QB: Andrew Luck vs. CLE – I recommended Andrew Luck as a sit last week because the Jets stood as a very difficult matchup problem. Luck has locked onto Reggie Wayne also to a fault, which presents a problem against the Jets because Antonio Cromartie is playing at arguably the highest level of any cornerback in the NFL. This week Luck draws a much easier matchup against the Browns, who are giving up 294.2 passing yards per game, good for third most to opposing quarterbacks. The Browns are allowing 27.2 points per game and have already allowed 15 passing touchdowns in just six games. Start Luck with confidence this week.
RB: Trent Richardson at IND – On the other side of the spectrum, Trent Richardson also has a glorious matchup against the Colts leaky run defense. Assuming he’s healthy, Richardson will get the bulk of the workload against a defense allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. If that isn’t enough for you, remember that the Colts last week allowed Shonn Greene to run for 161 yards and three touchdowns against them. If Greene can do that, the sky is the limit for T-Rich.
C.J. Spiller vs. TEN – Despite doubting Spiller the last few weeks, I’m all aboard for his matchup against Tennessee. Running for an absurd 7.6 yards per carry (YPC), compared to Fred Jackson’s 2.9, the difference between the two each carry is 4.7 – exactly what Matt Forte averages per carry. The Titans are giving up 129.5 rushing yards per game and Spiller has shown he can perform at a high level on limited touches. He must be in fantasy lineups this week.
Stevan Ridley vs. NYJ – Despite his lackluster performance last week, there are plenty of reasons for optimism when it comes to Stevan Ridley this week. Brandon Bolden was held out of practice Thursday and is looking questionable at best to play against the Jets. As Rotoworld’s Evan Silva points out, the Jets have consistently shown a tendency to drop 7-8 defenders into coverage against Tom Brady – fearing the Patriots lethal passing attack. Last year that led to the Patriots taking advantage of the Jets lack of size and running down their throats, which helped Green-Ellis have a big game. This year it will be Ridley having the big game. Start him with confidence against a defense that is giving up the fifth most yards to opposing running backs.
Felix Jones at CAR – Although he didn’t start the season off on the right note, with a failed conditioning test, Felix Jones is a must-start this week. Filling in for a banged up DeMarco Murray, Jones will face off against Carolina’s porous run defense. Jones will likely serve as the Cowboys every down back; don’t forget he caught 48 balls two years ago. Looking more explosive last week than he has in a while, Jones needs to be locked into fantasy lineups.
WR: Hakeem Nicks vs. WAS – After missing three games with a bad ankle and swelling in his knee, Nicks underwhelmed in his return against the 49ers. Still, the encouraging sign is that he came out of the game healthy – no one is concerned about what Nicks can do when healthy because we know his playmaking ability is through the roof. Even more encouraging is that fact that Nicks participated in his first Wednesday practice of the season and followed that by practicing again on Thursday. Facing Washington’s 32nd ranked pass defense this week, you won’t want to leave Nicks on your bench.
Torrey Smith at HOU – Despite underwhelming the past two weeks with just five catches for 62 yards; Torrey Smith must be started in Week 7 against the Texans. Usually owners are concerned with starting top wide receivers against the Texans because of cornerback Jonathan Joseph. Joseph, however, has been hampered by a groin injury and struggled the past two weeks, including giving up one of the biggest games of the season to Jordy Nelson last week on Sunday Night Football. This week, Joseph will be a game-time decision and isn’t much of a concern for Smith owners. With Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb’s injuries, the Ravens will likely be forced to pass early and often. Get Smith in your lineup.
Kenny Britt at BUF – Coming off a productive performance against the Steelers, Kenny Britt said after Wednesday’s practice, “Today was one of my best practices since I’ve been back.” We know Britt has elite playmaking ability and looks to be close to 100 percent. Facing the Bills’ 29th ranked pass defense, he looks primed for a breakout game.
Mike Williams vs. NO – The presence of Vincent Jackson has allowed Mike Williams to compile eight catches for 228 yards and a touchdown over the last weeks. Williams is drawing single coverage and has the ability to exploit it. This week, he draws the Saints defense, who have provided wide receivers with many big plays this season. Expect Josh Freeman to air it out relentlessly, I’d feel good about starting Williams.
TE: Scott Chandler vs. TEN – I’m not a big fan of Scott Chandler but only Martellus Bennett has a better matchup this weekend and I’m not suggesting him because he’s still dinged up. The Titans have shown a tendency to give up big plays in the secondary and Michael Griffin has struggled mightily in coverage this season. If you’re looking for tight end to spot start, Chandler is your guy.
QB: Matthew Stafford at CHI – I’ve finally completely lost my trust in the Lions offense, except for Megatron, of course. Stafford has looked awful so far this season, failing to do anything in the first half of games and averaging a pathetic 6.8 yards per attempt. I can’t advise owners to start him until we start seeing some improvements. Against Chicago’s third-ranked defense, I’d try to bench Stafford if you have another solid option available.
RB: Frank Gore vs. SEA – Most owners don’t have the luxury to sit Frank Gore this week but if you do, it’s certainly an option worth considering – especially in PPR leagues. Gore will face the Seahawks second-best rush defense that is allowing a measly 70.0 yards per game. No rusher has topped 55 yards against them, including the likes of DeMarco Murray, Stevan Ridley, and Steven Jackson. This immovable force of a defense caps Gore’s upside.
Steven Jackson vs. GB – Still yet to score a touchdown this season, Steven Jackson isn’t having the season that owners were hoping for. Now Jackson’s value is in serious danger with Daryl Richardson splitting carries with him – and considering Richardson is averaging 5.2 yards per carry, it doesn’t look like it’s ending any time soon. Sit S-Jax if you have other viable options this week.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. PIT – With a matchup against the Steelers on deck, I’d leave the Law Firm on your bench. He’s a lackluster talent that is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry this season. If he had a capable backup, like Bernard Scott was, I’d suggest that he’s going to lose his job soon. While he isn’t on the bench in real football, Green-Ellis should still be on fake football benches.
WR: Sidney Rice at SF – Despite having played well over the past two weeks, I would still hate to start Sidney Rice against the 49ers. Although he’s Russell Wilson’s best bet for production, there won’t be a lot of points scored in Thursday’s matchup. Averaging just 46.7 receiving yards per game, Rice shouldn’t be in fantasy lineups against the 49ers’ No.1 ranked defense.
Nate Burleson at CHI – Although he’s scored in two of his last four games, I wouldn’t be starting Nate Burleson against the Bears defense. The Bears have allowed just 14.2 points per game and I’m not expecting Matthew Stafford to get back on track this week. There are much better options than Burleson this week.
Andre Roberts at MIN – Despite his hot start, Andre Roberts can’t be trusted with John Skelton in the lineup. I wasn’t sold on Roberts even when Kevin Kolb was healthy but his injury solidifies Roberts as a sit this week. Coming off a two catch 18-yard performance against the Bills, I wouldn’t feel comfortable starting Roberts against a much better Vikings defense.
TE: Fred Davis at NYG – Yet to top 100 yards and without a touchdown this season, I’m not a big fan of Fred Davis right now. Many tight ends rely on red-zone touchdowns for fantasy value but Davis isn’t going to get many of those because of RGIII’s running ability and Alfred Morris’ effectiveness as a goal-line back. Since the Redskins are a very run heavy team, there aren’t that many receiving yards to go around either. Find someone else to rely on as your tight end this week.
Thanks for reading! Hit me up on Twitter @BraudeM or post below for any lineup questions you guys have!