Fantasy Football 2011: Start 'Em or Sit 'Em for Week 7

Eric StashinSenior Writer IOctober 21, 2011

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 09:  Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers delivers a pass against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 9, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Chargers defeated the Broncos 29-24.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/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 and try to sort through them:

Start – Philip Rivers (San Diego Chargers at New York Jets)
You would think that this would be fairly obvious, regardless of the opponent, but you would be surprised at how scared people get to starting their players against the “vaunted” Jets defense.  For as good as the Jets defense is supposed to be, anyone who watched their game against the Dolphins on Monday night saw things a bit differently.  If there was a better quarterback than Matt Moore… If Brandon Marshall didn’t drop a few balls or run out of bounds in the open field… In other words, they showed that they can be passed against, meaning Rivers should be considered viable in all formats.

Sit – Carson Palmer (Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City)
At this point we are going to have to wait and see exactly how the Raiders play things for Week 7.  There have been rumblings that Palmer will start, though it wouldn’t be surprising if he split time with Kyle Boller.  Regardless, he hasn’t played all year and you can debate when the last time was that he actually played well.  We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out, but for now he’s too big of a risk to take.

Running Back
Start – Earnest Graham (Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Chicago)
Not only did he show how good he could be in Week 6, rushing for 109 yards on 17 carries, but he draws a Bears defense that is allowing 121.8 rushing yards per game (11th worst in the league).  Throw in the fact that he’s been targeted 29 times in the passing game (tied for seventh in the league among running backs), and he has the potential to once again post a very good game.


Start – DeMarco Murray (Dallas Cowboys vs. St. Louis)
With Felix Jones out this week Murray draws the start against a Rams’ defense that is allowing a league worst 161.8 rushing yards/game.  While Murray has not been impressive in 2011, rushing for 71 yards on 24 carries (3.0 yards/carry), there is a lot of potential upside at play.  While he’s not a star option, as a RB2 or FLEX, he’s a solid play.

Sit – Maurice Morris (Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta)
The trade that would’ve netted the Lions Ronnie Brown shows how much faith the team has in Maurice Morris.  As it is, is it a certainty that he receives the bulk of the carries in Week 7?  Keiland Williams could easily end up splitting the carries.  Keep in mind that injured starter Jahvid Best went Weeks 3-5 with 12 carries or less (he also had 12 in Week 6, though he did leave prematurely), so whoever gets the “bulk” of the carries will likely be limited.  Throw in a matchup against a defense allowing fewer than 100 rushing yards per game and it is impossible to trust him.

Sit – Delone Carter (Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans)
Even if Joseph Addai sits out Week 7, do you trust Carter at this point?  He’s managed just 170 yards on 55 carries in his rookie season (3.1 yards/carry).  Curtis Painter is also settling down in the passing game, likely meaning less carries.  There’s also the chance that the Colts fall behind early and need to go pass heavy to try and catch up.  There’s a lot stacked against him.

Wide Receiver (Two-Receiver Format)
Start – Eric Decker (Denver Broncos at Miami)
I have my concerns regarding Tim Tebow and his consistency in the passing game (you can read more about my thoughts on Tebow in Week 7 by clicking here).  However, Decker has produced all year long and Tebow has to throw the ball to someone.  Without Brandon Lloyd, Decker is the clear top receiver and should still be a viable option.

Sit – Mike Thomas (Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Baltimore)
It shows how desperate the Jaguars are that they brought Mike Sims-Walker back after cutting him loose in the offseason.  Thomas has been targeted often (53 times), but he’s only managed 27 receptions for 301 yards and one touchdown.  Throw in a tough matchup and it’s hard to play him in shallower formats.

Wide Receiver (Three-Receiver Format)
Start – Greg Little (Cleveland Browns vs. Seattle)
He was inserted into the starting lineup in Week 6 and delivered 6 receptions for 72 yards.  The Seahawks pass defense is far from dominant (268.2 passing yards/game), so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him post solid numbers.

Sit – Plaxico Burress (New York Jets vs. San Diego)
The Jets have moved to more of a run-oriented offense, meaning the passing game is taking a bit of a backseat.  That really shouldn’t be a surprise, though.  As it is, he’s managed only 14 receptions, has gone three straight games without a touchdown and hasn’t surpassed 55 yards since Week 1.  He’s too big of a risk to trust.

Make sure to check out the rest of Rotoprofessor’s Week 7 information: