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: Bears, Bengals, Giants, Texans
Week 10 Start ‘Em: Defenses
Start of the Week
Cardinals D/ST vs. Panthers (4:05 p.m. ET, Fox): The Cardinals field one of the top two defenses in fantasy football, and a game against backup quarterback P.J. Walker and the Panthers makes this unit a tremendous option. In limited experience in regular-season games at the NFL level, Walker has a completion percentage of just 49.3.
Steelers D/ST vs. Lions (1 p.m. ET, Fox): The Steelers defense ranks a modest 14th in fantasy points per game after nine weeks, but this week’s matchup against the Lions makes it a top-10 unit. Opposing defenses have averaged the fourth-most fantasy points against Jared Goff and this floundering offense, so the Steelers should produce.
Colts D/ST vs. Jaguars (1 p.m. ET, CBS): The Colts D/ST put up a stinker last week despite a great matchup against the Jets, but I’d stick with it in a home game against the Jaguars. Defenses have averaged the second-most fantasy points against them, and rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence could be playing at less than 100 percent.
- Bills D/ST at Jets (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Cowboys D/ST vs. Falcons (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
- Buccaneers D/ST at Football Team ($3,500)
- Cowboys D/ST vs. Falcons ($3,000)
Week 9 Sit ‘Em: Defenses
Sit of the Week
Chiefs D/ST at Raiders (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): The Chiefs offense has been a huge bummer for fantasy fans lately, and their defense has been even worse. This unit has averaged a mere 4.3 fantasy points per game, and a road matchup against Derek Carr and the Raiders isn’t favorable. They’ve committed just eight giveaways this season.
Football Team D/ST vs. Buccaneers (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Speaking of disappointing defenses, the Football Team D/ST is averaging a mere 4.4 fantasy points. Next on the schedule is a date with Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, who are fresh off a bye and no doubt looking forward to getting the taste of a loss to the Saints out of their mouths.
49ers D/ST vs. Rams (Mon. 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): The Titans D/ST shocked many fans with a 16-point performance against Matthew Stafford and the Rams last week, but I wouldn’t chase that outcome and start the Niners. Defenses that have faced Los Angeles have still averaged the second-fewest fantasy points through nine weeks.
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- Vikings D/ST at Chargers (4:05 p.m. ET, Fox)
- Panthers D/ST at Cardinals (4:05 p.m. ET, Fox)
- Patriots D/ST vs. Browns ($3,400)
- Saints D/ST at Titans ($3,100)
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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