Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Defenses for Week 13

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Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the weekly NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Sleeper alert features an under-the-radar player who could produce good numbers. Owners beware features a regular fantasy starter who could fail to meet expectations based on the strength of his opponent. Obvious fantasy starters like Aaron Rodgers and Adrian Peterson will not be featured. For your final lineup decisions, check our lineup rankings.

Start of the week


Patriots defense at Houston Texans: A top-10 fantasy football defense, the Patriots should be considered quite an attractive option this weekend in Houston. Despite some offensive improvements with Case Keenum under center, opposing defenses facing the Texans at home have still combined to score the second-most fantasy points (12.5 PPG) at the position. (Maximum value: Mid DEF1)

Start 'em


Bills defense vs. Atlanta Falcons (Toronto): The Falcons have been a disaster on offense, as pass protection and injuries have become a huge issue. This has also affected Matt Ryan, who has more interceptions (9) than touchdowns (5) in his last five contests. This all makes Buffalo's defense quite a nice streaming option this weekend. (Maximum value: Low DEF1)

Browns defense vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Cleveland's defense hasn't been very good in fantasy leagues in recent weeks, but a favorable matchup against Chad Henne and the Jaguars makes them a viable streaming option this week. Defenses facing Jacksonville this season have combined to score the fourth-most fantasy points (12.6 PPG). (Maximum value: Low DEF1)

Sleeper alert - Dolphins defense at New York Jets: Geno Smith has been an absolute turnover machine under center, making most defenses facing the Jets a viable option in fantasy leagues. In fact, defenses have combined to record the fourth-most fantasy points (12.3 PPG) when facing the Men in Green since Week 9. That makes the Dolphins worth a look. (Maximum value: Low DEF1)

Sit of the week


Chiefs defense vs. Denver Broncos: The Chiefs defense has fallen apart in recent weeks, as injuries and a tougher schedule have led to a decline in production. In fact, Kansas City has scored four or fewer fantasy points in three of its last four games. This is a unit to avoid this weekend with Peyton Manning and the Broncos in town. (Maximum value: High DEF2)

Sit 'em


Rams defense at San Francisco 49ers: Over the last four weeks, no defense has scored more fantasy points than the Rams. While that's an impressive feat, this week's matchup in San Francisco is a tough one. Defenses have combined to score the fifth-fewest fantasy points (5.9 PPG) when facing Colin Kaepernick and his mates. (Maximum value: High DEF2)

Buccaneers defense at Carolina Panthers: The Buccaneers scored an impressive 18 fantasy points on defense last week, but owners who choose to start them in Week 13 will be simply chasing points. To this point in the season, defenses facing Cam Newton and the Panthers in Carolina have combined to score the fourth-fewest fantasy points. (Maximum value: Mid DEF2)

Owners beware - Bengals defense at San Diego Chargers: The Bengals have an impressive fantasy defense, ranking fourth in points at the position. Still, keep in mind that the Chargers have not been kind to fantasy defenses. In fact, opposing units facing Philip Rivers and his crew have combined to score the fourth-fewest fantasy points. (Maximum value: Low DEF1)


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. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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