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The Big Two
- Jacksonville Jaguars: $4,100 DraftKings; $5,200 FanDuel
- Los Angeles Chargers: $3,900 DraftKings; $4,400 FanDuel
Let’s bull rush.
Sam Darnold has averaged 1.7 interceptions and 2.3 sacks per game through the first three games of his rookie season. In those games, the Jets faced the Lions, Dolphins and Browns. All three opponents currently rank in the bottom half of Pro Football Focus’ pass-rush grades. The Jaguars, of course, boast one of the top pass-rushes in the league with the third-highest grade in that same category through three weeks.
It’s not a matter of if they get to Darnold, it’s when, so it may be time to load up on the Jaguars’ defense with Jacksonville being a 7.5-point home favorite. Only the Green Bay defense (against the Bills) has a higher projected floor than Jacksonville.
Thanks to Adam Levitan, people know that C.J. Beathard and George Kittle used to be teammates at Iowa. The historical shower-fantasy points correlation is (probably) a thing. If you want to attack the other side of this narrative, consider the Chargers against the 49ers as a natural price pivot off the Jags in a game with the largest spread of the week (-10.5).
The biggest concern for me is still the effectiveness of this pass rush without Joey Bosa; the Chargers have been graded as the seventh-worst pass rush to start the season by PFF. That said, the 49ers grade as the sixth-worst pass-blocking unit, and Beathard is slightly above average at taking sacks (2.7 per game) and throwing interceptions (1.9) over the past year.
Running the Arc
Attack the edge.
Green Bay Packers ($3,500 DraftKings; $4,300 FanDuel): The Packers are double-digit home favorites (-10), and Josh Allen has taken the most sacks per pass snap of any quarterback in the slate over the past year (13.9) in a small sample. If your process led you to the Vikings last week in a similar spot, there’s really no reason to avoid doubling-down. Their 2.9 projected sacks are tied with Arizona for the slate lead.
Arizona Cardinals ($2,600 DraftKings; $4,000 FanDuel): The aforementioned Cardinals are too cheap for this matchup, similarly to the Cowboys punt last week against this squad. Arizona’s defense is eighth-best in adjusted sack rate (FootballOutsiders), and Seattle’s offensive line is currently dead last in the same category. Russell Wilson also has a tendency to run into sacks; his 8.6% sack rate is the fourth-highest on the slate.
Philadelphia Eagles ($3,300 DraftKings; $4,600 FanDuel): Philly will certainly soak up a decent chunk of ownership this week, with the public gravitating to the NFL’s top-ranked pass rush, per PFF. The problem I have with the play is Tennessee’s stellar offensive line, which currently ranks fourth (PFF) and sixth (FootballOutsiders) in their respective pass protection metrics.
Atlanta Falcons ($2,300 DraftKings; $3,400 FanDuel): With the top leverage score on DraftKings, the Falcons are a reasonable punt option in Week 4 despite a subpar 2.0 projected sacks. The Bengals have passed on 66.3% of their offensive plays this year, seventh-most in the NFL, and they currently rank as a below-average team in pass protection, according to PFF. Per our Trends tool, similarly priced defenses with comparable Vegas data and projected sacks have historically been solid options with a +0.57 DraftKings Plus/Minus at only 6.9% ownership.
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Pictured above: Clay Matthews (52)
Photo credit: Appleton Post-Crescent-USA TODAY Sports