This post is from 2009!
Head over to MSF Fantasy Sports for our 2010 Week 7 Start / Sit Projections
I don’t really know that to say about Week 6.
I suppose there were some not-so-surprising results (Tom Brady and Randy Moss dominating, Drew Brees and Marques Colston dominating, Derek Anderson sucking, etc.) but they were countered by some very surprising results.
How does Cedric Benson dominate Baltimore and struggle against Houston? How do the Eagles get dominated by the Raiders? How does Adrian Peterson not get in the endzone when he ran that well. What happened to the time share between Ray Rice and Willis McGahee???
In the end, I guess Week 6 was like every other week: some stuff happened that we expect, some other stuff happened that we didn’t, and now we have to pick up the pieces and move on.
So let’s do it. Onto the Week 7 start em, sit em lineup advice and projections post.
Fantasy Flash Podcast – Week 7
Fantasy Football Lineup Advice with Jerod and Kurt
(podcast will be available Wednesday)
Here is how my Week 6 start ‘em, sit ‘em picks shook out:
- Start ‘em hits: Jonathan Stewart (17 carries, 110 yards, TD), New York Jets D (16 pts, 2 TOs, 1 sack)
- Start ‘em misses: Matt Hasselbeck (112 yards, 1 INT), Santana Moss (1 rec, 42 yards), Jermichael Finley (5 rec, 54 yards)
- Sit ‘em hits: Derek Anderson (122 yards passing, TD, INT), Jamal Lewis & Jerome Harrison (47 yards rushing),Terrell Owens (3 rec, 13 yards), Chris Cooley (5 rec, 57 yards), New York GIants D (48 pts, o TOs, 1 sack)
- Sit ‘em misses: Lee Evans (4 rec, 68 yards, TD)
I’m proud of the Jonathan Stewart pick, but my other start picks really left something to be desired, especially Hasselbeck. I don’t know what happened to Seattle, but I think everyone expected a better performance out of them against the Cardinals, who had been one of the worst teams in the NFL against the pass before last week.
Regardless, it was obviously much smarter to listen to me when it came to sits in Week 6.
This week is one of the most important start em, sit em columns of the season, as there are six teams on their bye this week. If you own Ravens, Broncos, Jaguars, Lions, Seahawks, or Titans (I do! I do!), you are going to need replacements this week.
I’ve worked hard to give you some wise advice for this week to help you navigate through what could be a tricky matchup for you. Let’s get to it.
Week 7 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Lineup Advice
Week 7 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Quarterbacks
Start ‘em: Jay Cutler, Bears (at Bengals)
Here’s a stat for you:
- In two Sunday night games this year, Jay Cutler is has 3 TDs and 6 INTs.
- In three Sunday afternoon games this year, Jay Cutler has 7 TDs and 1 INT.
Cutler and the Bears take on the Bengals in Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon. And while the Bengals have had a nice start to the season, they are not doing well against the pass. They are 28th in the league, giving up 254.8 yards passing per game, with 9 TDs and 5 INTs. Here is all you need to know: Derek Anderson has thrown for 145 yards over the past two weeks; he threw for 269 against Cincinnati in Week 4.
Matt Forte still is showing no signs of consistent life, meaning this game will be on Cutler’s shoulders. He’s proven that he can bounce back well from tough games (remember, I listed him as my Start ‘em QB after his terrible Week 1 performance), and I think he’ll do so Sunday.
Jay Cutler Week 7 projection: 270 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Other start ‘em QBs for Week 7: Aaron Rodgers, GB (at Cleveland); Matt Schaub, HOU (vs San Francisco); Matt Ryan, ATL (at Dallas)
Sit ‘em: Donovan McNabb, Eagles (at Washington)
As with Jay Cutler, I’ll give you two stat lines that convince me sitting Donovan McNabb for this week is a good thing:
- 22-46, 269 yards, 0 TDs against Oakland
- 169.0 passing yards per game given up (3rd in NFL) and only 5 TDs
The first is McNabb’s personal line from last week; the second is the Redskins’ defense against the pass. I want to see McNabb have a good game and see this Eagles’ offense get back into rhythm before I’m playing McNabb over some of the other favorable QB matchups out there this week. The Redskins suck, no question, but the majority of their problems lie on offense. Their games have been low scoring and hell for fantasy owners because their defense is pretty solid.
McNabb certainly is capable of going off on Monday against anyone, but you have more stones than I do if you can confidently start him against the 3rd ranked pass defense in the league after that mess in Oakland on Sunday.
Donovan McNabb Week 7 projection: 225 yards passing, 1 TD, 1 INT
Other sit ‘em QBs for Week 7: Brett Favre, MIN (at Pittsburgh); Chad Henne, MIA (vs New Orleans); Derek Anderson, CLE (vs Green Bay); Mark Sanchez, NYJ (at Oakland); Jake Delhomme, CAR (vs Buffalo)
Week 7 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Running Backs
Start ‘em: Laurence Maroney, New England (vs Tampa Bay in London)
I’m doing something I never thought I’d do: recommending a New England running back as a start ‘em. Sometimes the matchups are just so obvious that they dictate otherwise curious decisions like this one. But once again, there are two stats that jump out to me:
- Maroney has generated 144 yards and a TD on his last 21 carries against good run defenses (Denver, Tennessee)
- Tampa Bay has the second-worst run defense in the NFL, giving up 171.7 yards per game on the ground plus six TDs.
Would I be shocked if Maroney somehow ended up with only 6-7 carries and few yards? Normally, no I wouldn’t be. But this week, with as well as Maroney has been running the ball, yes I would be surprised. With Fred Taylor out, I think the Patriots want Maroney to be the guy. He’ll get the initial carries and should have success against the Bucs, which should keep him on the field.
With so many good running backs on bye this week, Maroney is an excellent fill-in candidate and possibly even a sneaky RB #2 or flex option moving forward.
Laurence Maroney Week 7 projection: 18 carries, 85 yards, TD, 2 rec, 9 yards
Quick note: make sure you play both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart this week. They both were great last week, appear to be following the same arc they did last year, and face the worst run D in the league this week: Buffalo.
Other start ‘em RBs for Week 7: Ryan Grant, GB (at Cleveland); Thomas Jones and Leon Washington, NYJ (at Oakland); Cadillac Williams, TB (vs New England in London); Donald Brown and Joseph Addai, IND (at St. Louis); Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson, BUF (at Carolina)
Sit ‘em: Jerome Harrison, Browns (vs Green Bay Packers)
I am putting Jerome Harrison here hoping that I am wrong. I really am. I still believe he should be getting the majority of the carries for the Browns, but Harrison has only gotten 13 carries over the last two weeks and NO receptions.
I don’t get it, but it does make the Browns’ offensive woes a little more understandable.
Eric Mangini appears committed to Jamal Lewis, and thus until further notice I think you have to put Jerome Harrison on your bench. If and when Lewis gets hurt again, however, Harrison immediately becomes a valuable commodity.
Jerome Harrison Week 7 projection: 6 carries, 30 yards, 1 rec, 10 yards
A quick note about running backs: it is hard to determine sit ‘ems because I almost always will play a RB at flex if given the option. Thus, guys like Brandon Jacobs and Cedric Benson are listed below, but take it more as a “lower your expectations” pick than a concrete sit ‘em. It’s all based on your particular roster. Feel free to ask specific questions in the comment section.
Other sit ‘em RBs for Week 7: Mike Bell, Saints (at Miami); Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG (vs Arizona…giving up less than 60 yards rushing per game!); Cedric Benson, CIN (vs Chicago);
Week 7 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Wide Receivers
Start ‘em: Austin Collie, Colts (at St. Louis Rams)
Okay, let’s stick with the theme. Here are the two stats that dictate this one:
- Collie has 14 receptions, 162 yards, and 3 TDs over his last two games and plays for the most prolific passing offense in the NFL, one that is coming off its bye week.
- Because of bye weeks, the Rams have the 3rd-worst passing defense playing this week, giving up an average of 252 yards per game and 8 TDs.
Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark are obviously good starts every week, and Collie is quickly becoming a weekly start himself. There is enough to go around in Indy and Collie is already developing a fantasy-friendly relationship with Peyton Manning.
Austin Collie Week 7 projection: 6 rec, 81 yards, TD
Other start ‘em WRs for Week 7: Devin Hester and Johnny Knox, CHI (at Cincinnati); Lance Moore, NO (at Miami); Dwayne Bowe, KC (vs San Diego)
Sit ‘em: Steve Smith, Carolina (vs Buffalo)
It is a testament to how much I respect him as a player that I almost listed Steve Smith in the start ‘em category. But coming off of his 1 catch, 4-yard performance, and playing the 4th rated pass defense in the NFL (Buffalo), I just could not bring myself to do it.
The sad truth this week for Smith owners is that Carolina has a killer running game with Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, and Buffalo has the worst run defense in the NFL. Plus, Carolina’s other receivers suck and can’t draw any coverage away from Smith.
I think Jake Delhomme and Carolina will try to get Smith the ball, and maybe even force it to him. Hence, why I almost decided to list him as a a start. But there is a reason why Smith has only 10 catches and 97 yards over the last three weeks. Unless you have no other decent options, let Smith have a good week first before you put him back in the lineup.
Steve Smith Week 7 projection: 4 catches, 57 yards, 0 TDs
Other sit ‘em WRs for Week 7: Braylon Edwards, NYJ (at Oakland); Laveraneus Coles, CIN (vs Chicago); Antonio Bryant, TB (vs New England in London); Josh Morgan, SF (at Houston); Terrell Owens, BUF (at Carolina)
Week 7 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Tight Ends
Start ‘em: Greg Olsen, Chicago (at Cincinnati)
Greg Olsen only has 112 receiving yards over his last three games, but look deeper at the numbers. He is averaging almost four catches per game (11 total) and has scored 3 TDs (one in each). Additionally, if you saw the ridiculous one-handed-while-falling-down catch he made against Atlanta, you know why Jay Cutler has begun developing more confidence in him.
Also know this about Olsen’s opponent Sunday: The Bengals, as I mentioned above, give up 254.8 passing yards and have surrendered 9 TDs. And last week against Houston, Owen Daniels went off, catching 7 passes for 78 yards and 2 TDs. I don’t know that Olsen can duplicate those numbers, but he is a solid bye week filler and could approach the Brent Celek/Vernon Davis level of tight ends as we move forward, especially if the Bears continue to struggle running the football.
Greg Olsen Week 7 projection: 5 catches, 61 yards, TD
Other start ‘em TEs for Week 7: Vernon Davis, SF (at Houston); Owen Daniels, HOU (vs SF); Jermichael Finley, GB (at Cleveland);
Sit ‘em: Zack Miller, Oakland (vs New York Jets)
Sorry, I’m not buying it yet.
I know that Miller had a ridiculous day this past Sunday against Philadelphia, catching six passes for 139 yards and a TD. And I know that he has 10 catches and over 200 yards over his last two games against the Giants and the Eagles.
Still, I don’t trust his QB, which makes it hard to trust Zack Miller.
And while Miller has scored against the Giants and Eagles (1st and 5th, respectively, in passing yards allowed per game), those two teams have given up 8 passing touchdowns a piece this season. The Raiders’ opponent on Sunday is the Jets, a team that is 8th in passing yards allowed per game and has only given up four passing touchdowns all year.
I think Rex Ryan and the Jets D will be able to confuse Russell; and, after their loss to the Bills, the Jets won’t come in overconfident like the Eagles did. I think they shut down Russell and the Raiders’ passing game; hence, why I don’t start Miller this week.
Zack Miller Week 7 projection: 3 rec, 34 yards
Other sit ‘em TEs for Week 7: Dustin Keller, NYJ (at Oakland); Randy McMichael, STL (vs Indianapolis); Kellen Winslow, TB (vs New England in London); Brent Celek, PHI (at Washington)
Week 7 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Defense / Special Teams Units
Start ‘em: New England Patriots D/ST (vs Tampa Bay in London)
Can you tell that I don’t give the Buccaneers much of a chance on Sunday?
Look, it boils down to this: the Patriots have the experience and talent of Brady, Moss, Welker, et al, plus an experienced coach in Bill Belichick. The Bucs have a first year coach in Raheem Morris, plus a first year QB in Josh Johnson, plus a roster that lacks talent in a lot of areas. If this was just a simple road game or a game at a neutral field in the U.S., it would be a little different. Considering the game is across the pond in London, I think it makes it even more difficult for the Bucs.
Do you really trust Morris and his young QB to be able to handle to pressure of a strange travel schedule, an entirely new country, and the Patriots? Me either. Start your Patriots, and their D.
New England D/ST Week 7 projection: 14 pts or less, 3 TOs, 3 sacks
Other start em D/ST units for Week 7: Indianapolis D/ST (at St. Louis); Philadelphia D/ST (at Washington); Green Bay D/ST (at Cleveland); New York Jets D/ST (at Oakland)
Sit ‘em: Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST and Minnesota Vikings D/ST
It’s not often that you sit one of these two defenses. And make no mistake: I would rather start them than have to drop them. That said, if you’re holding onto a second defense or can drop a WR you’re never going to use, there are some better options out there this week.
I just have a feeling that this game is going to become a shootout. Look at what happened in Minnesota’s game last week against Baltimore.
The Vikings are only 18th right now in total yards allowed per game. The Steelers, on the other hand, are 3rd in yards per game allowed and have Troy Polamalu back. But guess what? Minnesota is second in the league in scoring offense with 31.5 points per game. Pittsburgh is 7th at 23.3 points per game.
Both of these defenses still offer value because they will get sacks, probably force a turnover or two, and are always a threat to score touchdowns. Just be wary of expecting their normal production, and plug in a backup defense if you’re fortunate enough to have the wiggle room on your roster to carry one.
Pittsburgh D/ST Week 7 projection: 24+ pts allowed, 2 sacks, 2 TOs
Minnesota D/ST Week 7 projection: 24+ pts allowed, 3 sacks, 2 TOs
Other sit ‘em defenses for Week 7: Cincinnati D/ST (vs Bears), San Francisco D/ST (at Houston); Miami D/ST (vs New Orleans)
Well hopefully you get a lot of valuable information out of that. As always, feel free to ask your team-specific start em, sit em questions in the comment section. I will do my best to answer every one. We’ve been having a few commenting issues, so if you post a comment and it either a) doesn’t show up, or b) you don’t get a response, send me an email using the “Tips” link in the top navigation bar.
Also, I will be in Cleveland this weekend for the Sports Media 360 Conference and the Browns-Packers game. I most likely won’t be able to answer too many questions after Friday around noon, although I’ll try depending on my schedule once I arrive. But try to get your questions in before then and I’ll answer as many as I can.
Good luck in Week 7 everyone!
* – Jay Cutler photo credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images via Zimbio
* – Austin Collie photo credit: MyColts.net