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
Falcons defense vs. Arizona Cardinals: Atlanta's defense has failed to post good fantasy numbers in recent weeks. In fact, this unit has scored a combined 11 fantasy points in its last three games. I still like this weekend's matchup, though, as home defenses have combined to score the third-most fantasy points when going up against the Cardinals this season.
Redskins defense vs. Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles have one of the worst offensive lines in the league, and rookie Nick Foles will be playing in his first NFL road game. If that's not enough to make you like the 'Skins in Week 11, consider that home defenses have scored more fantasy points against the Eagles than any other team in the entire league.
Bengals defense at Kansas City Chiefs: The Bengals clawed their way to a very solid 16 fantasy points against the Giants last week, and an upcoming matchup in Kansas City makes them a nice option again. No opposing defense has come into Arrowhead Stadium and scored fewer than nine fantasy points, so Cincinnati is clearly in a real position to succeed.
Sleeper alert - Rams defense vs. New York Jets: After a fast start, the Rams defense has taken a nosedive in recent weeks. In fact, this unit has posted a combined seven fantasy points in its last four games. Fortunately, a game against the Jets makes it a deep sleeper. Home defenses have combined to put up the fourth-most fantasy points against them.
Sit of the week
Chargers defense at Denver Broncos: The Bolts might be seventh in fantasy points among defense, but most of their production has come in three games. What's more, facing Peyton Manning and the Broncos is anything but favorable. In fact, defenses that have faced this offense on the road have combined to score the second-fewest fantasy points this season.
Colts defense at New England Patriots: The Colts were among my top 10 fantasy football defenses for Week 10, and they exploded for 20 fantasy points. Unfortunately, that is not going to happen against the Patriots. In fact, opposing defenses that have come to New England have combined to score the fourth-fewest fantasy points at the position in 2012.
Lions defense vs. Green Bay Packers: A top-10 fantasy defense in 2011, the Lions have been de-clawed in the stat sheets this season. This unit isn't even in the top 25 based on fantasy points, and a matchup against Aaron Rodgers and the explosive Green Bay Packers isn't at all attractive. Look elsewhere for a starting defense if at all possible this weekend.
Owners beware - Cardinals defense at Atlanta Falcons: The Cardinals defense has taken a downward turn in recent weeks, scoring a combined 25 fantasy points over the last five games. Things don't figure to improve against Matt Ryan and the Falcons, who are lighting up the scoreboard on a pretty regular basis. Keep these Red Birds on the fantasy sidelines.