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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Wide receivers for Week 9

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 - New England Patriots, New York Jets, St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers

Start of the week


DeSean Jackson at New Orleans Saints (Mon.): If you have either Jackson or Jeremy Maclin on your fantasy team, you need to start them in Week 9. The Saints rank 30th in pass defense and have allowed 13 touchdowns and the most fantasy points to wide receivers. So despite being inconsistent all year, this Eagles duo needs to be in your starting lineup.

Start 'em


Steve Smith vs. Washington Redskins: Smith posted his first nice stat line in several games with 118 yards against the Chicago Bears last week, and I think he'll have another solid total against the Redskins. Their defense has given up a total of 10 touchdowns and the second-most fantasy points to wideouts, so get Smith active in this NFC competition.

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Reggie Wayne vs. Miami Dolphins: Wayne has been a pleasant surprise in 2012, and he's been a solid option at home. In fact, the veteran has 46 targets in his last three games at Lucas Oil Stadium. Couple that with a matchup against the Dolphins, who have allowed the sixth-most receptions to wideouts, and it's clear why Wayne needs to be in your lineup.

Denarius Moore vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Moore has been like a Halloween treat in recent games, scoring the sixth-most fantasy points over the last two weeks. If that weren't enough to start him, you should also consider this weekend's matchup against the Buccaneers - their defense has surrendered the third-most fantasy points to wideouts in 2012.

Sleeper alert - Lance Moore vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Mon.): Moore is another one of those players with an odd home versus road trend. When he plays at the Superdome, Moore is a serious stats machine. In fact, he has 190 yards and two scores in two home games this season. What's more, he has six touchdowns in his last six games on his home field.

Sit of the week


Torrey Smith at Cleveland Browns: Forget that the Browns have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to wideouts in 2012. Look at the last two weeks with CB Joe Haden back in action - no team has given up fewer fantasy points to the position. In two games against the Browns and Haden in 2011, Smith had a combined two catches for 70 yards and no scores.

Rick Osentoski/Associated Press
The NFL Fantasy LIVE crew debate if it's time to consider doing the unthinkable and benching Megatron. (Click image for further analysis.)

Sit 'em


Hakeem Nicks vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: I'm not sure if he's still at less than 100 percent, but Nicks has failed to score six fantasy points in all but one of his games this season. Over the last three weeks, he has averaged 4.76 points. So while you likely have to start him, Nicks is no bet to thrive against a tough Steelers pass defense this week.

Santana Moss at Carolina Panthers: Moss has found the end zone at least once in his last two games, and he's emerged into the top option in the pass attack for rookie superstar Robert Griffin III. With that said, just keep in mind that he goes up against a Panthers defense this week that has allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers.

Kenny Britt vs. Chicago Bears: Britt has been a disappointment in fantasy land, scoring fewer than four fantasy points in three of his last four games. That trend is likely to continue against the Bears, who have surrendered just 85 receptions (tied for 11th fewest) and a mere four touchdowns to opposing wide receivers to this point in the season.

Owners beware - Julio Jones vs. Dallas Cowboys (Mon.): You likely can't afford to sit Jones this week, and you shouldn't unless you're loaded at wideout. Just keep this in mind - Jones has 107 yards and no touchdowns in three home games. Also, the Cowboys have allowed double-digit fantasy points to just one wide receiver (Brandon Marshall) in 2012.

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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