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
Marques Colston at New York Giants: Colston was hot earlier in the season, but he has averaged just eight fantasy points over his last four games. I think he'll rebound this week, though, as Colston faces a great matchup against the Giants. No defense has allowed more fantasy points to wide receivers at home than the G-Men, making Colston a very attractive starter.
Randall Cobb vs. Detroit Lions:Jordy Nelson is dealing with a bum hamstring, and Greg Jennings has just one game under his belt after an extended absence from the gridiron due to an injured groin. That's good news for Cobb, who should see more than his share of targets in the pass attack from Aaron Rodgers. This game could be a shootout, so look for Cobb to produce.
Hakeem Nicks vs. New Orleans Saints: Nicks has been a major disappointment in standard leagues, scoring double-digit fantasy points just once since Week 2. He has seen an uptick in catches, though, catching 19 passes in the last three weeks. Nicks also has a tremendous matchup against the Saints, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to receivers on the road.
Torrey Smith at Washington Redskins: While I don't trust Joe Flacco on the road, that doesn't mean Smith isn't a viable fantasy starter. It's tough to ignore his matchup against the Redskins, who have surrendered the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers at home. The Skins have also allowed the second-most yards to wideouts overall, so Smith should do well.
Sleeper alert - Jeremy Maclin at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Maclin has been difficult to trust this season, but I'd roll the dice on him against the Buccaneers. Their defense has given the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers at home and the most overall. Nick Foles will look to Maclin often with DeSean Jackson out of action, so he's a viable No. 3 option.
Sit of the week
Larry Fitzgerald at Seattle Seahawks: It's tough to bench Fitzgerald, but look at the numbers. A total of 37 wide receivers have more fantasy points than the struggling star. He has a combined five catches, 65 yards and no touchdowns in his last three games, and there's no end in sight to his statistical decline. The return of John Skelton is a positive, but a small one.
Miles Austin at Cincinnati Bengals: Austin scored 10.60 fantasy points last weekend against the Eagles, but that was his first double-digit performance since Week 8. What's more, Austin has scored once in his last five games. Another reason to fear him is a matchup against the Bengals, who have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to wideouts at home.
Dwayne Bowe at Cleveland Browns: Want two reasons to bench Bowe? Brady Quinn and Joe Haden. Bowe has been a fantasy disaster in recent weeks, scoring no more than 6.50 points in a single game since Week 4. The Browns have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to wideouts at home this season, and Haden is a big part of that statistic. That makes Bowe a real risk.
Justin Blackmon vs. New York Jets: Just a few weeks ago, Blackmon was one of the hot names off the fantasy waiver wire. That was before he put up a nine-yard stinker last week in a loss to the Buffalo Bills. This week he faces the Jets and CB Antonio Cromartie, who has become a top cover cornerback. Even if Cecil Shorts is out, I don't trust Blackmon this weekend.
Owners beware - Mike Wallace vs. San Diego Chargers: The return of Ben Roethlisberger makes Wallace a bit more attractive. Still, the wideout has scored double-digit fantasy points just once in his last seven games and is averaging a dreadful 3.27 points in his last four contests. If you do decide to start Wallace, don't expect a big statistical output.