Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Kickers 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


Start 'em

Blair Walsh at Detroit Lions: It's hard to envision a scenario where this NFC North battle doesn't turn into a serious shootout, so Walsh should have plenty of opportunities to produce fantasy points. That was the case last season, as Walsh attempted seven field goals (six conversions) in two meetings with the Motor City Cats during his rookie year. (Maximum value: High-K1)


Matt Bryant at New Orleans Saints: This is another case of a kicker who is projected to see a lot of chances to produce in what promises to be a very high-scoring game. Bryant, who was one of the top kickers in fantasy football a year ago, hit all five of his field-goal attempts in two games against the Saints last season. (Maximum value: High-K1)

Josh Brown at Dallas Cowboys: Brown was a late-season fantasy football star among kickers in 2012, and now he's in a good position to find continued success ias a member of the Giants. The Cowboys surrendered an average of close to nine fantasy points per game to kickers a year ago, and this should be a high-scoring contest in Big D. (Maximum value: Mid-K1)

Sleeper alert - Kai Forbath vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Mon.): If you're one of those fantasy owners who likes to stream kickers, consider Forbath on Monday night. He was effective in 2012, and a matchup against the Eagles makes him a viable matchup-based option. Available in over 90 percent of NFL.com leagues, he's readily out there on the waiver wire. (Maximum value: Mid-K1)

Sit of the week


Greg Zuerlein vs. Arizona Cardinals: For all the "Legatron" talk as a rookie, Zuerlein finished a mediocre 19th in fantasy points among kickers last season. He also had little success against the Cardinals, seeing just three field-goal attempts (two conversions) in two contests combined. For now, Zuerlein shouldn't be considered a fantasy starter. (Maximum value: Mid-K2)

Sit 'em


McCoy leads flock of Eagles
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Robbie Gould vs. Cincinnati Bengals: Is it me, or does this Bengals-Bears game at Soldier Field have all the makings of a defensive battle? That would mean a less-than-stellar performance from Gould, who finished an unimpressive 24th in fantasy points among kickers last season. He's not someone to start in the opening weekend. (Maximum value: Mid-K2)

Rob Bironas at Pittsburgh Steelers: The 18th-rated kicker based on fantasy points last season, Bironas has a tough task in the 2013 opener against the Steelers. Kicking on the sometimes questionable turf at Heinz Field aside, the Steelers defense doesn't figure to give up too many scoring opportunities in front of its home crowd. (Maximum value: Mid-K2)

Owners beware - Mason Crosby at San Francisco 49ers: To put it mildly, Crosby was a major fantasy disappointment for owners last season. He failed to finish in the top 15 based on fantasy points among kickers, and his 2013 opening matchup against the Niners is a difficult one. No defense allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing booters during last season. (Maximum value: Mid-K2)


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!