"You'll be smiling too if you give me the rock in week 7!" (Cliff Welch / Icon SMI)
Fantasy Football Start Sit
FREE weekly fantasy football who to start & sit advice
Our weekly "Who to Start and Sit" column is part of FootballDocs In-season content. All of FootballDocs In-season content is 100% free and starts September 5, 2012.
After starting your studs (typically players ranked after week 5 in the top ~15 RBs, top ~ 10 WRs, top ~ 10 QBs, top ~3 TEs, top ~5
Defenses, and top...wait, no kicker is a fantasy football stud), the Docs will help you decide who to start and sit as we recommend
players in our fantasy football start sit column that are not clear studs and can step in with a big game for your team this week. Consequently, we will not
recommend who to start and sit with the top few players at each position in our weekly fantasy football start sit advice (given starts every week); however, we may occasionally recommend players ranked
15 - 25 overall due to some teams out there that will have multiple players at one position in this range but can only
start one. If we recommend such a player it does not mean we think they are not a stud, we are just trying to help those folks out there that may
be in such a situation. We also recommend players to bench, so our fantasy football start sit column is sometimes referred to as fantasy football start bench column. Additionally, we offer
Fantasy Football Weekly Rankings to help even further with some of those more difficult
start sit decisions. Last, be sure to check us out every Tuesday as we do a Wrap-up on our advice - both good
and bad. In fact, every wrap-up is kept and posted as a permanent, public record of what we called and how good or bad the calls were.
2. Confidence in our analysis and recommendations.
3. Because the Docs take winning every bit as seriously as you do.
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Andrew Luck, QB, IND - As a rookie, Luck is going to have his ups and downs as he adjusts to the speed and complexity of the NFL. Last week was a "down week" for him, and this week should prove to be an "up week". He faces a pathetic Browns' secondary that makes any opposing QB feel good talking to the press post-game. Luck will be no different and feel much better about himself once this one is over.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, BUF - Fitzpatrick has been pretty bad the past couple of weeks, but he has also faced some pretty stout defenses all-the-way across the county (Arizona and San Francisco). This week things take an excellent turn for the better! Fitzpatrick gets Tennessee on the docket. Tennessee has given up the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing passers in the NFL, and he will be playing at home for the 1st time in 3 weeks. In the friendly confines of Buffalo, Fitzpatrick has totaled 6 TDs and 528 yards passing in just two games. Look to get Fitzpatrick back in there to help you through this week.
Eli Manning, QB, NYG - Wow. The make-a-wish foundation came through for Eli and he gets his shot at the worst pass defense in the league. Look for Manning to light up the Redskins for a big time game.
Doug Martin, RB, TB - With everyone just about ready to jump off the Martin bandwagon, he posted a decent game last week. This week he gets the Saints. No team has been friendlier to opposing RBs than New Orleans. We feel like Martin has some more left in the tank. If he doesn't perform this week, be afraid to own him! Be very afraid!!
C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF - Just in case you missed it, Spiller is back from his injury hiccup earlier in the season. Spiller is a lethal fantasy weapon and a must start in all formats. In point per reception leagues, he is MORE than a must start!
Chris Johnson, RB, TEN - Don't get carried away, but Johnson should have a good Week 7. Johnson is going up against a Buffalo defense that has allowed the 4th best production from opposing fantasy RBs. Johnson has started to show a little life lately with over 100 yards of total offense last week. This week he could score, but don't bench a stud for him. With the bye weeks in full swing, you might find the need to turn to Johnson in Week 7.
Stevan Ridley, RB, NE - Ridley was awful last week facing Seattle, but look for a nice rebound in this key NFC East match-up with the Jets. The recipe for the Jets is very simple: feature the run and feature the run some more. The Jets have been very off-balance with a horrid run defense and a tough pass defense. So guess what? Opposing teams feature the run and are rewarded. Ridley will be the primary benefactor in this game plan and should find success.
Mike Williams, WR, TB - Williams has 228 yards and 1 TD in his last two games. This week he faces off against the division rival Saints. The Saints have allowed the 3rd most receiving fantasy points per game. This all adds up to a good week for Williams in most scoring formats.
Josh Gordon, WR, CLE - Gordon's talent has never been in question. He has been scouted as a natural receiver and physical specimen. His off-the-field issues are what have haunted him. Don't ask Gordon to chaperone any field trips, but you can trust him to give you some solid fantasy production in Week 7. Gordon has scored 3 times in the past 2 weeks. That kind of production can make your rookie QB show you some love real quick.
Reggie Wayne, WR, IND - Antonio Cromartie shut Wayne down last week, but the Browns have nothing like Cromartie to unless on Wayne. Expect Wayne to rebound in a big way as his rookie QB will continue to lean on him heavily. Wayne has already had games with 15, 18, and 20 targets from Luck and Sunday will prove to be another high target game. The difference here is that the Browns allow WRs to convert those targets to receptions.
Scott Chandler, TE, BUF - Chandler has made you want to pull your hair out for most of the season, but this week he will make you want to put it back in. The Titans are on tap, and few things are as friendly to a TE as facing the Titans. Look for Chandler to remerge on the fantasy radar this week.
Let 'em warm up the pine (a.k.a. Sit)
Alex Smith, QB, SF - Smith has been hot and cold this season, but he has struggled against the more aggressive pass defenses. This week Smith gets a very tough Seattle Defense in a critical game for both teams. We expect to see the 49ers play it safe and try to run the ball. Smith will be decent in coming weeks, but this week is not the one to trust him if you have better options.
Joe Flacco, QB, BAL - After a red hot start to the season, Flacco has cooled off over his last two weeks. The cooling trend continues facing a fierce Texans' defense on the road in Houston. Stay away from Flacco for one more week, ride out his BYE next week, and then he gets healthy again on the fantasy scoring front facing the very pass-friendly Browns in week 9.
Christian Ponder, QB, MIN - Last week we recommended Ponder as a start and he delivered. This week we recommend him as a bench call. Ponder is going up against a very tough Cardinals' Defense. The Cardinals have been the second most difficult defense on opposing fantasy QBs.
Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA - It is always a bit of a gamble to bench Lynch in an emotional game because he can go into beast mode on you. However, Lynch hasn't been very beastly lately from a fantasy perspective. This week Lynch is going to face an embarrassed, prideful defense in San Francisco. Look for Patrick Willis and the 49ers to rise to the challenge and shut down Lynch in Week 7.
Frank Gore, RB, SF - Gore has had some decent games this year, and he has had some real stinkers. This week looks like a stinker, smells like a stinker, and sounds like a stinker. Guess what? If that's the case, it's probably going to be a stinker. Avoid the embarrassment and leave Gore on your pine in what should prove to be a fierce defensive battle between Seattle and San Francisco.
Sidney Rice, WR, SEA - Rice had a nice showing last week and has been heating up, but he will cool off this week facing a brutal 49ers defense that is going to pin its ears back and come after the Hawks' rookie QB. The end result will be a handful of opportunities from poorly thrown balls that come Rice's way.
Nate Burleson, WR, DET - Burleson has nailed a TD two of his last three games and has provided a fantasy option at WR for those in deeper leagues; however, this is not the week to go to the Burleson well again, for that water is polluted with Bear dung. Chicago's pressure defense and physical play will give Burleson fits under the bright lights of Monday Night Football.
James Jones, WR, GRB - Folks, if you think Jones is not a fantasy weapon, you haven't been paying attention to football this season. Jones has nailed 2 TDs in each of his last three games. Yup, that means 6 TDs in just 3 games. He has been one of the hottest WRs in the game and has been averaging a healthy 7 targets a game during that stretch. However, this is the week he cools off facing what has proven to be a very physical, stingy Rams' defense under the guidance of Head Coach Jeff Fisher. The Rams are at home, and Jones' TD stat line stands out as strong to Fisher as it does to us. Jones will not be flying under the radar on Fisher and will be shutout of the endzone this week.
For an expanded list of players to help with weekly fantasy football start sit line-up decisions, be sure to check our our Fantasy Football Weekly Rankings, which are released every Thursday during the regular season.