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 4 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 4 Start 'Em: Defenses
Start of the Week
Rams D/ST vs. Giants
The Rams defense was shredded in Buffalo last week, but a home game against the injury-ravaged Giants should be good for what ails them. New York’s offense is next to last in points scored (12.7 PPG), and total net yards (272.3 YPG), and only Philadelphia has more giveaways (7) this season. Defenses have also averaged the second-most fantasy points against the G-Men, so start Los Angeles.
49ers D/ST vs. Eagles
The Niners defense is absolutely chock full of injuries, but it still ranks sixth in fantasy points at the position. I'd continue to ride with them this week, as a home date against the Eagles awaits. No team has more giveaways (8), and only the Bengals, Texans, and Broncos have allowed more sacks of their quarterbacks (11). With Carson Wentz playing poor football right now, the Niners will remain a nice play.
Buccaneers D/ST vs. Chargers
The Bucs were a tremendous streamer last week with 16 fantasy points in Denver. I like this unit once again, as a matchup with rookie Justin Herbert and the Chargers awaits. Last week, the Panthers D/ST scored 11 fantasy points on four takeaways and three sacks. I'd argue that the Buccaneers have a lot more talent on the defensive side, and I'd keep them in your fantasy lineups.
- Colts D/ST at Bears
- Ravens D/ST at Football Team
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Week 4 Sit 'Em: Defenses
Sit of the Week
Patriots D/ST at Chiefs
The Patriots defense is a tough unit to sit in fantasy leagues, especially after putting up a 15-point performance against the Raiders. Unfortunately, an upcoming road game against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs is plenty of reason to fade New England's D/ST. Since the start of last season, defenses have averaged fewer than three fantasy points per game against Kansas City's offensive juggernaut.
Chargers D/ST at Buccaneers
The Chargers had a nice matchup last week against the Panthers, but their defense didn’t meet expectations with just two fantasy points. I’d fade this unit in Week 4, as the Bolts will be without CB Chris Harris Jr. and DE Melvin Ingram due to injuries ahead of a poor matchup against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. If there’s an L.A. D/ST to start this week, it’s the Rams, not the Chargers.
Browns D/ST at Cowboys
Listed as a start ‘em last week, the Browns produced a very solid 14 fantasy points in a win over the Football Team. Unfortunately, things will get a lot tougher this week at the Jerry Dome. The Cowboys defense stinks, but the offense is averaging nearly 30 points and 490.7 net yards of offense. Defenses have also put up an average of fewer than six fantasy points a game against Dallas this season.
- Football Team vs. Ravens
- Chiefs D/ST vs. Patriots
- Eagles D/ST at 49ers
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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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