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Fantasy Football Week 7: Featured Start ‘Em List

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Fantasy football week 7 is officially here, so let’s get right into it. As always, I’m not here to state the obvious, I’m here to find the value and help make you look like a genius against your league foes. Good luck and please don’t hesitate to leave feedback or comment.

 

START ‘EM:

QUARTERBACKS:

Buffalo Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick - 

Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns the past two weeks. The past two games he has faced stout defenses in the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals. Things will be much easier on the Ivy league product, as he faces the 28th ranked pass defense in the Tennessee Titans. Through six weeks of football, the Titans have allowed 13 passing touchdowns and a whopping 1,793 yards through the air. Fitz is a very worthy bye week fill-in or a spot start, as he will surely find the end zone in this one numerous times.

New York Giants QB Eli Manning

I know this is one of the more obvious plays, but I just downright love Eli Manning this week and you should too. The Washington Redskins pass defense is downright laughable. Redskins have allowed the most passing yards in the NFL (1,973 yards) and 15 passing touchdowns. Hakeem Nicks is back in the lineup, which will only help Eli’s cause. This game has shootout written all over it, and Eli owners will be singing “easy like a Sunday morning,” when this ones all said and done.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman

 Josh Freeman is finally starting to come around, and is coming off his best performance of the season last week against the Kansas City ChiefsNow the New Orleans Saints come to town with their horrid pass defense which has given up the 5th most fantasy points to the QB position. Freeman also threw for a combined 584 yards and three touchdowns in two games against the Saints last year. Look for Freeman to connect with his big target, Vincent Jackson at least once, and carve up the Saints swiss cheese defense all day.

RUNNING BACKS:

New England Patriots RB Stevan Ridley 

Ridley is coming off his worst performance of the 2012 season, as the Seattle Seahawks absolutely gave him no wiggle room whatsoever last week. Now, he faces a New York Jets defense that has been vulnerable to the run, and have given up the 8th most fantasy points to the RB position. Before last week, the Jets allowed at least one rushing touchdown in every game, as well as three straight 100-yard rushers from week 3-5. Look for Ridley to bounce back from his poor week 6 performance, as he will find the end zone against the Jets.

Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson

Ugh. Boy, do I hate putting my reputation on the line for this man. Chris Johnson has been an absolute disaster for owners this year. He has only rushed for 100 yards in one game, and has YET to find the end zone this season. That all changes this week, as Chris goes up against one of the worst rush defenses in the league in the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have given up at least 100 yards rushing in four of their six games. In two of those games, the Bills opponent rushed for 200+ rushing yards, so the breakout should be coming for Johnson. If CJ2K doesn’t hit paydirt in this one, he might as well quit now, and all owners should trade him for a punter.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin

Doug Martin has to be licking his chops for this match up. The Saints rush defense ranks dead last in the NFL, as they are giving up 173 rushing yards per game this season. Martin is a downhill runner who welcomes contact, which does not bode well for a defense that allows RBs to get on average, five yards per carry. Martin should be bouncing around like a ping pong ball in this one, eating up yards and catching balls out of the backfield for chunks of yardage. Should be a beautiful day for Martin owners.

WIDE RECEIVERS:

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon 

Okay, it’s time to take Josh Gordon seriously, folks. He’s slowly emerging as the top wide out in Cleveland. That might not be saying much, but he’s showing major potential. With just five receptions in the past two games, Gordon has been able to produce 181 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Again….on just FIVE receptions. Josh Cribbs is a return specialist and Greg Little should be the spokesman for Butterfingers. Go pick this kid up and start him against an Indianapolis Colts defense that has given up five touchdowns the past two weeks, he should be able to make it three straight games with a score.

Oakland Raiders WR Denarius Moore

Don’t try to fix something that isn’t broken, right? Last week Denarius Moore was my featured sleeper and he showed up, and did his thing with 104 receiving yards and a touchdown. The Jacksonville Jaguars pass defense is modest at best, and their secondary has been smoked three straight weeks before their week 6 bye. Let’s roll the dice on Moore again this week, as he will continue to see targets from QB Carson Palmer.

Buffalo Bills WR Steve Johnson

If Ryan Fitzpatrick makes the list, it’s only right to have Steve Johnson on here as well. Being the alpha in the receiving core, Johnson should have no problem racking some points up against a Tennessee Titans defense that’s surrendering 26.0 fantasy points to the WR position. Fitzgerald will look for Johnson and TE Scott Chandler in most red zone situations, and chances are Steve makes them count today. Get him in those lineups.

TIGHT ENDS: 

Cincinnati Bengals TE Jermaine Gresham

Slow and steady is how Jermaine Gresham rolls. He won’t score every week, but he’s a very solid tight end option that is available in a high percentage of leagues. This is what cracks me up about fantasy players who strictly go by household names. Gresham is a top eight tight end who has 18 receptions, 234 receiving yards, and 2 touchdowns the past five weeks. Still, only 30% of leagues are starting him? How is that possible, are all of you really that solid at the TE position? He’s a great PPR option and the Pittsburgh Steelers have allowed at least 4 receptions by the TE position in every game this season. Steelers also allowed three touchdowns this season to the TE position. I like Gresham’s odds here for a score or at least a productive day in terms of receptions and receiving yards.

New York Jets TE Dustin Keller

Keller is a nice sleeper pick this week. Even if you aren’t interested in gambling on him, consider picking him up if need help at the TE position. He came back from injury last week against the Indianapolis Colts, but was irrelevant with one reception for six yards. The Jets did have the game under control, and didn’t have much need for Keller’s services. This week might be a little different, going up against the New England Patriots. The Jets will have to throw at some point in this game, and Patriots have been vulnerable to the opposing tight ends, allowing four touchdowns the past four games. Keller is going to sneak one in this week as he starts to find his groove.

Michael J. Igyarto is a featured columnist and fantasy football expert at Rant Sports

Follow Michael on twitter: @windycityiggy