Fantasy Football Week 7 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em

Start ‘Em

Danny Woodhead and Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers

Woodhead wasn’t great against the Colts, but this matchup at Jacksonville is too good to sit either of the Chargers’ timeshare backs. The Jags have allowed the fifth-most points to running backs in fantasy and have the league’s worst run defense, allowing 152.5 rushing yards per game. Woodhead is going to do his damage through the air, while Mathews will break 100 yards on the ground and find the end zone as well. Both backs are breaking double digits here.

Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins

He limped into the bye week with just 15 yards rushing against the Ravens, but Miller is getting the bulk of the snaps at running back for the Dolphins. Touchdown vulture Daniel Thomas has seen his touches dwindle each of the past four games. Also, Buffalo has a bottom-five rush defense, so this could wind up as the best game of Miller’s young career.

DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers

Williams hasn’t reached the end zone yet, but you have to like his chances against a Rams defense that has been the second worst in fantasy. 

The Rams have given up the most rushing yards to running backs thus far this season, and we would expect Williams to be good for 100 yards and a touchdown here. Williams needs to get his big games in now because Jonathan Stewart (ankle) is nearing a return from the PUP list, according to Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer.

Joseph Randle, Dallas Cowboys

With DeMarco Murray (knee) listed doubtful—owner Jerry Jones said he was unlikely to play earlier this week—and Lance Dunbar (knee) out on the official NFL Injury Report, the Cowboys turn to the rookie, Randle, in what should be a shootout against the Eagles.

This game is more likely to be in Tony Romo’s hands than Randle’s, but the volume of plays and opportunities in the red zone should create an opportunity for Randle to score for fantasy owners. Phillip Tanner is currently the only other back on the roster, so this should be a busy week for the Oklahoma State product.

Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants

Scoff all you want at Jacobs’ plodding style, the Giants’ laughable offensive line play and the Giants’ propensity to pass way more than they should, but Jacobs is coming off a 106-yard, two-touchdown performance, and the Vikings have been the worst team in fantasy against running backs.

It should be enough for Jacobs to find the end zone Monday night, even if he totals 15 carries for a mere 25 yards. All you need in this year of the sketchy back is a touchdown. Jacobs gets those.

Sit ‘Em

Willis McGahee, Cleveland Browns

McGahee is not only facing a Packers team that has been very good against the run—third best in the NFL—but he is also failing to put away Chris Ogbonnaya as a fantasy option. The latter had the better fantasy day against the Lions a week ago, and McGahee has missed some practice time to a knee issue. ESPN’s Pat McManamon goes so far to suggest McGahee will “probably be on the injury report for the rest of the season.”

Offensive coordinator Norv Turner hinted the Browns will need to turn to Ogbonnaya and even Bobby Rainey and Fozzy Whittaker more and more.

“We have an unusual situation, and we’re making the best out of it. McGahee is giving us plays. Ogbonnaya is giving us plays. Bobby’s giving us some plays. Now we’re going to use Fozzy a little bit and see how he does. No question, it’s a group effort.”

Read: McGahee might not have been the answer after the Trent Richardson trade. Watch all of the Browns’ backs usage. Someone might emerge as a fantasy option over McGahee going forward.

Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling, Atlanta Falcons

The continued absence of Steven Jackson (hamstring) keeps Rodgers and Snelling in the Falcons’ game plan, but the Bucs defense is one of only two in the NFL to have yet to allow a touchdown to a running back to date. The Bucs still should be one of the most feared defenses against the run despite their lost season. Rodgers and Snelling are low-end flex plays at best.

Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens

When Ray Rice returned from his hip injury, Pierce sunk back into fantasy obscurity. We should expect him to stay there against a Steelers defense that has been uncharacteristically susceptible to the run in the early part of the season.

Pittsburgh played the run-heavy Jets really well last week, though, so expect the Steelers to continue to improve against fantasy backs. Pierce is a mere Rice handcuff right now and frankly can be someone you drop during the heavy bye weeks to come.

Week 7 Running Backs Rankings – Eric Mack
1 Adrian Peterson Min at NYG 1 0
2 Jamaal Charles KC vs. Hou 2 0
3 LeSean McCoy Phi vs. Dal 3 0
4 Arian Foster Hou at KC 5 +1
5 Marshawn Lynch Sea at Ari 6 +1
6 Matt Forte Chi at Was 4 -2
7 Ray Rice Bal at Pit 12 +5
8 Doug Martin TB at Atl 9 +1
9 Alfred Morris Was vs. Chi 11 +2
10 Frank Gore SF at Ten 10 0
11 Reggie Bush Det vs. Cin 8 -3
12 Knowshon Moreno Den at Ind 7 -5
13 C.J. Spiller Buf at Mia 23 +10
14 Danny Woodhead SD at Jac 21 +7
15 Lamar Miller Mia vs. Buf 17 +2
16 DeAngelo Williams Car vs. StL 14 -2
17 Trent Richardson Ind vs. Den 16 -1
18 Eddie Lacy GB vs. Cle 13 -5
19 Joseph Randle Dal at Phi 26 +7
20 Ryan Mathews SD at Jac 19 -1
21 Chris Johnson Ten vs. SF 28 +7
22 Stevan Ridley NE at NYJ 25 +3
23 Giovani Bernard Cin at Det 15 -8
24 Brandon Jacobs NYG vs. Min 18 -6
25 Le’Veon Bell Pit vs. Bal 24 -1
26 BenJarvus Green-Ellis Cin at Det 31 +5
27 Fred Jackson Buf at Mia 20 -7
28 Maurice Jones-Drew Jac vs. SD 22 -6
29 Bilal Powell NYJ vs. NE 27 -2
30 Zac Stacy StL at Car 29 -1
31 Willis McGahee Cle at GB 33 +2
32 Rashard Mendenhall Ari vs. Sea 36 +4
33 Joique Bell Det vs. Cin 35 +2
34 Ronnie Hillman Den at Ind 41 +7
35 Ben Tate Hou at KC 38 +3
36 Andre Ellington Ari vs. Sea 32 -4
37 Daniel Thomas Mia vs. Buf 47 +10
38 Mike Tolbert Car vs. StL 39 +1
39 Bryce Brown Phi vs. Dal 51 +12
40 Chris Ogbonnaya Cle at GB 37 -3
41 Bernard Pierce Bal at Pit 43 +2
42 Jacquizz Rodgers Atl vs. TB 30 -12
43 Jason Snelling Atl vs. TB 34 -9
44 LeGarrette Blount NE at NYJ 49 +5
45 Robert Turbin Sea at Ari 58 +13
46 Kendall Hunter SF at Ten 48 +2
47 Montee Ball Den at Ind 61 +14
48 Daryl Richardson StL at Car 50 +2
49 Brandon Bolden NE at NYJ 42 -7
50 Anthony Dixon SF at Ten 71 +21
51 Donald Brown Ind vs. Den 44 -7
52 Chris Ivory NYJ vs. NE 40 -12
53 Ronnie Brown SD at Jac 54 +1
54 Shonn Greene Ten vs. SF 60 +6
55 Michael Bush Chi at Was 57 +2
56 Roy Helu Was vs. Chi 46 -10
57 Bobby Rainey Cle at GB  79 +22
58 Toby Gerhart Min at NYG 65 +7
59 Jordan Todman Jac vs. SD 81 +22
60 Felix Jones Pit vs. Bal 67 +7
61 Alfonso Smith Ari vs. Sea 87 +26
62 Knile Davis KC vs. Hou 69 +7
63 Jackie Battle Ten vs. SF 56 -7
64 LaMichael James SF at Ten 75 +11

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