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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 9: 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

New York Jets
New York Jets
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Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins
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Start of the Week

The Jets defense hasn't had much value in fantasy land, but a matchup in Miami makes this unit a worthwhile streamer. Defenses have averaged more than 15 fantasy points per game when facing the Dolphins, so the Men in Green are in a very good spot to succeed.

Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys
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New York Giants
New York Giants
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Dallas has scored 11 or more fantasy points in three of its last five games, and this week's roadie against the Giants makes this defense a nice option. With Daniel Jones turning the ball over on a regular basis, the Cowboys project to be a top-10 defense this weekend.

Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Seattle's defense put up a solid nine fantasy points last week, and an upcoming matchup against the Bucs makes this unit a terrific option again. Tampa Bay has allowed four sacks and committed 2.4 giveaways per game, so the Seahawks should fly high this week.

Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
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Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins
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The Bills defense has a great home matchup, as the Redskins come to town. This offense has allowed nearly three sacks a game, and they've turned the ball over almost twice a game on average. This matchup is even better for Buffalo if Dwayne Haskins starts.

Start 'Em:Broncos D/ST vs. Cleveland Browns, Panthers D/ST vs. Tennessee Titans
Sleepers:Dolphins D/ST vs. New York Jets, Browns D/ST at Denver Broncos

Sit' Em

Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens
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New England Patriots
New England Patriots
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Sit of the Week

The Ravens defense put up 18 fantasy points before the bye week, but an upcoming matchup against the Patriots makes them unstartable. Defenses have averaged a mere 4.6 fantasy points when facing Tom Brady and his offense, so keep Baltimore on the sidelines.

Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs
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Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
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Kansas City's defense struggled in last week's loss to the Packers, and an upcoming home matchup against the Vikings isn't favorable. In fact, the opposition has averaged just 4.1 fantasy points on the defensive side when facing Kirk Cousins and his offense.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers
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Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts
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The Steelers defense has produced double-digit fantasy points in four straight games, but a matchup against the Colts puts this unit in the sit 'em section. Defensive units have averaged just one takeaway and an average of 4.7 fantasy points per game against them.

Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions
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Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders
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Detroit's defense produced a solid 11 fantasy points against the Giants last week, but I'd fade them in a roadie against the Raiders. Believe it or not, but defenses that have faced Oakland have averaged the fourth-fewest points (3.7 PPG) at the position this season.

Sit 'Em:Buccaneers D/ST at Seattle Seahawks, Chargers D/ST vs. Green Bay Packers
Busts:Jaguars D/ST vs. Houston Texans (London), Texans D/ST at Jacksonville Jaguars (London)

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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