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NFL Fantasy 2023 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Defenses for Week 7

You have lineup questions, we have lineup answers -- at least we hope so. Start 'Em, Sit 'Em is here to help fantasy managers make difficult roster decisions. And you know what is a good move? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see the reigning MVP here. Instead, we're exploring more debatable situations. And if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out the latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

This game features the two teams that have taken the most sacks in the NFL this season. The Giants have been sacked 33 times to the Commanders’ 34. The G-Men also have turnover problems and have allowed the most fantasy PPG to opposing defenses. They have twice allowed an opposing defense to get them for 30-plus fantasy points. That’s a week-winning type of performance by a fantasy D/ST. Continue to stream against New York. If you want to roll the dice, the Giants' defense is a streaming option in this matchup, as well. 

The Browns have an elite defense, even if it hasn’t translated to huge fantasy production. So far this season, the unit has reached double-digit fantasy points just once. But Cleveland did just shut down the 49ers’ high-powered offense. Now the Browns face the Colts and Gardner Minshew, who just threw three picks and took three sacks last week against the Jaguars. Jacksonville scored 12 fantasy points and was a top-five fantasy defense. And Cleveland's D is a far superior unit.

I had the Raiders as a start in this matchup even before Justin Fields dislocated his thumb. The Bears have taken the third-most sacks this season. They have turnover issues, too. Now, with Fields doubtful, undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent is in line to start for Chicago. Consequently, Las Vegas' defense is a must-start option. Just last week, the Bears allowed the Vikings to score 21 fantasy points and finish as the top-scoring defense of the week. The upside is too high not to stream Vegas. 

The Falcons just allowed three sacks and threw three interceptions, giving up 10 fantasy points to the Commanders. On the year, Atlanta has taken the sixth-most sacks and thrown the seventh-most interceptions. You can start your Falcons pass catchers, but it does not mean you can’t also stream defenses against them. The Bucs D/ST, which has scored at least nine fantasy points in three of five games, is in play as a streaming option this week. 

Sit 'Em

Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins have taken just six sacks this season. Tagovailoa has thrown five interceptions compared to a league-high 15 touchdown passes. Oh, and Miami has a league-high 15 rushing touchdowns. Look, I get it: If you’ve been rolling with the Eagles and don’t want to drop them, you may just have to roll the dice despite the tough matchup. But if you can get away, it’s a good week to do so. 

The Jets' defense was able to force Jalen Hurts into three turnovers and largely shut him down last week. The Dolphins' defense is not the Jets' defense (even if the former unit has been better as of late). On the year, Miami's D has reached double figures just once. Plus, the Eagles remain one of the top offenses in the league. This should be a high-scoring battle. Get away from Miami in Week 7.  

For a while, the Patriots just routed the Bills on a yearly basis and you could play their defense in the rivalry without thinking. That is no longer the case. In their last four meetings (playoffs included), the Bills have scored at least 24 points every game -- topping 30 three times. In a role reversal, Josh Allen has Bill Belichick figured out.

The Falcons' defense started off hot, scoring 12 fantasy points in Week 1. Since then, the unit has scored five or fewer fantasy points in every game. In fact, in Atlanta's last five games combined, the D has scored just 13 fantasy points. That’s a pretty good single week output ... spread across more than a month. Plus, the Bucs have taken a league-low five sacks this season, and Baker Mayfield has thrown just three picks. Get away from the Dirty Birds in this one. 

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