Fantasy owners should have a nice day with Knowshon Moreno on Sunday. He is finally starting to look healthy and has been working his way back to speed the last few weeks. He had a decent rushing day against the New York Jets in Week 6 and even though he lost a fumble, he still had some very good runs. Moreno has a nice matchup against Oakland this weekend and should see the majority of the carries with Laurence Maroney and Correll Buckhalter getting the rest.
Yes, it’s a crowded backfield in Denver, but Moreno is a must start this week as I rank him as a solid RB2. He is clearly the best back on the team and now that he looks fully healed I see Moreno starting to be fantasy relevant once again. I expect Moreno to see at least 15 carries so 80 yards rushing and a touchdown is very realistic against the terrible rushing defense of the Raiders.
The No. 1 question asked after Week 6 by everyone had to be who is Chris Ivory? The answer to that question is that he’s the New Orleans Saints’ fourth-string rookie running back who just ran for 158 yards against Tampa Bay last Sunday. New Orleans has been real banged up in the backfield the last month with Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush sidelined with fairly serious injuries. Ladell Betts got the first crack at the starting spot, but was average at best. Enter Ivory. He has gotten at least 10 carries a game the last three weeks and exploded last week with only 15 carries. Ivory should be starting in Week 7 and should do some major damage against Cleveland. Just remember that he has lost fumbles in two of the last three games and that the Saints are a pass first offense. Still, Ivory is a must start this weekend.
Marshawn Lynch got the start in his Seattle debut and had a decent game. He didn’t find many holes to run through, which will be a problem the rest of the season, but he still managed 44 yards and a touchdown in week 6. The important thing here is that Lynch received 17 carries and should see right around that number as long as he’s the starter for the Seahawks. Justin Forsett will still be in the mix, but it will be Lynch who gets most of the work including the all important goal line duties. Seattle is home against Arizona in Week 7 so Lynch should find a little more space to run in this game then he did last week against the Chicago Bears. At worst, he’s a flex option for Week 7.
Patrick Crayton, WR, San Diego Chargers
It is almost a certainty that No. 1 wideout Malcom Floyd will miss Week 7 with a hamstring injury and tight end Antonio Gates is a little banged up with a toe issue, so the Chargers’ receiving core is a little shallow right now. Look to Crayton as a guy to fill that void this weekend as he gets the starting nod against the New England Patriots. He already has been building the chemistry with quarterback Philip Rivers the last few weeks and had six catches for 117 yards in Week 6, so Crayton is definitely a smart play on Sunday. This is nearly a must win for San Diego and they will have to score a lot of points to beat New England so Crayton will be a big part of the offense no matter what. He’s a veteran so he knows what he has to do and I think Rivers will lean on him because there really isn’t anyone else. Another 100-yard game should be in the cards for Crayton.
Benjamin Watson, TE, Cleveland Browns
Watson has been quietly having a very good season and has been one of the few bright spots in Cleveland. He’s averaged just about five catches a game and is yet to turn the ball over. Watson also looks to have benefited the most with rookie quarterback Colt McCoy taking over as the starter. He caught six balls for 88 yards and a touchdown last week and more of that kind of production should be expected out of Watson with McCoy behind center. New Orleans is next up for the Browns which is a good defense for the Cleveland tight end to have another good fantasy day. I think Watson is a good play this weekend and at the very least he’s a great plug and play option if your regular tight end is on a bye this Sunday.
Brent Celek, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
Celek hasn’t had a very good start to the 2010 season as he only has 221 yards and two touchdowns so far, but look for that to change. Quarterback Kevin Kolb will rely heavily on Celek this weekend with the loss of No. 1 threat DeSean Jackson. He should see a good amount of targets and will be a good option in the red zone. Tennessee’s defense has been improving the last few weeks, but they still allow a lot of passing yards so Celek should have a pretty solid day and hopefully even reward owners with a trip to pay dirt.
Lock of the Week
Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
People are starting to lose faith in Brady because he lost his top playmaker in Randy Moss. I have seen him benched the last few weeks in a couple of my leagues and I don’t understand why. He is still one of the Top 5 quarterbacks in the game and now that he has Deion Branch back in a Patriots’ uniform he should be great the rest of the way. New England faces off against the San Diego Chargers in Week 7 on the road. I love this matchup for Brady. This game should be very entertaining and a lot of points will be scored by these two pass-happy offenses. Neither defense is all that spectacular so it might come down to whoever has the ball last is going to win the game. Nonetheless, look for Brady to shine in this game and have one of his best fantasy days of the season. Good weather, bad defense, I like his odds on Sunday. Look for a classic Brady performance of close to 300 yards passing and a couple touchdowns.