Published: Dec. 6, 2017 at 10:28 a.m.
Updated: Dec. 8, 2017 at 11:39 a.m.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 14: 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.


Start 'Em

vs.
Start of the Week - New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins

New England's defense has been on quite a hot streak, scoring nine or more fantasy points in each of its last four games, including a combined 30 points in the last two weeks. The Patriots should remain active versus the Dolphins, as opposing defenses facing Miami have finished in the top 10 in fantasy points four of the last six weeks.

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Buffalo Bills vs. Indianapolis Colts

The Bills defense has scored a combined eight fantasy points in their last four games, but their opponents have been the Saints, Chargers, Chiefs and Patriots. All four teams are tough on fantasy defenses. That won't be the case in Week 14, as defenses have averaged the second-most points against Jacoby Brissett and the Colts.

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Green Bay Packers vs. Cleveland Browns

Green Bay's defense put up a 16-point effort in last week's win over the Buccaneers, and an upcoming matchup against the Browns bodes well for their chances of putting up another attractive stat line. Defenses that have faced Cleveland have averaged more than 12 fantasy points per game. That's the most in the entire league.

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Cincinnati Bengals vs. Chicago Bears

The Bengals haven't been what you would call a reliable option for fantasy fans, but a home matchup against the Bears makes this a streamable unit. Opposing defenses have finished in the top 10 in fantasy points against Chicago a ridiculous eight times to this point of the season, so these Queen City tigers have plenty of value this week.

Start 'Em: Chargers D/ST vs. Redskins, Broncos D/ST vs. Jets
Sleepers: Jets D/ST at Broncos, Texans D/ST vs. 49ers

Sit' Em

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Sit of the Week - Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots

Listed as a start 'em last week, the Dolphins defense went off for a season-high 26 fantasy points in a win over the Broncos. Unfortunately, owners shouldn't expect a repeat performance against Tom Brady and the Patriots. Opposing defensive teams have put up an average of 3.2 fantasy points a game against New England..

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Carolina Panthers vs. Minnesota Vikings

Carolina's defense has failed to score more than five fantasy points in four of its last five games, and that streak could continue based on a tough matchup against the Vikings. Outside of the Lions in Week 4, not a single defense has finished better than tied for 13th against Minnesota this season. That's some bad luck for the black cats.

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Philadelphia Eagles vs. Los Angeles Rams

The Eagles have one of the best defenses in fantasy football, but this is a bad week to lean on them based on a matchup in Los Angeles. Jared Goff has been a far different quarterback, and defenses have averaged 3.2 fantasy points against him as a result. Furthermore, two units have finished better than 15th vs. the Rams.

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Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Baltimore's defense has been on fire in recent weeks, scoring 16 or more fantasy points in two of its last three games while averaging 17 points in that time. That level of production will be tough to repeat against the Steelers, however. The elite Jaguars defensive team is the lone unit to rank better than 16th against them at Heinz Field.

Sit 'Em: Rams D/ST vs. Eagles, Raiders D/ST at Chiefs
Busts: Seahawks D/ST at Jaguars, Chiefs D/ST vs. Raiders

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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