Friday, October 17, 2014

Start em’ if you got ‘em – Week 7




Adam Stoczynski
Bitter Chicago sports fan, wagering enthusiast, self-proclaimed sports expert
@AllAboutSto on twitter


Week seven is here and the 2014 season is starting to fly by. Most leagues do playoffs weeks 14-16, so as sad as it is to say, we will officially be more than half way through with the regular season after the Monday night game between Houston and Pittsburgh. The fantasy season is not young anymore, it’s time to make a move in the standings. Hopefully these start and sit suggestions will be the difference between winning and losing… Between living and dying. Now that I’m done with my Al Pacino pump up speech. Here’s what’s on my mind for week seven.

The Dallas Cowboys have surprised everyone so far this year. Their latest victim: The defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks. In week six the Cowboys went into Seattle and beat them for only their second loss at Century Link Field since the 2011 season. Now at 5-1, the Cowboys are being considered the class of the NFC. The test vs Seattle was a big one and the Cowboys passed. They looked awesome running the ball with Murray and playing surprisingly good defense without some of their best players. Everyone is now saying they are for real, but to me their biggest test comes this week. After maybe their biggest win in over 10 years, the Cowboys now head home for a divisional game vs the Giants. This is the game that will tell us all if they are this new Cowboy team that is sitting pretty at 5-1, or if they are the same old team with Tony Romo leading them straight into a letdown game. The Giants are coming off a terrible loss on Sunday night football, while the Cowboys had an emotional win. Let’s see if the Cowboys can take care of business and prove they are here to stay.

For all of you fortunate DeMarco Murray owners out there you are making a huge mistake if you do not have Joseph Randle on your bench. He’s a great insurance policy for the best running back in fantasy football right now. Murray is touching the ball at a record pace, and there is just no way he holds up. With that great offensive line, this running game is legitimate, Dunbar and Randle need to be owned. Before week 6 there were grumblings of maybe having DeMarco’s carries lessened, then he went and ran the rock 29 times in Seattle. This guy is a stud right now, but don’t be foolish and take the risk of him getting banged up without his handcuff on your bench. With that being said, you have to love him and the rest of the Cowboys again this week, but let’s see if they prove they are a changed team and get the W.

Start ‘em if you got ‘em

Quarterback

Carson Palmer @ OAK – He looked good last week and worked well for me as a plug in with Brees on bye. He’s on the road, but this Oakland team has been middle of the road vs the pass. With a full week of practice under his belt, I think he has another good game. He may not be 100% yet, but the Cardinals trust him and you should too.

Derek Carr vs ARI – The rookie is good. All he did last week was throw for 282 yards and 4 touchdowns. Oh yea, and he almost beat the team with the best record in the AFC. Carr just looks like he knows what he is doing and definitely passes the eye test. Let’s see if he can pass another test at home vs the Cardinals. The Cards have not been playing good defense as of late and something is up with Patrick Peterson as he is not the player he was last year. If you need a replacement for the vacationing Foles, I’d pick up this Rook.

Colin Kaepernick @ DEN – If you stuck with him, he came through last week in a huge way on Monday night. It’s not the best match up playing in Denver, but they are going to have to score to keep pace with the Broncos. He’s making plays and can hopefully be trusted again going forward. He has the weapons and is always good for some rushing yards. Let’s see if he can finally run one in on the ground for us this week.

Running Back

Justin Forsett vs ATL – Bernard Pierce actually had more carries and vultured the touchdown in week 6, but you can still trust Forsett, especially this week. He’s facing the Falcons who cannot stop anyone on the ground. He also gets them out of the dome and at home in Baltimore. Anyone watching can tell he is their best back at the moment, keep him in your lineup. He will be a big part on why you win this week.

Alfred Morris vs TEN – It’s been frustrating the last few weeks for Morris owners, but don’t give up on him. He has a great match up this week vs a Titans team who is giving up a rushing touchdown per game. Even the awful Jaguars ran for over 80 yards and a touchdown last week. Morris should see the volume he needs to have a good game. I like him in this spot as an RB2 in week 7.

Andre Ellington @ OAK – The boom or bust running back will boom this week vs Oakland. With Palmer back under center, the run game should open up for him. He hasn't been the explosive player we thought he could be this year, but in week 7 he should break out for a good game. With only one rushing touchdown he has been a bit of a disappointment, but I like for him to double that total come Sunday.

Wide Receiver

Kelvin Benjamin @ GB – I love him this week, but be very careful. He still has not been cleared yet from his concussion late in Sunday’s game. Green Bay is very beatable in the secondary and it looks like Cam is back. This is his number 1 target and if he goes this week, he will be good for another touchdown and maybe his true breakout game.

Golden Tate vs NO – Did I jinx him last week? He got over 5 catches again, but he failed to get to the 50 yard mark for the first time this year. I’m putting him back on here this week because I think last week was a fluke. With both Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush out last week, Tate was ready for a big day. The targets were there with 12, and with Johnson looking like he’s going to be out again, I’m once again confident in Tate to be golden.

Brandin Cooks @ DET – With Jimmy Graham out, a lot of targets now open up. I’m seeing a lot on Colston being the one who will be picking up the slack, but I actually think Cooks will be that guy. He hasn't scored since week one, but on the turf in Detroit you have to like his chances vs a beatable secondary. Yes, the defense is very good, but he will get his catches and there should be plenty of targets his way. Coming off the bye, New Orleans should have a few more creative ways to get this guy the ball, especially knowing Jimmy was going to be out. This offense has no choice but to click, even without their best pass catcher.

Tight End

Rob Gronkowski vs NYJ – Did I even have to type his whole name? GRONK IS BACK! Not that you are sitting him, but for those of you who lost faith in him and traded him away, that was a mistake. In his last two games he has 20 targets, 13 catches for 194 yards and a touchdown. This week he gets the Jets who are giving up big fantasy points to tight ends. If you have him, you will get a nice game on Thursday giving you a head start on the competition forSunday. He’s back to being healthy and will be a top 3 tight end in football from here on out.

Dwayne Allen vs CIN – Cincinnati is giving up the most fantasy points in the league this year to tight ends. He’s scored in 4 of 6 games this year and before not getting one last week he had a TD in 3 straight. Luck is playing unreal right now and should play well once again at home. I like Allen for a score this week.

Defense

New England vs NYJ – They lose Jerod Mayo for the year, but they should be ok replacing him. Even though he is their best defensive player, they played without him for most of last year. They still have a lot of studs on this side of the ball and are at home vs struggling Geno Smith. I’m playing them this week with confidence and you should too. **A little heads up. I drafted them in one of my leagues and they've been great thus far. I’m using them one more time next week at home vs Da Bears, then dropping them as they play Denver and head to a bye week. Following the bye they face @IND, DET, @GB, @SD. If you have a roster spot, take a look at some defense’s and pick one up to use going forward after week 8.

Buffalo vs MIN – They surprisingly got whipped by New England last week in Buffalo. I think they come out very angry and they force the rookie into making a few mistakes. They usually play well in front of that crazy crowd at home. They can get pressure on the QB and should have a couple sacks.

Sit ‘em and quit ‘em

Quarterback

Andy Dalton @ IND – The Colts defense is actually pretty stingy and they are at home. With Dalton on the road and without his favorite wide out again this week, the run game should be in business. I don’t think they put this one in Dalton’s hands to win. The attempts most likely won’t be there and there is no one to throw to.

Eli Manning @ DAL – The D has been surprisingly good in big D this year. They are only giving up around 230 yards per game through the air and Eli is now without his favorite target. The Giants did not look good against the Eagles on Sunday, and I expect Eli to go back to his early season ways once again.

Austin Davis vs SEA – After back to back 300 yard, 3 touchdown games, Davis came out on Monday night and looked awful. He’s playing a Seattle defense that will be really fired up after last week’s loss. He should not be owned at this point and should definitely not be used in week 7.

Running Back

New Orleans Backfield @ DET – Ingram is back this week, and it was a guessing game without him in there. I’d stay away from all of them vs the very good Lions D.  Maybe without Jimmy Graham they look to run more, but with who? Detroit is second in rush yards given up per game with only 73 per, divide that by this three headed running game and there’s not enough to go around.

Jerrick McKinnon @ BUF – Buffalo has not given up a rushing touchdown all year. They are also first in rush defense at 67 yards per game. Zimmer also said he wants to get Asiata more touches and McKinnon less. I’m not sure why Zimmer hates giving the ball to his best players (McKinnon, Patterson), but it’s really starting to make me mad. Can’t use him this week in a tough match up, but hold on to him. Gets TB next week, then weeks 11-13, CHI, GB, CAR.

Antone Smith @ BAL – Yes, he’s exciting, but he’s hard to trust. Great to stash on your bench until he starts to get more touches and playing time, which is just inevitable. His stats are insane for the amount he actually gets the ball, but outside on the road vs the Ravens is not the time to deploy him. Do not chase the points.

Wide Receiver

Eric Decker @ NE – He actually got 10 targets in the last two games he played in, but on Thursday he will be on vacation. It’s not his bye week, but he will be headed to an island… Revis Island. You know he’s going to want to play great vs his old team. You can sit Decker this week on the road with a struggling quarterback against Revis. It’s the perfect storm, stay away.

Brian Quick vs SEA – Not sure what went on in St. Louis on Monday night, but it looked like a whole new team. All of a sudden Tre Mason made his debut, Tavon Austin was catching passes and running out of the backfield. Stedman Bailey was out there, Pettis had 3 catches, and they finally realized Jared Cook is an option. Even Kenny Britt got involved. The Rams got everyone the ball and they had catches from 9 different guys. The Rams realize they are now out of this thing for 2014, and I think they are going to see what they have on that roster. He had a great few weeks, but his window may be closing. Oh yea, he plays the Seahawks this week as well.

Tight End

Heath Miller vs HOU – After his 10 receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown in week 4, he’s only had 8 targets the last two weeks combined. Very disappointing and he cannot be trusted right now. I hope he eventually gets involved, but I’m not counting him as a tight end 1 at this point.

Defense

San Francisco @ DEN – They had a great game on Monday night, but now they face the Broncos and Peyton Manning. If you don’t have the roster spot for two defenses you can actually go ahead and drop these guys. They have their bye next week and then really just alternate good match up, bad match up the rest of the way. STL, @ NO, @NYG, Was, Sea, @OAK, @SEA, SD. 

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