Week 7 Review

ARIZONA CARDINALS: Beanie Wells exited in the second quarter with a sprained knee. He walked off with assistance from trainers and he did look to be in pain. “Sprained Knee” seems to be the latest misleading label for ACL or MCL injuries. We will have to wait on the extent of the injury so keep tabs. If he misses time, Alfonso Smith seems to be the guy you want. Stephens-Howling did break off a 76 yard pass for a touchdown so his sudden abilities out of the backfield could factor in as well.

ATLANTA FALCONS: Michael Turner pounded out 127 yards against a stout Detroit defense which really didn’t give him much room to work. He earned every one of those yards and now has 2 consecutive 120+ yard games. Roddy White has not surpassed 52 yards in three straight games now. He has scored in 2 of the 3 so that’s the good news. The bad news is teams can double up on him easier now that Julio Jones is out. You can expect this type of stat line until Jones returns or until he faces a soft match up. Tony Gonzales is quietly having a very dependable year. Buy low on him if you can given the lack of exposure he’s been getting. Matt Ryan is a low second tier quarterback. He has only thrown for over 300 yards twice this season and is sitting with a 8/6 TD/INT ratio. He has not looked very comfortable all season and seems to be lacking the confidence we saw from him last year.

CAROLINA PANTHERS: Cam Newton continues to be one of the top fantasy quarterbacks this season. He scored another rushing TD and it seems to be the norm. He is only one attempt behind Jonathan Stewart. It shows his upside, but also tells us how much of an injury risk he is. Speaking of Stewart, he is the back you can trust in Carolina. Williams is lacking the burst we’ve seen from him in years past and time may have caught up with him. All the injuries seem to be plaguing him. Steve Smith is Newton’s favorite target and has been one of the most reliable fantasy WR out there.

CHICAGO BEARS: Matt Forte is an unstoppable beast. He racked up 145 yards vs. the Bucs and has only dipped below 100 total yards once this year. That day wasn’t horrible either as he wound up with 82 yards. Jay Cutler may have turned the corner into a viable starting fantasy QB. This is two solid performances in a row for Cutler so he is becoming more dependable. He is showing confidence in his throws and more importantly accuracy. Still, I am not completely sold as he has 3 tough matches against the Eagles, Lions, and Chargers coming up after the bye. Roy Williams may be fantasy relevant again. This is two solid games for him as well now that he has declared himself healthy. Like Cutler though, wait and see.

CLEVELAND BROWNS: There really isn’t anyone you can trust on this team. Hillis seems to be suffering from the Madden curse and Ben Watson went down this week with a concussion. Montario Hardesty can help you out in a bind, as he totaled 122 yards this week. Still, this offense is anemic and his red zone opportunities will be little to none. Hillis may return soon so he is a spot starter at best and handcuff to Hillis.

DALLAS COWBOYS: Demarco Murray should be the starter moving forward after his record setting 253 yard one touchdown day. Felix Jones will most likely still get a decent amount of touches, but barring injury Murray is the man you want now. The conservative side of me doesn’t want to make such a bold statement since it was one game, but overall he looked better than any of the other options on this team. I like what this means for all the other Cowboys as well. There has been no semblance of a run game in Dallas all season and this will take a ton of pressure off of Romo which means things can start flowing more smoothly. Expect better performances from your Cowboys players if Murray proves he can continue to contribute in a big way.

DENVER BRONCOS: Tim Tebow did manage a very nice game, but I still think he is a match up play. His feet make him extremely appetizing but keep in mind this was against the struggling Miami defense. Miami had him shut down for the entire first half but wavered as the game went on. Better defenses will challenge Tebow and force him into mistakes.Willis McGahee suffered a broken hand in the game, leaving Moreno with the baton. Moreno actually looked good in limited action so you obviously want to pick him up if McGahee was your main man. No Bronco receiver will be trustworthy until we see Tebow find a favorite target.

DETROIT LIONS: Maurice Morris is still the slight favorite to hold the starting job after performing just a tad better than Keiland Williams. Now that Tony Scheffler is back he is eating into Pettigrew’s touches again. Pettigrew was thriving without Scheffler in the lineup but has lost just a little value now. He’s still the guy you want to start because of his red zone looks but expect yardage to drop from here on out barring Scheffler injury.

GREEN BAY PACKERS: Same as they ever were, you know who the major players are on this team and who is best fit to be in your lineup. Starks has solidified his hold on the starting position but make sure you have Grant for a handcuff. We’ve seen the injury bug bite all season long and we’re not even at the mid-point.

HOUSTON TEXANS: It’s almost unfair to have two backs perform at this level in one game, but Arian Foster and Ben Tate could form a solid tandem. Don’t go crazy and plug Tate in as a start just yet though. In the other two games since Foster’s return he rushed for 20 and 41 yards. Also, Derrick Ward is back from injury which will eat into Tate’s touches.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: All we learned from this game was how bad they can be. We did see a very brief Addai return and it looks like Delone Carter is the sure fire #2 if Addai gets the job back as we expect. Garcon once again led in targets but will be a spot start depending on the secondary he and Painter are facing.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Though he didn’t put up any decent numbers, I did like what I saw from Matt Cassel’s play. He seems to be progressing with every game and could make an impact as a bye week fill in. He has Miami, Denver, and New England in weeks 9 thru 11 if your starter will be on a bye one of those weeks. Jackie Battle is the clear number one back in town for now with McCluster backing him up as a change of pace. Thomas Jones is bordering drop status and shouldn’t even be considered unless injury strikes one of the other two backs. Dwayne Bowe is a solid #3 WR/Flex Play, but Steve Breaston has now had three straight solid fantasy performances. Not great, but worthy of stashing away if you lack depth.

MIAMI DOLPHINS: Slide Brandon Marshall down to third tier value. Matt Moore is not the answer, though is bound to have a big game where Marshall benefits. Still, Marshall has been targeted around 9 times in the red zone and only come up with one touchdown. Daniel Thomas is getting the touches, but Reggie Bush is doing more with his. Neither guy is start worthy for now unless you need a bye week fill in and it looks like a time share in an anemic offense.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Percy Harvin exited the game in this one after re-injuring his ribs so be prepared to find a replacement. Ponder seems to have an affinity for both Jenkins and Shiancoe, both receiving 8 targets. Shiancoe is the most trustworthy of the group due to his red zone looks and being the only dependable option every game outside of Peterson. Peterson did slightly injure his ankle in the 4th quarter, but came back out and finished the game without issue.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: Despite Ingram’s higher rushing total, Sproles is the fantasy back you want between the two. The good news is Ingram seems to be settling into his role with the team and has scored in two of the last three games. It may also be time to drop Meachem and Henderson. In a game where the Saints scored 62 points, they totaled only 2 targets each. Neither has been a big part of the Saints offense and have been overtaken by the Colston and Graham show.

NEW YORK JETS: Guess the extra time Plaxico put in with Sanchez paid off. Plax caught 3 touchdown passes in the game but don’t go crazy trying to trade for him. If anything, sell him at his peak. He only had 25 yards receiving but was the benefactor of right place, right time along with Sanchez being hell bent on getting him the ball. The problem for me isn’t with Plax as much as it is with Sanchez who continues to have issues pulling the trigger. He has been the king of the double clutch this season and it is allowing defenders to close the gaps on Santonio and Plax when they were open. Shonn Greene had another solid game with 112 yards rushing but did tweak his knee in 4th quarter but toughed it out since Tomlinson had existed himself with symptoms of the flu.

OAKLAND RAIDERS: Darren McFadden suffered a foot/ankle sprain early in the first quarter and did not return. McFadden isn’t always a fast healer so check on the severity of the injury. They have the bye this week so he should be fine for week 9. If he does miss time I would make a run for Taiwan Jones. We should see more of the speedy back in relief of Michael Bush who should already be on somebody’s roster depending on the size of your league. Bush filled in admirably as we knew he could, finishing with 99 yards rushing. Carson Palmer was rushed into this game after a horrific start by Boller so don’t read too much into Palmer’s 3 interception day. It’s rust he will knock off and you have to feel good about some of the throws he did make. He will open up the playbook for this team and lead to more productive days for guys like Heywood-Bey.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Hines Ward was carted off the sidelines after an ankle injury so while it may be precaution, it may be serious. It may also be a good thing, as young Antonio Brown was given a chance to shine and finished with 102 yards with a team high 9 targets. Brown makes a nice #3 WR if Ward is out for any extended period of time. Rashard Mendenhall’s primary value comes from his touchdowns and he has only 3 so far. He lost touches to both Redman and Moore this week so you will want to see if this is a trend which sticks.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS: It looks like Antonio Gates wasn’t too much worse for the wear after this game and was Rivers go to guy. Though Rivers has been having a down year, look for things to improve if Gates can stay on the field. Ryan Mathews did exit shortly with a finger issue but returned quickly so don’t be alarmed if he practices on a limited basis this week.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Marshawn Lynch was a late scratch from the game after injuring his back in warm up’s so keep tabs on exactly the nature of this. Neither Forset or Washington did much in his absence. Tavaris Jackson also missed the game with his strained pectoral so that injury may also be more serious than initially thought. None of your Seahawks are viable starts until this team gets healthy and proves they can play well with the starters.

ST. LOUIS RAMS: A.J. Feeley wasn’t expected to exactly light it up and….he didn’t. The good news is Stephen Jackson looks very healthy and broke off a nice 40 yard run with a score. Bradford should have both Clayton and Lloyd on the field when he returns so there will be value on this team in the coming weeks.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: Earnest Graham left the game with an ankle injury which is rumored to be an Achilles tendon issue. This could sideline him for the season and the Bucs already are without Blount. The Bucs have a bye this week but we don’t know exactly what Blount’s injury is so we could be looking at Kregg Lumpkin running the ball week 9. Mike Williams is slowly starting to make some fantasy impact, finishing with 75 yards. Freeman should be considered a third tier quarterback as he continued his poor play with 4 interceptions this game.

TENNESSEE TITANS: The Titans lost receiver Damian Williams to concussion this game which leaves them thin at the position. The Titans were forced to spread CJ2K out wide and he actually finished as the teams leading receiver with 6 catches for 27 yards. CJ has been affected by his holdout and the lockout so until we see some consistency from him he should be considered a high end Flex Play.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS: Tim Hightower was carted away with a knee injury, rumored to be a torn ACL though Hightower is trying to say otherwise. The Skins also lost Santana Moss with a broken hand. If both miss any time this leaves Helu, Torain, and Fred Davis as the only somewhat decent fantasy plays. Given you really won’t want to play the guessing game with the running backs, it’s best to avoid them until one cements the job.


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