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.
Start of the week
49ers defense vs. Arizona Cardinals: The Niners are starting to get hot, scoring a combined 35 fantasy points in their last two games. That's a huge increase from the 12 points this unit scored in the first three weeks. Up next is a date with the turnover-prone Carson Palmer and a Cardinals offense that is struggling in the stat sheets. (Maximum value: High DEF1)
Broncos defense vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that defenses facing the Jaguars are strong options in fantasy leagues. Enter the Broncos, who host the Jags in what looks like one of the most lopsided games in recent NFL history. Look for Denver to be aggressive against an offense that is struggling. (Maximum value: High DEF1)
Chiefs defense vs. Oakland Raiders: The Chiefs have become a brilliant fantasy option in 2013, leading all defenses in fantasy points by a 24-point margin on NFL.com. And while I love Terrelle Pryor and what he brings to the table, this is still quite a favorable matchup for the Chiefs in what will be a rocking Arrowhead Stadium. (Maximum value: High DEF1)
Sleeper alert -- Bengals defense at Buffalo Bills: The Bengals defense is hot, scoring 10 or more fantasy points in three of the last four weeks. That streak of success should continue in Buffalo, as they face the Bills and quarterback Thad Lewis. That's the same Thad Lewis who was on the team's practice squad earlier in the week. (Maximum value: High DEF1)
Sit of the week
Ravens defense vs. Green Bay Packers: Aside from the beating this unit took against the Broncos in Week 1, the Ravens have averaged a solid 12 fantasy points in their last four games. Still, it's very tough to recommend this defensive unit against superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers and an explosive Packers offensive attack. (Maximum value: Low DEF2)
Power Rankings: Back in business?
Titans defense at Seattle Seahawks: Believe it or not, but the Titans rank an impressive fourth in fantasy points among defenses on NFL.com. Still, playing in Seattle against the Seahawks is more than enough to scare fantasy owners. Teams facing the 'Hawks on their home field have averaged a meager three fantasy points this season. (Maximum value: Mid DEF2)
Cardinals defense at San Francisco 49ers: No defense scored more fantasy points on NFL.com last week than the Cardinals (24), but their upcoming matchup against the 49ers makes this unit a risk in Week 6. So far in 2013, defensive units going up against the Niners on their home field have averaged a meager four fantasy points. (Maximum value: Low DEF2)
Owners beware -- Patriots defense vs. New Orleans Saints: The Patriots have scored 12 or more fantasy points in three of their last four games, but this is a tough week to trust New England. Drew Brees and his explosive offensive attack come to Foxboro as the fifth-toughest unit for fantasy defenses to score against this season. (Maximum value: Mid DEF2)