Welcome to week 7 of the NFL season, or as we like to say in fantasy land, pure hell! Yes, for some unknown reason, or perhaps for one big joke, the NFL has decided to play with our minds and put a whopping 6 teams on a bye.
Remember the good ol’ days, when each week would have 4 teams on a bye, and they were spread out nice and even, you struggled through 2 tough weeks and went back to business? Those are gone, and somehow the NFL came up with some 2,4,4,6 and so on bye week plan. Now I know the argument is “we all have bye weeks”, but we all know some teams have 4 guys off at once, it happens and it’s rough. The waiver wire is as thin as a nice cut of salami at a good Italian deli.
Yes, let’s go with that theory, a deli, so many different types of meat, but all trying to become just a sandwich. We have our running back meat, our wide receiver meat, and quarterbacks, and our goal is to make that perfect sandwich. Come on now, how many times do you go out and get the perfect sandwich though? There is always a fatty piece of meat, or some out of proportioned produce, but in the end it does the job, it fills you up, and for the most part you are satisfied. Treat your fantasy team like this too. Realize that we may have some rough patches, and a bad week, but stick with what you like if it works, don’t go and try and get fancy to be stuck with something you don’t enjoy! Make sense? Yeah it’s a ramble of a fantasy football owner, get used to it.
With all that behind us, it is time for Week 7’s edition of Start Em/Sit Em, my little advice column where I try and help with those burning questions. Yeah last week I said don’t dare play Shonn Greene, and I looked pretty silly, but my advice is normally better than worse. It is with this that I invite you to read along and adjust as needed, and as always, enjoy and good luck!
Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys at Carolina Panthers: I trash Romo, than I like him again. He does crazy things to me mentally. Last week he outplayed Joe Flacco, who I started in his place. Romo has good streaks, and also he has a showdown with the Giants to look forward too, and he always gets numbers there. So Romo looks like he is ready for that hot streak and this poor defense should help.
Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, vs. New Orleans Saints: Yes, I am endorsing Freeman, but with a few reasons. There is a lot of QBs on a bye this week, and last week Freeman passed for over 370 yards and had 3 TDs. What that shows is that he can get it done if trusted, and this week the Saints and their Swiss cheese secondary come to town. If the Freeman of 2010 is coming back, you will want to go with him. Here is the decider this week.
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts vs. Cleveland Browns: Happy days finally came for the Browns after their first win last week, but now they travel to Indy, where the Colts are pretty good. Luck has found a nice comfort zone in Indy, and the Browns defense isn’t that tough that they can keep him down. Luck shows he can toss 2-3 TDs per game, so try him here in a bye week chance.
*Note I know you are all asking about the obvious, but you know you have to start Brady, Rodgers and Brees every week at this point. This is to help with those tougher decisions, don’t make me hold your hand!
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans: Flacco has come back to Earth, and his numbers over the last 3 weeks have been pedestrian at best. The Texans took a pounding last week at the hands of the Packers, and now the anger is running high. The Ravens are missing lots of key pieces on defense too, so there is a chance Houston grabs early momentum and makes this a game they control. Either way I am tired of trusting Flacco.
Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks: This is a tough choice, but Seattle’s defense has been tough of late, and coming off of a win over Tom Brady has to help boost confidence. Last week Smith was held in check by the Giants, and the Seahawks being similar pressure and actually have a better secondary. The 49ers may result to more trick plays and more Colin Kaepernick, which is slowly going to effect Smith, and maybe bring us that Smith of old, yikes!
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears: The last time we saw the Bears defense on a Monday night they were pounding on Dallas. Stafford finally broke out with a decent week last week, but that was against a Philly defense that is falling apart. The Bears are 4-1, and have a chance to make a real statement at home against the Lions, which could fare poorly for Stafford. He may play decent, but something huge is questionable.
Fred Jackson/CJ Spiller Buffalo Bills vs. Tennessee Titans: If you have both, no don’t start both, but if you have one or the other, you can still profit. Yes, they share carries, but both of them catch passes, and can make big plays. Last week in PPR leagues, Jackson posted about 16 points and Spiller 19. Those are good numbers for flex guys and/or RB2 and 3’s. Some day one of these guys will become the leader, but until then use a moment against a poor defense to use either.
Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Slowly but surely we are getting more McFadden, and last week he caught some passes and rushed for 70 yards. The Raiders will have to get better through the air for him to be huge again, but his numbers are good enough to trust again. The Jaguars can be run on, so roll with McFadden this week.
Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins: When healthy, he has the skills to be special, and he has looked real good the last few weeks. This is always a good match-up but the teams don’t discriminate against how they move the ball. Both run pretty good against each other, so Bradshaw should be busy again this week.
Shonn Greene, New York Jets at New England Patriots: Well, even Marshawn Lynch was kept in check by this defense, so let’s not get all geeked about Greene’s break out game last week. He still does very little in the pass game, and lacks that big explosive step. The Pats run defense should bring him back to Earth, in what should be a passing duel.
Pittsburgh’s RBs at Cincinnati Bengals: They all have an injury, they all can disappear at any second, and none of them are doing anything great. Who starts? Heck who knows. You can’t trust any of the 4 guys that carry the rock here, so wait until it figures itself out.
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers defense may have struggled last week, but this week is different and they will let Russell Wilson try and beat them. Expect the 49ers to stack the line and focus on shutting down Lynch to make things hard on the Seahawks offense. Lynch is a beast, but with the box being stacked often here, he may have a real tough night.
Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions: Marshall had enough of the nonsense and is looking like a Pro Bowl WR again. He and QB Jay Cutler are getting that magic back, and Cutler even admitted that he is the kind of guy you just throw the ball at and trust. The Lions secondary will be very overmatched here, and Marshall should punch one in as well as possibly 100 and double-digit catches. I expect a huge one from him here.
James Jones, Green Bay Packers at St. Louis Rams: 6 TDs in 3 weeks? Is this the same James Jones? Well, yes it is, and he is doing a great job with Greg Jennings out. The Rams are stingy in pass TDs allowed, but there will be lots of focus on Jordy Nelson, and that should open some holes for Jones. Keep going with him until he fails.
AJ Green, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: In a few weeks you may not see Green’s name on here, because it is just to obvious. He is one of the best in the game, and not even a match up can scare me anymore. Next year’s draft will be filled with Green lovers, as this season should be set with Green starters.
Andre Johnson, Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens: It has nothing to do with who he is playing, he just is not special right now. They try him early, can’t get him then they forget. Johnson has the talent, but his numbers are very humble lately. Enter with caution.
Brandon Gibson, St. Louis Rams vs. Green Bay Packers: Loads of people have been grabbing him from the waiver wire but he is still a tough sell. He still has not had a game over 100 yards in his career, and he rarely finds the end zone. He did have a good week last week, but the Packers defense is finding its way, so I can’t trust Gibson here.
Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers vs. Dallas Cowboys: Smith is having a season not like his normal, and the Cowboys are playing better at the corners. Cam Newton looks lost and confused at times this year, so Smith has become a tough start. Look elsewhere if you can.
Owen Daniels, Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens: While Andre Johnson has been slowed, Daniels has been busy, and against the banged up Ravens he should have a good game.
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals: With the running game struggling, Miller looks like the best bet from inside the red zone. Miller does know how to get TDs so he may even get 2 here.
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Slowed by injury that may have him out this week scares me, especially with Marquis Colston becoming big in this offense again.
Martellus Bennett, New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins: Looks as if he is doing more blocking than making big catches over the last few weeks. With Bradshaw running well and all the WRs coming back, he is becoming lost here.
Defenses I like:
Minnesota Vikings vs. Arizona Cardinals
Buffalo Bills vs. Tennessee Titans
New England Patriots vs. New York Jets
Defenses I don’t like:
Washington Redskins at New York Giants
St. Louis Rams vs. Green Bay Packers
Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts
Waiver Wire: Time to fill your line up with some bye week specials, some potential up and comers and some fillers.
Felix Jones, RB, Dallas Cowboys: A foot strain is never anything simple, so DeMarco Murray could be gone for a while. All Jones has to do is stay healthy, sounds easy doesn’t it? We shall see. If not there is always,
Patrick Tanner, RB, Dallas Cowboys: See above. Take a chance if you have the bench space.
Brandon Weeden, QB, Cleveland Browns: Really, when your team is struggling sometimes you have to take a “oh what the heck” approach. Cleveland is with Weeden, and he has averaged 250 yards and 2 TDs over the last 2 weeks. Bye week problem solved? Perhaps.
Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Should be more active with his ability to make huge plays. He has 2 very big TD catches this season, and can be a guy that will emerge here. A long shot, but if you need a WR he is as good as you may find available.
Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns: He is busier each week, and can score long TDs. Fun guy to watch and a good kid to root for.
Here is the scoop for Week 7, get in on it and go out there and show your opposition who’s boss! Speaking of, get well Kevin Boss, and I use that reference because Boss’ day just past. Sue me, I was in a pinch.
I have now joined Twitter, so if you would like to ask any questions or need any advice feel free to reach out to my personal account, @JPshark71.
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