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NFL Fantasy 2021 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 9: 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

Pittsburgh Steelers
2021 · 4-3-0
Chicago Bears
2021 · 3-5-0

The Bears had one of their best offensive games of the season, but there are still some trouble spots. Like their head coach Matt Nagy. Thank you, I’ll be here all week! The 49ers had four sacks last week, which seems like a reasonable expectation for the Steelers in this one. The Bears also turn the ball over, which makes the Steelers a really nice play this week. The Bears have surrendered the third-most points to opposing DSTs this year.

New Orleans Saints
2021 · 5-2-0
Atlanta Falcons
2021 · 3-4-0

There was some dude all up in his feelings on Twitter last week because I had the Saints as a recommendation. And, well, I don’t think he returned to apologize. They never do. But we liked the Saints last week (and they were second after Sunday). And we love the matchup this week against the Falcons, who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing defenses. The Saints have eight sacks in their last two games.

Carolina Panthers
2021 · 4-4-0
New England Patriots
2021 · 4-4-0

I was cool on the Panthers last week (cool on, not cool with) and that was a mistake. This Panthers team can still generate some pressure and had a nice outing against the Falcons. I blew that one. I like this matchup against the Patriots, who can give up some points to opposing DSTs (though the Chargers weren’t great last week). The Panthers had 11 points last week and have notched five sacks in their last two.

Miami Dolphins
2021 · 1-7-0
Houston Texans
2021 · 1-7-0

This is kind of interesting question. The Dolphins are 1-7 in a lost year where many have picked them to reach the playoffs. But they have the Texans, who -- outside of the Jets -- have allowed the most fantasy points to DSTs this season. I like the matchup. They were fine against the Bills. But didn’t generate any turnovers or sacks. They are a mild start because of the matchup.

Sit 'Em

Denver Broncos
2021 · 4-4-0
Dallas Cowboys
2021 · 6-1-0

The Broncos were good against the Football Team on Sunday, having recorded five sacks. Their highest total since Week 3 against the Jets. Denver finished with 13 points against Washington. But it was its first double-digit point total since that game against the Jets. And all of this sounds positive. However, the Broncos traded Von Miller. The season is over for the Broncos. Unless this becomes one of those things that inspires the team. Which I’m not counting on.

Tennessee Titans
2021 · 6-2-0
Los Angeles Rams
2021 · 7-1-0

Hey, I had the Titans as a sit last week. But let’s look at the process. The Colts scored 31 point against them and the Titans generated only one sack. But I should have figured that Carson Wentz was going to have an amazing pick-six; I mean, who didn’t see that one coming? I’m not going to chase the points against the Rams, who have allowed the fourth-fewest points to opposing defenses this year.

Kansas City Chiefs
2021 · 4-4-0
Green Bay Packers
2021 · 7-1-0

Did anybody else notice the Packers played the TNF before taking on the Chiefs giving them extra time to prepare. And the Chiefs are on a short week, having just played the New York Giants on Monday night. I know the Packers fans' response will be “keep crying about it, Bears fan.” (I was born in the greater Chicagoland area if you are new to the column, and if so, welcome.) But the Packers don’t give up a lot of production to opposing DSTs. Even the Cardinals managed just a sack and a point last week.

Philadelphia Eagles
2021 · 3-5-0
Los Angeles Chargers
2021 · 4-3-0

The Eagles were the leading DST in Week 8 after Sunday. But let’s be clear, that was playing the Detroit Lions. I know many people (myself included) thought the Lions had a chance in that one. But let’s chalk up the Eagles' performance as more a great game against a bad team. The Eagles have scored a point or fewer four times this year and in two of their last three. The Chargers are one of the toughest teams against DSTs. 

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