Wondering who the hell you should get in there and who to give a few ass-splinters to?
Check out our Start Em and Sit Em for Week 6 of the 2012 NFL season
Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em – Week 7
Bye Week Teams
Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs,
Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers
Eli Manning (vs. Was) – Strange as it sounds, the Giants didn’t need to throw the ball against the 49ers last week to beat them, so much to the dismay of his owners, Eli Manning had a bit of a mediocre fantasy day. As luck would have it, though, the G-Men draw one of the league’s worst pass defenses this Sunday with the Washington Redskins coming to town, so buck up fantasy owners. The ‘Skins have allowed the most passing yards, the third-most passing TDs and the sixth-most fantasy points to QBs this year, so it seems things are lining up well for Eli this weekend. It also looks like Hakeem Nicks is nearing complete health at this point, as he practiced on both Wednesday AND Thursday this week for the first time in a while. He’s had some trouble with Washington in the past, but this isn’t the same defense so I highly doubt the woeful trend continues.
Andy Dalton (vs. Pit - Sunday Night) – Dalton has thrown far too many interceptions so far this season (9), but he’s also had three games with over 300 yards and three touchdowns as well which as a fantasy owner, I’ll take any day of the week. Andy had a bit of trouble against the Steelers last season throwing for a total of 305 yards and three TDs in two games against them, but this isn’t the same vaunted Pittsburgh D of the past and with Troy Polamalu already ruled out, Dalton’s prospects get even better. Steelers DB Ike Taylor isn’t the same shutdown guy he used to be either and with A.J. Green looking like the best wide receiver on the planet right now, I’m betting on some real nice numbers out of the Cinci QB this Sunday night.
Ben Roethlisberger (@ Cin - Sunday Night) – Rashard Mendenhall is banged up, Isaac Redman is banged up, they’re playing on the road and are going to be losing in this game. What do YOU think Big Ben is going to do? That’s right; he’s going to pass the shit out of the ball. Roethlisberger has already been averaging 39.4 passing attempts per game this season which is easily the most in his career, so I fully expect that trend to continue and Big Ben to do pretty well considering the mediocrity of the Bengals pass D.
Andrew Luck (vs. Cle) – So Luck finally has a little adversity to deal with as he pretty much stunk up the joint against the Jets last Sunday. It wasn’t Brady Quinn-type of awful as he at least threw for 280 yards, but two interceptions and 50 percent passing while getting crushed 35-9 by a so-so Jets team is not what you would call stellar. He’ll have a good opportunity to make up for it this week, however, with his Colts heading back home to face a Cleveland Browns pass D that has allowed the most passing TDs and fifth-most fantasy points to QBs so far this season. It’s strange to say it, but the Indianapolis Colts-Cleveland Browns game could be a shootout folks, so hold on to your fantasy hats.
Matt Hasselbeck (@ Buf) – Hasselbeck may be over the hill, or past his prime, or have one foot in the grave, or whatever else you want to say about him but one thing he’s not—he’s not too old to put up big-time fantasy numbers against this Buffalo Bills defense. If Mark Sanchez can throw for three TDs, Matt Cassel can throw for 300 yards, and Alex Smith can do BOTH in the same game against them, then Hasselbeck can do it too. Kenny Britt looks like he’s back, or at least if he wasn’t quite back in his last game, it certainly pissed him off enough to go ballistic in this one, so I fully expect the old man to get him the ball and put up some real nice fantasy numbers because of it.
Others with QB1 Potential:
Carson Palmer (vs. Jax)
Joe Flacco (@ Hou)
Josh Freeman (vs. NO)
Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. Ten)
Brandon Weeden (@ Ind)
Mark Sanchez (@ NE)
Darren McFadden (vs. Jax) – For all intents and purposes, Darren McFadden has been a royal disappointment to his millions of fantasy owners this year. I, myself, believed he had a chance to land in the top-5 fantasy RBs this season with the only thing that could possibly stop him being his normally injury-prone ways. He’s stayed healthy for the most part, though, but now it seems he can’t get used to the Raiders new zone-blocking scheme and his numbers have suffered because of it. This week will be his big chance to get back on the righteous fantasy track as he’ll face a Jacksonville defense that allows over 4.7 yards per carry and the third-most fantasy points to RBs in the league. The last time he faced this team was in 2010 where he proceeded to go off for 209 total yards (123 rushing) and three touchdowns (two rushing), numbers that are highly unlikely to be repeated but with a talent like Run DMC, you never know.
Trent Richardson (@ Ind) – It turns out Richardson is just fine and will play this weekend after a little scare last week against the Bengals when he got nailed in the ribs. Is it possible it pops up again in the middle of this next game? Sure, but not likely against weak Colts defense that allows 5.2 yards per carry to opposing RBs. Injury or not, the kid is a beast and will surely make his presence known in a game that actually could end up being one of the higher-scoring games of the week. Trent knows he needs to improve on his yards per carry (3.6 YPC) if he wants to be considered one of the elite backs and there’s no better place than in Indianapolis to do just that.
Stevan Ridley (vs. NYJ) – Stevan Ridley has had a bit of an up-and-down season thus far putting up three fantasy stinkers and three fantasy gems thus far, but I believe he breaks the tie with a monster game this Sunday. With the Patriots passing all over the place last week and coming away with a fat L in the standings, you have to believe they’ll want to change it up a bit and start running the ball with authority again. Besides, the Jets rush D has been one of the worst in the league thus far, so why not give Brady a bit of a break (after putting up a career high in passing attempts last week) and get Ridley going again. Belichick knows you need a running game to win it all, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see The Riddler get 25 touches in this one.
Matt Forte (vs. Det - Monday Night) – Coming off a bye, Forte is well rested and should be geared up to kick a little ass again right now with the division-rival Detroit Lions on the docket for Monday night. The strength of the Lions defense right now is obviously in their front four, as they’ve allowed just 3.4 yards per carry to running backs and only one rushing TD, but when it comes to these inter-division games, all stats go out the window. In his eight career games against the Lions, Forte has NEVER put up less than 12.4 non-PPR fantasy points and has four 100-yard rushing games, one 100-yard receiving game and seven total touchdowns. Basically, he really really likes playing these guys.
Alfred Morris (@ NYG) – Alfred Morris has been one of the biggest and nicest surprises of the season thus far and should continue his hard-nosed ways this week against the Giants. One of the things we’ve regularly preached here at Pyro is that it’s always nice to have a running back on fantasy team who happens to be in an offense with a running quarterback. QBs that can gather the attention of opposing linebackers and safeties leave open holes for RBs where there might not normally be. Morris has taken advantage of his situation very well so far and with New York giving up nearly 4.8 yards per carry, I see no reason to think he won’t be able to put up some nice fantasy numbers this week.
Others with RB1 Potential:
Fred Jackson (vs. Ten)
Doug Martin (vs. NO)
Felix Jones (@ Car)
Chris Johnson (@ Buf)
Alex Green (@ StL)
Vick Ballard (vs. Cle)
Jonathan Dwyer (@ Cin - Sunday Night)
Ben Tate (vs. Bal)
LeGarrette Blount (vs. NO)
David Wilson (vs. Was)
Vincent Jackson (vs. NO) – If there’s one thing Vincent Jackson does well, it’s taking advantage of poor pass defenses. Vincent has had three great games this year with each of them coming against suspect pass Ds (Giants, Redskins and Chiefs). His two sub-par performances were against the Panthers and Cowboys, with both being able to handle the pass pretty well. This week he’ll take on a Saints squad that ranks near the bottom in almost every defensive category, including fantasy points allowed per game. If things continue the way they have through the first part of the season, this game should end up to be rather high-scoring, of which V-Jax should have no problem contributing to.
Marques Colston (@ TB) – I’ve doubted Colston for a couple of years now claiming he’s more of a low-end WR2 than anything else, but I simply can’t do it anymore after what I’ve seen of him lately. 18 catches for 284 yards and four touchdowns in his last two games pretty much says it all. This weekend he’ll go up against an inter-division Buccaneers defensive squad that recently lost their best cornerback to suspension (Aqib Talib). Considering they were allowing over 300 passing yards a game in the first place, you can’t believe they’ll somehow get any better—especially with Drew Brees coming to town. Colston should have no problem putting up 100 yards or at least finding the endzone in this one.
Kenny Britt (@ Buf) – It’s time for Kenny Britt to explode, my friends, so congratulations to those of you who have stuck by him this long because your patience is about to pay off in spades. I know, this is quite a ballsy call putting Britt up so high in the rankings without seeing a breakout game from him first, but if you saw how angry he was after last week’s game against the Steelers and heard the things he was saying, you’d know that this isn’t the game you want him sitting on your bench. Besides him promising to make up for his self-admitted horrible performance, the Buffalo Bills pass D is downright awful. Bigger receivers tend to have nice games against them as well so even though it may be a stretch putting Kenny in the top-10, I believe you’ll understand why come Sunday.
Hakeem Nicks (vs. Was) – It’s about time you started to man-up Mr. Elephant Hands!!! Hakeem Nicks actually practiced in some form or fashion every single day this week for the first time in 2012—and it couldn’t come at a better time for his fantasy owners. Last week Nicks looked a little sluggish in his return to the field posting a measly three catches on five targets for 44 yards against the 49ers. This weekend, however, he should be primed for a monster fantasy performance as not only do his foot and knee feel a ton better, but he’ll be able to prove it against a Redskins defense that has allowed the most receiving yards in the league by a TON, but has also allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to WRs on the year. The Giants played horribly against the Redskins last year, yet Nicks was still able to put up a combined 12 receptions for 195 yards against them.
Denarius Moore (vs. Jax) – Denarius has been Carson Palmer’s favorite target for a while now and it’s not going to slow down anytime soon. Last week against a solid Falcons defense, Moore caught five of the nine balls thrown his way for 104 yards and touchdown. His play-making ability is off the charts and in full force throughout the game, which is probably why Palmer is looking his way more often than not with Darren McFadden having trouble getting going this season. Moore is one of those special, Victor Cruz-like talents that you can’t really quantify until you see him in action. Palmer’s been around long enough to know that this kid needs the ball in his hands and I have no doubt he’ll make sure it happens again against a Jaguars defense that lets playmakers walk all over them.
Others with WR1 Potential:
Torrey Smith (@ Hou)
Dez Bryant (@ Car)
Stevie Johnson (vs. Ten)
Donnie Avery (vs. Cle)
Mike Williams (vs. NO)
Anquan Boldin (@ Hou)
Kendall Wright (@ Buf)
Lance Moore (@ TB)
Randall Cobb (@ StL)
Jeremy Kerley (@ NE)
Brandon Gibson (vs. GB)
Justin Blackmon (@ Oak)
T.Y. Hilton (vs. Cle)
Kevin Walter (vs. Bal)
Owen Daniels (vs. Bal) – Daniels has re-emerged as one of the league’s top tight ends again this season after a nice little three-year, injury-filled hiatus. I still don’t believe he’s taken over for Andre Johnson as the top target in the Texans passing game yet, but he’s doing a phenomenal job as the second option with Houston neglecting to upgrade their WR2 position this last off-season. This Sunday he’ll take on an unlucky, though not unexpectedly injury-riddled Baltimore Ravens defense that hasn’t allowed a touchdown to a tight end yet this season, but they HAVE allowed the third-most yards to the position over the first six games. With Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb out and unable to help with pass coverage, I expect Daniels to be targeted quite a bit, especially with play-action passes considering the Ravens will likely being paying more attention to the Texans running game and Andre Johnson than quick hitches over the middle.
Jason Witten (@ Car) – After a slow start to the season due to a scary injury with a lacerated spleen, Jason Witten has come on hard as of late with 19 receptions, 200 yards and a touchdown over his last two games. In fact, he has the most fantasy points per game for tight ends since Week 4. With workhorse RB DeMarco Murray out for their Sunday game against the Panthers, the ‘Boys will turn to Fragile Felix Jones as their starter, a move which should lead Dallas into passing the ball more in order to limit Jones’ carries. The Panthers aren’t bad against the tight end, but they’re not very good either so there’s no reason to believe Witten won’t continue his recent surge.
Martellus Bennett (vs. Was) – Strange seeing the “Black Unicorn” up here in the top-10? Yeah, for me too. However, with Bennett super-close to being back at full health, there’s no reason to think he won’t continue to put up TE1 type numbers again. In fact, even though he’s put up three stinkers in a row now (five catches for 41 yards the last three games combined), Bennett still remains just outside the top-10 fantasy scorers on the year. This week he’ll be taking on a team he knows well from his days in Dallas, the Washington Redskins, who also happen to have allowed the second-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. With Hakeem Nicks back to near-full health, the Giants receivers will draw most of the secondary’s attention so Bennett should be open for some nice plays throughout the game.
Jared Cook (@ Buf) – Cook is a beast of a man and downright scary specimen to face as a tight end. He’s a lot like Vernon Davis in that he can run like a wide receiver, yet is far stronger and harder to bring down than any WR you’ll ever see. He needs to be used more in this offense and if Matt Hasselbeck loves him as much as he says he does, he will be. This week he faces a Buffalo squad that has been atrocious against wide receivers, but actually not too shabby against the tight end. Well, they HAVE given up two 100-yard games to tight ends this season (Gronk & Vernon Davis), but they’ve only allowed one TD (Gronk) as well. With this game looking like a 100 points could be scored before the final whistle, I’m liking Cook’s chances of pulling through with some top-10 numbers.
Others with TE1 Potential:
Heath Miller (@ Cin - Sunday Night)
Scott Chandler (vs. Ten)
Dennis Pitta (@ Hou)
Fred Davis (@ NYG)
Rob Housler (@ Min)
Dustin Keller (@ NE)
Marcedes Lewis (@ Oak)
Kellen Davis (vs. Det - Monday Night)
Cam Newton (vs. Dal)
Matthew Stafford (@ Chi - Monday Night)
Sam Bradford (vs. GB)
BYE WEEK QBs
Atlanta – Matt Ryan
Denver – Peyton Manning
Miami – Ryan Tannehill
Philadelphia – Michael Vick
San Diego – Philip Rivers
Mikel Leshoure (@ Chi - Monday Night)
Steven Jackson (vs. GB)
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (vs. Pit - Sunday Night)
William Powell (@ Min)
Shonn Greene (@ NE)
Rashard Mendenhall (@ Cin - Sunday Night) – QUESTIONABLE – Achilles
Isaac Redman (@ Cin - Sunday Night) – DOUBTFUL – Ankle
Brandon Bolden (vs. NYJ) – DOUBTFUL – Knee
BYE WEEK RBs
Steve Smith (vs. Dal)
Brandon Lloyd (vs. NYJ)
Nate Burleson (@ Chi - Monday Night)
Greg Little (@ Ind)
Greg Jennings (@ StL) – OUT – Groin
Julian Edelman (vs. NYJ) – QUESTIONABLE – Hand
Laurent Robinson (@ Oak) – OUT – Concussion
Alshon Jeffery (vs. Det - Monday Night) – OUT – Hand
BYE WEEK WRs
Jermichael Finley (@ StL)
Brandon Myers (vs. Jax)
Coby Fleener (vs. Cle)
BYE WEEK TEs
Atlanta – Tony Gonzalez
Kansas City – Tony Moeaki
Miami – Anthony Fasano
Philadelphia – Brent Celek
San Diego – Antonio Gates
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