* 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: Ravens DEF vs. NYG
After averaging just 3.2 ppg over their last five games, Baltimore scored double-digits this past Sunday for the first time since Week 9. Their chances of repeating this feat are fairly high. The Giants currently own the league’s second-worst ranked total offense. Over the last four weeks, defenses average 10.5 ppg against New York.
Bears DEF at JAC
Chicago has topped 5.0 points just once over their last four games. Still, they are just one game removed from a 17.0 point performance. The Jags have allowed an average of 10.33 ppg to defenses over their last three games, while three of their last five opponents have scored 10.0-plus points. The Jags allowed five sacks to the Ravens last week. The Bears have amassed 12 sacks over their last three games.
Browns DEF at NYJ
Cleveland put up a respectable 8.0 points against the Giants last week. This week they get Big Blue’s intra-city rivals, the New York Jets. Gang Green allows a league-high 9.71 ppg to opposing D/STs. Four of their last five opponents have scored 8.0-plus points. Three of New York’s last four opponents have recorded at least three sacks. The Browns have notched three-plus sacks in two of their last three games.
Sleeper: Texans DEF vs. CIN
Houston has totaled 6.0 points over their last three games. The Bengals just held the mighty Steelers defense to just 2.0 points this past Monday night. Still, it’s Ryan Finley under center for the Bengals. He failed to record 90 yards passing against Pittsburgh. Plus, over Finley’s three starts last season, no opposing defenses scored below 12.0 points or finished ranked lower than DEF7.
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DEF: Sit ‘Em
Sit of the Week: Giants DEF at BAL
It’s been a tough slide for the Giants defense of late. Getting no favors from their putrid offense, New York has totaled 3.0 points over their last two games and has scored 5.0 points or fewer in five of their last eight games. Lamar Jackson has looked like MVP Lamar Jackson of late. In return, opposing defenses have averaged 2.5 ppg over Jackson’s last six starts.
Packers DEF vs. TEN
Green Bay has scored 10.0-plus points in half of their last four games, including holding opposing offenses to just 16 points in two of their last three games. However, the Titans are a different animal. The league’s second-ranked total offense is tied with the Chiefs as the NFL’s highest-scoring unit at 31.1 ppg. Only one defense has exceeded 5.0 points against the Titans this season.
Rams DEF at SEA
The Rams failed to deliver last week in what was perceived as a cupcake matchup against the Jets. Still, this is the fourth-ranked fantasy defense in football we’re talking about. Plus, it’s not like Seattle has been as lethal as we’ve come to expect from them of late, allowing three opposing defenses to score 12.0 points against them since Week 9. With that said, only one D/ST has topped 3.0 points against them over their last five games.
Buyers Beware: Cowboys DEF vs. PHI
Dallas is fantasy’s top-scoring unit over the past two weeks, averaging a hefty 16.5 ppg. With that said, those performances have come against the likes of Brandon Allen and Nick Mullens. They offer upside against a rookie in Jalen Hurts, making just his third career start. Yet, at the same time, the rookie could feast on their defense. There are positives here from a Cowboys perspective. Philly surrendered 10.0 points to the Cardinals D/ST last week and has allowed 5.0-plus sacks in four of their last five games. Dallas is the quintessential boom or bust play.
- Week 16 Fantasy Rankings: QB
- Week 16 Fantasy Rankings: RB
- Week 16 Fantasy Rankings: WR
- Week 16 Fantasy Rankings: TE
- Week 16 Fantasy Rankings: DEF
- Week 16 Fantasy Rankings: K