Published: Dec. 5, 2018 at 10:42 a.m.
Updated: Dec. 7, 2018 at 02:14 p.m.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 14: 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. Cincinnati Bengals

The Chargers defense has been better in recent weeks, scoring at least eight fantasy points in four of its last five games. I would expect another nice line when Joey Bosa and his defense host backup quarterback Jeff Driskel and a Bengals offense that is an absolute mess. The Bolts could be on the wire in some leagues, too.

New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

New Orleans has the hottest defense in fantasy football, scoring 13 or more points in each of its last three games while allowing fewer than 14 points in that time. I like their recent streak of success to continue versus the Buccaneers, as home defenses have put up an average of more than 10 fantasy points per game against them.

Denver Broncos vs. San Francisco 49ers

Denver's defense looked good in last week's win over the Bengals, posting four sacks and 14 fantasy points. I'd ride them once again, as a positive matchup against Nick Mullens and the 49ers is next on the schedule. The opposition's defense has averaged 3.2 sacks and almost 10 fantasy points per contest against San Francisco.

Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets

The Bills defense has posted just 12 fantasy points over its last two games, but a great matchup against the Jets make this a very streamable unit. The Men in Green have averaged two turnovers per game, and defenses have put up an average of over nine fantasy points per game against them. Buffalo is a free agent in most leagues.

Start 'Em: Patriots D/ST at Miami Dolphins, Steelers D/ST at Oakland Raiders
Sleepers: Cardinals D/ST vs. Detroit Lions, Giants D/ST at Washington Redskins

Sit' Em

Sit of the Week - Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs

The Ravens defense came up huge last week despite a bad matchup on paper, scoring 15 fantasy points in a win over the Falcons. Unfortunately, the chances of posting a similar line against the Chiefs are slim to none. In 2018, defenses have averaged a meager two fantasy points per game against them at Arrowhead Stadium.

Minnesota Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks

Minnesota's defense was a fade for me last week, and it scored a mere two fantasy points in a loss to the Patriots. Another bad matchup looms on Monday night, as the Vikings travel to Seattle to face Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. Visiting defenses have averaged an unimpressive four fantasy points against them.

Cleveland Browns vs. Carolina Panthers

Cleveland's defense has struggled in recent weeks, scoring a combined 21 fantasy points over its last five games. I'd expect another mediocre stat line against Cam Newton and the Panthers. Even with Newton's stinker one week ago, opposing defenses have still averaged fewer than five fantasy points per game against Carolina.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans

The Colts defense has been hot in recent weeks, scoring 12 or more fantasy points in two of its last three games. Unfortunately, an upcoming matchup against the Texans isn't favorable. Road defenses have averaged fewer than five fantasy points when facing Deshaun Watson and his offense, so I'd keep Indianapolis on the bench.

Sit 'Em: Bengals D/ST at Los Angeles Chargers, Buccaneers D/ST vs. New Orleans Saints
Busts: Bears D/ST vs. Los Angeles Rams, Eagles D/ST at Dallas Cowboys

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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