Published: Dec. 3, 2014 at 10:55 a.m.
Updated: Dec. 5, 2014 at 05:59 p.m.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 14: Defenses


Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the weekly NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. All starts and sits are based on standard scoring leagues. Obvious fantasy starters like Aaron Rodgers and Marshawn Lynch will not be featured. For your final lineup decisions, check our lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

Start of the Week - Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Texans defense has been riding high in recent weeks, scoring an average of 12 fantasy points in their last four games. That includes three games with 10 or more points. That success should continue against the Jaguars ... no team has surrendered more fantasy points to opposing defenses than Jacksonville this season.

Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Lions defense has a stretch of great matchups ahead, the second of which is a home date with the Buccaneers this weekend. Opposing home defenses facing Josh McCown and his crew have averaged better than 10 fantasy points per game. The Bears scored 17 fantasy points against the Bucs in their last road contest.

Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Jets

The Vikings are inconsistent at best, but this unit has scored 15 or more fantasy points on four different occasions. That includes a 22-point performance in last week's win over the Carolina Panthers. Next is a home date with the Jets, who have been beaten for an average of 10.4 fantasy points per game by home defenses.

St. Louis Rams vs. Washington Redskins

Over the last three weeks, the Rams defense has scored a combined 57 fantasy points. What's more, this unit has posted 10 or more fantasy points three times in their last four games. If that's not enough to start them in fantasy land, also consider a favorable matchup versus quarterback Colt McCoy and the Redskins up next.

Good matchups: 49ers defense at Oakland Raiders, Saints defense vs. Carolina Panthers, Seahawks defense at Philadelphia Eagles

Sit' Em

Sit of the Week - Buffalo Bills vs. Denver Broncos

The Bills have one of the three best fantasy defenses in the whole league, so how in the world is this unit on the sit 'em list? Well, that's what happens when you have to travel to Denver to face Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Opposing road defenses have combined to average -0.83 points against this high-octane offense.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Seattle Seahawks

No fantasy defense has scored more points this season than the Eagles, so it's tough to bench them with the postseason here. However, owners should keep in mind that facing the Seahawks is anything but a favorable matchup. In fact, home defenses have averaged just 5.5 fantasy points vs. Russell Wilson and squad.

San Diego Chargers vs. New England Patriots

The Chargers had scored 11 or more fantasy points in two straight games heading into Week 13. Good right? Well, San Diego went on to post -1.0 points in a win over the Baltimore Ravens. Things could get worse for this defense too, as Tom Brady and the Patriots come to town. That makes the Bolts a must-sit this weekend.

Cleveland Browns vs. Indianapolis Colts

The Browns defense had been a viable matchup-based option in fantasy leagues, but this unit has scored just 15 combined fantasy points in its last three games. Things aren't likely to improve either, as Cleveland hosts quarterback Andrew Luck and an explosive Colts offense. There are better streaming options on waivers.

Bad matchups: Cardinals defense vs. Kansas City Chiefs, Dolphins defense vs. Baltimore Ravens, Panthers defense at New Orleans Saints

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


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