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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Tight ends for Week 8

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 - Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans

Start of the week


Heath Miller vs. Washington Redskins: Miller has been one of the better waiver-wire pickups of the season. While his yardage total is modest, Miller has done damage in the red zone with five touchdowns. He's a virtual must-start against the Redskins, who have allowed the second-most receptions, receiving yards, touchdowns and fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

Start 'em


Tony Gonzalez at Philadelphia Eagles: There are not a lot of good matchups for tight ends this week, so you need to stick with your top options and hope for the best. That's the case with Gonzalez, who ranks second in points at the position but doesn't have the best matchup against the Eagles. Regardless, you need to keep the veteran in your starting lineup this week.

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Jason Witten vs. New York Giants: Here's another example of a solid tight end with a bad matchup who still needs to be in your starting lineup because of this week's circumstances. Witten started the season off slow, but he's third in fantasy points at the position over the last four weeks - and that's with Witten on a bye in Week 5. Keep him active against the Giants.

Greg Olsen at Chicago Bears: Olsen has not been productive in his last two games, scoring a combined 6.80 fantasy points. However, with few good matchups at the tight end spot, Olsen is still worth a look against the Bears. Their defense has allowed an average of close to eight fantasy points per game to tight ends, and Olsen will want to stick it to his former team.

Sleeper alert - Martellus Bennett at Dallas Cowboys: Here's another "revenge" matchup, as Bennett goes up against his former team, the Cowboys. Bennett had success against the Boys from Big D back in Week 1, posting 40 yards, one touchdown and 10 fantasy points. He's also coming off a nice game against the Washington Redskins, putting up a respectable 7.90 fantasy points.

Sit of the week


Jermichael Finley vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dennis Pitta. Joel Dreessen. Anthony Fasano. Those are just a few of the tight ends who have more fantasy points than Finley. He's been a complete statistical disaster since Week 1, so much so that he's being dropped in a lot of leagues. Keep him benched against the Rams, who have been tough on tight ends this season.

Sit 'em


Brandon Pettigrew vs. Seattle Seahawks: Pettigrew has been a real disappointment this season, posting fewer than eight fantasy points in all five of his games. What's more, he's averaging just 3.75 points in his last two games in standard leagues. His fortunes aren't likely to improve against the Seahawks, who field one of the more talented defenses in the entire league.

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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.)

Jared Cook vs. Indianapolis Colts: Cook might be in the top 10 in fantasy points among tight ends, but he hasn't been consistent. In fact, he's scored fewer than six points in three of his last four games. This week Cook faces the Colts, who have allowed just one touchdown and the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. If you're able, keep Cook on the sidelines.

Chris Cooley at Pittsburgh Steelers: With Fred Davis out for the season, fantasy leaguers might go after Cooley on the waiver wire hoping for some of his old magic. Unfortunately, the veteran hasn't been much of a fantasy option in the past year-plus. He's also certain to share snaps with Logan Paulsen this week, so don't expect to catch lightning in a bottle here.

Owners beware - Aaron Hernandez at St. Louis Rams (London): In a stunning bit of late-week news, NFL Network's Albert Breer reported that Hernandez was unable to make the trip to London due to his ankle ailment. So while he had returned to the field the past two weeks, Hernandez now needs to be out of your fantasy lineups when the Patriots face the Rams.

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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