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
Dez Bryant vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Bryant, the start of the week in Week 12, is back in the saddle with a nice matchup against the Eagles. The third-highest scoring player at his position in the last four weeks, Bryant should see plenty of targets against the Eagles with Miles Austin injured. He had 14.70 fantasy points against them in Week 10.
Hakeem Nicks at Washington Redskins: Nicks appears to be healthier than he's been all season long, posting a combined 21.20 fantasy points in his last two games. The Redskins have given up the third-most fantasy points to wideouts at home this season, and Nicks has at least five catches in each of his last three meetings against them overall.
Eric Decker vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Decker's stock has tumbled in recent weeks, as he's failed to score more than 8.50 fantasy points in three straight contests. I'd still start him against the Buccaneers, though. Their defense has allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers on the road, so Decker has a good chance to succeed.
Steve Johnson vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Johnson has been a nice PPR option in recent weeks, catching a combined 18 passes for 271 yards over his last three games. While he hasn't found the end zone since Week 7, Johnson does face a Jaguars defense that has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts on the road this season.
Sleeper alert - Cecil Shorts at Buffalo Bills: Can you even consider Shorts a sleeper anymore? Regardless, he has scored double-digit fantasy points in three straight games and five of his last six overall. The Bills have given up 14 touchdowns to wideouts this season - that's tied for the seventh-most in the NFL - so Shorts needs to be active.
Sit of the week
Larry Fitzgerald at New York Jets: It's tough to bench Fitzgerald, but look at the numbers. A total of 48 wide receivers, including Brandon Stokley and Donald Jones, have more fantasy points. He has averaged 3.8 catches, 39.4 yards and scored one touchdown over the last five weeks too. Oh, and Ryan Lindley remains the Cardinals quarterback. Ouch.
Dwayne Bowe vs. Carolina Panthers: Want two reasons to bench Bowe? Brady and Quinn. You get the idea. Bowe has been a fantasy disaster in recent weeks, scoring no more than 6.50 points in a single game since Week 4. The Panthers have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers on the road, which is just another reason to bench Bowe.
Jeremy Maclin at Dallas Cowboys: I know, Maclin's best fantasy stat line in the last five weeks has come against the Cowboys. But with DeSean Jackson out for the season, Maclin is going to see a lot of CB Brandon Carr this week. And unless Michael Vick returns to action, rookie Nick Foles will get the call once again. That's not good for Maclin.
Brandon Lloyd at Miami Dolphins: I thought Lloyd would thrive once again under OC Josh McDaniels. Instead, he has scored double-digit fantasy points just once in his last seven contests. While he would have a bit more value if the Patriots were without Julian Edelman, it's tough to start Lloyd with any kind of confidence at this point in time.
Owners beware - Mike Wallace at Baltimore Ravens: Barring a miraculous return, Ben Roethlisberger is going to miss another contest. That's bad news for Wallace, who has been invisible in the stat sheets over the last three weeks. What's more, the Ravens held him to just 24 yards and 0.40 fantasy points back in Week 11. Proceed with caution.