The Defenses and Special Teams Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s main NFL slate. For more of our weekly football content, visit our NFL homepage.

Sky’s the Limit

Here are the top two D/STs per our ceiling projections:

  • Washington Redskins: $3,000 DraftKings; $3,400 FanDuel
  • Kansas City Chiefs: $3,300 DraftKings; $4,600 FanDuel

The Washington defense carries the third-highest sack projection in our models, but the Redskins should be used only as a tournament option since they’re road underdogs in Tampa Bay. It’s not a great matchup on paper, as the Buccaneers’ offensive line and Redskins’ defensive line both rank 19th in Football Outsiders’ adjusted sack rate.

However, the Redskins’ 93% Leverage Rating on DraftKings makes them a worthy tournament option against Ryan Fitzpatrick, who owns the fifth-highest interception rate this season.

The Chiefs defense hasn’t been great overall, but the pass rush has held up, ranking 12th in adjusted sack rate and third in Pro Football Focus’ pass-rushing grades. Meanwhile, the Cardinals’ offensive line ranks 21st in adjusted sack rate and the Josh Rosen-led offense is implied for only 16.75 points on the road at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs have done well at home this season, averaging 12.25 DraftKings points per game with a +6.26 Plus/Minus, compared to 3.80 DraftKings PPG with a -1.97 Plus/Minus (per our Trends tool).

The Chiefs project inside the top-two in floor, median and ceiling projections for Week 10.



Shoot the Gap

New York Jets ($3,400 DraftKings; $4,900 FanDuel): It sounds like Josh Allen (elbow) isn’t quite ready to return, so the Jets will draw Derek Anderson (concussion) if he’s cleared from the protocol. Otherwise, it’ll be Nathan Peterman. Either way, it won’t matter. Defenses are averaging 16.33 DraftKings PPG with a +6.77 Plus/Minus and an absurd 77.8% Consistency Rating (per our Trends tool) against the Bills this season.

Green Bay Packers ($3,100 DraftKings; $3,900 FanDuel): Targeting defenses against the Dolphins has been exploitable. Such defenses are averaging a +1.23 DraftKings Plus/Minus against Miami. The Packers have a solid pass rush, ranking fourth in adjusted sack rate while the Dolphins’ offensive line has been rather mediocre, ranking 20th in adjusted sack rate. The Dolphins are implied for only 18.75 points, which is the third-lowest total on the slate.


Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Khalil Mack

Chicago Bears ($3,600 DraftKings; $5,000 FanDuel): Ideally, Khalil Mack (ankle) will be ready to go on Sunday. The Bears still consider him day-to-day, so be sure to keep an eye on his status using our Injury Report. Still, the Lions will be on the road in Chicago, where they’re implied for only 19.25 points. Matthew Stafford took 10 sacks against the Vikings last week, and if Mack is back, they could struggle again to protect Stafford against a Bears defense that’s 10th in adjusted sack rate.

Los Angeles Rams ($2,400 DraftKings; $3,900 FanDuel): The Rams will be in play most weeks because of their elite pass rush that ranks inside the top six in quarterback pressures, hurries and hits (per Sports Info Solutions). They struggled against the Seahawks in the teams’ first meeting this season, but that was in Seattle. Now the Seahawks’ 27th-ranked offensive line in adjusted sack rate will be in Los Angeles. Second games of divisional matchups like this have been historically lower scoring, and the Seahawks are implied for a paltry 20.75 points.

Be sure to check out our industry-leading NFL News and Models, along with our Multi-Lineup Builder, Stack builder, ownership projections and more. Also, make sure to check out our other tools for the 2018 season, including the Matchups pageDFS Contests DashboardNFL Ownership page, and NFL Correlations page.

Pictured above: Leonard Williams and Jamal Adams
Photo credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/ via USA TODAY NETWORK