Fantasy Football teams have been decimated by injury as the NFL reaches mid-season and looks to protect player safety. I've been unfortunate enough to lose Jermichael Finley and Reggie Bush off of my team.
With this spate of injuries and Fantasy Football performers like Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson and Miles Austin not producing as consistently as last season, your game may come down to points earned by last-minute pickups and players you may traditionally bench.
Let's go ahead and take a look at five fantasy predictions for NFL Week 7.
The Washington Redskins go on the road this week to play the Chicago Bears. Clinton Portis has a groin injury and won't be able to play at running back and Ryan Torain will once again get the start.
Last week Torain had his first 100 yard rushing game as a pro and scored two touchdowns. Now, don't expect him to replicate those numbers this week against the Bears third-ranked run defense, but he will have some success.
Against the Colts he was able to break tackles and pick up extra yards. Look for him to do the same against the Bears. Also, the Redskins will lean on the 6'1", 220-pound Torain. Use him as a your second starting running back or as a flex option.
The San Diego Chargers have the best passing offense in the league through the first seven weeks of the season. Philip Rivers has leaned heavily on Malcom Floyd and Antonio Gates. This week, against the Patriots, Gates will not be a full strength and Malcom Floyd is expected to miss this game.
Despite these absences, expect the Chargers to throw the ball quite a bit against a poor Patriots' secondary. Patrick Crayton had a big game last week (six catches 117 yards) and he has become a consistent option for Philip Rivers.
With Floyd out, Legedu Naanee and Antonio Gates trying to come back from injury, Crayton may be the go-to-guy for the Chargers this week.
Last season, I picked Carson Palmer and expected him to start. His underwhelming statistics and the emergence of a Bengals running game last season submarined my entire season. But, I'm putting my personal distaste for Palmer aside and telling you to start his this week.
The Bengals play the Atlanta Falcons this week. Despite a 4-2 record, the Falcons are susceptible to the big passing play of defense. Look for guys like Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco to get behind the secondary for long pass plays and scores.
Palmer has been interception prone early in the season, but he should have a strong game against the Falcons, especially after having an extra week to prepare.
While Favre has traditionally performed well after facing adversity, his meeting with the league serves as yet another distraction for him and this Vikings team. The potential distraction coupled with a Packers team looking to get back on track after two close losses does not bode well for the Vikings.
With the return of Clay Matthews this week, the Packers will be able to apply pressure to the quarterback, and protect their secondary. Look for Charles Woodson to do a good job on Moss and Harvin will not have a special teams touchdown.
At Lambeau, expect the Packers to stifle the Vikings and Fantasy owners should avoid the Viking receivers.
The Jacksonville Jaguars march into Arrowhead Stadium this week in Kansas City to face a surprisingly good Chiefs team. Destroyed on Monday Night Football, the Jaguars are clearly reeling. Maurice Jones-Drew has only scored one rushing touchdown this season, and don't expect him to add to that total this week.
Last week, against the Tennessee Titans, Jones-Drew only put up 57 yards. This week, he faces a better rushing defense. Additionally, David Garrard may be unable to play, which will allow the Chiefs to load the box and focus on stopping the rushing attack.
The Jaguars general offensive ineptitude hurt Jones-Drew's chances of having a big game, and I would certainly think hard about sitting him your bench.