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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Defenses for Week 15

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

Panthers defense vs. New York Jets: Forget that the Panthers scored one fantasy point last week in New Orleans against Drew Brees, because next on the schedule is the turnover-prone Geno Smith and the New York Jets. Opposing defenses facing this offensive "attack" have combined to score the second-most fantasy points (12.2 PPG) in 2013. (Maximum value: High DEF1)

Start 'em

Chiefs defense at Oakland Raiders: After putting up some forgettable numbers a few weeks back, the Chiefs returned with a vengeance to post 26 fantasy points in Week 14. This unit should remain active in leagues against the Raiders, who have been a pretty good source of fantasy points for opposing defenses for most of the 2013 campaign. (Maximum value: Mid DEF1)

Saints defense at St. Louis Rams: New Orleans had a nine-point performance last week against the Panthers, and an upcoming matchup in St. Louis bodes well for their chances of posting back-to-back attractive stat lines. Over the last four weeks, opposing defenses have recorded the eighth-most fantasy points (9.0 PPG) when facing the Rams. (Maximum value: Low DEF1)

Sleeper alert - Jaguars defense vs. Buffalo Bills: Did you know that the Jags defense has outscored the Chiefs, Panthers and Ravens in the last four weeks? This unit now has some deep sleeper appeal against the Bills -- defenses have combined to score 31 fantasy points against EJ Manuel and his offense over their last two contests overall. (Maximum value: Low DEF1)

Sit of the week

Rams defense vs. New Orleans Saints: St. Louis boasts one of the 10-best defenses in fantasy football this season, but facing Brees and an explosive Saints offense isn't what I call an attractive opponent. In fact, opposing defensive teams facing the Saints have combined to score the third-fewest fantasy points (4.5 PPG) this season. (Maximum value: Low DEF2)

Sit 'em

Packers defense at Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys defense stinks, but fantasy defenses don't score a lot of points against their offense. In fact, opposing defensive teams have combined to record the fifth-fewest fantasy points (4.8 PPG) when facing Dallas at Jerry World this season. That makes the Packers less of an option in all leagues. (Maximum value: High DEF2)

Jets defense at Carolina Panthers: The Jets scored the sixth-most fantasy points among defenses last week, but that was against Matt McGloin and the Raiders. This week comes a much tougher task, as New York travels to Carolina to face a Panthers team that will be salty after last week's embarrassing loss to the Saints on a national stage. (Maximum value: Mid DEF2)

Owners beware - Bengals defense vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: The season-long numbers suggest this is a good matchup for the Bengals, but look at the last four weeks. During that time, defenses have combined to score the second-fewest fantasy points (0.7 PPG) when facing Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers. Start the Bengals with caution. (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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