Published: Sept. 20, 2017 at 10:06 a.m.
Updated: Sept. 23, 2017 at 01:21 p.m.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 3: Defenses


Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate weekly look at NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Fantasy superstars such as Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown will not be featured. NFL researcher Careen Falcone and former #2 FF World Player Rank and NFFC Platinum and Ultimate Champion Derek Pierson have contributed to the column. For your final lineup decisions, check our lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

Start of the Week - New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans

The Patriots defense has been a disappointment, but fantasy owners can still start them with confidence ahead of this weekend's matchup against the Texans. So far, Houston's defensive opponents have scored an average of 17.5 fantasy points against them. There's also that whole Bill Belichick against a rookie quarterback situation.

Green Bay Packers vs. Cincinnati Bengals

The Packers are coming off a two-point stinker last week, but that can be forgiven in a roadie against the Falcons. I'd stick with the Cheeseheads against the Bengals, who haven't scored an offensive touchdown in their first two games and field one of the league's worst offensive lines. Green Bay's defense should post strong numbers.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Ravens have started the season on fire, scoring 42 fantasy points on the defensive side of the ball. The next best defense, the Rams, has 30 points. Baltimore should continue to shine in an overseas matchup against the Jaguars and Blake Bortles, who is almost always good for a few turnovers when the ball is in his hands.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants

If historical data is an indication, the Eagles defense should post a nice stat line this week against the Giants. Over his last four starts in Philadelphia, Eli Manning has averaged 235.5 passing yards with a combined two touchdowns, five interceptions and two fumbles. Big Blue has also averaged a mere 10.2 points in those contests.

Sleepers: Dolphins D/ST at Jets, Steelers D/ST at Bears
Deep sleepers: Buccaneers D/ST at Vikings, Jaguars D/ST vs. Ravens (London)

Sit' Em

Sit of the Week - Washington Redskins vs. Oakland Raiders

The Redskins rank ninth in fantasy points among defenses after two weeks, but an upcoming matchup against Derek Carr and the Raiders is anything but favorable. In fact, the first two defenses to face them (Titans, Jets) combined to score minus-one fantasy point. Carr is on fire right now, so the Redskins should be avoided.

Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots

Houston recorded a solid nine fantasy points in last week's win over the Bengals, but fantasy fans should look elsewhere for a defensive option ahead of this week's matchup against Tom Brady and the Patriots. The Chiefs scored just one fantasy point against them in Week 1, and New Orleans scored a mere two points in Week 2.

Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints

The Panthers defense has surrendered a ridiculous three points per game after two weeks, but those contests came against the 49ers and Bills offenses. Their task will be a whole lot tougher this weekend against Drew Brees and the Saints, who have a total of four defensive fantasy points scored against them. Beware Carolina.

Buffalo Bills vs. Denver Broncos

The Bills rank eighth in fantasy points among defenses this season, but that's due in part to facing the hapless Jets and a struggling Panthers in their first two games. Their next game will be far more difficult, as the red-hot Trevor Siemian and Denver come to town. Defenses have averaged just five fantasy points against them.

Busts: Cardinals D/ST vs. Cowboys, Lions D/ST vs. Falcons
Bust bewares: Seahawks D/ST at Titans, Giants D/ST at Eagles

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Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Do you want the most up-to-date fantasy football news, updates and analysis? Follow Michael on both Twitter @Michael_Fabiano or Facebook!


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