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Week 7 Start 'Em and Sit 'Em

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Disclaimer ... Before you start reading, please understand that we are not in the business of stating the obvious and wasting your time (or ours), so you won't be reading here why you need to start Aaron Rodgers, Arian Foster, Calvin Johnson or any other top-tier players. We're here to help you make a decision on players you are on the fence about.

This is a tough week for Fantasy owners, especially at the running back position. We are missing some elite talent with six teams on a bye.

You don't have the chance to start Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Ryan Mathews, Reggie Bush, Willis McGahee and Michael Turner, which could lead to some tough decisions. Luckily, there are some good matchups to help you get by.

I'm starting Spiller/Jackson over ...
Rashard Mendenhall at CIN
Marshawn Lynch at SF
Frank Gore vs. SEA
Shonn Greene at NE
Mikel Leshoure at CHI

One of those matchups is in Buffalo where the Titans are visiting the Bills. We expect C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson to play well this week, so plan on starting both with confidence.

If you own Spiller or Jackson independently then you should have them active in your lineup. But if you own both, you can still start them with one as a flex option. I have Spiller ranked ahead of Jackson, but both are Top 15 running backs this week. And it's clear both will get enough work to be successful.

Spiller had his best game in Week 6 at Arizona since he injured his shoulder in Week 3. He had 12 carries for 88 yards and a touchdown and four catches for 22 yards. He had 14 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown and three catches for 19 yards against Tennessee at home last year in Week 13.

Jackson also played well against the Cardinals with 16 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown and five catches for 30 yards. It was his best game of the season since he injured his knee in Week 1.

The Titans have struggled in run defense all season with five running backs reaching double digits in Fantasy points with seven touchdowns allowed. In the past three games they have given up a touchdown or 100 total yards to Arian Foster, James Casey, Adrian Peterson, Isaac Redman and Baron Batch.

Spiller and Jackson have the chance to join that list, and we expect both to shine in this matchup. They are great starting options with all the other running backs missing this week due to the bye.

Full Disclosure from Week 6
Start of the Week
Player Fantasy Pts. (proj.) Fantasy Pts. (actual) Start % Pos. rank
Michael Vick, QB, Eagles 24 25 75 6
Recommended starts that made us look good
Jeremy Maclin, WR, Eagles 11 19 75 4
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings 12 13 76 2
Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers 13 12 69 8
Recommended sits that made us look good
Alex Green, RB, Packers 7 6 27 31
Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Lions 6 3 45 27
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Chiefs 10 2 92 73
Recommended starts that made us look bad
Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers 21 9 75 23
Matt Schaub, QB, Texans 20 5 54 25
Andrew Luck, QB, Colts 25 5 52 26
Recommended sits that made us look bad
Robert Griffin III, QB, Redskins 18 36 43 2
C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills 7 16 38 5
Denarius Moore, WR, Raiders 8 16 27 8

Quarterback

Start 'Em

Andrew Luck (vs. CLE): Luck was a huge letdown in Week 6 at the Jets with 280 passing yards and two interceptions, and it was his first NFL game without a touchdown. He should rebound against the Browns, who struggled in pass defense in Week 6 against Andy Dalton even with the return of cornerback Joe Haden. Cleveland has now allowed multiple touchdowns to every opposing quarterback this year, and four quarterbacks have passed for three touchdowns. Luck has at least 22 Fantasy points in all three home games.
Tony Romo (at CAR): Romo had arguably his best game of the season in Week 6 at Baltimore. It wasn't his best statistical performance, but he became the first quarterback to throw for multiple touchdowns against the Ravens in their past 24 regular-season games when he had 261 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He gets a much easier opponent this week with the Panthers, who have struggled against the three top quarterbacks they've faced in Drew Brees, Eli Manning and Matt Ryan. Those three averaged 327 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception against Carolina, and Romo should have similar success.
Jay Cutler (vs. DET): We said it last week about Michael Vick facing the Lions that Detroit struggles against opposing quarterbacks on the road. Vick had 25 Fantasy points against the Lions, and that's now six times in a row where Detroit has allowed a quarterback to reach at least 20 Fantasy points on the road. Cutler is coming off two games in a row with at least 21 Fantasy points, and he is averaging 251 passing yards with eight touchdowns and one interception in his past five meetings with the Lions. Cutler also should be able to withstand the pressure from the Lions, who average just over two sacks a game and have only two interceptions on the season.
Ben Roethlisberger (at CIN): Roethlisberger has at least 19 Fantasy points in four of five games this season, and the Bengals have allowed at least 19 Fantasy points in four of six outings, including last week against Brandon Weeden. Roethlisberger also had 19 Fantasy points in his last meeting against the Bengals in 2011. If Roethlisberger gets 19 Fantasy points again this week he would be a Top 12 Fantasy quarterback, and the chances of him reaching that total seem good.
Carson Palmer (vs. JAC): The Jaguars are coming off a bye, but they have been beat up by opposing quarterbacks of late. Luck, Dalton and Cutler each had at least 23 Fantasy points against the Jaguars in their previous three games. Palmer only has one game with at least 20 Fantasy points this season, but in two home games he's averaging 21.5 Fantasy points. In Palmer's past four home games he's averaging 323 passing yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions.

Week 7 quarterback sleepers
Josh Freeman (vs. NO) Four quarterbacks have at least 24 Fantasy points vs. NO this year.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. TEN) Five quarterbacks have multiple touchdowns vs. TEN this year.
Brandon Weeden (at IND) Has at least 19 Fantasy points in three of past five games.

Sit 'Em

Joe Flacco (at HOU): Flacco has been good this season with three games of at least 23 Fantasy points, but all those games were at home. In two road games he is averaging 8.5 Fantasy points, and in his last five road games he is averaging just 187 passing yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions over that span. He faced the Texans in the playoffs last year and had 176 passing yards and two touchdowns, but that was in Baltimore. Even though the Texans just got lit up by Aaron Rodgers for 50 Fantasy points we would still bench Flacco this week on the road.
Alex Smith (vs. SEA): The 49ers offense was dismantled in Week 6 by the Giants, and Smith struggled with 200 passing yards and three interceptions. It was the second time in three games he went without a touchdown, and he has a tough matchup this week. The Seahawks have contained Romo, Rodgers and Newton this season, and only Tom Brady had more than 300 passing yards and multiple touchdowns against them. Smith had just 303 passing yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in two games against the Seahawks last year.
Christian Ponder (vs. ARI): Ponder has been great for Fantasy owners this season with four games with at least 19 Fantasy points in his past five outings. But he could struggle this week against the Cardinals, who have only allowed one quarterback to score multiple touchdowns against them this season, which was Sam Bradford in Week 5. Otherwise Arizona has been able to contain Brady, Vick and Ryan Fitzpatrick to fewer than 16 Fantasy points each. We would still start Ponder in two-quarterback leagues, but he should be benched in most standard formats.
Russell Wilson (at SF): Wilson is coming off his best game in the NFL with 28 Fantasy points against the Patriots. He had 293 passing yards and three touchdowns, and he has at least 18 Fantasy points in two of his past four games. But facing the 49ers on the road, especially following a 26-3 blowout loss, will be tough. The 49ers have given up at least 24 Fantasy points to a quarterback twice this season, but it was against Rodgers and Ponder, both on the road. They should be able to contain Wilson in this matchup, making him a risky option in two-quarterback formats.
Sam Bradford (vs. GB): Bradford played well against the Dolphins in Week 6 with 23 Fantasy points. He had a season-high in passing yards (315) and rushing yards (34), and he did well in his first game without his No. 1 receiver in Danny Amendola (shoulder). Even though the Packers have struggled against opposing quarterbacks, with three reaching at least 21 Fantasy points, we're hesitant to trust Bradford in anything but deep two-quarterback formats. He has two games with at least 23 Fantasy points, but he also has four outings with 15 Fantasy points or less. He has two games this season with multiple touchdowns, but three games where he failed to throw a touchdown at all. He's just too risky to trust in the majority of leagues even in a favorable matchup.

Bust alert: Matthew Stafford (at CHI): The Bears defense has scored more touchdowns (five) than they've allowed passing touchdowns on the season (four). No quarterback has thrown multiple touchdowns against them this year, including matchups with Luck, Rodgers and Romo. And Stafford has a miserable history against the Bears. In four career meetings, Stafford has averaged 232 passing yards with four touchdowns and six interceptions. Last year at Chicago, Stafford was 33 of 63 passing for 329 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. He has played better of late with at least 19 Fantasy points in three games in a row, but with the way the Bears defense is playing you might consider another starting option this week.

Running back

Start 'Em

Felix Jones (at CAR): Remember Andre Brown? In Week 3 he took over for an injured Ahmad Bradshaw at the Panthers and had 20 carries for 113 yards and two touchdowns and three catches for 17 yards. Now, we're not suggesting Jones comes close to that, but he's starting for the injured DeMarco Murray (foot) and should do well. Carolina has allowed six running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points with four touchdowns, and Jones is coming off a 16-point game at Baltimore.
Alfred Morris (at NYG): Morris showed in Week 6 at Minnesota that he might be a matchup-proof running back. He only had 16 carries for 47 yards, but he's the first rusher to score and reach double digits in Fantasy points against the Vikings. He should have similar success against the Giants, who have allowed four running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points, including two of the past three games. Morris has double digits in Fantasy points in four consecutive outings and in all but one game this season.
Chris Johnson (at BUF): Johnson has been beyond frustrating. He has two games with double digits in Fantasy points against Houston and Pittsburgh, but in his other four games against New England, San Diego, Detroit and Minnesota he has combined for eight points. The key for Johnson is touches. He has at least 100 total yards in eight of the past 10 games where he's had at least 15 carries. Two of those three happened this year against the Texans and Steelers. The Bills have been miserable in run defense with eight touchdowns allowed to opposing running backs and five reaching double digits in Fantasy points. Three running backs got at least 15 carries against Buffalo this year, and we hope Johnson makes it four.
Steven Jackson (vs. GB): There haven't been many times this season where we've had confidence in Jackson, but this week he should remain a starting option as at least a No. 2 running back. The teams that have had success against the Packers this year have run the ball with five running backs reaching at least nine Fantasy points. Jackson has at least 75 total yards in his past two games against Arizona and Miami, and even though he's losing touches to Daryl Richardson, he has the chance for a quality performance this week at home. An encouraging sign for Jackson last week against the Dolphins was he had three catches for 28 yards on five targets.
Doug Martin (vs. NO): Martin got the message during the bye in Week 5 that he needed to run better, and he had a solid performance against the Chiefs last week with 13 carries for 76 yards and two catches for 55 yards. It was his first game with double digits in Fantasy points since Week 2, and he could have continued success against the Saints. New Orleans has allowed seven touchdowns to opposing running backs and six to reach double digits in Fantasy points. LeGarrette Blount will be involved as well and should be considered a sleeper, but Martin is back as a quality starting option.

Week 7 running back sleepers
LeGarrette Blount (vs. NO) Has a strong chance to score in third game in a row.
Vick Ballard (vs. CLE) Five running backs have double digits in Fantasy points vs. CLE.
Danny Woodhead (vs. NYJ) Has at least six Fantasy points in four games in a row.
Michael Bush (vs. DET) Three running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points vs. DET.
Daryl Richardson (vs. GB) Has at least nine Fantasy points in two of his past five games.

Sit 'Em

DeAngelo Williams (vs. DAL): It's too hard to trust Williams, even during the bye weeks. He only has one game this season with more than 11 carries, and it was his best performance in Week 2 against the lowly Saints when he had 14 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown. Jonathan Stewart should be healthy coming off the bye week, and the two will continue to split touches. Dallas has allowed three running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points, but they were all elite in Bradshaw, Marshawn Lynch and Ray Rice. Williams, at this point in his career, is far from being on that level.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (vs. PIT): Start Green-Ellis if you wish. The Steelers have struggled in run defense as the last three running backs they have faced – Darren McFadden, LeSean McCoy and Johnson – have all reached double digits in Fantasy points. Now, getting back LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) will help the Steelers, but this is more about Green-Ellis. He is averaging only five Fantasy points a game in his past four outings, including favorable matchups against Washington, Jacksonville and Cleveland. He's just not good enough to rely on even during the bye weeks.
William Powell (at MIN): Powell did a great job last week against the Bills with 13 carries for 70 yards, and he will be Arizona's main running back with Beanie Wells (toe) and Ryan Williams (shoulder) out. But running against the Bills is different than facing the Vikings. Even though Minnesota struggled against Morris last week, the Vikings have still shut down Maurice Jones-Drew, Donald Brown, Frank Gore, Mikel Leshoure and Johnson. They should be able to contain Powell at home.
Alex Green (at STL): Green wasn't overly impressive last week at Houston, but he did get 22 carries (for 65 yards) and will remain the lead running back for the Packers going forward. You can expect about six Fantasy points again this week since the Rams have actually done a nice job in run defense. They have given up five touchdowns to opposing running backs, but they held Reggie Bush to five Fantasy points last week and are the only team to keep Morris to single digits. Consider Green a flex option at best in most formats.
Mikel Leshoure (at CHI): You probably can't afford to sit Leshoure in most leagues, but this should be a tough game for him. The Bears have only allowed one touchdown to opposing running backs, which was Week 1 against Brown. Since then they have limited Steven Jackson, Murray and Jones-Drew to a combined 14 Fantasy points. Leshoure was tremendous in Week 3 at Tennessee in his NFL debut with 19 Fantasy points, but since then he has combined for 12 points against the Vikings and Eagles. We would still use Leshoure as a flex option in most leagues, but he's not a must-start running back based on the matchup.

Bust alert: Shonn Greene (at NE): Greene was the biggest star in Week 6 with 32 carries for 161 yards and three touchdowns against the Colts, which was 34 Fantasy points in a standard league. It was a career performance, but he will likely come crashing back down this week. The Patriots have only allowed one touchdown to an opposing running back, which was Rice in Week 3. Willis McGahee also reached double digits in Fantasy points, but he needed 51 receiving yards to help that total. Otherwise the Patriots have held Johnson, Fred Jackson, Spiller and Lynch to seven Fantasy points or less in each matchup. Greene scored at New England last year, but that was his only regular-season game against the Patriots with double digits in Fantasy points.

Wide receiver

Start 'Em

James Jones and Randall Cobb (at STL): We'll stick with our duo theme this week and go with Jones and Cobb, who have been awesome for the Packers and Fantasy owners of late. Jones has two touchdowns in each of his past three games and is doing a great job filling in for the injured Greg Jennings (groin). He has 48 Fantasy points over that span and has seven total touchdowns on the season. Cobb has 11 catches for 184 yards and one touchdown in his past two games, and he has 22 targets in his past three outings. The Rams have a solid secondary with only two touchdowns allowed to opposing receivers, but we'd still start Jones and Cobb with confidence in all formats.
Denarius Moore (vs. JAC): Moore had his best game of the season in Week 6 at Atlanta with five catches for 104 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. He has at least eight targets in every game this season, and he has a favorable matchup this week against the Jaguars. Jacksonville has allowed four receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points, including three in the past three games. Moore has played like the best Raiders receiver, and he should remain heavily involved again this week with another chance to be successful.
Kenny Britt (at BUF): Britt said prior to last week's game against the Steelers that he felt healthy with his injured knee and ankle, and it showed in his performance. While he dealt with several drops in that game, he still finished with four catches for 62 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets. He has the chance for another solid outing this week against the Bills, who have been miserable against opposing receivers. Buffalo has allowed 11 touchdowns to opposing receivers, and nine have reached double digits in Fantasy points. In their last three games against the Patriots, 49ers and Cardinals, the Bills have given up 35 catches, 515 yards and five touchdowns to opposing receivers. That bodes well for Britt.
Steve Johnson (vs. TEN): Johnson had a productive game in Week 6 at Arizona with six catches for 82 yards on 11 targets, and it was his best performance since Week 3. The Bills have expressed optimism in his play of late, and he has the chance to find the end zone for the first time in his past three games. The Titans have allowed five touchdowns to opposing receivers this year and six to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Four receivers have at least eight targets against the Titans this year, and three have finished with at least 100 receiving yards or a touchdown. Johnson has at least nine targets in five of six games this season.
Mike Williams (vs. NO): Williams is quietly having a nice bounce-back season. He has double digits in Fantasy points in three of his past four games, and he has scored a touchdown or had at least 100 yards in all three home games this year. He's facing a Saints secondary this week that has allowed eight touchdowns to opposing receivers and eight to reach double digits in Fantasy points. In their last two games against Green Bay and San Diego, the Saints have allowed 32 catches, 433 yards and six touchdowns to opposing receivers, which should help Williams and Vincent Jackson have another big game. They combined for eight catches, 179 yards and three touchdowns last week against the Chiefs.

Week 7 wide receiver sleepers
Stephen Hill (at NE) NE has allowed 10 touchdowns to opposing receivers.
Josh Gordon (at IND) He now has three touchdowns in his past two games.
Brandon Gibson (vs. GB) He and Chris Givens stepping up for Danny Amendola (shoulder).
Donnie Avery (vs. CLE) Has eight targets each game and is due for a big performance.
Domenik Hixon (vs. WAS) Should keep playing well even with Hakeem Nicks back.

Sit 'Em

Sidney Rice (at SF): Rice is coming off his best game of the season in Week 6 against the Patriots with three catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. He took advantage of a great matchup against New England at home, and this was his first game with double digits in Fantasy points. You might still be able to use Rice as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in most leagues, but he has a tough matchup with the 49ers. San Francisco has allowed just two touchdowns to opposing receivers and only two have reached double digits in Fantasy points.
Andre Roberts (at MIN): Roberts had the chance for a big game in Week 6 against Buffalo, but he struggled with just two catches for 18 yards. He now has only four Fantasy points in his past two games and has gone two games without a touchdown after scoring four in his first three outings. The Vikings have only allowed two touchdowns to opposing receivers and three to reach double digits in Fantasy points but none since Week 2. All of Roberts' touchdowns this year have come from Kevin Kolb, so keep that in mind with the switch to John Skelton this week with Kolb hurt.
Michael Crabtree (vs. SEA): Take away Crabtree's performance against the Bills in Week 5, when he had 17 Fantasy points, and he is averaging just four Fantasy points a game in his other five outings. In his past five games against the Seahawks he is averaging just three catches for 32 yards and no touchdowns, and Seattle has only allowed four touchdowns to opposing receivers this year and should be able to contain Crabtree this week.
Lance Moore (at TB): He is expected to return this week after sitting out Week 5 with a hamstring injury, but since he's playing outdoors you might want to keep "Indoor Lance Moore" reserved. The majority of his production comes at home since the Saints play in a dome, but outdoors he struggles. He has just three touchdowns in his past 13 games outdoors, and in his past six games outdoors he has combined for 23 catches for 243 yards and no touchdowns, including twice this season at Carolina (two catches for 30 yards) and at Green Bay (seven catches for 67 yards). This is a favorable matchup since the Bucs have allowed five receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points, but Moore coming back from an injury and playing outdoors could lead to limited production.
Nate Washington (at BUF): Washington has struggled of late with only 10 catches for 146 yards and no touchdowns in his past three games despite getting 22 targets over that span. He has two touchdowns on the season, but in the four games he didn't score he has combined for 13 Fantasy points. This is a great matchup for the Titans receivers, but Washington and Matt Hasselbeck are having trouble connecting. Both of Washington's touchdowns came when the injured Jake Locker (shoulder) were under center.

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Bust alert: Steve Smith (vs. DAL): Smith can't wait to go on the road because playing at home has been troublesome for him. Not only does he have no touchdowns on the season, but he hasn't scored in his past six games in Carolina. It's been almost a year (Oct. 30, 2011) since he scored at home, so he could be due, but he's struggled so far this season with double digits in Fantasy points just twice and none since Week 2. In his past two games prior to the bye in Week 6 he had seven catches for 92 yards combined against Atlanta and Seattle despite getting 19 targets. We expect Smith to get going soon, but this is a tough matchup against the Cowboys. Dallas has only allowed three receivers to score this season, and Brandon Marshall is the lone receiver to reach double digits in Fantasy points.

Tight end

Start 'Em

Jason Witten (at CAR): Witten is back to playing like a standout tight end, and it's time to start him across the board in all leagues. He has 19 catches for 200 yards and a touchdown the past two games on 21 targets, and his early-season woes are behind him. The Panthers have only allowed two touchdowns to opposing tight ends, but they have really only faced three quality options. Jimmy Graham and Martellus Bennett each had 13 Fantasy points against the Panthers, but they held Tony Gonzalez to five points. Still, with the way Witten is playing now he should be started with confidence.
Scott Chandler (vs. TEN): Your patience is probably running out with Chandler, which is understandable. He has just five catches for 44 yards in his past two games against the 49ers and Cardinals with only two Fantasy points over that span. But this should be a good week to trust him. He has done well at home with three touchdowns in two games against the Chiefs and Patriots with 29 Fantasy points in those outings. And the Titans have allowed the most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends with seven touchdowns allowed and four reaching double digits in Fantasy points.
Greg Olsen (vs. DAL): Let's hope the Olsen we saw prior to the bye in Week 6 returns against the Cowboys. In two of his past three games Olsen had at least nine Fantasy points, and he had 24 targets in the three outings leading up to the bye. The Cowboys have allowed three touchdowns to opposing tight ends and four to reach at least six Fantasy points. Olsen scored the last time he faced the Cowboys in 2010 when he was with the Bears.

Week 7 tight end sleepers
Martellus Bennett (vs. WAS) Four tight ends have double digits in Fantasy points vs. WAS.
Jermaine Gresham (vs. PIT) Scored last year vs. PIT at home and could do it again.
Marcedes Lewis (at OAK) OAK has allowed four touchdowns to tight ends this year.

Sit 'Em

Brandon Pettigrew (at CHI): In three games at Chicago, Pettigrew has combined for 10 catches for 108 yards and no touchdowns. He's also been struggling of late with 13 Fantasy points in his past three outings against Tennessee, Minnesota and Philadelphia, and he has just one touchdown on the road in his past five games. He's still seeing plenty of targets with 28 in his past three games, but he's not producing. He's worth benching this week in most standard formats.
Dennis Pitta (at HOU): If Pitta was playing well then we continue to start him in all leagues. The Texans are among the league leaders with four touchdowns allowed to opposing tight ends, and we're not talking about a stellar group who has scored (Joel Dreessen, Craig Stevens, Jeff Cumberland and Tom Crabtree). But Pitta has been miserable his past three games with five Fantasy points combined against Cleveland, Kansas City and Dallas. He went from an average of 10 targets in his first three games to fewer than four in his past three outings. You can't trust Pitta with his recent production, and we would bench him this week in most formats.
Fred Davis (at NYG): Davis looked like he was getting going in Weeks 3 and 4 when he had 11 catches for 160 yards on 11 targets against Cincinnati and Tampa Bay, but he failed to build off those outings in his past two games against Atlanta and Minnesota. He had just eight catches for 100 yards in those matchups on 10 targets, and he's still looking for his first touchdown this season. The Giants have done a great job against opposing tight ends, holding Witten, Olsen, Brent Celek and Vernon Davis to a combined 18 Fantasy points, and no tight end has scored against the Giants this year. Davis did have five catches for 105 yards in his lone matchup with the Giants in 2011, but Robert Griffin III does not involve Davis as much as he was used last season.

Bust alert: Jermichael Finley (at STL): This is more like a bust for the rest of the season based on the way he's played, and his shoulder is still hurt after he suffered a dislocated AC joint in Week 5 at the Colts. Finley has just two Fantasy points in his past two games against the Colts and Texans, and he has fewer touchdowns on the season than backup Crabtree, who has two to Finley's one. Finley could easily turn things around based on his talent, but he has just seven games with double digits in Fantasy points in his past 27 outings going back to 2010. The Packers had their best offensive game of the season with Finley seeing his fewest targets against the Texans (four), and for this week, the Rams have only allowed one touchdown to an opposing tight end and none to reach double digits in Fantasy points.

Defense/Special teams

Start 'Em

Week 7 sleeper DSTs
Patriots vs. NYJ
Raiders vs. JAC
Cowboys at CAR

Packers (at STL): The Packers DST has the potential to be a Top 10 option in all leagues, especially when they play like they did in Week 5 in shutting down the Texans. The Packers had three interceptions, three sacks and gave up just 17 offensive points. They face a Rams offense this week that has struggled to score with an average of 14 points in their past four games against Chicago, Seattle, Arizona and Miami. Granted, those are four of the better defenses in the NFL this season, but the Packers DST has reached double digits in Fantasy points against the 49ers, Bears and Texans this season. This is the beginning of a nice three-game stretch for the Packers DST against the Rams, Jaguars and Cardinals heading into their bye in Week 10.

Sit 'Em

Ravens (at HOU): It was tough to watch the Ravens lose Ray Lewis (triceps) and Lardarius Webb (knee) for the season in the same game, but both went down against the Cowboys in Week 6. The Ravens avoided the trifecta with Haloti Ngata expected to play through a sprained MCL, but this defense is hurting. It comes at a bad time with a road game at the Texans after they were blasted by the Packers. Slowing down Arian Foster and Co. with Lewis and Webb would be difficult enough, but this could be an impossible task. We would much rather trust other DST options with better matchups like the Raiders (vs. JAC), Bills (vs. TEN) or even the Browns (at IND), and all of them are available in more than 50 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com.

Kicker

Start 'Em

Week 7 sleeper Ks
Garrett Hartley at TB
Rob Bironas at BUF
Robbie Gould vs. DET

Sebastian Janikowski (vs. JAC): Janikowski has yet to miss a field goal this season, but he hasn't had many chances to be successful this year. He has kicked two field goals in every game, but he's had just two games with multiple extra points. He's reached double digits in Fantasy points in both outings, and we expect him to have success again this week. The Jaguars have allowed multiple field goals to four of the five kickers they've faced with four reaching at least nine Fantasy points. In his past five home games Janikowski is 16 of 17 on field goals with at least three kicks from 51-plus yards and 10 extra points.

Sit 'Em

Mike Nugent (vs. PIT): The Steelers had their worst performance against an opposing kicker in Week 6 when Rob Bironas had four field goals and two extra points, but prior to that kickers have struggled against Pittsburgh with Matt Prater, Nick Folk, Janikowski and Alex Henery combining for four field goals and seven extra points. Nugent doesn't have the best history against the Steelers with one field goal in four attempts in his past three meetings and only six extra points over that span. Nugent also hasn't reached double digits in Fantasy points in his past four games.

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