As you wrap up your fantasy football lineups for week 5, these 10 D / ST sleepers should be on your radar.
Moving on to Week 5 in the NFL schedule and fantasy football, for some coaches it can come down to simply finding a defensive team / special teams that don’t score negative. But there are opportunities to dig up gold through the exemption wire, through options that are widely available or at least not owned.
One team defense to check out this week, while the opportunity may have passed as you read this, is the New England Patriots. The unit was eliminated in a lot of leagues before Week 4 against a guy named Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but Week 5 against the Houston Texans is a great showdown.
Moving on to the rest of the Sunday / Monday list, here are 10 D / ST sleepers that belong on the radar for Week 5.
Fantasy Football: 10 D / ST sleepers for week 5
10. Carolina Panthers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Panthers had by far their worst defensive performance in Week 4 (36 points allowed, zero sacks or shots), but the Dallas Cowboys offense will beat a lot of opponents. Week 5 can only get better, and this unit is still at the top of the league on any metric related to sacks or pressure.
The Philadelphia Eagles have scored 30 or more points twice this season, albeit against the poor defenses of the Atlanta Falcons and Kansas City Chiefs. In their other two games, against the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys, they averaged 13 offensive points per game. In his last three sacks, Jalen Hurts has been sacked seven times.
It all comes down to how you feel about the Panthers defense this week, on a Falcons / Chiefs-49ers / Cowboys scale. I lean towards good defense, even with the prospect of giving up some points.
9. Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
The Lions will be without their best pass rusher, Romeo Okwara, for the remainder of the season due to a torn Achilles. That thins out a defense that has actually played quite well for most of the season, with early Week 1 and late Week 2 as particular black spots in the other direction.
The Minnesota Vikings have to protect Kirk Cousins well and will struggle with any talented defensive line (see the Browns in Week 4). Detroit’s front is nowhere near Cleveland’s level, but its blitz (28.3 percent) and rush (10 percent) rates are in the top half of the league through Week 4. Coming home has been the trick. problem, and Minnesota may not offer substantial resistance.