Last week was brutal in terms of defenses I recommended to stay away from. Two of those three defenses scored double digit points, and thus, made cash value. While my defense selection is not what kept me from cashing, it’s still important to avoid overpriced units. And, one’s who may be good at one facet, but are not good against a particular system. Let’s do better this time around and look at some D/ST to avoid in week seven.
Houston Texans: $4,800
JAX Points/Game: 18.2 (29th) JAX Pass Yards/Game: 267.7 (15th) JAX Rush Yards/Game: 103.3 (17th)
The Texans ahead of their matchup against the Jaguars are one of the most overpriced units on the slate. They played against one of the worst units in the NFL at home in week 6. In case you don’t know, the Buffalo Bills were 32nd in points per game and pass yards per game heading into week 6. The Texans, to their credit, held the Josh Allen-led Bills to three points with just over three minutes left in the third quarter. Then, they surrendered a touchdown pass to Zay Jones and Nate Peterman. If not for Peterman’s two crushing interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, the Texans would’ve had a pedestrian performance against the league’s least capable offense.
Even though Blake Bortles has not been good, he and this offense will present a far more capable threat. For one, the Bills don’t attempt to push the ball down the field compared to the Jaguars. Bortles is averaging 7.06 yards per attempt (24th) while Allen ranks 33rd among qualified quarterbacks with 5.99. When examining the offenses in total, the Bills average 3.7 yards per play, while the Jaguars are two whole yards better. For reference, two yards is significant when the difference between first and last is 3.5 yards per play.
Apart from the statistical upgrade, there is contextual data to consider as well. The Jaguars will be returning home after losing two consecutive road games and are 0-1 in divisional play. They will now play host to an offense that struggled to move the ball at home versus the Bills with a clearly hampered Deshaun Watson. Meaning, the Texans’ offense will not bail out their defense, or consistently provide them with average field position.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $3,900
CLE Points/Game: 21.3 (23rd) CLE Pass Yards/Game: 228.5 (23rd) CLE Rush Yards/Game: 137.7 (3rd)
The Buccaneers, as well as the Texans, are overpriced. This unit has failed to hold any offense with their starting quarterback to less than 30 points. If we include Nick Foles, the lowest point total the Buccaneers have held an opponent to is 21.
This defense has not once scored double-digit FanDuel points, including a game against the Saints where they scored a defensive touchdown. This defense is the worst in the league against the pass. However, they have yet to face an opponent that will consistently run the ball against them. The Browns, who run the ball the third most in the NFL, will be the first top 12 rushing offense in terms of volume the Buccaneers will have faced. It remains to be seen if the Browns will adjust their plan. They’ll likely have success with whatever they decided to implement, as they are one of the league’s best rushing offenses who are being led by a competent quarterback.
New England Patriots: $3,500
CHI Points/Game: 27.8 (10th) CHI Pass Yards/Game: 236.3 (22nd) CHI Rush Yards/Game: 130 (8th)
The Patriots, while they secured a win, allowed 40 points to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bears, who are led by the former Kansas City offensive coordinator Matt Nagy, are a poor man’s version of the Chiefs. With the exception of Kareem Hunt, the Bears have a possession wide receiver (Watkins/Robinson), a fast, versatile play-maker (Hill/Gabriel), an athletic pass-catching tight end (Kelce/Burton), and a young, athletic quarterback (Mahomes/Trubisky). That analysis is clearly over simplistic. But, it’s not inaccurate. With similar personnel, an Andy Reid disciple calling plays, and a vastly superior defense, the Bears will challenge the Patriots at home.
Featured Image courtesy of Battle Red Blog
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