Week 7 Fantasy Starts and Sits

Before we get to this week’s starts and sits, here are some things to check out if you’re bored at work today:

1. There’s only a few weeks left to win a free trip to Vegas to compete for $50,000 in prizes in FanDuel’s Salary Cap Challenge. Click HERE to check it out.

2. In addition, you can play head-to-head fantasy football for cash at FanDuel as well. Click HERE to get paid!

3. Here’s a good article from Steph Stradley of the Houston Chronicle and Fanhouse recapping the 2010 Blogger’s Fantasy Football League games from last week.

4. The 5-1 NFP behemoth takes on NFL Gridiron Gab in the NFP Expert’s League this week, but keep an eye on the 6-0 Yahoo! vs. 5-1 Just a Bit Outside Podcast game this Sunday, which will have ramifications for those of us seeking a playoff bye.

LaMichael JamesICONWhile you were cracking open that cold beer, Oregon just scored 21 points.

5. Did anyone else watch the Oregon Ducks absolutely shred UCLA on Thursday night? I can’t tell you how much I love watching that offense play. Here’s a great article from Gregg Easterbrook of ESPN breaking down the Ducks high-speed offense.

6. The Kansas City Chiefs are currently 9-point favorites over Jacksonville this Sunday. Expect KC to cover. Lock it up.

7. And of course, your motivational speech of the day…

START ‘EM UP

Matt Cassel, QB, Kansas City Chiefs: With Peyton Manning and Matt Schaub on the bye this weekend, look no further than Chiefs signal-caller Matt Cassel for support. The six-year veteran has thrown six touchdown passes and only one interception over his last three games and has a QB rating of 92.0 with four touchdown passes and only one INT in two home starts in 2010. Cassel and the Chiefs play host to a Jacksonville Jaguars defense on Sunday that is entering the game on short rest (they played Tennessee on Monday night), ranks 28th in pass defense (263.7 yds/gm) and is surrendering an average of 24.3 fantasy points per week to opposing quarterbacks (second-worst in NFL).

Knowshon MorenoICONMoreno owners can finally feel confident.

Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver Broncos: A bad hamstring has forced owners to keep Moreno on the bench for the majority of the 2010 season, but the good news is that Week 7 is an excellent opportunity for you to get the second-year rusher back in the starting lineup. Moreno’s been a full participant in both practice sessions this week and has a Sunday showdown with an Oakland Raiders squad that ranks 30th in the NFL in run defense (149.5 yds/gm) and is giving up an average of 24.7 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (third worst in NFL). Be sure to note that in three road games this season, the Silver and Black have been torched for three touchdowns and an average of 160.6 rushing yards per game (5.0 yards per carry).

Johnny Knox, WR, Chicago Bears: Knox has been kept out of the end zone in all six of Chicago’s games this season, but he’s averaging 65.3 receiving yards per game and a reliable 88.6 receiving yards per game at Soldier Field in 2010. Expect that last number to increase after a Week 7 home date with a Washington Redskins defense that ranks 31st in the NFL against the pass this season (298.2 yds/gm) and is surrendering an average of 26.7 fantasy points per week to opposing wide receivers (fourth worst in NFL). The Redskins have already given up nine passing touchdowns this year (11th in NFL) so this looks like the week Knox should finally break through and find pay dirt.

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks: Keep in mind that he’ll be splitting carries with Justin Forsett, but this Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals is one of the reasons we advised you to make a move for Lynch prior to his trade to Seattle. Arizona has been rocked by the running game this season as the Cardinals are giving up an average of 140.8 rushing yards (29th in NFL) and 24.1 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (fourth worst in NFL). In addition, Arizona’s allowing 162.0 rushing yards per game on the road this season and is 2-3 in their last five trips to Qwest Field (allowing 24.6 points per game).

Patrick Crayton, WR, San Diego Chargers: With Malcom Floyd likely out and Antonio Gates, Legedu Naanee and Buster Davis all battling injuries, who else is the NFL’s leading passer going to target? Crayton stepped up big in Week 6 at St. Louis by hauling in six passes for 117 yards on seven targets (all season highs). Look for that trend to continue on Sunday when the Chargers play host to a New England Patriots defense that ranks 29th in the league against the pass (273.4 yds/gm) and is surrendering an average of 25.9 fantasy points per week to opposing wide receivers (fifth worst in NFL). Crayton may not have a ton of value moving forward, but he’s an excellent option for Week 7.

Ben Watson, TE, Cleveland Browns: Watson has very quietly rolled up enough stats so far this season (29-318-2) to rank in the top-ten in scoring among fantasy tight ends. In addition, Watson is coming off his best game of the season in which the veteran tight end caught six passes for 88 yards and a touchdown on nine targets against a very stingy Pittsburgh defense. Rookie quarterback Colt McCoy will get his second-consecutive start this weekend, which is another big plus as he’ll once again check-down under pressure and target his big tight end. That formula should spell fantasy success on Sunday at New Orleans against a Saints defense that is giving up an average of 8.8 fantasy points per week to opposing tight ends (seventh worst in NFL).

Seattle Seahawks, D/ST: The Seahawks don’t get a lot of publicity, but owners need to realize that this is currently a top-ten fantasy defense that ranks seventh in the NFL in sacks (12) and third in D/ST touchdowns (3). In addition, Seattle has a serious home-field advantage that has been very apparent over the past two years as the Seahawks are giving up just 15.6 points per game at Qwest Field since 2009. This week provides an excellent opportunity to get this unit in your starting lineup as Seattle plays host to the Arizona Cardinals and undrafted rookie quarterback Max Hall. Ke ep in mind that the Cardinals have only scored a total of 23 points in their last two trips to Seattle. In addition, another nice tidbit that should help you sleep well at night is knowing no team in the NFL surrenders more fantasy points to opposing D/STs than the Arizona Cardinals (14.4 fantasy pts/gm).

SIT ‘EM DOWN

Donovan McNabbICONMcNabb has had a tough time scoring fantasy points on the road this season.

Donovan McNabb, QB, Washington Redskins: Donny Mac has been a fairly solid fantasy play this season, but owners need to be aware of the fact that the Washington signal-caller has been dreadful away from home. In two road starts this season, McNabb is completing just 52.9% of his passes with two touchdowns, two interceptions and a QB rating of 72.4. That spells trouble for Week 7 when McNabb and the Redskins travel to Chicago to take on a Bears defense that is allowing just 16.2 points (third in NFL) and 13.0 fantasy points per week to opposing quarterbacks (third best in NFL). There are better options out there.

Ronnie Brown, RB, Miami Dolphins: Brown is getting dangerously close to earning the dreaded “bust” label. The Miami running back is averaging a paltry 59.8 rushing yards per game and has scored only one touchdown in five contests this season. To make matters worse, Brown and the Dolphins play host to a Pittsburgh Steelers team that ranks first in the NFL in run defense (63.6 yds/gm) and is giving up an average of just 11.4 fantasy points per week to opposing running backs (second best in NFL). Also be advised that Brown hasn’t been a true workhorse running back this season. He’s carried the ball 13 or fewer times in four of five games in 2010.

Kenny Britt, WR, Tennessee Titans: Having found the end zone in each of his last four games, it’s safe to say Kenny Britt is on a heater. However, those touchdowns are the only thing keeping the second-year wide receiver fantasy-relevant as Britt has caught just 11 passes over his last four contests. Week 7 offers the Tennessee wideout one of the tougher challenges he’ll face this season when the Titans welcome in a Philadelphia Eagles team that ranks ninth in the league in pass defense (198.3 yds/gm) and is giving up an average of just 15.9 fantasy points per week to opposing wide receivers (third best in NFL). Not only that, but quarterback Vince Young suffered knee and ankle injuries on Monday night against the Jaguars and did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday.

Felix JonesICONJones could struggle for the second consecutive week.

Felix Jones, RB, Dallas Cowboys: Jones made an appearance on the sit list last week and ended up rushing for just 32 yards on 14 carries (2.3 YPC) against the Minnesota Vikings. We’ve got him back in the sit column for Week 7 because it could be more of the same on Sunday when Jones and the Cowboys host a New York Giants defense that ranks seventh in the NFL against the run (92.8 yds/gm) and is surrendering an average of just 14.6 fantasy points per week to opposing running backs (sixth best in NFL). Opponents are averaging only 3.5 yards per carry against Big Blue this season and not only that, but four of the Giants’ six opponents have rushed for less than 90 yards this year.

Jennings finally gave fantasy owners something to smile about last week when he racked up 133 receiving yards and a touchdown on six receptions against the Miami Dolphins. However, before you go thinking that this guy is back to being an every-week starter, you may want to keep in mind the following information: The Minnesota Vikings rank sixth in the league against the pass this season (192.0 yds/gm) and are giving up an average of only 17.6 fantasy points per week to opposing wide receivers (tenth best in NFL). Also, be sure to keep in mind that in eight career games against Minnesota, Jennings has only scored two touchdowns and has never amassed more than 91 yards receiving.

Kellen Winslow, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: When you see the St. Louis Rams on the schedule you may be inclined to think that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, that’s not the case when it comes to the tight end position. The Rams are giving up an average of just 4.6 fantasy points per week to opposing tight ends (second best in NFL) and shouldn’t have a big problem trying to limit Tampa Bay’s 18th ranked passing offense (215.2 yds/gm). Add in the fact that Winslow has yet to find the end zone this season and has only topped 45 receiving yards in two of his five games this season and you have a recipe for disaster.

San Diego Chargers, D/ST: In standard scoring formats, the Chargers are currently a top-five fantasy D/ST, which is good news for those of you who didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on this unit back in August. However, we advise you to go in a different direction on Sunday when San Diego hosts a New England Patriots team that ranks tenth in total offense (354.2 yds/gm) and first in the NFL in scoring (30.8 pts/gm). In addition, fantasy D/STs that play the Patriots are averaging only 5.6 points per game, which currently ranks 29th in the league. Owners are better off checking out the waiver wire and looking for a better matchup.

Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh

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