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
Matthew Stafford at Minnesota Vikings: Stafford hasn't performed like a first-round fantasy pick, but you can't bench him against the Vikings. In his last three games against them, the talented quarterback has averaged 308 passing yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. Back in Week 4, Stafford put up 20.16 fantasy points against them.
Ben Roethlisberger vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Mon.): The eighth-rated quarterback based on fantasy points, Roethlisberger has been a nice draft bargain in 2012. His success should continue on Monday night against the Chiefs, who have surrendered 17 touchdown passes and the seventh-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. That makes Big Ben a nice option.
Eli Manning at Cincinnati Bengals: Manning has not been good in recent weeks, but I think he can turn it around against the Bengals. Their defense has allowed an average of over 17 fantasy points per game to opposing signal-callers, including 19.44 to Eli's brother, Peyton Manning, last week. You think these two share notes before this week?
Joe Flacco vs. Oakland Raiders: Here's the fantasy book on Flacco - you sit him on the road and play him at home. This week the Ravens host the Raiders, who have given up the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. That's good news for Flacco, who has put up at least two touchdowns in five of his last seven starts at M&T Bank Stadium.
Sleeper alert - Ryan Fitzpatrick at New England Patriots: Fitzpatrick has a great matchup against the Patriots, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks in 2012. Back in Week 4, the Amish Rifle posted 350 passing yards, four touchdowns and 23.40 fantasy points against them. He's still a free agent in most leagues as well.
Sit of the week
Jay Cutler vs. Houston Texans: Cutler is coming off one of his best games of the season, posting three touchdowns and 20.36 fantasy points in a win over the Tennessee Titans. The Texans are a far more formidable unit, though, allowing just seven touchdown passes to quarterbacks not named Aaron Rodgers this season. Keep Cutler on the sidelines.
Michael Vick vs. Dallas Cowboys: Vick put up a nice stat line last week, but that was against the New Orleans Saints. Next up is a game with the Cowboys, who have allowed an average of just 12.40 fantasy points to quarterbacks. I also see the Boys being aggressive because of Philadelphia's porous offensive line, so Vick will be under pressure.
Matt Schaub at Chicago Bears: Like Cutler, Schaub is coming off a solid stat line in Week 9. Also like Cutler, he faced a vulnerable opponent in the Buffalo Bills. That won't be the case this weekend, as Schaub and the Texans travel to Chicago to face a Bears defense that has allowed six touchdowns and the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Sam Bradford at San Francisco 49ers: Bradford's numbers were trending downward before the bye week, and this week's contest against the 49ers isn't going to improve his statistical outlook. San Francisco has allowed just six touchdown passes and the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, so Bradford will have a tough afternoon.
Owners beware - Carson Palmer at Baltimore Ravens: Palmer has been on absolute fire in recent weeks, scoring 19-plus fantasy points in two of his last three games including 28.86 points against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This week, though, he goes up against a Ravens defense that has surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks.