Skip to main content

NFL Fantasy 2023 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Defenses for Week 9

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 Christian McCaffrey (unless he's on bye). But that's too obvious, so you won't see such simple analysis 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

If Kyler Murray manages to start for the Cardinals, the matchup would get much less appealing for Cleveland. However, if rookie Clayton Tune gets the nod, the Browns are a must-start option. Cleveland's defense has been up and down for fantasy purposes, but it's one of the better units in the league in real football. The Cardinals have allowed some big fantasy days to opposing defenses. Cleveland is absolutely in play as a streaming option this week and, incidentally, the Cardinals are also in play as a deeper streaming option against the Browns. 

The Vikings have not been an offense to stream against, but that was when they had Kirk Cousins putting up MVP-contender numbers. Now, they’ll be turning to fifth-round rookie Jaren Hall making his first career start or Joshua Dobbs mere days after being traded from Arizona. I know a rookie just had a shockingly massive game against the Falcons, but I’m more than willing to roll the dice against Hall (or Dobbs) if streaming this week.  

The Raiders' defense hasn’t been great this season, but it's proving it can take advantage of good matchups. The group could not have a better matchup this week. The Giants have taken 41 sacks this season, tied for the most in the league with the Commanders (who have the Patriots in play as a streaming option this week, by the way). The Giants have allowed the most fantasy PPG to opposing defenses, which includes numerous week-winning performances. Even with Daniel Jones in line to return this week, the Maxx-Crosby-led Raiders are in play as a streaming option. 

The Saints have a tough defense and the Bears' offense has been on the struggle bus of late. Last week, Tyson Bagent did not have a touchdown pass and threw two picks. The Chargers had nine fantasy points against them in that one. The Saints can get to the QB and force turnovers, but their issue has been limiting points allowed. When they allow fewer than 20 points, they’ve averaged 12.8 fantasy points per game. They certainly have a shot at that mark this week. 

Sit 'Em

The Bills' defense simply has not been the same since it suffered all those injuries in Week 5. Since then, the Buffalo D has yet to score more than seven fantasy points in a game. Now it has to face a Bengals offense that’s starting to look like itself again with Joe Burrow and Tee Higgins both healthy. Burrow and Co. just torched a much better 49ers defense for 31 points. Get away from the Bills. 

The Bengals' defensive unit is starting to look more like it did late last season, when it was able to limit Josh Allen in the playoffs. But still, the Bills have surrendered the fourth-fewest fantasy PPG to opposing defenses. Allen leads the NFL in touchdowns and has taken the third-fewest sacks in the league. I would avoid both defenses in what could be a high-scoring matchup this week. 

The Chiefs' defense has been an impressive unit both in fantasy football and for real-life purposes. But this is a week to relegate them to the bench. The Dolphins have taken just 12 sacks all season, tied for the third-fewest in the NFL. This should be a high-scoring game. Sit both defenses. 

The Seahawks' defense has come to life in recent weeks and might be giving fans flashbacks to the Legion of Boom. Still, the Seattle D has topped double-digit points in fantasy only once in the last three games. Plus, the 'Hawks now draw Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, who have been steamrolling teams of late. The Ravens have allowed the 10th-fewest fantasy PPG to opposing defenses and are heating up as the season progresses. Get away from Seattle this week. 

Related Content