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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Kickers 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


Jason Hanson at Philadelphia Eagles: Hanson, who made his first field-goal conversion at the NFL level way back in 1992, has had a solid start to the season with an average of over 11 fantasy points per game. His success should continue against the Eagles, who have given up 12 field goals and an average of close to 10 fantasy points per game to opposing kickers in 2012.

Start 'em


Matt Bryant vs. Oakland Raiders: A solid kicker for much of his later career, Bryant ranks eighth in fantasy points at his position this season and should continue to shine against the Raiders. After four games, Oakland's defense has given up nine field-goal conversions and the third-most fantasy points to opposing kickers. Consider Bryant a must-start in most formats.

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Blair Walsh at Washington Redskins: Walsh, the third-best kicker in fantasy land based on points, curiously is still a free agent in most leagues on NFL.com. That should change sooner rather than later, especially if he makes good on what is a very nice matchup against the Redskins. This unit has allowed close to 10 fantasy points per game to opposing kickers this season.

Sleeper alert - Connor Barth vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Believe it or not, but Barth has scored 10 or more fantasy points in three of his four games this season and is averaging a solid 10 points per contest. Couple that with a great matchup this week against the Chiefs, who have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to kickers, and you see why Barth is such a nice sleeper.

Sit of the week


Lawrence Tynes at San Francisco 49ers: Tynes, the second-best kicker in fantasy football based on points, has been a pleasant surprise for owners this season. I would beware of starting him this week, though, as the Niners have been tough on opposing kickers. In fact, this unit has given up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to the position after the first five weeks.

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The NFL Fantasy LIVE crew examine if you can trust James Jones in your starting lineup? (Click image for further analysis.)

Sit 'em


Mason Crosby at Houston Texans: Crosby is high on the list of kickers who have been huge disappointments, ranking 27th in fantasy points at the position. Oddly, he's still owned in more than 90 percent of NFL.com leagues. Owners should get hip to him this week, as he goes up against a Texans defense that has allowed the third-most fantasy points to kickers.

Matt Prater at San Diego Chargers (Mon.): Prater had a two-week stretch during which he scored 28 fantasy points earlier this season. In his other three games, the veteran has recorded a combined 11 points. It's that level of inconsistent production that makes Prater tough to start. The fact that he faces a tough Chargers defense doesn't make Prater more attractive, either.

Owners beware - Sebastian Janikowski at Atlanta Falcons: One of the first kickers taken in most fantasy drafts, Janikowski hasn't lived up to expectations with just 31 points in four games. His fortunes won't improve against the Falcons, who have given up the fewest fantasy points to kickers of any team in the NFL. Keep Sea Bass on the fantasy sidelines.

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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