NFL Fantasy 2022 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 1: 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

The Colts defense finished as the seventh-best fantasy unit last season after finishing third in 2020. This is a proven defense that can score fantasy points. They also face the Texans, who are going to be one of the lower-scoring offenses in football this season. Last year Houston allowed the eighth-most fantasy points per game to opposing defenses (7.7). The best part? The Colts get the Jaguars in Week 2, so you can continue to roll along with them. 

The Broncos take on the Seahawks in what may be a revenge game for their quarterback, Russell Wilson. Last year the Broncos ranked 15th among fantasy defenses, but the matchup against Geno Smith is why we are starting them in Week 1. Smith threw only one interception in his four games last season, but he was sacked 13 times. The Broncos bring a safe floor and have a lot of upside in this matchup. 

The Eagles revamped their defense, adding Haason Reddick, James Bradberry, Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean this offseason, and they are becoming a trendy team to go far this year largely in part to the defense they built. Also, they start the season against the Lions, who have a chance to be an improved offense from what we saw a year ago, but still have to prove it first. Philadelphia is a nice streaming option if you waited on drafting a defense. 

The Titans were the 10th-highest scoring fantasy defense last season. They recorded 43 sacks, which ranked 10th in the league as well. They open up against the Giants, who last year allowed the third-most fantasy PPG to opposing defenses at 9.6 per game, which included 38 sacks and 20 interceptions. The Giants offense could take a step forward this year, but until we see it, you can stream against them. 

Sit 'Em

The Bills are one of the better defenses in football and likely were one of the first ones off the board in your fantasy drafts. But that does not mean you have to start them in Week 1. With defenses, it's all about playing the matchups, and the Bills have a tough one to open the season against the Rams. Last year Los Angeles only allowed 5.7 fantasy PPG to opposing defenses. This matchup has the chance to be a high-scoring one, as well. The Bills are not a top-15 fantasy defense in the Week 1 rankings. 

Just like you should sit the Bills, you should also be sitting the Rams defense in what could be a very high-scoring matchup. Last season the Bills allowed just 4.1 fantasy PPG to opposing defenses, the fourth-fewest in the NFL. Sit the Rams defense in Week 1. 

The Steelers have a lot of talent on defense, but they also open the season against Joe Burrow and the Bengals. Last year Cincinnati was a solid matchup due to giving up a lot of sacks, but it shored up the offensive line in the offseason and has the capability of putting up a ton of points every week. It is best to stay away from defenses facing the Bengals in fantasy football this season. 

The Cowboys were the top-scoring defense in fantasy football last season, but they achieved that largely based off turnovers and turning those turnovers into touchdowns. Not only is that tough to rely on year-to-year, but they open against Tom Brady. Brady will protect the football, evidenced by the fact that the Bucs allowed a league-low 3.4 fantasy PPG to opposing defenses season. There are better streaming options in Week 1. 

Follow Michael Florio on Twitter @MichaelFFlorio.

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