Week 7 Startability Index (Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em)

To start or not to start?  Let our Startability Index help you decide. Here’s how it works:

The Index isn’t just about who to start and sit; fantasy is not that black and white. Here players are assigned a number from 1-10, which categorizes their fantasy value for the week. (10) is a must-start. (7) is a probable start, could have a big week, but not guaranteed a certain point threshold. (5) could go either way, but probably won’t be awesome or disastrous. (3) Very unlikely to put up good numbers. And so on.

As always, please request any players not listed below in the comments section.


Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Tennessee (8): Fitzpatrick has a chance for a nice day Sunday. The Titans are giving up 292 yards a game and have surrendered 13 passing touchdowns this season.

Andrew Luck vs. Cleveland (7): Luck is almost a different quarterback at home.  In three homes games, he’s thrown six touchdowns and two interceptions. On the road, he has one touchdown and five picks. This week, he is home. End of story. 

Carson Palmer vs. Jacksonville (6): On the surface the Jags would seem to be an attractive matchup for Palmer, as they’ve given up a ton of points.  But they’ve only allowed six touchdowns in the air. Palmer has no qualms airing it out, which could lead to healthy fantasy day for him…or the Jags defense.

Running Backs

Vick Ballard vs. Cleveland (4): Everyone, myself included, jumped on Ballard after Donald Brown went down. But with 25 yards on eight carries, he was really unimpressive last week. Ballard will get the start again, and even though the Browns have allowed 131 yards on the ground a game, owners should temper expectations.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. Pittsburgh (5): Law Firm has had a largely unproductive last two weeks and is desperate for a touchdown. The Steelers have only allowed three rushing touchdowns this season and may be tough for Green-Ellis to score on. However, he should have plenty of carries.

Shonn Greene at New England (6): Green had a breakout game last week with 161 yards and three touchdowns. But the Patriots run defense is a completely different story than the Colts.  The Patriots have only allowed two rushing touchdowns all season, which makes me nervous for a guy like Greene who is not used to breaking long ones.  But a bonus point or two for the momentum from last week’s performance.

Montario Hardesty at Indianapolis (3): The Colts run defense should allow the Browns a healthy day on the ground. But it appears Trent Richardson will play, and it’s unclear if Hardesty will get a viable workload.

Steven Jackson at Green Bay (4):  While Green Bay is not tremendous against the run, it’s difficult to be excited about a back with zero touchdowns this season.  Considering the chances of the run game being eliminated in the second half for the Rams, I would look elsewhere if possible.

Chris Johnson at Buffalo (8): Roll the dice on CJ because you don’t know who you’re getting.  However, if  hecannot produce against the Bills, the worst rushing team in the league by far, trade him, cut him, voo-doo doll him.

Marshawn Lynch at San Francisco (6): Normally any running back facing he 49ers getting a 0-3, but Lynch has had success against this defense. In fact, he was the only rusher to go over 100 yards and score a touchdown on the ground last season.  And, of course, the 49ers are still reeling from last week’s breakdown.

LaRod Stephens-Howling at Minnesota (2): Stephens-Howling had less carries than William Powell last week and can expect even less this week. It is pretty difficult to get excited about a guy with a one yard per carry average, especially against a Top 10 run defense like Minnesota.

Phillip Tanner at Carolina (4): The Cowboys are calling it a Jones-Tanner split situation in Felix Jones’ absence but I really see Jones as the lead guy here. Jerry Jones has been pushing him for years, and it seems like Jones will get the bulk of carries until he physically wears down or makes mistakes.

Wide Receivers

Justin Blackmon at Oakland (6): The Jags want to get Balckmon more involved after the bye, so this could be that breakout week owners are seeking. The Raiders are one of the lower end pass defenses in the league, giving up 274 yards a game through the air.

Randall Cobb at St. Louis (6): Cobb is a much better start in PPR leagues this week. He continues to get targeted, seeing ten last week. But the end zone may be difficult as the Rams have only allowed four passing touchdowns all season.

Chris Givens vs. Green Bay (5):  It’s hard not to get excited about a receiver who averages about 40 yards a catch, as long as his has at least one grab a game.  Givens has shown to be an interesting replacement for Danny Amendola, and Sam Bradford said he’s getting more comfortable with Givens.

Stephen Hill at New England (5): With three touchdowns to date this season, Hill is an attractive bye week replacement. Sanchez is comfortable targeting him, and New England is comfortable allowing touchdowns through the air (11, to be exact.)

Lance Moore at Tampa Bay (7): Moore returns from the hamstring injury on another week when, due to pressure from the Bucs defensive front, Drew Brees should be airing out the ball. Moore has received a healthy number of receptions lately (seven his last game). He would be given a higher number if not for the frequency in which hamstrings are re-aggravated.

Hakeem Nicks vs. Washington (9): Every Giants starter should start for you as well, especially Nicks. Even thought Nicks only had 44 yards in his return (hello running out the clock) he killed 49ers CB Tarell Brown, and should have more success against the Redskins and their secondary which ranks dead last in the league.

Mike Williams vs. New Orleans (8): Williams is a great start at home this week. He comes off of consecutive 100+ yard receiving games and is facing a Saints defense that is giving 283 yards per game in the air.

Tight Ends

Brandon Pettigrew at Chicago (6): Pettigrew hasn’t put up overly impressive numbers lately, but he did have a touchdown against the Bears last year.  He should see an increase in targets as tight ends opposing the Bears tend to receive.

Kyle Rudolph at Arizona (7): Rudolph has a touchdown in each of his last two games but will face a tough task against the Cardinals top ten secondary.  He should see ample targets to at least be mildly productive.