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
Carson Palmer vs. New Orleans Saints: Palmer has been on fire in recent weeks, throwing for multiple touchdowns in three straight games and scoring 18-plus fantasy points in three of his last four overall. He's a tremendous option against the Saints, who have allowed more fantasy points to quarterbacks on the road (26.47 PPG) than any other team in the league.
Cam Newton vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Newton didn't get the job done last week for fantasy owners, but he should post a very nice line against the Buccaneers. In three career meetings against this NFC South foe, Newton has combined to score nine total touchdowns. The Bucs are also allowing an average of over 18 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks on the road.
Tony Romo vs. Cleveland Browns: Romo has been playing well of late, scoring 16-plus fantasy points in four of his last five games. He should continue to roll up the stats against the Browns, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks on the road (21.17 PPG) this season. Their defense has also given up 16 touchdown passes overall to this point.
Andrew Luck at New England Patriots: Luck seems to be finding his stride in the stat sheets, scoring 16-plus fantasy points in four straight games. That includes two straight starts where he has scored multiple touchdowns. The Patriots have allowed an average of over 18 fantasy points per game to signal-callers on their home field, so Luck should post another nice line.
Sleeper alert - Andy Dalton at Kansas City Chiefs: Dalton is coming off a huge performance against the New York Giants, throwing four touchdown passes while putting up 23.76 fantasy points. He's a nice option this week against the Chiefs, who have surrendered 18 touchdown passes overall and an average of close to 17 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks on their home field.
Sit of the week
Joe Flacco at Pittsburgh Steelers: Flacco was the top-scoring quarterback in fantasy football last week, but that was against the Raiders and on his home field. This week he faces a tough road contest against the Steelers, who have given up an average of 10.39 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks at Heinz Field. Also, you just can't trust Flacco in any road contest.
Matt Schaub vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Schaub has a good matchup on paper, as the Jaguars have been brutal against the pass lately. However, the veteran has had no success against them in recent seasons. In fact, he has thrown for multiple touchdowns against the Jags just once in their last five meetings. Back in Week 2, Schaub put up just 7.50 fantasy points against them.
Alex Smith vs. Chicago Bears (Mon.): Assuming Smith is active on Monday night - he suffered a slight concussion last week - he's not someone you want to have in your starting lineup against the Bears. Their defense has been ferocious, allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks on the road. Smith is also just too inconsistent to trust in most leagues.
Sam Bradford vs. New York Jets: Bradford was very impressive against the Niners last week, throwing for 275 yards with two touchdowns while also putting up 19 fantasy points. I wouldn't count on another huge stat line, though, as this week's opponent, the Jets, have allowed 11 touchdowns and the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks overall this season.
Owners beware - Philip Rivers at Denver Broncos: Rivers is coming off one of his better fantasy lines of the season, but that was against the Buccaneers and their poor pass defense. This week he faces the Broncos, who forced Rivers into six turnovers and just 5.64 fantasy points back in Week 6.