Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate weekly look at the NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Fantasy superstars such as Patrick Mahomes and Alvin Kamara will not be featured in this column. All player matchups are based on a PPR scoring system.
Be sure to check out my Week 3 PPR rankings before finalizing any lineup decisions or if your league has special scoring rules, sign up for SI Fantasy+ for customized rankings. Members also get access to myself and our team of high-stakes winners all week long to answer your specific fantasy questions.
Week 3 Start 'Em: Defenses
Start of the Week
Colts D/ST vs. Jets
The Jets are one of the top offenses to target in the defensive matchups, even more so when the defense is at home. Enter the Colts, who produced 15 fantasy points in a win over the Vikings a week ago and now get to host the hapless Men in Green. Since the beginning of last season, defenses have averaged a very solid 9.4 points against New York.
Chargers D/ST vs. Panthers
The Chargers defense put up a valiant effort against the Chiefs a week ago, but an upcoming matchup against the Panthers is far more attractive. They’ll be in tough shape on the offensive side of the football, as fantasy superstar Christian McCaffrey is out with a high ankle sprain. That bodes well for L.A.’s chances of producing a strong stat line.
Buccaneers D/ST at Broncos
The Bucs went off in the defensive stats a week ago, posting five sacks, two interceptions, and 14 fantasy points in a win over the Panthers. I'd stream this unit again in Week 3, as a positive matchup against the Broncos awaits. Denver is without Drew Lock, Philip Lindsay, and Courtland Sutton, so Tampa's defense has a nice advantage.
- Titans D/ST at Vikings
- Browns D/ST vs. Football Team
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Week 3 Sit 'Em: Defenses
Sit of the Week
Ravens D/ST vs. Chiefs
The Ravens are a tough defense to sit, even more so after putting up 15 fantasy points in a win over the Texans. However, you simply don’t start a D/ST when the opponent is Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Since last season, fantasy defenses have put up an average of fewer than three fantasy points per game against the K.C. offensive juggernaut.
Seahawks D/ST vs. Cowboys
The Great Northwest is certain to be chock full of points this week, as the Cowboys (28.5 PPG) face the Seahawks (36.5 PPG) in a potential barnburner. That also means there’s not likely to be a whole lot of fantasy points scored by either of these D/ST units. Since 2019, defenses have averaged a meager 2.9 fantasy points versus Dallas.
Texans D/ST at Steelers
Houston’s defense has had two horrid matchups against the Chiefs and Ravens, so let’s add a third: a difficult roadie against the Steelers. Their offense is rolling once again under Ben Roethlisberger, averaging 379.5 total yards and 26 points per game after two weeks. On the flip side, the Texans have allowed 33.5 points a game on defense.
- Saints D/ST vs. Packers (SNF)
- Chiefs D/ST at Ravens
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Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for the latest news and analysis!
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