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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Tight ends for Week 16

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


Tony Gonzalez at Detroit Lions (Sat.): Gonzalez has been a bit inconsistent in recent weeks, scoring fewer than seven fantasy points in three of his last five games. Still, he's a must-start against a Lions defense that has allowed eight touchdown catches and the eighth-most fantasy points to tight ends overall.

Start 'em


Greg Olsen vs. Oakland Raiders: A top-five tight end, Olsen has scored 10-plus fantasy points in two of his last three games. Still, he's a free agent in 47.1 percent of NFL.com leagues. He remains a solid option against the Raiders, who have surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends on the road.

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Heath Miller vs. Cincinnati Bengals: Miller, who is tied for second in touchdown catches among tight ends with eight, has scored 15-plus points in two of his last three contests. The Virginia product also put up 53 yards, one touchdown and an impressive 13.30 fantasy points in his last game against the Bengals.

Dennis Pitta vs. New York Giants: Pitta, listed as a start 'em last week, put up two touchdowns in a loss to the Denver Broncos. He's also been the top scoring tight end in fantasy football over the last four weeks. A free agent in close to 80 percent of NFL.com leagues, Pitta is now a legitimate No. 1 option.

Sleeper alert - Kyle Rudolph at Houston Texans: Rudolph has disappeared in the last two weeks, but owners in need of a tight end could do worse based on the matchup. The Texans have allowed nine touchdowns (tied for second-most) and the sixth-most fantasy points to tight ends, so Rudolph clearly has some value.

Sit of the week


Vernon Davis at Seattle Seahawks: Over the last four weeks, a total of 50 tight ends have scored more fantasy points than Davis. That's an amazing stat at a position that's been dreadful in 2012. The Seahawks have also allowed the fewest fantasy points to tight ends, so Davis is a serious risk this weekend.

Sit 'em


Martellus Bennett at Baltimore Ravens: Bennett is coming off one of his worst stat lines of the season, posting 15 yards against the Atlanta Falcons. This week he faces the Ravens, who have given up just two touchdowns (tied for the league low) and the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends.

Ron Schwane/Associated Press
The Steelers are still in the playoff hunt, so can fantasy owners expect big things from Heath Miller this week? (Click image for further analysis.)

Jacob Tamme vs. Cleveland Browns: Tamme has failed to score six-plus fantasy points in 10 of his last 12 games and was held to a meager 24 yards in last week's win over the Baltimore Ravens. He should remain on fantasy benches against the Browns, who have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to tight ends.

Scott Chandler at Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins have been tough on tight ends, allowing just two touchdowns (tied for the league low) and the sixth-fewest fantasy points to the position. In his last game against the Fins, the veteran was held to just 30 yards and no scores. Consider Chandler a major fantasy risk.

Owners beware - Jermaine Gresham at Pittsburgh Steelers: Gresham has been one of the best tight ends in fantasy football in 2012, so it's tough to bench him. Just keep in mind that his worst stat line of this year came against the Steelers, who have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to the position at home.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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