Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Defenses for Week 6

Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the weekly NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Sleeper alert features an under-the-radar player who could produce good numbers. Owners beware features a regular fantasy starter who could fail to meet expectations based on the strength of his opponent. Obvious fantasy starters like Aaron Rodgers and Arian Foster will not be featured in this column. For your final lineup decisions, check our lineup rankings.

Byes - Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints

Start of the week


Ravens defense vs. Dallas Cowboys: Tony Romo is turning the football over too much, and his offensive line isn't protecting him. That's a bad combination for the Cowboys, but a good one for the Ravens, who should post some great fantasy totals against them in Week 6. Defenses have combined to score the third-most fantasy points when facing the Boys from Big D in 2012.

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Start 'em


Eagles defense vs. Detroit Lions: Much like the Steelers, the Eagles have not lived up to expectations as a fantasy defense (22nd at the position). It's tough to look past their matchup in Week 6, though, as Matthew Stafford and the Lions come to town. Despite their talent, defenses that have faced the Lions have combined to score the most fantasy points at the position.

Dolphins defense vs. St. Louis Rams: The Fins have one of the more underrated defenses in fantasy land, and this week's matchup against the Rams makes it more valuable. Opposing defenses facing Sam Bradford and crew have averaged the ninth-most fantasy points this season, so don't be afraid to add and start Miami in what could turn into a defensive battle.

Sleeper alert - Rams defense at Miami Dolphins: The Rams' defense is for real, and that was evident last week when it posted a tremendous 18 fantasy points in a win over the Arizona Cardinals. This week, coach Jeff Fisher's crew goes up against a rookie quarterback in Ryan Tannehill and a pass attack with no reliable options. Looks for the Rams to have a nice weekend.

Sit of the week


Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans: The Packers' defense has been inconsistent this season, so sitting this unit when the matchup is tough makes sense. That's the case this weekend, as Green Bay travels to Houston to face a Texans offense that has been tough to score fantasy points against. In fact, defenses have put up the third-fewest fantasy points against them.

Gerald Herbert/Associated Press
Can fantasy owners trust in Marques Colston, or is it time to sell-high on him? (Click image for further analysis.)

Sit 'em


Jets defense vs. Indianapolis Colts: The Men in Green posted double-digit fantasy points in two of their first three games, but the loss of CB Darrelle Revis has cost them a ton of value. In fact, this unit has a combined nine fantasy points in its last two games. With rookie superstar Andrew Luck coming to town, I'd keep the Jets on the fantasy sidelines this week.

Chargers defense vs. Denver Broncos (Mon.): Peyton Manning has been on fire in recent weeks, making it tough for fantasy defenses to find much success in the stat sheets. In fact, defensive units facing the Broncos have combined to score the eighth-fewest fantasy points in the NFL. That's bad news for the Chargers in a potential shootout on "Monday Night Football."

Owners beware - Seahawks defense vs. New England Patriots: The Seahawks' defense is so tough at home, so I wouldn't be shocked if the Patriots didn't score a ton of points in this contest. Still, defensive teams have combined to score the fewest fantasy points when facing Tom Brady and his offensive crew. If you do start the 'Hawks, don't expect a huge statistical output.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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