Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 2: Defense

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 Patrick Mahomes and Saquon Barkley will not be featured in this column. All player matchups are based on a PPR scoring system. For your final starting lineup decisions, check my weekly fantasy football lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

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

No matter who the opponent, the defense facing the Dolphins is going to be a strong fantasy play until further notice. This week, that defense is the Patriots. New England produced a solid 10 fantasy points against Big Ben and the Steelers a week ago, and Miami's offense will offer even less resistance. The P-Men are a must-start.

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Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Texans defense had a tough assignment last week in a roadie against Drew Brees and the Saints, but a much better matchup is on the horizon. Houston heads home to face the Jaguars, who will start rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew in the absence of Nick Foles. With film to watch on Minshew, the Texans defense should produce.

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Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins

The Dallas defense didn't post a great stat line a week ago, but this is still one the league's most talented units and a viable streamer when the matchup is right. That's the "case" this week, as the Boys head to Washington to face Keenum and a questionable Redskins offensive line that just lost it's best player, Derrius Guice, to injury.

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Buffalo Bills vs. New York Giants

Buffalo's defense will play it's second straight week at MetLife Stadium, where a good matchup against the Giants awaits. The G-Men have little offensive firepower beyond Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram, and the Bills should bring the heat against Eli Manning. Their defense is available in 80-plus percent of NFL.com leagues.

Start 'Em: Ravens D/ST vs. Arizona Cardinals, Browns D/ST at New York Jets (Mon.)
Sleepers: Chiefs D/ST vs. Oakland Raiders, Bengals D/ST vs. San Francisoc 49ers

Sit' Em

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Sit of the Week - Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans

The Jaguars defense was awful a week ago, surrendering 491 yards of total offense to the Chiefs. This unit has disappointed in fantasy circles ever since the start of last season, and an upcoming roadie against Deshaun Watson and the Texans isn't what you would call a bounce-back matchup. I'd keep these cats on the fantasy sidelines.

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Seattle Seahawks vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Listed as a start 'em last week, the Seahawks produced five sacks and a solid 12 fantasy points in a win over the Bengals. This week's matchup isn't as attractive, though, as the Steelers will be plenty salty on their home field after a bad loss to the Patriots. Defenses averaged just 3.4 fantasy points in Pittsburgh last season, too.

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New Orleans Saints vs. Los Angeles Rams

New Orleans had a modest six fantasy points in last week's win over the Texans, and a road matchup in Los Angeles doesn't bode well for a big stat line in Week 2. In 2018, visiting defenses averaged 2.25 fantasy points against Jared Goff and his powerful offense. The Panthers defense scored just two points against them last week, too.

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Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons

The Eagles defense was a popular streamer in Week 1, but it bombed like so many DC Comics movies. I'd look for an alternative option this week, as Philadelphia heads to Atlanta to Falcons team that was tough on visiting defenses a season ago. In fact, the position averaged just 2.5 fantasy points when playing on Atlanta's home field.

Sit 'Em: Redskins D/ST vs. Dallas Cowboys, Cardinals D/ST at Baltimore Ravens
Busts: Steelers D/ST vs. Seattle Seahawks, Falcons D/ST vs. Philadelphia Eagles


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