Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Fantasy Football Week 3: Defenses

If you need to play the matchup, Week 3 offers a handful of solid options just off the beaten path.

UPDATED: September 24, 2021

Start ‘Em, Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the best and worst matchups based on a PPR scoring system in fantasy football. This column will not cover the elite players in the NFL like Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Davante Adams, or Travis Kelce. Instead, I'll look at the players you have the most questions about to help you set the most effective starting lineup possible. For all of your final fantasy lineup decisions, be sure to check out my weekly player rankings which will be updated daily throughout the 2021 NFL season.

Week 3 Start ‘Em: Defenses

Start of the Week

Broncos D/ST vs. Jets (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): The Broncos defense should feast this week against the Jets, who have allowed a league-high 10 sacks of their rookie signal-caller, Zach Wilson. The Men in Green also have five giveaways, which ties for the league lead after two weeks, and are averaging a meager 10 points per contest.

Week 3 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em


Start ‘Em

Patriots D/ST vs. Saints (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Let’s see, Jameis Winston against Bill Belichick’s defense. Sounds good to me! Bad Jameis showed up last week, as he tossed two interceptions en route to a loss to the Panthers. The Saints' offense is an absolute mess, and Belichick will do his best to scheme against superstar Alvin Kamara.

Steelers D/ST vs. Bengals (1 p.m. ET, CBS): The Steelers defense was a definite disappointment last week, scoring just two fantasy points in a loss to the Raiders. I'd keep the faith, as the Bengals offer a great matchup. After the first two weeks, they’re tied for second in both sacks allowed (9) and total turnovers committed (5) in 2021.

More Starts

  • Ravens D/ST at Lions (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Titans D/ST vs. Colts (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

SI Recommends

DFS Bargains

  • Browns D/ST vs. Bears ($3,200)
  • Cardinals D/ST at Jaguars ($3,000)
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Week 3 Sit ‘Em: Defenses

Sit of the Week

49ers D/ST vs. Packers (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): The Niners posted six fantasy points in last week’s win over the Eagles, and their defense is tied for 10th in points after two weeks. Still, a matchup against Aaron Rodgers and a Packers offense that looked good in the second half of Monday night’s win over the Lions isn’t at all favorable.

Sit ‘Em

Rams D/ST vs. Buccaneers (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX): The Rams defense is tough to sit, but this week's matchup against the Buccaneers is difficult. No offense in the NFL has scored more points than Tampa Bay after two weeks, as Tom Brady and crew have been lighting up the scoreboard. This could be a serious shootout in Los Angeles.

Dolphins D/ST at Raiders (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): Miami’s defense looked terrible in last week's loss to the Bills. A matchup against the upstart Raiders isn’t attractive as long as Derek Carr (ankle) is active. Las Vegas has averaged nearly 30 points in its first two games, and no offense in the league has more total net yards so far in 2021.

More Sits

  • Chargers D/ST at Chiefs (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Vikings D/ST vs. Seahawks (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX)

DFS Fades

  • Buccaneers D/ST at Rams ($3,700)
  • Rams D/ST vs. Buccaneers ($3,500)

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. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!