by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Things are constantly changing in the NFL, and what we knew at the time of our drafts is already “out of date” and irrelevant three weeks into the season though we are starting to get a grasp of the offenses we should look to pick on. With that in mind, which defenses that were likely ignored on draft day are worth considering for Week 5? Let’s take a look:
Washington Redskins – vs. San Francisco
ESPN – 5.0%, CBS Sports – 9%
If there’s a “strength” to the San Francisco offense you could argue that it’s the potential of their running game, with Carlos Hyde and Matt Breida forming a “hot hand” committee. Of course Washington has allowed the tenth fewest points per week to opposing running backs, including the third fewest rushing yards (265) and 1 TD.
The 49ers do have Pierre Garcon and George Kittle among the passing game “threats”, but with Brian Hoyer at QB do they truly scare you (and Washington has allowed 5 passing TD vs. 4 INT)? The Washington defense has also been solid in four games this season, generating 7 fumbles and sacking the quarterback 12 times.
Just to make it even better, the 49ers are a west coast team travelling to the east coast and playing at 1 PM. This seems like a perfect situation to try and exploit, though the loss of Josh Norman does downgrade them slightly.
Atlanta Falcons – vs. Miami
ESPN – 12.7%, CBS Sports – 20%
The Dolphins offense just can’t seem to find itself, whether it’s Jay Cutler and the passing game or Jay Ajayi on the ground. Granted they are a threat to get going in any week, because there is talent, but their 10.2 points per game is over 5 points less than any other team (the Browns are the second lowest scoring offense, at 15.4 points per game).
Atlanta’s defense hasn’t done much thus far, with 1 INT, 12 sacks and 4 forced fumbles in four games. Coming off the bye week it’s possible that they’ve gotten things on track, and the matchup is appealing. This is a high risk, high reward proposition, but if you are desperate it’s one worth taking.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 6 rankings: