Welcome to Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em for Week 9 of the NFL season. Our defense edition this week features a number of underperforming units gifted with the perfect matchups to get them back on the right track.
* Reminder: Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em is intended to present you with the non-obvious choices for your fantasy lineup. We dig deep into player matchups, scoring trends, and other factors to best help you with your fantasy decisions. Be sure to also check out our weekly fantasy football defense rankings to better gauge where these start-sit options compare to the rest of the options at the position.
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DEF: Start ‘Em
Start of the Week: Bills DEF vs. WAS
Buffalo had a rough go of things last week, racking up just four fantasy points. However, prior to that game, they had scored exactly 11 fantasy points in three of their last four contests. Defenses facing off against the Redskins have averaged an absurd 17.2 fantasy points in five of their last six games. Redskins rookie Dwayne Haskins could be in line for his first NFL start. Apparently, Haskins has struggled to pick up the playbook and has looked horrendous in his little playing time this year.
Cowboys DEF vs. NYG
Dallas’ defense has not played up to their talent level thus far this season. Yet, Week 9 could very well be their coming out party. The Giants offense has been extremely welcoming to opposing defenses over the past month. In New York’s last four games they’ve allowed an average of 16 fantasy points and four sacks to D/STs, while turning the ball over a total of nine times over that span. To sweeten the deal for Dallas, Michael Bennett will be making his Cowboys debut along their front seven.
Seahawks DEF vs. TB
Seattle’s defense has not scored double-digit fantasy points since Week 4 and has only done so twice all season. Week 9 should break that pattern. Jameis Winston is a turnover machine, and opposing defenses have averaged 16 fantasy points against the Bucs since Week 6. Seattle has forced at least three turnovers in two of their last three games.
Sleeper: Browns DEF at DEN
Not much has gone right in Cleveland this season, but if their defense can’t produce against a Brandon Allen-led Broncos offense then it’s officially time to jump ship. Denver already surrenders the 10th most fantasy points to defenses this season. Now they’ll have a quarterback under center who will be attempting his first NFL regular-season pass on Sunday.
DEF: Sit ‘Em
Sit of the Week: Giants DEF vs. DAL
The Giants defense has been a surprisingly viable starting option over the past few weeks, averaging 13.5 fantasy points in four of their last five games. Don’t expect that trend to continue, as Dallas is one of the worst matchups a fantasy defense could have this season. In fact, they are the second-worst, allowing just 3.14 fantasy points per game. Last time New York faced off against the ‘Boys, the Giants defense finished with -4.00 points.
Jaguars DEF vs. HOU
Jacksonville has taken advantage of back-to-back gift wrapped matches over the last two weeks. Unfortunately, that string of cupcake matchups is over for the Jags. Houston has allowed an average of just 3.75 fantasy points to opposing defenses over their last four games. Deshaun Watson has led the Texans offense to an average of 32 offensive points per game over that four-game span.
Texans DEF at JAC
We’re doubling-down on the Houston-Jacksonville game in our Sit ‘Em section. The Texans defense has not been very good to start with this season. The loss of Jadeveon Clowney has been glaring. To make matters worse, JJ Watt was injured a week ago and will miss the remainder of 2019. Not good news for a team that has averaged just one sack per game over the past month. The Jaguars have allowed defenses to rack up an average of just 2.5 fantasy over the last two weeks.
Buyers Beware: Vikings DEF at KC
If you own Minnesota’s defense, chances are they’re likely your only defense. That’s something you may want to look into changing. While Minnesota is the seventh-highest defensive unit in fantasy this season, Kanas City’s offense surrenders the fewest fantasy points to defenses this year. The Chiefs have allowed just one unit to score more than five points against them in 2019. Oh, and Patrick Mahomes may be back under center on game day.
READ NEXT: Fantasy: Defense Rankings Week 9