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NFL Fantasy 2023 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Defenses for Week 15

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. 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

Last Sunday, the Panthers gave up 21 fantasy points to the Saints defense, which finished as the top-scoring D/ST on the week. Since Week 9, the Panthers have allowed 21-plus to three different defenses. That’s half the games they have played in that span! These are the types of defensive performances that can change your weekly matchup. It’s worth taking the upside swing with whoever is playing Carolina. This week, it’s Atlanta.

The Steelers' D might not have enjoyed a big fantasy day against New England in Week 14, but the Patriots allowed 12 or more fantasy points to opposing defenses in each of the three games prior. The Chiefs are also a very strong defensive unit, despite their recent struggles putting up fantasy numbers. Fire them up this week against Bailey Zappe (probably) and Co. 

Zach Wilson provided his best football of the year (and maybe his career) last week. He went out and played his style and deserves praise for that. Still, one half of commendable play is not going to scare us away from a two-year trend of streaming against the Jets' offense. The unit has allowed 17-plus fantasy points to D/STs in three of its last four games. Miami got New York for 21 in Week 12 ... admittedly, with Tim Boyle starting. Still, the Fins have scored 12 or more fantasy points in four straight games with a touchdown in their last three. They remain in play this week. 

Tommy DeVito is a fun story and has provided no shortage of content for my "Flex or Fuhgeddaboudit" segment on Fantasy Live. The Giants looked good on Monday Night Football, coming off an extra-long bye. Now they play on a short week. They have taken 69 sacks this season, the most in the league (and 11 more than the next-closest team). The Giants have allowed the second-most fantasy PPG to defenses this season. Stream against both New York teams in the fantasy playoffs. 

Sit 'Em

The Jets boast a great defense. But Miami (at full strength) is the best offense in the league. The Jets did get the Fins for 13 fantasy points when they met at MetLife in Week 12, but the Miami offense is not the same beast in the New Jersey cold as it is at home in South Florida. With the season on the line, I would look to get away from a defense playing a team that routinely scores 30-plus. If Tyreek Hill (ankle) sits, then we can revisit this one. 

Dallas' defense finally had a fruitful fantasy game against a good offense. Now the Cowboys will really be tested, going against the NFL’s leading touchdown scorer, Josh Allen. While they are a safe bet for a turnover or two, they’re facing a high-scoring offense and will be playing outdoors in the cold. With the season on the line, it’s fine to get away from the 'Boys and play a defense with a better matchup. 

If I’m suggesting sitting the Dallas defense, there’s no way I would ever recommend playing Buffalo's unit in the same game. First, the Bills' D/ST has reached double-digit fantasy points just once since Week 4. Plus, the Cowboys have scored 33 or more points in five straight and six of their last seven. Dak Prescott is the hottest QB walking the planet. Sit any defense that gets in the Cowboys' way right now. 

The Broncos' defense has been much better for real-life purposes as of late, but the unit has been up and down for fantasy. The Lions boast a high-powered offense. They have two stud running backs who should exploit Denver's front. Plus, Jared Goff does not take many sacks and typically protects the football. Detroit is just a bad matchup for opposing fantasy defenses. Get away from the Broncos in this one. 

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