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Orton, Flacco should produce strong numbers in Week 7

Start 'em & sit 'emis the ultimate look at weekly matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy team.Sleeper alertfeatures a player who's under the radar and could produce good numbers.Owners beware features a player who's a regular fantasy starter but could fail to meet expectations. For your final lineup decisions, check our lineup rankings.

Start of the week

Kyle Orton vs. Raiders: One of the best draft values in fantasy football this season, Orton currently ranks fourth in fantasy points among quarterbacks on NFL.com. His recent success should continue this week against the Raiders, who have allowed the last four signal-callers they've faced to throw for two touchdowns apiece.

Quarterbacks -- start 'em

Ben Roethlisberger at Dolphins:Big Ben made a big splash for fantasy owners in his 2010 debut, throwing for 257 yards and three touchdowns in a win over the Browns. Next is a contest in South Florida against the Dolphins, who have surrendered an average of 18.3 fantasy points to the last three quarterbacks they've faced.

Joe Flacco vs. Bills: Flacco hasn't been the most consistent fantasy option, but he has proven to be more than capable of putting up good numbers against weaker opponents. That's the scenario in Week 7, as Flacco faces a Bills defense that has surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

Eli Manning at Cowboys (Mon.): Manning is tied for fourth in the NFL with 10 touchdown passes, and he'd be rated even higher in fantasy leagues if he was able to cut down on the turnovers. Overall, Manning is a good start against the Cowboys -- he's averaged 255 passing yards and two touchdowns in his last four games in Big D.

Jay Cutler vs. Redskins: Cutler's terrible numbers last week at home against the Seahawks prove that he's no lock to post great stat lines even against the weakest pass defenses. But he's still worth a look against the Redskins, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points (17.2 PPG) to opposing quarterbacks in 2010.

Brett Favre at Packers: Favre hasn't been even close to the fantasy quarterback we saw last season, but owners who need an option at the position should consider him against the Packers. In two starts against his former team in 2009, the old gunslinger threw for a combined 515 yards with seven touchdown passes and no interceptions.

Sleeper alert -- Matt Cassel vs. Jaguars: Cassel was a star for fantasy owners last week against the Texans, throwing for 201 yards and three touchdowns. He has yet another favorable matchup in Week 7, this time against the Jaguars. Their defense has allowed the second-most fantasy points (20.2 PPG) to opposing quarterbacks.

Quarterbacks -- sit 'em

Kevin Kolb at Titans: Kolb is coming off his best performance of the season, throwing for 326 yards and three touchdowns against the Falcons. His fortunes could soon be reversed, though, as he'll face a Titans defense that leads the NFL in sacks and is allowing an average of fewer than 11 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.

Carson Palmer at Falcons: Palmer is clearly no longer an elite fantasy quarterback, and this week's matchup against the Falcons makes him someone to avoid. Despite Kolb's huge stat line last week, these Dirty Birds have still surrendered an average of just 11.2 fantasy points per game to opposing signal-callers this season.

Alex Smithat Panthers: Smith has actually been a viable fantasy option the last two weeks, throwing for a combined 505 yards and five touchdowns. However, his game against the Panthers isn't at all favorable. In three games at home, their defense has allowed an average of just 7.32 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

Chad Henne vs. Steelers: Henne has been solid in his last three games, throwing for an average of close to 300 yards and a combined six touchdowns. Of course, those numbers didn't come against this week's opponent, the Steelers. Their defense has been rock solid against the pass, so Henne's recent success could come to an end.

Ryan Fitzpatrick at Ravens: Over his last three starts, Fitzpatrick has thrown for an impressive seven touchdowns. While that's a nice achievement, the Harvard alum is still a major risk in Week 7 against the Ravens. Their defense has surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing signal-callers this season.

Owners beware -- Donovan McNabb at Bears: McNabb has had more name value than actual statistical appeal in 2010, as he's failed to throw for multiple touchdowns in all six of his starts. He should be benched this week against the Bears, who have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points (8.2 PPG) to opposing quarterbacks.

Running backs -- start 'em

Knowshon Moreno vs. Raiders: Moreno returned to action last week against the Jets, rushing for 48 yards with no touchdowns. That shouldn't keep you from starting him this week, though, as Moreno goes up against a Raiders defense that's allowed an average of close to 24 fantasy points per game to runners in 2010.

Peyton Hillis at Saints: The Browns don't have much firepower on the offensive side of the football, but Hillis has still been a tremendous find for fantasy owners. The Arkansas product should be active against the Saints, who have surrendered an average of close to 18 fantasy points per game to runners this season.

Marshawn Lynch vs. Cardinals: Lynch wasn't overly impressive in his Seahawks debut, but he did see 17 carries and scored a touchdown against the Bears. In Week 7, he should put up a better stat line against the Arizona Cardinals. Only the Lions and Raiders have surrendered more fantasy points to opposing running backs in 2010.

Matt Forte vs. Redskins: Forte can be inconsistent at times, but he's still scored the fourth-most fantasy points among running backs on NFL.com. This week's foe, the Redskins, have given up an average of close to 17 fantasy points per game to opposing runners. That makes Forte a viable option in all leagues.

Jamaal Charles vs. Jaguars: The backfield committee of Thomas Jones and Charles has been a source of frustration for fantasy owners, but it's still hard not to like the latter based on this week's matchup against the Jaguars. Their defense has surrendered an average of close to 17 fantasy points per game to opposing runners.

Sleeper alert -- Chris Ivory vs. Browns: Ivory made a huge splash in fantasy leagues last week, rushing for 158 yards on just 15 carries in a blowout win over the Buccaneers. If Pierre Thomas (ankle) is unable to return to face the Browns in Week 7, the Tiffin product will once again be a nice sleeper in fantasy leagues.

Running backs -- sit 'em

Fred Jackson at Ravens: Jackson's value rose after the Bills dealt Lynch to the Seahawks, but he's still no more than a matchup-based option in most leagues. With a game against the Ravens and their tough run defense next on the slate, Jackson shouldn't be considered more than a desperation flex starter in most formats.

Brandon Jacksonvs. Vikings The loss of Ryan Grant did make Jackson a more attractive fantasy option, but his inconsistent play between the white lines has made him a risk for owners. He should be benched this week against the Vikings, who have surrendered the ninth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs in 2010.

Marion Barbervs. Giants (Mon.): Once a viable No. 1 fantasy runner, Barber's value has taken an enormous hit this season. He's scored double-digit fantasy points just once in five games, and now he's losing touches to Felix Jones. At this point, Barber is barely even worth a roster spot in leagues with 12 or fewer teams.

Jonathan Stewart vs. 49ers: Stewart was drafted as a potential No. 2 fantasy back in most leagues, but he's performed more like someone who's waiver-wire fodder. In his first five games, he has averaged a mere 6.6 fantasy points. Until Stewart starts to show signs of life, he needs to be benched in all fantasy leagues.

Tim Hightower at Seahawks: Hightower averaged an impressive 14.9 fantasy points on NFL.com in his first two games. But since the return of Beanie Wells, both his touches and fantasy production have been barren. In fact, Hightower has put up a combined one reception, 70 scrimmage yards with no touchdowns in his last three starts.

Owners beware -- Ronnie Brown vs. Steelers:Fantasy football isn't exactly rocket science -- when a running back faces the Pittsburgh Steelers, chances are he's going to have a tough week. Enter Brown, who has averaged 7.8 fantasy points on NFL.com, and you have someone to avoid putting in your starting lineup this week.

Wide receivers -- start 'em

Hakeem Nicks at Cowboys (Mon.): Nicks is coming off his worst stat line of the season, posting a mere eight yards on three receptions in a win over the Lions. But that shouldn't keep fantasy owners from starting him against the Cowboys -- their defense has allowed five receiving touchdowns in two games on their home field.

Jeremy Maclin at Titans: Maclin, a preseason sleeper on NFL.com, has more than met fantasy expectations with 416 yards and six touchdowns after six games. With DeSean Jackson (concussion) out for Week 7, Maclin should see a ton of targets and becomes a must-start wide receiver even against a tough Titans defense.

Dwayne Bowe vs. Jaguars: Bowe broke out of his 2010 slide last week, putting up six catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to the Texans. He has another favorable matchup next on the schedule, facing a Jaguars defense that has allowed more fantasy points to wide receivers than any other team in the entire league.

Terrell Owens at Falcons: Owens has emerged as the best fantasy wideout in Cincinnati, due in part to opposing defenses focusing their attention on stopping Chad Ochocinco. That will again be the case this week against the Falcons, who have surrendered the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts this season.

Johnny Knox vs. Redskins: Knox is coming off what was easily his best week of the season, as he hauled in five passes for 120 yards in a loss to the Seahawks. He should remain in fantasy lineups against the Redskins, who have surrendered the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in 2010.

Sleeper alert -- Patrick Crayton vs. Patriots: The Chargers are dealing with a plethora of injuries at wide receiver, as Malcom Floyd is out and Legedu Naanee is at less than 100 percent. That leaves Crayton, who had 117 yards last week, to see plenty of targets against a Patriots defense that's been vulnerable against the pass.

Wide receivers -- sit 'em

Michael Crabtree at Panthers: Crabtree will be hard to bench in most fantasy leagues, especially when you consider how well he's played in the last two weeks. Just be aware that he faces a tough road matchup against the Panthers. Their defense has allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wideouts this season.

Santana Moss at Bears: Moss has been one of the most targeted wide receivers in the league this season, but he's still scored just one touchdown over his first six games. Now he'll face the Bears, who did allow Mike Williams to have a strong game last week but have still been tough on opposing wideouts overall in 2010.

Deion Branch at Chargers: Branch had a nice stat line in his return to the Patriots last week, posting nine catches for 98 yards and one touchdown in a win over the Ravens. However, he'll be hard pressed to duplicate such numbers against a Chargers defense that has surrendered the second-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers.

Mike Sims-Walker at Chiefs: Over his last three games, Sims-Walker has put up a combined six receptions for 62 yards with one touchdown -- and that was with David Garrard under center. With Todd Bouman expected to start in Week 7 against the Chiefs, Sims-Walker's numbers could be even worse. Keep him on the fantasy sidelines.

Lee Evans at Ravens: The last time Evans was on a football field, he put up a solid five receptions for 87 yards and one touchdown. Of course, that was against the Jaguars. This week he has a much tougher task in Baltimore, facing a Ravens defense that has allowed the 10th-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

Owners beware -- Donald Driver vs. Vikings: Driver, who has been dealing with an injured quadriceps, has recorded a combined 89 yards with no touchdowns in his last two games. He's also averaged 53.8 yards with no touchdowns in his last six games against the Vikings, so Driver is anything but an attractive fantasy option.

Tight ends -- start 'em

Tony Gonzalezvs. Bengals: Gonzalez is on pace to finish with his fewest yards since 1998, but he's still putting up enough fantasy points to be a regular starter in most leagues. He should be active this week against the Bengals, who have surrendered close to eight fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends in 2010.

Aaron Hernandez at Chargers: A talented rookie out of Florida, Hernandez has averaged better than five receptions in his last five games. He'll continue to be a big part of the Patriots offense now that Randy Moss is out of the mix, so considered Hernandez a viable fantasy starter in Week 7 against the San Diego Chargers.

Heath Miller at Dolphins: To no one's surprise, Miller had his best fantasy game of the season (50 yards, TD vs. Browns) with Roethlisberger back under center. If you need a bye-week replacement, he's a viable option against a Dolphins defense that has allowed close to eight fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season.

Benjamin Watson at Saints: Watson has quietly put up some nice fantasy numbers in recent weeks, especially in PPR leagues. He's averaged 5.5 catches over his last four games and should continue to see plenty of targets with rookie Colt McCoy at the helm. Watson also has a positive matchup against the Saints in Week 7.

Tony Moeaki vs. Jaguars: Moeaki is coming off a poor performance against the Texans, scoring two fantasy points on NFL.com. However, the rookie out of Iowa remains a viable bye-week option based on a matchup with the Jaguars. Their defense has surrendered four touchdown receptions to tight ends through six games.

Sleeper alert -- Todd Heap vs. Bills: Heap hasn't been a reliable option for fantasy owners, but he's worth a roll of the dice if you're desperate for a tight end in Week 7. The veteran out of Arizona State faces a Bills defense that has surrendered more fantasy points to tight ends than any other team in the league.

Tight ends -- sit 'em

Brent Celek at Titans: Celek has produced better fantasy stats with Kolb under center, but this week's road matchup against the Titans makes him a risk for owners. Their defense has allowed just one touchdown catch and an average of 5.2 fantasy points to opposing tight ends, so Celek could be in for a rough afternoon.

Chris Cooley at Bears: Cooley has been a nice draft value for fantasy owners this season, but he's still a bit of a gamble coming off a concussion last week. The Utah State product also has a tough matchup against the Bears -- their defense has surrendered an average of just 5.3 fantasy points to tight ends in 2010.

Kellen Winslowvs. Rams: Unless you're in a PPR league, Winslow has been a disappointment for owners this season. He's averaging just 51.4 yards per game and has yet to find the end zone. In Week 7, Winslow faces a Rams defense that's allowed the second-fewest fantasy points (4.0 PPG) to opposing tight ends.

Jeremy Shockey vs. Browns: Shockey has become invisible for owners in recent weeks, posting a combined five receptions for 51 yards in his last two games. The Browns have been tough on opposing tight ends as well -- allowing an average of 5.3 fantasy points per game -- so Shockey should be benched in most leagues in Week 7.

Greg Olsen vs. Redskins: Olsen has been active in each of the last two games, but you wouldn't know it based on his stat lines -- zero catches, zero yards and zero touchdowns. After a decent start to the season, Olsen seems to be falling into the doldrums of Mike Martz's offense. He needs to be benched (or released) until further notice.

Owners beware -- Visanthe Shiancoe at Packers: The Packers haven't been great against tight ends this season, but it's hard to trust Shiancoe at this point. In his last three games, he's posted a combined three catches for 35 yards with no touchdowns. In Week 6, he didn't see a single target in a win over the Cowboys.

Kickers -- start 'em

Stephen Gostkowski at Chargers: Gostkowski hasn't been a great fantasy option overall this season, but he is coming off an 11-point effort against the Ravens and has a great matchup ahead against the Chargers. Their defense has allowed the an average of close to eight fantasy points per game to opposing kickers in 2010.

David Akers at Titans: Akers is no longer an elite kicker in fantasy leagues, but he can be a useful option during the bye weeks or when he faces a favorable team. The latter is the case this week, as Akers goes up against a Titans defense that has surrendered the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing kickers this season.

Ryan Longwell at Packers: Believe it or not, but Longwell ranks an awful 32nd in fantasy points among kickers on NFL.com after six weeks. Still, the veteran out of California has a very favorable matchup against his former team, the Packers. Their defense has given up an average of 9.7 fantasy points per game to kickers.

Sleeper alert - Lawrence Tynes at Cowboys (Mon.): Tynes missed last week's game with an injured ankle, but he's back at 100 percent and will play on Monday night against the Cowboys. Kickers facing the Boys from Big D have averaged close to nine fantasy points per game, so Tynes makes for a nice bye-week option.

Kickers -- sit 'em

Mike Nugent at Falcons: Nugent has been a pleasant surprise for fantasy owners, ranking in the top 10 in points at his position on NFL.com. However, his matchup this week against the Falcons suggests that Nugent is not a great option. No team has surrendered fewer fantasy points (4.0 PPG) to opposing kickers this season.

Graham Gano at Bears: Gano, who is tied for 12th in fantasy points among kickers on NFL.com, has been wildly inconsistent in recent weeks and is a risk for owners against the Bears. The newest edition of the Monsters of the Midway have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points (4.7 PPG) to opposing kickers this season.

Dan Carpenter at Steelers: Carpenter is coming off an impressive 13-point performance in a win over the Packers, but that doesn't mean you should start him in Week 7. In fact, Carpenter's matchup against the Steelers is anything but favorable. They have allowed an average of under six fantasy points per game to kickers.

Owners beware -- Garrett Hartley vs. Browns: Hartley's value was back on the rise after the release of John Carney, but he missed a field goal and scored just seven fantasy points in Week 7. While playing behind the Saints offense makes him tempting, Hartley has simply been too inaccurate to be trusted in fantasy leagues at this point.

Defenses -- start 'em

Ravens defense vs. Bills: The Ravens have been a huge disappointment from a fantasy perspective, ranking an awful 28th in points among defenses on NFL.com. But if this unit is ever going to produce good numbers, it will be this week at home against Fitzpatrick and the Bills. Their offense comes in at No. 30 in the league.

Chiefs defense vs. Jaguars: The Jaguars could be without both of their top two quarterbacks, Garrard and Trent Edwards, due to injuries in Week 7. That leaves the Chiefs to face Bouman, who hasn't even started an NFL game since 2005. It's the perfect recipe for a great stat line from their defense in this AFC contest.

Saints defense vs. Browns: The McCoy era seems to have started in Cleveland, as the rookie is expected to get his second straight start with Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace both injured. That's great news for the value of the Saints defense, which should be active across the board in fantasy leagues for Week 7.

Sleeper alert -- Broncos defense vs. Raiders: The Raiders offense has been an absolute disaster with Jason Campbell under center -- that was evident last week against the Niners -- so the Broncos defense could be a sneaky sleeper in deeper leagues. Consider this unit if you need a one-week fix due to the byes.

Defenses -- sit 'em

Cowboys defense vs. Giants (Mon.): The Cowboys have been anything but useful for fantasy owners on the defensive side of the football, ranking a very unimpressive 26th in points on NFL.com. Next on the schedule is a game against a talented Giants offense on Monday night, so the Boys should be benched (or dropped) in all leagues.

Chargers defense vs. Patriots: The Bolts might be ranked third in fantasy points among defenses on NFL.com, but this unit has been anything but consistent in 2010. In fact, they have scored a combined six fantasy points over the last two weeks. With the Patriots coming to town, this is a unit to avoid across the board.

Dolphins defense vs. Steelers: Most of the Dolphins prominent fantasy players are a risk this week against the Steelers. Well, their defense falls into the same sort of scenario. In fact, defenses facing the Steelers have averaged the fifth-fewest fantasy points this season. Look elsewhere for a defensive unit in Week 7.

Owners beware -- Vikings defense at Packers: A top-five defense in most fantasy drafts, the Vikings have been a colossal disappointment after six weeks. In fact, they rank 25th in fantasy points at the position on NFL.com. With a road game against the Packers ahead, this unit should be benched if at all possible.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com. Have a burning question for Michael on anything fantasy football related? Leave it in our comments section or send it to AskFabiano@nfl.com!

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