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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Tight ends for Week 15

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


Owen Daniels vs. Indianapolis Colts: Daniels, who has re-emerged into a top fantasy option at his position, has put up a few mediocre stat lines over the last two weeks. However, I still think you have to start him against the Colts. This unit has struggled against tight ends in recent weeks, allowing an average of 15.15 fantasy points to the position since Week 11.

Start 'em


Brandon Myers vs. Kansas City Chiefs: I know, Myers was a major disappointment last week against the Broncos. That doesn't change the fact that he's been a pretty productive option on his home field overall this season. Furthermore, Myers is facing a Chiefs defense that has given up an average of close to eight fantasy points per game to tight ends overall in 2012.

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Martellus Bennett at Atlanta Falcons: Don't look now, but Bennett is getting hot right in time for the fantasy postseason. He has scored the second-most fantasy points among tight ends in the last two weeks, and an upcoming matchup against the Falcons is favorable. Their defense has given up an average of close to eight fantasy points per game to tight ends.

Dennis Pitta vs. Denver Broncos: Pitta has been pretty inconsistent this season, but he does make for a viable matchup-based starter if you're hurting at tight end. This week he faces the Broncos, who have given up more fantasy points to the position on the road than any other team in the league. Pitta is still a free agent in most leagues on NFL.com as well.

Sleeper alert - Dallas Clark at New Orleans Saints: While he isn't an elite tight end in fantasy land like he was during his time in Indianapolis, Clark has re-emerged into a useful matchup option. This week he faces the Saints, who have given up the seventh-most fantasy points to tight ends. Clark also put up 11.10 fantasy points against New Orleans back in Week 7.

Sit of the week


Jermichael Finley at Chicago Bears: Finley's value rose for about a New York minute after a nice Week 11 stat line, but since then he's scored a combined 12.70 fantasy points. That makes it tough to trust him against the Bears, who held Finley to just 26 yards and 0.60 fantasy points back in Week 2. Unless you have limited alternatives, consider Finley a real risk.

Sit 'em


Heath Miller at Dallas Cowboys: Miller is going to be active in most fantasy leagues, especially when you consider the current inconsistent state of his position. Just keep in mind that the Cowboys have been tough on tight ends this season. In fact, this unit has surrendered fewer than eight fantasy points to the position in 10 of its last 11 games overall.

Kathy Willens/Associated Press
The NFL Fantasy LIVE crew debate if drafting an elite tight end in the early rounds was a mistake this season. (Click image for further analysis.)

Jacob Tamme at Baltimore Ravens: Tamme appeared to be getting back into the fantasy mix with good stat lines in Weeks 12-13, but he put up just 2.40 fantasy points last week and now faces a tough road matchup against the Ravens. Their defense has given up four touchdowns and the eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends overall after 14 weeks.

Scott Chandler vs. Seattle Seahawks (Toronto): Lee Smith isn't just a former Major League Baseball closer. He's also a current Bills tight end, and he's seeing more red-zone targets in recent weeks. That makes Chandler a less attractive fantasy choice - so does a game against the Seahawks. Their defense has allowed the fewest fantasy points to tight ends.

Owners beware - Greg Olsen at San Diego Chargers: Olsen is the fifth-best tight end in fantasy football based on points, so you likely have him in your starting lineup. Be aware, though, that the Chargers have given up just four touchdowns and the fifth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends overall in 2012. As a result, expectations for Olsen should be tempered.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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