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

Mark Sanchez NYJ vs. NE: Start’em

The second year quarterback has had more ups than downs this season and this Monday Night we expect him to have a monster day. The Patriots have had troubles all year against the pass and with a ton riding on this game we expect both offenses to excel. On a side note the Jets are thrown for more touchdowns in the red zone than rushed for, thus far this season, which only means good things for the Jets passing attack.

Matt Ryan ATL vs. TB: Risky Start

Matty Ice has been fantastic as of late and seems like a must start however, we do not believe so this weekend. He has had troubles on the road and outdoors and this week he travels to Tampa Bay and their outdoor stadium. Also last time he faced the Bucs he did not have a great game so that defense can give him fits.

Sam Bradford STL vs. ARZ: Start’em

This rookie has gotten better and better with each passing game and has proven he was certainly worthy of the number one overall selection. This week he has a tasty match-up with the Cards. Everyone that has faced them over the last few weeks have put up monster numbers. That fact paired with the fact that the Rams are still fighting for a division while the Card know they are out mean only good things for Bradford this week.


Running Backs

Thomas Jones KC vs DEN: Start’em

Denver is simply terrible at defending the run and both Jones and Charles should have big days playing at home this week. We expect close to 50-50 split but Jones will get the goal lines and the Chiefs should have plenty of chances to punch one in.

Brian Westbrook SF vs GB: Sit’em

Almost everyone used their number one waiver on Westbrook when they heard the news that Gore will be placed on IR. It was the correct move but try not to start him this week since Green Bay is vastly better at run defense than the Cardinals. Westbrook is already banged up and with him facing a good Green Bay defense we say let him sit this week.

Felix Jones DAL vs IND: Start’em

Jones has been the feature back for the Cowboys the last few weeks and has a great match-up against the Colts. The blue print has been made on how to beat them this year and that is control the time of possession against Manning. We expect the Cowboys to pound the ball and give Jones every opportunity to break 100 yards and find the end zone.

Wide Receivers

Calvin Johnson DET vs CHI: Risky Start

This is not because Calvin is not a beast – this is a risky start because of who is throwing him the ball. The Lions are down to their third string quarterback who will face all kind of pressure from the Bear great front four. This will give him little time to throw the ball and also give the Bears a chance to double team Calvin since they normally tend to only rush four and still get pressure. He probably has to be in your line-up since he is a beast but it just makes us a little nervous.

Mario Manningham NYG vs WAS: Start’em

Manningham did not have that absolute monster game since Nicks went down but this certainly could be the week he does. The Giants always crush the Redskins at home and it is no secret the Skins can be passed on. Expect Eli to look for Manningham all day and expect big numbers from both of them.

Tight Ends

Todd HeapBAL vs PIT: Start’em

Heap has quietly had an amazing fantasy year but will find the bench on most teams due to his match-up. We say let him play since the only way to score on the Steelers is through the air. The Steelers tend to focus on stopping the run and the wide out leaving some holes in the middle of the field. That is pretty much the only routes that Heaps runs.

Jermaine Gresham CIN vs NO: Start’em

Last week the Saints faced two great receivers in Austin and Bryant and decided to shut them down leaving Witten open most of the game. Witten capitalized on this with a huge day but the Cowboys still lost the game. This week the game plan should be similar shutting down Ocho Cinco and Owens leaving Gresham the chance to have a big day.

Defense

St. Louis Rams STL vs ARZ: Pick-up and Play

The Rams are an underrated defense to start off with and when you pair that fact with a turnover prone team like the Cardinals anyone has to like the match-up. We expect a low total points for the Cardinals and a few turnovers for them as well.

Detroit Lions DET vs CHI: Pick-up and Play

Ok this is a little crazy but here is our thinking. Cutler is one of the most sacked QBs in the league and the Lions are pretty good at getting to the quarterback. If they get pressure they might be able to create some turnovers. If you are in a league that counts sacks that makes them a little bit better start.

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