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NFL Fantasy 2023 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Defenses for Week 5

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 Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see the reigning MVP 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

The Ravens' defense is coming off its best fantasy game of the season, picking up four sacks and three interceptions while giving up just three real-life points to the Browns. The unit finished with 17 fantasy points. Baltimore has logged at least four sacks in three games and has a takeaway in three games, as well. Now the Ravens will get a beat-up Steelers offense that could be without QB Kenny Pickett. They are a strong fantasy option this week. 

Bryce Young has taken 11 sacks in the three games he has played this season. He has thrown for just 503 passing yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in those games. The Panthers have averaged just 13.3 real-life PPG in those games. The Lions already have 13 sacks, the seventh-most in the NFL. They are a strong streaming option this week. 

The Titans are a team you can stream against in fantasy football. Ryan Tannehill has been sacked 16 times this season, tied for third-most in the NFL. Even including Derrick Henry’s jumping TD pass, Tennessee has just three TD tosses and four interceptions through four games. To put it harshly, the Titans' passing game has been rough. Fire up the Colts in this one.

The Commanders are in play just because ... well, the Bears. So far this season, Chicago has surrendered 17 sacks, the second-most in the NFL. They have averaged two giveaways per game, which is tied for fourth-most in the league. On the other side, the Bears' defense is a sneaky stream, too. Washington has taken a league-high 24 sacks and has also averaged two giveaways per game. This game could be a fruitful source of points for fantasy D/STs. 

Sit 'Em

Coming into the season, the thinking was that the Cardinals would be a popular team to stream defenses against. They have been anything but. So far this season, Arizona has taken just six sacks and has not thrown an interception. Joshua Dobbs is playing good ball, and the Cardinals as a whole have lost just two giveaways in four game. This is the opposite of a team to stream against. Get away from the Bengals this week. 

The Bills have one giveaway over the last three weeks. They have scored somewhere between 37 and 48 points in each of those three games. Plus, the Jags have just nine sacks this season. They are coming off a huge 20-fantasy-point performance, but that was against the Falcons. Unless it’s the Jets, apparently, it’s not wise to start defenses against the Bills. 

The Rams D/ST has struggled to get going this season, failing to score more than six fantasy points in a game. Now Los Angeles faces Jalen Hurts and the vaunted Eagles offense. Philly has averaged nearly 30 points per game this season. The Rams are only in play in very favorable matchups, and this week is anything but that. 

These are not the Texans of the last couple years. C.J. Stroud has thrown the second-most passing yards through a player’s first four games in NFL history -- and he’s done so without throwing an interception. He has taken 11 sacks through four games, but that’s not enough to fire up a Falcons defense that has scored three fantasy points or fewer in three straight games. Stream elsewhere this week. 

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