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Week 7: Start

Here is a list of players who either have good matchups this week, or have less than ideal matchups but I would still start. So, unless starting one (or more) of these guys means that you are benching one (or more) of your must-start players, they should be in your lineup.

QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Greg Jennings, WR Donald Driver (GB) vs. Indianapolis Colts: Rodgers and Jennings are must-start players, even against the Colts, who only give up 169 passing yards per game. But remember that the Colts give up over 160 rushing yards per game, so most teams just keep it on the ground. However, with Ryan Grant struggling, the Packers will look to move the ball through the air. And both Jennings and Driver should put up good numbers.

QB Trent Edwards, WR Lee Evans (BUF) vs. San Diego Chargers: Edwards is coming off a concussion, but is expected to play. And the Chargers give up 267 passing yards and 1.7 passing TDs per game. Look for Edwards to connect with Evans (who is averaging over 17 yards per catch) for a long TD (or two).

QB Drew Brees (NO) at Carolina: Brees is a must-start player, even against the Panthers, who give up around 171 passing yards per game. Through 6 weeks of the season, Brees might be the MVP of the NFL.

QB Gus Frerotte, WR Bernard Berrian (MIN) at Chicago Bears: Berrian is a guy most would start anyway, but both him and Frerotte have a good matchup against the Bears, who give up over 250 passing yards per game. On top of that, RB Adrian Peterson has not been running the ball well (although you have to start him, too), so the Vikings will likely have to pass the ball to beat their division rivals.

QB Matt Schaub, RB Steve Slaton, WR Andre Johnson (HOU) vs. Detroit Lions: The Lions defense is simply awful. They give up over 170 rushing yards and 1.4 rushing TDs per game, and 261 passing yards and 1.8 passing TDs per game.  Look for Houston to get its second-straight win, and look for these three to have big days. TE Owen Daniels is a good start, too.

QB Tony Romo or QB Brad Johnson (DAL) at St. Louis Rams: The Rams rank 31st in total defense, so whether it is Romo or Brad Johnson at QB, he is worth a start. Also, expect RB Marion Barber to have a huge day, especially if Romo is out.

RB Willie Parker (PIT) at Cincinnati Bengals: The Steelers play against a Bengals defense that allows over 156 rushing yards per game. However, keep an eye on Parker’s injury status, because apparently he re-aggravated his knee injury and his status for this weekend is uncertain. If he cannot go, RB Mewelde Moore makes a good start.

RB Chris Johnson (TEN) at Kansas City Chiefs: Chris Johnson is bordering on must-start territory, in my opinion, but this week he has a great matchup against a Chiefs defense that allows over 180 rushing yards and 1.6 rushing TDs per game. Look for Johnson — and probably even RB LenDale White — to have a big day.

RB Dominic Rhodes (IND) at Green Bay Packers: Rhodes will be starting this week in place of the injured Joseph Addai, and should find some room to run against the Packers, who give up over 150 yards per game on the ground.

RB Matt Forte (CHI) vs. Minnesota Vikings: I am not a big Forte fan, but he has played well this year. And even though he has has been averaging less than 4 yards per carry lately, he is still putting up good (fantasy) numbers. As long as Forte gets enough carries, catches some passes, and finds the end zone (which he has done pretty regularly this year), he is worth a start — even against a Vikings defense that only allows 74 yards rushing per game.

RB Kevin Smith (DET) at Houston Texans. Smith is my “Sleeper-of-the-Week” pick. Although Smith is technically the backup to Rudi Johnson, he has out-played him over the past few games. And the the Texans give up 2 rushing TDs per game (most in the NFL). If you are desperate for RB help, consider putting Smith in your lineup.

WR Randy Moss (NE) vs. Denver Broncos: This is not 2007. And Matt Cassell is not Tom Brady. But this week, the Patriots play the Broncos, who give up over 265 passing yards per game. Moss may not be a must-start player anymore, but this is a great matchup for him (although he also had a good matchup last week against San Diego and did not do much…).

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