Week 7 Sleepers: Darren McFadden and 3 Players You Need to Start This Week

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2012

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 30:  Running back Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders runs with the football as defensive tackle Derek Wolfe #95 of the Denver Broncos looks to make the tackle during the second quarter at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on September 30, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Darren McFadden is poised to shred the Jacksonville Jaguars defense.

2012 has not been kind to McFadden.

With a clean bill of health and with Michael Bush leaving as a free agent, this looked to be the year McFadden would emerge as an elite running back.

Outside of his 113-yard, one touchdown performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 3, McFadden has been a disappointment for fantasy owners.

But this week, he's poised for a massive fantasy output.

McFadden is matched up against a defense ranked 30th in rushing yards per game. It's the exact kind of game that can kick start his season

You can expect him to put up even bigger numbers than he did against Pittsburgh.

Here are three other sleepers going into Week 7:


Brandon Weeden

The 29-year-old is next-to-last in passer rating in the league. His rating of 68.1 is ahead of only Matt Cassel.

Despite this, he is poised to have a good performance against Indianapolis.

The Colts have only allowed an average of 200 yards a game so far this season, but their rushing defense could make them very vulnerable. They rank 29th in the league, giving up 159 yards a game.

If Trent Richardson can open up the Colts' defense on the ground, Weeden is going to have an easier time through the air. The defense will gear up to try and stop Richardson and get beat over the top.


Blaine Gabbert

The Oakland-Jacksonville game could very well be a shoot-out.

Gabbert struggled as a rookie last year, and those problems are continuing in 2012. He's completed a little over 55 percent of his passes for 796 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions.

Although Maurice Jones-Drew is the unquestioned fantasy stud on Jacksonville, the Jaguars' opponents this week, the Oakland Raiders, have been very susceptible to the pass.

That means Gabbert could have a very good game this week.

It's unlikely he'll crack the 300-yard mark, but a very respectable 250-yard, two touchdown performance could be in order.

Andrew Hawkins

Hawkins has emerged as a solid target for Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.

This week (home against Pittsburgh) might seem like a fantasy vacuum for anybody on Cincinnati.

Hawkins might be immune to the Steelers' fourth-ranked pass defense, however. If the Bengals are going to win on Sunday night, it's going to be through the air.

With A.J. Green commanding the most attention among the Bengals receivers, the yards are going to have to come from somewhere.

Hawkins might be able to take advantage of this and have a week like he did against Baltimore in Week 1, when he caught eight passes for 86 yards.