DFS Kicker and DST Analysis: Week 7
I'm Justin Bailey. Each week I’ll provide 4for4 DFS subscribers with an in-depth breakdown of the upside and downside of the defenses and kickers on the main slate. For those of you who don't know me, I've been analyzing DFS since 2014. My analysis in this space will include how to approach each of the chalk options, along with how options at the various salary tiers fit into overall roster construction. Ultimately, this piece will provide objective analysis to help guide you through the process of finding safe choices for cash games and high-leverage choices for GPPs.
There is no shortage of chalk defenses this week with six defenses projected to be 10–15% owned in tournaments. Knowing this, you can still gain leverage if you think you can project a chalk defense for lower ownership than the rest of the chalk options. If I don't stick to the chalk option range for cash games, I'll drop down all the way to the values.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers ($4,500/$3,200) have the benefit of being at home, facing a Bengals defense that is implied for 18.25 points, the fourth-lowest total on the slate. The stars align in this one as the Steelers are allowing offenses to score on 25% of their offensive drives (a league-low), while the Bengals have the fourth-lowest scoring rate this season.
- The Miami Dolphins defense ($4,300/$3,100) isn’t a particularly strong defense overall as they have been gashed through the air, but they are allowing 16.8 points per game this season and have been exceptional at stopping the run, allowing 80.4 rushing yards per game. They have the advantage of being a home favorite against a Jets team implied for 17.75 points, the third-lowest total on the slate. The main downside with the Dolphins is they boast the eighth-lowest turnover rate this season among defenses.
- The Minnesota Vikings ($4,700/$3,300) keep the trend going as they are home favorites against a team implied to score 17.25 points, the lowest total on the slate. The Ravens have the the sixth-lowest scoring rate among offenses and are averaging just 17.16 points per game.
- The Los Angeles Rams ($5,100/$2,600) are 3.5-point home favorites against a Cardinals team implied for 21.75 points. The Rams have allowed the seventh-most yards this season, and they could be in trouble if Carson Palmer has enough time to drop back and throw. However, the Rams should be able to get to him as their defensive line ranks third in Football Outsiders’ adjusted sack rate, and Arizona’s offensive line ranks 23rd. *Note: This game is in London.
- There is currently no line for the Buffalo Bills’ ($4,500/$3,400) game against the Buccaneers as Jameis Winston’s status is up in the air with a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder. It’s an intriguing spot as the Bills have allowed a league-low 14.8 points per game and boast the fourth-highest turnover rate among defenses.
- The Tennessee Titans ($4,800/$3,400) have the pleasure of facing a Browns team implied for 20.5 points. The Browns rank 31st in defensive aFPA, but the Titans defense isn’t a great unit overall as they’ve allowed the sixth-highest scoring rate this season and they’re also on the road.
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