Each week during the NFL season FST brings you our Fantasy Football Start’em column, which takes a look at favorable matchups and how they might impact lineup decisions for your fantasy football roster. Let’s take a look at some players that you’ll want in your starting lineup for Week 7. If you have any start’em sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.


Matt Ryan ATL VS. TB

The last time we saw the 1-4 Falcons they were being out-classed by the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. Matt Ryan led the dirty birds on a late 4th quarter TD drive, which they let slip through their hands, but Ryan has remained solid this season. Tampa Bay is winless but has shown some fight of late. I expect some scoring and even though the weapons are thinner with Julio out for the season and Roddy White still on the mend it’s going to be Matty Ice who should have a big day.

Philip Rivers SD VS. JAC

Rivers has been slinging the pigskin around like it’s 2008 and the Chargers looked impressive at home on Monday night. Taking on Jacksonville appears to be cupcake, but I see a high scoring affair in this contest. The Jaguars are struggling, but steadily improving and as Rivers go so do the Chargers. I expect Philip to continue the impressive amount of TD passes without a true #1 receiver this week.

Wide Receivers

Torrey Smith BAL VS. PIT

Torrey is quietly putting together another solid season in Baltimore. Last year when these teams got together Smith put on an impressive performance coming off the death of his brother. There is no love lost between these AFC North rivals and Torrey will play a crucial role in determining the outcome of this one. The Steelers defense is aging and this appears to be a statement game for the Ravens as they look to assert their defending champions muscle.

Anquan Boldin SF VS. TEN

Boldin has been great, mediocre and invisible in the 49ers offense at time this season. I expect this week marks another peak in his roller coaster season. The Titans have a formidable defense, but Boldin typically plays up to the competition. Sure, he’s likely to see some double teams, but with the emergence of Vernon Davis I suspect Boldin will have more man-coverage to exploit in Nashville.

Running Backs

Ray Rice BAL VS. PIT

Ray has self-admitted that his lack of production has been frustrating. The Steelers definitely get up for these rivalry games but I can’t see Ray being contained much longer. I see catches, runs and designed shuffle passes to get this offense moving. Even at home in Heinz field this middle of the pack defense for the Steelers should struggle to contain a more dynamic offense of the Ravens.

Arian Foster HOU VS. KC

It is hard to believe that Foster only has 1 TD this season, as he leads the Texans in rushing touchdowns thus far. The Chiefs are a powerful defense and I expect it’ll be a tough matchup to get back in the win column with TJ Yates at QB. However, the Texans will need to rely upon Foster’s legs to stay in this game and slow it down so that they can grind out points. Expect a heavy dosage of ground and pound action from the Texans and a TD plunge for Foster.

Tight Ends

Vernon Davis SF VS. TEN

Davis continues to display freakish speed, agility and power for any football player. His outburst last week was nothing unusual to Niners fans. The Titans secondary has some playmakers but there is also a decision to be made in how to limit Kaepernick. I suspect the game plan to involve keeping him in the pocket and making him beat them down field and that will set up Boldin and Davis for some long gains.

Martelleus Bennett CHI VS. WAS

The case for the TE against the Redskins secondary has been officially declared. The Redskins have seen better days defensively and even though they’ve held firmer up front as of late it’s too good a matchup to not roll Bennett out there with confidence. Cutler is bound to find his weapons in space and expect a few fireworks in our nation’s capital to celebrate the end of the government shutdown.


New England Patriots NE VS. NYJ

The Patriots are a top 10 defense this season statistically. They’ve proven to be a difficult one to beat over the top and Rex Ryan will surely plan to test this Belicheck led team in every way he can on Sunday. The result will seemingly be a Geno Smith nightmare if he’s not careful. Remember the way Geno threw a late game interception in week 2 versus these same Patriots. I expect more of that in a Patriot sized romp.