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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Week 10

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.

QB Byes: Tom Brady, Jason Campbell, Alex Smith, Geno Smith

QB Start of the week


Philip Rivers vs. Denver Broncos: This AFC West showdown has the look of a massive shootout in the stat sheets, so Rivers is an attractive option in fantasy land. Further adding to his appeal this week is the fact that the Broncos have given up more fantasy points (27.1 PPG) to quarterbacks on the road than any team in the NFL. (Maximum value: High QB1)

QB Start 'em


Russell Wilson at Atlanta Falcons: Wilson hasn't been as productive in even-numbered weeks this season, but I'm looking past that odd trend and focusing on the matchup in Atlanta instead. The Falcons have allowed the third-most fantasy points (21.6 PPG) to opposing quarterbacks at home, so Wilson should shine in the Georgia Dome. (Maximum value: Mid QB1)

Colin Kaepernick vs. Carolina Panthers: No team has allowed fewer fantasy points to quarterbacks on the road than Carolina, but that stat is deceiving -- the Panthers have faced E.J. Manuel, Carson Palmer, Matt Cassel and Mike Glennon on the road. That's not exactly the who's who of fantasy stars. Start Kaepernick with confidence. (Maximum value: Low QB1)

Ben Roethlisberger vs. Buffalo Bills: Big Ben hasn't had the most consistent season in the stat sheets, but he is coming off a monster performance against the New England Patriots. Next up are the Bills, who have allowed six quarterbacks to score 19-plus fantasy points against them in 2013. He's still a free agent in a lot of NFL.com leagues. (Maximum value: Low QB1)

Sleeper alert - Jake Locker vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Locker has been hot lately, scoring 19-plus fantasy points in three of his last four starts. He should continue to put up a nice numbers this weekend against the Jaguars, who have surrendered an average of over 20 fantasy points per game to signal-callers on the road this season. (Maximum value: Low QB1)

QB Sit of the week


Terrelle Pryor at New York Giants: Pryor was on his way to a big stat line last week before injuring his knee, but the ailment shouldn't keep him out of action this week. Regardless, he's a bit of a risk against the Giants -- their defense has surrendered an average of just 9.23 fantasy points to quarterbacks in the last four weeks. (Maximum value: High QB2)

QB Sit 'em


Andy Dalton at Baltimore Ravens: Dalton was one of the hottest quarterbacks in fantasy football, but last week's stinker against the Miami Dolphins put that streak to bed. He's in danger of posting another poor stat line against the Ravens, who have surrendered an average of just 10.8 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks at home. (Maximum value: High QB2)

Case Keenum at Arizona Cardinals: Keenum has been white hot since taking over the starting job in Houston, but can you trust him to post strong numbers in a tough road game against the Cardinals? Their pass defense has been tough in 2013, allowing an average of just 13.4 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks on their home field. (Maximum value: High QB2)

Carson Palmer vs. Houston Texans: If interceptions were fantasy gold, Palmer would be one of the richest quarterbacks in the NFL. Unfortunately for the veteran, his tendency to throw picks plus a bad matchup against the Texans makes him a sit 'em. Houston has allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points (14 PPG) to quarterbacks on the road. (Maximum value: Mid QB2)

Owners beware - Matt Ryan vs. Seattle Seahawks: You probably have to start Ryan this week, but I would temper expectations. He's thrown seven interceptions in his last two starts, and a game versus Seattle isn't at all favorable. In fact, their defense has given up the third-fewest fantasy points (12.8 PPG) to quarterbacks on the road. (Maximum value: Low QB1)


RB Byes: LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden, Jamaal Charles, Chris Ivory, Willis McGahee, Chris Ogbonnaya, Bilal Powell, Stevan Ridley

RB Start of the week


Chris Johnson vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: We saw glimpses of the old CJ2K last week, as he gashed the St. Louis Rams for 150 yards, two touchdowns and 29 fantasy points. He should remain in your lineup against the Jaguars, who have allowed more fantasy points (32.6 PPG) to running backs than any other team over the last four weeks. (Maximum value: High RB1)

RB Start 'em


C.J. Spiller at Pittsburgh Steelers: Spiller rushed for 100-plus yards last week for the first time since Week 2, and it looks like his ankle isn't as much of a hindrance. Both Spiller and Fred Jackson are nice options against the Steelers, who have surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points (21.7 PPG) to running backs this season. (Maximum value: High RB2)

Maurice Jones-Drew at Tennessee Titans: Is MJD showing signs of breaking out? He's posted 12-plus fantasy points in two of his last three games, and this week's matchup in Tennessee is a favorable one. The Titans have surrendered an average of over 21 fantasy points per game to running backs, including 29.8 to Zac Stacy last weekend. (Maximum value: High RB2)

Pierre Thomas vs. Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys have surrendered an average of over 21 fantasy points per game to running backs over the last four weeks, so Thomas is in a good position to succeed. With Darren Sproles injured, the Illinois product should see an increased presence in the offense, which makes him that much more attractive. (Maximum value: Mid RB2)

Sleeper alert - Mike James vs. Miami Dolphins (Mon.): Shockingly, James went into Seattle last week and absolutely gashed the Seahawks for 158 rushing yards. Next on the schedule is a far easier matchup against the Dolphins, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points (24.6 PPG) to opposing running backs over the last four weeks. (Maximum value: High RB2)

RB Sit of the week


Ryan Mathews vs. Denver Broncos: Mathews' value appeared to be on the rise, that is until he posted a 3.4-point stinker against the Washington Redskins. Next on the slate are the Broncos, who have held Mathews without a touchdown in their last four meetings. Denver has also been tough on running backs (14.8 PPG) on the road this year. (Maximum value: Mid RB2)

RB Sit 'em


Le'Veon Bell vs. Buffalo Bills: This seems odd to write, but the Bills have been tough against the run this season. Don't believe me? Just ask Jamaal Charles. In fact, Buffalo has surrendered the fourth-fewest fantasy points (13.6 PPG) to opposing runners on the road. That's just a little warning for Bell's fantasy owners this week. (Maximum value: Mid RB2)

Ben Tate at Arizona Cardinals: With Arian Foster banged up, it looks like Tate will be seeing most of the backfield work for the Texans this week. He's dealing with four broken ribs, though, and a matchup in Arizona isn't attractive. Their defense has allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points (11.6 PPG) to runners on their home field. (Maximum value: Low RB2)

BenJarvus Green-Ellis at Baltimore Ravens: I have more faith in Giovani Bernard than I do in Green-Ellis, who has scored fewer than 10 fantasy points in each of his last four games. That streak is likely to continue against Ravens, who have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points (10.7 PPG) to running backs on their home field in 2013. (Maximum value: Mid RB3)

Owners beware - Steven Jackson vs. Seattle Seahawks: Since his return from an injured hamstring, Jackson has scored a combined 8.9 fantasy points -- that's 41st among runners in that time. He'll be a real risk-reward runner against the Seahawks, who have surrendered an average of just 15.1 fantasy points per game to running backs overall. (Maximum value: Mid RB2)


WR Byes: Danny Amendola, Donnie Avery, Davone Bess, Dwayne Bowe, Aaron Dobson, Josh Gordon, Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley, Greg Little, Dexter McCluster, David Nelson, Kenbrell Thompkins

WR Start of the week


Keenan Allen vs. Denver Broncos: Allen has been electric in the stat sheets, scoring 16-plus fantasy points in three of his last four games -- that includes a season-best 18.8 points against the Washington Redskins last week. Keep him active against the Broncos, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to wideouts on the road. (Maximum value: Mid WR1)

WR Start 'em


Antonio Brown vs. Buffalo Bills: A PPR machine, Brown has recorded nine or more catches in four of his last six games. He's a strong play in all leagues this week against the Bills, who have given up the third-most fantasy points (33.6 PPG) to wide receivers on the road this season. Emmanuel Sanders is also a very nice option for owners. (Maximum value: Low WR1)

Alshon Jeffery vs. Detroit Lions: One of the most talented young wideouts in the entire league, Jeffery is showing signs of being a fantasy monster in the near future. He's quite a strong play this weekend against the Lions, who have surrendered the second-most fantasy points (31.5 PPG) to opposing wide receivers in the last four weeks. (Maximum value: Mid WR2)

Hakeem Nicks vs. New York Giants: Nicks has been a disappointment overall this season, but he's still a worthy starter when the matchup is favorable. That's the case this week, as the Raiders have allowed the third-most fantasy points (27.4 PPG) to wide receivers this season. Consider Nicks a borderline No. 2 or 3 wideout with big-time upside. (Maximum value: High WR2)

Sleeper alert - Golden Tate at Atlanta Falcons: The Seahawks don't expect to have Percy Harvin back this week, so Tate should see plenty of targets in the pass attack from Russell Wilson. He also has a great matchup against the Falcons, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points (30.7 PPG) to opposing wide receivers at home in 2013. (Maximum value: Low WR2)

WR Sit of the week


Mike Wallace at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Mon.): Wallace has been a disappointment in the stats sheets this season, so much that last week's 8.2-point performance was considered successful. This week he will tangle with CB Darrelle Revis and the Buccaneers, and facing a shut down corner of that caliber is enough to temper all fantasy expectations. Maximum value: High WR3)

WR Sit 'em


Steve Smith at San Francisco 49ers: Once considered a fantasy superstar, Smith has seen his stock tumble this season. In fact, he's scored double-digit fantasy points once since Week 1. The Niners have allowed an average of just 18.9 fantasy points per game to wide receivers, so Smith isn't in a very good position to reverse his fortunes. (Maximum value: High WR3)

Cecil Shorts at Tennessee Titans: Shorts is once again the top option in the pass attack for Jacksonville after the suspension of Justin Blackmon, so he should see a ton of targets from Chad Henne. However, this week's matchup is awful -- the Titans have allowed the fewest fantasy points (9.45 PPG) to wide receivers at home this season. (Maximum value: Mid WR2)

Steve Johnson at Pittsburgh Steelers: Johnson will get EJ Manuel back under center this week, but that's not enough to look past what is a brutal matchup against the Steelers. Their defense has been tough on wideouts, allowing the third-fewest fantasy points (14 PPG) to the position at home. That makes Johnson a risk for fantasy owners. (Maximum value: High WR3)

Owners beware - Anquan Boldin vs. Carolina Panthers: Boldin's numbers have been inconsistent since HIA Week 1 explosion, and an upcoming matchup against the Panthers makes him a real risk for fantasy leaguers. Over the course of this season, Carolina has surrendered the fourth-fewest fantasy points (14.7 PPG) to opposing wideouts on the road. (Maximum value: High WR3)


TE Byes: Jordan Cameron, Jeff Cumberland, Anthony Fasano, Rob Gronkowski

TE Start of the week


Antonio Gates vs. Denver Broncos: Gates has been reborn in the stat sheets this season, and his success should continue against the Broncos. The veteran has been targeted 29 times in his last three home games against Denver and has scored three touchdowns in his last three games against them overall. Consider him a top-end No. 1 option. (Maximum value: High TE1)

TE Start 'em


Jason Witten at New Orleans Saints: This game between the Cowboys and Saints has all the makings of a shootout, which is good news for Witten. In his last two games against New Orleans, the veteran has recorded a combined 16 receptions for 159 yards. Witten is a must-start player in PPR leagues and a nice option in standard formats as well. (Maximum value: Mid TE1)

Timothy Wright vs. Miami Dolphins (Mon.) Wright has been on absolute fire, scoring nine-plus fantasy points in three of his last four games -- including 11.8 points last weekend in Seattle. He will stay hot against the Dolphins, who have surrendered the second-most fantasy points (15.4 PPG) to opposing tight ends on the road this season. (Maximum value: Mid TE1)

Garrett Graham at Arizona Cardinals: Still listed as a free agent in most leagues on NFL.com, Graham has some sleeper appeal this week in Arizona. No team in the NFL has surrendered more receiving yards (708), more touchdown catches (8) or more fantasy points (14.6 PPG) to opposing tight ends than the Cardinals this season. (Maximum value: Low TE1)

Sleeper alert - Zach Ertz at Green Bay Packers: If you are desperate for a tight end this week, take a chance on Ertz in deeper leagues. He found the end zone in Week 9 and now has a nice matchup against the Packers, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points (10.14 PPG) to tight ends in 2013. The rookie is still a free agent in most leagues. (Maximum value: High TE2)

TE Sit of the week


Jared Cook at Indianapolis Colts: Cook scored a touchdown and a solid 9.6 fantasy points last week, but it was his first score and his best point total since Week 1. His numbers appear destined to tumble against the Colts, who have surrendered the fifth-fewest fantasy points (4.0 PPG) to opposing tight ends on their home field in 2013. (Maximum value: Mid TE2)

TE Sit 'em


Heath Miller vs. Buffalo Bills: Miller has been quiet in recent weeks, scoring an average of 3.9 fantasy points over his last three games. What's more, he has found the end zone just once all year long. The Bills have also been very tough against tight ends, allowing the seventh-fewest fantasy points (6.3 PPG) to the position overall. (Maximum value: High TE2)

Coby Fleener vs. St. Louis Rams: Fleener is coming off a solid performance, scoring 8.4 fantasy points in a comeback win over the Houston Texans. Still, this weekend's matchup against the Rams isn't at all attractive. In fact, St. Louis' defense has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points (4.98 PPG) to opposing tight ends in 2013. (Maximum value: High TE2)

Scott Chandler at Pittsburgh Steelers: A top-12 fantasy tight end over the last four weeks, Chandler has been a viable starter during the bye weeks. However, he's a major risk this week at Heinz Field against the Steelers. Their defense has surrendered the sixth-fewest fantasy points (4.5 PPG) to opposing tight ends on their home field. (Maximum value: Mid TE2)

Owners beware - Greg Olsen at San Francisco 49ers: It's tough to bench a tight end like Olsen during the bye weeks, and you shouldn't do it unless you have a solid alternative. Just keep in mind that over the last four weeks, the Niners have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points (4.7 PPG) to tight ends. Clearly, this is a bad matchup. (Maximum value: Low TE1)


K Byes: Billy Cundiff, Nick Folk, Stephen Gostkowski, Ryan Succop

K Start of the week


Steven Hauschka at Atlanta Falcons: One of the 10 best kickers in fantasy football, Hauschka has scored eight or more fantasy points in all but two games this season. That's quite an impressive stat. He's a very strong play against the Falcons, who have surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points (10.2 PPG) to opposing kickers at home. (Maximum value: High K1)

K Start 'em


Nick Novak vs. Denver Broncos: Novak has been a bit quiet over his last two games, scoring a combined 12 fantasy points. However, this week's matchup against the Broncos bodes well for his chances to rebound. Denver has allowed more fantasy points (12 PPG) to kickers on the road than any team in the league, so Novak is well worth a look. (Maximum value: Mid K1)

Robbie Gould vs. Detroit Lions: Gould has quietly been hot in recent weeks, scoring a combined 31 fantasy points in his last three games. His streak of success should continue at home against the Lions, who have allowed more fantasy points (11.1 PPG) to kickers than any team in the NFL. Gould remains a free agent in most NFL.com formats. (Maximum value: Mid K1)

Sleeper alert - Mike Nugent at Baltimore Ravens: Nugent isn't a big name in fantasy land, but he's scored nine or more fantasy points in all but one of his last five games. Next on the schedule is a date with the Ravens, who have given up the third-most fantasy points (10 PPG) to kickers. Nugent is a free agent in 95 percent of leagues. (Maximum value: Low K1)

K Sit of the week


Alex Henery at Green Bay Packers: Henery was a viable No. 1 fantasy kicker earlier this season, but he's taken a nosedive in recent weeks. In fact, Henery ranks an unimpressive 27th in fantasy points over the last four weeks. He should remain sidelined against the Packers, who have been tough on opposing kickers throughout the year. (Maximum value: High K2)

K Sit 'em


Graham Gano at San Francisco 49ers: A start 'em in our previous edition of this column, Gano has been hot with a combined 38 fantasy points in the last four weeks. His hot streak could come to and end this week, though, as the Niners have surrendered the fifth-fewest fantasy points (5.7 PPG) to opposing kickers on their home field in 2013. (Maximum value: High K2)

Randy Bullock at Arizona Cardinals: Bullock has been awful this season, so much so that the Texans brought in some veteran kickers for tryouts earlier this week. Regardless, he isn't someone you want to play against the Cardinals -- their defense has surrendered an average of fewer than eight fantasy points per game to kickers this season. (Maximum value: Mid K2)

Owners beware - Matt Bryant vs. Seattle Seahawks: Once considered a top-end fantasy kicker, Bryant's stock has fallen in recent weeks. In fact, 27 kickers have scored more fantasy points since Week 6. With a matchup against the Seahawks up next, Bryant's fortunes don't appeared poised to improve. Look for other options off the waiver wire. (Maximum value: Low K1)


DEF Byes: Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, New York Jets

DEF Start of the week


Titans defense vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Whenever a defense has a matchup against the Jaguars, that unit is going to be a legitimate streaming option. This week that defense is the Titans, who will host Jacksonville in an AFC South battle. Tennessee is still a free agent in over 70 percent of NFL.com leagues, so grab them and start them. (Maximum value: High DEF1)

DEF Start 'em


Cardinals defense vs. Houston Texans: Case Keenum has been impressive under center, but he's still a rookie and faces a difficult matchup against an underrated Cardinals defense. Also keep in mind that over the last four weeks, opposing defenses have combined to score the third-most fantasy points (12.67 PPG) against Houston overall. (Maximum value: Mid DEF1)

Colts defense vs. St. Louis Rams: The Colts have been a very strong team on their home field in 2013, and a matchup against Kellen Clemens and the Rams makes their defense an attractive option. As a result, put last week's one-point stinker in the past and grab these Colts now -- they're available in over 70 percent of NFL.com leagues. (Maximum value: Low DEF1)

Sleeper alert - Giants defense vs. Oakland Raiders: The G-Men have been hot, scoring a combined 28 fantasy points in their last two games before a bye week. This unit warrants consideration with the Raiders in the Big Apple -- opposing defenses facing Oakland have combined to score the most fantasy points (13.7 PPG) over the last four weeks. (Maximum value: Low DEF1)

DEF Sit of the week


Bears defense at Detroit Lions: The Bears were a must-start defense last season, but that was then and this is now. With several injuries and tough matchups on the horizon, this unit is now a lot tougher to trust. With Matthew Stafford and the explosive Lions coming to town, these Monsters of the Midway could have a rough afternoon. (Maximum value: Mid DEF2)

DEF Sit 'em


Panthers defense at San Francisco 49ers: The Panthers have the second-rated defense in fantasy football this season, but I'd be a little leery of starting them against the 49ers. Opposing defenses have combined to score the sixth-fewest fantasy points (4.2 PPG) when facing the Niners in San Francisco. That's a real eye-opening nugget. (Maximum value: High DEF2)

Rams defense at Indianapolis Colts: You might not know it, but the Rams defense has scored the fourth-most fantasy points in the league over the last four weeks. Still, a road date in Indianapolis is not favorable. In fact, opposing defenses facing Andrew Luck and crew on their home field have averaged the fifth-fewest fantasy points. (Maximum value: Low DEF2)

Owners beware - Cowboys defense at New Orleans Saints: The Cowboys have the third-best defense in the league based on fantasy points, but a date with Drew Brees and the Saints is not attractive at all. In fact, opposing defenses facing New Orleans on their home field have combined to score the fewest fantasy points (2.2 PPG) this season. (Maximum value: High 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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