Seattle 6, San Francisco 13
The Seahawks are easier to evaluate than buttering a piece of toast. Every week in this space you’ll find the same sentiments; “start the Seattle DST, start Marshawn Lynch, handcuff Robert Turbin and leave everyone else alone.” Week seven was no different as two NFC West foes went to battle in a classic defensive slugfest. With a rookie quarterback under center, coupled with very conservative play calling, no member of the Seattle passing game has proven worthy of a roster spot.
San Francisco’s fantasy production nearly mirrors that of Seattle; start Frank Gore, start the 49ers DST and handcuff Kendall Hunter. The lone difference is Vernon Davis. Coming into this game as the second highest scoring fantasy tight end, Davis was completely shutdown, not seeing a single target. Although highly unnerving, this is more of a testament to the Seattle defense than Davis himself. Also, as the 49ers took to the ground through much of the second half, Davis was used more in the blocking scheme than the passing game. As the most athletic tight end in the game, Davis remains a lineup lock.
It’s worth noting that in the absence of Mario Manningham, stepped Randy Moss into the starting lineup. Even though he was given an expanded number of reps, the 49ers only targeted Moss four times, with zero deep passes. Those holding out hope can safely drop the future Hall-of-Famer.
A side story exiting this wrestling match was the amount of money swayed by the decision of Jim Harbaugh to decline a last minute safety. My only question is, “Why bet the game, when the over/under was 38 points?” Money in the bank.
Tennessee 35, Buffalo 34
Hello, hello. Welcome to the party Chris Johnson. With 18 carries totaling 195 yards and two touchdowns, Johnson ripped through the porous Buffalo defense finally displaying his breakaway speed including a scoring run of 83 yards in classic 2K style. Up next are the 29th ranked Colts rush defense. Yee hah!
On the downside for Johnson owners, it is Jamie Harper’s emergence as the Titans goal line back stealing two short yardage touchdowns. With Javon Ringer done for the foreseeable future, Harper is the now the primary handcuff to Johnson.
With four touchdowns turned in the by the ground game, Matt Hasselbeck and the Titans passing attack were limited in what should have been a very favorable matchup. Nate Washington led the way for Tennessee receiving core with 43 yards highlighted by a last minute touchdown. The confusion moving forward is which Titans WR to trust. I believe Kenny Britt is nearly impossible to sit whenever he suits up. Washington on the other hand smells like a low end WR3. Kendall Wright may have fallen below the Mason Dixon line, now a mid WR4.
CJ Spiller may be the most electric player on the Bills roster, but Fred Jackson is the lead pony with 17 touches, 110 total yards and a receiving touchdown. Getting the load in the Bills backfield, Jackson looks to be the more secure play as a high end RB2 whereas Spiller is the complimentary back in the mid lower RB2 range.
As a bye week spot start, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick delivered a home run for fantasy owners, tossing for 225 yards and three touchdowns. As a small bonus Fitz added 23 yards rushing (I’ll take it). The Bills are on bye in Week 8, while facing the might Texans Week 9. If you’re in need of roster space, Fitzpatrick could be expendable.
Cleveland 13, Indianapolis 17
Josh Gordon continues to deliver for those of us who took a flyer. He had 59 yards receiving including a 33 yard touchdown grab. However, Gordon dropped a long touchdown that would have been the go-ahead score after quarterback Brandon Weeden threw an absolute dime. Given his role as the deep threat on a team constantly playing from behind, Gordon is worthy of starter consideration with the 24th ranked Chargers’ pass defense up next.
Trent Richardson owners were playing the Crying Game while watching their rookie phenom playing the role of a spectator. After the game, head coach Pat Shurmur claimed it was “a performance based benching.” We’re learning that this poor performance was the result of T-Rich being plagued by the rib injury that had him limited in practice all week long. Hopefully Richardson owners handcuffed Montario Hardesty who is clearly the primary backup. The Browns face a tough matchup with the third ranked Chargers coming to town in Week 8.
RG III may be the most athletic rookie quarterback, but Andrew Luck does not get enough credit for his mobility. In this game, Luck constantly evaded the Browns pass rush while scoring the Colts only two touchdowns with his legs. Still a low end QB2, Luck has solid spot starter potential.
A top waiver pickup two weeks ago, Vick Ballard finally had a chance to display is skills delivering 20 carries for 84 yards against a subpar Cleveland rush defense. Ballard was relieved throughout the game by Delone Carter who took 11 carries for 41 yards. With Donald Brown’s return still in question, Ballard has a very favorable matchup forthcoming against the paper thin Titans’ rush defense. Owners looking for help could use Ballard as a low end RB2.