Fantasy Football

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 14: 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

Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles
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New York Giants
New York Giants
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Start of the Week

The Eagles defense was a massive disappointment a week ago in Miami, but that was on the road. This is a far different team at Lincoln Financial Field, and a matchup against the turnover-prone Eli Manning makes the Eagles defense a virtual must start.

Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
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Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions
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Minnesota's defense hasn't been reliable in recent weeks, but I'd stream them against third-stringer David Blough and the Lions. Blough will be making his first-ever NFL road start, and playing in the noise of U.S. Bank Stadium makes the Vikings a nice option.

Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
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Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins
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If you streamed the Packers defense last weekend (congrats!), I would fire it up again when the Redskins visit the tundra. Defenses that have faced Dwayne Haskins and his offense have finished in the top 11 at the position in five of the last six weeks of the season.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers
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Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
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Aside from a Week 11 hiccup in Cleveland, the Steelers defense has put up double digit points in every game since Week 2. This week should be no different, as defenses facing the Cardinals have averaged nearly 13 fantasy points a game since Week 10.

Start 'Em:Texans D/ST vs. Denver Broncos, Colts D/ST at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sleepers:Browns D/ST vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Titans D/ST at Oakland Raiders

Sit' Em

Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
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Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens
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Sit of the Week

The Bills defense has scored a combined 32 fantasy points over the last three weeks, but a matchup against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens makes it a fade for me. Opposing defenses have averaged -1.25 fantasy points a game versus Baltimore over the last four weeks.

New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints
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San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
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New Orleans is coming off a 16-point performance against the Falcons, but this week's matchup against the Niners is far less attractive. In fact, opposing defenses have averaged just 5.1 fantasy points per game against Jimmy G and his offense. Beware the Saints.

Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs
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New England Patriots
New England Patriots
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The Chiefs defense put up a big stat line against the Raiders, but I wouldn't chase the points in a tough roadie in New England. Even with their offense struggling, the Patriots have still allowed just two sacks and committed 0.3 giveaways per contest since Week 10.

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos
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Houston Texans
Houston Texans
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Denver's defense put up a respectable eight fantasy points against the Chargers, but I'd fade this unit in a tough roadie against the Texans. Enemy defenses have struggled in Houston, averaging just 4.8 fantasy points per game against Deshaun Watson and his offense.

Sit 'Em:Bears D/ST vs. Dallas Cowboys (Thur.), Raiders D/ST vs. Tennessee Titans
Busts:Patriots D/ST vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 49ers D/ST at New Orleans Saints

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!

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