Fantasy picks: Week 7

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In Week 7 of the Home Team Challenge, the free fantasy football game with great prizes on HoustonTexans.com, the winning player will take home a FATHEAD wall graphic of Andre Johnson.

Here's my weekly fantasy advice, with a few players I like and a few players I don't.

PRICE IS RIGHT

RB Marion Barber, DAL, 49 points (@ STL): So here's the thing: Barber has only one 100-yard rushing game this season, Week 3 against Green Bay. He also has not scored a rushing touchdown since Week 3. But that all should change this Sunday against a weak Rams defense. With Dallas quarterback Tony Romo and first-round pick running back Felix Jones both likely to sit out this week, the Cowboys should lean on Barber to carry the team. Don't forget that Barber is also a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield. He had 11 catches for 128 yards and a touchdown last week against the Cardinals, although he probably won't match those lofty numbers this week without Romo. Any way you look at it, expect Barber to break the 100-yard rushing mark and also get into the end zone.

VALUE PICK

RB Jamal Lewis, CLE, 36 (@ WAS): Lewis has come on strong of late. In the past two games, Lewis has rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns, and the Browns' offense has shown improvement and flashes of its explosive 2007 form. Cleveland was pretty much able to do what they wanted against the Giants' defense last Monday in the passing game. Look for Washington to turn their attention to their shutting down the Browns' passing attack this week, which would open up the run game for Lewis.

NOT WORTH IT

K Matt Prater, DEN, 29 (@ NE): This isn't saying that Prater is a bad kicker. He has missed only one field goal this year and is perfect on extra point attempts. The problem I see has more to do with Denver's offense the last few weeks. They were unstoppable the first three weeks of the season but have been less than spectacular in the last three games. The offense was only able to set up one field goal attempt for Prater last week against Jacksonville. New England's defense hasn't been great this year and should allow for a few field goal attempts for Prater, but there are other kickers who will get just as many kicking opportunities for a cheaper price.

DEF Packers, GB, 36 (vs. IND): Green Bay has struggled against the run this season, giving up an average of 153.3 yards per game on the ground. They have been decent against the pass, especially since starting cornerback Al Harris has been out, only giving up 178.8 yards per game through the air. But that probably will change this week against Peyton Manning and the Colts, who finally hit their stride last week. Manning threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns in Indy's rout of Baltimore, which went into that game as the No. 1 defense in the NFL. Look elsewhere for a defensive unit this week in fantasy.

SLEEPER SPECIAL

WR Vincent Jackson, SD, 24 (@ BUF): The Chargers are playing excellent football, and it's been without LaDainian Tomlinson as the centerpiece of the offense. Philip Rivers really has taken over as the offensive leader and shown the ability to spread his passes around. Jackson is the one who benefits from this the most. He was targeted 10 times last week against New England and caught five of those passes for 134 yards and a touchdown. Don't expect a repeat of those numbers, but 75 yards and a touchdown wouldn't be too much to ask.

A LITTLE BIT EXTRA ADVICE
Play the matchup game. Players with great matchups can help your fantasy team tremendously. For example, this week the Colts play the Packers. The Packers' defense is giving up 153.3 rushing yards per game this season. A good idea would be to pay attention to Dominic Rhodes, who is starting at running back for the Colts in place of the injured Joseph Addai. A player with a good matchup like Rhodes really can pay dividends.

TEXANS FANTASY STARTER OF THE WEEK

TE Owen Daniels, HOU, 18 (vs. DET): Daniels is quietly having a great season. He is in the top three in receptions and receiving yards for NFL tight ends, and leads the AFC in both categories. Daniels has caught 23 passes for 308 yards, and it's only a matter of time before he finds the end zone. Daniels has been extremely consistent, averaging 61.6 yards per game.

To register for the Home Team Challenge, click here. Make sure to set your lineups by Sun., Oct. 21 at 10:00 a.m.


In Week 7 of the Home Team Challenge, the free fantasy football game with great prizes on HoustonTexans.com, the winning player will take home a FATHEAD wall graphic of Andre Johnson.

Here's my weekly fantasy advice, with a few players I like and a few players I don't.

PRICE IS RIGHT

RB Marion Barber, DAL, 49 points (@ STL): So here's the thing: Barber has only one 100-yard rushing game this season, Week 3 against Green Bay. He also has not scored a rushing touchdown since Week 3. But that all should change this Sunday against a weak Rams defense. With Dallas quarterback Tony Romo and first-round pick running back Felix Jones both likely to sit out this week, the Cowboys should lean on Barber to carry the team. Don't forget that Barber is also a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield. He had 11 catches for 128 yards and a touchdown last week against the Cardinals, although he probably won't match those lofty numbers this week without Romo. Any way you look at it, expect Barber to break the 100-yard rushing mark and also get into the end zone.

VALUE PICK

RB Jamal Lewis, CLE, 36 (@ WAS): Lewis has come on strong of late. In the past two games, Lewis has rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns, and the Browns' offense has shown improvement and flashes of its explosive 2007 form. Cleveland was pretty much able to do what they wanted against the Giants' defense last Monday in the passing game. Look for Washington to turn their attention to their shutting down the Browns' passing attack this week, which would open up the run game for Lewis.

NOT WORTH IT

K Matt Prater, DEN, 29 (@ NE): This isn't saying that Prater is a bad kicker. He has missed only one field goal this year and is perfect on extra point attempts. The problem I see has more to do with Denver's offense the last few weeks. They were unstoppable the first three weeks of the season but have been less than spectacular in the last three games. The offense was only able to set up one field goal attempt for Prater last week against Jacksonville. New England's defense hasn't been great this year and should allow for a few field goal attempts for Prater, but there are other kickers who will get just as many kicking opportunities for a cheaper price.

DEF Packers, GB, 36 (vs. IND): Green Bay has struggled against the run this season, giving up an average of 153.3 yards per game on the ground. They have been decent against the pass, especially since starting cornerback Al Harris has been out, only giving up 178.8 yards per game through the air. But that probably will change this week against Peyton Manning and the Colts, who finally hit their stride last week. Manning threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns in Indy's rout of Baltimore, which went into that game as the No. 1 defense in the NFL. Look elsewhere for a defensive unit this week in fantasy.

SLEEPER SPECIAL

WR Vincent Jackson, SD, 24 (@ BUF): The Chargers are playing excellent football, and it's been without LaDainian Tomlinson as the centerpiece of the offense. Philip Rivers really has taken over as the offensive leader and shown the ability to spread his passes around. Jackson is the one who benefits from this the most. He was targeted 10 times last week against New England and caught five of those passes for 134 yards and a touchdown. Don't expect a repeat of those numbers, but 75 yards and a touchdown wouldn't be too much to ask.

A LITTLE BIT EXTRA ADVICE
Play the matchup game. Players with great matchups can help your fantasy team tremendously. For example, this week the Colts play the Packers. The Packers' defense is giving up 153.3 rushing yards per game this season. A good idea would be to pay attention to Dominic Rhodes, who is starting at running back for the Colts in place of the injured Joseph Addai. A player with a good matchup like Rhodes really can pay dividends.

TEXANS FANTASY STARTER OF THE WEEK

TE Owen Daniels, HOU, 18 (vs. DET): Daniels is quietly having a great season. He is in the top three in receptions and receiving yards for NFL tight ends, and leads the AFC in both categories. Daniels has caught 23 passes for 308 yards, and it's only a matter of time before he finds the end zone. Daniels has been extremely consistent, averaging 61.6 yards per game.

To register for the Home Team Challenge, click here. Make sure to set your lineups by Sun., Oct. 21 at 10:00 a.m.

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