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.

Quarterbacks

Jay Cutler CHI vs. WAS: Start’em

It is official, the Redskins and the Texans are the two teams that you have to start your quarterback against and feel beyond confident in a good game for them. Cutler is coming off a solid game, with regards to passing yards, but did not throw a touchdown pass. We do not believe that will be case this week, the Skins give up an average of 298 yards a game in the air and we fully believe the Bears will be throwing the ball as much as possible. Expect a big day out of Cutler who is also playing at home this week.

Ben Roethlisberger PIT vs. MIA: Risky Start

Big Ben had a great return last week throwing three touchdown passes against a terrible Browns secondary. This week he has a much tougher match-up traveling to Miami to face the Dolphins who only give up an average of 201 passing yards a game. We think that the Steelers did showcase Ben a little bit last week to ensure he had a big week in his return. Since they are on the road this week we believe it will be a little bit more back to the Steeler’s running the ball football again. With all that said he is only a Risky start because after waiting him out all that time and a big game in his return, we cannot tell anyone to bench him.

Matt Cassel KC vs. JAC: Pick-up and Play

Cassel made his first appearance as a pick-up and play/start’em in this article last week and we are doubling down on him after his three touchdown performance. Jacksonville is statistically speaking higher ranked than Houston but we believe both secondarys are equally as terrible. We don’t expect three touchdown passes again but we expect a solid day out of Cassel making him a nice bye week replacement.


Running Backs

Marshawn Lynch SEA vs. ARZ: Start’em

Lynch got 17 carries last week in his first action as a Seahawk rushing for 44 yards and a touchdown. The most important number however, is those carries. Sure Justin Forsett got a touchdown but that was a on a 3rd and long passing down. This all means Lynch is the man out there getting all the first, second, short yardage, and goal line reps. This week Seattle takes on an Arizona run defense that gives up 140 yards a game. We love Lynch this week to possibly crack 100 yards rushing and falling into the end zone again.

Beanie WellsARZ vs. SEA: Risky Start

On the flip side of the battle of the birds (Cards/Seahawks get it..what is a Seahawk anyway?) is Beanie Wells. He is finally healthy and got the bulk of carries last week. Even with 20+ touches he had a poor performance but we expect him to get the majority again. Carries is certainly a good thing but the Seahawks are ranked second in the NFL at run defense only behind the Steelers. Since six weeks are in the books you have to respect that. Wells will still lose carries to Hightower and since he has to travel to Seattle the match-up certainly scares us.

Maurice Jones-Drew JAC vs. KC: Risky Start

Jones-Drew is a huge fan of fantasy football but even he has to be a little bit nervous about starting himself this week. He is coming off a bad game on Monday Night and this week he faces an underrated Chiefs defense. The most important factor to his risky start tag is the fact that his quarterback might miss the game. If David Garrard is out expect eight to nine in the box literally every play to shut down Mojo. You cannot bench your stud but his situation is not the best this week.

Wide Receivers

Mike Williams TB vs. STL: Start’em

Williams has emerged as the number one options in the passing game for the Bucs and is certainly the favorite to get the chances to catch the deep ball. It seems like at least three times a game the Bucs will take a shot down the field and Williams is the guy they target. Freeman is coming off a bad start but facing the St. Louis secondary should give him the chance to bounce back. The young Freeman and Williams have played better at home this year so we think there is a good chance they hook up at least once on one of those long balls.

Deion Branch NE vs. SD: Sit’em

Two facts: San Diego is ranked first against the pass through the first six weeks of the season and Branch had nine catches for over 100 yards and touchdown his first week back to the Patriots. Two opinions: San Diego isn’t the top defense against the pass and Branch will not have a monster game like that for the rest of the season. Branch was one of the most added players this week and a ton of people are moving him into the starting line-up. We say don’t do it, the Patriots spread the ball around and even in his prime Branch was never a big touchdown threat. He is worth owning but we would like to see him do it again before putting too much stock into last Sunday performance.

Mike Williams SEA vs. ARZ: Pick-up and Play

Branch leaves Seattle and Mike Williams gets 15 targets and that’s a ton of targets. He had a big game and this week faces a secondary that has had trouble with bigger wideouts. If you are having bye week issues we think you could do a lot worse than Mike Williams.

Tight Ends

Aaron Hernandez NE vs. SD: Start’em

This goes back to the old theory to always start any tight-end that faces the Chargers. They are terrible at defending them especially in the red-zone, so get Aaron Hernandez into your starting line-up this week. We also still stand by the fact he gets the biggest bump in value with Moss leaving New England.

Ben Watson CLE vs. NO: Pick-up and Play

Watson leads the Browns in targets and receiving yards – yeah Ben Watson does. If you are having bye week issues we don’t mind taking a flyer on Watson. Sure the Browns do not set the world on fire with their passing game but Waston will get the looks to have a solid fantasy day.

Defense

Seattle SEA vs. ARZ: Start’em

The Seahawks are the second ranked defense in football against the run and faces an Arizona team that has a very shaky quarterback situation at best. This means they should shut down the run and force the Cardinals to pass. If they are successful in shutting down the run then Max Hall should throw one, two, or maybe even three picks.

San Francisco SF vs. CAR: Start’em

This one is pretty simple, Carolina is terrible. They start a rookie quarterback, their offensive line is all kinds of hurting, and no Steve Smith. They will not score too many points against anyone. The 49ers are the lucky ones to face them this week so they are a must start.

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