Fantasy Football Advice for Week 7
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Every Tuesday during the NFL season, WhatIfSports.com will release its fantasy projections for the upcoming week. The statistical inputs to the thousands of NFL games simulated are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth chart and statistically-based player rankings. In addition to our computer forecasts, WhatIfSports.com will also offer a "creative" perspective at its fantasy football coverage in a weekly feature called "Fantasy Fever." Enjoy.
QB: Joe Flacco, Ravens. On paper, it appears the Buffalo D has been bothersome to opposing quarterbacks, yielding just 200 yards a game through the air. However, closer examination claims the contrary: the Bills are surrendering the league's highest QB rating (114.8) and worst interception total with, drum roll please, ONE pick on the year. Count on Flacco for at least two scores this weekend.
RB: Knowshon Moreno, Broncos. The former Georgia Bulldog received 12 carries last Sunday in his first taste of action in nearly a month. Although still recovering from a hamstring injury, Moreno should have a field day against the Oakland defense, which is surrendering 149.5 yards a contest. Denver backs Correll Buckhalter and Laurence Maroney will see their share of time, but Moreno will get the bulk of the carries.
WR: Jeremy Maclin, Eagles. With DeSean Jackson down and out on the sidelines, Maclin soared for the Eagle offense, hauling in 7 receptions for 159 yards and 2 touchdowns in Week 6's W over Atlanta. Philadelphia will keep Jackson on the sidelines against Tennessee this week, especially with the Bye right around the corner. Furthermore, Maclin seems to be a favorite target of Kevin Kolb (who more than likely will be the Eagles starting signal caller against the Titans), further forecasting fantasy fortune for Maclin this week.
TE: Jeremy Shockey, Saints. Shockey is quietly having a solid year for the Saints, snagging 25 balls for 2 TDs. The Browns secondary would not be classified as "shut-down" by any means, allowing 228.8 yards a game to go along with 11 aerial touchdowns. While New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees has a penchant for spreading the rock around, Shockey could see some opportunities in the red zone, as the Saints RB corps is still banged up.
DEF: Seattle Seahawks. While the Fever is a big fan of Max Hall, his performance against the Saints left much to be desired. The Seahawks have been conceding 361.2 total yards a game, but have contained opponents to 19.4 points a contest. Throw in the fact that Qwest Field provides one of the only home-field advantages in football, and it's easy to see that the variables equate to a long day for Hall and the Cardinals.
QB: Alex Smith, 49ers. Remember the paradox of, "What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?" This matchup is the exact opposite of that adage. The Carolina defense has been less than stellar, giving up 22 points a game. Alex Smith hasn't been a model of success either, throwing for 237.5 yards, 8 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. Do yourself a favor and stay far, far away from this game.
RB: Ryan Torain, Redskins. The Fever correctly predicted Torain would validate his fantasy status against the Colts in Week 6. However, Torain is facing a vaunted Bears defense that's holding opponents to 84 yards a game, 3rd best in the NFL. Leave Torain on the bench if better options exist.
WR: Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs. That thump sound you heard was every Bowe owner who left the Kansas City wideout on the bench last week smacking their head with a shovel. Bowe is the fantasy equivalent of a femme fatale, luring you into compromising and dangerous endeavors. As a former Bowe owner, take it from me: just wash your hands clean of the situation. The breakup might be tough, especially when the Chief WR will randomly post 140 yards one week, but your sanity and fantasy roster will be better off for it.
TE: Antonio Gates, Chargers. There's a decent chance Gates will suit up this weekend against the Patriots, but with a bum ankle, one would have to think his production would be pedestrian at best. Monitor Gates' health throughout the week in case the tight-end makes a miraculous recovery.
DEF: New York Giants. Theoretically, all the yards the Cowboys have accumulated have to equate to touchdowns at some juncture in the season, right?
Fantasy Flashback Performance: Up until Week 7 of the 2007 season, Cincinnati running back Kenny Watson had reached the endzone just three times since entering the NFL in 2002. So when starter Rudi Johnson went down with an injury before a matchup with the Jets, fantasy expectation from Watson was tempered. The former Nittany Lion proved he was up for the challenge, finding the promised land on three occasions and racking up 130 yards in a 38-31 win over New York. Watson never came close to duplicating this feat, but his one-hit wonder remains alive in the hearts of many a fantasy owner.
Bust a MoveRoll the dice with Davis
Waiver Wire Watch: Buster Davis. Pardon the pun, but Buster Davis has been a relative "bust" in the NFL. Selected as the 30th overall pick in the 2007 Draft, Davis has totaled just 505 yards and 2 touchdowns with the Chargers. However, with the statuses of Antonio Gates, Malcolm Floyd and Legedu Naanee in the air for this week's matchup with New England, Davis is worth the pickup in the pass-happy San Diego offense. Factor in the atrociousness of the Patriot secondary, and Davis is a must-start if Floyd and Naanee can't go.
This Week in Kevin Walter: I moved into a new place over the weekend, rendering me without cable or internet access. So you can imagine my surprise when Walter was no where to be found in the Houston-Kansas City box score. My mind immediately began to race: Was K-Money injured? (Impossible: Walter's so tough he makes Cal Ripken Jr. look like a wuss.) Did Walter get kidnapped? (Absurd: #83 is a master of karate and hand-to-hand combat.) Maybe Walter was helping rescue the miners in Chile? (Inconceivable: the miners would have been saved in a mere hour had Walter headed the rescue mission.) Ultimately, it turns out the Texan Tornado was simply ignored by Matt Schaub, who must have taken a few too many hits to the helmet. Look for Walter to take out his wrath on Indianapolis following the bye week.
Walter's 2010 stats:20 receptions, 242 yards, 3 touchdowns.
Walter's 2010 CBC (Cornerback Body Count) : 6
Rookie Review: Although Danario Alexander racked up 113 receptions for 1,781 yards and 14 touchdowns during his Sr. season at Missouri, the wideout went undrafted due to injury issues and found himself on the St. Louis practice squad. But after WR Mark Clayton went on IR, Alexander was promoted to the official roster and debuted against San Diego. And what a debut it was: Alexander finished with 4 catches for 72 yards and a score. With the St. Louis WR corps depleted, Alexander could find himself a fixture on the roster for the rest of the season.
Gatorade Shower Goes To: Kevin Kolb. After a forgettable 1st half, followed by a concussion, which led to an electric Michael Vick performance, the Kolb Era in Philadelphia was seemingly kaput after Week 1. Yet Kolb has seen a Lazarus-like revival in relief of Vick, who suffered a rib injury against the Redskins. In the last two games (both Eagle victories), Kolb has thrown for 579 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Personal Foul On: James Harrison. The NFL shouldn't suspend guys like Harrison who proudly state their intention of hurting offensive players. Rather, their punishment should involve running a slant route over the middle with Terry Tate, Office Linebacker waiting to greet them.
Varsity Blues Quote of the Week:
Sam Moxon: I raised you to be a winner, so dammit boy, win!
Let us know what you think of Whatifsports.com's Fantasy Fever. Shoot us an email at BtB@whatifsports.com.