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Start/Bench List – Week 7

As we approach the halfway mark in most fantasy football seasons, keep in mind that a 2-4 start can quickly turn into a 6-6 team on the fringe of a playoff berth. Look for the new additions to the Studs list and don’t be afraid to trade some of those big names that have disappointed for the newbies posting the numbers week in and week out.

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. This list will change from week to week.

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.

Enough of the chit-chat, onto the list!!

Teams on a bye week:

Arizona,

Philadelphia,

Atlanta,

Jacksonville

Quarterbacks

Bye Weeks: Kurt Warner, Donovan McNabb, Matt Ryan, David Garrard

Studs

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis at Green Bay

Drew Brees, New Orleans at Carolina

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay vs. Indianapolis

Philip Rivers, San Diego at Buffalo

Jay Cutler, Denver at New England

Start

Matt Schaub, Houston (vs.

Detroit): Schaub threw for over 300 yards for the second straight game and despite the two interceptions, he scored twice against the Dolphins including a QB sneak that won the game. Schaub should find the passing lanes much easier to find this week against the Lions who are last in the league in total defense and 30th against the pass.

Kyle Orton, Chicago (vs.

Minnesota): Orton has thrown for an average of two TD passes over the past four weeks including three games of 260+ passing yards. With the Vikings likely to stuff Matt Forte and the Bears running game this week, look for Orton to air it out to make up the difference. Forte will still do damage in the passing game so keep him in your lineups as well.

Bench

Brett Favre, N.Y. Jets (at

Oakland): The success of Thomas Jones last week minimized what Favre needed to do in the offense. However, Favre has thrown an interception in each of the past four weeks and the Raiders held the Chargers to less than 200 passing yards in their last home game. Look for the INT’s to continue to pile up as Favre struggles on the west coast.

Kerry Collins,

Tennessee (at

Kansas City): A well-rested Kerry Collins is not a good start in

Kansas City this week. Collins threw two interceptions against the Ravens in week five and while the Titans will move the ball well on the ground, they’ll struggle in the passing game.

Running Backs

Bye Weeks: Edgerrin James, Tim Hightower, Brian Westbrook, Correll Buckhalter, Jerious Norwood, Michael Turner, Fred Taylor, Maurice Jones-Drew

Studs

LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego at Buffalo

Clinton Portis, Washington vs. Cleveland

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota at Chicago

Willie Parker, Pittsburgh at Cincinnati

Marion Barber, Dallas at St. Louis

Steven Jackson, St. Louis vs. Dallas

Reggie Bush, New Orleans at Carolina

Frank Gore, San Francisco at N.Y. Giants

Larry Johnson, Kansas City vs. Tennessee

Matt Forte, Chicago vs. Minnesota

Start

Chris Johnson,

Tennessee (at

Kansas City): While Kerry Collins will suffer this week, Johnson will thrive. The Chiefs are last in the NFL in rushing yards allowed and despite the presence of LenDale White, Johnson has a very good chance of cracking the 100-yard mark for the first time since week two. Get the rookie in your lineup. You won’t be disappointed.

Brandon Jacobs, N.Y. Giants (vs.

San Francisco): Fear not Jacobs owners. The 67 yards rushing last week is not the start of a disturbing trend. The three touchdowns in the past three weeks is a very good reason to keep Jacobs in your lineup as he’ll have plenty of red zone chances against the San Fran rush defense that ranks in the bottom third of the NFL in rushing yards allowed.

Sammy Morris, New England (vs.

Denver): With Laurence Maroney injured, Morris started against the Chargers last week. Even though his numbers were poor, his role as a starter is the key to his appearance on the start list against the porous Broncos defense. The Patriots will do whatever it takes to keep Jay Cutler and the high-powered Broncos passing attack on the sidelines including giving Morris 20+ carries.

Bench

Dominic Rhodes,

Indianapolis (at

Green Bay):

Rhodes may be the starter in Indy with Joseph Addai injured, but he shouldn’t assume the same role on your fantasy team this week. Check the status of Addai as the week progresses, but even if Addai is ruled out, don’t look for

Rhodes to step in and rush for over 100 yards. The passing game is where it’s at for Indy and

Rhodes limited receiving skills work against him in that role as well. Temper your expectations on this waiver wire flavor of the week.

Bengals RBs,

Cincinnati (vs.

Pittsburgh): Cedric Benson, Chris Perry and Kenny Watson will split up the carries and none of the three are worthy of a start against the tough Steelers defense. You may think that with Carson Palmer injured the Bengals running game will pick up the slack. Think again.

Marshawn Lynch,

Buffalo (vs.

San Diego): Another week, another low projected day for Lynch. The Bills are returning from their bye week, but unfortunately their opponent this week trounced the Patriots on Sunday night and the Chargers have only allowed an opposing RB rush for over 100 yards once all season. Lynch will certainly have his fair share of big games this season, just not this week.

Wide Receivers

Bye Weeks: Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald, DeSean Jackson, Reggie Brown, Michael Jenkins, Roddy White, Jerry Porter, Matt Jones

Studs

Terrell Owens, Dallas at St. Louis

Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis at Green Bay

Marques Colston, New Orleans at Carolina

Calvin Johnson, Detroit at Houston

Andre Johnson, Houston vs. Detroit

Randy Moss, New England vs. Denver

Plaxico Burress, N.Y. Giants vs. San Francisco

Greg Jennings, Green Bay vs. Indianapolis

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh

Steve Smith, Carolina vs. New Orleans

Brandon Marshall, Denver at New England

Start

Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (at Green Bay): Hopefully you didn’t suffer the same fate as I did last week when I finally got up the courage to sit Harrison and he burned me for three catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns. With Joseph Addai hurt, Manning will rely on his receivers to keep the chains moving. I know I’m getting

Harrison back in my starting lineup to avoid another managerial blunder.

Torry Holt,

St. Louis (vs.

Dallas): For those of you that haven’t given up on Holt yet (I can’t blame you if you already have), look for a solid game from the veteran this week at home against the Cowboys. The Rams may be passing for most of the day trying to keep pace with Marion Barber so Holt should have plenty of chances to turn those frowns upside down on his owners who wasted, um, used a high draft pick on him.

Devin Hester, Chicago (vs.

Minnesota): The receiving numbers continue to improve for Hester as he develops a rapport with Kyle Orton. Look for Hester to post another strong week against a Vikings defense that has allowed an opposing WR to gain 90+ receiving yards in four of their six games.

Santana Moss

,

Washington (vs.

Cleveland): Moss was removed from the Studs list thanks to back-to-back below average performances. However, I like the chances of Moss turning things around against the Browns who will suffer from the Monday night hangover after thumping the Giants.

Bench

Isaac Bruce,

San Francisco (at N.Y. Giants): Bruce’s streak of three straight games with a TD came to a halt last week against the Eagles. His opponent this week won’t make things any easier as the Giants are in the top ten in the NFL in fewest passing yards allowed and have a huge chip on their shoulder.

Joey Galloway,

Tampa

Bay (vs.

Seattle):

Galloway is likely to return to action this week for the first time since week two. With Jeff Garcia at QB, the Bucs easily handled the Panthers but Garcia threw for only 175 yards and completed only five passes to WR’s. Look for

Tampa

Bay to continue to run the ball and succeed doing so limiting Jeff Garcia and Galloway in the passing game.

Justin Gage, Tennessee (at Kansas City): Gage returns from a bye week looking to build on his five-catch, 92-yard performance back in week four prior to his injury. Gage looks to be healthy enough to start, but he’ll struggle to post solid yards against the Chiefs who will force Kerry Collins to roll out of the pocket limiting his ability to get the ball down field to his receivers. The chances for Gage will be short patterns which won’t add up to much at the end of the game.

Muhsin Muhammad,

Carolina (vs.

New Orleans): After two straight solid games for Muhammad, he posted only four catches for 68 yards against

Tampa

Bay last week. The Panthers are likely to be playing from behind once again this week, but Jake Delhomme will continue to use Steve Smith as his primary target leaving only leftovers for Muhammad.

Tight Ends

Bye Weeks: Leonard Pope, L.J. Smith, Ben Hartsock, Marcedes Lewis

Studs

Jason Witten, Dallas at

St. Louis

Dallas Clark,

Indianapolis at

Green Bay

Chris Cooley,

Washington vs.

Cleveland

Owen Daniels,

Houston vs.

Detroit

Antonio Gates,

San Diego at

Buffalo

Tony Gonzalez,

Kansas City vs.

Tennessee

Start

Jeremy Shockey/Billy Miller,

New Orleans (at

Carolina): Keep your eye on Shockey’s injury status. If he’s healthy, Shockey makes a strong play. Otherwise, Miller should also find success against a Panthers defense that has allowed a touchdown to an opposing TE in three of their six games this season.

Greg Olsen, Chicago (vs.

Minnesota): Olsen has caught three passes each of the past two weeks including an 87-yard performance against the Lions two weeks ago. The Bears offense led by Kyle Orton will find enough success in the air to warrant a start out of Olsen this week.

Bench

Bo Scaife,

Tennessee (at

Kansas City): With Kerry Collins and Justin Gage on the bench list, Scaife completes the trifecta.

Vernon Davis,

San Francisco (at N.Y. Giants): Don’t be fooled by the six catches for 75 yards last week. He’ll return to his normal one catch for 15 yards performance against the G-Men.

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