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NFL Fantasy 2023 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 2: Defenses

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em, Sit 'Em is here to help fantasy managers 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 the latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

The Panthers allowed 12 fantasy points to the Falcons' defense in Week 1 (good for a top-10 finish). Bryce Young took two sacks and threw two interceptions. He still has a promising future, but there will be some ups and a lot of downs along the way, and mistakes are part of the process. That’s a good thing for opposing defenses. I would continue rolling with the Saints, who scored 10 fantasy points in Week 1.

Joshua Dobbs took three sacks and fumbled three times (losing two) in Week 1, as the Cardinals surrendered 11 fantasy points to the Commanders' defense. They’re an offense we are going to stream against often this season, so get used to it! The Giants are the lucky winners this week and should be started in fantasy.

The Browns' defense (with a little help from the weather) completely shut down Joe Burrow and the Bengals' high-scoring offense in Week 1. It was unquestionably Burrow’s worst game as a pro, with his lowest outputs in passing yards, passer rating, completion percentage and yards per attempt. Meanwhile, Kenny Pickett was sacked five times last week and threw two interceptions. Granted, it was against the Niners, but I will gladly take a shot on Myles Garrett and the Browns' defense in this matchup.

The Steelers' defense struggled to contain the 49ers' offense in Week 1, as most defenses would, but they were able to force three sacks and a fumble. And now they get the Browns and Deshaun Watson -- who, despite getting the win and scoring some ground-based fantasy points, still looked rough as a passer against Cincinnati. He was sacked three times and threw a pick. The Browns also lost a fumble. The Steelers are in play as a streaming defense this week.

Sit 'Em

The Jaguars' defense had a big day against the Colts, picking up four sacks, an interception and two fumbles, on their way to scoring 11 fantasy points. This week they get Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs (possibly with Travis Kelce back in the fold). Rule of thumb: Never start defenses against Mahomes. Last year, the Chiefs allowed the fewest fantasy PPG to opposing defenses. Get away from the Jags.

I’m just flat-out avoiding the defenses in this one. The Jaguars allowed the third-fewest fantasy PPG to opposing defenses last season. Maybe you saw that the Colts finished as a top-10 unit against the Jags and are considering starting the Chiefs. Don’t do it. The Colts’ defensive TD was one of the flukiest you’ll see all year (it appeared that rookie RB Tank Bigsby thought the play was dead before coughing up the ball). Chris Jones is back, but he could be on a snap count after missing the entire offseason. I would get away from the champs this week.

The Chargers' scored 34 points last week and held the Dolphins' D/ST to just two fantasy points. That was after allowing the 10th-fewest points to opposing units last season. Avoid streaming defenses against loaded offenses -- also known as Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen and Co.

Despite their win over the Seahawks, the Rams' defense scored just six fantasy points on Sunday. They picked up two sacks and no takeaways. Now they get the 49ers and their high-powered offense, which surrendered just four fantasy points to the Steelers last week. The Niners allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy PPG to opposing defenses last season. Get away from L.A. in this divisional battle.

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