. I am also thankful for football and sports (of course, duh you are all thinking), but no sports is truly my life and I live for them. They have kept me going through the thick and thin of life, and they continue to sustain me. Ok, enough of these shenanigans onto Week 13 and what we all are playing for…the fantasy playoffs. Yes, you heard me right…playoffs. Some of the marquee matchups include: Panthers and Saints, Vikings and Falcons, and Eagles and Seahawks.
Chargers D/ST (vs CLE) FD- $5300/$4000 DK- San Diego boasts an elite pass rush unit, as well as lockdown corners, and versus the Browns on Sunday there is nothing to suggest they will not continue their season stretch of at least 1 sack in each of the teams regular season games. The Chargers boast nine interceptions and three touchdowns since their bye three weeks ago and have the looks of an elite unit going forward. Start with confidence
Texans D/ST (@ TEN)- FD- $4500/$2400 DK- This is probably a surprise pick, but I have the Texans upsetting the Titans this week. They boast one of the best pass rush defenses, and with no clear cut WR1 in Tennessee, the pressure could be on Mariota to make throws, albeit versus a porous secondary. If the Texans can apply pressure early, they could be in for a solid day on defense. They are a sleeper pick this week.
Bears D/ST (vs SF) FD- $4600/$3500 DK- Despite a lowly performance in four of their last five games, the Bears are a solid defense versus the Niners as they struggle to move the ball. Jimmy Garoppolo will be starting at QB for the 49ers, and although he has shown he has a strong arm in the past, he is in a new offense, versus a very stout defense. The Bears should be in for a huge day versus the 49ers.
Tre Boston (S/LAC)- With 56 tackles on the season, Boston has already set a career high in tackles, and should be in line for a few more this week versus the Browns. With no true receiver, the Browns will be vulnerable to pick, and with 4 picks on the season, Boston could be a prime candidate to pick a pass off. If he is not owned in your league, your better snap him up this week, as he could explode.
Trevor Williams (CB/LAC)- Williams will remain boom/bust as he continues to get passes defensed, but is a strong candidate for Week 13 versus the Browns. He has shown a knack for the football and is more than capable of tackling receivers. The second year player may not be a ballhawk, but he has shown a propensity for defending passes since Jason Verrett went down for the season.
James Burgess (LB/CLE)- With Jamie Collins on IR, Burgess will continue to start in his stead, and although he will provide inconsistent fantasy numbers, he is a worthwhile investment this week. The Browns defense will be on the field a ton versus the Chargers, and though neither offense will light the world on fire, with the Chargers defense in full gear, they will be off the field on third down or sooner more times than not. Burgess should at least rack up eight tackles and be a sleeper in the final week of the fantasy regular season.
Andre Hal (S/HOU)- He may never be an interception specialist, but with three on the season, Hal has shown the ability to contribute in the pass defensed game and contribute some tackles. Versus the run-heavy Titans, his tackles may be limited, but if a pass gets away from Mariota, or Tennessee gets off to a slow start, Hal could be there to clean up the mess. While he remains a risky play in most formats, he could be worth the risk for those teams needing a safety play this week.
Wesley Woodyard (LB/TEN)- Woodyard has been a consistent, if unspectacular LB for the Titans this season, but versus the Texans, and Tom Savage, he could be in for a spectacular game as the Texans lack a true receiver outside DeAndre Hopkins. The run game for the Texans is solid, but that does not mean Woodyard will not get in the backfield and stop a couple of plays, or record a sack. He may be high risk/reward, but he has a higher floor than most LBs given his tackle floor and his ability to get into the backfield.
Akiem Hicks (DE/CHI)- Hicks, from the DE position is turning to be a sack guy fantasy owners can rely upon as he has seven on the season, and will look to improve upon that this week versus the 49ers. With two stuffs last week in limited action, Hicks could easily post his first sack in four contests and remains a strong DE play in most leagues, especially those counting stuffs.
Christian Jones (LB/CHI)- Since Leonard Floyd (knee) went down, Jones has been the Bears most consistent LB and warrants starting in almost all leagues. He is almost a lock to record at least seven tackles and should be viewed as a sleeper for tallying a sack this week versus the 49ers. The Bears boast a solid defensive line, and Jones is quickly emerging as a cornerstone on it.
DeForest Buckner (DT/SF)- Buckner has been quiet of late, but versus Mitchell Trubisky and the erratic Bears offense, expect him to come to play. He is a nasty DT who knows how to disrupt the pass, as well as the run game and remains a solid bet to at least rack up a few stats on Sunday. He is a low-end DT to start the week, but do not be surprised if he finishes the week as one of the better DTs for Week 13 as he is due for a nice performance.
Avoid the Eagles D/ST versus the Seahawks, as the Seahawks will be out for a win, fighting to stay in the playoff race and do not want to fall any further behind in the race. True, they are tied with Atlanta at 7-4, but with Atlanta owning playoff tie-breakers over Green Bay, Seattle, Detroit and Seattle, there is little margin for error on the Seahawks and everyone knows how tough the 12th Man in Seattle can be, even for a stout defense like the Eagles. It could be a shootout, as Russell Wilson is have a nice year for the Seahawks and is developing chemistry with his receivers sans much of a run game.