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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Week 6

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

Andrew Luck at San Diego Chargers: The seventh-ranked quarterback based on fantasy points, Luck is in the midst of taking that next step to stardom. His rise will continue against the Chargers, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. In fact, all five signal-callers to face them have recorded at least 19 points. (Maximum value: High QB1)

QB Start 'em

Tony Romo vs. Washington Redskins: Romo had the best fantasy game of his career last week, posting better than 40 fantasy points in a loss to the Denver Broncos. Up next is a date with the Redskins, who have surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Unless you have an elite option, Romo should be your No. 1 this weekend. (Maximum value: High QB1)

Cam Newton at Minnesota Vikings: A total of 21 quarterbacks have scored more fantasy points than Newton so far this season, which is causing a lot of owners to panic. I would continue to start him, though, as the Panthers travel to Minnesota. The Vikings have allowed an average of over 18 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in 2013. (Maximum value: High QB1)

Robert Griffin III at Dallas Cowboys: Griffin III had two straight forgettable performances before Washington's bye week, combining to score just 26.82 fantasy points. He should reverse his fortunes against the Cowboys, however. Dallas has allowed a league-high 14 touchdown passes and the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.(Maximum value: Low QB1)

Sleeper alert -- Alex Smith vs. Oakland Raiders:Fantasy football is all about stats and trends. Well, here's some interesting stuff about Smith -- he is averaging over 22 fantasy points per game in even-numbered weeks. We are heading, of course, into Week 6. The matchup for Smith against the Raiders is also positive, making him an interesting option. (Maximum value: Low QB1)

QB Sit of the week

Matthew Stafford at Cleveland Browns: Stafford has been solid overall this season, but he has seen his fantasy point production drop in each of the last three weeks. He'll be a risk against what is an improved Browns defense, which has allowed fewer than nine fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks on their home field this season. (Maximum value: High QB2)

QB Sit 'em

Terrelle Pryor at Kansas City Chiefs: No one has been a bigger fantasy fan of Pryor than me, but I also realize he isn't an elite No. 1 fantasy quarterback. And with a matchup against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium up next, Pryor is a tough sell as a starter. Kansas City has allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to signal-callers.(Maximum value: High QB2)

Sam Bradford at Houston Texans: Bradford is coming off a strong stat line, posting 21.28 fantasy points in a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Unfortunately, he has a much tougher task this week in Houston. The Texans have allowed an average of fewer than 13 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks on their home field, so sit Bradford down. (Maximum value: Mid-QB2)

Carson Palmer at San Francisco 49ers: Palmer has been awful in recent weeks, throwing three touchdowns with eight interceptions while being outscored by 29 quarterbacks in his last four starts. His fortunes aren't likely to improve against the 49ers, who have surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing signal-callers in 2013. (Maximum value: Low QB2)

Owners beware - Russell Wilson vs. Tennessee Titans: Wilson has an odd trend going - he has been great in odd-numbered weeks (19.86 fantasy PPG) and awful in even-numbered ones (10.80 fantasy PPG). We are heading into Week 6, an even-numbered week. Also, the Titans have allowed an average of 11.02 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. (Maximum value: High QB2)

RB Start of the week

Alfred Morris at Dallas Cowboys: Morris appears to be fine after injuring his ribs in a game before Washington's bye week, so he should be in your starting lineup against the Cowboys. In 2012, he ripped the Dallas defense for 313 rushing yards and four touchdowns. The Boys have struggled against the run in 2013, so Morris should roll. (Maximum value: High RB1)

RB Start 'em

DeMarco Murray vs. Washington Redskins: Murray hasn't posted enormous totals in 2013, but he does rank among the top 10 running backs in the league based on fantasy points. The Oklahoma product is a nice option in Week 6, as he'll face a Redskins defense that has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. (Maximum value: High RB2)

Knowshon Moreno vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Moreno is quietly putting up strong totals, ranking an impressive seventh in fantasy points among all running backs after five weeks. His success should continue against the Jaguars, who have given up an average of 18.68 fantasy points per game to runners. Consider Moreno a nice No. 2 option. (Maximum value: High RB2)

Willis McGahee vs. Detroit Lions: If we learned anything from last week, it's that McGahee (26 carries) is now the featured running back in Cleveland. And while he isn't the same superstar he was in Buffalo, McGahee does have flex-starter value. That's the case against the Lions, who have given up the sixth-most fantasy points to runners. (Maximum value: Mid RB2)

Sleeper alert -- Danny Woodhead vs. Indianapolis Colts (Mon.): With or without Ryan Mathews, who suffered a concussion last week, Woodhead is going to see a prominent role in the San Diego offense on Monday night. Oh, and how's this for a surprising stat - only five running backs have scored more fantasy points than Woodhead over the last two weeks. (Maximum value: Mid RB2)

RB Sit of the week

Chris Johnson at Seattle Seahawks: Johnson had a nice stat line last week, but most of his production came on a fluky flip pass that went for a touchdown. Other than that, he averaged 1.7 yards per carry. He needs to be on your bench against the Seahawks, who have given up the fifth-fewest fantasy points to runners on their home field. (Maximum value: Mid RB2)

RB Sit 'em

Rashard Mendenhall at San Francisco 49ers: Mendenhall posted a respectable 11 fantasy points in last week's game against the Carolina Panthers, but he averaged just 3.2 yards per carry and is losing time to Andre Ellington. The Niners have also allowed an average of fewer than 11 fantasy points per game to runners over the last two weeks. (Maximum value: High RB3)

Eddie Lacy at Baltimore Ravens: Lacy is tough to bench from the perspective that he's a true featured back, but this week's matchup against the Ravens is anything but favorable. Their defense has given up just one rushing touchdown and the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, making Lacy a real risk in Week 6. (Maximum value: Low RB2)

Pierre Thomas at New England Patriots: Thomas went off last week, scoring two touchdowns and 21.10 fantasy points in a win over the Chicago Bears. However, he averaged a meager 1.9 yards per carry in the contest and is now averaging 2.9 for the season. His numbers should come crashing back down to earth against the Patriots this week. (Maximum value: Mid RB3)

Owners beware - Frank Gore vs. Arizona Cardinals: One of the better running backs in fantasy land, it's tough to bench someone like Gore during the bye weeks. Just keep in mind that he's going up against a Cardinals defense that has surrendered no rushing touchdowns and the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing runners this season. (Maximum value: Mid RB2)

WR Start of the week

Torrey Smith vs. Green Bay Packers: Smith is on pace to have the best fantasy season of his career, and this week's matchup against the Packers bodes well for his chances to remain hot. Green Bay has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season, so expect Joe Flacco to look in Smith's direction often. (Maximum value: High WR1)

WR Start 'em

Vincent Jackson vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Jackson has had a slow start to the season, posting a combined 292 yards with no touchdown catches through the first five weeks. Still, it's tough to bench him with such a great matchup against the Eagles up next. No defense has allowed more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. (Maximum value: Mid WR1)

Reggie Wayne at San Diego Chargers (Mon.):Fantasy owners who have Wayne or T.Y. Hilton on their roster should be thrilled with his week's matchup against the Chargers. San Diego's defense has given up the fourth-most receiving yards, the fifth-most touchdowns and the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Look for Wayne to shine. (Maximum value: High WR2)

Steve Smith at Minnesota Vikings: Smith has not had a great start to the season, but he should remain in your starting lineup this week against the Vikings. He has owned Minnesota, posting 100-plus receiving yards in three of his last four meetings. Smith has also posted a touchdown in four of his last five games against the Vikings. (Maximum value: High WR2)

Sleeper alert - Justin Blackmon at Denver Broncos: Blackmon was fantastic last week, posting nearly 20 fantasy points in a loss to the St. Louis Rams. He should remain a fantasy starter against the Broncos, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to wideouts. Look for Blackmon to cash in, especially late during garbage time. (Maximum value: High WR2)

WR Sit of the week

Larry Fitzgerald at San Francisco 49ers: It's tough to bench Fitzgerald, but this is a bad matchup. First, he's scored just 26.80 fantasy points in his last four games. Second, he has posted 41 or fewer yards in five of his last six games in San Francisco. Finally, the Niners have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wideouts since Week 4. (Maximum value: High WR2)

WR Sit 'em

Anquan Boldin vs. Arizona Cardinals: Boldin opened the season on fire with a 26.80-fantasy point performance against the Green Bay Packers. Since then, however, the veteran has averaged a mere 6.12 points. This week he faces a former team, the Cardinals, who have allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this year. (Maximum value: Low WR2)

Dwayne Bowe vs. Oakland Raiders: You might look at this matchup against the Raiders and think it's a good one for Bowe's fantasy prospects. Think again. He has posted 91 receiving yards or less in all 11 career meetings against Oakland. What's more, Bowe has found the end zone just once in his last four games against the Silver and Black. (Maximum value: Low WR3)

Tavon Austin at Houston Texans: Aside from the 17.50 fantasy points he scored in Week 2, Austin has been a huge fantasy disappointment thus far. In fact, he's averaged a meager 2.77 fantasy points in his other four contests. With a tough matchup against the Texans next up on the schedule, starting this rookie is not an advisable decision. (Maximum value: Low WR3)

Owners beware - DeSean Jackson at Tampa Bay Buccaneeers: There's a good chance you don't have enough depth to bench Jackson, but owners need to temper expectations with a trip to Revis Island next on the schedue. Overall, opposing wideouts have scored the sixth-fewest fantasy points when going up against Revis and the Buccaneers defense. (Maximum value: High WR2)

TE Start of the week

Julius Thomas vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: If you were one of the fortunate fantasy owners who grabbed Thomas off the waiver wire, pat yourself on the back. He is the second-ranked fantasy tight end, and this week's game against the Jaguars is favorable - their defense has allowed an average of over 10 fantasy points per game to tight ends. (Maximum value: High TE1)

TE Start 'em

Vernon Davis vs. Arizona Cardinals: Davis hasn't been consistent in the stat sheets, but he still ranks eighth in fantasy points among tight ends. He's a strong start this week against the Cardinals and a defense that has allowed an average of close to 13 fantasy points per game to tight ends. That's the fourth-highest in the entire league. (Maximum value: High TE1)

Jermichael Finley at Baltimore Ravens: Finley has not had a strong start to the season, scoring a combined 27.30 fantasy points in the first five weeks. However, he remains a nice option as the Pack head to Baltimore to face the Ravens. Their defense has given up the sixth-most fantasy points to tight ends, so Finley is quite a nice option. (Maximum value: Mid TE1)

Greg Olsen at Minnesota Vikings: Olsen is a bit banged up, so be sure to check out his status before putting him into your starting lineup. Assuming he is active, the veteran out of Miami (FL) is a nice option against the Vikings - no team has allowed more touchdown catches or fantasy points to opposing tight ends after the first five weeks. (Maximum value: Mid TE1)

Sleeper alert -- Garrett Graham vs. St. Louis Rams: The Rams haven't allowed a ton of fantasy points to tight ends, but this is more about opportunities than matchups. And with Owen Daniels out of action for the next several weeks, Graham will become a viable option for fantasy owners. He's still a free agent in over 70 percent of NFL.com leagues. (Maximum value: Low TE1)

TE Sit of the week

Kyle Rudolph vs. Carolina Panthers: Rudolph has not performed well in the stat sheets with just 103 yards and one touchdown (16.30 fantasy points) in his first four games. His fortunes aren't very likely to improve against the Panthers, who have allowed one touchdown catch and the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. (Maximum value: Mid TE2)

TE Sit 'em

Jared Cook at Houston Texans: Cook started the season on a high note with 24.10 fantasy points. Since then, he has totaled 125 yards with no touchdowns and averaged a mere 3.12 points in standard fantasy leagues. He needs to be sidelined against the Texans, who have allowed an average of fewer than four fantasy points to tight ends at home. (Maximum value: Mid TE2)

Brandon Pettigrew at Cleveland Browns: Pettigrew led the Lions in receiving yards last week, but that was with Calvin Johnson on the sidelines. Assuming Megatron is back in action, Pettigrew's stock is likely to fall against an improved Browns defense. After five weeks, only three teams are allowing fewer fantasy points to opposing tight ends. (Maximum value: Mid TE2)

Jermaine Gresham at Buffalo Bills: A low-end No. 1 tight end last season, Gresham's value has taken a major hit in 2013. In fact, he's just 27th in fantasy points at his position after five weeks and is losing targets to rookie Tyler Eifert. The Bills have been very tough on tight ends, so Gresham will be hard pressed to rebound this weekend. (Maximum value: Low TE2)

Owners beware - Heath Miller at New York Jets: Miller is a tight end to target off the waiver wire this week, but he's not someone to start against the Jets. New York has allowed an average of just seven fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, so Miller could find it tough to navigate the middle of the football field in this AFC battle. (Maximum value: Low TE1)

Start 'em

Dan Bailey vs. Washington Redskins: The Cowboys and Redskins figure to engage in a real shootout at the Jerry Dome, and that means scoring opportunities for Bailey. He's been solid overall this season, scoring 10 or more fantasy points in three of his first five games of the season. Bailey could very well make it four of six this weekend. (Maximum value: High K1)

Sebastian Janikowski at Kansas City Chiefs: This is not a good matchup based on the 2013 numbers, but look at what Janikowski has done against the Chiefs in his career. In his last three meetings, he has made a combined 12 field goals. Sea Bass has also hit on 31-of-35 career field-goal attempts in his career at Arrowhead Stadium. (Maximum value: Mid K1)

Mason Crosby at Baltimore Ravens: Crosby was in the start 'em portion of this column last week, and he made good with an impressive 18 fantasy points. The veteran has now scored a combined 30 points in his last two games, and this week's matchup against the Ravens is favorable. Crosby is a free agent in plenty of NFL.com leagues. (Maximum value: Mid K1)

Sleeper alert - Alex Henery at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Henery is coming off a monster performance with 18 fantasy points in a win over the Giants. Next on the schedule is a date with the Buccaneers, who have been fantasy kicker friendly. Their defense is tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the sixth-most points allowed to the position. (Maximum value: Mid K1)

Sit of the week

Randy Bullock vs. St. Louis Rams: Bullock has failed to meet fantasy expectations, scoring nine or more fantasy points in just one game this season. The Rams come to town in Week 6, and while it looks like a good matchup on paper, it's not. St. Louis has surrendered an average of fewer than seven fantasy points per game to kickers. (Maximum value: Mid-K2)

Sit 'em

Justin Tucker vs. Green Bay Packers: The sixth-ranked kicker based on fantasy points, Tucker remains an attractive No. 1 option at his position. With that said, owners might want to temper their expectations against the Packers this week. Only three teams have given up fewer fantasy points to kickers after the first five weeks. (Maximum value: Low-K1)

Rob Bironas at Seattle Seahawks: Bironas had a string start to the season, but he's faded in recent weeks and is now less attractive as a fantasy starter. This week the Titans travel to the great Northwest to face the Seahawks, who have surrendered an average of just four fantasy points to opposing kickers at home this season. (Maximum value: Mid-K2)

Owners beware - Garrett Hartley at New England Patriots: Hartley, the second-ranked kicker in fantasy football based on points, is tough to bench based on his impressive start to the season. He does have a tough matchup this week, though, as the Patriots have given up an average of 3.5 fantasy points per game to kickers at home. (Maximum value: Low-K1)

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 combined 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. (Maximum value: High DEF1)

Start 'em

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 what is an explosive Packers offensive attack. (Maximum value: Low DEF2)

Sit 'em

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. Defenses 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)

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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