Start/Bench—Week  7 

 

Start
Thomas Woodson, QB-Akron at Bowling Green
In the past four games, Woodson has passed for seven touchdowns and has rushed for at least 60 yards three times.  The sophomore quarterback’s dual-threat ability should be an asset this weekend when the Zips travel to Bowling Green and take on the  second-worst pass defense in the FBS (326.5 ypg).
 
Dare Ogunbowale, RB-Wisconsin vs Purdue
Ogunbowale rushed for 117 yards in the Badgers’ 23-21 win at Nebraska last weekend.  In that game, fellow running back Taiwan Deal sprained an ankle and he may not play in this week’s game against Purdue.  If that is the case, expect Ogunbowale to carry the load against a Purdue defense giving up 216.5 yards per game on the ground.

 

Kenneth Dixon, RB-Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State
Dixon was held out of Louisiana Tech’s game against UTSA last weekend because he suffered an injury mid-week.  He should play this weekend and we expect him to have a solid game against an MSU defense that is allowing over 170 yards per game on the ground.

 

Anthony Wales, RB-Western Kentucky at North Texas
In last week’s win against Middle Tennessee, Wales showed why he was Leon Allen’s primary backup heading into the 2015 season before suffering an injury just prior to Week 1.  After carrying the ball 19 times for 111 yards in Week 6, expect the junior back to move into the feature role ahead of DeAndre Ferby.
 
Kalif  Phillips vs Old Dominion
Phillips has topped 100 yards in back-to-back games leading up to the 49ers’ Week 7 matchup at Old Dominion.  We are expecting the junior running back to have his first 20-plus point game of the season against an ODU defense giving up 206.0 yards per game on the ground.

 

Chris Hairston, RB-East Carolina vs Tulsa
Hairston has been boom or bust in 2015, but he has been worth the risk when the matchup is favorable.  This week, the Pirates host Tulsa, and the Golden Hurricane have one of the worst rushing defenses in the entire FBS, allowing 269.6 rushing yards per game.

 

Brandon Burks, RB-Troy vs Idaho
Burks has not topped 100 yards since Week 1, when he ran for 124 yards in a 49-21 loss at North Carolina State, but he has topped 80 yards in Troy’s previous two games.  This week, the Trojans host Idaho, and the Vandals have the second-worst rushing defense in the FBS, allowing 317.8 yards per game.

 

Christian Kirk, WR-Texas A&M vs Alabama
For the second consecutive week, we are recommending starting an opposing player against the Alabama defense, but we are staying away from the running backs.  The Aggies will find ways to get the freshman receiver some touches, as Kirk has at least six receptions in four of Texas A&M’s five games this season and he is definitely their offensive playmaker.
 

  

Bench
Garrett Smith, QB-LA-Monroe vs Appalachian State
Smith has been solid the past two weeks, but in Week 7 the Warhawks host Appalachian State and the Mountaineers have held four of their five opponents to 13 points or less and three of five opponents to three points or less.  Receiver Ajalen Holley is worth a start in Week 7, but Smith may be too much of a risk this week against an Appalachian State defense ranked in the Top 10 in points allowed and yards allowed.
 
Treon Harris, QB-Florida at LSU
Harris has not seen significant playing time since the Gators’ win over East Carolina in Week 2, so we expect Florida to lean on their defense and keep the play-calling simple and conservative when they travel to Baton Rouge on Saturday.

 

Justin Thomas, QB-Georgia Tech vs Pitt
We have Thomas ranked at No. 26 in this week’s quarterback rankings, which is a borderline start for a QB2 position.  However, fantasy owners should note that Pitt has the one of the nation’s top defenses (No. 7 yards allowed per game), and particularly one of the better run defenses, allowing fewer than 85 yards per game.

 

Justin Jackson, RB-Northwestern vs Iowa
The sophomore back has topped 100 yards in four of six games this season, but he has only found the endzone once.  After his 25-yard game against Michigan in Week 6, Jackson will be looking to get back on track this week against Iowa, but the Hawkeyes have the nation’s fifth-ranked run defense and have only allowed one rushing TD in 2015.
 
LJ Scott, RB-Michigan State at Michigan
It seems as if Scott could be in for a heavier workload this weekend since fellow running back Madre London is dealing with an ankle injury, but the Spartans are travelling to Ann Arbor to play against a defense ranked No.1 in points allowed, No. 2 in total defense, and No. 3 in rushing yards allowed. 
 
Tra Carson, RB-Texas A&M vs Alabama
The Crimson Tide defense have only allowed one player to rush for more than 39 yards in a game this year, Georgia’s Nick Chubb, who finished with 146 yards after an 83-yard TD run when the game was already out of hand at 38-3 in the third quarter.  Carson is not a breakaway threat like Chubb, he is more of a move-the-chains type of back and that is exactly what Alabama does not let opposing offenses do, as they have only allowed 20 rushing first downs this season, which is second-best in the country.

 

Wayne Gallman, RB-Clemson vs Boston College
Gallman has topped 100 yards rushing for three consecutive weeks, but that will be a challenge in Week 7 when the Tigers host Boston College.  The Eagles’ defense is ranked No. 1 in the nation in multiple categories, total defense (140.3 ypg), rushing defense (41.7 ypg), and rushing average (1.4 ypp).  Plus, they are ranked No. 2 in scoring defense (6.3 ppg) and have held five of their six opponents to a season-low in points.

 

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