Our Week 7 start ’em features regular fantasy starters, as well as lesser-known players, who are likely to exceed expectations based on a favorable matchup. For your final lineup decisions, check out our Week 7 player rankings and if you have any fantasy football questions, feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.


Ben Roethlisberger PIT VS HOU

Discard the division rival Browns dismantling last week. It’ll be Big Ben up to his old tricks of escaping the pocket and finding Antonio Brown on Monday night. It’ll be back at Heinz field and Houston, while touting one of the top Fantasy Football defenses, does give up a fair share of yardage. Expect Big Ben to bounce back in primetime.

Russell Wilson SEA @ STL

Speaking of bounce backs, the Seattle Seahawks will be seeking just that this Sunday. Wilson got bounced around a bit by the Cowboys and this week he’ll be taking his squad to St. Louis to take on a beatup Rams team. While they put up a fight for 3 quarters against San Francisco, there were big holes in the secondary that Kaepernick exposed. Expect Wilson to beat the Rams with his arm and his legs this time around. I like Seattle and Wilson to rebound big time.

Running Backs

Branden Oliver SD VS KC

The next best thing is here. No, we are not talking Samsung, we are talking this dynamic San Diego running back. Oliver has become a must start in all formats with his bullish, yet elusive running style for the Chargers. San Diego continues to put up points and move the football effectively. This divisional matchup should be a physical one and I expect San Diego to try to establish a running game with Oliver at the center of it.

Joique Bell DET VS NO

With Reggie Bush still out of commission and possibly Calvin Johnson, Bell will be expected to pick up the pace again. Detroit looked like they took the foot off the pedal offensively last week, but against the Saints they’ll need it full-throttle. Bell will be the bell cow from the goal line if Reggie cannot suit up again. Either way, he’s a very enticing flex play this week.

Wide Receivers

T.Y. Hilton IND VS CIN

Hilton is the most dangerous weapon on the Colt’s roster not named Andrew Luck. He’s Luck’s favorite target and last weekend he busted out in a major way against the Texans. Cincy has fallen from the ranks of the top teams in the last couple weeks and Hilton should have time to operate and get open. Playing at home is a huge plus and he’s coming off a monster game so expect him to stay red hot and light up the Bengals. A couple TDs and 100 yards wouldn’t be far off.

Andre Holmes OAK VS AZ

With the young rookie quarterback, Derek Carr, establishing himself as an up-and-comer it comes as no surprise to Raiders Nation that Andre Holmes is beginning to emerge. As an undrafted free-agent, who has bounced around a bit, he’s begun to emerge in this Tony Soprano led offense now. James Jones will continue to get targets, but Holmes has a promising matchup against a Cardinals team that gives up the second most fantasy points to wideouts. He’s a solid WR3 this week.

Tight Ends

Jared Cook STL VS SEA

The Cook is in the kitchen, folks! Jared Cook has stopped yelling at his quarterback on the sidelines and has emerged as a big time target for Austin Davis. This week, even though it’s against the vaunted Seattle defense, Cook should get his chances since the Seahawks give up close to the most fantasy points allowed to tight ends in the NFL. Cook is a great outlet and he’ll be needed against an Angry Seattle defense that was defeated last weekend. Cook it up and start Jared!

Larry Donnell NYG @ DAL

Larry has played the part of Where’s Waldo in his last couple games. Barely avoiding another goose-egg in his last game, he’s primed to bounce back against Dallas come Sunday. Hence the theme of this week’s Start’em column to be the Bounce-Backs. OK, the stats don’t lie and neither do the injuries. With Cruz done for the season and Jennings on the mend, they’ll need Randle, ODB and Donnell to help them through this patch. Expect Donnell to do work against their division rivals this week.


Houston Texans HOU @ PIT

The Texans are a HOT defense even if they give up points and yards. The key to them is that they create turnovers and convert them to points against their opponents. Led by the human wrecking ball, J.J. Watt, it’s tough to sit the Texans in any format against a reeling Steelers squad. I fully endorse Big Ben to put up good numbers, but I also expect a couple mistakes that will make Texans Defense owners rejoice despite how many points they give up.