Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Wide receivers for Week 17

By Michael Fabiano
Updated: Dec. 26, 2012 at 06:33 p.m.

Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the weekly NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Sleeper alert features an under-the-radar player who could produce good numbers. Owners beware features a regular fantasy starter who could fail to meet expectations based on the strength of his opponent. Obvious fantasy starters like Aaron Rodgers and Arian Foster will not be featured in this column. For your final lineup decisions, check our lineup rankings.

Start of the week

Steve Smith at New Orleans Saints: Smith is on a roll, posting double-digit fantasy points in four straight games. He's also found the end zone in three of those contests. No team has allowed more fantasy points to wideouts than the Saints, so Smith remains a solid option.
Start 'em

Mike Wallace vs. Cleveland Browns: Wallace disappeared in the stat sheets in Week 16, but this week's matchup against the Browns is favorable. Even with CB Joe Haden in the mix, this unit has still allowed the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers on the road in 2012.

Greg Jennings at Minnesota Vikings: Regardless of the status of both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, Jennings is a nice No. 3 option this weekend. He's had a lot of success in his career against the Vikings, scoring seven touchdowns in his last six games against them.

Sleeper alert - Jeremy Maclin at New York Giants: The G-Men have been awful against wideouts in recent weeks, allowing 24-plus fantasy points to the position in three of their last four games. That makes Maclin, who has 100-plus yards in two of three games, a nice starter.
Sit of the week

Larry Fitzgerald at San Francisco 49ers: Who knew Brian Hoyer would save Fitzgerald's value? Alright, so it helped for one week - that doesn't mean you should start him against the Niners. Their defense has allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers at home.
Sit 'em

Steve Johnson vs. New York Jets: Johnson, who has
scored eight-plus fantasy points in just one of his last four games, has a tough assignment up next against CB Antonio Cromartie and the Jets. This unit has given up the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing wideouts.

Josh Gordon at Pittsburgh Steelers: Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy are both banged up, so practice squadder Thaddeus Lewis could draw the start for the Browns. Regardless, you want nothing to do with Gordon in what is a pretty difficult matchup on paper at Heinz Field.

Owners beware - Torrey Smith at Cincinnati Bengals: Smith posted a nice stat line last week against the Giants, but he'll struggle to repeat the performance in Cincinnati. The Bengals have a tough pass defense and held Smith to just 57 receiving yards back in the season opener.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!