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2009 Start/Bench List Week 7

An
amazing six players scored 37 points or more in the Whale Shark leagues last
week as Tom Brady/Randy Moss/Wes Welker destroyed the Titans in the air despite
the snow while Maurice Jones-Drew, Ray Rice and DeAngelo Williams dominated on
the ground. This doesn’t even include the 400+ yards passing of Ben
Roethlisberger or the 200+ yards rushing of Thomas Jones. Six teams are on a
bye this week, but the Giants, Patriots and Cowboys will all post big numbers
rushing and receiving to keep the point totals growing and defenses reeling.

When using this list, try and remember a couple basic rules:

1) Studs – Always play your studs. Each position will include a list of players
that are considered studs and should not be benched. If you have the luxury of
needing to decide between studs, check out the matchups or feel free to let the
shark tank assist you in your decisions.

2) Depth – Every fantasy team is different and some have more depth than
others. Only follow the recommended moves if your team depth allows you to make
such a move.

 

Bye Weeks: Baltimore, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, Seattle, Tennessee

Quarterbacks

Bye Weeks:
Joe Flacco, Kyle Orton, Matthew Stafford/Daunte Culpepper, David Garrard, Matt
Hasselbeck/Seneca Wallace, Kerry Collins/Vince Young

Studs

Matt Schaub, Houston vs. San Francisco

*NEW*

Tom Brady, New England at Tampa Bay

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis at St. Louis

Drew Brees, New Orleans at Miami

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay at Cleveland

Philip Rivers, San Diego at Kansas City

Start

Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants vs. Arizona: Manning’s plantar fascia didn’t
seem to bother him last week against the Saints, but he wasn’t close to
matching the numbers that Drew Brees posted against the league’s top pass
defense. Manning will have a much easier time this week against the Cardinals, who
are ranked 31st in the NFL in passing yards allowed. Get all your
passing-related Giants in your lineup as the running game will struggle and
Manning will make up the difference.

Matt Ryan,

Atlanta at

Dallas:
The last time Ryan threw for less than 200 yards passing was in Week 3 and the
next game (

San Francisco)
he torched them for over 300 yards passing. Now granted, he had a bye week in
between those games, but Ryan has a solid matchup this week after throwing for
only 185 yards against the Bears in Week 6. Look for Ryan to avoid the INTs and
pile up the yardage as the

Dallas
defense will do a better job stopping Michael Turner than they will slowing
down Ryan.

Bench

Kurt Warner,

Arizona
at N.Y. Giants: Warner has averaged 289 yards passing and two TDs over the past
two weeks, which is pretty solid given the fact that he has no running game.
Warner will not have the same success that Brees experienced against the Giants
last week. The Giants are coming home and playing on Sunday night and will
prove that the Saints game was an anomaly as Warner will struggle big time.
Larry Fitzgerald remains a must-start, but everyone else should ride the pine.

Mark Sanchez, N.Y. Jets atakland: It took a while, but Sanchez is
finally playing like a rookie QB. The Jets will continue to ride Thomas Jones
as the Raiders will have no answer for him on the ground. Look for Sanchez to
only throw the ball 20-25 times, imiting his chances to post decent enough
numbers to be worthy of a start.

Running Backs

Bye Weeks:
Ray Rice/Wllis McGahee, Knowshon Moreno/Correll Buckhalter, Kevin Smith,
Maurice Jones-Drew, Julius Jones/Edgerrin James, Chris Johnson/LenDale White

Studs

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota at Pittsburgh

Steve Slaton, Houston vs. San Francisco

DeAngelo Williams, Carolina vs. Buffalo

Steven Jackson, St. Louis vs. Indianapolis

Michael Turner, Atlanta at Dallas

Frank Gore, San Francisco at Houston

Matt Forte, Chicago at Cincinnati

Start

Thomas Jones, N.Y. Jets at Oakland: Jones ran for an amazing 210 yards
and a TD last week against Buffalo. Normally when a player has such a huge
week, I would caution you to expect a letdown the following week. However, the
Raiders have allowed an average of 145.3 rushing yards per game this season.
With the Jets on the road, they will control the clock and grind it out, giving
Jones all the room he needs to post another big day rushing.

Marion Barber, Dallas vs.

Atlanta: Even
though Tashard Choice made his case for playing time in Week 5 when he rushed
for 92 yards and a score on only eight carries, Barber, when healthy, is still
the best RB in

Dallas.
Barber should be well-rested after the bye week and the

Dallas passing attack will open up the field
just enough for Barber to do damage inside. Look for a strong return for Barber
as he posts solid numbers against an improving Falcons defense.

Laurence Maroney, New England at

Tampa

Bay:
Typically, I like to let others deal with the one-week wonders on the waiver
wire, but Maroney is an exception. Sammy Morris is still hurt and the Patriots
offense is finding another gear. The

Tampa

Bay defense has allowed
the second most rushing yards in the NFL this season and Maroney will have the
opportunity and the matchup to thrive. Look for another 100-yard performance
out of Maroney as the Patriots continue to pile up the offensive statistics.

Bench

Clinton Portis, Washington vs. Philadelphia: Jason Campbell was so bad
last week against a bad Chiefs pass defense that I’m embarrassed to admit that
I suggested to start the bum. Portis, on the other hand, rushed for over 100
yards last week with most of those yards coming on a 78-yard run in the second
half. With

Campbell still the starter, the
Eagles will simply punish Portis, just daring

Campbell to beat them. And he’ll fail once
again. Don’t expect another return to the 100-yard rushing mark for Portis this
week or anytime soon for that matter.

Cedric Benson,

Cincinnati vs.

Chicago: Benson was held
to a season-low 2.8 yards per carry last week against the Texans. Look for
Benson to struggle once again this week against his former team as the Bears
haven’t allowed an opposing RB to rush for over 100 yards this season and have
held the No. 1 opposing RB to less than 65 yards in four of their five games.

Rashard Mendenhall,

Pittsburgh vs.

Minnesota: Last week’s game against the Browns proved two
things for Mendenhall: 1) He is the No. 1 RB in

Pittsburgh as he carried the ball 17 times to
only seven carries for Willie Parker, and 2) Mendenhall will have bad games
from time-to-time. Even though the Browns were ranked near the bottom of the
league in rushing yards allowed, Mendenhall rushed for only 61 yards last week.
Look for more of the same struggles this week as Mendenhall faces a Vikings
defense ready to prove that Ray Rice’s performance last week was an aberration.

Wide Receivers

Bye Weeks:
Derrick Mason/Mark Clayton/Kelley Washington, Brandon Marshall/ Eddie Royal/Jabar
Gaffney/Brandon Stokley, Calvin Johnson/Bryant Johnson/Dennis Northcutt, Mike
Sims-Walker/Torry Holt, Nate Burleson/T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Nate
Washington/Kenny Britt/Justin Gage

Studs

Steve Smith, N.Y. Giants vs. Arizona

Andre Johnson, Houston vs. San Francisco

Randy Moss, New England at Tampa Bay

Hines Ward, Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota

*NEW*

Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis at St. Louis

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona at N.Y. Giants

Wes Welker, New England at Tampa Bay

*NEW*

Roddy White, Atlanta at Dallas

Marques Colston, New Orleans at Miami

Vincent Jackson, San Diego at Kansas City

Start

Miles Austin, Dallas vs. Atlanta: Austin will get his chance to start
this week and he’ll take full advantage of the opportunity. Having the bye week
to prepare as a starter will be a huge plus for

Austin as he faces a Falcons defense that
lost CB Brian Williams for the season and allowed 300 yards passing to Jay
Cutler last week. Look for

Austin
to thrive in his role as a starter as he posts back-to-back 100-yard receiving
games.

Bernard Berrian, Minnesota at Pittsburgh: With Percy Harvin suffering
from a shoulder injury, look for Berrian to fill the void left by the rookie
wide receiver and post solid numbers against the Steelers this week. Brett
Favre will use Berrian and Visanthe Shiancoe often as the Steelers do their
best to contain Adrian Peterson.

Hakeem Nicks, N.Y. Giants vs.

Arizona:
I love the Giants to air it out this week at home against the porous Cardinals
pass defense. With Mario Manningham dealing with a back injury, Eli Manning
will find Steve Smith and Nicks often enough to make both WRs solid starts this
week.

Donald Driver,

Green Bay at

Cleveland: Has anyone
seen the WR formally known as Greg Jennings? There is a player suiting up each
week with

Jennings on his back, but that’s
clearly not the same

Jennings
as last season. In

Jennings’ absence, Driver
caught seven passes for 107 yards last week and has reclaimed the top WR spot
in

Green Bay.
The Packers travel to

Cleveland
this week who allowed Ben Roethlisberger to throw for over 400 yards last week.
While Aaron Rodgers may not surpass the 400-yard mark, you can bet that he’ll
pass enough and find Driver often enough to warrant starts out of both of them.

Bench

Steve Smith, Carolina vs. Buffalo: After catching only one pass for four
yards last week, Smith has officially become “the other” Steve Smith as he
falls short week in and week out of his Giants namesake. The Panthers face the
Bills this week, who have allowed an average of only 170.7 yards passing this
season. With DeAngelo Willams and Jonathan Stewart licking their chops after
the day Thomas Jones had against the Bills last week, there won’t be much
action for Smith to reclaim his place atop the Steve Smith rankings.

Santana Moss,

Washington
vs.

Philadelphia:
Every year Moss bangs out a 10-catch, 175-yard game and I start to think that
he’s finally going to be a consistent WR that gives me 15-20 points every week.
Once again, you have disappointed me, Santana. Granted, you are playing
short-handed with Jason Campbell at QB, but that’s your problem. I’m officially
giving up on Moss, and if the Eagles defense plays as they should this week,
Moss will once again be a non-factor.

Donnie Avery,

St. Louis vs.

Indianapolis: Avery has
caught a touchdown in each of the past two games, but he’s still far from the
expectations at the beginning of the season as a sleeper with WR2 potential.
The Colts defense is well-rested and will handle the Rams as if they are
playing in their own dome at home in

Indianapolis.

Jeremy Maclin,

Philadelphia at

Washington: With all the
offense that the Eagles produced last week, Maclin was nowhere to be found, catching
just one pass for six yards. With Kevin Curtis possibly returning this week and
Brian Westbrook catching nine passes out of the backfield last week, there’s
just not enough to go around to warrant starting Maclin, especially against the
Redskins who have only allowed an average of 169 yards passing per game, good
for third best in the NFL this season.

Tight Ends

Bye Weeks:
Todd Heap, Tony Scheffler/Daniel Graham, Will Heller/Brandon Pettigrew,
Marcedes Lewis, John Carlson, Alge Crumpler/Bo Scaife

Studs

Dallas Clark, Indianapolis at St. Louis

Owen Daniels, Houston vs. San Francisco

*NEW*

Antonio Gates, San Diego at Kansas City

Brent Celek, Philadelphia at Washington

Kellen Winslow, Tampa Bay vs. New England

*NEW*

Chris Cooley, Washington vs. Philadelphia

Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta at Dallas

Vernon Davis, San Francisco at Houston

Jason Witten, Dallas vs. Atlanta

Start

Heath Miller, Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota: With the Steelers rushing attack
likely to struggle against the Vikings, Big Ben will once again air it out
early and often. Miller has caught fewer than five passes in a game only once
this season. After this week, you’ll be able to find Miller’s name in the Studs
list.

Visanthe Shiancoe,

Minnesota
at

Pittsburgh:
Shiancoe has caught a touchdown pass in three straight games and is clearly one
of Brett Favre’s favorite targets in the red zone. Look for Shiancoe to continue
his success as the Steelers continue to give up yards in the air.

Bench

Zach Miller,

Oakland
vs. N.Y. Jets: You can believe that Rex Ryan and the Jets defense have watched
every second of last week’s game where Miller caught six passes for 139 yards
and a TD against the Eagles. JaMarcus Russell won’t have the same success
against the Jets blitzes and Miller will need to stay in and block more than he’ll
be available in pass patterns.

Anthony Fasano,

Miami vs.

New Orleans: Fasano had
his best game of the season before the bye week as he caught four passes for 38
yards and a TD against the Jets. The Saints have played very well defending the
pass as the Giants found out last week. Chad Henne and the Dolphins will
continue to rely on the Wildcat to generate their offense leaving Fasano’s
value more in blocking than catching passes.

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