DFS Roundtable: Getting Defensive

Is Denver the really the top cash play on defense when we consider their high cost? If they're not, which defense will you be most exposed to?

We'll likely see the Broncos dominate the D/ST chalk this weekend. With their pass rush coming on - and the Giants missing virtually their entire wide receiver room - cash contests could feature Broncos ownership north of 20%. Are they the really the top cash play, once we consider their high cost ($4,000 DraftKings, $5,400 FanDuel)? If they're not - or if you're just not playing a slate with the NYG-DEN game - which defense will you be most exposed to?

Jeff Pasquino: Everyone is going to be "all in" on Denver, but the Ravens strike me as a good option for a pivot and savings ($500 on FanDuel). Chicago is coming off a short week and their rookie quarterback is just getting his second start. I think Mitchell Trubisky looked pretty good, but the Ravens destroyed E.J. Manuel last week and that is going to have to be how Baltimore gets wins this year. I expect this to be a low-scoring game, and that plays into using the Ravens, who can collect plenty of sacks and turnovers.

Chris Feery: I’ll definitely have plenty of exposure to the Broncos defense this week, but this is also a great spot to pivot away for GPP purposes. We can assume that the Broncos will have an inordinately high ownership percentage this week, so finding another defense with the potential to go off could place you in a position to leap up the leaderboard while other rosters remain in lockstep. Jeff mentioned one solid option in Baltimore, and I’ll add another to the mix.

Heading into its Week 5 bye, Washington’s defense put together consecutive four-sack outings. They gave up too many points to the Chiefs in Week 4 to have it make much of a difference, but it was just a small part of a thoroughly impressive effort against the Raiders in Week 3. We could see a repeat of that Week 3 performance against a struggling 49ers team, which also has a proclivity for turning the ball over.

Danny Tuccitto: I'm with Jeff on the Ravens for the reasons he stated. Another defense I'll have high exposure to is Kansas City. They've achieved DraftKings cash value in three of their five games – missing a fourth by one point – and face an underachieving Steelers offense at Arrowhead. If "Ben Roethlisberger at home" has five interceptions in its performance distribution this season, I'll happily take my chances with "Ben Roethlisberger on the road."

Jason Wood: The Broncos are absolutely worth the price. The Giants have a projected point total of 14 as we go to press, which is among the lowest point projections for any team this season. Manning is banged up and not playing well. The offensive line is offensive. They can't run the ball. And three of their top five receivers are on the shelf. Denver is well-rested and had extra time to prepare coming off the bye week. This is as close to "set and forget" as you'll find in DFS.

James Brimacombe: Just like Jason, I am all in on the Broncos this week. Coming off a bye week, with the winless Giants coming to town, with Eli Manning having no running game and no pass-catchers, this is going to be a fun game for the Broncos defense. They should be able to put lots of pressure on Manning and create a few turnovers. Yes, $4,000 and $5,400 are high salaries to pay for a defense, but at the same time you are locking in the top option at the position for a still-modest price considering the matchup.

Dan Hindery: Denver is in such a great spot that I want to be higher than the field in GPPs even with the high price and high expected ownership. The Giants offensive line is horrible and the Broncos' talented cornerbacks should be able to cover the Giants' backup receivers with ease.

With most paying up for defense, I also like going down to a cheap one like Tampa Bay. It gives you an extra $1,000 or more (compared to the top defenses) to use on other positions, which should help generate some uniqueness in terms of roster construction. Plus, the Buccaneers are a nice play with plenty of upside. The matchup sets up well for chances at sacks and turnovers. The Cardinals have no running game and have been forced to throw nearly 50 times per game. The left side of their offensive line has struggled, and Noah Spence has looked unblockable coming off of the edge on the blindside for Tampa since returning from injury.

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