Hey gang… I’m backkkkk!!!! Sorry I had to miss last week here on Shaw Sports. I had a very hectic Wed-Sun and was unable to post. But by now most of you guys have got a pretty good handle on your team and probably didn’t need all that much help. Um… yeah right! I know EVERYBODY who play fantasy football has questions and concerns week in and week out, so hopefully this Week 7 fantasy preview will aid you in your quest for the chip in your league. I promise I will not miss another column for the rest of the season!
So lets jump right in. We are entering prime time bye week territory so make sure you are aware of who is on bye for your team for the next couple of weeks. Most notably the QB and RB position, because those are the hardest to back up with a similar level player than who you normally would start. Never stop watching the waiver wire and never be afraid to make moves… a fantasy GM that won’t make moves is one that is doomed to not win.
Fantasy Freaks –
1) Lamar Miller – RB – Miami Dolphins
Lamar Miller was highly touted coming into the year and a lot of people took him pretty high as their second RB choice. But he has been the model of inconsistency, with two… TWO fantasy games out of five where he only recorded 1.5 points or less. That happened in Miller’s last game Week 5, against the Raven where Miller had only 1.5 pts. But when Miller laid his other egg in Week 1 (1 pt) he bounced back the next week with a much more productive 13.5 pts in week 2 (70 yards and a TD). Coming off the bye in Week 6, Miller has had 2 weeks to get ready for his match up with the hapless Buffalo defense (27th Overall Defense, 28th against the Rush). Look for Miller to have another bounce back performance against a weak Buffalo team that is terrible against the run… This could be the week that Miller finally tops 100 yards given that the game is at home in sunny south Florida.
2) Cam Newton – QB – Carolina Panthers
Cam… oh Cam. The ups and downs with this guy are crazy. Cam is uber dangerous. This is a fact. But he plays so erratically, especially against mediocre and bad teams. Cam put up a ton of points last week against Minnesota, but two weeks ago he struggled against the sorry ass Arizona Cardinals. So which Cam are we going to see, Superman or Cam Kent? I’m thinking Man of Steel against the St. Louis Rams. The Rams are in the lower third of the NFL in total team D (ranked 22 out of 32 teams), but are even worse against the run (30th out of 32.. with only the Colts (huh?) & Jags behind them). Cam will run wild with his read option and QB keeper plays, and then will end up airing it out if they try to cramp up the box. St. Louis over achieved last week by drumming the Houston Texans. I don’t think it will happen two weeks in a row. Trust in Cam at home…
3) Knowshon Moreno – RB – Denver Broncos
Yup… I love it when I am right. I gambled on Moreno late in all my drafts because I had followed the news coming out of Bronco camp all summer. Both Ronnie Hillman and Monte Ball were drafted WAY HIGHER than Moreno in every league, and both were expected to get way more reps than Moreno in a pass happy offense. But Moreno was the only one not making mistakes (Hillman), not fumbling (Ball), and actually running the ball effectively… and lead to Moreno getting and keeping the starting job! Moreno is just outside the top ten in rushing yards DESPITE getting almost 30-40 less carries than those ahead of him. He is averaging a very healthy 4.7 yards per carry, has added almost 200 yards in receiving (even Pey Pey likes to check it down!) and is leading the league with 7 TDs. If you had owned Moreno, chances are you drafted him as a back up for two other RBs… but chances are he is outperforming BOTH of them (or at least one). He should be your RB1. Now he gets the Indy Colts, in Indy… Peyton is coming home and he is looking to make the Colts and big mouth GM Jim Irsay pay for letting him go. Even though the Colts are the 11th ranked defense in the NFL, they have not faced an offensive juggernaut like the Broncos and they are 31st in the league against the run. 31st??? I predict a huge offensive game from the Broncos that starts with Moreno on the ground. In four outta six games this year Moreno has had more than 15 fantasy points, 3 of those over 22. Look for more of that this week as the Broncos are out to make an example out of the Colts.
Fantasy Faux Pas –
1) Frank Gore – RB – SF 49ers
I like Gore… he is a ‘U’ alum after all. And he is having quite a good season (477 yards and 3 TDs) so far for a 49er team that has struggled from time to time. But this week they draw the Tennessee Titans, who are a top 10 defense. The Titans are notoriously tough at home, and they have done well against good RBs this season (they held Arian Foster to 70 yards). Gore is known for highs and lows, and the 49ers do not travel very well. I think this is a down week for him. See what else you have to start and reserve Gore for a RB2 or Flex role instead of his usual RB1 status.
2) Adrian Peterson – RB – Minnesota Vikings
This player offers a Fantasy Faux Pas for a multitude of reasons. My heart goes out to Mr. Peterson for the gut-wrenching loss that he has suffered with the death of his child. No parent should have to go through that, let alone with the terrible circumstances surrounding the child’s death. I was amazed that he played last week, but he didn’t perform up to typical AP standards. This week he has taken a few days off of practice for family reasons, which are understandable. But considering the fact that all of this is probably starting to hit AP the hardest, I don’t think we will see much out of him this week. Couple that with a new starting QB in Josh Freeman, who barely can know the playbook, and a pretty bad Defense… yeah, let AP marinate for a bit and play the match-ups with your other RBs.
3) CJ Spiller & Fred Jackson – RBs – Buffalo Bills
With the QB carousel spinning wildly in Buffalo (last weeks starter, practice player Thad Lewis, is banged up… They just signed Matt Flynn, and don’t have much faith in rookie Jeff Tuel) and injuries to both Spiller and Jackson (both were hurt last week but played), I just can’t see this trip into Miami as a good match up for the dynamic duo. Not to mention that they are pretty much on a 50/50 time share… therefor they are each stealing each others stats. Every play one makes, steals stats from the other. Either way, I don’t like the match up for either individually against the pretty decent Dolphin D. One will probably have a good game, but which?
Fantasy Sleepers –
1) Keenan Allen – WR – San Diego Chargers (owned in 66% of leagues)
Keenan Allen is getting a ton of targets from a resurgent Phillip Rivers. The Chargers D and running game are doing this team no favors, but Allen has been the surprise so far. Gates looks great, but with Floyd out and Eddie Royal under-performing you should pay attention. It is amazing that more people have paid attention to a guy like Allen with the bye portion of the season. Grab him if he is available.
2) Brandon Jacobs – RB – NY Giants (owned in 51% of leagues)
The NY Giants running back situation is a mess. David Wilson under performed all season and is no out for a few weeks. Andre Brown has been on IR all year and will not be back for a few weeks, Dar’rell Scott is injured… what more can be said. When the Giants signed Jacobs a few weeks ago, most people were puzzled. But Scott was cut, and Jacobs took over the brunt of the running duties with Wilson out. Jacobs had a great game in his first start, piling up 100 + yards and two TDs. That was against Chicago (not great against the run), but seeing Jacobs run like that was refreshing. This week he gets the terrible D of the Vikings (#31 in the league) and has many more good match ups (Philly & Oakland up next) soon to come. With Wilson’s future uncertain, Jacobs is a must own in these RB thin times.
3) Brandon Lafell – WR – Carolina Panthers (owned in 21% of leagues)
Cam has been notorious for only seeming to be able to throw to Steve Smith and TE Greg Olsen. The other receivers on his team have often been under used and not very fantasy friendly. But Lafell makes bad defenses pay, twice topping 17+ points (NY Giants & Minnesota). With some great match ups over the next few weeks (St. Louis, Tampa, and Atlanta) we should see more good from Lafell. I like him… a lot. Especially as an easy replacement in your deeper leagues for a bye player.
So that is all folks… keep making moves, keep watching the waiver wire, and keep trying to make your team better. Check out the 5th QTR podcast over at Mixcloud featuring Cal Lee and I… Every week!