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

Tom Brady NE vs. BAL: Start’em

Owners might be a little worried since Brady faces the Ravens defense and since he will be without Randy Moss. These are viable concerns however, the Ravens D is susceptible against the pass (Orton threw for over 300 yards and two scores against them last week) and we are betting that Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will want to prove that they did not need Randy Moss. We think that the Patriots go out of their way to throw the ball even more than normal which would be a ton. If Brady drops back 45+ times it is hard to bet against a big fantasy day for him.

Eli Manning NYG vs. DET: Start’em

Eli Manning has been up and down this season but last week he had his best game of the year against a terrible Texans secondary. This week he faces a defense that is almost as bad and he gets to play at home. Nicks is proving to be an elite wide receiver however, do not be surprised if Eli spreads the ball around finding Steve Smith and Kevin Boss as well. Expect similar numbers to last week for the younger Manning.

Shaun Hill DET vs. NYG: Sit’em

Hill has been playing out of his mind the last few weeks and has been one of the most added quarterbacks during that timeframe. Owners will be tempted to start him but we caution Hill owners this week. The Lions are on the road at New York and this Giants team defense has been getting to the quarterback with ease over the past two weeks. Jay Cutler and Matt Schaub had terrible outings against them due to all the pressure they bring and we did not see Hill overcoming that type of pressure any better.

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

This is my weekly section on how you need to start anyone that throws or catches footballs that play the Houston Texans secondary. Matt Cassel has been below average at best this season but if there was ever a week for him to put up good numbers this is it. Even with a good run game the Chiefs will have to try to exploit this weak secondary giving Cassel every chance to have his best game of the season.


Running Backs

Peyton Hillis CLE vs. PIT: Sit’em

Hillis has scored in every game this season, has ran over defenders, and even has caught quite a few balls out of the backfield. He has become a boardline must start in all leagues due to these qualities. The two times he needs to find the bench is against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are incredible against the run only allowing an average of 62 rushing yards a game and they have faced fantasy first round talent. Chris Johnson, Michael Turner, and Ray Rice have all put up next to nothing against the Steelers so why would Peyton Hillis? Make sure he is on your bench.

Marshawn Lynch SEA vs. CHI: Sit’em

Many owners grabbed Lynch weeks ago as soon as they heard that there was a chance he would be traded to the Green Bay Packers. Obviously Green Bay would have been a better situation for Lynch’s fantasy production but his new home in Seattle could yield nice dividends as well. This week however, will not be one of those weeks. Chicago is averaging only giving up 78 yards on the ground per game this season. It is being reported that Lynch will be the starter this week for the Seahawks just ensure he is not a starter on your team.

Frank Gore SF vs. OAK: Start’em

Normally a guy like Frank Gore will never make this list since he is a must start every week however, Gore has been a disappointment this season in term of rushing the ball and after fumbling twice last week his owners might be getting a little bit concerned. We are here to tell you he is going to have a monster day and you will be happy you picked him in the first round this week since he faces Oakland. Oakland is almost giving up 150 yards on the ground per game and since Gore gets 95% of the carries we expect him to hit well over 100 yards rushing this week. We would not be surprised if the 49ers lean on Gore to control the clock and win their first game this season.

Wide Receivers

Dwayne Bowe KC vs. HOU: Spot Start

Last week we had Crabtree as our spot start mainly since his owners were benching or even cutting him prior to last weeks game. Hope you listened to us since Crabtree had his best game by far. This week we are going to keep the theme going and have another guy that is being benched or dropped due to terrible play: Dwayne Bowe. Bowe had a ton of pre-season hype coming into the year and even his head coach thought he was in line for a monster year. Things have not panned out that way but anyone that throws or catches a football against this Texan secondary should be in line for a huge day (see Matt Cassel above).

Jeremy Maclin PHI vs. ATL: Start’em

Maclin found the bench in a ton of leagues last week since Kevin Kolb was at the helm for the Eagles. We hope everyone learned not to do that. Maclin and his teammate DeSean Jackson almost have the exact same amount of fantasy points through five games and no one would even consider benching Jackson. Vick might be back but we doubt it and Maclin lead all Eagles with nine targets last week. Expect Kolb to start and look for Maclin early and often.

Kenny Britt NYG vs. JAC: Pick-up and Play

Britt got his first start of the season last week and made the most of it against the Cowboys. This week he figures to be apart of the game plan yet again. Vince Young and company play Jacksonville who give up the most passing yards on a per game average. We don’t suggest benching anyone of your studs or even mid-value guys for Britt but if you have bye week issues the match-up alone makes Britt or any Titan wideout a decent start this week.

Brandon Tate NE vs. BAL: Risky Start

This might not make much since especially since we love Tom Brady this week. Let us be clear it is yet to be seen exactly what role Tate will play in the Pats offense. We figure Aaron Hernandez to get a big boost with the absence of Randy Moss and for the Pats to even start running more two tight end sets. In theory Tate should be getting a bunch of the balls thrown to Moss but then again the Pats have surprised us in the past. Just don’t go starting Tate over anyone proven simply since he is the newest addition to your team.

Tight Ends

Kellen Winslow TB vs. NO: Start’em

Winslow had a solid game last week but has yet to find the endzone this year. Josh Freeman is looking better and better each week and this week we believe the Bucs will have to pass keep pace with a Saints offense that can put up a ton of points (even if it has been a slow start for them) Start Winslow and watch him score his first touchdown of the season.

Chris Cooley WAS vs. IND: Sit’em

We wrote about this last week, the Colts have given up the least amount of fantasy points to Tight Ends over the past two seasons. We are saying until someone can prove us wrong, bench any Tight End that faces them. So if you have a google alert for yourself Mr. Cooley we are talking to you. By the way we shoot in Ashburn VA so if you ever want to come on the show and rip on us for getting this one wrong, open invite. Just email Brent.

Defense

Miami MIA vs. GB: Start’em

Ryan Grant is done for the year, Aaron Rodgers might be out, Finley is out, this can only mean good things for whatever defense played Green Bay this week. The Fins won the draw and therefore are a must start this week if Rodgers does sit.

San FranciscoSF vs. OAK: Pick-up and Play

Alright we are doubling down on the 49ers, they did not have the best start against the Eagles last week but Oakland might have Jason Campbell starting. Campbell turns the ball over a ton and loves to get sacked. Even if he does not start the Raiders are not great at protecting the quarterback so We believe at a minimum the 49ers will get a few sacks.

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