Start ’em Sit ’em is our weekly look at favorable and unfavorable match-ups and how they might affect lineup decisions for your fantasy football team. Other than a few elite players, no one should be classified as a must start every week, and analyzing match-ups can go a long way to giving your team a weekly edge. If you have any start’em sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.


Sam Bradford STL vs. DET: Pick-up and Play

Bradford looks like the real deal and has been playing great for a few weeks now. With QBs like Tom Brady on a bye you should be thrilled if you can pick-up Bradford and plug him into your starting line-up. The Lions simply don’t have the talent in the secondary to shut down a passing attack so the rookie should be in line for another good day. On a side note if you are in a deep league or a two quarterback league we think Bradford is going to have value for the entire season.

Josh Freeman TB vs. CIN: Risky Start

Sure Freeman has looked solid thus far and he is coming off a bye so in theory he should be more prepared for the Bengals this week but the Bengals have been very solid against the pass this year giving up on average under 200 yards in the air this season. They might have the best one/two corner combo in the league. If you have better options (see Bradford above) start them in place of Freeman.

Matt Ryan ATL vs. CLE: Start’em

Thus far this season the Browns have given up a total of 943 yards in the air. Another telling factor is that Boldin and TO had huge games against them. In comes the Falcons and their big wideout Roddy White. He is basically a younger clone of Boldin and TO so he has to be in line for a monster day which is why we love Matt Ryan this week. If there is anything to fear about starting Ryan it would be the fact he does not play nearly as well on the road however, against this weak secondary we doubt that fact will matter much.

Running Backs

Jamaal Charles KC vs. IND: Start’em

Charles owners have to be a little bit frustrated by the fact that it is certain that it will be a 50-50 split with Thomas Jones. There is more bad news since it seems as if McCluster will take a handful carries away from him a game. On the other hand Charles owners have to love the fact that he is getting an average of 11.03 yards every time he touches the ball. This week the undefeated Chiefs play a Colts team that is coming off a tough loss. This is bad news for the Chiefs defense since you know Peyton is pissed off but it really does not matter for the Colts own defense. Pissed off or not they just are not good at stopping anyone, especially quick players that can hit a hole. Cut to Jamaal Charles smiling….Charles is going to be a nightmare for the Colts defense and since we very much doubt the Chiefs will stop Peyton we expect a high scoring affair which will leave Thomas Jones on the sideline more this week than he has been all year.

Mike Bell PHI vs. SF: Spot Start

McCoy is almost certainly going to be out Sundays game against the 49ers but new reports are saying it might be much worse than first expected. Either way Mike Bell is a nice start this week. Kevin Kolb proved last week he is really good at doing at least one thing, dumping the ball off to the running back. So in a ppr league you can expect a ton of catches for Mike Bell at the very least.

Ryan Torain WAS vs. GB: Spot Start

Portis is out four to six weeks and we believe it might be even longer than that. Anytime a team announces a player to be out that long there is certainly a chance it could be season ending. In steps Ryan Torian that has played well and has ran extremely hard the last two games. Torain played for Shanahan in Denver and knows his zone blocking scheme well. If the Skins are going to win this week they are going to need to keep the ball out of Aaron Rodgers hands and control the clock so expect not only Torain to start but get a good amount of carries.

Wide Receivers

Brandon Lloyd DEN vs. BAL: Risky Start

The fact Lloyd is a start (even if Risky) is simply amazing to us. This guy has burned so many owners in the past but as Dustin stated in the Week 5 Waiver Wire show, it might be time to start believing. Lloyd has played well and we believe he has earned a right to be in most line-ups however, proceed with caution this week. He faces a tough (but not as dominate as years past) Ravens defense and he is Brandon Lloyd. This is what he does he, slowly gains fantasy owners confident only to shatter their dreams.

Marques Colston NO vs. ARZ: Start’em

We never liked Colston as an elite receiver coming into this season simply since Brees is so good at spreading the ball around. With that said, all Saints receivers might have a monster day this Sunday. The Cardinals defense is not the best however, they spend so much time on the field who can blame them. The offense seems to be going three and out every time they get the ball. This Sunday should be no different and we have a gut feeling that Brees will look for Colston a little more than normal since he is his most talented receiver and he has not been getting the love this season. By no means will Brees throw into double coverage to make Colston happy but we figure all Saints will be open all game so Brees might just look at Colston first.

Hakeem Nicks NYG vs. HOU: Start’em

This might have to become its own section in the article entitled, start’em because they are playing the Texans. Sure last week the Texans secondary looked decent but I do not believe just yet. They struggle with big, fast receivers, and that is Hakeen Nicks. It should also be mentioned that Nicks has emerged as Eli’s favorite target between the 20’s making his stock raise while Steve Smith value has been dropping.

Tight Ends

Zack Miller OAK vs. SD: Spot start

It seems like we want to pick Miller every week as a spot start but we promises this is the last time you will see him on here for a while. The Chargers, statistically speaking, has been the worst at defending the tight-end for two years now. We are banking on the numbers this week and stating that Miller will not only have a productive game, but find the end zone.

Tony Moeaki KC vs. IND: Sit’em

Moeaki has started off this season on fire and was one of the most added tight-ends in the first few weeks. Owners might love the match-up since the Colts defense has been sub-par but there is one thing they are really good at and that is defending the tight-end. Maybe it is because they see Dallas Clark all day in practice but whatever it is you need to be careful if this is the week you were thinking of starting Moeaki over an under performing stud.


New Orleans NO vs. ARZ: Spot Start

Last week the Cardinals looked awful and the Chargers defense (as predicted) had a monster game. So lets keep the same theory rolling, we simply cannot see how Cardinals will improve with Max Hall under center so expect turnovers, sacks, and maybe even a special teams highlight out of the Saints this week.

San Francisco SF vs. PHI: Pick-up and Play

San Francisco was dropped in a ton of league due to their terrible start this season and with good reason. This week they will face an Eagles team this is missing Mike Vick and LeSean McCoy. If they get a win they will be right back into their division race (how sad is that) so a lot is riding on this game for the 49ers. We like a team that is backed into a corner against a back-up (sort of) quarterback and a back-up running back. One other nice factor is that the 49ers are playing at home and Philly is traveling a long way to San Francisco.

Week 5 Expert Picks
Brent Jamaal Charles Ray Rice Ryan Torain
Dustin Maurice Jones-Drew Knowshon Moreno LeGarrette Blount
Mike Aaron Rodgers Shonn Greene Shaun Hill

If you have any start’em sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.