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
Antonio Gates at Denver Broncos: Gates has been playing at a much higher statistical level in recent weeks, scoring a combined 22 fantasy points in his last two games. He should remain in your starting lineup against the Broncos, who have surrendered more fantasy points to tight ends (12.28 PPG) than any other team in the entire league after the first 10 weeks.
Brent Celek at Washington Redskins: Celek has not been a viable starter in the majority of fantasy leagues in recent weeks, but a matchup against the Redskins is just too good to pass up. No team in the NFL has allowed more fantasy points to opposing tight ends at home (13.80 PPG) than Washington, which makes Celek someone to use as a one-week starter.
Greg Olsen vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: A sleeper in last week's edition of Start 'Em, Sit' Em, Olsen is back in the start section based on this weekend's game against the Buccaneers. Their defense has allowed an average of just under nine fantasy points per game to tight ends on the road. Olsen is also the fourth-highest scoring tight end in the last four weeks.
Dustin Keller at St. Louis Rams: Keller posted a mediocre stat line last week, but it was his first bad line in his last three games. He should rebound against the Rams, who have allowed an average of close to nine fantasy points per game to tight ends at home in 2012. That makes the Purdue product a pretty viable one-week option for fantasy owners.
Sleeper alert - Dwayne Allen at New England Patriots: Looking for a deep sleeper at the tight end position? Consider Allen, who has a great matchup ahead in New England. The Patriots have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends on their home field (12.45 PPG), and Allen should see more targets with Coby Fleener (shoulder) out of action.
Sit of the week
Jermichael Finley at Detroit Lions: Rated as a top-five tight end in countless fantasy football drafts this past summer, Finley has easily been the biggest disappointment at his position in 2012. He should continue to be benched against the Lions, who have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends at home (4.40 PPG) this season.
Jermaine Gresham at Kansas City Chiefs: Gresham has posted some nice totals in his last two games with a combined 18.30 fantasy points. However, he has also recorded fewer than 20 yards in two of his last three games. Furthermore, Gresham faces a Chiefs defense that has allowed an average of just 6.50 fantasy points to tight ends at home in 2012.
Dennis Pitta at Pittsburgh Steelers: Pitta had a terrific stat line in last week's win over the Oakland Raiders, but he'll face a significantly tougher task this weekend at Heinz Field. The Steelers have given up an average of fewer than six fantasy points per game to tight ends on their home field, so Pitta is no lock to post a solid stat line.
Jacob Tamme vs. San Diego Chargers: Tamme was considered a potential sleeper in the preseason, but he's done little to warrant even a starting spot in most fantasy formats. In fact, he has scored a combined 5.10 fantasy points in his last three games. The Chargers have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to tight ends on the road as well.
Owners beware - Vernon Davis vs. Chicago Bears (Mon.): I know you can't afford to sit Davis in most cases, but he has disappeared in the stat sheets. In the last four weeks, a total of 37 tight ends have scored more fantasy points. That includes Craig Stevens, John Phillips and Ed Dickson! Things won't get any easier with the Bears coming to town.