Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is our weekly look at the best and worst matchups from around the NFL and how they might affect lineup decisions for your Fantasy Football team. We are not in the business of stating the obvious, so you won't be reading here why you need to start Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson or any other top-tier players.
Plenty of backup running backs have turned into stars this season. We've seen injuries, poor play and suspensions allow players like Ricky Williams, LeSean McCoy and Fred Jackson to become viable Fantasy options in the majority of leagues.
Rashard Mendenhall might have made the biggest impact of them all.
He started the season as the No. 2 running back in Pittsburgh behind Willie Parker, and he was benched in Week 3 at Cincinnati for a poor week of practice. But after Parker got hurt, Mendenhall took over in Week 4 against San Diego and has played like a No. 1 Fantasy running back. Parker hasn't done anything since.
Mendenhall's outstanding season should continue against Oakland, and he's our Start of the Week. He has a great matchup against the Raiders.
Oakland is No. 31 in run defense and they have allowed 13 rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs. The Raiders have allowed a running back to score a touchdown or gain 100 total yards in every game this season.
We also know how West Coast teams tend to struggle when they come to the East Coast for 1 p.m. starts. The Raiders played at the Giants in Week 5, and Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs combined for 177 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Mendenhall has six games this season with double digits in Fantasy points, and he's about to make it seven this week against the Raiders. And he was impressive with his performance last week at Baltimore when he rushed 24 times for 95 yards and had two catches for 22 yards. It wasn't his best game from a stats standpoint or Fantasy production, but he ran well against a tough run defense without key run blocker Chris Kemoeatu (knee).
The Steelers might get Kemoeatu back for Week 13, but that shouldn't matter against the Raiders. Oakland isn't going to stop Mendenhall in this matchup.
Sit of the Week
Tim Hightower has been one of the best Fantasy running backs this season with 485 rushing yards and six touchdowns and 50 catches for 366 yards. He's the No. 19 running back in a standard league, and he's No. 11 in leagues where receptions count.
Despite his production, Fantasy owners don't seem to trust him. His highest starting percentage in leagues on CBSSports.com this year has been just 71 percent in Week 5.
This week, it makes sense to bench Hightower, who is our Sit of the Week against Minnesota. The Vikings are No. 2 in run defense, and only two running backs have scored against them this season with Ray Rice in Week 6 and Justin Forsett in Week 11.
Hightower, who is dealing with a thumb injury, continues to share carries with Beanie Wells, but he remains the better Fantasy option. And you should plan on benching Wells this week also.
Last year, Hightower had five carries for 20 yards and five catches for 20 yards against the Vikings. He could be limited to similar production with Minnesota's stout run defense.
And if Kurt Warner (concussion) is out in this game, you can expect the entire Cardinals offense to struggle with Matt Leinart as the starter. Arizona just doesn't have a favorable outlook this week, and Hightower is expected to struggle.
This week, it makes sense to keep him reserved.
|Starts that made us look good|
|Player||Stats||Fantasy Points||Week 12 Start %|
|Brett Favre, QB, MIN||392 pass yards, 3 TDs||33||65%|
|Justin Forsett, RB, SEA||130 rush yards, 2 TDs||25||43%|
|Terrell Owens, WR, BUF||96 rec, yards, TD||15||63%|
|Sits that made us look good|
|Jay Cutler, QB, CHI||147 pass yards, TD, 2 INT, 16 rush yards||8||39%|
|Matt Forte, RB, CHI**||27 rush yards, 34 rec. yards||5||62%|
|Steve Smith, WR, CAR||5 rec. yards||0||67%|
|Starts that made us look bad|
|Matt Hasselbeck, QB, SEA||102 pass yards, 18 rush yards||5||35%|
|Brandon Jacobs, RB, NYG||27 rush yards, 30 rec. yards||5||77%|
|Jason Snelling, RB, ATL*||8 rush yards, fumble||-2||58%|
|Sits that made us look bad|
|Tony Romo, QB, DAL||309 pass yards, 2 TDs||24||68%|
|Miles Austin, WR, DAL||145 rec. yards, TD||20||73%|
|Jason Witten, TE, DAL||107 rec. yards||10||39%|
|Our favorite Week 12 sleeper pick was ... Fred Jackson, who had 73 rushing yards and two touchdowns and 43 receiving yards, which was good for 23 Fantasy points.|
| * Week 12 Start of the Week |
** Week 12 Sit of the Week
Brett Favre (at ARI): We've established that Favre is a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback based on his production, which includes three games in his past four outings with at least 32 Fantasy points. He also hasn't thrown an interception since Week 7 and has a favorable matchup against the Cardinals, who have allowed three 300-yard passing games in their past four outings. But it's time to start Favre in all leagues since his start percentage on CBSSports.com still remains at only 70 percent. As you'll see in our rankings, I have Favre ahead of Philip Rivers, Matt Schaub, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, and my colleague Dave Richard has Favre at No. 1. That's how highly we think of him this week.
Donovan McNabb (at ATL): We anticipated McNabb having a rough game last week against the Redskins, who have been his nemesis most of his career. But the Falcons are an easier opponent, and McNabb should return to being a No. 1 Fantasy option even with DeSean Jackson (concussion) injured. Atlanta has allowed four quarterbacks to reach at least 300 yards passing in the past seven games, with six quarterbacks throwing for multiple touchdowns over that span. Last week, rookie Josh Freeman passed for 250 yards and two touchdowns at the Falcons, and McNabb is easily capable of that kind of production.
Carson Palmer (vs. DET): Palmer has been one of the toughest quarterbacks to figure out. The Bengals are running the ball so well that he hasn't had to do much even with a favorable matchup, and Palmer only has three games with at least 20 Fantasy points this season. But Palmer has to do well this week. The Lions are last in the NFL in pass defense with 27 touchdowns allowed, and every quarterback with the exception of Marc Bulger in Week 8 has passed for at least 300 yards or multiple touchdowns against Detroit this year. Seven quarterbacks have reached at least 20 Fantasy points, so hopefully Palmer will follow suit.
Jay Cutler (vs. STL): There's plenty of risk involved with Cutler since he leads the NFL with 20 interceptions and has thrown a pick in each of his past seven games. He only has two games without an interception this year, and you should be hesitant to trust him. But this week he faces the Rams, who have not done well in pass defense this year. Six quarterbacks have passed for multiple touchdowns against the Rams, and St. Louis is among the worst teams at rushing the quarterback with only 18 sacks, which should allow Cutler time to throw. He's also at home, where he's averaged 228 passing yards with eight touchdowns and only three interceptions in five games. This is one of those weeks where Cutler could be worth the risk.
Alex Smith (at SEA): Smith has been one of the hottest Fantasy options the past two weeks. He has five touchdowns and one interception in his past two games while averaging 23 Fantasy points over that span, and he has three games this year with at least 20 Fantasy points. Smith has developed a solid receiving corps with Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree and Frank Gore, and even though the 49ers want to establish their running game, Smith has still thrown 74 passes the past two games. This week, Smith faces a Seattle defense that has allowed seven quarterbacks to pass for multiple touchdowns, including five of the past six games. He should be considered a starting option in this matchup.
Sleeper alert: Kyle Orton (at KC): Unless you play quarterback in Oakland or Washington than you have done well against the Chiefs pass defense this year. Nine quarterbacks have reached at least 18 Fantasy points against Kansas City, with seven throwing for multiple touchdowns and five passing for 300 yards. Orton's production has been shaky the past five games, especially dealing with an ankle injury, but he should be able to produce like a starting Fantasy option this week. Orton has four touchdowns and no interceptions in his past three road games, and he should be rested since the Broncos last played on Thanksgiving against the Giants. Some other sleepers to consider this week include Matt Hasselbeck (vs. SF), David Garrard (vs. HOU) and Chris Redman (vs. PHI).
Vince Young (at IND): Young was outstanding last week against Arizona with a career-high 387 passing yards and the game-winning touchdown, but this is a much tougher matchup. The Colts are tied for second with only nine passing touchdowns allowed, and only Tom Brady and Matt Schaub have passed for multiple touchdowns against Indianapolis. Young has never thrown a touchdown pass in three games in Indianapolis and has not had more than 160 passing yards. He also has only one passing touchdown in two road starts this year.
Eli Manning (vs. DAL): Manning has had some impressive games against the Cowboys, including in Week 2 when he passed for 330 yards and two touchdowns. He has 10 touchdowns against the Cowboys in their past five meetings, but Dallas has improved on defense since then. The Cowboys haven't allowed multiple passing touchdowns since Week 8, which includes matchups against Aaron Rodgers and Donovan McNabb on the road. Manning also has this nagging foot problem, which makes him a risky start in any Fantasy league. Our advice here is to keep Manning reserved.
Matt Cassel (vs. DEN): Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger are the only quarterbacks to pass for multiple touchdowns against the Broncos this year. The Denver defense shredded the Giants on Thanksgiving, and I'd love to know what safety Brian Dawkins said in that player's only meeting before the game. The Broncos have an excellent secondary and have only allowed 10 passing touchdowns on the season. Cassel has two touchdown passes in three of five home games this season, but he should struggle with Denver's pass rush and secondary.
Joe Flacco (at GB): Flacco played better than expected last week against the Steelers with 289 passing yards, one touchdown and one fumble, but that was his first game with double digits in Fantasy points in his past four games. The Packers are banged up on defense and have allowed 21 passing touchdowns this year, but they also have 18 interceptions and could force Flacco into a couple of mistakes. Green Bay has seven interceptions in their past four games, and Charles Woodson is playing at a high level. As we said last week, it wouldn't be a surprise if Flacco has a breakout game because he's due, but his recent play suggests you should be cautious and keep him reserved for at least one more game. In Week 14, Flacco should start against Detroit.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. NYJ): The Jets lead the NFL with only seven passing touchdowns allowed, and only Chad Henne in Week 5 passed for multiple touchdowns against New York, which held Tom Brady to one touchdown pass in two games. Fitzpatrick is coming off an impressive game against Miami with 246 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception and 50 yards rushing with a touchdown, but that was against the Dolphins inexperienced secondary. The Jets won't give up much through the air, and Fitzpatrick is not worth using as a starting Fantasy option this week even if you are in dire need with injuries at the position.
Bust alert: Kurt Warner (vs. MIN): Warner might miss this game with the concussion, but you shouldn't plan on using Matt Leinart either in this matchup. With the game scheduled for Sunday night, plan accordingly and bench the Cardinals quarterback tandem in case Warner is ruled out. The Vikings lead the NFL in sacks with 40, and Warner struggled this year in games where he's faced pressure (see Week 1 against San Francisco, Week 3 against Indianapolis, Week 7 at the Giants and Week 8 against Carolina). Leinart won't fare much better, so don't consider him a viable alternative. Last year against the Vikings, Warner only passed for 270 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Minnesota also could be getting standout cornerback Antoine Winfield (foot) back for this game.
Matt Forte (vs. STL): Forte has been one of the most disappointing Fantasy options this season, but he does run well against bad opponents. His two best games this year have come against Detroit in Week 4 and Cleveland in Week 8. The Rams are in that category since 11 running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points, including four in the past three games against New Orleans (Reggie Bush), Arizona (Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower) and Seattle (Justin Forsett). Six running backs have gained at least 100 total yards against St. Louis, so the chance is there for Forte to play well.
LeSean McCoy (at ATL): McCoy has done a great job replacing the injured Brian Westbrook (concussion). He has six games with at least 10 carries, and in five of those games he's had at least 100 total yards or a touchdown. In five games in November, McCoy had double digits in Fantasy points four times. The Falcons have allowed running backs to score three rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns in the past three games, and Atlanta is No. 23 in run defense at more than 121 rushing yards per game allowed. And with DeSean Jackson (concussion) injured, McCoy could see more targets in the passing game.
Knowshon Moreno (at KC): Moreno finally cracked double digits in Fantasy points last week for the first time since Week 4 against the Giants, and hopefully he continues to play at a high level to finish the season. He had 19 carries for 88 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 19 yards. He also didn't fumble, which has been a problem this year. This week, he faces the Chiefs, who are No. 27 in run defense and have struggled with opposing running backs all season. In their past three games, Maurice Jones-Drew, Michael Bush, Justin Fargas, Rashard Mendenhall and LaDainian Tomlinson have all reached double digits in Fantasy points against the Chiefs, so look for Moreno to follow suit with another good game.
Jamaal Charles (vs. DEN): Charles has three games in a row with double digits in Fantasy points, and there's no reason to think he can't make it four. Prior to last week's game against the Giants, the Broncos had allowed a running back to score a touchdown or reach 100 total yards in six consecutive games. Charles has shown he can do it all as a running back with two rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown in his past three games, and he has 254 rushing yards and nine catches for 76 yards over that span. Charles should finish the season strong and has become a quality Fantasy option.
Marion Barber (at NYG): Barber has played well the past two games against Washington and Oakland and might be ready for a strong finish. He had 107 total yards in Week 11 against Washington and 102 total yards last week against the Raiders. The only thing missing for him is the touchdowns, and that could come in this matchup. The Giants have allowed 10 rushing touchdowns in the past six games, and they will miss linebacker Antonio Pierce (neck), who is out for the season. Barber had 18 carries for 124 yards and a touchdown against the Giants earlier this season and should do well in the rematch. You should also consider Felix Jones a sleeper in this matchup.
Sleeper alert: Laurence Maroney (at MIA): The fumble issues could cost Maroney some carries, especially with Sammy Morris returning to action last week against New Orleans, but it's hard to argue with Maroney's recent production. He has scored a touchdown in each of his past six games with eight touchdowns over that span. One of those games was Week 9 against Miami when he had 20 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown, which came when Dolphins defensive tackle Jason Ferguson (knee) was out. Ferguson is now out for the season, and it shows in Miami's run defense. They have allowed three running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points in the past three games with three rushing touchdowns over that span. As long as Maroney doesn't lose too much playing time to Morris he should do well in this matchup. Some other sleepers to consider this week include Jonathan Stewart (vs. TB), Cadillac Williams (at CAR) and Shonn Greene (at BUF). And if Julius Jones (chest) is out again then consider Justin Forsett (vs. SF) a sleeper.
Kevin Smith (at CIN): The Bengals have become one of the top run defenses in the NFL and rank No. 3 at 82 yards per game allowed. They also have given up just two rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs and only one since Week 2. Smith only has one game with double digits in Fantasy points in his past seven outings, which was Week 11 against Cleveland. He still has value as a low-end starter or flex option in leagues where receptions count with eight catches in his past two games, but don't plan on using Smith against the Bengals in standard formats.
Michael Turner (vs. PHI): If Turner plays against the Eagles with his sprained ankle, you should plan on sitting him as well as Jason Snelling and Jerious Norwood after what happened last week against Tampa Bay. All three shared carries before Turner left the game, and it was a mess for Fantasy owners. Turner did not run well against the Bucs, and the Eagles are better in run defense, so you don't want to keep him active on a gimpy ankle. If Turner is out then Snelling could be considered a flex option in standard leagues and Norwood could be more useful as a flex option in leagues where receptions count. But if all three are active then you might want to avoid the Falcons running backs entirely.
Fred Jackson (vs. NYJ): Jackson gets the starting nod with Marshawn Lynch struggling, but Jackson could have a difficult game against the Jets. New York shut down the Carolina run attack last week, and Buffalo's offensive line could have trouble in this matchup. The Jets run defense isn't as stout with Kris Jenkins (knee) out for the year, but they showed against the Panthers that they can still get the job done in holding DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart to 75 rushing yards on 25 carries. Lynch and Jackson split carries in the earlier matchup in Week 6 and combined for 113 rushing yards, with Jackson gaining 52 yards on 15 carries.
Rock Cartwright (vs. NO): Cartwright struggled last week against the Eagles with 15 carries for 38 yards and three catches for 26 yards. He could be good for about seven or eight Fantasy points this week, but that's about it as he continues to replace the injured Clinton Portis (concussion). The Saints don't have a great run defense, but Cartwright is sharing carries with Quinton Ganther and Marcus Mason and hasn't scored a touchdown in the two games where he's gotten significant carries. And if the Saints take an early lead in this game then the Redskins won't be able to run the ball much if they are playing from behind.
Willis McGahee (at GB): Don't let last week's game against the Steelers fool you into thinking McGahee is ready for a revival. While he did score his sixth rushing touchdown on the season and his eighth overall, it was just the first touchdown he's scored since Week 4. Since then he has combined for 12 Fantasy points in seven games as the Ravens have become Ray Rice's team. The Packers have only allowed one running back to score a rushing touchdown this year, which was Adrian Peterson twice, so don't expect McGahee to find the end zone. And if he doesn't score then he won't do much to help your Fantasy team.
Bust alert: Brandon Jacobs (vs. DAL): Jacobs might get all the carries this week with Ahmad Bradshaw (foot/ankle) and Danny Ware (concussion) dealing with injuries, but that might not help his outlook. While Jacobs is always a candidate to score touchdowns, he has just one in his past four games. And he only has one touchdown in his past five meetings with the Cowboys. In Week 2 at Dallas, Jacobs was held to 16 carries for 58 yards. And last week he struggled at Denver with 11 carries for 27 yards and three catches for 30 yards. The Cowboys have also done well in run defense and only three running backs have scored rushing touchdowns against them with none in the past five games. The Cowboys have not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season.
Mike Sims-Walker (vs. HOU): We love Sims-Walker at home, where he's averaged 17 Fantasy points in five games this year. He's only had one home game where he didn't score a touchdown (Week 6 against St. Louis), but he's averaged at least one touchdown in all five games in Jacksonville. One of his better road games was at Houston in Week 3 when he had six catches for 81 yards, and the Texans have allowed three wide receivers to score touchdowns in the past two games against Tennessee (Kenny Britt) and Indianapolis (Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon).
Michael Crabtree (at SEA): Crabtree didn't play in the first meeting with the Seahawks in Week 2 when Frank Gore ran for more than 200 yards, but he should do fine in the rematch since Seattle can't stop anyone in the passing game. The Seahawks have allowed 11 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers in the past five games. Crabtree only has 12 catches for 179 yards and a touchdown, but he's been targeted 21 times. This is a good week for him to find the end zone again, so consider him worthy of a starting option.
Percy Harvin (at ARI): Harvin continues to improve as a wide receiver, and he's playing at a high level right now. He has three touchdowns in his past four games and is coming off his first 100-yard outing against Chicago last week. The Cardinals have allowed five 100-yard games to opposing wide receivers and eight touchdowns, so look for Sidney Rice and Bernard Berrian to play well this week. Brett Favre is spreading the ball around, and Harvin has 11 catches for 180 yards in his past two games. Arizona has also struggled with rookie wide receivers as Kenny Britt and Hakeem Nicks have scored touchdowns against the Cardinals this season.
Nate Burleson (vs. SF): Like Sims-Walker, Burleson likes playing at home. He has three games with double digits in Fantasy points in five home games this season, including all three of his touchdowns. The 49ers have allowed eight touchdowns to opposing wide receivers, and six wide receivers have gained at least 70 yards receiving. Burleson only had four catches for 46 yards against San Francisco in Week 2, but that game was on the road. He should do better playing at home, so consider him a No. 2 Fantasy wide receiver this week.
Santonio Holmes (vs. OAK): The Raiders have given up some big games to wide receivers this year. Seven wide receivers have reached double digits in Fantasy points against Oakland, and nine wide receivers have scored touchdowns. While Holmes has struggled to score for most of this season (he caught his second touchdown pass last week), he has been consistent with at least eight Fantasy points the past four games. And in the past three games, Holmes has 34 targets with 26 catches for 341 yards, so he continues to be a reliable option for Fantasy owners based on his consistent production.
Sleeper alert: Jeremy Maclin (at ATL): With DeSean Jackson (concussion) injured, Maclin and Jason Avant should be considered starting Fantasy options, with Maclin as a No. 2 wide receiver and Avant as a No. 3. The Eagles won't stop throwing even though their best wide receiver might not play. The Falcons have allowed a wide receiver to reach double digits in Fantasy points in each of the past three games, and Maclin has 17 catches for 202 yards and a touchdown over that same span. Avant has also done well in his past three games with 17 catches for 276 yards and a touchdown, so hopefully the Eagles will allow Jackson time to rest since he has capable options behind him. Some other sleepers to consider this week include Donnie Avery (at CHI), Robert Meachem (at WAS), Austin Collie (vs. TEN), Kevin Walter (at JAC), Steve Smith (vs. DAL) and Devin Hester (vs. STL).
Roy E. Williams (at NYG): Williams might have two touchdowns in his past three games, but I'm not ready to count on him as a starting option. He only has one game with double digits in Fantasy points, and he's struggled against the Giants. Williams has faced the Giants three times with the Cowboys, and he has three catches for 51 yards and no touchdowns in those matchups. The Giants might have holes on defense, but Williams is just too inconsistent to be considered a quality Fantasy option.
Terrell Owens (vs. NYJ): We've been high on Owens the past two weeks because of his favorable matchups against Jacksonville and Miami, but that's about to change against the Jets. Owens struggled in his first game with the Jets in Week 6 with three catches for 13 yards, which had a lot to do with Darrelle Revis. He continues to do a great job against opposing wide receivers, and last week he shut down Steve Smith (two catches for 2 yards). Revis has now held Andre Johnson, Marques Colston, Randy Moss, Smith and Owens to minimal production, and it's a good idea to put Owens back on the bench for this matchup. He is worth starting again in Week 14 at Kansas City.
Kenny Britt (at IND): Britt is on an amazing two-game stretch with 11 catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns against Houston and Arizona, but this is a tough matchup for him. The Colts are getting healthy in the secondary with Kelvin Hayden (knee) expected to return, and Britt struggled in the first game with Indianapolis. In Week 5, Britt was held to two catches for 18 yards. Granted, that came with Kerry Collins at quarterback, but the Colts have only allowed four wide receivers to score touchdowns this year, so look for Britt to struggle.
Braylon Edwards (at BUF): Edwards has two good games since coming to New York in a trade from Cleveland, and both were against the Dolphins. He only had three catches for 40 yards in Week 6 against Buffalo, and the Bills are among the better teams against opposing wide receivers. Only four wide receivers have scored touchdowns against Buffalo this year, and Mark Sanchez is now dealing with an injured left knee. You might consider benching Jerricho Cotchery also, but Edwards is definitely the one to keep reserved based on his outlook for this matchup.
Antonio Bryant (at CAR): Last year in Week 14 at Carolina, Bryant had the best game of his career with nine catches for 200 yards and two touchdowns. It was part of an impressive finish in December, and Bryant endeared himself to Fantasy owners. It's hard to expect Bryant to duplicate that performance, especially since the Panthers have improved in their pass defense. Carolina has only allowed three wide receivers to score touchdowns this year, including none in the past three games. Bryant, who has battled a knee injury all season, had his best game last week with three catches for 91 yards and a touchdown at Atlanta, but if he doesn't score then you can't expect him to do much. He hasn't topped 100 yards in a game this year.
Bust alert: Chris Chambers (vs. DEN): Chambers has been a star since coming to Kansas City after he was released by San Diego. In four games with the Chiefs he has 17 catches for 319 yards and three touchdowns and has done a fantastic job replacing Dwayne Bowe (suspension) as the No. 1 wide receiver. But since he's now the No. 1 target in the passing game he also is the No. 1 target of the opposition, and Chambers will likely have to face Champ Bailey in this matchup. Chambers only had two catches for 33 yards against the Broncos earlier this year when he was with the Chargers, and he should do better than that. But don't expect another outstanding game since Denver has only allowed one wide receiver to score a touchdown in the past three games against Washington, San Diego and the Giants.
Brent Celek (at ATL): His thumb appears to be OK, especially after signing a hefty six-year extension. Keep an eye on his status, but I plan on using him in at least two of my leagues based on his matchup. After two difficult games against Chicago and Washington where he combined for eight catches and 68 yards, Celek should bounce back and justify the new contract. The Falcons have allowed six tight ends to catch at least five passes in a game, seven to gain at least 50 yards and five to score touchdowns. Celek could also see more targets with DeSean Jackson (concussion) injured.
Jason Witten (at NYG): Witten had his best game of the season last week against Oakland on Thanksgiving with five catches for 107 yards, and let's hope it's a sign of things to come. It was his first game with double digits in Fantasy points this year, and he's still looking for his second touchdown. His first touchdown came in Week 2 against the Giants. Witten has two touchdowns in his past five meeting with the Giants, who have allowed seven touchdowns to tight ends this year. Four tight ends have reached double digits in Fantasy points against the Giants, and hopefully Witten will make it five.
Visanthe Shiancoe (at ARI): Shiancoe has a knack for finding the end zone, and he does well when the matchup is in his favor, which he has this week. The Cardinals have allowed six touchdowns to opposing tight ends, which is slightly misleading since Greg Olsen scored three times in Week 9. But Arizona has allowed six tight ends to gain at least 55 yards receiving this year. Shiancoe has only topped 50 yards receiving twice, with both coming in the past two games against Seattle and Chicago, but he has eight touchdowns on the season. He has four games this year with double digits in Fantasy points.
Sleeper alert: Benjamin Watson (at MIA): The Dolphins lead the NFL with 791 yards allowed to opposing tight ends. Watson had four catches for 49 yards in the first meeting with Miami in Week 9, but he has struggled since with only three catches for 50 yards in his past three games. Watson was targeted in the end zone a couple of times Monday night at New Orleans, and Watson is worth using this week if you need help at tight end based on the matchup. Some other sleepers to consider this week include Dustin Keller (at BUF), Todd Heap (at GB), Tony Scheffler (at KC) and J.P. Foschi (vs. DET).
Fred Davis (vs. NO): Davis had a solid game last week against the Eagles with four catches for 43 yards and a touchdown, which was his second of the season. But the Eagles are among the worst teams against tight ends this year. The Saints do a much better job, and New Orleans and Oakland are the only two teams yet to allow a touchdown to a tight end. That doesn't bode well for Davis since the Saints have kept Brent Celek, Dustin Keller, Tony Gonzalez, Kevin Boss and Kellen Winslow out of the end zone.
Jermichael Finley (vs. BAL): Only one tight end has reached double digits in Fantasy points against the Ravens, which was Visanthe Shiancoe in Week 6. Only three tight ends have gained more than 50 yards receiving against Baltimore, which were Tom Santi, Benjamin Watson and Antonio Gates. The Ravens have held Dallas Clark and Heath Miller to two catches for 5 yards and a touchdown the past two games. Finley hasn't scored a touchdown in two games since coming back from missing three games with a knee injury.
John Carlson (vs. SF): Carlson had 46 receiving yards against the 49ers in Week 2, and that's about as much as you can expect from him this week. He only has two games over 50 yards, and he has one touchdown since Week 1. He has just one game with double digits in Fantasy points this year. The 49ers have only allowed one tight end to score, which was Owen Daniels in Week 7, and Carlson should be considered a reserve based on this matchup.
Bust alert: Jeremy Shockey (at WAS): Shockey has disappeared the past four games. He has combined for nine catches and 100 yards over that span, and the Saints are now using three tight ends with Shockey, David Thomas and Darnell Dinkins, who scored a touchdown last week against New England. The Redskins have only allowed two tight ends to score this year, and only Tony Gonzalez reached double digits in Fantasy points against Washington in Week 9. The Redskins have limited Brent Celek twice, Kellen Winslow and Jason Witten to four Fantasy points or less in each matchup. Washington is No. 1 in pass defense, and with the way Shockey is playing, this is not a good week to count on him as a starting Fantasy option.
Bears (vs. STL): The Bears defense hasn't played well this year. They have allowed at least 24 points five times this season, including three of the past four games. But the unit hasn't been horrible for Fantasy owners with seven games with double digits in Fantasy points in standard leagues, which includes 10 interceptions, 22 sacks, nine fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns. They have a turnover in five straight games, and now they face the inept Rams offense, which is led by Kyle Boller. He has started three games this year in place of Marc Bulger with one touchdown, four interceptions and two fumbles. Look for the Bears DST to finish as a No. 1 option this week.
Other DSTs with good matchups: Broncos (at KC), Patriots (at MIA) and the Jets (at BUF)
Dolphins (vs. NE): The Dolphins couldn't stop Ryan Fitzpatrick and Terrell Owens last week, so how do you think this defense will do against an angry Tom Brady and Randy Moss? Brady is going to attack Miami's rookie cornerbacks in Sean Smith and Vontae Davis with Moss and Wes Welker and put up plenty of points. In the first meeting in Week 9, the Dolphins DST had six Fantasy points in a standard-scoring league with one interception and two sacks. That's about what you can expect this week, but the Patriots getting routed by the Saints won't bode well for the Dolphins. This is not a good week to count on this unit in the majority of Fantasy leagues.
Jeff Reed (vs. OAK): The last time the Raiders played on the East Coast was Week 5 at the Giants, and Oakland gave up 44 points with kicker Lawrence Tynes making three field goals and five extra points. The last time Reed was at home in Week 10 against Cincinnati he made four field goals. It seems like a great match. The Raiders have allowed five kickers to make multiple field goals in a game, including four kickers (Matt Prater, Tynes, David Akers and Ryan Succop) to connect on three field goals. Reed has five games with at least two field goals, and he should get to six this week with the Steelers getting healthy on offense. Reed was only started in 26 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com in Week 12, so pick him up and start him this week.
Josh Scobee (vs. HOU): Scobee has struggled recently after starting the season strong. He's only made one field goal in each of the past four games, and he's missed three field goals in his past three games. In Week 3 against Houston, Scobee made one field goal and four extra points. He's only had one game with multiple field goals against the Texans, which was last year at home when he made three field goals with three extra points. He's capable of doing that again, but Houston has only allowed three kickers to make multiple field goals this year with Sebastian Janikowski, Matt Stover and Rob Bironas. Only one of those games was on the road at Indianapolis in Week 9.
You can email your Fantasy Football questions to DMFantasyFootball@cbs.com. Be sure to put Attn: Start 'Em and Sit 'Em in the subject field. Include your full name, hometown and state, and we'll get to as many as we can. Also, follow me on Twitter @jameyeisenberg.