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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Kickers 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


Garrett Hartley vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Hartley is coming off an 11-point performance in a loss to the Panthers, and this week's matchup against the Chiefs has all the look of a shootout. Neither defense is playing well, so the scoreboard should light up often at the Superdome. Kansas City has also allowed an average of 10.50 fantasy points per game to kickers, making Hartley a nice option.

Start 'em


Billy Cundiff vs. Cincinnati Bengals: Cundiff has averaged 10 fantasy points in his first two games, making him a legitimate fantasy starter across the board. However, the veteran is still a free agent in close to 75 percent of NFL.com leagues. If you need a kicker, Cundiff is clearly worth a look against the Bengals. Their defense has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to the position.

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Dan Bailey vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bailey has had a horrendous start to the fantasy season, scoring a mere seven points while ranking 32nd in points at his position. Still, I'd roll the dice with him against a Buccaneers defense that allowed 15 fantasy points to Lawrence Tynes last week. The Cowboys should also move the ball well in their home opener, so Bailey will have plenty of chances.

Sleeper alert - Alex Henery at Arizona Cardinals: Much like Bailey, Henery has not had a great start to the fantasy season with a mere 11 points in two games. He's still worth consideration if you need a kicker this week, though, as Henery and the Eagles travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals. No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing kickers to this point in the 2012 campaign.

Sit of the week


Matt Prater vs. Houston Texans: If you're noticing a lot of Broncos in the sit 'em portion of this week's column, well, that's what happens when you face the Texans. Their defense has turned into one of the league's elite units under coordinator Wade Phillips, making the matchups pretty tough for the opposition. That includes Prater, who isn't even in the top 30 among kickers after two weeks.

Sit 'em


Greg Zuerlein at Chicago Bears: Want to know just how tough it is to predict kickers? Zuerlein, who was undrafted in most fantasy leagues, ranks in the top 10 in points at the position after two weeks. Of course, each of his first two games were played on turf. That's not the case this week, as he'll head to Solider Field to face the Bears. I'd keep Zuerlein on the bench (or the waiver wire).

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Justin Tucker vs. New England Patriots: Tucker leads all kickers in fantasy points on NFL.com after two weeks. No, seriously he does. (Again, kickers are tough to predict)! So while his stock is rising in the fantasy world, this week's matchup against the Patriots isn't favorable on paper. Their defense has allowed an average of fewer than eight fantasy points per game to opposing kickers.

Owners beware - Sebastian Janikowski vs. San Diego Chargers: Janikowski has had a slow start to the season, averaging just 7.5 fantasy points per game. So while he remains one of the better kickers in fantasy land, his mediocre numbers coupled with a tough matchup against the Steelers makes Janikowski a risk. After two weeks, Pittsburgh has allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to kickers.

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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