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
Matt Bryant vs. Denver Broncos (Mon.): Bryant opened the regular season with a bang, scoring 16 fantasy points on the strength of his four field goals and four extra points in a win over the Chiefs. He should post another solid stat line in Week 2, as the Falcons and Broncos should light up the scoreboard at the Georgia Dome on Monday Night Football. That will mean a number of opportunities for Bryant to produce.
Garrett Hartley at Carolina Panthers: While he was a bit of a fantasy disappointment last weekend with a mere six points, Hartley should still be considered a No. 1 kicker in most leagues. His fortunes should improve against the Panthers, who gave up three field goals and 10 fantasy points to Connor Barth in their opener. Hartley also scored double-digit fantasy points in his last contest against Carolina (11/07/2010).
Shayne Graham at Jacksonville Jaguars: Once considered a No. 1 fantasy kicker, Graham hasn't been much of a factor since his time with the Bengals (2003-2009). He's back on the radar in fantasy football now, however, earning the top spot on the depth chart when rookie Randy Bullock was lost for the season. The Jaguars allowed 16 fantasy points to Blair Walsh in Week 1, so Graham has a favorable matchup in this AFC battle.
Sleeper alert - Justin Tucker at Philadelphia Eagles: Tucker, a rookie out of Texas, made a nice impact for owners in Week 1 with three field goals, five extra points and 14 fantasy points in a blowout win over the Bengals. Next on the slate is a game against the Eagles, who allowed three field-goal conversions and 10 fantasy points to veteran Phil Dawson in their opener. Tucker is a free agent in most NFL.com leagues.
Sit of the week
Rob Bironas at San Diego Chargers: Our kicker sit of the week in the opener, Bironas mustered just seven fantasy points in a loss to the Patriots. He could post another mediocre stat line against the Chargers, who surrendered just two field goals and no extra points to Sebastian Janikowski last Monday night. San Diego also allowed fewer than eight fantasy points per game to opposing kickers during 2011.
Greg Zuerlein vs. Washington Redskins: Looking for a hot kicker to pick up off the waiver wire for a one-week start? Well, Zuerlein might fit the bill on paper after an 11-point performance against the Detroit Lions. But this week's matchup against the Redskins isn't as attractive based on the numbers. In last week's suprising road win over the Saints, Washington allowed a meager six fantasy points to Hartley.
Steven Hauschka vs. Dallas Cowboys: Hauschka, who finished in the top 20 in fantasy points among kickers last season, opened the 2012 campaign with a 10-point performance in a loss to the Cardinals. He could find scoring opportunties to be more difficult against the Cowboys, though. Their new-look defense held Lawrence Tynes to one field goal and five fantasy points in the season opener, so keep Hauschka on the pine.
Owners beware - Jason Hanson at San Francisco 49ers: At 42 and in his 21st NFL season, Hanson still has plenty of fantasy value playing with one of the most prolific offenses in the league. However, he could be in for a tough night in the City by the Bay. The Niners surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing kickers in 2011, and held Mason Crosby to a meager two fantasy points in a huge opening-week victory.