Week 8 Start ‘Em: Defenses
Byes: Cardinals, Football Team, Jaguars, Texans
Start of the Week
Eagles D/ST vs. Cowboys (SNF)
The Cowboys offense is an absolute mess, as injuries to Dak Prescott and some big-name stars on the offensive line have turned this into a unit to target in the matchups. This week is no different, as Dallas might have to start third-string quarterback Ben DiNucci if Andy Dalton (concussion) cannot start. Regardless of who is under center, though, the Eagles D/ST is in a great spot to produce top-five numbers.
Week 8 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
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Chiefs D/ST vs. Jets
The Chiefs are currently a bananas 19.5-point favorite over the Jets. That’s a monster total and shows just how bad the Men in Green are this season. No team in the league has averaged fewer points (12.1 PPG) or total yards (264.3 YPG), and a mere three teams have allowed more sacks. What’s more, the Jets are second in QB pressures allowed. This is an absolute smash spot, at home, for the must-start Chiefs defense.
Buccaneers D/ST at Giants (MNF)
That's right; things are pretty bad in New York's football world. The Jets stink, and the Giants are nearly as bad. Their offense is next to last in points scored (17.4 PPG) and total yards (282.4 YPG), and they're tied for seventh in sacks allowed and third in QB pressures allowed. What's more, only four teams have more giveaways than Big Blue. Much like the Chiefs, the Buccaneers defense is in a terrific spot to produce big totals.
- Rams D/ST at Dolphins
- Bills D/ST vs. Patriots
- Titans D/ST at Bengals
- Chargers D/ST at Broncos
Week 8 Sit ‘Em: Defenses
Sit of the Week
Bears D/ST vs. Saints
The Bears defense has been tough on the gridiron and in fantasy circles, as it ranks eighth in points at the position after seven weeks. Still, I’d fade this unit this week as Chicago will host the Saints in a big NFC game. Even without Michael Thomas, New Orleans has still averaged 30 points per game while allowing just eight sacks. They're also tied for the fourth-fewest giveaways, so beware the Bears even at Soldier Field.
Ravens D/ST vs. Steelers
Baltimore’s defense should be fresh off a bye week, and the addition of DL Yannick Ngakoue makes this unit even more formidable. With that being said, I’d still fade this team with a matchup against the Steelers up next. Defenses have averaged the fifth-fewest points against Ben Roethlisberger and his offense, which has averaged more than 30 points per game. The Steelers are also tied for the third-fewest sacks allowed.
49ers D/ST at Seahawks
The Seahawks offense is playing so well that I might sit the 1985 Chicago Bears against it. Russell Wilson and his crew have averaged the most points (33.8 PPG) and yards (425.2 YPG) per game and only seven teams have committed fewer giveaways. So while the Niners defense is coming off a strong, 17-point performance against Cam Newton and the Patriots in Week 7, this unit is still a fade in this huge NFC West tilt.
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- Vikings D/ST at Packers
- Broncos D/ST vs. Chargers
- Steelers D/ST at Ravens
- Patriots D/ST at Bills
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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