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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 12 Fantasy Football: Team Defenses

Sports Illustrated logo Sports Illustrated 11/24/2021 Michael Fabiano
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Bears defense primed for a Thanksgiving feast against the Lions.

Start ‘Em, Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the best and worst matchups based on a PPR scoring system in fantasy football. This column will not cover the elite players in the NFL like Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Davante Adams or Travis Kelce. Instead, I'll look at the players you have the most questions about to help you set the most effective starting lineup possible. For all of your final fantasy lineup decisions, be sure to check out my weekly player rankings which will be updated daily throughout the 2021 NFL season.

Byes: Cardinals, Chiefs

Week 12 Start ‘Em: Defenses

Start of the Week

Bears D/ST at Lions (Thur. 12:30 p.m. ET, Fox): The Bears D/ST put up a solid nine fantasy points against backup quarterback Tyler Huntley and the Ravens last week. Up next is a game against another backup, Tim Boyle, and a Lions team that’s struggled to put points on the board. Chicago’s defense is on the waiver wire in many leagues.


Start ‘Em

Ravens D/ST vs. Browns (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): Baltimore’s defense has been a real disappointment this season, ranking outside of the top 20 in fantasy points. Still, a matchup against a struggling Browns offense makes it a nice streamer. Cleveland has averaged a minuscule 10 points and 283 yards of total offense in the last two weeks.

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Panthers D/ST at Dolphins (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Fantasy fans looking to stream D/STs should consider the Panthers this week based on a positive matchup against Miami. Defenses have averaged the fifth-most fantasy points when facing the Dolphins, who have committed the third-most giveaways and allowed 27 sacks on the 2021 season. 

More Starts

  • Cowboys D/ST vs. Raiders (Thur. 4:30 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Eagles D/ST at Giants (1 p.m. ET, Fox) 

DFS Bargains

  • Falcons D/ST at Jaguars ($2,500)
  • Texans D/ST vs. Jets ($2,300)

Week 12 Sit ‘Em: Defenses 

Sit of the Week

Saints D/ST vs. Bills (Thurs. 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): The Saints D/ST ranks seventh in fantasy points this season, but a matchup against the Bills isn’t at all favorable. Enemy defenses have scored the third-fewest points against Josh Allen and his offense, which has averaged the second-most points and over 390 yards of total offense per game.

Sit ‘Em 

Colts D/ST vs. Buccaneers (1 p.m. ET, Fox): The Colts D/ST recorded a surprisingly good stat line against the Bills last week, but that doesn’t make it that much more of an option against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. In fact, defenses have averaged the second-fewest fantasy points against them this season. I’d fade the Colts in Week 12.

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49ers D/ST vs. Vikings (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): The Niners posted 10 fantasy points in last week’s win over the Jaguars, but an upcoming game against the Vikings makes them a sit ‘em. Defenses average the fourth-fewest fantasy points against Minnesota, which has committed just six giveaways and allowed 14 sacks. 

More Sits

  • Broncos D/ST vs. Chargers (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Titans D/ST at Patriots (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

DFS Fades

  • Rams D/ST at Packers ($3,300)
  • 49ers D/ST vs. Vikings ($3,100)

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!


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