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
Steve Smith vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Smith's lack of production this year has been a point of frustration, but you have to play him when the matchup is favorable. That's the case against the Bucs, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers in road games (32.10 PPG). Smith has also had great success against them in his career.
Eric Decker vs. San Diego Chargers: Decker did a Houdini act in the stat sheets last week, scoring just 1.50 fantasy points in a win over the Carolina Panthers. Fear not, though, as he should bounce back against a Chargers defense that has given up the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers on the road. Start Decker and Demaryius Thomas.
Dez Bryant vs. Cleveland Browns: Bryant was just a fingertip away from posting double-digit fantasy points in two of his last three games, and this week's matchup against the Browns makes him an attractive option. Their defense has given up the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers on the road (32.23 PPG), so look for Bryant to make noise in Big D.
DeSean Jackson at Washington Redskins: The Eagles might have a new quarterback in rookie Nick Foles under center this weekend, but I'd still start Jackson and Jeremy Maclin as No. 3 fantasy wideouts against the Redskins. Their defense has allowed more fantasy points to wide receivers at home (32.78 PPG) than any other team in the entire league.
Sleeper alert - Denarius Moore vs. New Orleans Saints: Moore is quickly shedding sleeper status and becoming a solid option in fantasy land. Owners should start both him and Darrius Heyward-Bey against the Saints, who have given up an average of 37 fantasy points per game to wide receivers on the road. That's the most of any defensive team in the NFL.
Sit of the week
Danario Alexander at Denver Broncos: Alexander is one of the hottest names on the waiver wire after his huge performance against the Buccaneers. But fantasy owners shouldn't go out chasing points and should consider him a must-start. In fact, this week's matchup against the Broncos makes Alexander and Malcom Floyd unattractive from a fantasy perspective.
Mike Williams at Carolina Panthers: Williams has been a pleasant surprise, ranking in the top 20 in points at his position. However, I would not be surprised if he fails to produce against the Panthers. Their defense, which has allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers at home, held the Syracuse product to just 7.20 points back in Week 1.
Cecil Shorts at Houston Texans: Much like Alexander, Shorts has been a hot name on the fantasy waiver wire. And like Alexander, this week's matchup is anything but favorable. Aside from that Week 6 debacle against the Green Bay Packers, the Texans defense has allowed no more than 16 fantasy points to wide receivers on their home field in 2012.
Josh Gordon at Dallas Cowboys: Gordon was on a nice hot streak earlier in the season, but he averaged just over four fantasy points in his last two games before the bye. This week he faces the Cowboys, who have surrendered the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers at home (18.27 PPG). That makes the rookie a massive fantasy risk.
Owners beware - Torrey Smith at Pittsburgh Steelers: It's tough to sit a player who is coming off a monster stat line. If you have wide receiver depth and can afford to make such a move, though, consider benching Smith. Only the Seahawks have allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing wide receivers on their home field than the Steelers (14.08 PPG) in 2012.