NFL Week 1 DFS Defense Value Picks
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NFL Week 1 DFS Defense Value Picks

NFL Week 1: September 10 – 14, 2020

With the NFL season coming up (hopefully), we’ll take an early look at some DraftKings and FanDuel salaries, provide some insights, and review some of the potential top daily fantasy defense/special team value plays for week 1.

Salary ranks are based on the main-slate Sunday only (12 games).

Betting lines are as of the time of this writing.

Updates will be made until kickoff as new info comes to light.

Defense

Los Angeles Chargers – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 2800 (5.6% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 4200 (6.17% of cap). The Chargers’ salary ranks them 9th/8th on DK/FD, respectively.

The betting line with the Bengals has the game total at 44 points with the Chargers as -3.5 point road favorites. The Chargers’ implied team total is currently at 23.75 points and the Bengals are currently at 20.25 points. Despite the trip out east, it is an afternoon game.

The Chargers’ defense ranked 4th against QBs in FPs/Gm, 3rd vs. WRs in FPs/Gm, and 8th vs. TEs in FPs/Gm. last season. They also ranked 5th in passing yards allowed. The Chargers also added the NFL’s premier slot corner in Chris Harris Jr. this offseason.

The Chargers defense will face the only currently projected starting rookie QB, in Joe Burrow. Burrow, in his first game, will be coming off of Zoom meetings, and no preseason. Not ideal for the rookie, but a nice potential opportunity for the Chargers’ defense to exploit out of the gate.

WARNING: FLAMMABLE! Anything positive on paper for the Chargers comes pre-soaked in kerosene. Perhaps a Week 1 visit to the 2nd worst team in the AFC is early enough before the Chargers somehow manage to light themselves on fire.

UPDATE:
S Derwin James (meniscus) may be out for a while but definitely Week 1. The Chargers’ curse continues again this season.

Indianapolis Colts – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 3000 (6% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 3700 (6.17% of cap). The Colts’ salary ranks them 7th/15th on DK/FD, respectively, making them a better relative value on FD.

The betting line with the Jaguars has the game total at 46 points, with the Colts as -7 point road favorites. The Colts’ implied team total is currently at 26.5 points and the Jaguars are currently at 19.5 points. The Colts have the 3rd widest spread on the board.

The Colts improved their defensive line with the addition of All-Pro DT DeForest Buckner from San Francisco as well as a couple of corner positions in the offseason, without losing much defensively.

As current favorites to win their division while facing the worst team in football, the Colts’ defense get a favorable script and shouldn’t have too much trouble dealing with Gardner Minshew and D.J. Chark.

Baltimore Ravens – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 3100 (6.2% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 4800 (8% of cap). The Ravens’ salary ranks them 6th/2nd on DK/FD, respectively, making them a better relative value on DK.

The betting line with the Browns has the game total at 48.5 points with the Ravens as -8.5 point home favorites. The Ravens’ implied team total is currently at 28.5 points and the Browns are currently at 20 points. The Ravens own the largest spread on the board.

The Ravens’ defense ranked 4th in fantasy points scored, 2nd vs. QBs in FPs allowed, 5th vs. RBs, 15th vs. WRs, and 1st vs. TEs. They also ranked 3rd in points allowed and 2nd in yards allowed.

The Ravens’ elite defense actually improved during the offseason as they went all out to win now, with the additions of DE Calais Campbell and DT Derek Wolfe. These two D-line starters should add a minimum of 15+ sacks to the team total. First-round draft pick LB Patrick Queen is projected to start in the interior.

Good luck Browns.

UPDATE:
FS Earl Thomas has been released with DeShon Elliott slated as his replacement.