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Week 7 Fantasy matchups


Monday's Colts-Jaguars game will be Peyton Manning's 150th in the NFL. In the 149 games he's played so far, he's got more completions that Brett Favre or Dan Marino had in 150 games, he's got the best completion percentage (54.2), the best passer rating (94.8), and the second-most passing yards and TD passes, trailing only Marino.

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson can become just the seventh rookie RB since 1950 to lead the NFL in rushing. Three of the first six have gone on to the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, and Eric Dickerson. The other three are Alan Ameche, Edgerrin James, and George Rogers. Peterson is on pace for 1,942 yards, the most ever by a rookie. He is the leading rusher in the NFL with 607 yards -- and he has already had his bye week. He's second behind Miami's Ronnie Brown in yards from scrimmage despite playing one less game than Brown.

Here's a look at key fantasy matchups for Week 7:

Ravens at Bills

I like RB Willis McGahee in his return to Buffalo - even though he's got only one rushing TD this year. I like QB Kyle Boller a little, along with WR Derrick Mason - who leads the league in receptions but still has only one TD. Baltimore's offense has had a hard time getting into the end zone, but Buffalo is 32nd overall on defense.

It's pretty hard to like anyone for the Bills against the Ravens' defense. Baltimore is third against the run. With a rookie QB in Trent Edwards, the Bills have had trouble getting the ball to WR Lee Evans.

Falcons at Saints

After his long TD run last week, Atlanta RB Jerious Norwood now has three career TD runs - and all of them have gone for 60-plus yards. Norwood joins Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell and former Bills star Elbert Dubenion as the only player to pull off this feat. Despite Atlanta's passing struggles, the Saints can be thrown on - they've allowed 10 TD passes in five games. So QB Byron Leftwich and WR Roddy White could be worth playing.

For New Orleans, I like QB Drew Brees - he passed for 349 yards in his last game against the Falcons. I also like RB Reggie Bush, and WRs Devery Henderson and Marques Colston against an Atlanta defense that allows 352 yards per game.

49ers at Giants

San Francisco is 32nd on offense, and QB Trent Dilfer is likely the starter here. The 49ers have scored 63 points in five games, averaging 203 yards per game. Add to that the fact they must travel cross-country for a 1 p.m. ET game, and it doesn't bode well.

The Giants now have a full-fledged "RB by committee." I like Derrick Ward first, Brandon Jacobs second. The ironic thing is that Reuben Droughns, who never got the ball at the goal line in Cleveland, now appears to taking goal-line carries away from both Ward and Jacobs. QB Eli Manning and WR Plaxico Burress, of course, are must-starts.

Patriots at Dolphins

You can play all of the usual suspects for New England. Check the status of RB Laurence Maroney, though. Miami ranks 31st against the run, so if Maroney and Sammy Morris are out, you should even consider playing Kevin Faulk or Heath Evans. Tom Brady should continue his great season, and I like the Pats WRs in this order: Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Donte Stallworth. TE Ben Watson is out, and with TE Kyle Brady as more of a blocker, that means more balls for the receivers. Keep in mind, though: New England always seems to have a hard time in Miami. Then again, the Dolphins allow 352 yards per game.

I don't think the Dolphins can block the New England front. But you've got to play Ronnie Brown because he's doing so well this season. QB Cleo Lemon will struggle here against a more aggressive defense than the one he faced in Cleveland last week.

Titans at Texans

The key here is that you'll have to wait until Sunday to see if QB Vince Young is playing. Regardless, I like RB LenDale White. If Young plays, I think Houston will look to contain his running and force him to pass. Tennessee does a good job controlling the clock - averaging 33.5 minutes per game.

Matt Schaub should do well - though I don't know if WR Andre Johnson is going to play. It's worth playing WR Kevin Walter, who had his best game as a pro last week. Tennessee is first overall against the run. RB Ahman Green will get some yards, but nothing great.

Buccaneers at Lions

The Bucs are a perfect example of how important turnovers can be. QB Jeff Garcia has just 5 TD passes, WR Joey Galloway has 3 TD catches, the running back spot has been ravaged with injuries, they are averaging 18 points per game and rank 25th in total offense. And yet Tampa Bay is 4-2. It helps that they lead the NFC with a plus-6 turnover margin. With all that said, I do think Garcia and Galloway are worth playing against Detroit's shaky defense.

I like Detroit QB Jon Kitna in this game - he has 15 TD passes in his last seven games. I like WR Roy Williams, though he's been talking too much this week. I question how much you can run on Tampa Bay, but Kevin Jones will start this week and he's certainly rested. You might want to take a flier on him.

Cardinals at Redskins

It probably will be Kurt Warner at QB for the Cardinals, and he should connect with WR Larry Fitzgerald here. RB Edgerrin James will have a hard time against a good Washington run defense. The Redskins play especially good defense at home. One interesting note: In 2005, Arizona ranked 32nd in red zone efficiency; last year, they were 19th; through six weeks this season, they are first.

For Washington, it finally appears that RB Clinton Portis is getting the majority of the team's carries, making him a good play here and relegating Ladell Betts to a non-play. WR Santana Moss has yet to score a touchdown this season - he's due. TE Chris Cooley has been very consistent this year and is worth playing. QB Jason Campbell, on the other hand, is very inconsistent and a feast or famine player.

Chiefs at Raiders

For Kansas City, I like Larry Johnson, Larry Johnson, and Larry Johnson - he should have a big game here. You can also play QB Damon Huard for good measure, and maybe WR Dwayne Bowe (moreso than TE Tony Gonzalez). The Raiders are 28th against the run, allowing average of 5.6 yards per carry, which is almost unheard of. They've allowed eight rushing TDs in five games.

For Oakland, you might take a chance on RB LaMont Jordan. I'm not sure QB Daunte Culpepper will be able to get the ball to WR Ronald Curry. The Chiefs will blitz Culpepper on every play. Oakland has 100 more running attempts than passing attempts.

Jets at Bengals

The Jets have struggled on offense, averaging just 17 points per game, but Cincinnati is 30th overall on defense. So this should be a good week to play RB Thomas Jones, QB Chad Pennington and WR Laveranues Coles.

For Cincinnati, QB Carson Palmer, and WRs Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh should do well. I don't think RB Rudi Johnson will play, and I'm not sure Kenny Watson is worth taking a chance on. The Bengals have 12 passing TDs and one rushing TD. The Jets allow an average of 25 points per game.

Vikings at Cowboys

The Cowboys are seventh in run defense and have yet to allow a rushing TD, but you still obviously need to play Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson. The Vikings will certainly try to run the ball, and I think Chester Taylor will continue to get a fair share of the carries as well. Dallas will stack up against the run and try to make QB Tarvaris Jackson beat them - you might take a flier on rookie WR Sidney Rice, who has played well of late.

Dallas QB Tony Romo has passed for 4,348 yards in his first 16 career starts - more than any QB in the first 16 games sicne the merger - and he's thrown 31 TD passes in that span. WR Terrell Owens had 329 yards and 3 TDs in his first three games, but 124 yards and 1 TD in the last three. Dallas wants to keep him happy, so look for Owens to ghet the ball a lot here. It's very hard to run on Monnesota and several teams abandon the running game altogether against them, so figure TE Jason Witten and WR Patrick Crayton to be factors here as well.

Rams at Seahawks

I don't really like anyone for the Rams. RB Steven Jackson practiced this week but I don't think he'll play.

For Seattle, I like QB Matt Hasselbeck. RB Shaun Alexander hasn't played well but St. Louis is not good at stopping the run. Alexander has rushed for 100 yards in six straight games in this series. I have a hunch here that WR Nate Burleson could play well.

Bears at Eagles

After six games in 2006, Chicago had allowed a total of 59 points. This year, they've allowed 149. Last year, the Bears allowed 72 rushing yards per game. This year, they allow 134. Last year, they allowed 155 passing yards per game. This year, 227. It also doesn't help that they are minus-7 in turnover margin. So now the focus is on eoffense for the Bears, and I think you'll get good numbers from QB Brian Griese, WR Bernard Berrian and TE Greg Olsen. You'll also see Devin Hester continue to be involved in the offense.

For the Eagles, this could be a big game for RB Brian Westbrook. QB Donovan McNabb and WR Kevin Curtis will get into the picture as well. The Bears allow 361 yards per game.

Steelers at Broncos

Denver is 32nd versus the run and first against the pass. With that said, you have to like RBs Willie Parker and Najeh Davenport, who seems to be getting a good share of the goal-line carries. He's scored 3 TDs in 28 carries this season. To a lesser extant, I like QB Ben Roethlisberger, WRs Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes, in that order.

For Denver, you might get some numbers from WR Brandon Marshall and QB Jay Cutler. Not much, though. RB Travis Henry will have hard time running the ball - Pittsburgh has gone 26 games without allowing a 100-yard rusher.

Colts at Jaguars

Under head coach Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville is 2-0 at home on Monday night - shutting out Pittsburgh and holding the Giants under 10 points. It's very hard to run on the Jaguars -- but I have a feeling that RB Joseph Addai will get a lot of opportunities. I'm not sure he'll have a great game, but he'll have lots of opportunities. QB Peyton Manning historically has struggled against the Jaguars on road, but of course he's a must-start. TE Dallas Clark could be a big factor.

QB David Garrard is playing very well for Jacksonville, and he'll get some yards. RB Maurice Jones-Drew bas back-to-back 100-yard rushing games. He and RB Fred Taylor both are worth playing here.