Skip to main content

NFL Fantasy 2021 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 12: 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

New England Patriots
2021 · 7-4-0
Tennessee Titans
2021 · 8-3-0

The Patriots have been the best defense in recent weeks, consistently finishing in the top five, and finishing as the top defense in numerous weeks. Obviously, they are coming off a huge game on Thursday night against the Atlanta Falcons. Ryan Tannehill threw four interceptions last week, and while I would expect them to rebound, I still love the Patriots this week. And moving forward. Seriously, this is a league-winning defense. 

Philadelphia Eagles
2021 · 5-6-0
New York Giants
2021 · 3-7-0

This isn’t a knock against the Giants and the way they looked on Monday night. Well, I mean it is. Sometimes you wonder what Daniel Jones is looking at out there, not that it’s all his fault. The line doesn’t help much. The play-calling is dismal. And Jones is likely going to be one of those guys you see as a backup years from now and you say, “Oh wow, he’s still in the league?” But I want to give credit to the Eagles who have scored double-digit points in three of their last four games. And they have really gotten busy against some of the bottom-feeders. You know, teams like the Giants. 

Carolina Panthers
2021 · 5-6-0
Miami Dolphins
2021 · 4-7-0

The Panthers have been reliable for weeks, but they just got torched by (checks notes) Taylor Heinicke. That was unexpected. They still finished with five fantasy points. They recorded three sacks and have seven in their past two games. There are a lot of reasons to like the Panthers this week against the Dolphins, so I’m going to get them back into the lineup. 

Atlanta Falcons
2021 · 4-6-0
Jacksonville Jaguars
2021 · 2-8-0

Sometimes you fire up the FPA and see who you want to stream that week -- and it’s the Falcons. This is a tough one because the last time we saw the Falcons on Thursday night, they were getting smoked. But their defense did score six points in that game, which was better than we saw from a team like, say, the Chargers. So I’ll take the favorable matchup and hope for the best this week. 

Sit 'Em

Minnesota Vikings
2021 · 5-5-0
San Francisco 49ers
2021 · 5-5-0

The Vikings defense has been better as of late. They made enough plays to be successful against the Packers. Look, I didn’t think they were going to win that game. But to me, I look at them winning a huge, emotional game against the rival Packers and traveling across the country to play the 49ers and it’s a red flag. You probably didn’t play them against the Packers last week anyway, but just for good measure, we’re out on them this week. 

San Francisco 49ers
2021 · 5-5-0
Minnesota Vikings
2021 · 5-5-0

Let’s look at the other side of this matchup, too. Kirk Cousins impressed me winning a big game against the Packers. No shade at all, Cousins looked good. Justin Jefferson would be my top pick if I was going to rank receivers in dynasty formats. He had two touchdowns against the Packers, and I expect him to be able to get after this 49ers secondary. So I’ll leave the Niners on the bench. 

Los Angeles Rams
2021 · 7-3-0
Green Bay Packers
2021 · 8-3-0

The Rams defense is nWo Hollywood at this point, bringing in one superstar after the next. But the last time we saw Von Miller, he was getting bodied by George Kittle. I don’t expect that to be the norm. Not in the least. He’s still a great player. But I’m not ready to jump back in with the Rams -- at least not yet. The Rams play host to the Jaguars in Week 13. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2021 · 7-3-0
Indianapolis Colts
2021 · 6-5-0

This is terrifying because Jonathan Taylor is coming off a five-touchdown game. Five. But the Buccaneers have been good against the run this season. Of course, a lot of this will hinge on the health of Vita Vea. You like the confidence of going against Carson Wentz, but when you look, the Colts have not been giving up points to opposing DSTs. I have to give credit to the way the Colts have played in recent weeks, and I’m going to sit the Buccaneers this week. You almost have to. I mean, you don’t have to. But I would recommend it.  

Follow Adam Rank on Twitter.

Related Content