Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Wide receivers for Week 1

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


Marques Colston vs. Atlanta Falcons: Colston and the Saints should be in a shootout this weekend against the Falcons, who have some new and inexperienced members in their pass defense. Colston has also had some success against this NFC South foe, scoring a touchdown in three of his last four home games against these Dirty Birds. Maximum value: Low-WR1)

Start 'em


Antonio Brown vs. Tennessee Titans: If Brown is going to have a breakout season, it should be 2013. With Mike Wallace now in Miami, he'll take over as the top option in the Steelers pass attack for Ben Roethlisberger. He's a nice option against the Titans, who allowed the seventh-most touchdown receptions to wideouts last season. Maximum value: Mid-WR2)

Pierre Garcon vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Mon.): Garcon (foot) has declared himself 100 percent healthy and will be a ready to roll for Monday night's NFC East clash against the Eagles. The matchup makes him a pretty solid option, as Philadelphia allowed more touchdown receptions to wide receivers than any other team in the league this past season. Maximum value: Mid-WR2)

DeSean Jackson at Washington Redskins (Mon.): I still have trust issues with Jackson, but he's an attractive fantasy option nonetheless on Monday night against the Redskins. He'll see plenty of targets from quarterback Michael Vick, and Washington's pass defense surrendered the third-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts last season. Maximum value: High-WR3)

Sleeper alert - Miles Austin vs. New York Giants: Do you need a third wideout for opening weekend? Take a chance on Austin, who has had success in the past against the Giants. In fact, he's scored four touchdowns in his last seven games against this NFC East opponent. In Week 8 of last season, he went for nine catches and 133 yards against the G-Men. Maximum value: Mid-WR3)

Sit of the week


Mike Wallace at Cleveland Browns: This might look like a pretty good matchup for Wallace on paper, but the Browns have been far tougher against the pass on their home field compared to on the road. Furthermore, the veteran will be lined up against stud cornerback Joe Haden in what could be a low-scoring contest for the Dolphins in Week 1. Maximum value: Low-WR3)

Sit 'em


Steve Smith vs. Seattle Seahawks: Smith is coming off his second straight 1,000-yard season and shows no signs of slowing down at the age of 34. However, he's tough to trust as more than a No. 3 wideout against a tough Seattle defense. In a Week 5 matchup against the Seahawks last season, Smith scored a pretty meager four fantasy points. Maximum value: Low-WR2)

Steve Johnson vs. New England Patriots: The Patriots don't have a solid pass defense, but can you trust Johnson to produce against them with a rookie quarterback under center? The Kentucky product has also failed to score a touchdown in three of his last four home games against New England. Johnson is clearly a risk-reward option this week. Maximum value: Mid-WR3)

Tavon Austin vs. Arizona Cardinals: Austin was most likely the first rookie wide receiver drafted in fantasy land, but that doesn't make him a lock to be in your starting lineup for Week 1. He has a tough matchup against CB Patrick Peterson and the Cardinals, who surrendered the seventh-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers in road games last season. Maximum value: Low-WR3)

Owners beware - Vincent Jackson at New York Jets: Unless you are loaded at wide receiver, you probably won't have a choice but to start Jackson. Regardless, keep in mind that the Jets were one of the toughest defenses against wide receivers last season. A lot of that had to do with CB Antonio Cromartie, who should shadow Jackson this week. Maximum value: Low-WR2)


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!