Week 7 -- the midway point of the fantasy football regular season. The point at which some teams start turning their attention toward a late season playoff push and others just start thinking about next season. Nonetheless, there are plenty of games to be played this week -- even with six teams on byes -- and as always, we're breaking down the matchups.
Analysis:Fantasy points should abound in this one. Chris Johnson has been relegated to a matchup-based start ... and this is a good matchup. Things are also looking up this week for Matt Hasselbeck, Kenny Britt and Nate Washington. Similarly, this is a good week to start any Bills in your lineup. With so many top RBs on byes, Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are attractive options this week. Look for Scott Chandler to have a quality outing as well.
Analysis: Fresh off a great outing against the Ravens last week, Felix Jones is poised to do it again versus a lackluster Panthers defense -- even if he has to share carries with Phillip Tanner. It's not often that I recommend a kicker, but Dan Bailey deserves a look this week, as well. It could be another frustrating week for Cam Newton and the Carolina offense, but the Panthers defense should pick up a couple of sacks and force a couple of Tony Romo interceptions.
Analysis: It could be a tough slog for Joe Flacco this week against the Texans. Look for him to throw at least one interception, although Anquan Boldin could make some plays, especially for owners in PPR leagues. You're not going to sit Ray Rice, but this may not be one of his better weeks. You're also not going to sit Arian Foster and with Baltimore's run defense struggling, he should have a particularly big day. The injury to Lardarius Webb means good things for Andre Johnson, although Owen Daniels could be slowed this week.
Analysis:Trent Richardson is becoming a weekly must-start and this week is no different. There are good things in store for the rookie this week. Josh Gordon is a great flex play this week after posting quality numbers in back-to-back weeks. Andrew Luck should return to his 300-yard passing ways this week, boosting Reggie Wayne's value this week. Look for Vick Ballard to run for 80-90 yards and possibly find his way into the end zone.
Analysis: This is a fairly good matchup for John Skelton, although you'd be wise to look for other options before giving him the start this week. It could be tough going for the Cardinals offense as a whole, meaning to avoid William Powell and tempering expectations for Larry Fitzgerald. Christian Ponder could hit a speed bump against the Cardinals defense. Percy Harvin is now a must-start, but he might have a tough time getting loose against Arizona's secondary.
Analysis: There's no way you're sitting Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris, even if this matchup isn't in their favor. The good news is that it is a good matchup for Washington's receivers -- if you can figure out which one RG3 will target. Historically, Eli Manning has never fared well against the Redskins. He could throw a pick or two, but he'll balance it out with a couple of touchdown passes -- at least one to Victor Cruz. Look for Martellus Bennett to get back on track.
Analysis: Ride the hot hand of Aaron Rodgers this week, just don't expect a repeat of his Sunday night explosion. Consider Alex Green as a RB2 in deeper leagues, but dampen your expectations for Jordy Nelson and James Jones. It's slim pickings for quality Rams offensive starters this week. If you're looking for WR help, consider Brandon Gibson.
Analysis: The Bucs have been pretty good against the run, making Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles risky starts. Expect at least a pair of touchdown passes from Drew Brees, including one to Lance Moore. If you're in need of a spot start quarterback, Josh Freeman is a good option. In deeper leagues, LeGarrette Blount can be a flex option against a porous Saints run defense. Look for Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams to both put up quality stats.
Analysis: It's another quality matchup for Mark Sanchez. He shouldn't be your first choice, but you could do worse this week. Meanwhile, Shonn Greene should go back to the bench if you have any other options. Stevan Ridley should bounce back after a tough Week 7 and Aaron Hernandez should be an even bigger part of the Patriots offense this week.
Analysis: If you're desperate for a QB starter this week, there may be no better matchup for Blaine Gabbert. Still it will be the Maurice Jones-Drew show for the Jaguars. Marcedes Lewis should see several targets, especially in the red zone. Darren McFadden should run wild against Jacksonville's defense while Denarius Moore continues his recent streak of quality fantasy performances. This may also be the week Sebastian Janikowski regains his "Sea Bass" form.
Analysis: Without Rashard Mendenhall or Isaac Redman, this is Jonathan Dwyer's chance to shine, although he should be a last resort option for fantasy owners. Heath Miller is a quality tight end play this week. Look for the Bengals defense to force multiple turnovers this week. However, Cincinnati could struggle offensively. You should know better than to sit A.J. Green, but he could be held in check somewhat this week.
Analysis: This is a poor matchup for Matthew Stafford, although there could be a chance for him to produce numbers late in the contest. Avoid anyone in Detroit's backfield, although this matchup shakes out well for Brandon Pettigrew. The Jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall connection should stay hot this week. Chicago's rush attack could have a hard time finding room, but the Bears defense will once again show why they're the top unit in fantasy football.