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NFL Fantasy 2021 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 17: 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

Chicago Bears
2021 · 5-10-0
New York Giants
2021 · 4-11-0

I’m not sure what interim coach -- wait, what’s that? Matt Nagy is still in place? Oh well. I contend that there is a lot of good young talent, rolling with the Bears' No. 2s. Although I did see Thomas Graham Jr. get a little bit of time last week. The point to all of this passive aggressive griping about the Bears not playing the kids is that the defense has low-key been decent this year. To the point I believe Sean Desai should get another look next season, but that will all depend on the new coach coming in. But start the Bears against the Giants this week. The Giants have allowed the seventh-most points to DSTs over the last four weeks. 

New Orleans Saints
2021 · 7-8-0
Carolina Panthers
2021 · 5-10-0

The Saints have been one of the top defenses in all of fantasy this season. They saw a dip in production a few weeks back but have rallied recently, including a huge 18-point game against the Buccaneers two weeks ago. The matchup against the Panthers is good. I like both Cam Newton and Sam Darnold. I don’t like that Matt Rhule still thinking this is college and he’s rotating two quarterbacks. Like, what is happening with that? I’m starting the Saints this week. The Panthers have allowed the most points to DSTs over the last month.

Philadelphia Eagles
2021 · 8-7-0
Washington Football Team
2021 · 6-9-0

The Eagles were the top scoring defense on the weekend (along with the Buccaneers) heading into Sunday night until the Cowboys defense tore the Football Team to pieces. Washington was about to change their name to just “team” but then a fight broke out on the sidelines during the game and that was all for not. Last week was the first time the Eagles DST scored double-digits since Week 11, but we certainly do love this matchup this week. 

Pittsburgh Steelers
2021 · 7-7-1
Cleveland Browns
2021 · 7-8-0

I know it might seem like a bad idea to roll with the Steelers after posting negative points against the Chiefs. And I know the CBS broadcasting crew was openly questioning the heart of the Steelers during that game. But don’t underestimate the pettiness of the Steelers to go out and wreck the Browns' dwindling playoff hopes, And the Steelers have posted double-digit points in two of their last four games. (And negative-two in the other two, but let’s stay positive).

Sit 'Em

Kansas City Chiefs
2021 · 11-4-0
Cincinnati Bengals
2021 · 9-6-0

The Chiefs have been one of those defenses that has been pretty good in recent weeks. The Chiefs have scored 12-plus points in four of their last five games. Those four games were all at home. The one single-digit performance (three points) happened against the Los Angeles Chargers on the road. I’m benching the Chiefs this week against the Bengals who put up, like what, 90 points on the Ravens? 

Baltimore Ravens
2021 · 8-7-0
Los Angeles Rams
2021 · 11-4-0

Fun fact, the Rams were rumored to be moving to Baltimore the year before they left for St. Louis. So this might be a Baltimore REVENGE GAME. But that’s ancient history, much like the notion at the Ravens are a top defense in the NFL. Not that it’s the fault of John Harbaugh and his coaching staff. They have held that team together through a lot of tough injuries this season. If anything, be impressed with the job that they have done. But still, I’d keep the Ravens on the bench even though Matthew Stafford was not impressive at Minnesota last week. 

Arizona Cardinals
2021 · 10-5-0
Dallas Cowboys
2021 · 11-4-0

I mean, you need to sit the Cardinals in the battle of these former NFC East rivals. That’s right, I said NFC East. And yes, they were still in the East when the Cardinals were in Arizona. There was a time when NFL geography didn’t make a lot of sense in the NFL. The Falcons and Saints were in the West. The Cardinals in the East. But hey, none of that matters. The Cowboys offense is rolling. The Cardinals have backed into the playoffs, but aren’t playing really well. I’d keep the Cardinals on the bench if I could. 

Seattle Seahawks
2021 · 5-10-0
Detroit Lions
2021 · 2-12-1

I know, you would normally want to stream a defense against the Lions if you could. But Detroit ranks in the top 10 in fewest points allowed to DSTs over the last four weeks. The Lions have looked like a legit football team for a change so for that reason, I’d look at another streamer if you’re in a Week 17 championship and still streaming defenses. 

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