Entering last week there was just one game that shaped up to be a high scoring affair. The Saints and Panthers match-up certainly lived up to those expectations, but they were not the only teams to light up the scoreboard. This week figures to bring a little more offense to the table, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some defensive values to find. Let’s try to find where that value is:
Denver Broncos – vs. Houston
Minnesota Vikings – at Philadelphia
Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Cleveland
Baltimore Ravens – at New York Jets
New England Patriots – at Pittsburgh
Seattle Seahawks – at Arizona
Buffalo Bills – at Miami
Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Minnesota
New York Giants – at Los Angeles
Arizona Cardinals – vs. Seattle
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at San Francisco
Green Bay Packers – vs. Chicago
Los Angeles Rams – vs. New York Giants
Tennessee Titnas – vs. Indianapolis
Houston Texans – at Denver
While they navigate an inexperienced quarterback in Trevor Siemian, the Broncos are once again relying on their defense. They blitz the second most often in the NFL and have the second highest pressure rate in the league, is that they face the Texans at home this week. That means a reunion with former quarterback Brock Osweiler, who has struggled on the road and happens to be the second worst quarterback against the pass rush so far this season. For a team with 21 sacks in six games, that is recipe for success.
After starting the season off on a tear, Carson Wentz has slowed down some. This week they get to face the league’s number one ranked defense, Minnesota, and the Vikings appear to be poised to make life tough on the rookie. The Eagles have struggled to get much of a running game going as of late, and Minnesota has at least one interception in each game (with three in Carolina). With the Vikings having an extra week to prepare for the rookie quarterback, my money would be on them this week and their 19 sacks as they have yet to allow more than 16 points all season.
On paper, the Steelers offense is imposing. Even after their struggles last week, after Ben Roethlisberger went down with his knee injury, Pittsburgh is the 10th most difficult offense for opposing defenses from a fantasy perspective. However, with Landry Jones now taking over under center Pittsburgh’s offense will look different. Jones is not nearly as proficient at throwing the deep ball, so that aspect of Pittsburgh’s offense will not be available to them against New England. While they have two explosive weapons in Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell, the Patriots have shown a proficiency to take away other team’s first options. Brown has struggled in the past without Roethlisberger, and New England will likely force Jones to beat them.