Welcome to Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Defense Edition for Week 13 of the NFL season. This week we feature a unit in New Orleans that leads all units in scoring over the last six weeks. Plus, should the Rams defense be avoided against the Cardinals? Let’s take a look.
* 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: Dolphins DEF vs. CIN
Brandon Allen looks to be the man under center again in Cincinnati, so for the second-consecutive week, the Bengals’ opponent finds themselves in our start ’em column. Fresh off a 14.0 point outing, Miami is the second-highest scoring unit in fantasy and just one of two teams to average double-digit points. Since Week 10, opposing defenses have averaged 11.0 points against the Bengals.
Ravens DEF vs. DAL
Baltimore has scored in double-digits just once since Week 6. They did play a stout game against the Steelers on Wednesday. They also have an inviting matchup on deck against Dallas. The Cowboys have allowed 11.0-plus points to D/STs in six of their last nine games.
Saints DEF at ATL
Atlanta isn’t the most welcoming matchup there is, but then again the Saints did muster up 16.0 points against them just two weeks ago. Over their last four games, New Orleans has recorded 14 sacks, nine interceptions and three fumble recoveries. Eight of those sacks and two of those interceptions came against the Falcons.
Chiefs DEF vs. DEN
The Broncos will actually have a quarterback under center this week. Yet, Drew Lock started for Denver back in Week 7 when they took on the Chiefs, and Kansas City left that game with 24.0 points. The Broncos have thrown four more interceptions than any other team in football this year. Over their last three games, they’ve turned the ball over a total of 10 times.
Sleeper: Packers DEF vs. PHI
Three of the last four opponents to take on Philly have combined for an average of 14.0 points. The Packers are fresh off a season-high 15.0 point outing last week. True, it was only the second time all season they have topped 6.0 points. Also true, the Eagles have turned the ball over 21 times this year (3rd-most in NFL).
Deep Sleeper: Raiders DEF at NYJ
The Raiders have scored negative points in back-to-back weeks, but a matchup with the Jets should at the very least pique your interest. Gang Green has allowed an average of 10.36 points to D/STs this year (most in NFL). Over their last six games, only one opponent has scored fewer than 9.0 points.
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DEF: Sit ‘Em
Sit of the Week: Eagles DEF at GB
The Eagles have scored 8.0-plus points in three of their last five games. Reaching that floor would be a grand surprise against Green Bay. Four of the last six opponents to face the Packers have finished with three points or fewer, three of which scored zero points or less.
Falcons DEF vs. NO
Speaking of surprises, Atlanta came out of nowhere to rack up 28.0 points a week ago. To put into perspective how out of the ordinary that outing was, that output is just 2.0 points fewer than they have totaled in every other game this year. Don’t let the Taysom Hill factor sway you, the Saints held Atlanta’s DEF to just 5.0 points two weeks ago.
Buyers Beware: Washington at PIT
The DEF4 over the past two weeks, Washingon has averaged 13.5 ppg. They’ve now topped 12.0 points in three of their last five contests. However, you’d have to total up Pittsburgh’s last five opponents’ outputs to get to 12.0 fantasy points. Units average just 1.8 ppg against the Steelers this year.
Buyers Beware x2: Rams DEF at ARI
The Rams have scored 11.0-plus points in five of their last eight games. Arizona is also coming off a game where Kyler Murray failed to find the endzone. Still, the Cardinals allow just 3.73 ppg to defenses, while no unit has topped 8.0 points against them this year.