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
Eli Manning vs. Cowboys: The Cowboys defense has been atrocious in recent weeks, allowing an average of 26.8 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in their last three games. That includes a 306-yard, four-touchdown performance from Manning in Week 7. Look for him to post another nice stat line in what could be a blowout.
Quarterbacks - start 'em
Michael Vick at Redskins (Mon.): In games that Vick has seen the majority of his team's snaps, he's averaging a spectacular 26 fantasy points on NFL.com. He's been so good, in fact, that I'd start him over every other quarterback in the league this week. The Redskins have also allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to signal-callers.
Ben Roethlisberger vs. Patriots: After a fast start, Roethlisberger has scored a combined 15.52 fantasy points on NFL.com in his last two games. However, he's still an attractive option against the Patriots. Their defense has surrendered an average of close to 17 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.
Matt Schaub at Jaguars: Schaub has been a major disappointment, averaging a mediocre 12.8 fantasy points per game on NFL.com. Despite his weak numbers, he is still a viable fantasy option against the Jaguars. In fact, Schaub's Texans are the lone team to allow more fantasy points to signal-callers than the Jags.
David Garrard vs. Texans: If you read my analysis on Schaub, you know why Garrard is an attractive option. The Texans have been smashed by quarterbacks, allowing an average of more than 20 fantasy points per game to the position. That makes Garrard, who's coming off a five-touchdown game, a nice option.
Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Lions: Fitzpatrick has seen his numbers fall a bit in recent weeks, but he's still a nice starter in fantasy leagues. This week, the Harvard alum will face a Lions defense that has allowed an average of 15 fantasy points to opposing field generals. Look for this to become a real shootout at Orchard Park.
Sleeper alert - Josh Freeman vs. Panthers: Believe it or not, but Freeman is in the top 10 in fantasy points among quarterbacks on NFL.com. The underrated Kansas State product is a very nice option for fantasy leaguers against the Carolina Panthers -- he scored an impressive 19.42 fantasy points against them back in Week 2.
Quarterbacks - sit 'em
Carson Palmer at Colts: Palmer is in the midst of a hot streak (at least, so fantasy owners), throwing for multiple touchdowns in five straight games. Still, he's not a great option in Week 10 based on a matchup against the Colts. Their defense has allowed just nine touchdown passes this season -- that's tied for the sixth fewest in the NFL.
Brett Favre at Bears: Favre looked reborn last week against the Cardinals, throwing for a career-best 446 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Cardinals. But that was just his second good stat line of the year, and this week's matchup against the Bears is not favorable. Their defense has allowed an NFL-low five touchdown passes.
Donovan McNabb vs. Eagles (Mon.): At best, McNabb has been a mediocre quarterback for fantasy owners in 2010. He's 15th in points at his position on NFL.com and has failed to throw for multiple touchdowns in a game. McNabb also scored a very unimpressive 10.9 fantasy points against the Eagles in their first meeting of the season.
Jon Kitna at Giants: Kitna will continue to start in the absence of Tony Romo, much to the chagrin of fantasy leaguers. In his two starts, the veteran quarterback has thrown just two touchdowns with six interceptions. Things won't improve against the Giants -- their defense has allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to signal-callers.
Chad Pennington vs. Titans: Pennington has been promoted to the top of the Dolphins depth chart this week, but he shouldn't be starting in fantasy leagues. He'll be thrown right into the fire against the Titans, who have one of the league's more ferocious pass rushes and will no doubt put a ton of heat on the immobile Pennington.
Owners beware - Tom Brady at Steelers: It's hard to bench Brady, but a matchup against the Steelers is good reason. Their defense has allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and they're especially stingy on their home field. Brady is also dealing with a foot injury, which makes him even less attractive.
Running backs - start 'em
Ahmad Bradshaw vs. Cowboys: The Cowboys defense has surrendered an average of close to 17 fantasy points per game to the last five starting running backs they've faced. That includes Bradshaw, who rushed for 126 yards against them in Week 7. The Cowboys are also riddled with injuries, so Bradshaw should have a nice stat line.
Jamaal Charles at Broncos: Charles is one of the most explosive running backs in the league, and this week's matchup against the Broncos makes him a solid fantasy option. Not only has their defense allowed the most fantasy points to opposing runners this year, but Charles let them up for 315 rushing yards and three touchdowns in 2009.
Cedric Benson at Colts: The Bengals have strayed from the run-first offense that led them to success last season, but Benson should still see more than his share of carries against the Colts in Week 10. Their defense has been awful against the run, allowing an average of close to 20 fantasy points per game to opposing runners in 2010.
Jahvid Best at Bills: Best has been anything but a fantasy superstar in recent weeks, averaging a meager 7.1 points in his last six games. The rookie is still a nice play this week, however, as he'll face a Bills defense that has surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. Use him as a No. 2 runner.
Fred Jackson vs. Lions: Owners looking for a No. 2 fantasy back or flex starter this week should consider Jackson, who continues to see more than his share of the workload in Buffalo. The veteran runner has a nice matchup against the Lions -- their defense has allowed an average of over 22 fantasy points per game to backs.
Sleeper alert - Tim Hightower vs. Seahawks: If Beanie Wells is out this week, fantasy owners should consider Hightower a viable No. 2 back or flex starter based on a matchup against the Seahawks. Their defense has been absolutely brutal against the run, allowing an average of more than 20 fantasy points per game to opposing backs.
Running backs - sit 'em
Matt Forte at Vikings: Trying to predict what Forte will do each week is like trying to predict the weather in New England. He's been maddeningly inconsistent all season, and now Forte appears to have lost goal-line duties to Chester Taylor. With a matchup against the Vikings next on the slate, the Tulane product is a risky option.
Ronnie Brown vs. Titans: Brown is coming off his best fantasy game of the season, scoring 15.9 fantasy points on NFL.com despite a tough matchup against the Ravens. Still, he's no lock to replicate that kind of stat line against the Titans -- their defense has allowed just three rushing touchdowns to runners the entire season.
Benjarvus Green-Ellis at Steelers: Green-Ellis has been a nice flex starter in most fantasy leagues in recent weeks, but he needs to be on fantasy benches against the Steelers. Their stout run defense has allowed just three rushing touchdowns and an average of 8.1 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season.
Felix Jones at Giants: Jones has been non-existent in recent weeks, averaging an awful 5.1 fantasy points in his last four games. Now he'll have to face the Giants, who have surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. Jones and his backfield mate Marion Barber, both need to be benched across the board.
Shonn Greene at Browns: Greene has been a tremendous bust this season, as he's fallen behind LaDainian Tomlinson on the depth chart and is now out of the top 30 in fantasy points among running backs on NFL.com. His fortunes won't change against the Browns, who have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to running backs in 2010.
Owners beware - Peyton Hillis vs. Jets: I'm not telling you to bench Hillis if you don't have good alternatives, but this week's matchup against the Jets is not at all favorable. In fact, the Jets have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. They've even held Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson in check this season.
Wide receivers - start 'em
Anquan Boldin at Falcons (Thurs.): Boldin might be 12th in fantasy points at his position on NFL.com, but 37 percent of his production came in just one game. Still, owners should continue to start him on Thursday night against the Falcons. Their defense has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.
Mike Sims-Walker vs. Texans: A lot of fantasy owners gave up on Sims-Walker earlier this season, but he's started to turn things around in recent weeks. In fact, Sims-Walker has scored a touchdown in three of his last four games for the Jaguars. He's a very attractive fantasy starter against the Texans, who have a porous pass defense.
Steve Johnsonvs. Lions: If I would have told you in the preseason that Johnson would have more fantasy points than Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne and Larry Fitzgerald after nine weeks, you'd have fitted me for a straightjacket. But it's true. The Bills wideout has become a must-start, especially with a nice matchup against the Lions up next.
Mike Wallacevs. Patriots: Wallace has thrived since the return of Roethlisberger, scoring double-digit fantasy points in all but one of his last four games. The talented wideout from Mississippi should continue to produce at a high level against the Patriots, who have given up more than their share of fantasy points to wide receivers.
Dez Bryant at Giants: There haven't been a lot of bright spots for the Cowboys in recent weeks, but Bryant is one of them. The talented rookie has averaged close to 13 fantasy points on NFL.com in his last three games, including a two-touchdown performance against the G-Men in Week 7. Bryant should remain active even as the Boys flounder.
Sleeper alert - Mario Manningham vs. Cowboys: Manningham, who had 40 yards and a touchdown against the Cowboys three weeks ago, is a solid option. The Polks have surrendered the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers, so Manningham should find success. Steve Smith could also miss the game with a pectoral injury.
Wide receivers - sit 'em
Chad Ochocinco at Colts: Outside of his two productive performances of the season, Ochocinco has averaged a dreadful 3.4 fantasy points on NFL.com. He's clearly no more than a No. 3 fantasy wideout, and even that's a little gracious based on his awful numbers. If you can afford to bench Ochocinco, it's a good idea against the Colts.
Dwayne Bowe at Broncos: Bowe has been a touchdown machine in recent weeks, scoring seven times in his last five games. However, he could be in for a tough weekend against Broncos CB Champ Bailey. In five career games against this AFC West foe, Bowe has averaged just 65 yards. He's also never caught a touchdown pass in those meetings.
Santana Moss vs. Eagles (Mon.): Moss is on pace to finish the season with a career-best 96 receptions based on his current totals, so it's hard for fantasy owners to bench him in most cases. However, keep in mind that the veteran wideout has averaged just 26 yards and scored only one touchdown in his last five games against the Eagles.
Wes Welker at Steelers: Welker, who admits he still doesn't have full confidence in his reconstructed knee, has been invisible since Randy Moss was traded. In fact, he's scored a mere 14.8 fantasy points in his last four games -- and one of those came on an extra point as a kicker! Obviously, Welker is a significant risk against the Steelers.
Sidney Rice at Bears: Rice, one of the top fantasy wideouts in the league last season, could return to action against the Bears in Week 10. However, he is expected to see limited work if he is in fact active for the contest. Until the Vikings allow Rice to see a full compliment of game snaps, he should remain on fantasy sidelines.
Owners beware - Steve Smith at Buccaneers: Smith is still one of the most talented wideouts in the NFL, but unfortunately he can't throw himself the football. With Matt Moore done for the season, Jimmy Clausen will start against the Buccaneers. In two games with the rookie at the helm, Smith has a combined five catches for 33 yards.
Tight ends - start 'em
Jacob Tamme vs. Bengals: Did Dallas Clark really get hurt, or is he just wearing a No. 84 jersey now? Tamme has been a stat-sheet monster since taking over for his teammate, scoring a combined 29.2 fantasy points in his last two games. Owners should ride Tamme while he's hot -- that could be awhile with Peyton Manning at the helm.
Dustin Keller at Browns: Keller hasn't scored double-digit fantasy points on NFL.com since Week 4, but he's still the second-rated fantasy tight end with all of the injuries at the position. The Purdue product is a nice option against the Browns, who have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.
Chris Cooley vs. Eagles (Mon.): Cooley hasn't scored a ton of touchdowns, but he is on pace to finish the season with 78 receptions and close to 900 yards based on his current numbers. The Utah State product should be active on fantasy teams against the Eagles -- their defense has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends.
Brandon Pettigrew at Bills: Pettigrew has scored a touchdown in three of his last four games and is quietly on pace to finish the season with close to 80 receptions based on his current totals. He's a solid option for owners in Week 10 against the Bills, who have allowed more fantasy points to tight ends than any team in the league.
Marcedes Lewis vs. Texans: Lewis has been an all-or-nothing player in fantasy leagues, but this week's AFC South matchup against the Texans makes him worth starting in all leagues. Houston's defense has struggled to stop tight ends all season long, allowing the second-most fantasy points (and six total touchdowns) to the position.
Sleeper alert - Heath Miller vs. Patriots: Miller has been unspectacular in his last three games, catching just eight passes for 93 yards with no touchdowns. But if you need a tight end, you could do worse than start him against the Patriots. Their defense is in the top 10 in terms of allowing the most fantasy points to the position.
Tight ends - sit 'em
Brent Celek at Redskins (Mon.): Celek has gone from being a fantasy stud last season to becoming waiver-wire fodder in 2010. In the four games that Vick has played the majority of the snaps for the Eagles, he has just nine catches for 101 yards with no touchdowns. Celek also failed to catch a single pass against the Colts last week.
Benjamin Watson vs. Jets: Watson has emerged as one of the Browns' two legitimate threats on offense -- the other being Hillis -- so the Jets are certainly going to attempt to keep him down this weekend. Their defense has been strong against tight ends overall, allowing an average of just 5.3 fantasy points to the position in 2010.
Greg Olsen at Vikings: Olsen was listed as a sleeper in this column last week, and he responded with three catches and one touchdown against the Bills. Well, now it's time to bench or release him. Olsen will find the sledding much tougher against the Vikings, who have allowed just 298 receiving yards to tight ends after nine weeks.
Todd Heap at Falcons (Thurs.): Heap had a two-week stretch in October where he was a useful fantasy option, but overall he's been no more than waiver-wire fodder. Until he can become a more productive option -- which isn't likely against the Falcons -- Heap shouldn't be utilized as a prominent member of fantasy football teams.
Jermaine Gresham at Colts: Gresham started the season on a high note, catching 22 passes with two touchdowns in his first five games as a pro. But since then, he's put up a mere nine receptions for 54 yards with no scores. He's a poor fantasy option against the Colts, who have allowed the fewest points to tight ends this season.
Owners beware - Visanthe Shiancoe at Bears: Shiancoe is clearly back on the fantasy radar now that Moss is out of the offense, and he proved it with a solid 66-yard, one-touchdown stat line against the Cardinals. The Bears haven't allowed a touchdown catch to a tight end in 2010, though, so Shiancoe could fail to impress this week.
Kickers - start 'em
Dan Carpenter vs. Titans: With Chad Henne now benched in favor of Pennington, Carpenter has scored more fantasy points than any other Dolphins starter (standard leagues)! Strange, but true. He should remain active this week against the Titans -- their defense has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing kickers in 2010.
Lawrence Tynes vs. Cowboys: Yes, I am clearly picking on my beloved Cowboys this week. If they're not going to win games on the field, at least they can help all of you win in fantasy land! They have allowed close to nine fantasy points per game to opposing kickers, so Tynes is worth a look if you're in need at the position this week.
Josh Brownat 49ers: Brown has a powerful right leg and is a nice matchup-based starter in most fantasy leagues with 12-plus teams. This week he fits the bill in San Francisco, as the Niners have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing kickers. If you don't have an "elite" kicker, Brown is worth a look off the waiver wire.
Sleeper alert - Connor Barth vs. Panthers: Barth isn't a household name in fantasy circles, but this week's matchup against the Panthers makes him a legitimate deep-league option. Only the Cardinals and Bills have allowed more fantasy points to opposing kickers than Carolina, so Barth should make some noise in this NFC contest.
Kickers - sit 'em
Nick Folk at Browns: Folk hasn't been overly consistent from a fantasy perspective, but he does rank fourth in fantasy points among kickers on NFL.com after nine weeks. However, this week's matchup against the Browns isn't favorable -- they have allowed an average of fewer than six fantasy points per game to opposing kickers this year.
Robbie Gould vs. Vikings: Gould has been a disappointment for fantasy leaguers this season, ranking a mere 21st in fantasy points at his position on NFL.com. He doesn't figure to find much success in Week 10 either, as Gould will face a Vikings defense that has surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points to kickers in 2010.
Matt Prater vs. Chiefs: Prater has struggled in recent weeks, scoring single-digit fantasy points in three of his last four games. In fact, he's fallen to 19th at his position based on points on NFL.com. This week he faces a Chiefs team that has surrendered just 11 field-goal conversions all season, so the matchup isn't favorable.
Owners beware - David Akers at Redskins (Mon.): Akers has been on absolute fire for owners in recent weeks, scoring double-digit fantasy points in consecutive games. Still, his matchup against the Washington Redskins is a tough one. Back in Week 4, Akers was only able to muster six fantasy points against this NFC East rival.
Defenses - start 'em
Giants defense vs. Cowboys: The G-Men have been up and down from a defensive perspective, but you have to love this week's matchup against the Cowboys. Not only is Kitna prone to turnovers, but opposing defenses have scored a combined 39 fantasy points against the Polks in their last two games. That makes the Giants a solid option.
Bears defense vs. Vikings: Favre might have had a career game last week, but the Cardinals defense still scored 21 fantasy points against his offense. Overall, defenses facing the Vikings have combined to score the second-most fantasy points this season. If you need a defense, the Bears are a legitimate option in all leagues.
Buccaneers defense vs. Panthers: This isn't the same stout Buccaneers defense that once featured current NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp, but it can still be a useful option against Jimmy Clausen and the Panthers. Opposing defenses have found a ton of fantasy success against them, so the Bucs are worth adding in Week 10.
Sleeper alert - Rams defense at 49ers:Fantasy owners in deeper leagues looking for a defense should consider the Rams based on their Week 10 matchup against Troy Smith and the Niners. Opposing defenses facing them have combined to score the seventh-most fantasy points this season, so coach Steve Spagnuolo's crew is worth a look.
Defenses - sit 'em
Cowboys defense at Giants: Is there a defense in the National Football League that has done less with more than the Cowboys? They just gave up 45 points to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, and now they'll face Manning and an explosive Giants offense. The Cowboys defense should be benched, or released altogether, in most leagues.
Patriots defense at Steelers: It's hard to believe, but the Patriots no longer have any truly elite fantasy options on either side of the football. That includes the defense, which couldn't even hold down Colt McCoy and the Browns last week. Their chances of limited Roethlisberger and the Steelers are slim, so put the Pats on the pine.
Redskins defense vs. Eagles (Mon.): Vick is playing the best football of his career, and he's an absolute nightmare to defend. As a result, defensive teams with the task of shutting him down are at a major disadvantage. Enter the Redskins, who have been hammered by quarterbacks all season, and you have the recipe for a sit 'em defense.
Owners beware - Ravens defense at Falcons (Thurs.): It's been a bad season for the Ravens defense, which ranks 25th in fantasy points at the position on NFL.com. With a Thursday night date against Matt Ryan and a formidable Falcons offense next on the schedule, this unit shouldn't be leaned on as a starter option in Week 10.