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 Peyton Manning and LeSean McCoy will not be featured. For your final lineup decisions, check our lineup rankings.
Start of the Week
Greg Olsen vs. Detroit Lions: Olsen had a fast start to the 2014 campaign, posting eight catches for 83 yards with one touchdown in a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His success should continue at home, where he's scored eight-plus fantasy points in four of his last five games. The Lions also allowed 12.30 fantasy points to the New York Giants tight ends last week, which makes the matchup a good one as well.
Zach Ertz at Indianapolis Colts (Mon.): A breakout candidate in fantasy land, Ertz looked good in his 2014 opener with 77 yards, one touchdown and 13.70 fantasy points. He'll continue to see more than his share of opportunities against the Colts, who surrendered 28.40 fantasy points to tight end Julius Thomas last Sunday night. In what could end up being a high-scoring contest, Ertz is a nice option for all fantasy leaguers.
Martellus Bennett at San Francisco 49ers: Some players start slowly in the stat sheets, while others get out of the gate quickly. Bennett is more of the latter, as he has recorded an average of 50-plus yards per game and a combined seven touchdowns in his last nine September contests (Bears -- five games, Giants -- four games). If you don't have an elite fantasy tight end, Bennett is worth a start based on his September success.
Delanie Walker vs. Dallas Cowboys: Walker isn't what you would consider a fantasy star, but he did post almost 10 fantasy points in a Week 1 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. He's got a nice matchup next on the slate, as the Cowboys allowed two touchdowns and 16.40 fantasy points to Vernon Davis last week. So if you've lost Jordan Reed or just need a tight end, Walker is well worth a look off the fantasy waiver wire.
Sleeper alert - Larry Donnell vs. Arizona Cardinals: Who is Donnell? Well, he's the tight end who recorded 56 yards, one touchdown and a solid 11.60 fantasy points in Week 1. While he's no lock to produce that level of production in back-to-back games, you do have to take into consideration what is a great matchup against the Cardinals. Their defense was dreadful against tight ends in 2013, and allowed 81 yards to Antonio Gates in Week 1.
Sit of the Week
Antonio Gates vs. Seattle Seahawks: Speaking of Gates, he opened the 2014 campaign on a high note with six catches and 81 yards in a loss to the Cardinals. However, he'll struggle to post such totals this week when he goes up against the top defense in the NFL. The Seahawks allowed an average of just 7.14 fantasy points to tight ends in 2013, and a mere 2.60 points to Green Bay's tight ends in the regular-season opener.
Kyle Rudolph vs. New England Patriots: Rudolph is a favorite breakout candidate of mine, and chances are you'll have to start him this weekend. However, fantasy owners should keep a few tidbits in mind. First, Rudolph has scored just one time in his last six games in Minnesota. Second, the Patriots allowed just six touchdown catches to opposing tight ends during the 2013 campaign. That was tied for the sixth-fewest in the NFL.
Jared Cook at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cook recorded an unimpressive 5.60 fantasy points in the Rams' season-opening loss to the Minnesota Vikings, and he's not likely to do much better in Tampa Bay this weekend. In his last eight road games, the veteran has found the end zone just one time. Furthermore, Cook has recorded fewer than 50 yards in each of his last 16 games away from home. Those aren't very attractive stats.
Coby Fleener vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Mon.): There was a point last season when Fleener was considered a legitimate fantasy starter. Of course, that was then and this is now. In 2014, the Colts tight end to own in fantasy land is Dwayne Allen, not Fleener. That was apparent last week, as Allen saw five targets, posted four catches and scored a touchdown. Fleener saw eight targets, but he caught just three passes for 21 yards.
Owners beware - Jason Witten at Tennessee Titans: Witten is likely to be active in most fantasy leagues this week, but don't expect him to post huge numbers. In his last 10 road games against the AFC, Witten has scored a combined two touchdowns. He's also put up 65 or more yards in just two of those contests. Fantasy leaguers have to hope he can break that trend of poor production if they're going to take home a fantasy win in Week 2.