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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Fantasy Football Week 9: Team Defenses

The Bills defense gets a chance to tee off on Trevor Lawrence and Jacksonville.

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.

Byes: Buccaneers, Football Team, Lions, Seahawks


Week 9 Start ‘Em: Defenses

Start of the Week

Bills D/ST vs. Jaguars (1 p.m. ET, CBS): The top defense in fantasy football gets an absolute cupcake of a matchup this week, facing Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars. Their offense is tied for fifth in giveaways and has averaged just 17.6 points per game, ranking as the sixth-fewest in the league. Look for Buffalo to post a solid stat line.


Start ‘Em

Saints D/ST vs. Falcons (1 p.m. ET, Fox): The Saints D/ST posted a surprisingly big total last week, scoring 15 fantasy points against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. I’d get them back in your starting lineup this week, as defenses have averaged the sixth-most fantasy points when facing veteran quarterback Matt Ryan and the Falcons.

New England Patriots Matt Judon

Patriots D/ST at Panthers (1 p.m. ET, CBS): New England’s D/ST was also a huge surprise last week, scoring 13 fantasy points against Justin Herbert and the Chargers. I’d activate the Patriots this week, as they’ll face a Panthers offense that could have to play backup quarterback P.J. Walker if Sam Darnold (concussion) is declared inactive.

More Starts

  • Dolphins D/ST vs. Texans (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • Raiders D/ST at Giants (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

SI Recommends

DFS Bargains

  • Dolphins D/ST vs. Texans ($3,100)
  • Packers D/ST at Chiefs ($2,800)

Week 9 Sit ‘Em: Defenses

Sit of the Week

49ers D/ST vs. Cardinals (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): Unless Kyler Murray’s injured foot becomes an issue, the 49ers' defense will certainly be one to avoid against the high-flying Cardinals. This unit has forced just five takeaways, and Arizona’s offense has averaged 30.8 points and nearly 400 total yards per game. Fade the Niners this week.

Sit ‘Em

Broncos D/ST at Cowboys (1 p.m. ET, Fox): The Broncos D/ST might be ranked eighth in fantasy points this season, but it took a major hit when Von Miller was traded to Los Angeles. This unit also has a tough matchup against the Cowboys, and it’ll be even tougher if Dak Prescott returns. Don’t expect much from this Orange Crush.

Ravens D/ST vs. Vikings (1 p.m. ET, Fox): The Ravens D/ST has been a bit of a dud in fantasy this season, ranking 22nd in points at the position. I'd keep this unit on the sidelines this week, as a matchup against the Vikings isn't favorable. Opposing defenses have averaged the eighth-fewest fantasy points against their offensive attack.

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More Sits

  • Vikings D/ST at Ravens (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • Eagles D/ST vs. Chargers (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)

DFS Fades

  • Broncos D/ST at Cowboys ($3,200)
  • Ravens D/ST vs. Vikings ($3,000)

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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