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

Joe Flacco BAL vs. CAR: Start’em

Flacco has been up and down this season with a quarterback rating below 90. He has thrown 16 touchdowns and seven picks but this week he should add to that touchdown total. The Ravens are on the road at Carolina who is having a tough season. There is a good chance that the Ravens run away with this one scoring early and often. Rice has not had a big year rushing the ball but he has been active in the passing game catching a few screens a game and he could break one this week turning a two yard throw from Flacco into a 50 yard touchdown pass.

Kyle Orton DEN vs. SD: Risky Start

Last week Orton had a monster game by the end of first quarter but he is not playing at home this week and he faces a much tougher defense. The Chargers are a top five defense this season and could give Orton some troubles. We are not saying bench him since Denver throws the ball more than any other team in the league but we say lower your expectations for him this week.

Matt Ryan ATL vs. STL: Risky Start

Matt Ryan is a different quarterback on the road and has proved it time and time again in his career. The Falcons travel to St. Louis this week so much like Orton we think you need to lower your expectations. The best way to attack the Rams is to run to set-up the pass and Turner might take those early carries and never look back. Ryan has fantasy’s number one receiver in Roddy White but he might be doing more handing the ball off than throwing the ball this week.


Running Backs

Arian Foster HOU vs. NYJ: Start’em

Arian Foster should never make this list but the question has been posed if he needs to take a seat since he faces the Jets this week. The answer is not only no but absolutely not. The Jets are a good run defense but Foster is a top three if not top running back in fantasy this season. Hillis ran on the Jets last week and Foster will have every chance to do the same this week. The moral of the story is never bench your studs, a tough match-up could hinder their performance but never over think it and bench them.

Jamaal Charles KC vs. ARZ: Start’em

Charles is starting to touch the ball a little more than Jones and his owners are starting to really reap the benefits. This week he has a tasty match-up against the Cardinals who tend to give up a ton of yards after the catch and Charles tends to catch a lot of balls out of the back field. This all sets up for Charles to finally have that monster game his owners have been waiting all year for.

Felix Jones DAL vs. DET: Spot Start

Jones is Dustin’s sleeper this week and for good reason. We wrote about how Fred Jackson should have a good game against the Lions last week due to them giving up over 5 yards per carry and he only had over 150 total yards and a touchdown. We believe the Cowboys will keep the energy up this week, put a lot of points on the board, and Jones being a big part of that.

Wide Receivers

Pierre Garcon IND vs. NE: Spot Start

Alright it seems if every other week Garcon makes this list. This week he is on as a good start. New England is certainly susceptible to the long ball and Manning will be pumped for this game. He spreads the ball around so well and we believe the one on one coverage will be on Garcon all night so he will have the chance to have a big game. When he does get that chance he can excel if he holds onto the ball and this week we got a feeling will be one of those weeks.

Andre Johnson HOU vs. NYJ: Risky Start

Revis Island is reason enough to be a bit afraid to start Johnson but the fact that Schaub might be out makes us very nervous. As discussed when writing about Foster you have to start your studs but this could be a tough day for Andre.

Nate Washington TEN vs. WAS: Pick-up and Play

The departure of Randy Moss hurt Wes Welker, the arrival of Randy Moss helped Percy Harvin, and last week the number 2 receiver Nate Washington caught a touchdown pass. This is what we would call a trend. The Titans face a Redskins team coming off an embarrassing loss on National TV to the Eagles so they will be ready to play but it does not change the fact they are terrible at defending the pass. All the attention will be on Randy Moss and Chris Johnson leaving Nate Washington as a sneaky pick-up and play this week.

Tight Ends

Jason Witten DAL vs. DET: Start’em

The lions do like to blitz to try and get to the quarterback which normally means the tight end will be the hot read. Witten is a great pass catching tight end and if the Lions decide to blitz Witten certainly has the talent to hurt them.

Vernon Davis SF vs. TB: Spot Start

The 49ers are still in a battle to win their division and everyone has been playing better over the last few weeks. Crabtree has been the most targeted player on the team so he should get most of the attention from the defense. When he is doubled teamed Davis has that steam up the middle wide open and that is where he can do the most of his damage.

Defense

Baltimore BAL vs. CAR: Start’em

Carolina might be the worst team in the NFL this season, we really like any defense that faces them from here on out but the Ravens are a seasoned defense that knows to take no NFL team lightly. We believe they will not be over confident and play a solid full game creating turnovers and holding Carolina under 20 points.

Tennessee TEN vs. WAS: Start’em

The Titans have been a good defense all year and this week they get a Redskins team that has two banged up running backs. The real troubles for the Skins is the offensive line and the Titans have a front four that can get to the quarterback. If your league gives good points for sacks you should be happy to start the Titans this week.

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