Oct 22, 2009
If you hated the bye weeks prior to week 7, you’re really going to be pissed moving forward. The reason? Instead of the four bye week teams you were getting used to, the next three weeks will each have six teams taking it easy. Never fear, though, because there are still plenty of good plays out there. In fact, if you continue reading through the rest of the Fantasy Football Week 7 Start Ems, you’ll see some of the better ones for week 7.
QUARTERBACKS – START ‘EM
Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers) vs. Minnesota
Big Ben, a top-5 Fantasy QB in standard football leagues? This may come as a surprise to many fantasy owners, but the Steelers are not the same smash mouth team that wants to run the ball 35 times a game. Head Coach Mike Tomlin has shown an interest in relying on Roethlisberger’s arm, and Big Ben has accepted the challenge. The Vikings haven’t been great against the pass (partially because of their stellar run defense) allowing almost 250 yards per game and 9 TDs through 6 games. Roethlisberger may get put on his back a few times by DE Jared Allen, but his 18.7 fantasy points per week prove that he can light up the scoreboard as well.
Eli Manning (New York Giants) vs. Arizona
The Cardinals’ pass defense has been second worst in the NFL, allowing over 265 yards per contest. Eli has been quite successful as a QB this season posting 11 TDs versus only 3 INTs. We know you don’t get points for QB rating, but fantasy owners must admit that his rating of 102.2 is impressive as it ranks ahead of star fantasy QBs Tom Brady, Joe Flacco, and Jay Cutler, among others. With playmakers throughout his receiving corps in WRs Steve Smith, Mario Manningham, and Hakeem Nicks, who is emerging as a viable threat, New York could be posting some high passing totals. Arizona’s troubles flying to the East Coast have been well documented the past two seasons, and this will be one of their tougher match-ups throughout the season.
Matt Cassel (Kansas City Chiefs) vs. San Diego
How the mighty have fallen…The San Diego Super Chargers have been the absence of Super in 2009, recording a 2-3 record thus far. It’s not that we think the Chiefs will beat the Chargers, but come on; JaMarcus Russell threw for over 200 yards on them. The Chargers rank 13th in the NFL in allowing 217 passing yards per game and 8 TDs through 5 games, but the Chiefs run game is bad and will force Cassell to throw. To say that Matt Cassell has been good would be an overstatement, but we think he could be a reliable option for week 7 against the Chargers. While he may only be necessary in the deepest leagues (or ones with 2 starting QBs), to expect 200 yards and 1-2 TDs would not be unreasonable in KC.
RUNNING BACKS – START ‘EM
Frank Gore (San Francisco 49ers) @ Houston
We don’t need to say much about this. Frank Gore is supposed to play this week against a Texans run defense that is ranked 24th in the league, allowing 125 yards per game and 10 TDs through 6 games. Self-explanatory…Get him in your lineup!
Jonathan Stewart (Carolina Panthers) vs. Buffalo
Where we don’t need to tell you to start DeAngelo Williams, Stewart has made for a solid RB3/Flex play the past few weeks. In week 5, Stewart had 10 fantasy points with 45 total yards and a TD. In week 6, he exploded with 110 rushing yards and a TD (although he did lose a fumble). Stewart and the Panthers (good band name?) face their third weak opponent in a row, as they’ll take on the Bills in week 7. Buffalo ranks last in the NFL against the run, giving up 182 rushing yards per game, along with 8 TDs through 6 games. We think Williams and Stewart could both prove to be effective, especially with the passing game in a big-time funk.
Laurence Maroney (New England Patriots) @ Tampa Bay
The biggest waiver wire pick-up this week has undoubtedly been RB Laurence Maroney. Maroney has been inconsistent since joining the NFL; however, we believe he can have another solid game in London this weekend. Tampa Bay is 31st in the NFL allowing 172 rushing yards and a TD per game, and Maroney could definitely hit the century mark with a TD. Maroney showed explosiveness against one of the better rush defenses in the NFL (Tennessee); and he should hit those stats again making fantasy owners with bye-week issues happy all the way from the UK.
Donald Brown (Indianapolis Colts) @ St. Louis
While Joseph Addai has done nothing to prove he’s incapable of carrying the load in Indy (averaging 11.70 fantasy points per week), Donald Brown has only been slightly worse than him (8.20 fantasy points per week). After the Colts’ bye week, many experts claimed that Brown would play a bigger role in their offense, so this would be the week to tell. The Colts should be up early against the Rams, so expect a heavy dose (although with Peyton Manning it’s hard to tell) of RBs Donald Brown and Joseph Addai.
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