Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 9: Defenses - Sleepers, Fades, Matchups, DFS Bargains

Start 'em and sit 'em defenses for Week 9 from senior fantasy football expert Michael Fabiano.

Week 9 Start ‘Em: Defenses

Byes: Bengals, Browns, Eagles, Rams

Start of the Week

Steelers D/ST at Cowboys: The Cowboys offense is an absolute mess, as injuries to Dak Prescott and some big-name stars on the offensive line have turned this unit to a target in the matchups. This week is no different, as the Boys will be forced to start either Garrett Gilbert or Cooper Rush with Andy Dalton being placed on the COVID-19 list. Look for the Steelers D/ST to produce a solid stat line in this old rivalry.

Week 9 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em

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Start ‘Em

Patriots D/ST vs. Jets (MNF): The Patriots defense is a mess right now, but how can you pass up a chance to start them against Sam Darnold and the Jets? No team in the league is putting up fewer points or yards per game, and only three teams have allowed more sacks of their quarterback. The Men in Green have also allowed the third-most quarterback pressures, and no team has surrendered more fantasy points to defensive units.

Cardinals D/ST vs. Dolphins: Arizona’s defense has scored a solid 29 fantasy points in its last three games, and an upcoming home matchup against rookie Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins could be a good one. Tua barely threw the football last week, as Miami’s defense and special teams took care of the Rams. That’s unlikely to be the case this week, and I’d expect Cardinals DC Vance Joseph to dial up the pressure all afternoon.

More Starts

  • Chiefs D/ST vs. Panthers
  • Football Team D/ST vs. Giants

DFS Bargains

  • Texans D/ST at Jaguars (DraftKings: $3,100)
  • Cardinals D/ST vs. Dolphins (DraftKings: $2,900)

Week 9 Sit ‘Em: Defenses

Sit of the Week

Bears D/ST at Titans: The Bears defense was the top sit ‘em defense in this space last week, and it put up just one fantasy point even with the Saints down most of their top wideouts. I’d shelve Chicago this week too, as they’ll travel to Tennessee to face a Titans team that’s been the second-hardest offense for defenses to score fantasy points against in 2020. Tennessee is also ranked sixth in points per game after eight weeks.

Sit ‘Em

Dolphins D/ST at Cardinals: Miami’s defense is coming off a tremendous performance in Week 8, scoring 23 fantasy points in a win over the Rams. I wouldn’t chase those points though, as a road contest against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals will be tough sledding. Their offense is averaging 29 points per game, and no team in the league has averaged more yards (419.1 YPG). I’d let these South Beach fish swim to the waiver wire.

Bills D/ST vs. Seahawks: The Bills looked to be in a real smash spot last week against a banged-up Patriots team, but it mustered just four fantasy points. Now their defense looks like it might just get smashed in a home date against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. This unit leads the NFL in points scored (34.3 PPG) and is third in total yards (414.4 YPG), so Buffalo’s defense is a huge fade in what could be a total barnburner.

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More Sits

  • Saints D/ST at Buccaneers
  • Broncos D/ST at Falcons

DFS Fades

  • Bears D/ST at Titans (DraftKings: $3,200)
  • Dolphins D/ST at Cardinals (DraftKings: $2,800)

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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