And just like that we’re already into Week 3 of the 2023 NFL season. We wrap up one slate and quickly dive into preparing for another. The Week 3 main slate delivers a dozen games, so we certainly have plenty of options at our disposal. But keep an eye out for the Monday Night Football slate as we have another two-game slate on our hands. Injuries have already started piling up for star players like Aaron Rodgers and Nick Chubb being. These types of injuries, while unfortunate, do play a role when we dissect which defenses we target each week. So be sure to take advantage of our NFL DFS ProjectionsNFL DFS Rostership Percentage, and the NFL Vegas Odds to identify the matchups that may not see very much scoring this weekend. Let’s take a look at the best NFL DFS defenses and special teams for Sunday’s Week 3 main slate!

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

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Dallas Cowboys

Back. To. The. Well. Until they’re priced at $5,000 on DraftKings I see no reason in avoiding them. Now as prices level out at other positions, it may become more challenging to fit the Cowboys D/ST in your lineups. But this week we can squeeze them in. Through two games they’ve allowed a total of ten points, 386 yards of offense while forcing ten sacks and seven turnovers. Those are just absurd numbers in a two-game span for a D/ST. And they get another tasty matchup on the road against the Arizona Cardinals who just blew a massive lead to the New York Giants on Sunday. The Cardinals have managed to put up points the last couple weeks. They’ve been competitive. But the wheels come off this week against Dallas. This game has a projected total of 43.5 points, but the Cowboys are massive 12-point favorites. Basically, the Cardinals have an implied total just under 16 points. That’s not very good. We could be looking at another massive defensive performance from this group. Update: Quick update on Dallas. I'm not downgrading them one bit at the moment. But Trevon Diggs did injure his knee in practice and was seen on crutches leaving the team facilities Thursday. Per Adam Schefter's tweet around 4:00pm ET on Thursday, the Cowboys believe he may have torn his ACL.

Kansas City Chiefs

With Chris Jones back this past week, the Chiefs defense allowed just nine points to the Jacksonville Jaguars offense and held Trevor Lawrence to under 200 passing yards. They had four sacks but only forced one turnover. That could easily change this week against the Chicago Bears. Justin Fields has looked horrendous through two games. The Bears have only run two designed run plays for Fields so far. Last year he had 3.4 per game over the last nine outings so it’s not entirely Fields’ fault. The play calling has been abysmal. Now they get a difficult matchup against the Chiefs defense who have allowed just 24 points to opposing offenses through two games. Fields has been sacked ten times through two games as well and sure, some of those are likely his fault as Luke Getsy attempts to turn Fields into Aaron Rodgers, so he’s been sitting in the pocket for too damn long. But I also have no faith in the air game getting going for the Bears. L’Jarius Sneed is emerging as an elite defensive back in this league and he effectively kept Calvin Ridley in check last week. Kansas City could have a slate-breaking performance in this matchup.

New England Patriots

The Patriots might be 0-2 but it’s not really the fault of their defense. The one thing we can hang our hat on with New England is that they haven’t been beaten deep. They held the Philadelphia Eagles to just 154 passing yards in Week 1 and even the biggest play they surrendered to a pass catcher on the Miami Dolphins was a 32-yard catch and run by Jaylen Waddle. They didn’t get burned deep by Tyreek Hill who had just five catches for 40 yards, but he did find the end zone. Now the Jets have Garrett Wilson, who is a premiere wide receiver in this league. But at the same time the loss of Aaron Rodgers proved to be a costly one last week against the Dallas Cowboys. Wilson was 12-of-27 last week for 170 yards and he threw three interceptions to go along with being sacked three times. The Patriots can still generate pressure and at $3,500 on DraftKings they may just be at a discount this week.



Seattle Seahawks

I’m not sure how comfortable I am with Seattle right now, but I’d feel a lot better about this recommendation if Jamal Adams played on Sunday. He’s going to get some practice in this week but he isn’t a slam dunk to play on Sunday. But alas, I think I can still get behind this play. Seattle will be at home with the Carolina Panthers coming to town. Bryce Young hasn’t been very good through two starts. He’s completing just under 60% of his pass attempts and he’s thrown for 299 yards through two games. He’s thrown two interceptions and fumbled twice. Seattle has given up over 400 yards of offense and 30+ points to each of their two opponents so far this year. But the Panthers have struggled and in this environment I don’t see them putting on much of a performance given how loud it will be at Lumen Field. The over/under is only at 42 points as of Wednesday afternoon and the Seahawks are favored by nearly six points. Update: Looks like the Panthers will start Andy Dalton over Bryce Young. Slight downgrade to Seattle as we were hoping they'd get the rookie instead.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans have a stingy run defense. Through two games they’ve allowed just 69 rushing yards to the New Orleans Saints and 61 rushing yards to the Los Angeles Chargers. Now those two teams were conveniently without Alvin Kamara and Austin Ekeler. So what? They’re about to face the Cleveland Browns who just lost Nick Chubb for the year. And while Jerome Ford looked electric as his replacement, I think I’m willing to put my faith in the Titans defensive line. The Titans can easily be beaten through the air. However, Deshaun Watson is completing just 55% of his passes through two games. He’s tied with Jordan Love for the highest off-target rate in the league at 19%. We heard in training camp the accuracy issues were a thing. And now we’re seeing it play out. He looks like a shell of the player he used to be and this looks to be a spot where the Titans can force multiple turnovers and have a productive day for our DFS lineups.



New York Jets

Did I play the Jets in my Cash game lineup last week? I sure did. Was I burned by them? Absolutely. I took a beating in Cash games last week but luckily had a Tournament lineup that cashed very well that still helped me turn a profit. But I won’t forget about how bad they were last week. Dallas went for 382 total yards and 30 points while the Jets recorded just one sack. I truly expected more of a fight. But I’ll go back to the well this week in this AFC East divisional matchup. The projected total for this matchup is hilariously low at just 37 points as of Wednesday morning. And the Jets aren’t huge underdogs by any means. The Pats are only favored by a field goal. There is still talent on this defense. Mac Jones only had a career game against Philadelphia in Week 1 because he needed over 50 pass attempts. Last week he attempted 42 pass attempts and only threw one touchdown and 231 yards. Containing the run game will be the challenge for the Jets. At just $2,800 on DraftKings they’re a bit mispriced for a much better matchup than last week. They may even come in with less exposure because of the sour taste they left in everyone’s mouth in Week 2.

Washington Commanders

I went back and forth between Washington and the Arizona Cardinals. But the Cardinals face the Dallas Cowboys this week and I got burned by a D/ST playing the Cowboys in Week 2. I’m not falling for that witchcraft again. But the Commanders have their own difficult matchup as they play host to the Buffalo Bills. Even if we haven’t seen it come to fruition yet, the Bills have one of the more explosive offenses in the league. Not to mention they just dropped 38 points on the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 2. Josh Allen is currently completing about 77% of his passes and he has plenty of weapons at his disposal. But I still feel good about the Commanders. At $2,400 I still think they can put up seven-to-eight fantasy points in this matchup. Chase Young’s return last week elevated the pass rush and the Commanders had seven sacks against Russell Wilson and they forced two turnovers. They would’ve had a better performance had they not allowed the last-minute Hail Mary to Denver, but they still returned ten fantasy points despite giving up 33 points and almost 400 yards of offense. So in a home game, even as the six-point underdogs, I like taking a shot on Washington in some Tournament lineups.



Obviously no one should be playing the Los Angeles Chargers or the Minnesota Vikings. Those are easy fades since those defenses have underwhelmed and that games projects to be a shootout. So here’s more of an unconventional suggestion.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars hold a special place in my heart. I bet them at +700 to win the AFC South a year ago and it was a nice ticket to cash. They may not be as near and dear to my heart as they are for Justin Vreeland, our resident NFL DFS Running Back expert, but I still like the direction this organization is going. The Jags D/ST has actually looked solid through two games. They’ve combined for five sacks and six forced turnovers against the Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs. Even last week, they may have allowed 399 yards of offense to the reigning Super Bowl champs, but it was a “bend but don’t break” kind of week as Kansas City only put up 17 points. So this defense has been very strong through two games. But I’m not wild about this game script. The Houston Texans have really let C.J. Stroud chuck the ball around. He’s attempted 40+ passes in each of his first two NFL starts and he’s completing a respectable 63.7% of those attempts. The Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts collectively only forced two turnovers against this Texans offense. And mind you, they also sacked Stroud 11 times combined. So while we do love ourselves a team that can generate pressure and get to the quarterback, I’ll err on the side of caution in this matchup because I think there’s a possibility the Texans keep pace in this divisional matchup.