We continue to pay down at D/ST and it worked once again last week as the Dallas Cowboys paid off handsomely as the cheap go-to defense on DraftKings. Were they a bit chalky? Yes. But I’m fine with that because at a certain point there’s a threshold that is crossed that makes them optimal even at 20-30% rostership in tournaments. You can find ways to get different elsewhere. So while we can celebrate nailing the cheap D/ST play once again, let’s turn our attention to this week. We’re starting to see the bye weeks limit the options for us on Sunday’s main slate. The Lions, Titans, Raiders, and Texans are off this week. That’s not a big concern since we likely aren’t targeting those teams very much, but it does limit some value options and might just force us to pay up at the position this week. So let’s dig in and check out the betting trends and matchups to identify the best NFL DFS D/ST plays for Week 6!

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NFL DFS D/ST Top Plays Week 6

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are going to be an easier play on FanDuel as the seventh-most expensive D/ST on the board, rather than on DraftKings where they’re the most expensive. But just because they’re the most expensive on DK doesn’t mean I don’t like them. The price of just $4,100 is reasonable for this matchup. The Rams don’t have a great home-field advantage (Sorry, LA fans!) so I don’t think this is necessarily a hostile environment for PJ Walker. The Panthers fired Walker’s old college coach, Matt Rhule, earlier in the week so there’s a lot of uncertainty regarding the offense in Carolina. The Rams are favored by ten points and this game has one of the lowest projected totals on the slate. The Rams haven’t forced a turnover in their last three games, so they have to be due, right? We do need those extra stats to pay off this price tag but they can do it after they forced seven turnovers in their first two games. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It hasn’t been a great stretch for Tampa. They’ve returned a total of 13 fantasy points in their last three games. That’s not great when you’re paying up for double-digit points here. But we’ve seen Kenny Pickett and this Steelers offense return value for us in recent weeks. The Bills allowed just three points to this offense last week while collecting three sacks and a pair of turnovers. The Jets intercepted Pickett three times a couple weeks ago in the rookie’s first appearance. The Bucs are top ten in turnover rate, pressure rate, and tackles for loss. Given the struggles of Najee Harris and the presence of a rookie quarterback under center, this defense is primed to feast during Sunday’s main slate. The Bucs are eight-point favorites and the over/under has been flirting with 43.5 points all week.

San Francisco 49ers

I would absolutely love this matchup if they had Nick Bosa, Jimmie Ward, and Emmanuel Moseley. Their absences certainly suck and there’s the other factor that this is an early game on the East Coast for a West Coast team. But they check the boxes similar to the Bucs: they’re top five in pressure rate and tackles for loss. They’re still elite and I hope they bring that same level of play despite the injuries. They’ve held their last four opponents to 15 points or fewer and they aren’t allowing a ton of yardage either. They’ve scored a defensive/special teams touchdown in back-to-back weeks but don’t go into this matchup with that expectation. This will still be a good spot for the 49ers to collect sacks, of which they have 13 over their last two games.

NFL DFS D/ST Mid-Price Plays Week 6

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals visit the Saints this week which is almost a “kinda/sorta” homecoming for Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. The Bengals defense is kind of like the new Saints defense. They’re probably better for actual football than fantasy football. For that reason, I don’t want to go here in cash games, but I’m interested in exposure for tournaments. These cats don’t generate a ton of pressure with just eight sacks in five games, but they’re above average in forcing turnovers and they have a bend but don’t break mentality by allowing just 16.6 points per game to opposing offenses. They might be getting Michael Thomas back this week but they could be without Chris Olave. The wild card will be what happens with Taysom Hill’s usage because defenses have had difficulty stopping him when he’s been on the field. The Bengals are a much better play on FanDuel where they’re only $3,600.

Jacksonville Jaguars

This play does depend a bit on Jonathan Taylor’s status for Sunday. If he plays, I don’t hate this team for DFS because the Jags did contain him just a few weeks ago in a shutout victory over these same Colts. But if he’s ultimately out for another week then I’m more comfortable with this spot. The Jags sacked Matt Ryan five times in their last matchup and picked him off thrice. The Colts are favored ever so slightly, but it’s more of a pick ‘em in my eyes. The Jags boast a top ten pass rush surprisingly, and could pick apart this weakened offensive line. If you don’t buy into a repeat performance, I can understand that, especially with the Jaguars on the road. But Matt Ryan is years removed from his most elite play and if he’s without Taylor on Sunday this is a spot I like for all DFS formats.


NFL DFS D/ST Value Plays Week 6

Buffalo Bills

Nobody is going to want to go here for DFS in terms of the D/STs. And I can’t blame them because this game projects to be a shootout. This game has the highest projected total on the main slate and the Bills are favored by less than a field goal. But this is still a good D/ST that’s priced down because of the matchup, similar to the Cowboys last week. However, where they differ is in the fact the Chiefs aren’t frauds like the Rams. The Chiefs are not friendly to opposing defenses for fantasy so don’t go here in cash games. The Bills are also getting healthier as Ed Oliver and Jordan Phillips were eased back into the swing of things in last week’s cruise-control victory over the Steelers. The secondary might also be getting a little healthier for Week 6 but keep an eye on injury reports on Thursday and Friday before Sunday’s inactives. But this team, despite its injuries, still has 16 sacks and 11 turnovers through five games and they’ve held three of their five opponents to ten points or fewer. Are the Chiefs going to be held to a number that low? Unlikely, but I’m not afraid to take this shot in tournaments.

Carolina Panthers

This could very well be a trap and it’s probably an easy fade for most people. But on a slate without a true, easy-to-see value play I don’t hate the Panthers considering how friendly the Rams have been to opposing defenses. On FanDuel, you can likely go to the Bengals over Carolina. But on DraftKings, this is the cheapest D/ST on the board and we saw what the Cowboys did to the Rams last week. Does that mean Carolina will do the same? Not necessarily, but this team could be motivated following Matt Rhule’s ousting.  At this price tag I’m looking for five or six fantasy points and given how Matthew Stafford has turned it over ten times in five games with five touchdowns and only one game with over 300 yards passing, I think there’s an okay floor for Carolina in this matchup.

NFL DFS D/ST Fades Week 6

Cleveland Browns

I’m going back to the well fading the Browns this week for a few reasons. You’ve heard me mention this before, but there are simply better options you can pay up or down for. In this situation, I’m probably going up to the Rams, Bucs, or 49ers. Or I’ll go down to the Bengals or Jaguars if I feel the need. I project this game to be slow and fairly low scoring with both teams running the ball a lot. Bill Belichick will not want to put Bailey Zappe in too many scenarios to make mistakes. He attempted just 21 passes last week, but he’s fumbled in each of the last two games and he was picked off last week. If this game is indeed slower and there aren’t as many spots for Cleveland to collect sacks and apply pressure, then the upside is limited. Cleveland also has just nine sacks through five games with four turnovers. I’ll avoid them for the second straight week.

Be sure to check out the rest of the NFL DFS Coaches and DFS Watch List throughout the week!

| NFL DFS Watch List | DFS Playbook | QB Coach | RB Coach | WR Coach | TE Coach (Thu) | D/ST Coach (Thu) | Value Plays | 


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