Fantasy Football Insider - Week 7

by Nicholas Minnix and Tim Heaney on October 23, 2010 @ 20:00:00 PDT


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.

Running backs

Wide receivers

  • 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.
  • Cincinnati Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco
    Don't forget about Ocho
    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 comes back.
  • 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.

Tight ends

  • 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 decoy sometimes.
  • 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.

Place kickers

  • 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.

Defensive teams

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.
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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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