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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Running backs for Week 7

Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the weekly NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Sleeper alert features an under-the-radar player who could produce good numbers. Owners beware features a regular fantasy starter who could fail to meet expectations based on the strength of his opponent. Obvious fantasy starters like Aaron Rodgers and Adrian Peterson will not be featured. For your final lineup decisions, check our lineup rankings.

Byes: Darren McFadden, Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas

Start of the week


Fred Jackson at Miami Dolphins: The 10th-ranked running back based on fantasy points, Jackson has far outplayed his average draft position this season. Both he and C.J. Spiller have a great matchup this week in Miami, as the Dolphins have allowed more fantasy points (25.60 PPG) to running backs at home than any other team in 2013. (Maximum value: Low RB1)

Start 'em



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Giovani Bernard at Detroit Lions: Bernard had a nice stat line last week, scoring 16 fantasy points against the Buffalo Bills. His next contest is against the Lions, who have surrendered the second-most fantasy points (23.80 PPG) to running backs at home this season. This also makes BenJarvus Green-Ellis an attractive option. (Maximum value: High RB2)

Eddie Lacy vs. Cleveland Browns: The Browns appeared to be better against the run earlier this season, but their defense has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points (21.38 PPG) to opposing running backs over the last four weeks. Enter Lacy, who should see more than his share of chances with the Packers offense missing Randall Cobb. (Maximum value: High RB2)

DeAngelo Williams vs. St. Louis Rams: Williams hasn't been a fantasy superstar this season, but he does rank among the top 25 running backs based on total points. He's a nice flex option this week against the Rams, who have surrendered the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs (26.98 PPG) over the last four weeks. (Maximum value: High RB2)

Sleeper alert - Brandon Jacobs vs. Minnesota Vikings: Jacobs is back on the radar after running all over the Chicago Bears last week. Next up are the Vikings, who have allowed the most fantasy points (30.2 PPG) to backs on the road. As long as he's active -- Jacobs is dealing with an injured hamstring -- consider him a solid flex starter. (Maximum value: High RB2)

Sit of the week


Chris Johnson vs. San Francisco 49ers: Where have you gone, CJ2K? Aside from a 14-point performance against the Kansas City Chiefs, Johnson hasn't scored more than 10 fantasy points in a game this season. The Niners have been better against the run in recent contests, so Johnson could be in for another tough weekend in the stat sheets. (Maximum value: Mid RB2)

Sit 'em


Harrison: Week 7 Power Rankings
Elliot Harrison provides his updated NFL pecking order, with one preseason darling tumbling all the way down into the mid-20s. READ

Le'Veon Bell vs. Baltimore Ravens: Bell started the season with a bang, scoring a pair of touchdowns against the Vikings. He wasn't so successful last week, totaling 5.60 points in a win over the New York Jets. This week Bell faces the Ravens, who have surrendered the second-fewest fantasy points (12.15 PPG) to runners since Week 3. (Maximum value: High RB3)

Maurice Jones-Drew vs. San Diego Chargers: Jones-Drew had one of his best fantasy stat lines of the season last week, scoring 13.10 points in a loss to the Denver Broncos. He'll hard pressed to put up good totals in Week 7, though -- no team has allowed fewer fantasy points (10.00 PPG) to runners over the last four weeks than San Diego. (Maximum value: Low RB2)

Willis McGahee at Green Bay Packers: McGahee has been tough to figure on the field, as he failed to exploit what was a great matchup against the Detroit Lions last week. Next on the schedule is a date with the Packers, who have allowed an average of fewer than 13 fantasy points (12.10 PPG) per game to running backs on their home field. (Maximum value: Mid RB3)

Owners beware - Stevan Ridley at New York Jets: It will be tough to sit Ridley after his two-touchdown, 23-point fantasy performance against the New Orleans Saints last week, but just keep this in mind -- no team in the entire NFL has allowed fewer fantasy points (11.98 PPG) to opposing running backs than the Jets after seven weeks. (Maximum value: Mid RB2)


Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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