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 Gonzalez at New Orleans Saints: If you notice a trend of Falcons and Saints players in the start 'em portion of this column, well, it's because that contest has all the look of an absolute shootout. That's great news for the veteran Gonzalez, who has scored four touchdowns in his last four contests against New Orleans. He's a must-start option in most formats. (Maximum value: High-TE1)
Vernon Davis vs. Green Bay Packers: Let's face it, Davis was awful for a good portion of last season. And while fantasy owners still have some trust issues with him, the veteran is a virtual must-start against the Packers. Hopefully the rapport he seemed to lack with Colin Kaepernick at times in the past will be elevated. (Maximum value: High-TE1)
Kyle Rudolph at Detroit Lions: The reigning Pro Bowl MVP, Rudolph should be considered a quality option for fantasy football owners this week. He has a great matchup against the Lions, who allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends overall in 2012. Rudolph also scored double-digit fantasy points in his last contest against the Lions. (Maximum value: High-TE1)
Brandon Myers at Dallas Cowboys:Eli Manning has always liked to use his tight ends in the offensive attack, so Myers has some definite appeal as a potential No. 1 fantasy option. He's a nice choice in what could be a high-scoring game against the Cowboys, who allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends based on home games last season. (Maximum value: Mid-TE1)
Sleeper alert - Zach Sudfeld at Buffalo Bills: Unless Rob Gronkowski (forearm, back) makes a miraculous return to action, Sudfeld is going to start and see his share of targets against the Bills this weekend. Buffalo has been a victim of Gronkowski a number of times in the past, so don't be shocked to see Sudfeld make an immediate impact for the P-Men. (Maximum value: High-TE2)
Sit of the week
Jermichael Finley at San Francisco 49ers: Finley, who is entering a contract year, has seen his fantasy value rise after showing some flashes of his past self during the preseason. However, he's no lock to open 2013 with a strong performance against the Niners - no team allowed fewer fantasy points to tight ends in home games during 2012. (Maximum value: Low-TE1)
Greg Olsen vs. Seattle Seahawks: Olsen is coming off his best statistical season and remains a viable No. 1 fantasy option in all formats, but this week's contest against the Seahawks isn't a favorable one. In fact, their defense allowed just three touchdowns and the third-fewest fantasy points overall to opposing tight ends this past season. (Maximum value: Mid-TE1)
Up your game. Get fit like your favorite NFL player. Vote now on NFL Up! to unlock exclusive workouts tips. More...
Jordan Cameron vs. Miami Dolphins: I love the potential that Cameron brings to the table under the tutelage of new coach Rob Chudzinski and OC Norv Turner, but he's still a matchup-based option at this point. Against an improved Dolphins defense that was tough on tight ends last season, I'd keep Cameron on the fantasy sidelines. (Maximum value: Low-TE1)
Martellus Bennett vs. Bengals: Can you name the last time the Bears had a fantasy-viable tight end on their roster? Greg Olsen was alright, but he didn't have his first big year until he left for Carolina. Enter Bennett, who is coming off a career season with the Giants but could now be the next in a pretty long line of Chicago tight ends to falter. (Maximum value: Mid-TE2)
Owners beware - Jermaine Gresham at Chicago Bears: Gresham is coming off the best statistical season of his career, but his statistical arrow is pointing down after the addition of rookie Tyler Eifert and the return of Mohamed Sanu to the pass attack. Furthermore, a difficult matchup against the Bears makes Gresham even less attractive. (Maximum value: Low-TE2)