Choosing a DraftKings Defense and Week 4 Recommendations

By: Pete Davidson : October 03, 2015 8:07am

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I cannot tell a lie. I like to pay for my defense when I play tournaments on DraftKings. That’s not to say that I always buy the most expensive one. I want the one I want and I will pay to get it. Perhaps a better way to describe my defensive philosophy is that I will not skimp on my defense, especially in tournament play, where my team’s score must be really high if I want to bank. Last week, I was all-in on Seattle. It worked, though not quite as well as I was hoping.

To understand my philosophy on defenses, let’s look at some very basic math. To bank in a tourney, you need roughly 180 points, and that’s entry level banking. Maybe you’ll sneak in with a lower score, but sometimes 180 won’t even get it done. The point is, you better be aiming for a number that greatly exceeds 180 if you want to do any serious damage. You have nine players in your DraftKings lineup. It’s doesn’t take a beautiful mind to realize that you must average 20 points for each player in your lineup just to get to 180 points. This is why I aim high on my defense. Getting a big number from the DST spot is almost mandatory if you are going to take down a tournament.

Now think about this. How often does a bad NFL team in a bad situation come up with a high-flying defensive effort?

That’s why, for example, it was a bad play to start the Jaguars against the Patriots in Week 3. Sure, you saved some money, but you gave away any real shot at big points. It’s a must to isolate a few situations where the defense will be playing in a target rich environment. You want home teams in loud buildings. You want the visiting team to have a bad quarterback. A bad rookie quarterback is even better. Shaky offensive line play is always nice, too.

Here are a few defenses that I am looking at this week.

Seahawks vs. Lions, $3,700

Matt Stafford may not be a rookie, but he plays like one sometimes. You also have a team that has been telegraphing the pass, and if they do that this weekend against the Seahawks, things could get very ugly, and ugly is exactly what we want to pay for.

Cardinals vs. Rams, $3,400

If they can rattle and pressure Nick Foles, a big defensive day could ensue. This is because the Cardinals have the playmakers on the back end. We saw what they did against Colin Kaepernick in Week 3. They could do it again here. That’s why they are one of the defenses to consider in tournament play this weekend.

Broncos vs. Vikings, $3,300

Teddy Bridgewater is a cool customer, but he enters a very hostile environment here. He’ll be playing against a defense that has an elite pass rush yet also features elite cornerbacks. Now consider that Minnesota will be without two of their top three receivers unless Jarius Wright makes a quicker-than-expected recovery from a hand injury. Maybe Minnesota’s defense keeps things close. That would allow the Vikings to stay conservative on offense. So this is not a lock, but you have a lot of the things we’re looking for. You definitely have a chance for a big defensive score. Denver fits our criteria.

Jets at Dolphins, $,3100

This game is on a neutral field in London and it kicks off at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday thanks to our friends at the NFL offices. The Dolphins are almost in a tailspin. The Jets have a chance to put them there. There are already rumors about coaches getting fired in Miami, and it’s easy to understand why. The Jets’ defense is well-suited to handle what the Dolphins do best and Miami will be playing without stud left tackle Branden Albert, who has a hamstring injury. The Jets can take away the Dolphins’ outside receivers and they have an elite slot corner who can slow down Jarvis Landry. Unless the Dolphins can run the football, they are in for a long day. So again, we have the conditions for a big DST score, and that is what we need to have a chance at winning a Draftkings tournament.

Here are a few other defenses I would consider this week, if you are looking for some differentiation.

  • Panthers at Bucs, $3,300
  • Bills vs. Giants, $3,300
  • Falcons vs. Texans, $2,900
  • Saints vs. Cowboys $2,400

The Panthers are a road team, otherwise they would be a prime option. They still offer some upside because they are a very tough defense playing a rookie quarterback who has already shown a propensity for risk taking. The Bills are home against a scuffling offense, but Eli Manning is not a guy who totally falls apart as a rookie might, so they aren’t elite on my board, but they are very playable. The Falcons have a home matchup against Ryan Mallett, so there is some appeal there. The Saints like to bring pressure, and if they dial it up well, they could force Brandon Weeden into some turnovers.

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