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.
Start of the week
Jason Hanson at Jacksonville Jaguars: Hanson is a respectable 11th in fantasy points among kickers, and I think he'll move upward even further after this week's game against the Jaguars. This unit has allowed 16 field goals and an average of 10 fantasy points per game to kickers, so Hanson should see plenty of opportunities to score points.
Robbie Gould at Tennessee Titans: Gould has been quiet in the last two weeks, scoring a combined 12 fantasy points in wins over the Lions and Carolina Panthers. He should rebound this weekend, though, as he faces a Titans defense that has given up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing kickers. Gould is a free agent in 60 percent of leagues.
Connor Barth at Oakland Raiders: Barth, a free agent in most leagues on NFL.com, has scored a respectable 64 fantasy points in seven games this season. Consider him a solid option against the Raiders, who have allowed 18 field goals (including four of 50-plus yards) and the most fantasy points (11.57 PPG) to opposing kickers this season.
Sleeper alert - Garrett Hartley vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Mon.): If you want to roll the dice on a kicker with some matchup upside this week, take a look at Hartley. A free agent in more than 40 percent of NFL.com leagues, the veteran faces an Eagles team that has allowed 19 field goals and the third-most fantasy points to kickers in 2012.
Sit of the week
Dan Bailey at Atlanta Falcons (Mon.): Bailey has been a pretty nice option for fantasy leaguers over the last three weeks, scoring a combined 32 fantasy points. Still, it's hard to recommended him on Monday night against the Falcons. Their defense has given up just six field-goal conversions and the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing kickers.
Rob Bironas vs. Chicago Bears: One of the more inconsistent kickers in fantasy land, Bironas has scored seven or fewer fantasy points in four of his last six games and ranks a mediocre 18th in points at his position after eight weeks. He's likely to remain more trick than treat against the Bears, who have given up an average of 6.86 fantasy points to kickers.
Mike Nugent vs. Denver Broncos: Nugent started the season well, scoring at least seven fantasy points in each of his first five games. Since then, however, the veteran has averaged under six points. If that weren't enough to keep Nugent on the sidelines, also keep in mind that the Broncos have given up an average of 6.29 fantasy points to kickers.
Owners beware - Justin Tucker at Cleveland Browns: Tucker, a top-10 fantasy kicker to this point in the season, has a tough matchup this week against the Browns. Their defense has given up an average of fewer than seven fantasy points per game to opposing kickers. What's more, Tucker scored just five fantasy points against Cleveland back in Week 4.