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 Arian Foster will not be featured in this column. For your final lineup decisions, check our lineup rankings.
Start of the week
Tony Romo vs. New Orleans Saints: Romo has been on absolute fire, ranking in the top five in fantasy points among all players in the last four weeks. I think his streak of statistical success will continue against the Saints, who have allowed more fantasy points to quarterbacks on the road than any other team.
Andrew Luck at Kansas City Chiefs: Luck hasn't posted huge or consistent fantasy numbers in the last few weeks, but it's still tough to look past this week's matchup against the Chiefs. Their defense has surrendered the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks at home this season, so Luck should find success.
Russell Wilson vs. San Francisco 49ers: The Niners clearly have a stout defensive unit. But on the road, this team has allowed an average of close to 17 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. San Francisco has also given up 18-plus fantasy points to four of the seven signal-callers to face them on the road.
Joe Flacco vs. New York Giants: It's tough to trust Flacco, and you shouldn't start him unless you're devoid of reliable options. Still, he's been better at home from a statistical perspective. Furthermore, the Giants have allowed an average of over 17 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks on the road.
Sleeper alert - Sam Bradford at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Did you know that just five players have scored more fantasy points than Bradford over the last four weeks? It sounds odd, but it's true. For those owners in need of a quarterback, Bradford is worth a look against the Buccaneers and their poor pass defense.
Sit of the week
Philip Rivers at New York Jets: So much for Rivers and his regular December surge. He faltered last week against the Carolina Panthers, and his struggles will continue in New York. The Jets have allowed an average of fewer than 13 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks at home, so keep Rivers sidelined.
Josh Freeman vs. St. Louis Rams: Freeman disappointed a lot of fantasy football owners with his Scrooge-like performance against the Saints last week, and I can't trust him against the Rams. Believe it or not, but their defense has allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks on the road this season.
Carson Palmer at Carolina Panthers: Palmer has floundered, scoring fewer than 15 fantasy points in three of his last four games. That's enough reason to bench him, but a matchup against the Panthers makes Palmer even more of a risk. Quarterbacks have averaged fewer than 15 fantasy points per game against them.
Jay Cutler at Arizona Cardinals: Cutler hasn't been a reliable option in fantasy football this season, and that trend should continue this week against the Cardinals. Their defense shut down Matthew Stafford last week and has now allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks on their home field.
Owners beware - Eli Manning at Baltimore Ravens: Manning has been inconsistent in the second half of the season, scoring fewer than six fantasy points in four of his last seven starts. He's also averaged fewer than seven points in his last three road games, and the Ravens are very tough on quarterbacks at home.