So you have the Bills and now you’re facing Mahomes. You’re obviously in first place, so you got a spot to burn to consider an alternative D. Or you have the 49ers and you know Arthur Smith and his juggernaut offensive schemes are about to drop 60 points with Pitts going 2 catches for 14 yards. Regardless, welcome to the column. How did we do last week? Three of our four picks did adequate and though none popped off, the Dolphins just did not show up. I did list them as very risky, but I didn’t think they were that risky, oof. Every single Jet that rushed the ball got a touchdown, including the unstoppable force that is Breece Hall.
Moving on, Yahoo leagues seem to have settled into their defenses, there were not a lot of shifts in add/drop so we already have a limited deck to work with. There are some really good defensive matchups this week, unfortunately, almost none of them meet our threshold of defenses rostered around 50% or lower. Either way, you are seeing what alternatives are out there, let’s see what we can find in the waiver wire D/ST discount bin for week 6.
Please note that there is a good chance better teams are out there in your league than these four, but we cannot assume they’re out there for every league. Stay active and monitor the league home page, there is also a chance someone will drop a defense after the waivers clear for this week as well.
Opponent: @ Bears
ESPN % Rostered: 20%
Yahoo % Rostered: 3%
Who else but the team playing the Bears? It’s the team that has turned the ball over every single week this season. They’re giving up an average of 3 sacks per game. Justin Fields just threw for over 200 yards (208) for the first time this season and threw his first touchdown of the season five games in. The Bears are starting two rookies and two second-year players on the offensive line, and Rivera’s defense is averaging just under 3 sacks per game. This is the Thursday night game and a Commanders/Bears game sounds like it should continue the trend that was the Colts/Broncos from last Thursday’s game. I expect a low-scoring game, so the points allowed category should net us some points for our fantasy team this week.
.@jacsw3 knocks 'em out of field goal range
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) October 9, 2022
Los Angeles Chargers
ESPN % Rostered: 45%
Yahoo % Rostered: 57%
This one is a slight fudge since Yahoo’s ownership skews a bit outside of the spirit of this article, but it’s rough finding teams that I have some form of confidence in this week. After last Thursday night’s “game”, it would be prudent to see if we like either defense playing those two teams this week. The last three defenses to play against the Broncos in fantasy have averaged double-digit points. The Broncos are roughed up on the line with their starting guard questionable and placing their first-round pick LT going on IR. After watching Russell Wilson cook up 2 interceptions last week, it was announced he’s been playing hurt this whole time after all. Well, that just gives us more reason to like defenses going against him and his average of getting sacked 3 times every game this season. This Chargers defense has 6 interceptions on the year, so we’re welcoming Wilson into SoFi with another night game and taking the Chargers to get us through week 6.
— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) October 9, 2022
ESPN % Rostered: 25%
Yahoo % Rostered: 15%
The Browns still have the #1 rushing attack in the NFL and will look to use that to keep the Patriots off the field. They’re averaging almost two sacks a game going against Bailey Zappe and his Patriots offense which is averaging two turnovers per game this season. Zappe has yet to throw for over 200 yards this season and I expect the Browns to use Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett to keep the pressure up to hurry Zappe and keep Rhamondre Stevenson in check after his rushing clinic last week. They were able to just sit back and protect the lead last week, I think this week they will have to rely on their QB a lot more, who when last in that situation on the road, was sacked 3 times and had a QBR of 13.
🚫 @denzelward 🚫
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) October 9, 2022
ESPN % Rostered: 5%
Yahoo % Rostered: 10%
Last Thursday night both defenses scored well, and we look to see that trend continue this week. The Bears have 5 interceptions in 5 games, and Carson Wentz has thrown 6 interceptions in 5 games. This defense has had a sack in every game and that looks to continue against a Commanders team that has been sacked 20 times so far this season. In the last three games, Washington has been held to fewer than 20 points. The Bears have the 4th fewest completions against them so far this season. Wentz, who has been struggling this season, will be facing a defense that is tied for the third-fewest passing touchdowns and fourth-most interceptions through five games. Chicago seems to get attacked a lot on the ground, and the Commanders running game ranks in the bottom five heading into week 6.
.@ThePremier20 makin' plays
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) October 9, 2022
Bonus note: I almost put the Colts here instead of the Bears, if you want to weigh your options taking a team that defensively has been on the upswing the past two games looking for revenge at home against a Jaguars team that has struggled the past two games.
These teams did not meet the consideration threshold for the main highlight section, but you should check to see if they’re available in your league:
Rams – ESPN: 47% Y!: 90%
Eagles – ESPN: 71% Y!: 90%
Ravens – ESPN: 66% Y!: 64%
Jaguars – ESPN: 60% Y!: 71%
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Photos by Zach Bolinger & Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire | Design by Michael Packard (@designsbypack on Twitter @ IG)