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Fantasy Football: Week 7 starts, sits

10.19.12 at 10:53 am ET
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Welcome to Rotobahn’€™s Week 7 starts and sits. There are plenty of quality options on a bye this week, so feel free to go to Rotobahn and use our full lineup rankings. They can be helpful if you don’€™t see your key lineup choices highlighted here. As usual, we’€™ve done our best to avoid the obvious choices and to talk about players that are on the fringe of lineups in 12-team leagues. Good luck to all in Week 7!

QUARTERBACKS

STARTS

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers at Bengals

He’€™s a matchup play for a lot of owners since he was a such a steal in the mid- to late rounds on draft day. This is a week to play him for sure. The Steelers will need to throw it a bunch to make up for their banged-up backfield.

Andy Dalton, Bengals vs. Steelers

The Steelers are still banged up on defense and we expect the Bengals to throw it early and often. Stud receiver A.J. Green is in the zone right now, so starting his QB is pretty good business. Dalton is a solid play in any format.

Joe Flacco, Ravens at Texans

He’€™s struggled a bit lately but we like him here. With so many injuries on defense, the offense will be asked to do more. We expect more no-huddle and more shots downfield. The Texans are not as tough on defense as they were a few weeks ago with the loss of Brian Cushing and some struggles in the secondary.

SITS

John Skelton, Cardinals at Vikings

He’€™s the guy and he may be playable at some point, but we’€™d avoid him here. Minnesota is playing pretty well defensively and Skelton may lack mobility due to a recent ankle injury. You should be able to land a better option on a typical waiver wire.

Mark Sanchez, Jets at Patriots

Sanchez has had his moments, but we don’€™t expect to see many this week. In fact, it would not shock us if we saw more Tim Tebow than we have seen so far. Even if he is your backup, check our rankings for other alternatives.  For example, Matt Hasselbeck is a stronger play and is largely available. There are a lot of really good plays at QB in Week 7.  Just avoid the really bad ones like Sanchez and Skelton.

RUNNING BACKS

STARTS

Doug Martin, Buccaneers vs. Saints

He’€™s been held out of the zone so far and that should change in this game. Martin has looked pretty good when given some space. The success of the Tampa passing game over the last few weeks should open things up a bit for Martin in a plus home matchup. Keep him active in all formats.

Felix Jones, Cowboys at Panthers

Demarco Murray will sit out, and Jones looked good last week filling in for him. As the lead back, he’€™ll get a full complement of touches and practice reps, too. We like him with fresh legs in a plus matchup. Jones is a good play with so many quality options on the bye.

Alex Green, Packers at Rams

He’€™s an RB2 even in a tough matchup. This is mostly because of the bye week, but Green will have a chance to carry the ball a lot in a game that projects to be a bit of a blowout. He is a safe bet for some production. Just make sure that he plays as he has been limited in practice this week. He is expected to start, but check his status on Sunday to be sure. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for late-breaking injury news on Sundays.

SITS

BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bengals vs. Steelers

You can use him as a flex, but we see better options as far as RB2s are concerned. We also don’€™t love the matchup, even with the Steelers struggling a bit. They can still defend the run.

Vick Ballard, Colts vs. Browns

He just didn’€™t look very good last week. The matchup is OK, but we have no confidence that Ballard won’€™t be sharing carries as he did vs. the Jets last week. He is not a safe play as an RB2.

WIDE RECEIVERS

STARTS

Josh Gordon, Browns at Colts

With Greg Little struggling and with both Mohamed Massaquoi and Travis Benjamin not yet ready for full-time snaps, Gordon should be the most valuable receiver in Cleveland for the third consecutive week. If he performs well again, he could end up having redraft value for the rest of the year. He’€™s a WR3 in 12-team leagues for at least one more week.

Justin Blackmon, Jaguars at Raiders

Yes, it’€™s tough to buy into him right now, but we like the matchup in Oakland enough to make him a WR3 this week with so many quality options out on the bye. Blackmon has the ability and we thought he looked better going into the bye than he looked earlier on. He’€™s a solid play in a plus matchup. His first score could come this week.

Cecil Shorts, Jaguars at Raiders

As with Blackmon, we like Shorts as a player, but what we really like is this matchup and the fact that Cecil will be getting starter’€™s snaps with Laurent Robinson sitting out with concussion symptoms. If you are struggling for an option, especially in a big league, Cecil could help you out, and he is available in a good many leagues. We think he is a quality flex in 12-team leagues.

SITS

Andre Roberts, Cardinals at Vikings

He has talent and we would not call his early success a fluke, but there are changes in the Arizona offense with new backs and a new quarterback, so it’€™s a bit of a new paradigm. Roberts had a good thing going with Kevin Kolb under center. We’€™ll have to see if that carries over to life with John Skelton. You also have the mini-emergence of rookie Michael Floyd, which could cut into Roberts’€™ target total. Throw a bad matchup on top of that and there’€™s reason to avoid Roberts this week or at least consider other options.

Jerome Simpson, Vikings vs. Cardinals

He should play, but the back injury was not a small thing and we want him to show us that he is healthy before we take a chance on him. He’€™s a risky flex in large leagues, but not a WR3 in 12-team formats. We like Simpson’€™s value going forward if he can prove his health. Consult our rankings at Rotobahn to make sure you don’€™t have a stronger option for this week.

TIGHT ENDS

STARTS

Jermaine Gresham, Bengals vs. Steelers

He’€™s a weekly play now, even against a solid defense like Pittsburgh’s. The presence of A.J. Green makes it extremely difficult for opposing teams to pay any extra attention to Gresham.

Fred Davis, Redskins at Giants

Robert Griffin III needs targets, and right now Davis probably is his best one, especially in the red zone. He is worth a play in Week 7.

Greg Olsen, Panthers vs. Cowboys

He’€™s the most stable target that Cam Newton has had in recent weeks, so we’€™d be inclined to stick with him in 12-team leagues. The Cowboys handle wide receivers well due to their strength at cornerback, so Newton may need Olsen even more than usual in Week 7.

SITS

Jermichael Finley, Packers at Rams

He’s still banged up and not a lock to receive a full complement of snaps. Finley played last week but wasn’€™t used much. If you have a strong second option, this would be a week to use it.

Martellus Bennett, Giants vs Redskins

Like with Finley, we want to see performance before we trust him. Bennett took a nasty shot to the knee in Week 5 and he’€™s been more off a blocker ever since. In that same time frame, the Giants’€™ receivers have been outstanding. We suspect that this may be the case for another week or two. If you have another strong option, this is a week to use it.

Read More: Andy Dalton, Ben Roethlisberger, Fantasy Football, Jermaine Gresham
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