Welcome to Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Defense Edition for Week 2 of the NFL season. This week we feature a bottom-five scoring unit from Week 1 met with an intriguing matchup. Plus, are two of the top-six scoring defenses from last week in for a rough outing? Let’s find out.
* 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: 49ers DEF vs. NYJ
For the second week in a row, our start of the week faces off with the Jets. This formula worked well for us in Week 1, as Buffalo finished as a top-six D/STs play. The 49ers got off to a rough start in Week 1, allowing 400-plus yards to Kyler Murray and the Cardinals. Don’t expect those same numbers from a Jets team that gained 69 yards of their 254-yard total output in Week 1 on a single play, and that will now be without Le’Veon Bell.
Bills DEF at MIA
Speaking of the Bills defense, they get yet another welcoming matchup Week 2 vs. the Dolphins. The Patriots D/ST racked up 11.0 fantasy points against Miami in Week 1, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering the ‘Phins have allowed double-digit points to opposing defenses nine of their last 17 games. That stat-line includes two 10-plus point outings by the Bills in their two matchups a season ago.
Rams DEF at PHI
Since acquiring Jalen Ramsey prior to Week 7 of the 2019 season, the Rams D/ST has averaged 9.91 fantasy points over their last 11 games. The Eagles offense, on the other hand, just surrendered a league-high 15 fantasy points to Washington’s D/ST. Over Carson Wentz’s past 11 games, he’s fumbled the ball an eye-popping 18 times.
Sleeper: Browns DEF vs. CIN
The Browns defense had no hope in Week 1 vs. the Baltimore Ravens. However, just like you avoid starting defenses against Lamar Jackson, you play defenses against rookie quarterbacks. Joe Burrow looked solid in his first NFL outing, yet still failed to crack 175-yards passing, while the Bengals as a whole turned the football over twice.
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DEF: Sit ‘Em
Sit of the Week: Texans DEF vs. BAL
Patrick Mahomes in Week 1 and Lamar Jackson in Week 2? As if the Texans defense wasn’t enough of a question mark to begin with. The 22nd-highest scoring D/ST belongs in no lineups this coming weekend.
Chargers DEF vs. KC
I repeat, do not start defenses against the Ravens and Chiefs. The Chargers finished as the DEF4 in fantasy a week ago. However, they could quickly find themselves on the opposite end of the scale this coming week. Opposing defenses have averaged an absurd 2.0 points per game against the Chiefs over their last 19 games (including postseason).
Panthers DEF vs. TB
Don’t let a three turnover outing by the Bucs and the fact that they surrendered 15 fantasy points to the Saints defense deter you from the obvious, the Panthers defense is not good. The Raiders offense toyed with Carolina in Week 1, leading to their D/ST finishing with -1.0 fantasy points. One of these two units will turn things around in Week 2, my money is on the one with the greatest quarterback in NFL history on their side.
Buyers Beware: Saints DEF at LV / Steelers DEF vs. DEN
Both units are worth looks this week, but if you’re hoping for similar output as the week prior, you’ll likely be left wanting more. Opposing defenses of the Raiders have averaged just 3.23 fantasy points over 13 of their last 17 games. Since Drew Lock took over as the Broncos starter in Week 13 of last season, only one opposing defense has scored more than 6.0 fantasy points against Denver, including three outings of 3.0 points or fewer.
- *Check out all our Week 2 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Ems to further optimize your lineups
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