Start Em Sit Em

NFL Fantasy 2021 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 13: Defenses

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.

Start 'Em

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2021 · 8-3-0
Atlanta Falcons
2021 · 5-6-0

The Buccaneers did allow 31 points to the Colts last week, but still ended up doing pretty well in the fantasy scoring, notching three sacks, two picks and three fumble recoveries. Tampa Bay has now posted double-digit fantasy points in the last two weeks. Here come the Falcons, who have allowed the most points to opposing DSTs over the season. Also, remember the Buccaneers DST scored 19 points against the Falcons in Week 2. 

Philadelphia Eagles
2021 · 5-7-0
New York Jets
2021 · 3-8-0

The Texans weren’t necessarily a great stream against the Jets this week, so it pays to play more than the matchup at times. But the Eagles defense has done really well for itself over the past month. In fact, only the Patriots defense has scored more points over that stretch. This is a great combination of matchup meeting performance. So they will end up with two points and you’ll make fun of my ankles.

Kansas City Chiefs
2021 · 7-4-0
Denver Broncos
2021 · 6-5-0

The Chiefs had a bye on Sunday and are still a top-five fantasy defense over the last month. Very consistent and playing better football as of late. And Andy Reid’s teams have traditionally played very well after bye weeks. The matchup against the Broncos is decent. It’s not great, but it’s not a bad matchup per se. The Broncos have allowed seven-plus points to opposing defenses in each of their last four games, so this is a good play. I mean it. 

Miami Dolphins
2021 · 5-7-0
New York Giants
2021 · 4-7-0

The Dolphins have been fantastic over the last month. They have scored 17-plus points in three out of their last four games, including a whopping 22 points against the Panthers on Sunday, when they played really well against my guy Cam Newton. I’m sure they can recapture that magic against Daniel Jones who is still, you know, Daniel Jones and all. I don’t mean to be so critical about Danny Dimes. And there is hope with Jason Garrett gone. But I still like playing the Dolphins. 

Sit 'Em

Pittsburgh Steelers
2021 · 5-5-1
Baltimore Ravens
2021 · 8-3-0

I know this will read as reactionary, but the Steelers defense hasn’t been great in quite some time. It's scored just 22 fantasy points over the last month and reached double-digits only once, way back in Week 2. And look, the matchup is pretty good. The Ravens have allowed the second-most fantasy points over the last month. And this seems like a game the Steelers really need to win. They really needed to beat the Bengals, too. This is a huge rivalry game and the Steelers could rise to the occasion. But for me, I can’t take that risk. You’re welcome to, if you want. I can’t do that. 

Cincinnati Bengals
2021 · 7-4-0
Los Angeles Chargers
2021 · 6-5-0

I know it seems weird to want to sit the Bengals after such a great game against the Steelers, in which they scored 19 points. It was the second double-digit point total for the Bengals in as many weeks. But there was a long stretch where the Cincinnati defense wasn’t giving you anything. The Bengals have reached double-digits three times this season. Two of those games have come against ol’ noodle-arm Ben Roethlisberger who might have retired on Sunday. (Actually, I think he’s still playing, but figuratively, it seemed like he retired.) 

Los Angeles Chargers
2021 · 6-5-0
Cincinnati Bengals
2021 · 7-4-0

I will also take the other side of that game and say I would not like to take the Chargers in that contest as well. Only the Jets have scored fewer points as a fantasy defense over the past four weeks. And it’s not like Los Angeles had a bye week mixed in during that stretch, either. The Chargers just haven’t played well defensively. I don’t anticipate that changing this week.

Denver Broncos
2021 · 6-5-0
Kansas City Chiefs
2021 · 7-4-0

The Broncos defense put up 17 points against the Chargers on Sunday, something nobody saw coming. But you’re just point-chasing if you’re going to start the Broncos against the Chiefs, who don’t give up a lot of points to opposing DSTs. This will be Denver's first meeting against Kansas City this season. 

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