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
Waiver wire: Pick Percy pronto
Michael Fabiano writes that Percy Harvin's debut makes the WR a must-have waiver wire commodity.. More ...
Matthew Stafford vs. Dallas Cowboys: Stafford has been on fire, posting 1,109 yards, 10 total touchdowns and the third most points in fantasy football over the last four weeks. His success should continue against the Cowboys, who have surrendered 14 touchdown passes and the third-most fantasy points (20.75 PPG) to opposing quarterbacks. (Maximum value: High QB1)
Robert Griffin III at Denver Broncos: He's back! Over the last two weeks, only four quarterbacks have scored more fantasy points than Griffin III. What's more, he has rushed for 161 yards in that time -- that's more than seven running backs! Keep him active against the Broncos, who allow more fantasy points to quarterbacks than any team. (Maximum value: High QB1)
Colin Kaepernick at Jacksonville Jaguars (London): Kaepernick has not had the best start to the season, but he's starting to turn things around with a combined 36.64 fantasy points (including 86 rushing yards) over the last two weeks. He's a strong start against the Jaguars, who are allowing 19.21 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. (Maximum value: Mid QB1)
Michael Vick vs. New York Giants: With six teams on a bye, Vick is going to be back on the No. 1 fantasy quarterback radar. Barring a setback with his bum hamstring, he'll be under center against a Big Blue defense that has given up 14 touchdown passes and an average of over 20 fantasy points per game to opposing signal-callers this season. (Maximum value: Mid QB1)
Sleeper alert - Ben Roethlisberger at Oakland Raiders:Big Ben is an unimpressive 23rd in fantasy points among quarterbacks, but he does have a great matchup in Week 8. He's thrown for 275-plus yards in each of his four career meetings against the Raiders. Plus Roethlisberger has eight total scores in his last two games against Oakland. (Maximum value: Low QB1)
Sit of the week
Terrelle Pryor vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Everyone knows I'm a huge fan of Pryor, but not when the matchup isn't favorable. That's the case this week, as he goes up against a Steelers defense that has allowed the third-fewest fantasy points (14.25 PPG) to quarterbacks on the road. Even with six teams on a bye, it's tough to advise starting Pryor. (Maximum value: Mid QB2)
Russell Wilson at St. Louis Rams (Mon.): Want a strange trend? Wilson is averaging fewer than 13 fantasy points per game in even-numbered weeks. Here's another little nugget for you -- over the last four weeks, the Rams have allowed an average of (you guessed it) fewer than 13 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Just a little food for thought. (Maximum value: High QB2)
Alex Smith vs. Cleveland Browns: Smith might have had a nice start to the season, but his fantasy production has slowed in recent weeks. In fact, 19 quarterbacks have scored more fantasy points since Week 6. I would keep him on the bench against the Browns, who have allowed an average of just over 15 fantasy points to signal-callers in 2013. (Maximum value: Mid QB2)
Geno Smith at Cincinnati Bengals: Smith scored over 20 fantasy points last weekend, but take a look at this trend -- in odd-numbered weeks, he's averaging 20.54 points per game. That's impressive. In even-numbered weeks, though, Smith is averaging an awful 5.78 points. Going into Week 8 against a tough Bengals defense, I'd keep him reserved. (Maximum value: Low QB2)
Owners beware - Tom Brady vs. Miami Dolphins: As someone who owns Brady, I'm hoping I give him the old fantasy jinx by putting him in the sit 'em portion of this column. His numbers are hard to ignore, though, as he's a mere 21st in fantasy points among quarterbacks. Geno Smith, Jake Locker and even Alex Smith all have more points right now. (Maximum value: Low QB1)