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.

Running Backs

Chris Johnson TEN @ CLE | Start’em

I know, I know, he has been terrible, Britt is done for the year so you think teams will stack the box against him every down, people have been sending you terrible trades for him, and you hate to say it but you are considering them since he has given you nothing thus far. Well, reject those trades and start Johnson this week. The Titans face a Browns team that is ranked 29th against the run that also can give up the big plays. Right now Chris Johnson’s value is the lowest it has been in three years so if you are considering trading him at least wait till after this week.

Bernard Scott CIN vs. BUF | Pick-up and Play

We have always supported Scott, every time he gets into the game he has proved he has the ability to be a productive back. He has great vision, nice burst of speed, and is a phenomenal pass catcher. This week he gets his chance as Benson is going to be suspended for three games. The first of this three game set is against the Bills who has a below average run defense and certainly can be exploited by back sneaking into the flat. As my first bold call of the week, Scott not only starts but has a great game and once Benson comes back he will no longer have a job.

Jahvid Best DET @ DAL | Risky Start

Full Disclosure here: Jahvid Best is my 2011 edition of Arian Foster, I absolutely love his guy. So I cannot in my right mind tell anyone to ever sit him as the big play potential is always there and he is slowly taking Arian spot as my favorite back. With all that said the Lions have to play a Cowboys team that has just shut down the run. In three games they have not allowed a back to rush for over 60 yards yet. Rob Ryan has the front seven playing great so a smaller back like Best will certainly have trouble between the tackles.  (I am still starting him in all leagues, can’t help myself..)

Wide Receivers

Nate Washington TEN @ CLE | Sit’em

Joe Haden is best kept secret in the NFL when it comes to shut down corners. He has had two great weeks pretty much taking Reggie Wayne and then Brandon Marshall completely out of the game. This week he should have lined-up against Britt but he is decided to rip his ACL and MCL so he gets Nate Washington. After Washington became one of the most added players this week I expect him to make a ton of line-ups as a flex play but I am telling you watch how good Joe Haden is this week and watch him pretty much shut down Nate Washington.

Mike Thomas JAC vs. NO | Pick-up and Play

New Orleans gives up over 29 points a game making them the third worst in the leagues at points against per game, true two of those teams  were the high powered offenses of the Packers and Texans but averaging close to 30 points allowed is a bad sign after three weeks of play. If you are in need of a wideout this week Mike Thomas might be your guy. We were big fans of Thomas heading into the season but the loss of Garrard hurt him along with all other pass catchers on the Jags. Once the McCown experiment was over in Jacksonville they gave their rookie a chance. Blaine Gabbert looked as good as a rookie could playing in torrential downpours. From the start Gabbert looked towards Thomas as he is clearly the best receiver on the Jags and we figure him to do more of the same this week. Thomas was dropped in a bunch of leagues but we still like his upside so if you lost Britt Thomas is a sneaky guy to grab and play this week then hope he continues good performances going forward.

Denarius Moore OAK vs. NE | Pick-up and Play

Dustin and I differ on Moore, he likes him, I love him. He played better than his numbers showed last week and he even found the endzone so that is saying something. To me Moore is the best talent on the team other than DMC and the Raiders would be foolish not to get him more involved. Playing against the Pats this week is a good thing as their defense has had trouble stopping the pass and we all know you will have to score to keep up with the Pats so, I expect Moore to have another solid game.


Joe Flacco BAL vs. NYJ | Sit’em

Flacco has had his ups and downs this season but he is coming off a stellar game against the Rams last week. So if you are playing the match-up game with your quarterbacks you might consider starting even if he is playing the Jets. Not so fast Flacco was throwing balls up for grabs last week and if he even thinks about doing that against the Jets secondary he is going to be get picked a few times. Find other options this week if you are playing the match-up game .

Eli Manning NYG @ ARZ | Start’em

Travis Jackson looked like a halfway decent quarterback last week since he played the Cards and considering Eli has been pretty good this year (fantasy wise) I expect him to possibly live up to his claim of being on the same level as Brady this week only. Of course hoping for Brady type numbers is asking a little much but if you are at all concerned about starting Eli let me put that to rest. Arizona is giving up over 275 passing yards a game but the real stat is the fact they are allowing opposing quarterbacks a 60% completion percentage. Expect Eli to have his best day of the year this week.

Matt Stafford DET @ DAL | Start’em

By now you realize that Matt Stafford is a great, board line, elite quarterback but you might have got him as your back-up QB as his average draft position suggests. Even if you have a stud QB you might want to consider starting Matt Stafford. The way to beat the Cowboys is in the air not on the ground. Rob Ryan might have improved this defense but bad corners are bad corners and I expect the Lions to pick on them all day long. As an added bonus the Lions have had a tough time running the ball so they turned their run game into short dump offs to Best which only pads Stafford’s stats.

Tight End

Greg Olsen CAR @ CHI | Pick-up and Play

I am betting Olsen hates Mike Martz, I know it is a strong word but Martz never used Olsen when he was in Chicago and my guess is Olsen will be motivated to show him why his system is dated and wrong . I expect Olsen to be in the rookie’s ear all week to feed him the ball and I think Newton will look for him early and often giving Olsen every chance to have a solid week.


Tennessee Titans DEF TEN @ CLE | Pick-up and Play

In terms of defense Tennessee is second against the pass, ninth against the run, and only allowing 14.3 points a game. That is what I like to call a solid overall defense. Now part of that is schedule but they are not playing the Pats or another high scoring offense this week, they get the Browns. Sure the Browns are improved but not to the point where I am scared of them at all. If you are playing the match-up game (and if you are and using this article week to week you are doing great) here is the team to pick-up this week.

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