It’s crazy to think that we’re nearing the halfway point of the 2022 NFL season, but alas here we are. Week 8 looms large with some star players not on Sunday’s main slate. The Ravens, Buccaneers, Bengals, Browns, Chiefs, Bills, Packers, and Chargers are either on bye or in primetime this week. So the talent pool is a bit watered down this week, but we still have some great defenses to consider for Sunday’s main slate. Last week, the Cowboys were once again the play of the week if you could find a way to afford them. It shouldn’t come as a surprise we go right back to the well this week. My favorite play in Week 7, the New York Jets, didn’t break the slate but returned seven points as a value play which is serviceable in Cash games. Let’s turn the page and dive into the top NFL DFS picks and plays at the D/ST position to help you dominate Sunday’s main slate!
Be sure to check out the rest of the NFL DFS Coaches and DFS Watch List throughout the week!
NFL DFS D/ST Top Plays Week 8
NFL DFS D/ST Top Plays Week 7
There was a time when DraftKings would price D/ST’s well over $4,000. While they haven’t ventured into a more expensive range yet we can consider this a discount even as the most expensive team on both DraftKings and FanDuel. You’re paying a premium, sure. But in two of their last three games they’ve returned over 20 fantasy points. Only the Eagles have dropped more than 20 points on them. The Cowboys are arguably the best D/ST in fantasy football and should feast in this matchup against the Bears who, despite winning in Week 7, are playing on a short week and they’re on the road. The Cowboys are favored by 9.5 points and the over/under is at 42.5 points, which isn’t the lowest on the slate but still relatively low. Dallas does everything we love for fantasy: they don’t let opponents score much, they limit the yardage, and they force sacks and turnovers. Until DraftKings decides to grow a pair and raise the price tag, Dallas can continue to be worth it.
If you don’t believe that Dallas has the best defense in the league, then it’s likely you think the Eagles are. Fresh off their Bye week, the Eagles will host the Steelers. After allowing the Lions to score 35 points in Week 1, Philly has allowed just 62 total points in their last five games. The Steelers allow the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing D/ST’s and while the Eagles may not generate the pass rush statistics of the Cowboys, they can still force turnovers and provide for DFS success. Depending on the sportsbook the Birds are either a 10-or-11-point favorite and the projected total is around 43.5 points.
Most weeks I would probably say something like “At this price point you either pay up or down’ but I’m interested in the Titans as a lower-owned DFS option. Brandin Cooks’ name has been thrown around as a rumored player to be on the move and if he’s dealt before this matchup then we can find even more comfort in this play. The Titans have been playing much better on defense. They’ve allowed a total of 44 points in their last three games, and they have nine sacks and seven turnovers in that span. Are they a slam dunk? No, but if you’re building 20 or so lineups on Sunday, mix this team in. They now rank in the top 12 in both pressure and turnover rate. This game features one of the lowest projected totals on the slate at 40.5 points and the Titans are slight favorites.
NFL DFS D/ST Mid-Price Plays Week 8
New England Patriots and the New York Jets
Let’s take a look at both D/ST’s from this game. The injury to Breece Hall absolutely sucks for the Jets because he was looking like a superstar in his rookie campaign. But his loss is a benefit for the Patriots this week. Overall this game could be ugly. The run game now runs through Michael Carter and James Robinson. Truly I don’t believe the latter makes a significant impact this week since he’s still getting adjusted to the Playbook. But Carter and Robinson won’t match what Hall was doing. Zach Wilson has attempted just 44 pass attempts the last two games and Robert Salah hasn’t really let him air it out deep. The loss of Hall may shift their game plan and put the ball in the air more and the Patriots are still a defense that can take advantage of the opposing team’s mistakes. They’re averaging three sacks per game and can force multiple turnovers.
We’re getting a slightly elevated price tag on the Jets this week on DraftKings but they’re still very affordable. On FanDuel, they’re tough to play but the matchup is still good enough because the Patriots can’t decide what to do with their quarterback situation. We went to the Jets last week at $2,600 and they didn’t hit their ceiling with just seven fantasy points. Truthfully, in Cash games you’ll take that from a paydown D/ST. The Jets have returned at least seven fantasy points in their last four games. They aren’t giving up a ton of points or yards and the matchup is ripe for the picking against the Patriots, who are playing on a short week after losing to the Bears Monday night. The Jets are actually 1.5-point underdogs which seems laughable since they’re at home and the secondary looks incredible. New York has allowed just 36 total points in their last three games. The floor is pretty good this week and I think we can target them once again. Again, both teams aren’t necessarily mid-range plays on FanDuel but I still like them for tournaments on either site.
NFL DFS D/ST Value Plays Week 8
The Commanders are likely going to be the trendy value D/ST on both DraftKings and FanDuel this week. As of Wednesday morning, the game total is very low at just 40 points, but the Commanders are three-point underdogs. But we can go here for a couple reasons: 1. Position of Variance, and 2. It’s a matchup against a rookie quarterback. Be warned though because this could be a bit of a trap. For starters, the Commanders have only returned more than five fantasy points just once all year. But they are still top ten in pressure rate, tackles for loss, and sacks as evidenced by their 19 sacks through seven games. Sam Ehlinger is a bit of a Wild Card for the Colts. He’s taking over as the starting quarterback and he is pretty mobile so there is a challenge regarding containment. Overall, I’m willing to pay down here in Cash games this week to open up salary elsewhere. On the other side of the ball, you can consider the Indianapolis Colts on FanDuel as they are priced as a mid-price play. If this game is ugly, and it could be very ugly, then one of these D/ST’s could be optimal but in a vacuum I prefer Washington.
I can’t predict the future. Nor can I predict defensive/special teams’ touchdowns. However, something should be said for the fact the Cardinals have four in their first seven games and it’s helped them return nine or more fantasy points on four occasions already. Going into last week’s game against the Saints, the narrative was that the Cardinals have been great at shutting down the opposing team’s top pass catcher. That didn’t hold true as Chris Olave caught seven passes for over 100 yards on 14 targets. Justin Jefferson could similarly have a huge day as well. But Kirk Cousins is a quarterback that hasn’t flashed a very high ceiling this year and he’s prone to mistakes evidenced by five interceptions in seven games. This game has one of the highest over/under’s on the slate, but these are two offenses that could severely underwhelm. By no means am I comfortable recommending this team for Cash games, but I think they’re in play for large-field tournaments.
NFL DFS D/ST Fades Week 8
I think this is a pretty easy call on this slate. The Falcons are the third-most expensive D/ST on the Sunday main slate on DraftKings, which is an easy pass for me. The over/under is low for this game at just 42 points, but I don’t want to sleep on the Panthers offense. I’m personally of the mindset that DJ Moore is a fantastic value on DK at $5,300 and he will be peppered with targets. PJ Walker is somewhat of a wild card, but he was electric during the XFL’s short run in 2020. According to Colby Conway’s NFL DFS WR Coach published on Wednesday, the Falcons have allowed the second-most fantasy points to the wide receiver position and their dead last in DVOA against the pass. Not to mention, if the Falcons are without A.J. Terrell (who missed practice on Wednesday), then I feel even better about this fade.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints are priced in the mid-range on both sites. At this point we know what they are. Is there a pass rush? Ehh, sure. We’ll call it decent, but 15 sacks in seven games isn’t earth shattering. They just don’t have much of a ceiling. The largest return was in Week 1 where they provided DFS players with a whopping six points. In four straight games, the Saints have allowed at least 28 points to their last four opponents and now they’re taking on the Las Vegas Raiders who have been an offensive machine the last two weeks, especially with the run Josh Jacobs has been on. Vegas has this one tabbed as a game that could see a lot of scoring (49.5 projected total) so I think it’s relatively easy to fade these two NFC South defenses this week.
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