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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Tight ends 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: Vernon Davis, Joseph Fauria, Rob Housler, Marcedes Lewis, Brandon Myers, Brandon Pettigrew, Julius Thomas

Start of the week



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Jason Witten vs. Minnesota Vikings: Witten has struggled in recent weeks, scoring an average of just three fantasy points in his last three games. Regardless, he remains a legitimate No. 1 fantasy tight end against the Vikings -- their defense has allowed an average of nearly 10 fantasy points per game to tight ends on the road in 2013. (Maximum value: Mid TE1)

Start 'em


Antonio Gates at Washington Redskins: Gates is firmly back on the radar this season, ranking fifth in fantasy points among tight ends after eight weeks. He'll remain a strong option against the Redskins, who have surrendered an average of nearly 10 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends on their home field. (Maximum value: Low TE1)

Martellus Bennett at Green Bay Packers (Mon.) Still a free agent in over 40 percent of NFL.com leagues, Bennett should be considered a legitimate No. 1 option this week when the Bears face the Packers in Green Bay. Their defensive team has surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points (10.8 PPG) to opposing tight ends at Lambeau Field. (Maximum value: Low TE1)

Kyle Rudolph at Dallas Cowboys: Rudolph hasn't been consistent at all this season, but he's still a viable bye-week replacement based on a nice matchup against the Cowboys. No defense has allowed more fantasy points (12.65 PPG) to opposing tight ends on their home field, so Rudolph should treat owners to a nice stat line. (Maximum value: Low TE1)

Sleeper alert - Jordan Reed vs. San Diego Chargers: Reed isn't even truly a fantasy sleeper anymore, but he needs to be mentioned as a starter. Over the last four weeks, he's scored the third-most fantasy points among tight ends and is seeing a ton of targets from Robert Griffin III. If available, add and start Reed this week. (Maximum value: Mid TE1)

Sit of the week


Heath Miller at New England Patriots: Miller has yet to post a big stat line in his return from major knee reconstruction, and this weekend's matchup in New England is anything but atractive. In fact, the Patriots have surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points (3.32 PPG) to opposing tight ends on their home field so far this season. (Maximum value: High TE2)

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Sit 'em


Jared Cook vs. Tennessee Titans: Cook was an absolute statistical beast in Week 1, scoring 24.10 fantasy points. However, he's scored a combined 23.40 points in his last six contests. While he might be motivated to produce big totals against his old team, Cook remains a major risk and should be sidelined in most leagues. (Maximum value: Mid TE2)

Scott Chandler vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Did you know that Chandler is in the top eight in fantasy points among tight ends over the last four weeks? Regardless, he's still going to be a gamble against the Chiefs defense this week -- Kansas City has surrendered the fewest fantasy points (3.44 PPG) to tight ends over the last month. (Maximum value: Mid TE2)

Timothy Wright at Seattle Seahawks: Wright has posted nine-plus fantasy points in two of his last three games and is a nice option off the waiver wire. However, he's not someone you want to start this week against the Seahawks -- their defense has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points (2.26 PPG) to tight ends on their home field. (Maximum value: Mid TE2)

Owners beware - Tony Gonzalez at Carolina Panthers: Gonzalez has struggled in recent weeks, and his history against the Panthers isn't good. He's recorded fewer than 85 yards in 10 straight games against them and has just one touchdown in six career road games in Carolina. Gonzalez is tough to bench, though, so temper expectations. (Maximum value: Low TE1)


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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