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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Week 14

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 Start of the week


Nick Foles vs. Detroit Lions: Foles has scored no fewer than 22.62 fantasy points in each of his last four contests, making him one of the hottest quarterbacks in the land. Adding to his value is a matchup against the Lions, who have fielded one of the most vulnerable defenses against quarterbacks based on fantasy points since Week 10. (Maximum value: High QB1)

QB Start 'em


Matthew Stafford at Philadelphia Eagles: One of the top fantasy quarterbacks of the 2013 season, Stafford has recorded 18-plus fantasy points in six of his last seven contests. This week he'll face Foles and the Eagles, who have surrendered an average of over 18 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks over the last four weeks. (Maximum value: Mid QB1)

Robert Griffin III vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Griffin has done well for fantasy fans, scoring a combined 77.1 points over the last four weeks. His success should continue against the Chiefs, who have given up nine touchdown passes and more fantasy points (24.8 PPG) to opposing quarterbacks than any team in the league since Week 10. (Maximum value: Mid QB1)

Ryan Fitzpatrick at Denver Broncos: Over the last four weeks, only two quarterbacks (Peyton Manning, Cam Newton) have scored more fantasy points than the Amish Rifle (no, that is not a misprint). He's worth a look against the Broncos, who have surrendered over 20 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks since Week 10. (Maximum value: Low QB1)

Sleeper alert - Josh McCown vs. Dallas Cowboys (Mon.): McCown will now be under center for the Bears, not Jay Cutler (ankle), and he has a fantastic matchup on "Monday Night Football" against the Cowboys -- their defense has surrendered the second-most fantasy points (20.4 PPG) to quarterbacks during the course of the 2013 season. (Maximum value: Mid QB1)

QB Sit of the week


Andrew Luck at Cincinnati Bengals: Luck has failed to throw for multiple touchdowns in each of his last four games, including a Week 12 start against the Titans when he was held without a scoring strike. The Bengals have surrendered the second-fewest fantasy points (9.2 PPG) to quarterbacks at home, so Luck is now a major fantasy risk. (Maximum value: Low QB1)

QB Sit 'em


Colin Kaepernick vs. Seattle Seahawks: Kaepernick has put up two solid games in a row, but can he keep his hot streak going against the Seahawks? That will be a tough task, as Seattle has allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points (12.7 PPG) to quarterbacks on the road. Kaepernick also struggled against them (5.8 points) back in Week 2. (Maximum value: Low QB1)

Ben Roethlisberger vs. Miami Dolphins: Big Ben has been a big fantasy asset lately, scoring a combined 77.8 fantasy points over the last four weeks. Unfortunately, a matchup against the Dolphins is anything but favorable. In fact, their defense has surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points (12.3 PPG) to opposing quarterbacks in 2013. (Maximum value: High QB2)

Eli Manning at San Diego Chargers: This is a good matchup on paper, as the Chargers have given up the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. However, can you trust someone who has failed to exploit favorable opponents all season? Not now, and not in the fantasy postseason. Manning is just too much of a risk to start. (Maximum value: Mid QB2)

Owners beware - Tony Romo at Chicago Bears (Mon.): Romo has been a massive disappointment in the stat sheets recently, averaging just 12.5 fantasy points in his last three games. He faces a tough matchup on Monday night against the Bears, who have surrendered an average of just 13.2 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks over the last four weeks. (Maximum value: Low QB1)


RB Start of the week


DeMarco Murray at Chicago Bears (Mon.): Murray is coming off a monster performance on Thanksgiving Day, and fantasy owners should keep him active in the first week of the postseason against the Bears. Their defense has struggled against running backs, allowing 23.9 fantasy points per game to the position since Week 9. (Maximum value: Mid RB1)

RB Start 'em


Eddie Lacy vs. Atlanta Falcons: Lacy is seeing more stacked fronts with Aaron Rodgers on the sideline, but I still can't see sitting him when the matchup is favorable. That's the case this week at Lambeau Field, as the Falcons have allowed the second-most fantasy points (30.8 PPG) to running backs since Week 10. (Maximum value: Mid RB1)

Le'Veon Bell vs. Miami Dolphins: Bell is good to go after last week's scary concussion, so fantasy owners can feel safe starting him against a porous Dolphins run defense. Miami has given up 12 total touchdowns to runners this season, and Bell has scored at least 8.8 fantasy points in each of his last seven games (standard leagues). (Maximum value: Mid RB1)

Steven Jackson at Green Bay Packers: Jackson has been a disappointment overall, but he has seen his fantasy point totals increase in each of the last three weeks. He's a good bet to continue this new hot streak against the Packers, who have surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points (28.2 PPG) to opposing running backs since Week 10. (Maximum value: High RB2)

Sleeper alert - Bobby Rainey vs. Buffalo Bills: Rainey hasn't done much in the stat sheets since breaking out against the Falcons in Week 11, but he has flex-starter value this week based on a nice matchup against the Bills. Since Week 10, Buffalo's defense has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points (24.6 PPG) to opposing running backs. (Maximum value: Mid RB2)

RB Sit of the week


Trent Richardson at Cincinnati Bengals: One of the biggest busts in fantasy football, Richardson has lost his starting job to Donald Brown and much of his fantasy appeal as well. Neither Richardson nor Brown is a nice option against the Bengals, who have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points (12.0 PPG) to running backs at home in 2013. (Maximum value: Low RB3)

RB Sit 'em


Zac Stacy at Arizona Cardinals: It's tough to bench a player like Stacy, who has been such a phenomenal runner for owners in recent weeks. Just keep in mind that the Cardinals have been tough at home against the run. In fact, no defensive unit in the league has allowed fewer fantasy points (10.3 PPG) to opposing running backs at home. (Maximum value: High RB2)

Ryan Mathews vs. New York Giants: Mathews is having a decent season in the stat sheets, but his point totals have dropped in each of the last three weeks. He also has a difficult matchup next on the slate against the Giants -- their defense has surrendered the ninth-fewest fantasy points (15.0 PPG) to opposing running backs this season. (Maximum value: Mid RB2)

Lamar Miller at Pittsburgh Steelers: Miller might be closer to a featured running back in the absence of Daniel Thomas, but it's still tough to trust him when the matchup isn't favorable. That's the case this week, as he'll face a Steelers defense that has surrendered the fourth-fewest fantasy points (11.2 PPG) to runners since Week 10. (Maximum value: Mid RB3)

Owners beware - Frank Gore vs. Seattle Seahawks: Gore is tough to bench, but owners with backfield depth should consider it based on this week's matchup against the Seahawks. Since Week 10, Seattle has allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points (12.2 PPG) to runners. What's more, Gore has struggled against them in the last two meetings. (Maximum value: High RB2)


WR Start of the week


Vincent Jackson vs. Buffalo Bills: Jackson has been a disappointment in recent weeks, scoring fewer than eight fantasy points in five of his last six games. Still, there's no chance I'd bench him in most cases against the Bills -- their defense has allowed the second-most fantasy points (28.2 PPG) to opposing wide receivers this season. (Maximum value: High WR1)

WR Start 'em


Torrey Smith vs. Minnesota Vikings: Smith hasn't been the most consistent wide receiver in fantasy land, but he does rank among the 20 best players at his position based on points. He's also a nice option against the Vikings, who have surrendered the most yardage and the fifth-most fantasy points (28.3 PPG) to opposing wide receivers. (Maximum value: Low WR1)

Pierre Garcon vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Garcon has seen his fantasy points drop in each of the last four weeks in standard leagues, but he's still been quite productive in PPR formats (30 receptions). He should continue to rack up PPR points against the Chiefs, who have allowed the most fantasy points (37.4 PPG) to wideouts since Week 10. (Maximum value: Low WR1)

Riley Cooper vs. Detroit Lions: Cooper has cooled off in the stat sheets, posting a combined 8.5 fantasy points in his last two games combined. Still, he warrants consideration as a No. 3 fantasy wideout this weekend against the Lions. Their defense has surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to wideouts over the last four weeks. (Maximum value: High WR2)

Sleeper alert - Harry Douglas at Green Bay Packers: Douglas has quietly been a star in PPR leagues, posting no fewer than six receptions in each of his last four games. He's a nice option in most fantasy formats against the Packers, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points (30.6 PPG) to opposing wide receivers since Week 10. (Maximum value: Mid WR2)

WR Sit of the week


Marques Colston vs. Carolina Panthers: Colston looked like he was going to break out of his season-long slump a few weeks back, but his slide has started up again with a combined 6.7 fantasy points in his last two games. The Panthers have one of the toughest defenses for wideouts to score against in 2013, so keep Colston on the bench. (Maximum value: Mid WR3)

WR Sit 'em


Michael Crabtree vs. Seattle Seahawks: Crabtree looked good last week for a player coming back from a major Achilles' procedure, but he's still not someone I want to start -- especially not against the Seahawks. Their defense has been formidable, surrendering an average of fewer than 18 fantasy points per game to wideouts on the road. (Maximum value: Mid WR3)

Hakeem Nicks at San Diego Chargers: A massive disappointment in fantasy land, Nicks has failed to score a touchdown and is a meager 54th in points among wide receivers in 2013. So while this week's matchup against the Chargers is favorable on paper, there's still no chance I would start Nicks in the first week of the fantasy playoffs. (Maximum value: Mid WR3)

Steve Smith at New Orleans Saints: Once one of the best wide receivers in fantasy football, Smith's production and value have dropped this season. That's not likely to change in an NFC South battle against the Saints, who have surrendered the fifth-fewest fantasy points (16.3 PPG) to opposing wide receivers on their home field in 2013. (Maximum value: High WR3)

Owners beware - T.Y. Hilton at Cincinnati Bengals: Hilton scored a combined 43.1 fantasy points during Weeks 9-10, but he's recorded a mere 12.8 points in his previous three contests. His streak of misfortune is quite likely to continue against the Bengals, who have been plain ferocious against opposing pass catchers on their home field. (Maximum value: Mid WR2)


TE Start of the week


Jared Cook at Arizona Cardinals: Cook hasn't been as productive as he was projected to be in the preseason, but this week's matchup against the Cardinals is tough to pass on. He torched them for two touchdowns and 24.1 fantasy points in Week 1, and Arizona has allowed more fantasy points to tight ends than any other team in the NFL. (Maximum value: Low TE1)

TE Start 'em


Tony Gonzalez at Green Bay Packers: Gonzalez found the end zone last week, and he's a good best to post another nice stat line this weekend in Green Bay. The Packers have been tough against tight ends over the last four weeks, but solid players like Jordan Cameron, Vernon Davis and Jordan Reed all scored a touchdown against them in 2013. (Maximum value: Mid TE1)

Jordan Reed vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Assuming Reed (concussion) is able to return to action for the Redskins this weekend, he'll once again become a nice option for fantasy owners against the Chiefs. Over the last four weeks, their defensive unit has surrendered an average of close to nine fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends. (Maximum value: Mid TE1)

Martellus Bennett vs. Dallas Cowboys (Mon.): Bennett isn't at all consistent in the stat sheets, but he is worth a roll of the dice for owners who don't have a reliable option at the position. He has a nice matchup this week against his former team, the Cowboys, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points (9.6 PPG) to tight ends. (Maximum value: Low TE1)

Sleeper alert - Brandon Myers at San Diego Chargers: Welcome back to fantasy relevance, Mr. Myers! He's scored a combined 22 fantasy points over the last two weeks, and a matchup against the San Diego Chargers is quite favorable. In fact, their defense has surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points (10.0 PPG) to tight ends at home. (Maximum value: Low TE1)

TE Sit of the week


Antonio Gates vs. New York Giants: Gates has slumped in recent weeks, scoring fewer than 6.3 fantasy points in six of his last seven games. He's also scored one touchdown since Week 4, making it tough to trust him at this point. With Ladarius Green also seeing more work in the pass attack, the veteran is no lock to rebound in Week 14. (Maximum value: Low TE1)

TE Sit 'em


Coby Fleener at Cincinnati Bengals: Fleener has been hot in recent weeks, scoring eight-plus fantasy points in three of his last five games. Keep in mind, though, that this week's game against the Bengals is a difficult one. In fact, no team in the entire league has allowed fewer fantasy points (2.5 PPG) to tight ends at home this year. (Maximum value: Low TE1)

Charles Clay at Pittsburgh Steelers: Clay has scored eight or more fantasy points in two of his last three games, but he's still a risk for owners during the fantasy postseason. The matchup this week isn't favorable, either, as the Steelers have surrendered the fifth-fewest fantasy points (5.3 PPG) to opposing tight ends since Week 10. (Maximum value: High TE2)

Brent Celek vs. Detroit Lions: Celek was a sleeper in this column last week, and he found the end zone in a win over the Cardinals. However, this week's matchup and the emergence of Zach Ertz makes him a risk. The Lions have surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points (5.5 PPG) to opposing tight ends on the road, so seek other alternatives. (Maximum value: Mid TE2)

Owners beware - Jordan Cameron at New England Patriots: How's this for a stat? Over the last four weeks, a combined 37 tight ends have scored more fantasy points than Cameron. Thirty-seven! This week he goes up against the Patriots, who have surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points (4.8 PPG) to opposing tight ends on their home field this season. (Maximum value: Low TE1)


K Start of the week


Justin Tucker vs. Minnesota Vikings: Tucker has been on absolute fire in the stat sheets, scoring a combined 49 fantasy points over the last four weeks. He should remain active for owners against the Vikings, who have surrendered 22 field goals and the fourth-most fantasy points (9.7 PPG) to opposing kickers on the road this season. (Maximum value: High K1)

K Start 'em


Mason Crosby vs. Atlanta Falcons: Crosby's numbers have dipped a bit without Aaron Rodgers under center, but he's still a No. 1 fantasy kicker in most leagues. This week he has a great matchup at Lambeau Field against the Falcons, who have surrendered an average of 10 fantasy points per game to opposing kickers in the last four weeks. (Maximum value: Mid K1)

Garrett Hartley vs. Carolina Panthers: Owners who survived Hartley's one-point stink bomb last week in Seattle should keep the faith, as the veteran kicker should rebound in what is a pivotal NFC South matchup against the Panthers. Since Week 10, Carolina has surrendered the seventh-most fantasy points (9.2 PPG) to opposing kickers. (Maximum value: Mid K1)

Sleeper alert - Sebastian Janikowski at New York Jets: This has been one of SeaBass' worst statistical seasons, but that's what makes him a potential sleeper against the Jets. Over the last four weeks, this unit has allowed the second-most fantasy points (13 PPG) to kickers. If it's not windy in New Jersey, Janikowski will have value. (Maximum value: Low K1)

K Sit of the week


Phil Dawson vs. Seattle Seahawks: Dawson has been on fire, scoring nine-plus fantasy points in each of his last four games. Still, owners need to keep in mind that he had just three points against the Seahawks back in Week 2. Seattle has also surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points (6.2 PPG) to opposing kickers during the season. (Maximum value: High K2)

K Sit 'em


Jay Feely vs. St. Louis Rams: Feely has been on fire in recent weeks, scoring the fifth-most fantasy points (39.0 PPG) among kickers in his last four games. Still, a matchup against the Rams makes him a risk for owners. St. Louis has surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points (4.7 PPG) to opposing kickers in the last four weeks of 2013. (Maximum value: High K2)

Josh Brown at San Diego Chargers: The Giants aren't giving Brown a whole lot of scoring opportunities out on the gridiron this season, and it shows in his (lack of) statistics. His fortunes aren't likely to change against the Chargers, who have surrendered an average of just 6.2 fantasy points per game to kickers over the last four weeks. (Maximum value: Mid K2)

Owners beware - David Akers at Philadelphia Eagles: Akers should be more than motivated to produce a nice stat line against his former team, but the matchup numbers dictate that he's a potential bust for owners this weekend in Philadelphia. The Eagles have surrendered the fewest fantasy points (3.3 PPG) to opposing kickers since Week 10. (Maximum value: Low K1)


DEF Start of the week


Patriots defense vs. Cleveland Browns: The Patriots were a disappointment for fantasy leaguers last week, but I would stick with them this week against the Browns. Cleveland's quarterback situation is a mess, and opposing defenses have combined to score the most fantasy points (19.3 PPG) against them over the last four weeks. (Maximum value: High DEF1)

DEF Start 'em


Chiefs defense at Washington Redskins: The Chiefs used to be the unquestioned best defense in fantasy land, but this unit has struggled over the last several weeks. Still, owners should consider them a viable option against the Redskins -- defenses have combined to score the sixth-most fantasy points (9.5 PPG) against Washington this season. (Maximum value: Mid DEF1)

Ravens defense vs. Minnesota Vikings: The Ravens have alternated good and bad stat lines in the last five weeks. If this odd trend continues, this week will be a good time to start them. The matchup is quite favorable on paper too, as the Vikings have been one of the most favorable matchups for home fantasy defenses based on points.(Maximum value: Low DEF1)

Sleeper alert - Raiders defense at New York Jets: Geno Smith has been an absolute turnover machine under center, making most defenses facing the Jets a viable option in fantasy leagues. In fact, defenses have combined to post the second-most fantasy points (13.3 PPG) against the Men in Green since Week 10. That makes the Raiders worth a look. (Maximum value: Low DEF1)

DEF Sit of the week


Lions defense at Philadelphia Eagles: No defense scored more fantasy points last week than the Lions, who had 22 against the Green Bay Packers. With that said, owners can't expect the same sort of production in Philadelphia. In fact, defenses have combined to record the sixth-fewest fantasy points against the Eagles since Week 10. (Maximum value: Low DEF1)

DEF Sit 'em


Dolphins defense at Pittsburgh Steelers: The Dolphins were a sleeper in this column last week and responded with 17 fantasy points. Unfortunately, this week's matchup against a much tougher opponent isn't at all favorable. Defenses have combined to record a combined four fantasy points against the Steelers in the last four weeks. (Maximum value: High DEF2)

Titans defense at Denver Broncos: The Titans had some fantasy value earlier this season, but this unit hasn't scored more than seven fantasy points in a single game since Week 6. That streak is likely to continue against Peyton Manning and the Broncos, who have been like kryptonite to the powers of fantasy defenses the entire season. (Maximum value: Low DEF2)

Owners beware - Panthers defense at New Orleans Saints: The Panthers have been fantasy gold this season, scoring the second-most points among defensive units. However, owners should keep in mind that opposing road defenses have combined to score the fewest fantasy points (1.6 PPG) when facing Drew Brees and the Saints offense in 2013. (Maximum value: Low DEF1)


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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