Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate weekly look at the NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Fantasy superstars such as Patrick Mahomes and Christian McCaffrey will not be featured in this column. All player matchups are based on a PPR scoring system. For your final lineup decisions, be sure to check my weekly fantasy football lineup rankings.
Week 1 Start 'Em: Defenses
Start of the Week
Bills D/ST vs. Jets
The Bills will be a super popular option this week (their D/ST is the most expensive option on DraftKings) based on a matchup against the Jets. Their offense is a bit banged up, leaving the likes of Chris Hogan to be running with the first-team in camp. The Jets O-line is also a big question mark at this point, so the Bills should be in for a productive week,
Eagles D/ST at Football Team
The Eagles D/ST is right behind the Bills D/ST in this week’s DK ranks, and for good reason. This unit will face a turnover-prone quarterback in Dwayne Haskins and an offense that lacks consistently established playmakers outside of Terry McLaurin. In an important NFC East battle for the Eagles, this unit should fly high in Week 1.
Steelers D/ST at Giants
As much as I like Daniel Jones to have a solid season, you have to take his turnover numbers as a rookie into consideration when it comes to this week's game against the Steelers. Defenses had great success against Big Blue from a fantasy standpoint, averaging the league's sixth-most points. Pittsburgh's D/ST is a must-start this week.
- Patriots D/ST vs. Dolphins
- Titans D/ST at Broncos
- Colts D/ST at Jaguars ($3,000)
- Panthers D/ST vs. Raiders (DraftKings: $2,500)
Week 1 Sit 'Em: Defenses
Sit of the Week
Rams D/ST vs. Cowboys
The Rams defense has several big-time players, but can it stop the juggernaut that is the Cowboys offense? In 2019, defenses that faced Dallas averaged a meager 2.88 fantasy points per game. With a large over/under total (52) and a quarterback in Dak Prescott who doesn't turn the ball over often, Los Angeles is a big-time fade this week.
Buccaneers D/ST at Saints
Tampa Bay's defense is expected to be a much better unit in 2020, but I'm not sure it'll do much to stop Drew Brees and the Saints offense on their home field. Last season, New Orleans allowed the third-fewest sacks, lost two fumbles, and had a mere eight giveaways. Those numbers don't bode well in what could be a real shootout.
Packers D/ST at Vikings
The Packers could be in some trouble this week, at least in terms of its defense, in a roadie against the Vikings. Kirk Cousins and his offense were tough on fantasy defenses in 2019, allowing an average of just 4.25 fantasy points a game. The Vikes don’t give up many sacks or turn the ball over often either, so I’d fade the Pack’s Attack.
- Texans D/ST at Chiefs (TNF)
- Broncos D/ST vs. Titans
- 49ers vs. Cardinals (DraftKings: $3,500)
- Bears D/ST at Lions (DraftKings: $3,300)
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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