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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Defenses for Week 3

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

Vikings defense vs. Cleveland Browns:Brian Hoyer is starting at quarterback for the Browns. Let me say that again ... Brian Hoyer is starting at quarterback for the Browns. So with the presence of Josh Gordon aside, this offense could struggle to produce against the Vikings on their home field. This is a strong streaming choice for owners. (Maximum value: High-DEF1)

Start 'em

Broncos defense vs. Oakland Raiders (Mon.): I'm on record as being a fan of Terrelle Pryor from a fantasy standpoint, but let's face it -- he does tend to turn the football over too much. Enter the Broncos, who scored 15 fantasy points in Week 2 and will be in line for another solid outing against the Raiders. This unit needs to be started in all leagues this week. (Maximum value: High-DEF1)

Patriots defense vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The 10th-rated defense based on fantasy points after the first two weeks, the Patriots are doing on defense what their offense can't seem to accomplish -- scoring points. That trend should continue against the Buccaneers, who have a potential mess brewing in the locker room with turnover-prone quarterback Josh Freeman. (Maximum value: Low-DEF1)

Sleeper alert - Bills defense at New York Jets: No matter the opponent, the defense facing the Jets is going to see an uptick in fantasy value. Enter the Bills, who rank eighth in fantasy points at defense and should find success against rookie quarterback Geno Smith this weekend. Buffalo's defense is available in plenty of leagues on heading into the week. (Maximum value: Low-DEF1)

Sit of the week

Bengals defense vs. Green Bay Packers: The Bengals field one of the better fantasy defenses in the league, but facing Aaron Rodgers and the explosive Packers offense makes it far less attractive from a fantasy standpoint. In fact, opposing defenses facing Green Bay have combined to score the second-fewest fantasy points at the position after the first two weeks. (Maximum value: High-DEF2)

Sit 'em

Rams defense at Dallas Cowboys: The Rams have upside among fantasy defenses, but at this point, the team has scored a mere 11 combined points in two games. Their chances of a reversal of fortunes are not good against the Cowboys in what figures to be a high-scoring game at the Jerry Dome. There are much better options to consider than St. Louis this weekend. (Maximum value: High-DEF2)

Titans defense vs. San Diego Chargers: Shockingly, the Titans have scored the fifth-most fantasy points among defenses after the first two weeks of the season. However, it's tough to like the matchup this weekend against a hot Chargers offense. Don't let the numbers fool you - Tennessee is not a unit you should be starting in most fantasy leagues this week. (Maximum value: Mid-DEF2)

Owners beware - Steelers defense vs. Chicago Bears (Mon.): Remember when the Steelers defense was an absolute lock in fantasy starting lineups? Well, that just isn't the case these days. So even in a game against a turnover-prone quarterback like Jay Cutler, and even on their home field, it's hard to trust this edition of the Steel Curtain in fantasy football. (Maximum value: Low-DEF2)

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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