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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Quarterbacks for Week 9

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 Adrian Peterson will not be featured. For your final lineup decisions, check our lineup rankings.

Byes: Chad Henne, Colin Kaepernick, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer, Matthew Stafford

Start of the week


Tony Romo vs. Minnesota Vikings: The fourth-highest scoring player in fantasy football with 153.84 points, Romo has been one of the better draft bargains of the 2013 campaign. He's quite a strong play for fantasy owners against the Vikings, who have surrendered the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks over the last four weeks. (Maximum value: High QB1)

Start 'em


Philip Rivers at Washington Redskins: Speaking of bargains, Rivers was waiver wire-fodder in most leagues at the start of the season -- now he's one of the better quarterbacks in fantasy leagues. The veteran is a nice option against the Redskins, who have surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points (20.6 PPG) to quarterbacks at home. (Maximum value: High QB1)

Russell Wilson vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: In his last three games played in odd-numbered weeks, Wilson has scored no fewer than 20.30 fantasy points. The Wisconsin product has also averaged close to 19 fantasy points per game in his last two starts at home, which makes him a far more attractive option against the Buccaneers this weekend. (Maximum value: Mid QB1)

Alex Smith vs. Buffalo Bills: I have little faith in Smith as a consistent fantasy point producer, but he does have a great matchup against the Bills. Over the last four weeks, Buffalo's defense has allowed the third-most fantasy points (21.65 PPG) to signal-callers. With six teams on a bye, Smith is worth a look if you're in dire need. (Maximum value: Low QB1)

Sleeper alert - Terrelle Pryor vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Pryor doesn't need to find success in the air to score fantasy points, as he proved last week in a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Next up is a date with the Eagles, who have allowed an average of over 20 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks on the road this season. (Maximum value: Low QB1)

Sit of the week


A Football Life


The career of legendary coach Vince Lombardi -- who directed the Green Bay Packers to five NFL championships in the 1960s -- will be chronicled on NFL Network on Tuesday, Dec. 24 at 9 p.m. ET.

» The magic of Lombardi
» Top 10 motivational coaches
» Video: 'A Football Life'
» NFL Network schedule

Upcoming episodes:
» Dec. 24: Vince Lombardi, Part 1
» Dec. 31: Vince Lombardi, Part 2
» Jan. 7: Tiki and Ronde Barber
» Jan. 14: Bill Parcells
» Jan. 21: Jerry Smith
» Jan. 28: Jerry Rice

Tom Brady vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Over the last four weeks, 28 quarterbacks have scored more fantasy points than Brady. That is a truly eye-opening stat for the former stud. He needs to remain on the sidelines against the Steelers, who have surrendered an average of fewer than 14 fantasy points to quarterbacks on the road. (Maximum value: High QB2)

Sit 'em


Ben Roethlisberger at New England Patriots: Big Ben has been a shell of his former fantasy self, ranking just 24th in fantasy points among quarterbacks after eight weeks. His fortunes aren't likely to improve against the Patriots, who have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points (9.3 PPG) to opposing signal-callers at home this season. (Maximum value: Mid QB2)

Joe Flacco at Cleveland Browns: To put it lightly, Flacco has been a statistical wasteland playing in Cleveland during his career. Not only has he passed for fewer than 160 yards in four straight road meetings against the Browns, but Flacco has also recorded 17 completions or fewer in each of his five career road meetings against them. (Maximum value: Mid QB2)

Jake Locker at St. Louis Rams: I'm a fan of Locker for most of the remainder of the season, but this week's matchup against the Rams is a tough one. Over the last four weeks, St. Louis has given up an average of fewer than 14 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Their defense is also tougher at home against signal-callers. (Maximum value: High QB2)

Owners beware - Andrew Luck at Houston Texans: With six teams on a bye this week, Luck is going to be very tough to bench -- and you shouldn't do it unless you have a viable replacement. His matchup is tough, though, as the Texans have allowed an average of just 14.2 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks on their home field in 2013. (Maximum value: Low QB1)


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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