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
Steelers defense vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Mon.): If we learned anything last week, it's that the defense facing the Chiefs is an attractive fantasy option. In fact, defenses have combined to score the most fantasy points against Matt Cassel and crew. That makes the Steelers a tremendous starting option on "Monday Night Football."
Seahawks defense vs. New York Jets: The Seahawks, who are still available in around 20 percent of NFL.com leagues, have a great matchup on their home field against the Jets. Opposing defenses that have gone up against Mark Sanchez and the Men in Green have scored the seventh-most fantasy points in 2012. Look for these Hawks to soar.
Giants defense at Cincinnati Bengals: The G-Men had a slow start to the season on defense, but this unit has posted some terrific totals in recent weeks. In fact, only the Bears have scored more fantasy points at the position. New York should be active against the Bengals, who have been a great matchup for opposing defenses in 2012.
Sleeper alert - Dolphins defense vs. Tennessee Titans: The Dolphins have quietly posted top-12 points in fantasy land, and this week's matchup against the Titans is a favorable one -- just ask fantasy owners who had the Bears defense last week. In an important home game for the Dolphins, look for their defense to post a nice stat line.
Sit of the week
Falcons defense at New Orleans Saints: There are a few rules in the world of fantasy football defenses. One of them is to avoid playing units that are facing Drew Brees and the Saints. That's the task the Falcons are facing this week, and being on the road makes this matchup even less attractive. Keep these Dirty Birds on the sidelines.
Chargers defense at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Fantasy owners might be tempted to start the Chargers, who put up an amazing 25 points in Week 9. However, this week's matchup in Tampa Bay is not a favorable one. In fact, opposing defenses facing the Buccaneers have combined to score the third-fewest fantasy points at the position in 2012.
Bengals defense vs. New York Giants: The Bengals defense has been mediocre at best from a fantasy perspective this season, and an upcoming matchup against Eli Manning and the Giants isn't attractive based on the numbers. In fact, opposing defenses have put up the second-fewest fantasy points when facing the G-Men this season.
Owners beware - Jets defense at Seattle Seahawks: How is this for a little stat nugget? No defense that has faced the Seahawks on their home field has scored more than six points in four attempts. What's more, three of those defenses scored two fantasy points or fewer. That's bad news for the Jets, who need to be benched this week.