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.
Be sure to check out my Week 2 PPR rankings before finalizing any lineup decisions or if your league has special scoring rules, sign up for SI Fantasy+ for customized rankings. Members also get access to me and our team of high-stakes winners all week long to answer your specific fantasy questions.
Week 2 Start 'Em: Defenses
Start of the Week
49ers D/ST vs. Jets
The Niners will be the top defense in fantasy on most rank lists (they’re the most expensive D/ST on DraftKings) based on a matchup against the Jets. As we saw against Buffalo in Week 1, their offense is a mess, and now Sam Darnold and crew will be without star running back Le’Veon Bell. Look for San Francisco’s D to produce a tremendous stat line.
Bills D/ST at Dolphins
The start of the week in the opener, the Bills D/ST put up three sacks and eight fantasy points in a win over the Jets. Next up is a date with the Dolphins and Ryan Fitzpatrick, who tossed three interceptions in his opener. Defenses also averaged the fifth-most points when facing Miami a season ago, so this is a great spot for Buffalo to produce.
Chiefs D/ST at Chargers
In their opener, the Chargers offense scored a modest 16 points against a Bengals defense that isn’t one of the league’s more formidable units. Tyrod Taylor wasn’t great either, completing 53.3 percent of his passes with no touchdowns. I’d look for Kansas City to take a quick lead in this AFC West game, forcing Taylor into multiple turnovers.
Starting a poor defense can make or break your fantasy week. High-stakes fantasy legend Shawn Childs is predicting this Top 5 Defense from last year to have a horrendous fantasy week. Don't get caught starting them based on name reputation. This pick is reserved for our all new SI Fantasy+ Member Club.
- Steelers D/ST vs. Broncos
- Titans D/ST vs. Jaguars
- Cardinals D/ST vs. Washington Football Team (DraftKings: $3,000)
- Buccaneers D/ST vs. Panthers (DraftKings: $2,900)
Week 2 Sit 'Em: Defenses
Sit of the Week
Texans D/ST vs. Ravens
Houston has started the season with two absolutely brutal matchups against the Chiefs and Baltimore. I’d be fading their defense once again, as D/STs that went up against Lamar Jackson and his offense averaged just 2.7 fantasy points last season. What’s more, the Browns D/ST was held without a single fantasy point against them last week.
Colts D/ST vs. Vikings
The Colts were a defensive disappointment last week, scoring just four fantasy points despite what looked like a good matchup in Jacksonville. Next up is a date with the Vikings, who were among the five toughest NFL teams for defenses to score fantasy points against a season ago. The over/under here is 47.5, so this could be a serious shootout.
Seahawks D/ST vs. Patriots (SNF)
Seattle's defense scored six points on DraftKings in Week 1, ranked ninth-best in the league. This unit could struggle to reach that level this week though, as a rejuvenated Cam Newton and the run-based Patriots offense come to town. Bill Belichick coached teams typically don’t turn the ball over, so don’t expect much from Seattle.
- Falcons D/ST at Cowboys
- Chargers D/ST vs. Chiefs
- Bears D/ST vs. Giants (DraftKings: $3,700)
- Vikings D/ST at Colts (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!
Join our all new SI Fantasy+ Member Club!
Subscribe to SI Fantasy+ and you'll have our check-cashing, high-stakes experts on standby ready to answer all your questions! Head over to our Members-Only Football chat anytime, especially on Sunday morning, to submit those last-minute "who do I start" questions! Learn more about the SI Fantasy+ advantage.