Welcome to Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Defense Edition for Week 9 of the NFL season. This week we feature the highest-scoring unit in fantasy over the last six weeks with questionable startability due to a tough matchup.
* 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: Steelers DEF at DAL
What was that? Cooper Rush may start at QB for the woeful Cowboys? Sign me up. As if the Steelers weren’t a locked-in play already, scoring 18.0 points in two of their last three games.
Patriots DEF at NYJ
Only one offense allows 11.0-plus ppg to opposing D/STs this season. That team? You guessed it, the Jets. Over New York’s last three games, no defense has amassed fewer than 9.0 points, while combined, those three units averaged 12.66 ppg. So while the Patriots defense has scored seven points or fewer in all but one of their past six games, they become a top streamer at the position.
Texans DEF at JAC
Jacksonville already allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing defenses this season. Now, they’re set to start Jake Luton at quarterback, who’s yet to attempt an NFL pass. Houston has forced two turnovers in two of their last three games.
Giants DEF at WAS
The Giants put their unheralded defensive unit on display for the country to see Monday night. New York stifled the Buccaneers’ high-octane offense for the majority of the game. In that case, I’ll take my chances with them against Kyle Allen and the NFL’s third-worst ranked total offense. Three of Washington’s last five opponents have scored 12.0-plus points against them, including the Giants themselves, who racked up 14.0 points back in Week 6.
Sleeper: Jets DEF at NE
The Jets DEF averages just 3.5 ppg. Their 28.0 total points on the season are 10.0 points less than the Dolphins DEF has amassed over their past two games. However, with the Patriots offense accounting for 15 giveaways this season (tied 3rd-most in NFL), they’re worth a look. Three of New England’s past four opposing units have scored at least 14.0 points.
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DEF: Sit ‘Em
Sit of the Week: Bills DEF at SEA
Buffalo is just one game removed from a six-sack 14.0-point performance. However, you simply don’t start D/STs against the Seahawks. Even the Cardinals DEF, who picked off Russell Wilson three times in Week 7 (Wilson’s first multi-INT game since the 2018 opener) managed to rack up just 7.0 points. No opposing defenses have surpassed Arizona’s 7.0 output against the Seahawks this season, who surrender an average of just 3.0 ppg to opposing D/STs.
49ers DEF at GB
Ravished by injuries, the 49ers DEF is a shell of their previous NFC Champion selves. The unit has topped 6.0 points just twice all season, scoring negative points in two of their last four games. The Packers allow an absurdly low average of just 1.14 ppg to opposing D/STs.
Buyers Beware: Dolphins DEF at ARI
Above, we noted how Miami’s defense has totaled an outrageous 38.0 points over their last two games. Over their last five games, the unit has topped 12.0 points four times. However, a matchup with the Cardinals should leave fantasy owners wary. Since Week 4, opposing defenses have totaled 2.0 points against Arizona.
- *Check out our other Week 9 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Ems to further optimize your lineups
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