Through two weeks of the NFL and Fantasy Football season four defenses appear to be a tier above the rest. The Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears are defenses you can likely start every week without fear of a total collapse. The Philadelphia Eagles may join them now they have their franchise quarterback back on the field leading the team.
Outside of these five I don’t see anyone at that status to this point in the season. Last week the Miami Dolphins, one of my picks, had a great game and their defense has been sneaky good, but this week they face another quarterback who doesn’t take many sacks so how will they fair? They aren’t one of my picks this week, but the humidity and heat could be a factor in South Florida. Oakland played last week in the altitude at Denver and will have more climate concerns this week in Miami. That said, I wouldn’t sit the Dolphins this week unless you have a better option.
In addition to my D/ST picks I have listed some IDP options from these games below. Good luck in Week 3!
Green Bay Packers vs Washington Redskins ([1:00] PM EST) [$2,600 – DK / $4,100 – FD)
The Washington offense looked terrible last week in a favorable matchup against the Colts. Other than 14 receptions by running back Chris Thompson there was very little fantasy production. Green Bay played to a tie with Minnesota, and their defense sacked Kirk Cousins twice and intercepted him once. The Packers were in control of this game until late surrendering a long touchdown pass and then giving up more yards to the Vikings on their game tying drive which included a two point conversion. Washington however does not have an offense dynamic enough to come from behind against good teams. Green Bay should control this game and keep Washington’s score fairly low while adding points with a few sacks and possibly a turnover.
Seattle Seahawks vs Dallas Cowboys ([4:25] PM EST) [$2,900 – DK / $4,400 – FD)
Even with the 0-2 start to the season the Seattle Seahawks defense has played well. This week they should get back one of their linebackers, Bobby Wagner, who should help the cause against Ezekiel Elliot who has yet to really get on track. The Seahawks defense also already has five interceptions on the season, not that they have to worry too much about Dallas’ passing attack. Dak Prescott has yet to throw an interception, but also has yet to break 175 yards passing in a game. Points should be hard to come by this week in this contest for either offense and I’d consider Seattle a safe start, but without much upside due to the Dallas offense not taking many chances.
Dallas Cowboys @ Seattle Seahawks ([4:25] PM EST) [$2,200 – DK / $3,400 – FD)
It seems Draft Kings and Fan Duel are not on board with the Dallas Cowboys being a good D/ST pick this week, ranking near the bottom of all available teams on both sites. However the Seattle Seahawks are giving up the most points to D/ST’s this year so far, giving up six sacks in each game. Dallas is coming off of a six sack game themselves against the New York Giants, and shut down the running and passing games of the Giants except for one long throw to the Giants’ WR3 Cody Latimer. Russell Wilson has yet to make it through a game this season without an interception, with three total through two weeks, and Dallas’ starting safety Xavier Woods will return this week after missing the beginning of the season strengthening an already good unit. This week I’d start Dallas over everyone except Minnesota, Jacksonville and Chicago.
Kenny Clark (DT/Green Bay)
Clark has seven tackles and a sack on the season and faces the ultimate north south runner in Adrian Peterson this week. He will also have a good shot at adding another sack this week as Washington should give up on the running game early.
Blake Martinez (LB/Green Bay)
Martinez is a three down linebacker for the Packers. He should be in on a lot of the tackles if Chris Thompson is heavily targeted again in Week 3, and is Green Bay’s best linebacker.
DJ Swearinger (S/Washington)
Swearinger has gotten off to a slow start in the tackle department, but intercepted Andrew Luck twice last week. I look for a better all around performance this week at home against Green Bay.
Demarcus Lawrence (DE/Dallas)
Lawrence has a sack in each game to start the season and should continue the streak against Seattle. The Seahawks have not shown a willingness to stick with the run and this provides extra opportunities for Lawrence.
Chidobe Awuzie (C/Dallas)
Awuzie is likely Dallas’ best corner early in his second season and should be active this week against a pass heavy Seattle team.
Bobby Wagner (LB/Seattle)
Wagner is normally one of the top tacklers in the NFL and should lead in trying to stop Ezekiel Elliot this week. He’s also a three down linebacker and will be involved in stopping Dallas’ passing game that is usually not far from the line of scrimmage.
Against the Grain
Houston Texans vs New York Giants
I’m not against starting the Houston Texans this week, but think there should be better options. They have not shown much of a pass rush to start the season, but were missing Jadeveon Clowney in Week 2. Clowney says he will play this week, but is dealing with a back injury so I wouldn’t expect his usual game. We haven’t heard the JJ Watt name much to start the season either and he has yet to record a sack, though he did force a fumble in Week 2. My point is there doesn’t seem to be a lot separating the Texans from the Giants. They both have bad offensive lines with defenses that can’t overcome the low offensive point totals. One of these teams could break out in Week 3, but I think it’s just as likely to be the Giants as it is the Texans.
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