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Bradshaw, Sanchez have favorable matchups in Week 6

Start 'Em & Sit 'Emis the ultimate look at weekly matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy team.Sleeper alertfeatures a player who's under the radar and could produce good numbers.Owners beware features a player who's a regular fantasy starter but could fail to meet expectations. For your final lineup decisions, check our lineup rankings.

Start of the week

Ahmad Bradshaw vs. Lions: Bradshaw has quickly gone from a fantasy sleeper to one of the more reliable players at his position. He is dealing with a sore ankle, but the explosive runner out of Marshall should be fine to face the Lions. Their defense has surrendered the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs in 2010.

Quarterbacks -- start 'em

Eli Manning vs. Lions: Manning has been a turnover machine to this point in the season -- he's already thrown eight interceptions and lost four fumbles -- but he's still an attractive option this week against the Lions. In their first three road games, the boys from the Motor City have surrendered six touchdown passes.

Joe Flacco at Patriots: Flacco hasn't been the most consistent quarterback in the world, but he has been able to exploit a favorable matchup. That's what he faces in Week 6 against the Patriots, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points (17.0) to opposing quarterbacks. This game could be a shootout, so start Flacco with confidence.

Mark Sanchez at Broncos: After throwing 20 interceptions during his rookie season, Sanchez has yet to make such a mistake in 2010. The USC product, who has thrown eight touchdown passes in his first five games, also has a great matchup against a Broncos defense that's allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.

Jay Cutler vs. Seahawks: Cutler (concussion) has been cleared to return to action this week, so he appears safe to start in fantasy leagues. Although he has been a bit inconsistent, Cutler does have a favorable matchup against the Seahawks. Their defense is allowing an average of more than 16 fantasy points per game to signal-callers.

Vince Young at Jaguars (Monday):Fantasy owners looking for a one-week fix at the quarterback position should consider Young, who is coming off a good performance in Dallas and has a great matchup ahead against the Jaguars. No defense has allowed more fantasy points (21.4 PPG) to opposing field generals this season.

Sleeper alert -- Matt Cassel at Texans: Cassel hasn't been much of a fantasy option this season -- he's just 26th in points among quarterbacks on NFL.com -- but that's what makes him such a nice sleeper. This week he faces the Texans, who have surrendered the second-most fantasy points to opposing signal-callers after five weeks.

Quarterbacks -- sit 'em

David Garrard vs. Titans (Monday): Garrard is coming off a monster stat line against the Bills, throwing three touchdown passes in a win over the Bills. But he'll be hard pressed to duplicate those numbers against the Titans. Their defense is allowing an average of just 12.8 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.

Kevin Kolb vs. Falcons: With Michael Vick still out of action, Kolb will see his second straight start for the Eagles. Of course, fantasy owners don't need to follow suit. Kolb has a very tough matchup at home, facing an underrated Falcons defense that's surrendering the sixth-fewest fantasy points to signal-callers this season.

Shaun Hill at Giants: Believe it or not, Hill has scored the seventh-most fantasy points among quarterbacks on NFL.com after five weeks. Although that's clearly an impressive stat, it's not enough to use him against the Giants. Their defense has allowed the second-fewest points (6.9 PPG) to opposing signal-callers on the season.

Matt Hasselbeck at Bears: Hasselbeck was once a viable fantasy starter, but those days are in the rearview mirror. With a questionable core of wide receivers and an matchup against the Bears next on the slate, he needs to be benched across the board. The Bears have allowed just 7.2 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.

Sam Bradford at Chargers: Bradford is coming off a terrible performance against the Lions, throwing for 215 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions in a 44-6 loss. Now the rookie must face the Chargers, who have been extremely tough on opposing quarterbacks this season. Keep Bradford on the bench until further notice.

Owners beware -- Matt Schaub vs. Chiefs: Schaub has been a major disappointment for owners this season -- he ranks just 15th in fantasy points among quarterbacks on NFL.com. If you can afford to bench him, it's a good idea against an improved Chiefs defense that held Peyton Manning without a touchdown pass just one week ago.

Running backs -- start 'em

LaDainian Tomlinson at Broncos: Reports of Tomlinson's demise in the world of fantasy football have clearly been exaggerated, as he ranks an impressive ninth in fantasy points among running backs on NFL.com. He's a very attractive option against the Broncos, who surrendered close to 30 fantasy points to Ray Rice in Week 5.

Jamaal Charles at Texans: Charles saw twice as many carries as Thomas Jones last week, so coach Todd Haley could be finally turning the corner in terms of how he utilizes his backfield. That's good news for the explosive Charles, who faces a Texans defense that's allowing close to 18 fantasy points per game to opposing runners.

Michael Bush at 49ers: Bush made a major impact for fantasy owners last week, rushing for 104 yards and one touchdown in a win over the Chargers. In the event that Darren McFadden (hamstring) is either sidelined or limited, Bush would make for a nice start against a Niners defense that's been mediocre against the run.

Joseph Addai at Redskins: Addai suffered a minor shoulder ailment last week, but he's expected to be back in action when the Colts face the Redskins at FedEx Field. Their defense has allowed an average of close to 16 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, so Addai looks like a nice No. 2 option across the board.

Ryan Torain vs. Colts: Torain has gone from being undrafted in most fantasy leagues to suddenly having a lot of value with Clinton Portis injured and out for several games. This week he's a viable No. 2 fantasy choice against the Colts, who have surrendered the eighth-most points (18.6 PPG) to opposing running backs after five weeks.

Sleeper alert -- Chris Ivory at Buccaneers: With the status of Pierre Thomas (ankle) in doubt for the third straight game, Ivory could see additional work this week. As a result, owners in deeper leagues who need a flex starter should consider him against a Buccaneers defense that has struggled to stop the run all season long.

Running backs -- sit 'em

Ronnie Brown at Packers: Brown has been somewhat of a disappointment for fantasy owners this season, ranking a mere 31st in points at his position on NFL.com. He also has a very tough matchup next on the schedule, facing a Packers defense that has surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing runners this season.

Knowshon Moreno vs. Jets: Moreno's status for Week 6 remains a question mark as he continues to recover from an injured hamstring, but he'll be tough to start even if he is active against the Jets. Their defense has allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing runners, surrendering a mere 36.0 on the season.

Benjarvus Green-Ellis vs. Ravens: Green-Ellis is clearly the best fantasy running back on the Patriots' roster, but it's hard to trust him as more than a flex starter based on a matchup with the Ravens. Their defense has allowed just 12 fantasy points per game to opposing runners after the first five weeks of the season.

Marion Barberat Vikings: The Cowboys appear to have shifted their backfield focus to Felix Jones, who led the team in carries during last week's loss to the Titans. That's bad news for Barber, who had just six rushing attempts in Week 5 and must now face a stout Vikings defense. He's better left on the bench if at all possible.

Justin Forsett at Bears: The Seahawks have acquired Marshawn Lynch from the Bills, leaving Forsett to see a decreased role in the offense. Although he should still see some time as a change-of-pace back, the veteran isn't likely to see enough touches to be a viable fantasy option. Keep Forsett on the sidelines, or drop him altogether.

Owners beware -- Peyton Hillis at Steelers: Hillis has been one of the more pleasant surprises in fantasy football, ranking seventh in points among running backs on NFL.com. But against the Steelers, who have allowed an average of fewer than nine fantasy points to opposing runners, Hillis could be in for his worst stat line of 2010.

Wide receivers -- start 'em

Percy Harvin vs. Cowboys: If you were wondering how Randy Moss' presence would affect Harvin, well, just check out his impressive stat line against the Jets. He should continue to see more than his share of opportunities to produce against the Cowboys, who haven't been great in stopping opposing wide receivers this season.

Steve Smithvs. Lions: Smith has taken a backseat to Hakeem Nicks in terms of overall fantasy value, but he's still an attractive option for owners against weaker defenses. That's the case in Week 6, as Smith faces a Lions squad that has allowed close to 20 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers after five games.

Mike Wallacevs. Browns: Wallace has had a slow start to the season, catching just six passes with one touchdown in his first five games. But with Ben Roethlisberger back under center, his stock should quickly rise. In fact, Wallace should be active as a No. 3 fantasy wideout in what is a favorable matchup against the Browns.

Dwayne Bowe at Texans: I know that Bowe has developed a serious case of the "dropsies" in recent weeks, but you can do worse than start him as a No. 3 fantasy wideout against the Texans. Their defense has been dreadful against the pass, allowing the second-most fantasy points (27.0) to opposing wide receivers this season.

Jabar Gaffney vs. Jets: Brandon Lloyd has come out of nowhere to become a fantasy superstar this season, but owners shouldn't forget about his teammate, Gaffney. A preseason sleeper on NFL.com, he's on pace to put up 99 catches based on his current numbers. Gaffney also has a good matchup against a mediocre Jets pass defense.

Sleeper alert -- Kenny Britt at Jaguars (Monday): Britt endured a short stay in the doghouse of coach Jeff Fisher earlier this season, but he's been on fire in recent weeks with a touchdown in three consecutive games. He's a solid option on Monday Night Football against the Jaguars, who have been truly awful against the pass.

Wide receivers -- sit 'em

Braylon Edwards vs. Broncos: Edwards is tough to sit in fantasy leagues, especially when you consider that he's currently 13th in fantasy points among wide receivers on NFL.com. But if you have depth at the position or play in a smaller league, it's well worth considering based on his matchup against Broncos CB Champ Bailey.

Dez Bryant at Vikings: Bryant had a hot start to his rookie season, catching eight passes in a loss to the Redskins. Since then, he's hauled in just nine passes and is averaging a mere 41.3 yards. What's more, Bryant is being overshadowed by Roy E. Williams, both on the field and from a fantasy perspective as well.

Devin Hester vs. Seahawks: Hester has been mostly invisible for owners this season, catching just 11 passes for 126 yards with one touchdown. Now it appears that he'll start losing time on offense in order to keep him fresh for his role as a return man. If you start a Bears wideout this week, it should be Johnny Knox, not Hester.

Louis Murphy at 49ers: Murphy is clearly the most talented wide receiver on the Raiders roster, but he's done a Houdini act over the last two weeks with a combined three catches for 66 yards and no touchdowns. With a matchup against a desperate Niners team next on the schedule, it's better to leave Murphy on the sidelines in Week 6.

Deion Branch vs. Ravens: Branch's move from Seattle to New England did improve his value, but not enough to make him a viable fantasy starter. In fact, he'll be no better than the fourth option for targets in the Patriots passing game. Branch also faces a Ravens defense that's been tough on opposing wide receivers this season.

Owners beware -- DeSean Jackson vs. Falcons: It's hard to sit a player of Jackson's caliber in most leagues. But if you have depth at wideout, it's worth thinking about against an underrated Falcons defense. Jackson has also struggled to develop a rapport with Kolb, who tends to check down rather than look for his receivers downfield.

Tight ends -- start 'em

Zach Millerat 49ers: A preseason sleeper on NFL.com, Miller has more than lived up to his expectations. After five weeks, he ranks third in fantasy points at his position on NFL.com. He'll continue to make an impact against the Niners, who have surrendered an average of close to eight fantasy points per game to tight ends.

Tony Gonzalezat Eagles: The Eagles always seem to struggle to stop opposing tight ends, and this season has been no different. In its first five games, this defense has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to the position. That's good news for Gonzalez, who should no doubt see his share of targets from quarterback Matt Ryan.

Kellen Winslowvs. Saints: Winslow is coming off a six-catch, 75-yard performance against the Bengals in Week 5, and his success should continue against the Saints. Their defense might rank an impressive seventh in the league against the pass, but it's also allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

Brent Celek vs. Falcons: Celek is a respectable 12th in fantasy points among tight ends on NFL.com, but the presence of Kolb under center makes him a better option. Whereas Vick would take chances downfield, Kolb is more prone to check down and use Celek as a safety valve. As a result, he should remain active against the Falcons.

Aaron Hernandez vs. Ravens: The trade that sent Moss to the Vikings was good news for the fantasy value of Hernandez, who should see more targets in the passing game from Tom Brady. A playmaking tight end out of Florida, Hernandez makes for a nice option for owners against the Ravens in what could turn into a high-scoring affair.

Sleeper alert -- Tony Moeaki at Texans: A rookie out of Iowa, Moeaki has become a viable option in fantasy leagues this season. Owners who lost Jermichael Finley or simply need a tight end should consider him against the Texans -- their defense has allowed the second-most fantasy points (12.2 PPG) to opposing tight ends in 2010.

Tight ends -- sit 'em

Marcedes Lewis vs. Titans (Monday): Lewis has been an absolute touchdown machine this season, scoring five times in his first five games, including two starts with multiple trips to the end zone. However, he has found pay dirt just once in his entire career (eight games) against this week's opponent, the Tennessee Titans.

Tony Scheffler at Giants: Scheffler is quietly on pace to finish the season with better than 75 receptions based on his current numbers, but he's still a risky start against a Giants defense that's been tough on tight ends. But if Calvin Johnson is unable to play, Scheffler would be a bit more attractive as a low-end option.

Jeremy Shockey at Buccaneers: Shockey has been a decent fantasy option in recent weeks, catching 17 passes for 166 yards with two touchdowns in his last three games. However, he's combined to catch a mere 15 passes for 138 yards with no touchdowns in four career games against this week's opponent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Owen Daniels vs. Chiefs: Daniels had his best game of the season last week, but catching three passes for 45 yards is hardly enough to excite fantasy leaguers. With 31 tight ends ahead of him, in terms of fantasy points on NFL.com -- including teammate Joel Dreessen -- Daniels needs to be benched until his statistical fortunes improve.

Todd Heap at Patriots: Heap started the season off with a bang, catching six passes for 72 yards in a win over the Jets. Since then, he's put up a combined 12 catches and averaged a very pedestrian 34.5 yards. Heap, who also has yet to score a touchdown this season, simply isn't productive enough to be worth a prominent role.

Owners beware -- Visanthe Shiancoe vs. Cowboys: Whereas the presence of Moss has helped the value of Harvin, it appears to have hurt the stock of Shiancoe. He had a mere two catches for 28 yards against the Jets and was clearly the team's third option in the passing game. If you can afford to bench Shiancoe, it's worth considering.

Kickers -- start 'em

Sebastian Janikowski at 49ers: Janikowski has long been capable of putting up strong fantasy numbers, and this season he's meeting expectations. The veteran out of Florida State is fourth in fantasy points at his position on NFL.com and faces the 49ers, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing kickers in 2010.

Nate Kaeding at Rams: Kaeding has been a disappointment for fantasy owners to this point in the season, but this week's matchup against the Rams makes him a nice starting option. Not only will he be kicking on turf, but Kaeding also faces a defense that's allowed the seventh-most fantasy points (8.8 PPG) to kickers this season.

Ryan Longwell vs. Cowboys: Longwell is off to a terrible start from a fantasy perspective, ranking 33rd among kickers in points on NFL.com. But against the Cowboys, the veteran from California could be in line for a nice stat line. The Polks have allowed the third-most fantasy points (9.5 PPG) to opposing kickers this season.

Sleeper alert -- Josh Scobee vs. Titans (Mon.): Scobee has been one of the hottest kickers in fantasy football, scoring a combined 27 fantasy points on NFL.com over the last two weeks. His success should continue Monday night against the Titans -- they have surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to kickers in 2010.

Kickers -- sit 'em

Garrett Hartley at Buccaneers: Hartley's value is back on the rise following the release of John Carney, but that doesn't mean you should start him on your fantasy team. Not only did he struggle in his first three games, but Hartley also faces a Buccaneers defense that's allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing kickers.

Matt Prater vs. Jets: Prater is currently 10th among kickers in fantasy points on NFL.com, but this week's matchup against the Jets isn't at all favorable. In fact, the Men in Green have given up a mere 4.6 fantasy points per game to kickers this season. Clearly, there are better options than Prater for your fantasy team in Week 6.

Lawrence Tynes vs. Lions: Tynes looks like a good option for fantasy owners on paper, facing a Lions defense that's been mediocre at best this season. But when you look inside the numbers, you'll see that they have surrendered an average of just 5.6 fantasy points per game to opposing kickers. Look past Tynes in Week 6.

Owners beware -- David Akers vs. Falcons: Akers, one of the better kickers in fantasy football in recent seasons, has struggled to put up points in 2010. After five weeks, he ranks 17th at his position on NFL.com. His fortunes don't figure to change against the Falcons, who have been tough on kickers (4.0 fantasy PPG).

Defenses -- start 'em

Giants defense vs. Lions: The Giants have been inconsistent on the defensive side of the football this season, but they have been more effective on their home turf. In three games at New Meadowlands Stadium, the G-Men have averaged a solid 13 fantasy points on NFL.com. Consider them a nice choice against the Lions.

Bears defense vs. Seahawks: The offseason addition of DE Julius Peppers coupled with the return of LB Brian Urlacher has put the Bears defense back on the fantasy radar. With a favorable matchup at home against a questionable Seahawks offense, this unit should put up some tremendous numbers for fantasy owners in Week 6.

Chargers defense at Rams: The lightning bolts have had a nice start to the season on defense and special teams, ranking third in fantasy points at the position after five weeks on NFL.com. It's a good idea to keep them active on the road against Bradford and the Rams -- defenses facing them have averaged the sixth-most fantasy points.

Sleeper alert -- Dolphins defense at Packers:Fantasy owners need to keep tabs on the status of Aaron Rodgers (concussion) heading into Week 6. If he's able to play, the Dolphins defense becomes far less attractive. But if he's forced out of action, the Fish will have sudden sleeper appeal facing the inexperienced Matt Flynn.

Defenses -- sit 'em

Cowboys defense at Vikings: The Cowboys have been anything but useful for fantasy owners on the defensive side of the football, ranking a very unimpressive 24th in points on NFL.com. Next on the schedule is a road game against Brett Favre and an improved Vikings offense, so the 'Boys should be benched (or dropped) in fantasy leagues.

Redskins defense vs. Colts:Peyton Manning and the Colts were held in check by the Chiefs last week, but that won't be the case Sunday night. The Redskins have given up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, so Manning and his offensive mates should put up some points in this inter-conference clash.

Lions defense at Giants: Would you believe that the Lions have scored the fourth-most fantasy points among defenses on NFL.com? It's shocking, but true. Still, I wouldn't recommended using them this week against the Giants. Defenses facing the G-Men have averaged the second-fewest fantasy points in the league this season.

Owners beware -- Ravens defense at Patriots: The Ravens have long been a top fantasy defense, but that hasn't been the case this season. In fact, this unit has scored only 22 fantasy points after five weeks on NFL.com. It might sound a little harsh, but the Ravens are mere waiver-wire fodder at this point in time.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com. Have a burning question for Michael on anything fantasy-football related? Leave it in our comments section or send it to AskFabiano@nfl.com!

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