Start 'Em & Sit 'Emis the ultimate look at the weekly NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy team.Sleeper alertfeatures a player who's under the radar and could produce good numbers.Owners bewarefeatures a player who's a regular fantasy starter but could fail to meet expectations based on the strength of his opponent. Obvious fantasy starters likeAaron RodgersandAdrian Peterson are not featured. For your final lineup decisions, check our weekly lineup rankings.
Start of the week
Quarterbacks - start 'em
Tim Tebow vs. Patriots: It's Tebow time in Denver! The versatile quarterback has a great upcoming matchup against the Patriots, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. So while Tom Brady will be the best signal-caller in the game, Tebow should post a stellar stat line as well.
Carson Palmer vs. Lions: Palmer's interception issues are a concern, but he's still worth a look against a Lions defense that's allowed an average of 24.90 fantasy points to quarterbacks in their last four games. That includes 28.16 points to the combination of Christian Ponder and Joe Webb last week.
Matt Moore at Bills: Moore is expected to be under center this week to face the Bills, who have allowed 18 or more fantasy points to four of their last five opposing quarterbacks. That includes an 18.60-point stat line from Moore back in Week 11. So if you need a signal-caller, he's worth a look in fantasy's semifinals.
Quarterbacks - sit 'em
Owners beware - Ben Roethlisberger at 49ers (Mon.): Roethlisberger has a high ankle sprain that has him in question, so it's hard to wait on him until Monday night. What makes him even more of a risk is that San Francisco has allowed an average of just 13.59 fantasy points to signal-callers.
Running backs - start 'em
Running backs - sit 'em
Rashard Mendenhall at 49ers (Mon.): One of the rules of the 2011 fantasy football season is that you never, ever start a running back against the 49ers if at all possible. Their defense hasn't allowed a touchdown to a back all season, so Mendenhall's prospects for posting great fantasy totals aren't good.
DeAngelo Williams at Texans: Williams had a solid 15.10 fantasy points last week, but most of his production came on one run. In fact, 41.2 percent of his overall fantasy numbers this season have come on just four carries. Four! I'd bench him against the Texans, who rank fourth in the league against the run.
Peyton Hillis at Cardinals: This looks like a very good matchup on paper, but I'm not about to trust Hillis when it seems like even his head coach has reservations about his effectiveness. Hillis, who sat for most of the second half last week, hasn't scored double-digit fantasy points since Week 2, either.
Wide receivers - start 'em
Wide receivers - sit 'em
Tight ends - start 'em
Jermichael Finley at Chiefs: If Finley's goose egg last week didn't end your fantasy season, you should keep him active during the semifinals against the Chiefs. Not only will he see more targets with Jennings out, but Kansas City is tied for the third-most touchdowns allowed to opposing tight ends.
Sleeper alert - Anthony Fasano at Bills: Desperate for a tight end this week? Consider Fasano, who has a great matchup against the Bills. Their defense has surrendered eight touchdowns (tied for the most in the NFL) and the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Fasano is available in most leagues.
Tight ends - sit 'em
Greg Olsen at Texans: It's tempting to start Olsen after he scored an impressive 11.30 fantasy points in last week's loss to the Falcons, but an upcoming matchup against the Texans is anything but attractive. Their defense has allowed a mere two touchdowns and the third-fewest fantasy points to tight ends in 2011.
Dustin Keller at Eagles: Outside of his 18.10-point outburst against the Bills, Keller hasn't scored more than eight fantasy points in a game since Week 3. That lack of consistent production makes him a huge risk against the Eagles, who have surrendered the 10th-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
Jermaine Gresham at Rams: If you're thinking Gresham could be a sleeper this week, you might want to think again. Despite their overall struggles on defense, the Rams have been able to keep tight ends in check for most of the season. In fact, no team has allowed fewest fantasy points to the position.
Kickers - start 'em
Sleeper alert - Phil Dawson at Cardinals: If you're looking for a potential one-week starter, consider adding Dawson off the waiver wire. The veteran out of Texas faces a Cardinals defense that has given up the third-most fantasy points to his position, so the matchup is definitely a favorable one for owners.
Kickers - sit 'em
Nick Folk at Eagles: Folk was a useful option for fantasy owners earlier in the season, but he's been far less productive in recent weeks. In fact, he's scored double-digits in one of his last five games. With a matchup against the Eagles next, Folk isn't someone who's fortunes are going to be reversed.
Shaun Suisham at 49ers (Mon.): Suisham has been a viable fantasy option against teams that have allowed a ton of points to kickers, but that's not the case against the 49ers. Aside from the Steelers, no team has allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing kickers. As a result, Suisham should be benched.
Defenses - start 'em
Sleeper alert - Titans defense at Colts: The Colts have been a nightmare on offense without Peyton Manning this season. In turn, this has been a unit to target in terms of defensive matchups. Enter the Titans, who put up a solid 16 fantasy points against Indianapolis in their last meeting of the year.
Defenses - sit 'em
Steelers defense at 49ers: A relative disappointment among fantasy defenses this season, the Steelers rank a mediocre 14th in points at the position on NFL.com as we enter the semifinals. Next this unit goes up against the 49ers -- defenses have averaged the sixth-fewest fantasy points against them.
Owners beware - Jets defense at Eagles: It's tough to bench the defense like the Jets, but the Eagles have Michael Vick back in the mix and will be more formidable on offense. What's more, just one defensive unit has scored double-digit fantasy points against Philadelphia over their last four games.