Justin Bailey

Getting Defensive

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Getting Defensive: Week 13

Monday, November 27, 2017

The defenses I touch on are not my ranks, but my overall thoughts on the defenses I find notable. The goal of these pieces is to give you a concise, actionable rundown on defenses for the upcoming week.

Defensive order is based on their opponents implied team total, from lowest to highest. The team in parenthesis is the defenses opponent.

Worth Mentioning  

Defenses that are highly owned, or worth noting overall.


Jaguars (vs. Colts — 15.5-point implied team total)


The Colts are on the road, implied for 15.5 points, squaring off against the best defense in football. Good luck.


Broncos (@ Dolphins — 18.75-point implied team total)


The Broncos have surrendered the MOST passing touchdowns (24) (pending Monday night) to opposing offenses this season and they rank 16th in sack rate. The Dolphins are implied for just 18.75 points. However, the Broncos don’t have the best floor as they’ve lacked in sacks this season and they’ve forced just eight turnovers through their 11 games. Aqib Talib is also suspended for the next two games if he doesn't win his appeal. 


Steelers (@ Bengals — 18.75-point implied team total)


This matchup could be intriguing for the Steelers as they’ll be on the road and they’ll still be without Joe Haden again. LB Ryan Shazier also left late in the game Sunday night with an ankle injury, which would be a huge loss for their defense. Per PFF, Shazier leads the Steelers in tackles (69) and stops (33).


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Rams (@ Cardinals — 19.25-point implied team total)


The Cardinals could be in for a long day as they rank 31st in pass blocking, going up against the Rams’ seventh-best pass rushing unit (PFF).


Ravens (vs. Lions — 19.8-point implied team total)


The Ravens will be at home and have been one of the better defenses in the league this season. They should boast a high floor as they own the second-highest turnover rate and allowed the second-lowest scoring rate to offenses this season. It should also help their floor as the Lions’ offensive line has allowed 36 sacks this season, the third-highest mark in the league.


Patriots (@ Bills — 20.75-point implied team total)


The Patriots defense has vastly improved, as they haven’t allowed more than 17 points to an offense since Week 4.

Matchup Downgrade

Highly Owned Defenses with limited upside in the current matchup.

Eagles (@ Seahawks — 21-point implied team total)

The Eagles defense has been outstanding and I’m putting this in the downgrade category simply because they’ll be on the road in Seattle. Outside of that, the Seahawks will have their hands full against one of the best pass rushes in the league. The Eagles have the third-highest turnover rate this season and are allowing the third-lowest scoring rate to opposing offenses.

Saints (vs. Panthers — 22-point implied team total)

If the Saints are going to be without Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley again, they’ll certainly have their work cut out for them against the Panthers’ dynamic offense. They’ll need their fierce pass rush with Cameron Jordan and Sheldon Rankins to take over. Those two have combined for 12.5 sacks and 10 quarterback hurries (PFF).

Texans (@ Titans — 24.5-point implied team total)

The Texans have a solid run defense, but they’ve struggled to defend the pass allowing 22 pass touchdowns this year (before Monday night football), and they’re currently seven-point underdogs on the road against the Titans, who are implied for 24.5 points, which roughly two points above the league average.

Bengals (vs. Steelers — 24.75-point implied team total)

Given the Steelers’ historical road struggles, their 24.75-point implied team total seems a little high to me. The Bengals are also a decent defense, allowing 4.8 yards per play (tied for fourth-least) and 5.4 net yards per attempt (tied for second-best). They’ve also generated the 33 sacks this season, the third-highest mark in the league.

Vikings (@ Falcons — 25-point implied team total)

The Vikings have been solid this season, grading as PFF’s fourth-best defensive unit. They’ve allowed just 12 passing touchdowns this season, only the Ravens (pre-Monday night), Bills, and Jaguars have allowed less. That said, they’re going to be on the road in the Georgia Dome, and the Falcons are implied for a respectable 25 points.

Seahawks (vs. Eagles — 26-point implied team total)

The Seattle defense has been decimated by injuries, and now they take on one of the league’s most efficient offenses. The Seahawks are currently five-point underdogs at home, they have been home underdogs twice since 2013. Against the Falcons in Week 11, and this week.

Panthers (@ Saints — 26-point implied team total)

The Panthers head to the Superdome against an efficient New Orleans Saints offense that has the fourth-highest scoring rate this season. The Panthers have been solid at generating pressure as they have forced the fourth-most sacks this season (32). However, the Saints have only surrendered 13 sacks this season.

Potential Streamers

See Above.

Chargers (vs. Browns — 14.5-point implied team total)

The Browns get Josh Gordon back this week and Hue Jackson says he wants to be him heavily involved, but sadly that’s going to come against one of the fiercest pass rushes and best secondaries in the league. All three of the Chargers’ corners in Casey Hayward, Desmond King, and Trevor Williams rank 13th or better among PFF’s cornerback coverage grades. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram also rank No. 1 and No. 2 in pass-rush grades. DeShone Kizer and his 34th-ranked completion rate will have his work cut out for him.

Bears (vs. 49ers — 18-point implied team total)

The 49ers won’t announce their starter until Wednesday, but as of now, they’re implied for just 18 points on the road against the Bears. Outside of Carlos Hyde and Marquise Goodwin as a deep threat, the Bears don’t have too much to worry about.

Kickers in Order of Implied Team Total

Kicker fantasy points have a strong correlation to Vegas implied team totals. Here are the top kickers who garner low-to-medium ownership (70% or lower) in order of implied team total (minimum 22-point implied team total) in order to help you find possible streamers.



Jake Elliott (26-point implied team total)

Giorgio Tavecchio (25.25-point implied team total)

Josh Lambo (25-point implied team total)

Harrison Butker (23.25-point implied team total)

Dan Bailey (22.5-point implied team total)

Graham Gano (22-point implied team total)

Justin Bailey has been working with Rotoworld since 2015. His stat-forward analysis can also be found on FantasyLabs and 4for4. Follow him on Twitter - @justinbailey32.
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