and Jason Stolberg
Last Updated: Oct 20, 2012 12:49 PM
New York Jets vs. New England Patriots
The New York Jets come in to this Week 7 game in first place in their division and could really surprise everyone if they could come away with a win in this one.
Unfortunately, that won't be the case. But what fantasy nuggets can we find in this one?
New York Jets (3-3): Mark Sanchez should not be on your fantasy team.
Shonn Greene is coming off his best game in a long time after he rushed for 161 yards on 32 attempts and three touchdowns. However this match-up is not as good as last week.
Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill are hard to trust as the New York Jets ranked 30th in the league in passing offense. Kerley has more explosive ability and could score a touchdown on any play.
Dustin Keller is a non-factor in fantasy land this season.
Good starts: --
Middle of the road: Shonn Greene, Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley
Bad starts: Mark Sanchez, Dustin Keller
New England Patriots (3-3): Tom Brady is a must-start every week.
Stevan Ridley has had an outstanding start to the season and is facing a surprisingly soft rush defense this week. A good start this week.
Wes Welker has the second most receiving yards in the NFL and is a must-start every week.
Brandon Lloyd hasn't been what people expected but is still a productive fantasy asset.
Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez are must-starts every week as tight ends haven't been as good this season.
Good starts: Tom Brady, Stevan Ridley, Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez
Middle of the road: --
Bad starts: Danny Woodhead, Deion Branch
Baltimore Ravens vs. Houston Texans
The Baltimore Ravens took a couple big
hits last week on the defensive side with Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb both going down for the rest of the season.
The defense has already struggled against the run and without Lewis there to plug up the middle the Texans' running game could have a field day this week.
Baltimore Ravens (5-1): Joe Flacco has been inconsistent and has only eclipsed the 300-yard mark twice this season.
Just a week after Rodgers threw for six touchdowns against the Texans' defense, Joe Flacco gets his chance to see what he can do.
Ray Rice is the No. 2 ranked running back in fantasy land. Rice can beat you in two ways on the ground and through the air. Rice already has 715 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns.
Torrey Smith is another one of the inconsistent products on this Ravens offense as his target numbers have fluctuated this season.
Anquan Boldin has put up some surprising numbers to some so far this season and is leading the Ravens in targets with 44 through six weeks.
Dennis Pitta has disappeared from the Ravens' offense and is starting to become a very risky play.
Good starts: Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin
Middle of the road: Dennis Pitta
Bad starts: Jacoby Jones
Houston Texans (5-1): Matt Schaub is a tough fantasy option but could be used as a decent bye-week filler.
Arian Foster is the No. 1 ranked running back in fantasy land and is a must play every week as a match-up proof player.
Andre Johnson has been average at best this season but is coming off a decent game after being targeted 12 times against the Packers.
Owen Daniels is second on the Texans in targets (38) and leads the team in receptions (26). Daniels is the No. 4 ranked tight end through six weeks.
Good starts: Arian Foster, Owen Daniels, Andre Johnson
Middle of the road: Matt Schaub
Bad starts: Kevin Walters
New York Giants @ Washington Redskins
New York: Last week there was a lot of talk about how the 49ers were going to take their revenge on the Giants for the NFC Championship game last year. Well, so much for that idea. The Giants came out to the west coast and punched the 49ers in the mouth, showing that they do indeed have what it takes to defend their Super Bowl championship.
The surprising thing was, they didn’t really do it through the air, as Eli Manning threw for less than 200 yards and a single touchdown. Instead, they did it on the ground, with Ahmad Bradshaw rolling up 120 total yards and a score. Luckily, the passing game should have a much easier time this week against the Redskins, who rank dead last in passing defense, allowing 328 yards per game and a whopping 15 TDs in 6 games. This makes just about every part of the Giants passing offense a good play.
Even the running game should find some success, as Bradshaw has rushed for over 300 yards the last two games, and the Redskins are allowing close to 90 yards per game. Expect over 100 total yards and a chance of a score for Bradshaw.
Good Start: QB Eli Manning, RB Ahmad Bradshaw, WR Victor Cruz, WR Hakeem Nicks
Middle of the Road: WR Domenik Hixon, TE Martellus Bennett
Bad Start: RB Andre Brown, RB David Wilson, WR Ramses Barden
Washington: So much for the injury concerns for Robert Griffin III. RGIII left the week 5 game with a concussion, but bounced back in week 6 against the Vikings to the tune of 320 total yards and 3 TDs. He’s always a risk to leave a game early for injury reasons, but his talent and explosiveness is well worth the risk.
The Giants have been playing better defense lately, but the only QB they faced with anywhere near the same athleticism is Michael Vick, and Vick did get the better of them. Even with the superior performance last week against the 49ers, the Giants rank just 23rd in total defense, which is something a dynamic weapon like RGIII can exploit.
Of course, even though RGIII racks up a ton of yards, the only other player on the team that is usually a consistent fantasy play if Alfred Morris. To keep the Giants pass rush at bay, expect quite a bit of running with Morris, who should get over 100 yards and a touchdown.
Good Start: QB Robert Griffin III, RB Alfred Morris
Middle of the Road: TE Fred Davis
Bad Start: WR Josh Morgan, WR Santana Moss, WR Leonard Hankerson
Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesota Vikings
Arizona: The Cardinals come off a bad loss at home to the Buffalo Bills, where Jay Feely kicked a 61 yard field goal to send the game into overtime, but then shanked a 35 yarder in OT to ultimately lose the game. Feely giveth, Feely taketh away. Kevin Kolb also got his ribs crushed in the game, and will apparently be out for several weeks. It’s just as well, since Kolb would likely have been crushed by Jared Allen this week anyhow. Now John Skelton takes over, and he certainly doesn’t do a lot to inspire a pick up from the waiver wire.
Larry Fitzgerald has started to come on lately, and the QB change shouldn’t affect him too much since Skelton had no problems finding him last season. With the Vikings formidable against both the pass and the rush, the Cardinals should stick with what they do best, and that’s pass the ball. With one of the worst run blocking offensive lines in the league, don’t expect much production from William Powell on the road against the 11th best run defense in the league.
Good Start: WR Larry Fitzgerald
Middle of the Road: WR Andre Roberts
Bad Start: QB John Skelton, RB William Powell, RB Larod Stephens-Howling, TE Rob Housler
Minnesota: The Vikings looked like they were going to get blown out of the stadium by RGIII and the Redskins through most of their Week 6 game, but Christian Ponder led a furious comeback that fell short in the 4th quarter. The Cardinals are a top 10 defense against the pass, but Ponder is starting to get better; he ended up with over 360 total yards and 2 TDs against the Redskins. Even before this week though, Percy Harvin has been an every week play against any defense, so keep starting him as usual. Kyle Rudolph has also looked good of late, and is becoming more and more Ponder’s first look in the red zone.
Adrian Peterson continues to plug along, and while he doesn’t quite look back to where he was pre-injury, he’s still better than 90% of the league at least. With the Cardinals ranked just 19th against the rush, look for Peterson to have one of his better rushing days of the year at home this week.
Good Start: RB Adrian Peterson, WR Percy Harvin, TE Kyle Rudolph
Middle of the Road: QB Christian Ponder
Bad Start: WR Michael Jenkins, WR Jerome Simpson
Dallas Cowboys @ Carolina Panthers
Dallas: The Cowboys come off a hard fought road loss to the Baltimore Ravens in week 6, where they looked fairly impressive in most facets of the game, only to lose on a failed two point conversion with 30 seconds left in the game. Tony Romo only made one mistake in the game with a costly interception, but otherwise had a very nice day against a motivated Ravens defense.
Now, Romo will face off against the Panthers defense, sporting one of the worst groups in the league at defending the pass. Expect Romo to return to around 300 total yards and a couple of touchdowns in this one.
Felix Jones will take over the primary running duties with DeMarco Murray going down yet again with an injury; it sure appears that Jerry Jones has Fragile Felix and Damaged DeMarco on his hands, so it’s a good thing he has both considering their propensity for injury. The Panthers are ranked just 23rd in terms of yards per carry allowed at 4.4, so expect a nice fantasy day from Jones.
The receivers are a bit of a mystery at this point, as Dez Bryant didn’t practice on Friday due to a groin injury and appears to be a game time decision. If he doesn’t go, give a small uptick to Miles Austin and Jason Witten, and Kevin Ogletree becomes playable for those hurting from the bye weeks.
Good Start: QB Tony Romo, RB Felix Jones, WR Miles Austin, TE Jason Witten
Middle of the Road: WR Dez Bryant (if he plays), WR Kevin Ogletree (if Bryant doesn’t play)
Bad Start: None
Carolina: The Panthers come off their Week 6 bye still with a lot of questions about what kind of team they’re going to be. Cam Newton so far hasn’t been all that impressive lately, but he has played against tough opponents in the Giants, Falcons, and Seahawks during his last three games. Things don’t get any easier against one of the best pass defenses in the Cowboys, nor does it get better in Week 8 against the #1 overall defense, the Chicago Bears.
Expect some tough sledding for Newton in this game, as the Cowboys will get after Newton with a lot of pressure and the secondary can hold its own against the slumping Steve Smith. Newton will likely buoy his numbers with some rushing yards, but the Cowboys are also in the top half of the league in rush defense, so don’t expect a great game here.
The only player I’d feel very comfortable starting here is TE Greg Olsen, who’s been coming on as of late with 24 catches in his last 3 games.
Good Start: TE Greg Olsen
Middle of the Road: QB Cam Newton, WR Steve Smith
Bad Start: RB Jonathan Stewart, RB DeAngelo Williams, WR Brandon LaFell
Tennessee Titans vs. Buffalo Bills
The Titans come in with a 2-4 record and one of the league's worst defenses ranking at 30th in terms of yardage allowed.
On the other sideline is the worst defense in the NFL through six weeks in the Buffalo Bills who are sitting at 3-3.
This game may not be one that everyone wants to watch but in terms of fantasy, whenever you get two bad defenses together that could mean a lot of points from unexpected places.
Tennessee Titans (2-4): Matt Hasselbeckhas been steady through his three starts this season but with a very weak defense against him he could make some noise this weekend.
Chris Johnson has played well two of the last three weeks and has a great match-up. If you ever have confidence in starting him, this is the week.
Kenny Britt is nearly fully recovered from his knee and ankle injuries and is looking to have a breakout game this week.
Jared Cook has underperformed so far this season and is somewhat underused in the Titans' defense.
Good starts: Chris Johnson, Kenny Britt
Middle of the road: Kendall Wright, Nate Washington
Bad starts: Jared Cook
Buffalo Bills (3-3): Ryan Fitzpatrick is not the flashiest play but in a week that is full of good quarterbacks on bye he could be a good plug n' play with a terrific match-up.
C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson are both safe plays as low-end RB2's or high-end flex plays.
Stevie Johnson will find the end zone again this week after a three-week drought.
Good starts: Ryan Fitzpatrick, C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson, Stevie Johnson
Middle of the road: Scott Chanlder
Bad starts: --
Green Bay Packers @ St Louis Rams
Green Bay: Shhhh. Those were the words the Aaron Rodgers had on Sunday night, after the Packers pasting of the Houston Texans, when asked if he had anything to say to the critics who said it was time to worry about the Packers. Well now, I guess we won’t worry about 6 TD passes.
Now the Packers head off to face a scrappy Rams team that stands at 3-3 thus far, that has played far better defense than most people anticipated, especially at home. The Rams also seem to be getting better, allowing 28, 13, and 3 points in progressive order at home. The difference is of course, they have yet to face an offense of the Packers’ caliber. The caveat here is Rodgers hasn’t faired well against the NFC West so far, going 0-2 against the Rams division mates, the 49ers and Seahawks.
After seeing the Packers finally hit on all cylinders, I’d start any Packers receivers that you have on your team; yes that includes drop happy Jermichael Finley as well, who is at least a middle of the road consideration. Look for big games from Jordy Nelson, James Jones, and Randall Cobb here.
Good Start: QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Jordy Nelson, WR James Jones, WR Randall Cobb
Middle of the Road: TE Jermichael Finley
Bad Start: RB Alex Green, RB James Starks, WR Donald Driver
St Louis: The Rams played a fairly close game with the Dolphins in Week 6, showing good defensive chops on the road in limiting the Dolphins to just 17 points. Unfortunately, rookie phenom kicker Greg Zuerlein went just 2-5, missing his first field goals of the season, which was the difference in the game.
There isn’t a lot going on fantasy-wise for the Rams, especially for the passing attack led by Sam Bradford. Without Danny Amendola, who’s out with an injury, Bradford has had to turn to Brandon Gibson and Chris Givens, with mixed results. Gibson more than doubled his usual game targets, and ended up with a healthy 7-91 stat line. Chris Givens also turned in a useable stat line, and with the Rams taking shots down the field at the speedy Givens, you could do worse with a shot-in-the-dark bye week replacement.
The running game has become a muddled mess, as Steven Jackson has yet to even get 20 carries in a single game this year, and Daryl Richardson continues to eat away at his carries, making this pretty close to a full blown committee.
Good Start: WR Brandon Gibson
Middle of the Road: QB Sam Bradford, RB Steven Jackson, WR Chris Givens
Bad Start: RB Daryl Richardson, WR Austin Pettis, TE Lance Kendricks
New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New Orleans: The Saints come out of their bye week unexpectedly in the NFC South cellar, owners of a dismal 1-4 record. Luckily for fantasy owners, the Saints troubles have mostly just been on the defensive side of the ball, as Drew Brees is once again fantasy’s number one QB in terms of per game production.
He’s mostly done it with a non-existent running game and a corps of receivers that have been in and out of the lineup with injuries. Marques Colston took over a lot of the routes that Jimmy Graham would have run in Week 5, with Graham hobbled by a badly sprained ankle. This week, Graham is questionable and will be a game time decision, but if he plays, even at 50% he’s a good play against the 32nd ranked pass defense in the league.
Essentially if you have any Saints passing options, you should give them a start here. Just keep an eye on Graham’s status to make sure he’s in the lineup before the games start on Sunday.
Good Start: QB Drew Brees, RB Darren Sproles, WR Marques Colston, WR Lance Moore
Middle of the Road: WR Devery Henderson, TE Jimmy Graham (if he plays)
Bad Start: RB Pierre Thomas, RB Mark Ingram
Tampa Bay: The Buccaneers come off a thrashing of the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6, which actually isn’t saying much except to the Saints, who are the only team to lose to the moribund Chiefs this year. This was the most complete game played by the Bucs so far this season, with Josh Freeman accounting for over 330 yards and 3 TDs. This meant fantasy goodness all around as Mike Williams went over 100 yards and had a TD, and Vincent Jackson scored twice as well.
Doug Martin also had a return to fantasy relevance, rolling up over 130 total yards, but failing to score a TD. Instead, it was LeGarrette Blount scoring a garbage time TD at the end of the game to go along with his 58 rushing yards. This split is likely to continue to be 75/25 in favor of Martin, but just be aware the Blount seems to be their short yardage back of choice.
With the Saints in town and sporting one of the worst defenses in the league, most of the Bucs are startable here, especially since they’re going to have to try to keep up with Drew Brees and the Saints offense.
Good Start: QB Josh Freeman, RB Doug Martin, WR Vincent Jackson
Middle of the Road: RB LeGarrette Blount, WR Mike Williams
Bad Start: TE Dallas Clark
Cleveland Browns vs. Indianapolis Colts
Two rookie quarterbacks are the headliners of a game that has all the makings of a shootout.
Cleveland Browns (1-5): Brandon Weedenand the Cleveland Browns finally got the monkey off their back and got their first win of the season.
Trent Richardson is dealing with a rib injury but is expected to play with a protective vest on. If he can not go, Montario Hardesty is the one who will get the bulk of the carries.
Josh Gordon has become a reliable deep threat for Brandon Weeden and has scored three touchdowns in the last two games.
Be careful with your expectations though as he still only has 12 receptions on the season with just 26 targets.
Greg Little is suffering from a serious case of drop-itis.
Good starts: Trent Richardson
Middle of the road: Josh Gordon
Bad starts: Greg Little, Brandon Weeden
Indianapolis Colts (2-3): Andrew Luck has been anything but shy and has more than 40 passing attempts in every game but one this season. Luck also returns home where he is a completely different player.
Luck at home has a 6:2 TD:INT ratio and a 1:5 ratio on the road. A very friendly match-up this week makes Luck a good start.
Vick Ballard will get his second start in the place of injured Donald Brown against a soft run defense as the Browns give up 131 yards per game on the ground.
Reggie Wayne is having a monster year and is the first person that Andrew Luck looks at when he drops back. A must start every week.
Donnie Avery and T.Y. Hilton both see the field plenty and have been getting an almost equal amount of targets. At this point it is almost a pick and hope your right approach with them. My hunch is leaning toward Hilton this week.
Coby Fleener hasn't been as productive as many hoped but is still a guy to keep your eye on for a few more weeks.
Good starts: Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne
Middle of the road: Donnie Avery, T.Y. Hilton, Vick Ballard
Bad starts: Coby Fleener
The views and content in this article are not necessarily the opinion of Fantasy Football Champs, www.FFChamps.com, and its in-house experts.