With it being Week 6 in the NFL, we’ve officially reached the first set of byes with the New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, and New York Jets receiving a well deserved rest. As bye weeks becoming more prevalent as the season continues, fantasy football managers will have to make tough lineup choices such as which defense to play.
Unlike the other positions in fantasy, defense is one that you can switch up on a week by week case. Below we’ll be looking at a couple of defenses that you either need to pick or start and two you need to completely forget about.
This may seem like a given because of who they have on their defense, but the Los Angeles Rams’ defense is in the start category for Week 6. The Rams’ defense had a rough two-game stretch against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals. However, they bounced back in Week 5 against the Seattle Seahawks as they scored six fantasy points. Los Angeles allowed the Seahawks to put up 17 points, but they had two sacks and two interceptions.
Through five games this season, the Rams have recorded 14 sacks, which is good for sixth in the NFL. They are also tied for third in the NFL with 32 quarterback hurries, which is not great news for whomever the Giants are starting at quarterback.
The second defense that we are going to target for Week 6 is the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings will go on the road to face the Carolina Panthers, who lost 21-18 to the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday. The Vikings’ defense is coming off a good performance against Detroit last week, where they had a season-high 11 fantasy points (1 interception, 1 fumble recovery, and four sacks).
Minnesota has thrived this season when it comes to creating pressure and getting sacks on opposing teams’ quarterbacks. The Vikings’ defense are ranked first in QB hurries (38) and second in sacks (17). They will need to sack Panthers QB Sam Darnold, who can get the ball to his receivers when given the ample amount of time. However, Darnold has been sacked on an average of 2.6 times per game. If the Vikings cornerbacks can do an adequate job of covering D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, then they could cause some havoc with the line.
Sunday’s game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Baltimore Ravens should be fun as we get to see two of the best young quarterbacks go against each other in Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson. However, it is a recipe for disaster in fantasy this week, especially if have either of these starting defenses.
The Chargers’ defense is coming into Week 6 after only recording one sack and giving up 42 points to the Cleveland Browns last week. Los Angeles rewarded fantasy managers with -8.0 fantasy points, which is not great. The Chargers’ defense is ranked 26th this week in ESPN fantasy and is only rostered in 4.4% of leagues. Additionally, LA has struggled with stopping the run this season, allowing 157.6 rushing yards per game.
The Fighting Dan Campbells are still in search of their first win and will now have to play the rising Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday afternoon. On paper, this does not look good for the Lions’ defense as they have allowed the 12th-most yards (922) to receivers this season. They will be going up against an offense in Cincinnati that has Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd.
Detroit’s defense is also allowing 251.6 passing yards per game, which is good for 16th in the league. For the Lions to stand a chance, they must create pressure on Joe Burrow, who has been sacked 2.6 times per game. Detroit scored five points against the Vikings’ defense, but I can’t see them doing better than that on Sunday.