Published: Sept. 12, 2018 at 09:52 a.m.
Updated: Sept. 14, 2018 at 11:24 a.m.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 2: 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 Todd Gurley and Antonio Brown will not be featured. All player matchups are based on PPR scoring system. NFL researchers Matt Frederick and Michael Florio have contributed to the column. For your final starting lineup decisions, check our weekly fantasy football lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

Start of the Week - Los Angeles Chargers vs. Buffalo Bills

The Chargers put up an absolute stinker (minus-3 points) in last week's loss to the Chiefs, but I'd leave the past behind and keep this defense active against the Bills. The Ravens wrecked this offense for 17 fantasy points in their opener, so the Bolts should rebound against rookie quarterback Josh Allen and a struggling Buffalo offense.

Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals

Let's stick with the Los Angeles theme and talk about the Rams, who battered the Raiders for 17 fantasy points in their opener. I'd expect another fat stat line against the Cardinals, whose offense looked bad with Sam Bradford under center last week. This could be a one-sided affair, so keep the Rams defense active this weekend.

Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders

Despite a matchup against the Seahawks and Russell Wilson, the Broncos were still able to muster an impressive 12 fantasy points in their season opener. Next on the slate is another home game, but this one is against the Raiders. In Week 1, the Rams scored a solid 17 fantasy points versus Derek Carr and his struggling offense.

Chicago Bears vs. Seattle Seahawks

The Bears might finish the season with a top-five fantasy defense, but this unit is still available in a lot of leagues due to what was a tough matchup in the opener. Well, Chicago put up 14 fantasy points against the Packers and should produce a similar line during their home opener against Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks.

Start 'Em: Texans D/ST at Tennessee Titans, Eagles D/ST at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sleepers: Jets D/ST vs. Miami Dolphins, Giants D/ST at Dallas Cowboys

Sit' Em

Sit of the Week - Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Chiefs produced 10 fantasy points in their opening week win over the Chargers, but six of those points came via Tyreek Hill's touchdown return. While he's a threat to score in any given week, it's tough to lean on one player to drive the value of a D/ST. What's more, this week's matchup in Pittsburgh is not favorable in the least.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams

Once considered a legitimate fantasy defense, the Cardinals aren't much more than a matchup-based option. This week, an NFC West battle against Jared Goff and the talented Rams offense doesn't bode well for this unit's chances to produce. I'd be fading the Redbirds this week in what could be a lopsided affair at FedEx Field.

Cleveland Browns vs. New Orleans Saints

The Browns defense is for real, as it showed last week with a 16-point performance against the Steelers. However, I find it hard to trust the new-look Browns based on this week's road matchup against Drew Brees and the Saints. Defenses averaged just 3.25 fantasy points per contest when facing New Orleans at home last season.

Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers

Atlanta has suffered two major injuries on the defensive side of the football, losing SS Keanu Neal and LB Deion Jones. That's bad news ahead of this week's matchup against Cam Newton and a Panthers team that's sure to run the ball a ton. I'd beware of starting the Falcons D/ST in what could be quite a difficult matchup.

Sit 'Em: Packers D/ST vs. Minnesota Vikings, Seahawks D/ST at Chicago Bears (Mon.)
Busts: Vikings D/ST at Green Bay Packers, Patriots D/ST at Jacksonville Jaguars

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. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for all of the latest fantasy football news, notes and in-depth analysis!


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