Published: Oct. 18, 2017 at 10:19 a.m.
Updated: Oct. 20, 2017 at 02:30 p.m.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 7: Defenses

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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.

Byes: Detroit, Houston

Start 'Em

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Start of the Week - Minnesota Vikings vs. Baltimore Ravens

The Vikings defense is coming off a solid 14-point effort against the Packers, and a matchup against the Ravens makes this unit a must-start. Over the last four weeks, three defenses have scored at least 12 fantasy points when going up against Joe Flacco and his offense. That includes 15 fantasy points from Chicago just a week ago.

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Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts

The Jaguars defense was a massive disappointment a week ago, scoring a mere five fantasy points in a loss to Jared Goff and the Rams. Still, I'd keep the faith in "Sacksonville" in what is a favorable matchup against the Colts. Defenses have combined to put up the second-most points (11.8 PPG) when going against Indianapolis.

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Carolina Panthers vs. Chicago Bears

The Panthers defense has scored just 14 combined fantasy points in the past four weeks, but that's due in large part to tough matchups against the Saints, Patriots, Lions and Eagles. This week should be different, as Carolina goes up against rookie Mitchell Trubisky and a Bears team that has been beneficial to opposing fantasy defenses.

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New Orleans Saints vs. Green Bay Packers

How's this for a wild stat. Over their last three games, the Saints defense has put up a combined 62 fantasy points. That's more than all but four teams have scored all season. While a matchup in Green Bay is normally unfavorable, Brett Hundley (not Aaron Rodgers) will be under center. That makes the Saints a very viable streamer.

Start 'Em: Seahawks D/ST at Giants, Steelers D/ST vs. Bengals
Sleepers: Titans D/ST at Browns, Dolphins D/ST vs. Jets

Sit' Em

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Sit of the Week - Atlanta Falcons vs. New England Patriots

The Falcons were one of the more popular streaming defenses in the league a week ago, but finished with a mere three fantasy points in standard formats. This week, Atlanta heads to New England to face Tom Brady and the Patriots in a re-match of Super Bowl LI. Defensive teams have averaged just four fantasy points against them.

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Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints

The Packers defense has scored 10 or more fantasy points in two of its last three games, but a matchup against Drew Brees and the Saints is far from favorable. While the Lions did put up 17 fantasy points against them last week, that was an outlier ... the first four teams to face the Saints scored six fantasy points combined.

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Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Washington's defense has failed to score more than five fantasy points in the last two games, and this week's matchup against the Eagles makes them a sit 'em. Opposing defenses have averaged just 5.7 fantasy points against Carson Wentz and his offense, and no defense has recorded more than five points against them since Week 3.

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Chicago Bears vs. Carolina Panthers

The Bears defense went off for an impressive 15 fantasy points a week ago, but don't be fooled ... this unit scored a combined 19 points in the first five weeks. I'd keep them on the sidelines versus Cam Newton and the Panthers, as defensive units have put up a combined 14 fantasy points against them over the last four weekends.

Sit 'Em: Bengals D/ST at Steelers, Patriots D/ST vs. Falcons
Busts: Ravens D/ST at Vikings, Cardinals D/ST vs. Rams (London)

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com 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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