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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 12: 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 Christian McCaffrey 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

Start of the Week

The Bears defense has scored six or fewer fantasy points in five of its last six games, but I like it to break that trend versus the Giants. Daniel Jones has been a turnover machine, and defenses have averaged more than 12 fantasy points per game against Big Blue.

The Browns defense is coming off a 16-point performance against the Steelers, and an upcoming matchup against the Dolphins is a favorable one. Defenses that have faced Miami have averaged 4.2 sacks, two takeaways and an average of 13.1 fantasy points a game.

Oakland has been hot on defense lately, scoring a combined 30 fantasy points in its last two games. I'd continue to stream this unit against the Jets, who have allowed 4.1 sacks and an average of more than 12 fantasy points per game to opposing defenses this season.

Atlanta's defense has done a complete 180 in its last two games, putting up 36 fantasy points. That's 27 more points than it had in its first eight games combined! With the turnover-prone Jameis Winston and the Bucs coming to town, the Falcons are very streamable.

Start 'Em:Saints D/ST vs. Carolina Panthers, Steelers D/ST at Cincinnati Bengals
Sleepers:Bills D/ST vs. Denver Broncos, Lions D/ST at Washington Redskins

Sit' Em

The Dallas defense put up a disappointing effort against Jeff Driskel and Detroit last week, and an upcoming game in New England makes this unit a hard fade. Opposing defenses have averaged just 2.8 fantasy points per game when facing the Patriots at Gillette Stadium.

Carolina's defense was hot in fantasy leagues earlier in the season, but it's slowed lately with three or fewer points in two of its last three games. That trend is likely to continue in New Orleans, as defenses have averaged just 4.4 fantasy points per game against them.

Denver's defense has played better in recent weeks, but it's still tough to trust on the road. In fact, this unit has averaged just 5.2 points away from Mile High. With Josh Allen playing at a high level right now, I would keep the Broncos defense sidelined in this AFC matchup.

The Jets have scored 25 fantasy points over the last two weeks, but a matchup against the Raiders makes them a fade. Oakland has allowed 1.5 sacks per game, and averaged one giveaway. What's more, enemy defenses have averaged 3.7 points against them.

Sit 'Em:Seahawks D/ST at Philadelphia Eagles, Eagles D/ST vs. Seattle Seahawks
Busts:Rams D/ST vs. Baltimore Ravens (Mon.), Packers D/ST at San Francisco 49ers

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

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