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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Tight ends for Week 6

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.

Byes - Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints

Start of the week


Tony Gonzalez vs. Oakland Raiders: Did you draft Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham or Antonio Gates to be your No. 1 tight end and snag Gonzalez in the middle to late rounds? Well guess what? Gonzalez should be your starter, and there's no question about it. He's found the statistical fountain of youth, and the Atlanta Falcons' matchup against the Raiders makes him a must-start.

Start 'em


Owen Daniels vs. Green Bay Packers: Daniels, who still is a free agent in tons of NFL.com leagues, has scored a touchdown in three straight games and is third in fantasy points among tight ends. This week he faces the Packers, who have allowed an average of close to nine fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends in 2012. I'd ride Daniels while he's hot.

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Brent Celek vs. Detroit Lions: Since he put up 157 yards versus the Baltimore Ravens, Celek has a combined 102 yards and an average of 5.4 fantasy points in his last three games. But based on this week's matchup against the Lions, he's still a viable fantasy option. Detroit's defense has given up an average of more than 10 fantasy points per game to tight ends.

Fred Davis vs. Minnesota Vikings: Davis has been much more involved in the passing game in recent weeks, posting at least 54 yards in three straight games. This week he goes up against the Vikings, who have allowed four touchdowns and the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. That makes Davis an attractive option during the bye-week madness.

Sleeper alert - Kyle Rudolph at Washington Redskins: Rudolph has a pedestrian 169 yards this season (20 tight ends have more), but he's still one of the top 10 players at his position because of his four touchdowns. A popular red-zone target for Christian Ponder, he's a very nice option against a Redskins defense that's allowed the second-most fantasy points to tight ends.

Sit of the week


Jermichael Finley at Houston Texans: Finley has not lived up to expectations, ranking just 19th in fantasy points among tight ends. While he's still tough to bench during the bye weeks, keep in mind that the Texans have allowed just 201 yards to opposing tight ends. Finley, who is also dealing with a bum shoulder, needs to be benched even if he is active this week.

John Bazemore/Associated Press
Has Falcons' tight end Tony Gonzalez found the fountain of youth this season? (Click image for further analysis.)

Sit 'em


Brandon Pettigrew at Philadelphia Eagles: Unless you're in a PPR league, Pettigrew's level of production (or lack thereof) has been tough to take in fantasy land. In fact, he's just 17th in fantasy points among tight ends in standard leagues while averaging around 55 yards per game. The Eagles have been tough on tight ends, so Pettigrew isn't an attractive option.

Martellus Bennett at San Francisco 49ers: Bennett started the season with touchdowns in three straight games, but he's scored a combined 3.20 fantasy points in his last two. The veteran also is dealing with a knee ailment that could keep him from seeing a full complement of snaps against a tough 49ers defense. He's someone to avoid if he's active in this NFC battle.

Jacob Tamme at San Diego Chargers (Mon.): Tamme, a popular preseason sleeper, has failed to meet expectations with just 23.50 fantasy points through five games. With Joel Dreessen seeing more red-zone targets and a matchup against the Chargers up next, it's tough to start Tamme. The Chargers' defense has given up an average of just 6.16 fantasy points to opposing tight ends.

Owners beware - Scott Chandler at Arizona Cardinals: Chandler, who has scored four touchdowns this season, has more fantasy points than Jimmy Graham, Jason Witten and Finley after the first five weeks. Still, he does nothing for fantasy owners unless he finds the end zone. With a tough matchup against the Cardinals next, Chandler is someone to avoid starting this week.

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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