Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Defenses for Week 16
By Michael Fabiano
Updated: Dec. 19, 2012 at 07:06 p.m.
Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the weekly NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Sleeper alert features an under-the-radar player who could produce good numbers. Owners beware features a regular fantasy starter who could fail to meet expectations based on the strength of his opponent. Obvious fantasy starters like Aaron Rodgers and Arian Foster will not be featured in this column. For your final lineup decisions, check our lineup rankings.
Start of the week
Patriots defense at Jacksonville Jaguars: The Patriots have struggled to score defensive fantasy points in recent weeks, posting a combined 12 over their last three games. Still, this unit is a solid option against the Jaguars. Opposing road defenses have combined to score the most fantasy points against them.
Jets defense vs. San Diego Chargers: Both the Jets and Chargers defenses are attractive fantasy options this week. Opposing units facing the Jets have combined to score the fourth-most fantasy points, while facing Philip Rivers and the Chargers has been good enough for the sixth-most points among defenses.
Redskins defense at Philadelphia Eagles: A free-agent unit in most NFL.com leagues heading into Week 16, the Redskins are worth starting if you don't have an elite defense. Opposing defensive teams have combined to score the third-most fantasy points when facing rookie Nick Foles and the Eagles this season.
Sleeper alert - Colts defense at Kansas City Chiefs The Chiefs are already without Dwayne Bowe, and second-string quarterback Brady Quinn will start in Week 16. Considering defenses have combined to score the most fantasy points against K.C., it's obvious that the Colts have major sleeper appeal.
Sit of the week
Ravens defense vs. New York Giants: Over the last four weeks, a total of 23 defenses have scored more fantasy points than the Ravens. If that stat is not enough to concern owners, then also consider that opposing defenses facing the Giants have combined to score the fifth-fewest fantasy points this season.
Saints defense at Dallas Cowboys:
Titans defense at Green Bay Packers: The Saints scored the second-most fantasy points among defensive units last week, but that's not enough reason to start them in Week 16 against the Cowboys. In fact, no defense facing Tony Romo and Dallas has scored more than seven fantasy points against them since Week 8.
Owners beware - 49ers defense at Seattle Seahawks: The Niners defense scored 11 fantasy points against the Seahawks back in Week 7, but that was in the Bay Area. Defenses have combined to score the fourth-fewest fantasy points when facing Russell Wilson and the Hawks on their home field, so the Niners are a risk.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!