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Buy, Sell, Hold - Week 7

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Lucky No. 7.

What’s so lucky about seven? With all the firepower on byes this week affecting my lineups, I’m finding it rather unlucky. So if seven really is lucky, does that mean all the teams with better records than me will lose this week? Not going to lie, that’d be nice. But what about teams with worse records than mine? I don’t want them catching up either. Hmm? Okay, everybody but me loses. That happens, and then maybe I’ll buy into this lucky number seven nonsense.

Onto this week’s smart plays, those are far from it, and everything in between.

Week 7 BUYS

It was nice to see Aaron Rodgers play like the NFL’s reigning MVP (unless you’re from Houston). Dude wasn’t just playing angry. He was playing like you spit on his dog. Images from Due Date with Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis are floating in my head right now. Yes, I saw it. That one game vaulted him into the No. 1 position in all of fantasy football. After him, it’s a three-way tie for second place between Peyton Manning, Robert Griffin III and Matt Ryan. Which of those three would you put your money on the rest of the way? Hard to argue against any of them without nitpicking. Guess I’ll roll with Ryan since I have more stock in him than the other two, but it’d take a Brinks truck for me to entertain an offer for any of them right now.

Last week, C.J. Spiller looked like the game-changer he was to start the season. He’s got another great matchup again this week against the Tennessee Titans. I’d feel more than comfortable putting him in as a starter this week, regardless of his timeshare. But hold your nose cause here comes the cold water. Sell him after this week (unless of course you also own Fred Jackson). Week 8: bye. Week 9: Houston. Week 10: New England. Week 11: Miami. That’s a week off followed by three straight matchups against Top 10 defenses against running backs. Rough month.

Randall Cobb will emerge while Greg Jennings and Cedric Benson are sidelined. Jordy Nelson went off like my belt after our Thanksgiving eat-off (reigning champ by the way). But easily overlooked by Nelson’s three touchdown outing was Cobb’s 10 targets and 100-plus receiving yards. Green Bay is realizing this kid is a playmaker and trying to feed him the ball whenever and wherever. He’ll face a tough draw this weekend against the St. Louis secondary, but is still a great play with so many people out of action.

Matchups I like this week:

  • QB Eli Manning vs. Washington. Manning had a tough matchup last week against the San Francisco 49ers, and it showed in his stat line. The Giants as a team manhandled San Francisco, but not so much Manning. Now he gets to face a division rival that has allowed at least 20 points to every quarterback they’ve faced this season except for Josh Freeman. With Hakeem Nicks returning as one of Manning’s favorite weapons in a likely high-scoring showdown against Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins, I’m buying that Manning makes good with his owners.
  • RB Doug Martin vs. New Orleans. The muscle hamster. Did you know that if hamster babies are born weak or dead, their mother will eat them? Good thing Martin was born with a six pack and 24-inch arms. This week Martin gets to flex those muscles against the most generous team to running backs. The Saints have given up at least 20 points each week to opposing backs, with the only exception being against Green Bay (who doesn’t need a running game). Have you ever tried catching a hamster that gets out of the cage? The Saints will have a tough time getting their hands on him.
  • WR Kenny Britt vs. Buffalo. Shake it off. Britt did look a little rusty last week against Pittsburgh, but he was still targeted 11 times and ended up with 12 fantasy points. Now that Britt has had a fresh coat of Rust-eze applied (sorry, I’ve seen Cars about 10,000 times thanks to my daughter… fine, it was me, I love me some Lightning McQueen), he’ll be running smooth against a Bills defense that’s in the Bottom 5 against wide outs. Ka-chow!

Week 7 HOLDS:

What to do with Michael Vick? He’s on bye this week, so obviously you’re not starting him. But what about after? Against Detroit last week, he had his best performance of the year fantasy wise (25 points), but I don’t know how much that factors in with his standing on the team. The guy has eight interceptions and six fumbles, three of which were lost through only six weeks of play. The axe has already fallen on defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. Is that enough? Vick was already carrying the ball around with him (a la Omar Epps in The Program). Yeah, that helped. If he doesn’t get a better grip, he could lose more than the ball. See what you can get for him on the block, and then weigh both sides.

After touching up the staunch San Francisco defense for 17 points, Ahmad Bradshaw is all the way back. Whoa there, Seabiscuit. It was an impressive performance, especially on the heels of his big day against Cleveland, and it was one I definitely didn’t see happening. But guess what? He’s already back on the injury report with, get this, a foot injury. I don’t see what the big deal is, I’m sure he gets a discount at Lowe’s on screws.

Josh Gordon. Cleveland used a second-round pick on this guy in the supplemental draft for a reason. He’s big (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) and can fly (watch the highlight reels). In the last two weeks, Gordon has gotten behind the defense and scored from deep, posting 20 points against the New York Giants and 15 against the Cincinnati Bengals. He also has an incredible matchup this week in Indianapolis. Want to play him? I’m not going to stop you. Just pump the brakes a little before you get too loose. The guy has yet to catch more than three passes in a game.

Tough Matchups for Studs this week:

  • QB Matthew Stafford vs. Chicago. Stafford has been a bit of a disappointment this year. Last season, he was drafted as a QB2 but put up Top 5 numbers for the position. This year he was drafted as a Top 5 quarterback and has put up QB2 numbers. Bet that sticks in your craw. Not sure what a craw is, but I’m sure you don’t want something stuck in there. After starting the season with back-to-back 14-point outings, Stafford has turned it around, averaging more than 20 points in the last three games. This week he gets the Bears, though, who are currently best in the league at limiting opposing quarterbacks. Cover your craw.
  • RB Marshawn Lynch vs. San Francisco. Skittles or no skittles, this matchup isn’t very tasty. The last two weeks, Lynch has posted eight points and five points against Carolina and New England, respectively. In fact, he’s only reached double-digit points twice this year. Now he gets to face a ticked off 49ers defense out for blood. I’m guessing he gets to taste defenders in the backfield more than he gets to taste the rainbow.
  • WR Larry Fitzgerald vs. Minnesota . Fitzgerald is the only receiver besides Randy Moss to top 10,000 yards receiving before the age of 30. Baller! But 20,000 yards is going to take a lot longer if he has to keep putting up with his current supporting cast. Kevin Kolb is out for a few weeks and John Skelton is taking his place in that bumper car passing pocket. Minnesota should be all over that backfield before Fitzgerald has a chance to add to his totals.

Week 7 SELLS:

I want to say Philip Rivers. His game against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos was not good. It was the opposite. He turned the ball over six times in that game. Six times. Rivers already has nine interceptions on the season. He’s another one on bye this week, and I’d be ready to cut him lose if it weren’t for his matchups against Cleveland and Kansas City when he gets back. Even then I’d cringe at the thought of trotting him out there. Queue the Kenny Rodgers music, “You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em …”

Shonn Greene. Sell now! It don’t get much prettier … wait I can’t use that word to describe Greene. “Opportune,” that’ll work. If you want to wait because you think he’s going to put up another 34-point weekend, well then, you’re an oak … or will turn into one before it happens. Either way.

Pop quiz, Hotshot! How many wide receivers have more points on the season than Andre Johnson? 30. This guy was a consensus Top 5 pick at wide receiver. It hurts us. And by “us,” I mean “not me.” I didn’t bite this year. See if anyone will now.

Matchups to avoid this week:

  • QB Alex Smith vs. Seattle. So Smith was awful last week, huh? Two fantasy points? He had more interceptions than that. Oh, guess that’s part of the reason. At least he gets a shot at redemption this week. He gets a shot at it, but I’m guessing he misses it … or it gets intercepted. Smith is up against the Seahawks on Thursday night, the No. 2 team in the league against quarterbacks. If he were on my roster, I’d try to find someone playing on Sunday.
  • RB William Powell vs. Minnesota. Powell was … trying to think of a complementary term … “serviceable” last week against Buffalo. Yeah, that’ll work. But Buffalo is ranked near the bottom when it comes to keeping running backs in check; the Vikings aren’t. The Vikings gave up some big plays to Robert Griffin III last week (who hasn’t?), but John Skelton isn’t Griffin III … neither is Powell. The Vikings will remind everyone this week why they’re the toughest defense against running backs.
  • WR Seattle receivers vs. San Francisco. Victor Cruz was able to clear the double-digit threshold against the 49ers last week, but just barely. Only one other player has accomplished that this season, James Jones in Week 1. The Seahawks are coming off a big win over the New England Patriots and probably feeling pretty good. Good feelings gone. The 49ers will try to prove through brute force that they’re the No. 1 team in the NFC West.

 Until the next go-round.