Fantasy Football Insider - Week 7
by Nicholas Minnix and Tim Heaney
on October 23, 2010 @ 20:00:00
Here's what KFFL's inside sources are saying this week.
- Of all the factors in the Green Bay Packers'
fourth-quarter letdowns, Aaron Rodgers
has to shoulder most of the blame. It's the one area in which he has yet to
measure up to other top passers.
- Carson Palmer critics may be overlooking
one big positive: He has done an excellent job of getting everyone involved
early and then letting the flow dictate who gets the ball. The Cincinnati
Bengals' turnover problems have been the result of things like poor protection.
- In his debut, Cleveland Browns rookie Colt
McCoy didn't blow anyone away, but miscues you'd expect when a rookie
starts - false starts, delays of game - weren't present. He threw a couple
of bad picks, but he also stood strong in the pocket in the face of a couple
of big hits and made some really nice throws.
- The Carolina Panthers' Matt
Moore could take a few more shots downfield, especially with wide
receiver Steve Smith (ankle) back. Carolina
also wants to keep opposing defenses from crowding the box against the run.
- Whether Trent Edwards (thumb) or
Todd Bouman starts for the Jacksonville
Jaguars this week, expect them to see stacked fronts daring them to move
away from the ground game. The Jags' O will be limited to short passing routes
outside the run.
- Don't worry, Frank Gore owners. There's
a lot of hot air coming from the San Francisco 49ers
about cutting back his workload.
- The Miami Dolphins have had trouble with physical
backs this year. Our 'Phins insider foresees a good game for the Pittsburgh
Steelers' Rashard Mendenhall.
- It's fair to think that if quarterback Vince
Young doesn't play, Chris Johnson
won't get the best running lanes possible; Young can open up defenses. However,
Johnson thinks that if Kerry Collins lines
up behind center, there won't be an extra defensive spy. Our Tennessee
Titans insider doesn't agree - the Philadelphia
Eagles could place another defender in the box, meaning there might not
be as much running room anyway.
- It's more likely than not that Darren McFadden
(hamstring) is back this week. Expect his touches to be limited. Once (if)
the Oakland Raiders have both McFadden and Michael
Bush at full health, look for the hot-hand approach. And don't rule
it out entirely this week, either.
The Carolina Panthers want to get running backs
Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo
Williams more involved coming out of the bye. They've bulked up the
interior of their line to help this.
DMC running alongside Bush
- With Kareem Huggins on injured reserve,
LeGarrette Blount and Kregg
Lumpkin will benefit, with Blount being the likely No. 2 option for
this week. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers don't want
to give Cadillac Williams more than
15 carries. However, Blount being the guy isn't set in stone; Lumpkin could
take the changeup role if he performs well.
- Expect Ryan Mathews to continue in
the lead role for the San Diego Chargers, with
around 15 to 20 touches. Beware that the Bolts aren't afraid to abandon the
run if they are losing early on, though.
- The Atlanta Falcons' linebackers should be able
to shut down Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric
Benson this week.
- Unsurprisingly, Felix Jones' 10 receptions
versus the Minnesota Vikings weren't by design
but rather because of a glaring need to check down. The Dallas
Cowboys may run into that against the New York
Giants this week, too.
- Did you like what you saw from new Seattle Seahawks
back Marshawn Lynch and his PIC, Justin
Forsett, against the Chicago Bears? Expect
them to get the ball about as often versus the Arizona
Cardinals. Seattle is fond of setting Forsett free on draw plays in the
- If you're looking for a handcuff to Maurice
Jones-Drew, that's more likely to come in the form of Rashad
Jennings, not recent fantasy darling Deji
Karim. Karim benefited mostly because of Jennings' recent injury.
Jennings has the build for being the main back if MJD were to miss time.
- Chris Ivory should see something
close to the 15 carries he saw in Week 6. Julius
Jones will probably see about eight to 10 touches, but Ivory is the
New Orleans Saints' lead back with Pierre
Thomas (ankle) and Reggie Bush
(leg) still on the sidelines. Thomas' timetable is unknown, and Bush might
be back next week, but that's still looking uncertain. If it's Ivory and Bush
in the backfield, Ivory's workload won't change, considering Bush would still
be the changeup back. Thomas' return would cloud Ivory's presence.
- Beanie Wells will be the top back
in terms of carries for the Arizona Cardinals, but
they won't forget about Tim Hightower's
- Knowshon Moreno looked a bit rusty
last week, but you should expect the Denver Broncos'
back to return to his normal workload - about 18 carries - with the rest split
between Laurence Maroney and Correll
- The Buffalo Bills' Fred
Jackson should touch the ball 15 to 20 times, provided Buffalo's offense
can stay on the field long enough.
- The Baltimore Ravens will walk the walk: Willis
McGahee will touch the football again. In fact, he should be in by
the third series and will be in for a few drives, at least. If the Nevermores
are messing up the Buffalo Bills, McGahee and Le'Ron
McClain will probably clean up.
- This week, the Philadelphia Eagles will have
a package of plays for the recently acquired Jerome
Harrison. Nothing big, but a chance to get his feet wet in an offense
that he noted is difficult to learn.
- Each week, opponents don't know whether to double Steve
E. Smith or Hakeem Nicks. The
New York Giants throw to whichever sees single
coverage. In Week 6, they were good, but neither had a big game, perhaps because
the Detroit Lions didn't choose to double either
receiver consistently. Blueprint?
- Consensus: Look for the Green Bay Packers to
pit Al Harris, in his first game off the PUP,
against the Minnesota Vikings' Randy
Moss. Don't drool. Harris will definitely get help. That's because
the expectation is Charles Woodson will draw
Percy Harvin a lot. Right now, that
looks like a matchup Harvin could easily win.
- The Kansas City Chiefs employed Dwayne
Bowe properly in Week 6, allowing him to do more after the catch.
His big game included a long catch-and-run touchdown on which Bowe broke tackles.
The Chiefs haven't been setting him up to do that
much. Until they do that more consistently, our Chiefs
scribe warns that Bowe remains a risky commodity; however, he pointed to this
week's Chiefs game against the shaky Jacksonville
Jaguars' pass D as a potential repeat of Bowe's success.
- Don't be surprised if San Diego Chargers nickelback
Donald Strickland does enough to contain, at
least, the New England Patriots' Wes
Welker this week. It's a matchup to watch.
- Welker's movements are still limited by his knee brace, but he looks good
health-wise at this point in the season.
- Luckily, New England brought back Deion Branch,
who should be as involved going forward as he was last week. He'll be a nice
safety valve for Tom Brady in an offense full
of safety valves. Branch is a better bet for catches than yardage each week.
- If you're concerned about Chad Ochocinco's
lack of production, what else is new? Maybe now that Terrell
Owens has come up with back-to-back 100-yard efforts, defenses won't
double Chad so much.
- Did Mike X. Williams respond to Seattle
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll's challenge
to step up? Maybe. But the big difference has been Williams' rediscovery of
ambition, something he lost before this year.
- Mike Thomas might still be able to
put up serviceable Week 7 stats with the Jacksonville
Jaguars' passing offense likely to be scaled back. He is the best at getting
open quickly among the Jags' receiving targets.
Patrick Crayton is the better short-
and long-term fantasy option than Buster Davis.
With the San Diego Chargers' banged up passing
options, Crayton has the more reliable hands and is probably more likely to
receive at least a few looks when Vincent Jackson
Don't forget about Ocho
- The Dallas Cowboys think that Dez
Bryant (ankle) is in better shape this week than he was last week.
They mostly rest him at practice so that they can save him for Sundays.
- Tennessee Titans wideout Kenny
Britt was involved in a bar fight. The Titans
are still gathering facts about the situation, but he threw some punches.
This probably won't change his depth chart spot long term, but his status
for Week 7 is up in the air. You should at least have another option on hand
in case they decide Britt will not play.
- The Titans have a backup plan for Britt. Damian
Williams looked impressive last week in his first extended NFL
action. He knows all three wideout spots, has good speed and catches well.
He's a fantasy watch commodity.
- Excited about Danario Alexander?
You should be. He's physically gifted and technically sound. But the St.
Louis Rams were desperate when they elevated him to the practice squad.
He remains a project, but he could develop into a consistent big-play threat.
Perhaps even this year.
- Don't be overly excited about Michael Jenkins'
double-digit looks, five catches and 99 yards in his first game of the year.
It's the same old song: He benefits only from the attention that the Atlanta
Falcons' star targets receive.
- Re: Helmet-to-helmet hits - James Harrison
knocked out Joshua Cribbs, but Cribbs
had no problem with the hit. In fact, he's looking forward, as he put it,
to sticking his head right back in there.
- Maybe ... maybe ... maybe the Oakland Raiders
will see Chaz Schilens (knee) on the
field after their Week 10 bye.
- The Oakland Raiders' Zach
Miller might be followed sometimes by Denver
Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey (ribs)
in Week 7.
- The San Diego Chargers are desperate for a win
this week, and our insider thinks Antonio Gates
(toe) plays. He has played through much worse. He'll probably be used as a
- Don't expect the Washington Redskins' Chris
Cooley to be limited on Sunday, especially since he has practiced
every day leading up to Week 7 action.
- Our Philadelphia Eagles insider is convinced
that, with DeSean Jackson (concussion) out
and after watching portions of practice, Brent
Celek will see the ball this week - a lot.
- The Chicago Bears' Greg
Olsen might benefit from an offensive modification. Da Bears
are going to try incorporating more three- and five-step drops in their passing
attack this week; Olsen might receive more quick throws his way.
- Marcedes Lewis might see more looks
coming his way this Sunday; the Jacksonville Jaguars'
aerial game will likely comprise mostly short and intermediate throws.
- Did you ditch the Minnesota Vikings' Visanthe
Shiancoe yet? There's hope, if not. Brad
Childress and his OC have emphasized how much they want to involve Shiancoe
again. The addition of Randy Moss, some heavy
personnel packages and a hammy issue killed Shiancoe's value, after a strong
start. Let's see what happens in Week 7, with a decent matchup.
- Shawn Nelson, of the Buffalo
Bills, should have a substantial role this week. Buffalo is hoping the
talented pass catcher can actually make some plays in their receiving game.
- If you were a dedicated Lawrence Tynes owner, it's safe to reacquire him. He has been booting it from 40-plus yards in New York Giants practices.
Around the league
- What took so long? Referees will attend Dallas Cowboys practice regularly, as has been widely reported. The team also altered its practice schedule so include walkthroughs that will correct mistakes from practice sessions.
- On third down, with 2 yards or less to go, the Cincinnati Bengals have converted only 10 times in 22 tries. They're one of only three teams in the AFC under 50 percent.
- Philadelphia Eagles tackle King Dunlap has been a project for three years, but in his first NFL start, he really impressed. Against the Atlanta Falcons' John Abraham, no less. Very encouraging.
- Floyd Womack should fill in ably for the Cleveland Browns' Tony Pashos (ankle). The issue becomes right guard. Journeyman Billy Yates, or third-rounder Shawn Lauvao? Lauvao had a promising though abbreviated preseason, and the Browns are really high on him.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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