Start 'Em & Sit 'Emis the ultimate look at the best and worst matchups of the week and how those matchups will affect your fantasy team.Sleeper alerthighlights a player who's under the radar but could produce strong numbers based on the opponent.Owners beware highlights a player who's a regular starter in most fantasy leagues but could fail to meet expectations. For your final lineup decisions, check our weekly lineup rankings.
Start of the Week
DeAngelo Williams vs. Buccaneers: Williams was a major disappointment for fantasy owners last week, rushing for just 62 yards on 16 carries in a loss to the Giants. Despite that mediocre stat line, he should still be considered a must start this week against the Buccaneers. In his last two games against this NFC South opponent, Williams has rushed for a combined 338 yards and four touchdowns. Look for him to rebound with some monster totals.
Quarterbacks - Start 'Em
Michael Vick at Lions: Believe it or not, but Vick is once again on the fantasy football radar -- even if it is for one week. With Kevin Kolb's status in doubt, Vick looks like a lock to start against the Lions. While their defense has improved, it still allowed 372 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Jay Cutler in Week 1. Vick, who can make plays on the gridiron both with his arm and his feet, is a viable starter in all leagues with 12-plus teams.
Brett Favre vs. Dolphins: Favre wasn't able to muster much of a stat line in the season opener in New Orleans, but that's no reason to lose complete faith in the old gunslinger. In fact, he should still be seen as a low-end fantasy starter playing at home against the Dolphins defense which can be vulnerable to the pass.
Matt Ryan vs. Cardinals: Ryan didn't have a great start to the season, posting a mere 8.48 fantasy points on NFL.com. However, that was against the very tough Steelers defense at Heinz Field. His fortunes should turn for the better in Week 2 against the Cardinals, so don't be afraid to start the Falcons quarterback.
Joe Flacco at Bengals: Much like Ryan, Flacco had a forgettable season opener based on a tough road matchup against the Jets. This week he'll have an easier task against the Bengals, who allowed 258 yards and three touchdowns to Tom Brady in Week 1. Consider Flacco a viable starter in most fantasy leagues.
Kyle Orton vs. Seahawks: If you lost Kolb or Matthew Stafford and need a quarterback this week, Orton is well worth a look. Despite their tremendous performance against the Niners in Week 1, I'm not buying that the Seahawks suddenly have an elite defense. Look for Orton to find success at Invesco Field.
Sleeper alert - Jason Campbell vs. Rams: Campbell failed to make an impact for owners in the opener, throwing for 180 yards with one touchdown and two turnovers. His fortunes will change for the better, though, as he'll face a Rams defense that surrendered 15 fantasy points to Derek Anderson in Week 1.
Quarterbacks - Sit 'Em
Carson Palmer at Ravens: Palmer put up some solid numbers for owners last week, scoring the fifth-most fantasy points among quarterbacks on NFL.com. He'll be hard pressed to duplicate those numbers in Week 2, however, as a matchup with the defensive-minded Ravens looms. Palmer hasn't had much recent success against them, averaging just 215 yards with a combined two touchdowns and two interceptions in his last four meetings. If you start Palmer, do it with caution.
Vince Young vs. Steelers: One of the more versatile quarterbacks in the NFL, Young has re-emerged into a viable fantasy option dating back to last season. Still, it's hard to start him against a Steelers defense that is clearly one of the league's most formidable units now that S Troy Polamalu is back in the mix. Last week, the new Steel Curtain held Ryan to a mere 8.48 fantasy points on NFL.com. Unless you're desperate for a quarterback, keep Young on the sidelines.
Chad Henne at Vikings: Henne wasn't able to muster much of a stat line last week against the Bills, posting just 7.18 fantasy points despite what looked like a very favorable matchup. In Week 2, he faces a far more stout opponent on the road in Minnesota. Henne shouldn't be trusted to produce good totals.
Alex Smith vs. Saints (Mon.): Smith was a disappointment against the Seahawks last week, scoring an awful five fantasy points in a blowout loss to the Seahawks. Unless he proves to be more productive and consistent, Smith shouldn't be used in a prominent fantasy role against good teams like the Saints.
Matt Cassel at Browns: Despite the addition of Charlie Weis, I still have a hard time trusting Cassel in a prominent fantasy role. That's the case this week in Cleveland, where he'll face a Browns defense that can be tough to throw against on their own turf and will be fired up for their home opener.
Owners beware - Jay Cutler at Cowboys: Cutler is coming off a great performance against the Lions, but he'll have a much tougher time putting up huge numbers in Week 2 against the Cowboys. The Boys from Big D have a tough pass defense and will be fired up to perform well after a bad loss to the Redskins.
Running backs - Start 'Em
Steven Jackson at Raiders:Fantasy owners who drafted Jackson in the first round didn't get much production from him in the opener, but he should rebound this week in Oakland. The Raiders had one of the league's worst run defenses in 2009, and it didn't look like an improved unit against Chris Johnson (27 fantasy points) and the Titans in Week 1. If Jackson can't put up a nice stat line against the Silver & Black, it could be a very tough season for the owners who picked him.
Ahmad Bradshaw at Colts: Anyone who saw what Arian Foster did to the Colts run defense last week knows exactly why Bradshaw is such an attractive option on Sunday night. The Texans back ran over, around and through their run defnese to score three touchdowns and 40-plus fantasy points. With S Bob Sanders out of action, the G-Men will run the football often in an effort to keep Peyton Manning off the field. Look for Bradshaw to shine as a result.
LeSean McCoy at Lions: McCoy didn't have a huge game in Week 1, but he did record a respectable 14.20 fantasy points against the tough Packers defense. With a matchup against the Lions defense, which allowed 201 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns to Matt Forte next on the slate, McCoy is clearly a nice option.
Jamaal Charles at Browns: Charles is still behind Thomas Jones on the Chiefs depth chart, but he's clearly the more explosive player and a far better fantasy option. He's a solid starting choice against the Browns, who allowed Charles to rush for an impressive 154 yards and one touchdown this past December.
Darren McFadden vs. Rams: McFadden was a pleasant surprise in Week 1, as he saw all of the carries with Michael Bush out of action. If Bush is forced to the sidelines once again, McFadden should be seen as a viable No. 2 fantasy back against a vulnerable Rams defense. If Bush returns, though, McFadden is more of a flex option.
Sleeper alert - Brandon Jackson vs. Bills: Ryan Grant is done for the season, so Jackson was the hottest name on the fantasy waiver wire this week. If you were lucky enough to land him, there's no reason to keep Jackson on the sidelines. Instead, get him active against the Bills defense which struggles to stop the run.
Running backs - Sit 'Em
C.J. Spiller at Packers: Spiller is an explosive player with upside, but it's hard to start him in fantasy leagues right now. Not only was his stat line against the Dolphins (14 all-purpose yards) a collossal disappointment, but he lost carries to Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch in the backfield rotation. Furthermore, a matchup against the Packers at Lambeau Field that is anything but favorable. At best, he's a potential flex starter in those leagues with 10-plus teams.
Marion Barber vs. Bears: If the first week of the regular season was an indication, the Cowboys backfield is going to be hard to predict. Barber and Felix Jones split carries against the Redskins, and neither of them put up numbers worthy of a starting spot in fantasy leagues. Next on the slate is a matchup against the Bears, who allowed a mere 21 rushing yards to the Lions in Week 1. Neither Barber nor Jones should be active as more than fantasy flex starters.
Beanie Wells at Falcons: Wells missed last week's game against the Rams with a sore knee, and he likely won't be at 100 percent in his upcoming matchup against the Falcons. Unless his prognosis improves heading into the weekend, Tim Hightower, not Wells, will be the better fantasy option in Arizona.
Reggie Bush at 49ers (Mon): The Niners defense was embarrassed by the Seahawks in Week 1, allowing 31 points in a blowout loss. Coach Mike Singletary will no doubt help this unit get its' focus back for a Monday night contest against the Saints, though, so Bush will have a hard time finding success.
Owners beware - Ronnie Brown at Vikings: The Vikings have had a stout run defense for what seems like forever, so it could be a tough weekend for Brown. The veteran back will have a hard time finding running room with the Williams Wall in his path, so don't be surprised if his numbers aren't stellar.
Wide receivers - Start 'Em
Wes Welker at Jets: Welker looked no worse for wear in his return from knee surgery, catching eight passes including two touchdowns in Week 1. Based on the fact that CB Darrelle Revis will be covering Randy Moss, Welker should see a ton of targets in the passing game from Brady. In his last three games against the Men in Green, Welker has posted a combined 29 receptions for 372 yards. If CB Kyle Wilson covers Welker, another huge stat line shouldn't be hard to accomplish.
Greg Jennings vs. Bills: Jennings made an immediate impact for fantasy leaguers in Week 1, posting five catches for 82 yards with one touchdown in a win over the Eagles. He could put up even better numbers against the Bills, who's defense is questionable at best despite allowing just 15 points to the Dolphins in their opener. If you own any of the prominent offensive members of the Packers, including Jennings, it's a good idea to start them in what could be a blowout.
Percy Harvin vs. Dolphins: It seems like the Vikings haven't played a game in awhile, but owners no doubt remember Harvin's unattractive numbers against the Saints. Despite his inauspicious totals, Harvin is still a viable fantasy starter against a Dolphins defense that can struggle against the pass.
Santana Moss vs. Texans: Moss might not be a fantasy superstar anymore, but his value is on the rise. He was clearly one of Donovan McNabb's favorite targets in Week 1, and that trend should continue against the Texans. Their defense allowed 40 fantasy points to the Colts wide receivers last weekend.
Sleeper alert - Mike Williams at Panthers: Williams, a preseason sleeper on NFL.com, led the Buccaneers with five catches and scored a touchdown in his debut against the Browns. He's a nice flex option or third wideout in deeper leagues against the Panthers, who allowed three receiving scores in Week 1.
Wide receivers - Sit 'Em
Michael Crabtree vs. Saints (Mon.): I hope that I'm wrong, but Crabtree has me a little worried. Over the last few weeks, he's had a much publicized spat with Vernon Davis, had his work ethic questioned and then pulled a Houdini act against the Seahawks. Now comes a matchup against the Saints, who will no doubt look to keep Crabtree invisible for a second straight week. It's hard to sit him in most leagues, but Crabtree will be a risk until he shows some signs of fantasy life.
Mike Wallace at Titans: A preseason sleeper candidate on NFL.com, Wallace was limited to just two catches against the Falcons in the opener. That's due in part to the fact that Dixon doesn't throw the best deep ball, and Wallace does much of his damage in the vertical pass attack. What's more, Wallace has a tough matchup ahead against a Titans defense that allowed just 58 yards to Raiders wideouts in Week 1. Don't use him as more than a No. 3 option or flex player.
Tight ends - Start 'Em
Jermichael Finley vs. Bills: Finley didn't light the fantasy football world on fire in Week 1, posting just 4.7 fantasy points on NFL.com. However, he's destined to see an increase in statistical success this week against the vulnerable Bills defense. Aaron Rodgers will no doubt look to him often in the passing game, as the Packers look to make the scoreboard operator dizzy in what could be a lopsided affair. Finley remains a must-start tight end in all leagues.
Visanthe Shiancoe vs. Dolphins: If we learned one thing about the Vikings passing game in Week 1, it's that Favre clearly trusts Shiancoe as one of his most reliable options. That was evident in the tight end's stat line, as he caught four passes for 76 yards and scored one touchdown in a loss to the Saints. In 17 games with Favre at the helm of the offense, Shiancoe has scored an impressive 12 touchdowns. He'll have plenty of chances to shine against the Fish.
Chris Cooley vs. Texans: Once a top-five fantasy tight end, Cooley's value took a hit when he missed most of last season with an injured ankle. However, he's back on the radar after posting six catches for 80 yards in Week 1. Cooley will continue to be a popular target for McNabb against the Texans.
Tight ends - Sit 'Em
Owen Daniels at Redskins: Daniels, who continues to recover from knee surgery, saw limited time on the field in Week 1 and was held to a mere 0.90 fantasy points as a result. He could be on a snap count of sorts once against the Redskins, who held the very healthy Jason Witten to just three catches for 27 yards in their home opener. Until coach Gary Kubiak confirms that he's 100 percent and free of limitations, Daniels will be a risk for fantasy owners.
Jeremy Shockey at 49ers (Mon.): Remember when Shockey was considered one of the elite tight ends in the league? Well, that's seems like a long time ago in a fantasy galaxy far, far away. Now he's no more than a reserve, even in a high-powered Saints offense. In his last seven games dating back to last season, Shockey has averaged a mere three catches for 31 yards. He also hasn't scored a touchdown since last October. Shockey should be benched.
Bo Scaife vs. Steelers: Suprisingly, Scaife was the fifth-highest scoring tight end based on fantasy points last week on the strength of his 37-yard, one-touchdown performance. He'll struggle to duplicate that feat in Week 2, though, as the Steelers and their formidable defense come to LP Field for a visit.
Dustin Keller vs. Patriots: Once considered a fantasy sleeper, Keller continues to flounder in mediocrity at the NFL level. He scored a mere 1.3 fantasy points in Week 1, and his prospects for Week 2 against the Patriots are bleak. In two games against them last season, Keller had just 60 combined yards.
Jermaine Gresham vs. Ravens: Gresham was highly targeted in his regular-season debut, seeing 10 looks from Palmer in a loss to the Patriots. Still, the rookie will find the sledding much tougher in Week 2 against LB Ray Lewis and the Ravens. There defense held Keller to a mere 13 yards on Monday night.
Kickers - Start 'Em
Sleeper alert - Lawrence Tynes at Colts: Is it me, or does the Giants-Colts game on Sunday night have all the looks of an absolute scoreboard scorcher? The Colts allowed 11 fantasy points to Neil Rackers in Week 1, and I wouldn't be a bit shocked to see Tynes find similar success in the Manning Bowl.
Kickers - Sit 'Em
Defenses - Start 'Em
Packers defense vs. Bills: The Bills are led by Trent Edwards, Evans and a trio of running backs that couldn't produce against the Dolphins last week. Those factoids alone make the Packers a must start in fantasy leagues, especially when they're on their home field. Look for the Pack to dominate in Week 2.
Patriots defense at Jets: Between the preseason and Week 1, the Jets haven't shown much spark on the offensive side of the football. Mark Sanchez is still prone to turnovers, and his receivers are mediocre at best. As a result, look for the Patriots defense to record a nice stat line for fantasy owners.
Chargers vs. Jaguars: The Bolts should be fired up to win their first game of the season, especially in front of their home crowd in Southern California, so look for a great effort from their defense. The Jags don't have much on offense aside from Maurice Jones-Drew, which makes the Chargers an even better option.
Sleeper alert - Raiders defense vs. Rams: Start the Raiders? Are you kidding? Actually, no. Against rookie quarterback Sam Bradford and a punchless Rams offense, the Silver & Black actually have starting value in leagues with 12-plus teams. If you play the matchups on defense, the Raiders make a lot of sense.
Defenses - Sit 'Em
Giants defense at Colts: The G-Men scored an impressive 15 fantasy points on NFL.com in a win over the Panthers last week, but they'll stuggle to reach that total against Manning and the mighty Colts offense. It's better to keep Big Blue's defense on the sidelines in what could turn into a real barnburner.
Bears defense at Cowboys: While the value of the Bears defense increased with the addition of DE Julius Peppers and the return of LB Brian Urlacher, it's still a risky option on the road against Tony Romo and a talented Cowboys offense. Look for the Polks to put some point on the board in this contest.