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, be sure to check our weekly lineup rankings.
Start of the week
Robert Griffin III at St. Louis Rams: You have heard me state it throughout the preseason - I love me some RG3, and the fantasy man-crush did nothing but increase after he scored an impressive 25 fantasy points in last week's win over the New Orleans Saints. Unless you have one of the elite signal-callers in fantasy football, Griffin III should be active against the Rams and their questionable defense.
Matt Ryan vs. Denver Broncos (Mon.) Another member of the fantasy man-crush list, Ryan led all quarterbacks in fantasy points last week with 299 yards and four total touchdowns. This week's matchup against the Broncos is on national television and is a perfect stage for Ryan to show off all of his offensive weapons in the pass attack. Look for a shootout between Ryan and Peyton Manning in this contest.
Peyton Manning at Atlanta Falcons (Mon.): Manning was tremendous in his first regular-season start since 2010, throwing for 253 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in a huge win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. His statistical success should continue this week in what could be a high-scoring affair at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons allowed almost 17 fantasy points to Matt Cassel in their opener.
Philip Rivers vs. Tennessee Titans: Rivers didn't have the best statistical start to the season, throwing for just 231 yards and one touchdown in a win over the Oakland Raiders. On a positive note, he didn't throw a single interception (Rivers had 20 in 2011) and has a favorable matchup up next against the Titans. He's not an elite option right now, but Rivers is worth starting in 10-12 -team leagues.
Sleeper alert - Andrew Luck vs. Vikings: Welcome to the NFL, Andrew! The super rookie's first start was a disappointment, as Luck was intercepted three times and scored a mere 9.26 fantasy points in a loss to the Chicago Bears. Luckily, he has a much more favorable matchup next on the schedule against the Vikings. Their questionable pass defense allowed 19 fantasy points to Blaine Gabbert one week ago.
Sit of the week
Matt Schaub at Jacksonville Jaguars: If we have learned anything about the Houston Texans in recent seasons, it's that their offense is now run-based. That alone hurts Schaub's fantasy appeal. But when you also consider that he's thrown for multiple scores in just one of his last four games against this AFC South opponent, the veteran out of Virginia becomes an even riskier starter in fantasy land.
Joe Flacco at Philadelphia Eagles: Flacco sure looked terrific in his season opener, throwing for 299 yards and two touchdowns in a blowout win over the Cincinnati Bengals. However, I'd like to see him post such numbers on the road and against an aggressive defense like the one in Philadelphia. The Eagles boast one of the best cornerback duos in the entire league and are sure to give Flacco fits this weekend.
Mark Sanchez at Pittsburgh Steelers: I was dead wrong about Sanchez last week, as he scored 20.64 fantasy points and led the Jets to 48 points in a rout of the Buffalo Bills. But does one good performance make him a legitimate No. 1 option in fantasy football? Not to me, and not in a road game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. I'd keep Sanchez on the sidelines (or the waiver wire) until he has a better matchup.
Russell Wilson vs. Dallas Cowboys: Wilson was a hot name in the world of fantasy football when he won the top spot on the Seahawks depth chart. Of course, that was until reality set in and he played in a regular-season contest. That didn't go so well, as the rookie scored just 8.12 fantasy points in a loss to the Arizona Cardinals. His fortunes won't improve in Week 2 against an improved Dallas Cowboys defense.
Owners beware - Michael Vick at Baltimore Ravens: Vick might have scored a respectable 15.88 fantasy points last week, but he threw an awful four interceptions and was lucky to escape the game without being injured. Next on the schedule is a date with the Baltimore Ravens, who have allowed one touchdown pass or less in each of their last 19 games. If you can afford to sit Vick, it might end up being a smart move.