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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Wide receivers for Week 3

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, check our lineup rankings.

Start of the week


Larry Fitzgerald vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Fitzgerald is having a horrible start to the season, leaving fantasy owners to contemplate sitting him. Well, I'll preach patience with the veteran and here's the reason. In four career games against the Eagles (including the playoffs), he's scored eight touchdowns. Fitzgerald also has 16 catches, 298 yards and two scores in his last two games against them.

Start 'em


Miles Austin vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This start 'em is a double dose of Cowboys wide receivers, as I would start Austin and Dez Bryant against the Buccaneers. This is a defensive unit allowed the two highest-scoring fantasy wideouts (Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz) a week ago and has surrendered more fantasy points (41.65 FPG) to the position than any team in the entire league after two weeks.

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Dwayne Bowe at New Orleans Saints: I'm not sure if it's a result of the offseason "bounty" scandal, but the Saints defense has been one of the league's most vulnerable. This unit has allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks and runners, and the seventh-most to opposing wide receivers. Enter Bowe, who is now in a great position to have back-to-back monster stat lines for owners.

Michael Crabtree at Minnesota Vikings: If you're looking to fill a No. 3 wideout or flex spot, Crabtree is a player to consider. He hasn't posted huge fantasy totals in the first two weeks, but the Texas Tech product is the 19th-most targeted wide receiver in the league. He also has a favorable matchup against the Vikings, who have given up the ninth-most fantasy points to wideouts in 2012.

Sleeper alert - Greg Little vs. Buffalo Bills: Little had a slow start to the season, but he picked things up in Week 2 with close to 12 fantasy points. He's a nice sleeper against the Bills, who have already allowed a combined five touchdown catches to wide receivers. What's more, only the New York Giants and Buccaneers have given up more fantasy points to wideouts after the first two weeks.

Sit of the week


Vincent Jackson at Dallas Cowboys: Jackson, listed in the start 'em section of this column last week, went off against the Giants for 128 yards and one touchdown. Unfortunately, this week's matchup against the Cowboys isn't nearly as favorable. In fact, the Pokes haven't given up a touchdown to a receiver in two games. This unit has also allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers.

Sit 'em


Greg Jennings at Seattle Seahawks (Mon.): Jennings continues to be a question mark due to a groin injury, and the fact that he's playing on Monday night makes it tough to start him unless you have insurance (Randall Cobb). Even if he's active, the matchup against the Seahawks on their home field isn't a good one. This unit held the trio of Austin, Bryant and Kevin Ogletree to a combined 17.10 fantasy points a week ago.

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A.J. Green is the lone WR threat for the Bengals, but how will he fare against the Redskins' secondary? (Click image for further analysis.)

Eric Decker vs. Houston Texans: Decker has not lived up to expectations after two weeks, recording a mediocre 107 yards with no touchdowns. His fortunes don't appear to be set to change against the Texans, either. Their defense has allowed no touchdowns and the fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers to this point in the season. If you have better options, Decker should be on the sidelines.

Santonio Holmes at Miami Dolphins: To say that Holmes has failed to produce against the Dolphins is a huge understatement. In five career games against them, he's recorded a combined seven catches and averaged a mere 26.2 yards. Holmes, who has never had more than 63 yards in a game against the Fins, has also caught just one pass for five yards in two games playing in Miami. He's clearly someone to avoid.

Owners beware - Wes Welker at Baltimore Ravens: How about these fantasy football nuggets on Welker: He's never had more than 53 yards or scored a touchdown in five career games (including playoffs) against the Ravens. In those contests, he has averaged a mere 34.4 yards, including just 53 yards in the AFC playoffs last season. If you can afford to bench Welker this week, it's well worth consideration.

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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