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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Percy Harvin should be a fantasy monster

Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the weekly NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Sleeper alert features an under-the-radar player who could produce good numbers. Owners beware features a regular fantasy starter who could fail to meet expectations based on the strength of his opponent. Obvious fantasy starters like Aaron Rodgers and Arian Foster will not be featured in this column. For your final lineup decisions, be sure to check our weekly lineup rankings.

Start of the week


Percy Harvin vs. Jaguars: Harvin is coming off his best fantasy season, finishing in the top 10 at the position based on points. With Adrian Peterson likely to be limited (if active at all), he should be utilized even more prominently against the Jaguars. In fact, some of Harvin's best games have come while A.D. was sidelined. He's the clear-cut top option in the pass attack for Christian Ponder.

Start 'em


Torrey Smith vs. Bengals (Mon.): A fantasy football sleeper, Smith has value as a No. 3 wideout this week with the potential to be even better as the season rolls forward. In his first-ever home agame against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Maryland product hauled in six passes for 165 yards and scored a touchdown. With Joe Flacco coming off a nice preseason and in a contract year, Smith is someone to watch.

Pierre Garcon at Saints: Garcon is coming off his best fantasy season, and his move to the Washington Redskins now gives him a chance to be a No. 1 wideout. While he's more of a No. 3 option from a fantasy standpoint, it's very tough not to like this week's matchup against the New Orleans Saints in what could be a barnburner. Remember, New Orleans allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts in 2011.

Nate Washington vs. Patriots: Looking for a No. 3 wideout to fill out your starting lineup? Based on this week's matchup against the New England Patriots, Washington is well worth a look. New England allowed more fantasy points to wideouts than any team in the NFL in 2011, and Washington should see plenty of targets from new starter Jake Locker while Kenny Britt (suspension) is on the sidelines.

Sleeper alert - Malcom Floyd at Raiders (Mon.): Fantasy owners in need of a No. 3 wideout or flex starter should consider Floyd, who has a favorable matchup against the Oakland Raiders. In his last three games versus this AFC West rival, the veteran has recorded a combined 20 receptions for 412 yards and two touchdowns. Oakland also allowed the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers in 2011.

Sit of the week


DeSean Jackson at Browns: Jackson is coming off a dreadful season, posting 58 catches and a mere four touchdowns while finishing 27th in fantasy points at his position. This week he faces the Browns, who allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing wideouts last season. Jackson would be more attractive if cornerback Joe Haden (suspension) were held out, but right now he's a major risk.

Sit 'em


Steve Johnson at Jets: OK, so Johnson has been the lone wideout to have success against New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis over the last two seasons. But I think Revis is hearing the hype about Johnson getting the best of him and will no doubt be motivated to close to door on the Buffalo Bills wideout. Johnson (groin) is also not at 100 percent, making him an even riskier option for fantasy owners this week.

Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press
Victor Cruz stole Hakeem Nicks' thunder last season, but can he keep it in 2012? (Click image for further analysis.)

Santonio Holmes vs. Bills: Holmes scored eight touchdowns last season, but he's seen his reception and yardage totals drop in each of the last three years. With the Jets utilizing more of a run-based offense, Holmes could see fewer opportunities in 2011. And while he has scored three times in his last three games against the Bills, Holmes also had just 68 combined yards in those contests.

Greg Little vs. Eagles: I'm on record as saying that Little is a terrific sleeper candidate this season, but I don't like him against the Eagles and cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha in Week 1. Not only is he facing one of the league's best cover cornerbacks, but rookie Brandon Weeden could be pressured often in this contest. Back in the second week of the preseason, the Eagles sacked him three total times.

Owners beware - Mike Wallace at Broncos: Wallace held out for most of training camp and the preseason, so he's not going to be in game shape right out of the gates. Furthermore, he'll be faced with the difficult task of going up against Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey on Sunday night. In his last meeting with the Broncos in the 2011 playoffs, Wallace hauled in three passes for 26 yards and no touchdowns.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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