I must start this weeks article with a story: “So I am looking through the Internet in search of some fantasy football advice, and I came across this article by a new writer. A guy who isn’t mainstream or popular yet, but I like his stuff and I like the way he writes.. I think I am going to try his advice, but if he lets me down I may be upset. Maybe you’ve heard of him? He calls himself The Shark. I don’t know when you started writing son, but I have to tell you I am awfully proud of you”
That was a conversation between my dad and I a few years back when I first started writing for CamelClutchBlog and covering Fantasy Football. It’s with a heavy heart that I say Happy Birthday to my idol and my hero on the day I write this, October 16th, 2013 in what would have been his 74th birthday. I miss you dad, but the fact that you took the time to read and appreciate what I was writing, and used my advice ( dad won that week by the way ) means more to me than I can ever explain. It has only been a few months since you have passed, but I will never forget you or the fact that even you became a fantasy player, and a loyal reader.
So my predictions and advice are not for the normal. I never seek out the obvious. You don’t need me to tell you to start Peyton Manning or Adrian Peterson, that much you can do on your own. I like to take a stab at good starts from guys slightly under the radar, it makes it more exciting. However, if there is mail and responses that means you’re reading, and much like dad read, it makes me proud to know you are out there.
So it’s time to get back to work. I have one team riding high at 5-1 while my 2 others are sinking fast. Draft day heroes are becoming zeros and it is an odd season where different guys are doing big things every week. Did anyone start Nick Foles last week? Jason Fauria maybe? Highly unlikely, yet these two had monster weeks. Well who really ever knows. Get a lineup in there and hope for the best. Let’s take a look at Week 7 and what I hope is some solid choices for you out there. As always best of luck!
Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins: No defense in the league plays the pass quite as bad as the Redskins, and since Cutler’s main target Brandon Marshall said “get me the ball” Cutler is finding TDs. The Bears are a very hard team to predict, but the Redskins are just awful right now, so ride this one here.
Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars: Despite last weeks ball control scheme the Chargers used to beat the Colts, Rivers should be active here against the Jags. Obviously Peyton Manning took it easy on this defense, but Rivers does not have to and he is finding new weapons. I continue to like Rivers and this new offense so use him here.
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys: The suspect Eagles are 2-0 this year with Foles in the lineup and last week he torched a decent Bucs defense for 3 passing and 1 rushing TD. This offense seems more suited for him than last years Reid plan. Now he comes home to play the division rival Cowboys, minus a few of their pass rush experts. I expect Foles to keep up the good work this week.
Josh Freeman, Minnesota Vikings at New York Giants: It is a long shot, but somewhere out there you know some owners will try and get cute. Yes, the Giants defense is awful, but Freeman is just 2 weeks removed from being cut by a winless team. Keep him parked unless he shows an amazing turn around.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans: I will not and can not forgive him for that awful free agent pick up collapse last week. Smith has been unproductive of late, and this team is winning games with defense and a lot of Jamaal Charles. Not only do you bench him, you may as well cut him.
Sam Bradford, St Louis Rams at Carolina Panthers: The Panther defense has been pretty good lately and the Rams on the road are a lot different than the Rams on the road. They are getting better, but this is risky.
Giovanni Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals at Detroit Lions: More and more snaps, a nice 20 yard TD reception last week, and an iffy run defense. It is time to get used to having Bernard in your lineup. Yes even you hate mail writers out there.
Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants vs. Minnesota Vikings: The Giants have gone as low as to add Peyton Hillis. With that in mind Jacobs may be even more productive than he was last week. The Giants passing game is shaky, but the Vikings defense is easily had.. Expect some good things from Jacobs again, but take it week to week.
Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills: After a bye week Miller should be ready for the task against an average defense. He is starting to be more active in the passing game, and although the Bills are still the Bills, they do make games interesting, so the Dolphins may want to lean on some ball control.
Arian Foster, Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs: Foster is making progress and has been better of late but this defense is sizzling hot. It won’t help that the Texans are back to the backup QB Merry-go-round. There will be plenty of box loading by the Texans front 7 so Foster looks risky here.
CJ Spiller, Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins still play good run defense, and Spiller seems like he needs a GPS installed in his helmet to find the end zone. From in close it is Fred Jackson’s game, and somehow Spiller went from stud, to option C in a 3-headed-monster run scheme.
Trent Richardson, Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos: He is still not thrilling anyone in this offense, and this one is about QBs. Maybe you have heard the story? A guy named Peyton going back to his old home where he was replaced by some young kid named Luck? Yeah we will see running backs! (that was sarcasm).
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers: 2 games, 19 catches, 326 yards and a TD. Yes, I was crazy to tell you to start him 2 weeks ago (again, sarcasm). This week he may go over 30 catches, in just 3 weeks.
Harry Douglas, Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: No Julio, maybe no Roddy, which means all eyes on Gonzo. Seems only fitting that Douglas may be able to sneak a big day in here. The Falcons don’t run the ball great, and they still have a QB that is pretty good at home. He is a bit of a stretch but I like Douglas here.
Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers at Tennessee Titans: Roll with a TE here? Yes if it is Davis. He had a monster week last week, and the key to success in this passing game clearly leans on Davis. The Titans have a decent defense but this guy is above the norm for sure.
Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers: Ike Taylor seems to be one of those shutdown corners we read so much about. In that theory Smith should see him plenty and be limited for that.
Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers vs. Cleveland Browns: With this unit totally banged up it seems like Nelson will get the thrill of being covered by Joe Haden by default. Nelson is a good WR, but is he the kind of guy that can beat Hayden all day? I am not certain but not trying it either.
Titans WRs vs. San Francisco 49ers: Being at home helps, but the Niners defense is getting good again so I can’t imagine any one WR standing out here..
Defenses I like this week:
49ers at Titans
Bears at Redskins
Seahawks at Cardinals
Defenses I don’t like:
Vikings at Giants
Cowboys at Eagles
Colts vs.. Broncos
Yes: Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers: Getting active and coming off a nice week last week and also found the end zone. It looks like he is stepping ahead of Vincent Brown for targets and has good speed.
No: Peyton Hillis, RB, New York Giants: Yep, that signing was real, no you don’t try him unless he proves he can do anything at all.
Yes: Brian Quick, WR, St Louis Rams: Maybe take a shot at him and at least get him on your bench to see. He is playing more snaps and is a strong WR with some speed. The Rams need someone to stand out, and this may be the guy.
No: Riley Cooper, WR Philadelphia Eagles: 1 week does not a star make. The Eagles want Cooper to be more active, but outside of last week, he really has not been.
So here is the week 7 story. Good luck to everyone and let’s hope to get the big wins.
– The Shark.
I am on Twitter, so if you would like to ask any questions or need any advice feel free to reach out to my personal account, @JPshark71.