Fantasy Football Start 'Em or Sit 'Em Week 7: Johnson, Nicks, Spiller & More

Eric StashinSenior Writer IOctober 19, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 14:  Quarterback Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals throws to a receiver against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 14, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have to make and try to sort through them:



Start – Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh may not be the ideal matchup for Dalton, but they have allowed nine TDs vs. two INTs, so it isn’t like we should run for the hills. The fact is that Dalton has thrown for over 300 yards three times and has three TDs in three of his past five games (multiple TD in four out of five games). At this point, he has pretty much proven that he should be considered, and likely started, in most matchups.

Start – Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Cleveland

Luck had a poor showing against the Jets, yet did throw for 280 yards (thanks to 44 attempts). That said, he has thrown the ball at least 44 times in three straight games, and in four out of five games this season (he threw 31 times in his other start). Against a defense that has allowed 294.2 passing yards per game and is tied for the most TD passes allowed (15), there is no way to consider sitting him unless you have one of the true elites.

Sit – Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – at Houston

What has happened to the Ravens? Flacco has thrown for a total of 421 yards in his past two games and has two TDs in his past three games. The Texans are one of the top defenses in the league, though they are susceptible to the TD pass (12 allowed). That is the only reason that he can be considered a little bit, but given the numbers the past few weeks, he is not a recommended option.


Running Backs

Start – Felix Jones – Dallas Cowboys – at Carolina

With DeMarco Murray down, Jones stepped in and suddenly looked like a productive back, picking up 92 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries in Week 6. After that impressive showing, he draws a Carolina team that is in the bottom 10 in rushing yards allowed (127.4 yards per game). He easily can be counted on to make some noise this week.

Start – Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans – at Buffalo

We’ve talked about him a lot this season, but this is worth repeating. Johnson has had a tough schedule, yet in two of the past three games he has rushed for over 90 yards. With the Bills being the absolute-worst rushing defense in the league (173.5 yards/game, 9 TD), despite your earlier frustrations, Johnson needs to be active this week.

Start – C.J. Spiller – Buffalo Bills – vs. Tennessee

A timeshare does hurt a little bit, but Spiller showed how explosive he can be in Week 6 with 110 total yards on 16 touches. That’s all he needs to be effective, and it is hard to imagine him getting less than that this week. The Titans have allowed seven rushing touchdowns, and I would expect Spiller to make a major impact.

Sit – Jonathan Stewart/DeAngelo Williams – Carolina Panthers – vs. Detroit

In Spiller’s case a timeshare doesn’t hurt, but in the Carolina backfield it does. That’s because we really can’t predict who is going to get the bulk of the carries, making both extremely risky plays against a Lions’ defense that has yielded just one rushing touchdown in five games.

Sit – Vick Ballard – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Cleveland

He’s the starter in name, but the Colts are a throwing team behind Luck, and Ballard had just eight of the 15 rushing attempts that went to running backs in Week 6. Even if they do run the ball more, can we say for certain that it will be Ballard and not Delone Carter or Mewelde Moore?


Wide Receivers (Two-Receiver Formats)

Start – Hakeem Nicks – New York Giants – vs. Washington

This really should go without saying, but after a quiet performance in his return to the lineup, some owners may be hesitant. Granted, Victor Cruz may be a better play, but against a Redskin defense that has allowed 15 TD and a league-high 328.3 passing yards per game, there will be more than enough opportunities to go around. Look for Nicks to make a statement.

Sit – Kendall Wright – Tennessee Titans – at Buffalo

In deeper formats I would trust Wright, but with Kenny Britt back and working himself into top form. it is easy to imagine the rookie falling into the background. There’s potential, but in shallower formats, not enough this week.


Wide Receivers (Three-Receiver Formats)

Start – Mike Williams – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. New Orleans

Over the past two weeks he has eight catches for 228 yards and a touchdown. If that wasn’t enough, would anyone be surprised to see this game fall into a shootout? The chances should be there for Williams to continue his resurgence.

Sit – Justin Blackmon – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Oakland

The rookie continues to struggle to find his footing, with 13 catches for 119 yards on the season.  Until he shows something more, he can’t be trusted.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 7 rankings: