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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Week 10

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 - Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Washington Redskins

Quarterbacks - 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.

Start 'em


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 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 more than 17 fantasy points per game to opposing signal-callers, including 19.44 to Eli's brother, Peyton Manning, last week. You think these two will 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.

Quarterbacks - 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.

Sit 'em


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 absolutely been on 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.

Running backs - Start of the week


Stevan Ridley vs. Buffalo Bills: Ridley has been a bit inconsistent in recent weeks, but fantasy leaguers should trust him against the Bills. Their defense has surrendered 13 total touchdowns and the second-most fantasy points to running backs this season. What's more, Ridley ripped this defense for 106 yards and two touchdowns back in Week 4.

Start 'em


Michael Turner at New Orleans Saints: Turner isn't scoring a ton of fantasy points on a regular basis, but he still ranks among the top 20 players at his position and remains a viable No. 2 option. This weekend he has a great matchup against the Saints, who have surrendered the most rushing yards and fantasy points to opposing running backs.

Reggie Bush vs. Tennessee Titans: Bush hasn't been the most consistent runner in fantasy land, but you have to like him as a No. 2 fantasy runner against the Titans. Their defense has given up the third-most rushing yards and the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, so Bush is in a position to find statistical success.

Willis McGahee at Carolina Panthers: McGahee might be on the wrong side of 30 for a runner, but he's still putting up some nice totals in fantasy leagues. In fact, he ranks among the top 15 fantasy backs based on points. This week he goes up against the Panthers, who have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to running backs in 2012.

Sleeper alert - Isaac Redman vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Mon.): Redman is coming off a big game against the New York Giants, and it looks like he'll continue to start even with the expected return of Jonathan Dwyer. He's worth a flex start against the Chiefs, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this year.

Running backs - Sit of the week


Steven Jackson at San Francisco 49ers: Jackson ranks just 26th in fantasy points among running backs this season, and he's losing some looks to rookie Daryl Richardson. If that weren't enough to keep him on the fantasy sidelines, also consider his matchup against the 49ers. Their defense has allowed the fewest fantasy points to backs in 2012.

Sit 'em


Fred Jackson at New England Patriots: There's talk in Buffalo of C.J. Spiller seeing a bigger role in the offense, which would obviously hurt Jackson's stock. What's more, the veteran faces a Patriots defense that has given up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing runners. Back in Week 4, Jackson had just 5.90 fantasy points against them.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. New York Giants: Green-Ellis found the end zone last week against the Denver Broncos, but it was the first time he had scored double-digit fantasy points since Week 2. The Law Firm has a tough matchup this week against the Giants, who have allowed four rushing touchdowns and the ninth-fewest fantasy points to runners.

Felix Jones at Philadelphia Eagles: DeMarco Murray won't be back for Week 10, so Jones will once again get the call for Dallas. He has a tough matchup, however, as the Eagles have given up just two rushing touchdowns and an average of 16 fantasy points per game to running backs. Jones has also started to lose some touches to Lance Dunbar.

Owners beware - Shonn Greene at Seattle Seahawks: Greene has been hot in recent weeks, averaging 19.8 fantasy points in his last three games. With that said, his numbers have also dropped in each of those contests and a matchup in Seattle is not very favorable. The Seahawks have allowed four rushing touchdowns and the eighth-fewest points to runners.

Wide receivers - Start of the week


Julio Jones at New Orleans Saints: Jones might be the best wideout start of Week 10, as he faces a Saints defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers. What's more, the Alabama product has scored four touchdowns and averaged 17.55 fantasy points in four road games this season. Look for Jones to put up some monster numbers.

Start 'em


Mike Wallace vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Wallace has had issues with dropped passes, but he's still averaged 10 fantasy points in his last four games. Start him against the Chiefs, who have allowed an average of 24.55 fantasy points per game to wide receivers on the road. Wallace should also see plenty of targets with Antonio Brown injured.

Steve Johnson at New England Patriots: Barring a setback with his injured thigh, Johnson will be on the field to face the Patriots this weekend. Their defense has struggled against wideouts, allowing 12 scores and the fifth-most fantasy points to the position. Johnson has also found the end zone in two of his last three contests against them.

Brandon Lloyd vs. Buffalo Bills: The Bills defense is among the top 12 in the following three stat categories: yards allowed, touchdowns allowed and fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers. That's good news for Lloyd, who recorded 50 yards, one touchdown and 11 fantasy points against this AFC East rival back in Week 4.

Sleeper alert - Malcom Floyd at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Floyd is tough to trust, as he has scored double-digit fantasy points in just two of his last six games. Still, he's worth a look as a No. 3 wideout against the Buccaneers. Their defense has given up the third-most fantasy points to the position, so Floyd has a great matchup.

Wide receivers - Sit of the week


Dwayne Bowe at Pittsburgh Steelers (Mon.): Bowe is a better option in PPR leagues, but he's done little in standard formats. In fact, he has scored double-digit fantasy points just one time since Week 1. The Steelers have given up the sixth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season, so Bowe could struggle on Monday night.

Sit 'em


Denarius Moore at Baltimore Ravens: It's tough to bench Moore with the Raiders pass attack clicking on all cylinders, but keep in mind that this week's matchup against the Ravens is a tough one. While their defense has struggled to stop the run, Baltimore has allowed just five touchdowns to the wide receiver spot the entire season.

Jeremy Maclin vs. Dallas Cowboys: If Maclin can't put up good numbers against the Saints, who have allowed the most fantasy points to wideouts, then it's hard to recommend him against the Cowboys. After nine weeks, their defense has surrendered just four touchdowns and the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in 2012.

Sidney Rice vs. New York Jets: Rice has 10 catches and two touchdowns in his last two games, but a matchup against the Jets and CB Antonio Cromartie isn't at all favorable. New York has allowed a mere three touchdown catches and the fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, so expect Rice to cool down in this defensive matchup.

Owners beware - Steve Smith vs. Denver Broncos: I'm not telling you that Smith is a must sit, but he does have a tough matchup against the Broncos and CB Champ Bailey. Denver's defense has given up just six scores and the eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in 2012. That makes Smith a risk-reward option this week.

Tight ends - Start of the week


Vernon Davis vs. St. Louis Rams: Davis has done an absolute Houdini act in the stat sheets in recent weeks, scoring a combined 20.5 fantasy points in his last five games. I'd have faith in him this week, though. In Davis' last six games against the Rams, the veteran from Maryland has recorded seven or more fantasy points five times.

Start 'em


Heath Miller vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Mon.): One of the best draft bargains in fantasy football, Miller is third in fantasy points based strongly on his six touchdown receptions. This week he faces the Chiefs, who have allowed four touchdown catches to opposing tight ends. That's tied for the fifth-most in the league this season.

Brandon Pettigrew at Minnesota Vikings: Pettigrew has not been a great fantasy option for owners in standard leagues this season, but it's pretty tough not to like this week's matchup against the Vikings. In his last three games against this NFC North rival, Pettigrew has posted a combined 24 catches, 236 yards and one touchdown.

Greg Olsen vs. Denver Broncos: Olsen failed to post attractive totals despite a good matchup in Week 9, but he's still a low-end No. 1 option against the Broncos. Their defense has allowed the eighth-most yards and the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. Olsen is a free agent in most leagues.

Sleeper alert - Anthony Fasano vs. Tennessee Titans: Fantasy owners in desperate need at the position (see Aaron Hernandez owners) should consider Fasano this weekend. Yes, he is an absolute roll of the dice, but look at the numbers. No team has allowed more fantasy points to tight ends on the road (16.27 PPG) than the Titans.

Tight ends - Sit of the week


Kyle Rudolph vs. Detroit Lions: Rudolph could very well be more involved in the passing game this week with Percy Harvin injured, but how can you trust a player who has scored a combined 1.70 fantasy points in his last three games? What's more, Rudolph was held to just eight yards and no touchdowns in his last game against the Vikes.

Sit 'em


Jared Cook at Miami Dolphins: Cook has been a disappointment in fantasy land this season, scoring fewer than 10 fantasy points in five of his last six games. That includes a minus-1.40 effort last weekend. Next on the schedule is a date with the Dolphins, who haven't allowed a single touchdown reception to a tight end this season.

Dennis Pitta vs. Oakland Raiders: Pitta was a hot sleeper candidate earlier this season, but he's been in a huge slump in recent weeks. He's failed to find the end zone or score more than four fantasy points in a game since Week 3. What's more, the Raiders have allowed the eighth-fewest receiving yards to opposing tight ends so far.

Jacob Tamme at Carolina Panthers: Tamme was also projected as a sleeper, but he's been in a serious statistical hibernation instead. He hasn't scored a touchdown or scored double-digit fantasy points since the first week of the season, and a matchup against the Panthers isn't favorable. He needs to be on the sidelines - or the waiver wire.

Owners beware - Brent Celek vs. Dallas Cowboys: Celek has recorded a respectable 436 yards so far this season. However, 157 (36 percent) of them came in just one game. He's also scored more than six fantasy points just once since the second week of the season. The Cowboys have a tough pass defense, so Celek could continue to falter.

Kickers - Start of the week


Start 'em

Sebastian Janikowski at Baltimore Ravens: Janikowski was on fire before the bye week, scoring 10 or more fantasy points (including two 14-point efforts) in three of his last four games. The veteran should find continued success against the Ravens, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to kicker. Sea Bass needs to be active.


Justin Tucker vs. Oakland Raiders: Tucker is coming off a solid 11-point effort against the Cleveland Browns, and this week's matchup against the Raiders bodes well for another nice stat line. Oakland has given up 18 field-goal conversions and the second-most fantasy points (10.88 PPG) to opposing kickers, so start Tucker with confidence.

Matt Prater at Carolina Panthers: Prater hasn't been what we thought he would be this season, as he ranks just 18th in fantasy points among kickers after nine weeks. He's still worth starting when the matchup is favorable, though, and the Panthers have given up the third-most fantasy points (10.50 PPG) to opposing kickers this season.

Sleeper alert - Dan Bailey at Philadelphia Eagles: Bailey has been hot in recent weeks, averaging right around 10 fantasy points in his last four games. Coming up next is a date with the Eagles, who have given up 19 field goals and the fourth-most fantasy points (9.88 PPG) to opposing kickers. That makes Bailey a viable No. 1 option.

Kickers - Sit of the week


Robbie Gould vs. Houston Texans: Gould has been a top-10 fantasy kicker to this point in the season, so it is hard to sit him. Still, keep in mind that this week's matchup at Soldier Field against the Texans is a tough one. Their defense is tied for fifth in allowing the fewest fantasy points (6.50 PPG) to opposing kickers this season.

Sit 'em


Connor Barth vs. San Diego Chargers: Barth has been very inconsistent for owners in recent weeks, scoring double digits just one time in his last four games. His fortunes don't seem very likely to improve against the Chargers, who have allowed six field-goal conversions and the fewest fantasy points (4.63 PPG) to opposing kickers.

Shayne Graham at Chicago Bears: Graham has been inconsistent from a fantasy perspective this season, alternating good and mediocre performances over the last four weeks. He's likely to have an unattractive stat line on Sunday night against the Bears, who have surrendered the sixth-fewest fantasy points (6.50 PPG) to opposing kickers.

Owners beware - Garrett Hartley vs. Atlanta Falcons: Hartley might kick behind a great offense, but he's done nothing to warrant being a fantasy starter (even in a favorable matchup). This week he'll be in what could be a shootout against the Falcons, but their defense has also allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to kickers in 2012.

Defense - 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.

Start 'em


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 Miami, look for their defense to post a nice stat line.

Defense - 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.

Sit 'em


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.

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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