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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Week 2

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.

QB Start of the week


Robert Griffin III at Green Bay Packers: Griffin III might have looked a bit rusty at the start of last week's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, but he finished strong and still put up close to 20 fantasy points. He should be in your starting lineup against the Packers, who allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks (Colin Kaepernick) during the first week of the season. (Maximum value: High-QB1)

QB Start 'em


Andrew Luck vs. Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks last week, but that was against Brandon Weeden - not a signal-caller the caliber of Luck. A fantasy superstar in the making at his position, Luck has averaged a solid 258.1 passing yards and scored an impressive 18 total touchdowns in nine career regular-season home games. (Maximum value: High-QB1)

Michael Vick vs. San Diego Chargers: I don't know that Vick will re-emerge into an elite fantasy quarterback like he was during the 2010 campaign, but his stock is on the rise in the high-speed offense of new coach Chip Kelly. I'd start him against the Chargers, who surrendered close to 24 fantasy points to Matt Schaub in their collapse against the Houston Texans. (Maximum value: Low-QB1)

Matt Schaub vs. Tennessee Titans: Fantasy owners shouldn't start Schaub ahead of a more reliable No. 1 quarterback, but he is a nice matchup-based option this week against the Tennessee Titans. In eight career starts against this AFC South opponent, Schaub has a combined 17 touchdown passes with two turnovers. He also has seven straight starts with two-plus scores against them. (Maximum value: Low-QB1)

Sleeper alert - Terrelle Pryor vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: You all knew I was going to list Pryor here again, right? After posting almost 20 fantasy points in last week's loss to the Indianapolis Colts, Pryor now has another nice matchup ahead against the Jaguars. Their defense allowed just 173 passing yards to Alex Smith last week, but he still scored nearly 18 fantasy points. (Maximum value: Low-QB1)

QB Sit of the week


Ben Roethlisberger at Cincinnati Bengals (Mon.): Things did not look good for the Steelers offense last week, as Ben Roethlisberger threw for 191 yards and scored 9.64 fantasy points. I would keep him sidelined against the Bengals, who have held Big Ben to one or fewer passing touchdowns in eight of their last nine meetings. He's also thrown for 280 yards or fewer in 15 straight. (Maximum value: Mid-QB2)

QB Sit 'em


Joe Flacco vs. Cleveland Browns: Flacco has been a more productive quarterback on his home field, but the depth at his position makes him less attractive as a fantasy starter. Furthermore, the MVP of Super Bowl XLVII has not had a lot of success against the Browns. In 10 career meetings, Flacco has recorded just 13 total touchdowns. Unless you're desperate, there are better options. (Maximum value: Mid-QB2)

Josh Freeman vs. New Orleans Saints: Freeman has had some success against the Saints, averaging a stout 314 passing yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions in his last three home meetings against them. Still, it's tough to trust him based on his recent totals. Freeman has failed to throw for more than one touchdown in each of his last four starts dating back to last season. (Maximum value: Mid-QB2)

EJ Manuel vs. Carolina Panthers: Manuel made a nice impact in his first NFL start, throwing two touchdown passes with no turnovers (16.30 fantasy points) in a loss to the New England Patriots. However, that doesn't make him someone to trust heading into a Week 2 matchup against an improved Panthers defense. Keep the rookie on the fantasy sidelines at this point in time. (Maximum value: Mid-QB2)

Owners beware - Jay Cutler vs. Minnesota Vikings: This matchup looks awesome on paper, as the Vikings allowed 20.48 fantasy points to Matthew Stafford. However, Cutler has had his recent struggles with the Vikings. In two games against them last season, he threw for a combined two touchdowns with three interceptions. A deep quarterback position should offer you better options. (Maximum value: Mid-QB2)


RB Start of the week


Marshawn Lynch vs. San Francisco 49ers: Why do I have Lynch listed as a start 'em? Well, a ton of people on Twitter are freaking out about him after last week's bad performance and an upcoming game against the Niners. "Beast Mode" has rushed for 100-plus yards against San Francisco in three straight games and has scored a rushing touchdown in two of those contests. Keep him in your lineup. (Maximum value: High-RB1)

RB Start 'em


Darren McFadden vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: McFadden posted a nice line last week against the Indianapolis Colts, scoring one touchdown and 12.60 fantasy points. He's a recommended start once again against the Jaguars, who have all kinds of question marks on both sides of the football. What's more, Jamaal Charles beat them for a touchdown and 16 fantasy points in the season opener. (Maximum value: High-RB1)

Eddie Lacy vs. Washington Redskins: Despite the fact that he faced the Niners and lost a fumble, Lacy still scored a respectable 11.20 fantasy points in his NFL debut. This week he'll face a much less formidable run defense, as the Redskins allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs in Week 1. Lacy makes for an attractive flex starter with upside in this NFC contest. (Maximum value: Mid-RB2)

DeAngelo Williams at Buffalo Bills: Williams posted 100 scrimmage yards against a tough Seahawks defense last week, so I'm expecting better things against a far less formidable Bills run defense. This unit allowed the sixth-most fantasy points and the second-most rushing yards to running backs in their opener, which makes the veteran out of Memphis a viable flex starter in leagues. (Maximum value: Low-RB2)

Sleeper alert - Daryl Richardson at Atlanta Falcons: Richardson didn't set the fantasy world on fire last week, but he did score just under 10 fantasy points - not bad for a player who is considered a flex starter in most formats. He's a nice option in that spot in Week 2 against the Falcons, who surrendered the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs in their home-opening contest. (Maximum value: High-RB3)

RB Sit of the week


Ryan Mathews at Philadelphia Eagles: Mathews had a decent line against the Houston Texans last week, but did you know it was Ronnie Brown, not Mathews, who led the Chargers' running backs in snaps? And if you take away his touchdown catch off a Texans turnover that occurred deep in their own territory, Mathews would have finished with fewer than five fantasy points in the contest. (Maximum value: High-RB3)

RB Sit 'em


BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: The Law Firm found the end zone last week in a loss to the Chicago Bears, but he's still a hard sell in fantasy leagues. I'd keep him on the bench Monday night, as he'll face a Steelers defense that held him to just 83 rushing yards last season. Plus, Green-Ellis hasn't scored against the Steelers in five career meetings. (Maximum value: High-RB3)

Rashard Mendenhall vs. Detroit Lions: The Lions allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs last week, but that was against Adrian Peterson. My friends, Mendenhall is no Peterson - not even close. The veteran out of Illinois also lost carries to Alfonso Smith last week, which has to be a concern for a player who has had some major knee issues over the last two years. (Maximum value: High-RB3)

Montee Ball at New York Giants: Ball has the most upside of all the Broncos runners, but it's still hard to trust a player who doesn't start and loses carries to not one but two teammates. In Week 1, he was limited to eight carries for 24 yards - and that was in a platoon role. At this point, there isn't a Broncos back to trust in most fantasy formats - including Ball. (Maximum value: Low-RB3)

Owners beware - Frank Gore at Seattle Seahawks: If Gore is on your roster, chances are you will have to start him. Just keep this in mind - he has scored just one rushing touchdown in his last six games against the Seahawks. Furthermore, Gore has rushed for fewer than 85 yards in each of his last six trips to the Great Northwest. This is a brutal matchup for the veteran runner. (Maximum value: High-RB2)


WR Start of the week


DeSean Jackson vs. San Diego Chargers: Jackson is trending up in the offense of new coach Chip Kelly, especially after his 104-yard, one-touchdown performance against the Washington Redskins. And while I'm still not sold that he'll return to elite status, Jackson is a strong option against the Chargers in what could turn into a very high-scoring contest at Lincoln Financial Field. (Maximum value: High-WR2)

WR Start 'em


Pierre Garcon at Green Bay Packers: Garcon posted a solid seven catches last week against the Eagles, but his 64 yards (6.4 fantasy points) in standard leagues wasn't at all eye-popping. Regardless, owners should still keep him active - even if it's as just a No. 3 wide receiver - against a Packers defense that allowed 13 catches, 208 yards and one touchdown to Anquan Boldin in Week 1. (Maximum value: Mid-WR2)

Steve Smith at Buffalo Bills: The Bills have one of the most fantasy-friendly defenses in the league, making Smith an attractive option in fantasy leagues. Last week, Buffalo allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to wideouts including two touchdowns to Julian Edelman. With DBs Jairus Byrd and Stephon Gilmore out of action, the Bills are going to continue to be vulnerable as a pass defense. (Maximum value: Mid-WR2)

Dwayne Bowe vs. Dallas Cowboys: Bowe was almost invisible in the stat sheets last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but fantasy leaguers should still continue to start him as a No. 3 wideout with No. 2 potential against the Cowboys. Their defense allowed three different wideouts to post 100-plus yards last week including one, Victor Cruz, who found the end zone three times. (Maximum value: Mid-WR2)

Sleeper alert -- Marlon Brown vs. Cleveland Browns: This is a deep sleeper, but Brown is on the fantasy radar now that he's starting opposite Torrey Smith. With CB Joe Haden focusing on Smith, don't be shocked if Brown is targeted more than a few times in this AFC North battle. As a result, owners desperate for a third wideout or flex starter should take notice. (Maximum value: Low-WR3)

WR Sit of the week


Roddy White vs. St. Louis Rams: White is dealing with the effects of a high ankle sprain, which limited him to just two catches for 19 yards in last week's loss to the New Orleans Saints. He tweeted that fantasy owners should be very careful starting him this week if he's unable to practice, which is enough to raise red flags. White is a risk as long as his ankle remains an issue. (Maximum value: High-WR2)

WR Sit 'em


Steve Johnson vs. Carolina Panthers: Johnson scored a touchdown last week in a last-second loss against the Patriots, but he still failed to produce double-digit fantasy points in standard leagues. With a talented but inexperienced quarterback in EJ Manuel under center and a tough matchup against the Panthers next on the schedule, Johnson is no lock to produce a solid stat line.(Maximum value: Low-WR3)

Greg Jennings at Chicago Bears: Jennings came with all kinds of risk after signing with the Vikings, and his weak performance in Week 1 did nothing but further concerns. This week he faces the Bears, who have held Jennings to just one total touchdown in their last five meetings. Jennings has also recorded 60-plus yards just once in six career games in the Windy City. (Maximum value: Low-WR3)

Mike Williams vs. New Orleans Saints: If you're thinking of starting Williams against the Saints, you might want to think again. He has averaged fewer than 65 yards in six career games against them and has never even had one reception of 25-plus yards. What's more, Williams has failed to post even a single touchdown reception in his last four games against this NFC South opponent. (Maximum value: Low-WR3)

Owners beware - Anquan Boldin at Seattle Seahawks: Let's face it - you're not sitting Boldin after he went off last week against the Packers. However, you might want to temper expectations - in 2012, no team allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing wide receivers at home than the Seahawks. That includes Michael Crabtree, who scored just 6.5 fantasy points against them in Week 16. (Maximum value: High-WR2)


TE Start of the week


Owen Daniels vs. Tennessee Titans: Daniels started the season on a high note, scoring two touchdowns and 18.70 fantasy points in the season opener. He should remain in your fantasy lineup against the Titans, who allowed more fantasy points to tight ends in 2012 road games than any other team. Daniels has also put up 70-plus yards in two of his last three games against Tennessee. (Maximum value: High-TE1)

TE Start 'em


Jordan Cameron at Baltimore Ravens: Cameron made quite a nice impact in Week 1, posting 108 yards and a pair of touchdown catches against the Miami Dolphins. His success should continue against the Ravens, who allowed 23 fantasy points to another tight end, Julius Thomas, in the opener. With Josh Gordon still suspended, Cameron will remain prominent in the Browns' pass attack. (Maximum value: High-TE1)

Julius Thomas at New York Giants: I like to ride the hot hand, and there are few tight ends hotter than Thomas. An athletic freak, he put up 110 yards with two touchdowns in a win over the Ravens. Next up, he faces the Giants, who have major defensive backfield issues and allowed 19 fantasy points to Jason Witten in their opener. Thomas will be a hot waiver-wire pickup to be certain. (Maximum value: Mid-TE1)

Brandon Myers vs. Denver Broncos: In 2012, the Broncos allowed the second-most fantasy points to tight ends in road games. Last week, their defense gave up 10 fantasy points to the position - and it would have been more if not for several dropped passes. Myers, who found the end zone in Week 1, should benefit from the matchup and is closing in on surefire No. 1 tight end status. (Maximum value: Low-TE1)

Sleeper alert - Brent Celek vs. San Diego Chargers: Celek caught just two passes in Monday night's win over the Washington Redskins, but he found the end zone with one of them and finished with a solid 11.60 fantasy points. This week he goes up against the Chargers, who surrendered a ridiculous 27.40 fantasy to tight ends in a loss to the Texans. Celek is a free agent in many leagues. (Maximum value: High-TE2)

TE Sit of the week


Antonio Gates at Philadelphia Eagles: The days of Gates being a No. 1 fantasy option are in the rearview mirror. That was obvious in Week 1, as he scored a mere 4.90 points in what was a shootout against the Texans. This week he faces the Eagles, who held tight ends to just six combined fantasy points in their opener. At this point, Gates has more name value than real value. (Maximum value: High-TE2)

TE Sit 'em


Fred Davis at Green Bay Packers: The Packers allowed a boatload of fantasy points to tight ends last week, but that was due to a matchup against Vernon Davis in an explosive Niners offense. This week the Pack face a different Davis - and a less productive one - at Lambeau Field. With so many other tight ends emerging, the veteran should be no more than a fantasy backup. (Maximum value: Mid-TE2)

Jermaine Gresham vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (Mon.): Gresham was in the sit 'em portion of this column last week, and he finished with 3.50 fantasy points. His fortunes aren't likely to improve against the Steelers, who have been tough on him. In 2012, Gresham posted a combined six catches for 57 yards and no scores in two games against Pittsburgh. (Maximum value: Mid-TE2)

Dallas Clark vs. Cleveland Browns: Suprisingly, Clark was the second-most targeted tight end in the league last week with 14 - seven of which he caught for 87 yards. While that's a positive in terms of his fantasy appeal, the 34-year old former superstar isn't someone who warrants a starting role in your lineup. Keep him on the sidelines - or waiver wire - unless he proves consistent. (Maximum value: Mid-TE2)

Owners beware - Kyle Rudolph at Chicago Bears: A No. 1 fantasy tight end last season, Rudolph didn't have a hot start to 2013 with 27 yards and no touchdowns. He's a risk this week against the Bears, who have held him to an average of 22.5 yards and one touchdown in four career meetings. So despite his overall success last season, there are already better options to consider. (Maximum value: High-TE1)


K Start of the week


Justin Tucker vs. Cleveland Browns: Tucker had a nice start to the 2013 campaign, scoring nine fantasy points in a loss to the Denver Broncos. His success on the gridiron should continue against the Browns, who allowed the third-most (tie) fantasy points to kickers in Week 1. Owned in most NFL.com leagues, Tucker also needs to be in your starting lineup in this AFC North matchup. (Maximum value: High-K1)

K Start 'em


Matt Bryant vs. St. Louis Rams: One of the top kickers in fantasy land over the last few years, Bryant didn't have a great start to 2013 with a mere five fantasy points in a loss to the New Orleans Saints. Still, that's no reason to bench him in what could be a wild shootout against the Rams this week. If he's on your fantasy team, Bryant needs to be active and projected to succeed. (Maximum value: High-K1)

Randy Bullock vs. Tennessee Titans: A fantasy sleeper on NFL.com, Bullock scored seven points against the San Diego Chargers last week - and it could have been more had he not just missed on a 51-yard field goal. He should see more than his share of opportunities to produce in the Texans' home opener against a Titans defense that isn't as good as it looked last weekend. (Maximum value: Mid-K1)

Sleeper alert - Alex Henery vs. San Diego Chargers: If you like to stream kickers, consider Henery this week. A free agent in more than 96 percent of NFL.com leagues, he has the advantage of kicking behind a high-octane offense that is going to run a lot of plays under coach Chip Kelly. Henery also has a nice matchup against a Chargers defense that gave up 31 points in their opener. (Maximum value: Mid-K1)

K Sit of the week


Adam Vinatieri vs. Miami Dolphins: Once considered an elite kicker in fantasy land, Vinatieri is no longer a consistent enough option to warrant a regular starting role in fantasy land. That was evident in Week 1, as he scored just three points and didn't attempt a single field goal. What's more, he faces a Dolphins team that allowed just four fantasy points to kickers in Week 1. (Maximum value: High-K2)

K Sit 'em


Phil Dawson at Seattle Seahawks: Dawson's value shot through the roof when he signed with the Niners, who have one of the more explosive offensive attacks in the National Football League. So while it might be tough to bench him, keep in mind that this week's game against the Seahawks isn't at all favorable. No team has a bigger home field advantage than Seattle and their 12th man. (Maximum value: Low-K1)

Rob Bironas at Houston Texans: Bironas had a lot of success in Week 1, nailing three field goals including a 50-plus yarder while scoring 10 fantasy points in a win over the Steelers. With that being said, this week's road matchup against the Texans is a lot less attractive. In fact, Bironas has kicked one or fewer field goals in three of his last four meetings against them. (Maximum value: Mid-K2)

Owners beware - Dan Bailey at Kansas City Chiefs: Owned in just over 60 percent of NFL.com leagues in Week 1, Bailey rewarded his owners with an impressive 12 fantasy points on three field-goal attempts. He's not a lock to post another solid stat line against the Chiefs, though, who have an underrated defense and will be fired up to produce in front of their passionate home fans. (Maximum value: Low-K1)


DEF Start of the week


Bengals defense vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (Mon.): The Steelers are a mess on offense, as the loss of C Maurkice Pouncey and a questionable running game make them a prime matchup for fantasy defenses. That includes the Bengals, who will be fired in their home opener in the Queen City. If you own the Bengals, you're likely to reap the Week 2 rewards.(Maximum value: High-DEF1)

DEF Start 'em


Texans defense vs. Tennessee Titans: The Pittsburgh Steelers defense scored just four fantasy points against the Titans last week, but this is still a nice matchup for the Texans. This unit is loaded with playmakers, and the Titans offense has some obvious questions marks in the pass attack. If you're the lucky owners of the Texans in your league, make sure to start them. (Maximum value: High-DEF1)

Chiefs defense vs. Dallas Cowboys: In a matchup of the two highest-scoring fantasy defenses in Week 1, the Chiefs should come out as the better option this weekend. Playing in front of their rabid fans and with Tony Romo (ribs) and Dez Bryant (foot) both banged up, Kansas City's underrated defense should find success. They're still available in plenty of fantasy leagues on NFL.com. (Maximum value: Low-DEF1)

Sleeper alert - Raiders defense vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: If you're one of those fantasy owners who likes to "stream" defenses on a week-to-week basis, take a chance on the Raiders based on a nice matchup against the Jaguars. Their offense didn't score a single point last week, and their line allowed six sacks of their quarterback. Oakland's defense is available in most leagues. (Maximum value: Low-DEF1)

DEF Sit of the week


Rams defense at Atlanta Falcons: The Rams have one of the league's up-and-coming fantasy defenses, but this is not the week to start them. That's due in large part to a road matchup against Matt Ryan and the Falcons, who field one of the most potent offenses in the entire league. This game could turn into a shootout, which is almost never good for defensive production in fantasy land. (Maximum value: Low-DEF2)

DEF Sit 'em


Giants defense vs. Denver Broncos: It's the Manning Bowl in New York, as Peyton and Eli face off in a brother vs. brother battle. The elder Manning is coming off a ridiculous seven-touchdown game in Week 1, so the banged-up Giants pass defense could be in a whole lot of trouble. After scoring just four fantasy points last week, this is clearly a unit to avoid at this point. (Maximum value: Mid-DEF2)

Redskins defense at Green Bay Packers: The Redskins scored a solid 12 fantasy points last week, but six came on a fluky backwards pass that was returned for a touchdown. Regardless, the Skins are not an attractive fantasy option this week in what could turn into a shootout against the Packers at Lambeau Field. There are better defensive options on the waiver wire in most leagues. (Maximum value: Low-DEF2)

Owners beware - Steelers defense at Cincinnati Bengals (Mon.): The Steelers used to field an elite defense in fantasy land, but that was then and this is now. Last week, this unit mustered a mere four fantasy points in what looked like a good home matchup against the Titans. Next up is a tough road game against the Bengals, which makes the Steelers much less of a fantasy option. (Maximum value: Low-DEF2)


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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