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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Kickers 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


Robbie Gould vs. Carolina Panthers: Gould has been on fire in recent weeks, scoring double-digit fantasy points in three of his last four games. That trend of solid production should continue against the Panthers, who have given up the most fantasy points (12.33 FPPG) to opposing kickers. Gould is still a free agent in over 65 percent of NFL.com leagues as well.

Start 'em


Matt Bryant at Philadelphia Eagles: The seventh-rated kicker in the league based on fantasy points, Bryant has become a solid option behind Atlanta's explosive offense. He's a great option against the Eagles, who have surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points (10.50 FPPG) to opposing kickers. Bryant remains available in more than 30 percent of NFL.com leagues right now.

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Mason Crosby vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: After an atrocious start, Crosby put up 12 fantasy points in last week's win over the St. Louis Rams. That was his first double-digit performance since Week 2. He has a great matchup coming next, facing a Jaguars defense that has allowed an average of 10.67 fantasy points per game to kickers. That's the fourth-most in the NFL.

Sleeper alert - Adam Vinatieri at Tennessee Titans: Vinatieri might not be one of the elite kickers in fantasy football at this stage of his career, but you can still use him when the matchup is favorable. That is the case this week, as he faces a Titans defense that has allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing kickers. He's also a free agent in most leagues.

Sit of the week


Phil Dawson vs. San Diego Chargers: Dawson is ranked a very respectable 10th in fantasy points among kickers, but he hasn't been consistent in the least. In fact, he scored just one point in last week's loss to the Indianapolis Colts. I'd keep him on the pine against the Chargers, who have given up the fewest fantasy points (4.83 FPPG) to opposing kickers this season.

Sit 'em


Alex Henery vs. Atlanta Falcons: Henery has the leg to become a terrific option in fantasy land, but he's failed to meet expectations to this point. In fact, he's barely in the top 25 in fantasy points at the position right now. The Falcons have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing kickers this season, so it's pretty tough to expect Henery to make an impact.

Scott A. Miller/Associated Press
Josh Freeman and Vincent Jackson are quickly becoming one of the more explosive tandems, but how long can they keep it up? (Click image for further analysis.)

Kai Forbath at Pittsburgh Steelers: Owners might be tempted to target Forbath off the waiver wire this week. After all, he has scored double-digit fantasy points in each of his first two games since taking over for Billy Cundiff. Just keep in mind that in Week 8 he'll face a Steelers defense that has allowed an average of fewer than seven fantasy points per game to kickers.

Owners beware - Rob Bironas vs. Indianapolis Colts: Bironas, who ranks a modest 20th in fantasy points among kickers, has been too inconsistent to use in most leagues. In fact, he's scored double digits just twice this season. This week he faces the Colts, who have allowed an average of fewer than seven fantasy points per game to kickers. That's bad news for Bironas.

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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