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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Tight Ends for Week 7

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 - Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers

Start of the week


Aaron Hernandez vs. New York Jets: Despite seeing limited snaps last week, Hernandez still scored nine fantasy points in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks. With one game under his belt after a recent ankle ailment, not to mention a favorable matchup against a Jets defense that's allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, Hernandez is a pretty nice option.

Start 'em


Jason Witten at Carolina Panthers: Witten had a dreadful start to the season, scoring a combined 7.60 fantasy points in the first three weeks. He's turning things around in his last two games, though, posting 26 fantasy points in standard leagues. Get him in your lineup against a Panthers defense that has allowed an average of over eight fantasy points per game to tight ends.

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Heath Miller at Cincinnati Bengals: There aren't a lot of reliable tight ends with good matchups on paper this weekend, and with six teams on a bye you're going to need to play your best player available. Miller fits the bill, as he's sixth in fantasy points at his position. The Bengals have also allowed an average of over eight fantasy points per game to tight ends in 2012.

Scott Chandler vs. Tennessee Titans: If Chandler doesn't score a touchdown, well, he's basically worthless to your fantasy team. Luckily, this week he goes up against a Titans defense that has allowed the most receptions, yards, touchdowns and fantasy points to opposing tight ends. That makes Chandler worth a roll of the dice, as his chances of finding the end zone seem good.

Sleeper alert - Martellus Bennett vs. Washington Redskins: Bennett opened the season on absolute fire, scoring 10 or more fantasy points in each of his first three games. Since then, he's scored a combined 3.90 points. Not good. Still, he's a legitimate option if you're in dire straits against a Redskins defense that has allowed the second-most fantasy points to tight ends.

Sit of the week


Jermichael Finley at St. Louis Rams: Finley scored a solid 10.70 fantasy points way back in Week 1. Since then, he's averaged a terrible 2.86 points over his last five games. With an admittedly poor rapport with Aaron Rodgers and a bad matchup against the Rams, Finley needs to be on your bench. St. Louis has allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season.

Sit 'em


Fred Davis at New York Giants: While Davis has been more involved in the Redskins' pass attack in recent weeks, he's still averaging a modest 52 yards a game and hasn't scored a single touchdown. Couple that with a matchup against the Giants, and Davis is an obvious risk. New York's defense has surrendered no touchdowns and the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends.

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Mike Williams joined the NFL Fantasy LIVE crew and shared why he's having such success in 2012. (Click image for further analysis.)

Brandon Pettigrew at Chicago Bears (Mon.): Unless you're in a PPR league, starting Pettigrew with confidence is tough. He's 19th in fantasy points among tight ends and has just one touchdown on the season. What's more, he has averaged just 2.75 catches, 21.5 yards and scored one lone touchdown in his last four games against the Bears. Those are some pretty lifeless numbers.

Dennis Pitta at Houston Texans: One of the hottest tight ends in fantasy football to start the season, Pitta's numbers and value have taken a nose dive. Over the last four weeks, he's recorded just 105 yards and one touchdown. When you also consider how Joe Flacco has struggled on the road, it's tough to start Pitta with any confidence against the Texans' tough defense.

Owners beware - Kyle Rudolph vs. Arizona Cardinals: There's a good chance you can't afford to bench Rudolph, and you shouldn't unless you have a great alternative. Just keep in mind that this weekend's matchup against the Cardinals is anything but favorable. Their defense has allowed just two touchdowns and the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

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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