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.


Cam Newton CAR vs. JAC | Start’em

Well I must admit I was wrong about Newton, he looked good again against the Packers and became the 7th player in NFL history to throw for 400 yards in back to back games (not bad considering he has only played in two games). This week he takes on a Jacksonville team that has given up some big plays in the air thus far this season. The only knock on Newton is he is still really only focusing on his first read (which is typically Steve Smith) but that should not matter against the Jags. I expect big things out of the early favorite and borderline lock according to Vegas for offensive rookie of the year.

Jay Cutler CHI vs. GB | Sit’em

Cutler has already been sacked 11 times this season and he is facing a Packers team that can certainly get to the quarterback. I expect Cutler to be running for his life most of the game and therefore turning the ball over more than once this game. He could get some in garbage time but I never like starting a quarterback based that fact. He also has the fact that this is a divisional game so the Packers know his tendencies and will look to exploit them.

Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF vs. NE | Pick-up and Play

Fitzpatrick has thrown for 7 touchdowns this season. Last I checked that is a pretty good total. He is playing for a contract extension and making a great case for himself. This week he plays a good New England team but as well as the Pats are playing I expect them to put a ton of points on the board therefore giving Fitzpatrick plenty of chances to do his own scoring.

Running Backs

Mike Tolbert SD vs. KC | Start’em

The Chiefs have just looked terrible in two games. Last week I picked all Lions to have a big game and they basically did since they put up so many points. This week the Chargers will be coming into the game angry since they certainly had a few chances to win last week. (turnovers in the redzone killed them) One huge turnover was a play where Tolbert decided to get cute and run backwards after hitting the hole. He ended up getting tackled and losing the ball. Once the Pats scored Tolbert could not have been more upset. The reason for telling you that is I believe Tolbert will be focused to do everything he can to help his team win. Just like I said about Hillis last week, Tolbert is almost as close as you can come to a sure thing to find the endzone this week.

Daniel Thomas MIA vs. CLE | Pick-up and Play

Prior to the pre-season Thomas was a huge sleeper and deemed the best fantasy rookie running back based on his situation. Then there were rumbling of Reggie Bush getting all the reps in camp and the Fins hating on Thomas, next Thomas sat out week one with an injury so he was dropped in a more than a few leagues. Well last week Thomas was the featured back and produced rushing for 107 yards. This week he plays a decent run defense in the Browns but I expect him to get the bulk of the carries again so if you are a Charles owner looking for someone to grab off the wire you could do a lot worse than Thomas.

James Starks GB @ CHI | Sit’em

This is a tough one for me to state since I am a huge fan of Starks but the Bears run defense is solid and the way to hurt them is threw the air. I figure that the Packers will throw the ball all over the field and use the run sparingly. Starks is by no means a must bench but if you are in a coin flip situation between Starks and another player I would send Starks to the bench this week.

Wide Receivers

Kenny Britt TEN vs. DEN | Start’em

If you have not been starting Britt the last two weeks shame on you. If you have, you know he is the real deal and becoming one of the NFLs best wideouts. Britt is a big receiver with crazy speed and the potential to take it to the house anytime he touches the ball. This week he gets a Broncos team that had trouble stopping the rookie AJ Green even with doubling him on a good amount of plays. I figure they will come into the game against the Titans with a similar plan and I figure there will be similar results ending with Britt having another monster game.

Santana Moss WAS vs. DAL | Start’em

All bets are off when the Skins and Cowboys meet up but over the past few season Santana Moss has always produced in this rivalry game. Last time these two teams faced off in a Monday Night game Moss caught a late deep touchdown to give the Skins the win. One reason Moss has had success is the corners for the Cowboys have had trouble defending the speedy wideouts esp. the double move. Well Moss is crafty vet that still has wheels so he could give the corners of the Cowboys fits.

Dwayne Bowe KC @ SD | Sit’em

Until otherwise noted I think you have to sit all Chief players. The injury to Charles will only hurt everyone else’s fantasy value as teams will not have to worry about stacking the box to stop him. Even if Charles was playing Matt Cassel has looked terrible and has had trouble finding Bowe this season. We were not a fan of Bowe heading into the season and after two games we don’t see any reason we were wrong.

Tight End

Vernon Davis SF @ CIN | Start’em

It has been a tough start for Davis in this young season and if you own him you might be thinking it is time to find a new tight end. Not so fast, this week he has a nice match-up against the Bengals so I say give him one more week. The Cincy pass rush is not that great and therefore Alex Smith should have more time to let plays develop. I expect Davis to get his standard plays up the middle but also move around a little bit to create mismatches.

Dustin Keller NYJ @ OAK | Pick-up and Play

Keller has had two nice games in this young season and last week he went for over 100 yards and a score. He showed similar flashes of this last year but fizzled out towards the end. This season I believe things will be different for Keller, Sanchez is very comfortable throwing him the ball and since the Jets are allowing their young QB to do more and more each week I expect Keller to continue to have good games. This week he plays an Oakland team that has had trouble against Tight Ends in the redzone so a score is certainly not out of the question for Keller this week.


San Diego DEF vs. KC | Pick-up and Play

The Chargers Defense was dropped in a bunch of leagues since they played Tom Brady and the Patriots last week. This week they have a great match-up facing the Chiefs without Charles. If you scoring is really dependent of points against the Chargers are a great play as I cannot imagine Kansas City scoring over 20 points this week as they have been outscored 89 to 10 in two games this season.

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