Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Week 7 fantasy football matchup anlysis

Week 6 is done and my first week of analysis and rankings was fun. Lets get week 7 started.

Dallas at St. Louis:

Thus enter the Brad Johnson era. Relieving a star QB is nothing new for the 17 year veteran. Widely considered one of the best backup QB's in the league Johnson will look to fill some big shoes. Cowboys are coming off back to back losses and will look to get the win over a weak STL team. Recent acquisition Williams is slated to play his first week with the Cowboys and will be active for the game Sunday. Felix Jones is out 2-4 weeks and Romo is out for four weeks as we stand today. Johnson will have to rely heavily on Barber and quick passes. The absence of Romo will lower TO's value. I look for Barber to have a big game going against the 5th worst run defense in the game. STL is allowing 169 ypg on the ground and have given up 9 TD's. Roy Williams should hit the ground running and excel in a quick check down system that Brad Johnson will have to run.

STL will be feeling good after upsetting the Redskins. They're playing at home but have been terrible most of the year, including last week where they won by returning a fumble for a TD. Their offense is anemic and will struggle to get started against a tough Dallas D that is allowing 87.5 ypg on the ground. You're starting Jackson and sitting the rest of your Rams.

Baltimore at Miami:

Baltimore just got smacked down at Indianapolis. Baltimore got shut down last weekend against a mediocre Colts defense. The Ravens were the #1 defense on both sides of the ball going into last week. They are still #1 but looked inept last week. They are averaging 133 yards on the ground and will look to pound the ball against a strong Miami team that is allowing just 89 yards per game and have only given up 3 TD's. Flacco will try to play mistake free ball and try to pull a win out against a surging Miami team.

Miami lost last week in the final seconds against the 1-4 Texans. Ronnie Brown (the wildcat) has been looking like a stud and will try to continue his effectiveness. He will have his work cut out for him going against the best defense in the league, a defense that will be mad and out to prove they're still #1 this week. I don't like any players in this game. It's hard to sit Ronnie Brown, especially after watching the Colts cut up the Ravens defense but the Colts did it in the air. The Ravens only allowed 73 yards on the ground. I am not starting McGahee until he proves he's healthy, McClain could get in the endzone but I look for this to be a low scoring affair with little fantasy production.

New Orleans at Carolina:

New Orleans is coming off of another quality victory and is looking like the real deal. Brees is the best QB in the league to date and is likely getting two of his weapons back this week. Shockey and Colston are slated to play in week 7. Colston is almost a lock to play, Shockey is looking good. If Colston and Shockey play this will obviously lower the value of Lance Moore and makes Devery Henderson virtually useless in anything other than 14-16 team man's leagues. McAllister got 13 carries last week to Bush's 14 but Bush's involvement in the pass game and explosive tendencies make him a must start. McAllister could be a bye week filler or flex play against a Carolina team that is allowing 105 ypg on the ground.

On the Carolina side of the ball I look to see Delhomme have a reasonable game against a New Orleans team that is giving up 227 ypg and has allowed 7 TD's in the air. Steve Smith should have a nice game with 100 yards and a score. I would be hesitant to start DeAngelo Williams against a NO rush defense that is trending up. They shut down AP two weeks ago for 32 yards and allowed just 85 yards to the fourth most frequent running team in the NFL. Stewart is a flex start or #3 starter. He should find the endzone this week.

San Francisco at New York Giants:

San Francisco lost a tough one to a good team last week. The Eagles, without Westbrook posted 103 yards on the ground and 280 in the air. The 49'ers will look to rebound angry Giants team. You are obviously starting Gore but beyond that I don't like much from the 49'ers. Isaac Bruce has produced to the point where he's a no questions starter until he proves otherwise but I would temper expectations for this week.

The Giants got punched in the mouth against one of the worst teams in the league. The Browns, admittedly, looked good. But the Giants got nothing done. I look to see Plaxico get 100 yards and a score. Jacobs is a must start against a 49'ers team that is allowing 124 ypg and has given up 7 rushing TD's. Eli Manning finally looked like the 2nd best fantasy and real life quarterback in the Manning family last week. He will look to rebound and shake off the tough loss to the dismal Browns.

San Diego at Buffalo:

San Diego had a big win last week against the rested Patriots. Rivers played like a stud again with 306 yards and 3 scores with no INT's. Buffalo is allowing just 184 yards in the air and have only given up 4 TD's this year. LT averaged just 3.7 yards per carry with his longest rush being 3.7 yards. You have to be a little concerned about LT at this point. He says his toe is feeling better but we're just not seeing the explosiveness of old. He went against a Patriots team that gives up 119 yards on the ground per game and only managed 74. You're still starting him if he's playing but with tempered expectations.

Buffalo was on bye last week and will look to come out strong. One of the surprise teams of the league the Bills want to make a statement by slapping down the Chargers. The Chargers are allowing 112 yards on the ground and have given up 3 TD's this year. Without their pressure from Merriman they are finding it difficult to get pressure on the QB and are getting passed on at an incredible rate. They are giving up 253 ypg in the air and have given up 10 TD's. Edwards says he's playing in week 7 and is a good start this week. Lynch is a must start as well as Lee Evans.

Minnesota at Chicago:

Chicago lost a heart breaker last week on Elams 48 yard field goal. Chicago is still one of the premier run defenses in the league but is in the bottom part of pass defenses allowing 236 ypg and have given up 5 TD's. Minnesota is in a similar scenario. These are two run first teams that will look to beat each other up. Orton is still looking to be a good QB both in real life and in fantasy. Look for him to be a low end #1 especially against the tough Vikings run defense.

AP has struggled in two consecutive games and will likely struggle for a 3rd game against the stout Chicago run defense. You are unlikely to have a better option and you can't sit AP because he could turn any game into a run fest. Don't let Frerotte's 17 point week fool you. He had one big 80+ yard TD pass that inflated his stats against a shoddy Detroit defense. He is not a starter. Orton is another low #1 or #2 starter until he proves otherwise.

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati:

Pittsburgh is coming off of a bye week and will likely be receiving the much needed return of Willie Parker who claims to 100%. Big Ben should be more refreshed after being banged up by a shoddy offensive line. The Bengals are bad to say the least. They are the worst run defense in the league allowing 156 ypg and have given up 8 TD's. Surprisingly they are the 4th best pass defense only giving up 167 yards in the air. They have allowed 7 passing TD's. I look to see most of the Pittsburgh players perform well Sunday. Parker should hit the ground nicely with 75 yards and a score.

Palmer is officially out again for week 7 therefore reducing the value of Housh and Johnson. Housh had 7 receptions last week for just 49 yards but if he maintains 7-10 receptions per game he will be worth starting. None of the Bengals running backs should be in your lineup this week. You don't know who will get the carries and even if you knew neither one of them will be worth starting against the Steeler's 2nd ranked rush defense.

Tennessee at Kansas City:

Tennessee is another fresh team coming off of a bye. They are playing the dog-butted Chiefs. Tennessee is the #1 fantasy D/ST and nothing should change this week. Brodie Croyle is set to start again on Sunday effectively lowering the value of Dwayne Bowe. Croyle has looked to Gonzalez more than Bowe so TG's value remains the same or a tad higher than with Huard. Larry Johnson will have a rough game amidst a tough run defense and recent news that he may face the iron fist of Roger Goodell.

I love Chris Johnson and Lendale White against one of the worst rush defenses in the NFL. They are allowing 182 ypg and have given up 8 TD's. I like Chris Johnson as a low end #1 or 2 fantasy back and should have close to one hundred yards and a score. White is a #2 or flex player. Collins is a deep starter in a 12 team league if you're having bye or injury problems.

Detroit at Houston:

0-5 vs 1-4. Two struggling teams face off and try to get something started. Things couldn't be worse for Detroit. Sitting at 0-5 they just placed the much maligned Kitna on IR and he claims they did that to find an excuse to get rid of him. Roy Williams was traded to the Cowboys this week leaving the young Calvin Johnson as the lone receiver. Orvlosky will take over at QB and the Lions will continue to struggle.

Despite Houston being 1-4 I expect good games from the Houston players. Detroit is a bad defense on both sides of the ball. They are giving up 250 yards in the air and have yielded 9 TD's and 171 on the ground along with 7 TD's. Schaub is slated to play and should have a nice game along with Andre Johnson. Slaton should have a great game as well. Ahman Green could be used in deep leagues that have flex players but should not be relied on.

New York Jets at Oakland:

The Jets will look to continue their playoff bid against the struggling Raiders. Oakland is allowing 234 ypg in the air and have given up 8 TD's. Look for Favre, Coles and Cotchery to all post big numbers. Oakland is also allowing 115 yards on the ground and have given up 8 TD's. Thomas Jones will look to raise his TD count against a bad Oakland team. Favre and the Jets could get up big and then move it to the ground.

Neither Justin Fargas and Darren McFadden are safe starts this week. The Jets are the 3rd best rush defense only allowing 69 ypg although they have given up 7 rushing TD's. I would consider Fargas and McFadden #3 starters this week worthy of only a flex spot in 10 or 12 team leagues. Russell and the rest of the Raiders have little value as well. Zach Miller could be started in a bye week fill-in scenario.

Indianapolis at Green Bay:

Green Bay just came off of an expected win against a bad Seattle team. Indianapolis just came off of an impressive performance in which they posted 341 total yards and shut down the Ravens defensively. Ryan Grant got 33 touches and is apparently healthy enough for a full load. Indianapolis shut down a dinged up McGahee and McClain but they are still in the bottom rush defenses in the league allowing 161 ypg and have given up 5 TD's. Ryan Grant has been an effective real life back but has been, in large part, a fantasy disappointment. I look for him to find the endzone this week against a weak Colts rush defense. Greg Jennings, Driver and Rodgers are all starters this week.

Indianapolis will try to carry over some of their dominant performance into this week. Green Bay is a bad rush defense allowing 153 rushing yards and have allowed 5 TD's. Addai is out 2-4 weeks and Rhodes should do okay and is a reasonable #2 or flex start. Manning is obviously a start as well as Wayne. Harrison had a monster game last week but only had 3 receptions, one of which was a 67 yard TD. One encouraging note from his game was that one of his other catches was a 5 yard TD. Harrison has the ability to be a #1 or #2 WR in fantasy formats if Manning continues to play well.

Clevaland at Washington:

Two teams coming off of a week of polar opposites. The Redskins gave up a game to the Rams while the Browns took one away from the Giants. Derek Anderson looked like the Anderson we loved to cheer for last year. Crisp passes and good decision making. Braylon Edwards, the bane of many people's lineups to date came out with a bang. 154 yards, a score and a 2 point conversion reception. You have to start Edwards if you have him but time will tell if Anderson's performance was a fluke or if he is back to form. Jamal Lewis had a good game but much of that should be credited to Anderson opening up the defense and allowing room for Lewis. Washington is only allowing 83 yards on the ground and have only given up 3 TD's. I don't like Lewis for this game but I would start Anderson if I had to.

Washington will try to take advantage of a poor Cleveland rush defense that has given up 7 TD's and are allowing 137 ypg. Portis should have a nice game. One note is that Shaun Alexander has been signed by the Redskins. He has little fantasy value except as a handcuff to Portis. Cleveland's pass defense has been surprisingly good only giving up 188 ypg and 4 TD's thus far. I don't like Campbell this week but you have to start Moss if you have him.

Seattle at Tampa Bay:

Tampa Bay had an impressive win over Carolina last week. Their pass defense is struggling a little this year allowing 222 ypg and giving up 8 TD's. Luckily they can pad those stats a bit this week going against Seattle. Hasselbeck is out again which lowers Engrams value considerably. I would consider Julius Jones a low end #2 or 3 RB this week and he is the only Seattle player I could justify starting this week.

Warrick Dunn, despite the groans of fantasy owners nationwide appears to be the main carrier for Tampa Bay. He had 22 touches to Graham's five. Luckily Graham is still the red zone guy making both players #2 or 3 backs. Gruden said that they may be looking for a fullback which is what position Graham had to play last game. The coach also said that he prefers Graham as the rusher but until they find a fullback he will have to fill in. This will hurt the value of Graham but he still has the ability to post good numbers. It appears as if Garcia will be the QB again but keep your eye on the sitaution, neither Griese or Garcia have much fantasy value. None of the TB wide outs have much value either. Bryant should be used as a low end #3 with #2 potential.

Denver at New England:

Just when it looked like Cassel figured out how to throw to Moss they get shut down by the worst pass defense in the league. San Diego has allwoed 253 ypg in the air and 10 TD's. Luckily Cassel and the Patriots have another opportunity against a putrid pass defense. Denver has allwoed 255 ypg and have given up 9 TD's. Cutler and the Bronco's have come down to earth but still have big game potential. Marshall and Cutler are your only no brainers with Scheffler still questionable. You can't trust any Denver back as you never know who will get the carries.

The same goes for the Patriots who never show consistancy from the RB stand point. If you have to start a Patriot RB it's Sammy Morris. Moss is a must start against the Denver defense and Cassel is a starter if you need bye week fill-in or injury help.

Week 7 overview completed! Rankings still to come this week.

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