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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Fantasy Football Week 5: Defenses

If you need to play the matchup, Week 5 offers a handful of solid options just off the beaten path.

UPDATED: October 8, 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 5 Start ‘Em: Defenses

Start of the Week

Patriots D/ST at Texans (1 p.m. ET, CBS): The Texans have one of the NFL’s worst offenses, making it a prime matchup for those who like to stream fantasy defenses. The Patriots draw the positive game this week, as they’ll face rookie Davis Mills and a Houston team that’s committed seven giveaways and averages 16.8 points per game.

Week 5 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em


Start ‘Em

Buccaneers D/ST vs. Dolphins (1 p.m. ET, CBS): The Buccaneers D/ST tied for third in points last week in New England, and another great matchup against the Dolphins is next. Defenses have averaged the fourth-most fantasy points when facing Miami, which has allowed 13 sacks and committed six giveaways. Start the Bucs with confidence.

Ravens D/ST vs. Colts (Mon. 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): The Ravens rank a modest 15th in fantasy points among defenses this season, but a Monday night matchup against the Colts should be good for what ails it. At best, Indianapolis' offensive line is patchwork, and Carson Wentz has endured 42 pressures and 10 sacks. The Ravens should fly high.

More Starts

  • Titans D/ST at Jaguars (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Broncos D/ST at Steelers (1 p.m. ET, Fox)

DFS Bargains

  • Raiders D/ST vs. Bears ($3,200)
  • Vikings D/ST vs. Lions ($3,000)

SI Recommends

Week 5 Sit ‘Em: Defenses

Sit of the Week

Bills D/ST at Chiefs (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): The Bills D/ST goes from my best start of the week (against the Texans) to my sit of the week because of a matchup against Kansas City. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense averages 33.5 points and nearly 430 yards of total offense, and defenses have sacked Mahomes just five times.

Sit ‘Em

49ers D/ST at Cardinals (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS): The Cardinals’ offense is one of the NFL’s most explosive, averaging a league-best 35 points per game. Kyler Murray and co. have also averaged 440.5 total yards of offense and committed just four giveaways, so there’s not much to like on the 49ers D/ST side of things this weekend.

Bears D/ST at Raiders (4:05 p.m. ET, Fox): The Bears rank fifth in fantasy points among defenses, but an upcoming roadie against the Raiders isn't favorable. This season, Derek Carr and the Las Vegas offense have been clicking, averaging 26 points and nearly 410 yards of total offense per game. Sit the Bears D/ST this weekend.

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More Sits

  • Chiefs D/ST vs. Bills (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)
  • Colts D/ST at Ravens (Mon., 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)

DFS Fades

  • Panthers D/ST vs. Eagles ($3,400)
  • Bears D/ST at Raiders ($3,200)

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!

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