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NFL Week 1 DFS Defense Value Picks Dec 2018
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NFL Week 1: September 6 – 10, 2018

With the NFL season starting a month from now, we’ll take an early look at matchups and provide some details and insights on 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.

Defense

Pittsburgh Steelers – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 3400, FanDuel (FD) – 4200. Pittsburgh’s salary ranks them 5th/10th on DK/FD, respectively, making them a better relative value on FD.

The betting lines with the Browns has the game total at 46.5 points with the Steelers as -5.5 point road favorites. The Browns’ implied team total is currently at 20.5 points and the Steelers are currently at 26 points.

Pittsburgh’s defense statistical rankings for last season are as follows:
Yards/Gm – 306.9 (Rank: 5), Pass Yards/Gm – 201.1 (Rank: 5), Rush Yards/Gm – 105.8 (Rank: 10), Points/Gm – 19.3 (Rank: 7), Fantasy Points/Gm – 8.69 (Rank: 8), Fantasy Points Allowed/GM – 62.78 (Rank: 6), Sacks – 56 (Rank 1), INTs – 16 (Rank: 9 (tied)).

The new look Browns will have their work cut out for them against what should again be a tough Steeler defense.

Los Angeles Chargers – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 2800, FanDuel (FD) – 4300. The Chargers’ salary ranks them 11th/8th on DK/FD, respectively.

The betting lines with the Chiefs has the game total at 47.5 points with the Chargers as -3 point home favorites. The Chiefs’ implied team total is currently at 22.25 points and the Chargers are currently at 25.25 points.

The Chargers’ defense statistical rankings for last season are as follows:
Yards/Gm – 328.4 (Rank: 15), Pass Yards/Gm – 197.3 (Rank: 3), Rush Yards/Gm – 131.1 (Rank: 31), Points/Gm – 17.0 (Rank: 3), Fantasy Points/Gm – 9.88 (Rank: 5), Fantasy Points Allowed/Gm – 60.9 (Rank: 3), Sacks – 43 (Rank: 5 (tied)), Takeaways – 27 (Rank: 6). CB Jason Verrett (Achilles) will be out for the season.

Pat Mahomes takes over Kansas City’s offense but he is essentially a rookie, as his only appearance as a pro came in a meaningless week 17 game last season. The Chargers have one of the league’s best pass defenses which will be a tough matchup for Mahomes in his first meaningful start.

Update:
DE Joey Bosa (foot) is unlikely to go for week 1 and possibly longer. Well, this sucks a lot of the value out of the Chargers defense this week, especially with Mahomes quickness. Cincinnati and Carolina may be comparably priced pivots.

Tennessee Titans – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 2900, FanDuel (FD) – 4200. Tennessee’s salary ranks them 10th on both DK/FD.

The betting lines with the Dolphins has the game total at 45 points with the Titans as -2 point road favorites. The Dolphins’ implied team total is currently at 21.5 points and the Titans are currently at 23.5 points.

The Titans’ defense statistical rankings for last season are as follows:
Yards/Gm – 328.0 (Rank: 13), Pass Yards/Gm – 239.3 (Rank: 25), Rush Yards/Gm – 88.8 (Rank: 4), Points/Gm – 22.3 (Rank: 17), Fantasy Points/Gm – 6.94 (Rank: 17), Fantasy Points Allowed/Gm – 70.46 (Rank: 19), Sacks – 43 (Rank: 5 (tied)), Takeaways – 21 (Rank: 16 (tied)).

Miami should have problems running the ball against the Titans, which should force Ryan Tannehill’s hand, who no longer have WR Jarvis Landry to lean on. The Titans added CB Malcolm Butler in free agency. The matchup should be decent enough for an unspectacular Tennessee defense, but Miami’s offense is just plain bad.


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