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Rock And A Hard Place – Week 7

Six teams are on a bye in Week 7: Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego. Between those six teams, we have four starting caliber quarterbacks and several viable running backs, wide receivers wand tight ends.

Below, I’ll list the player, their Week 7 matchup, and the percentage of leagues in which he is owned according to our friends at

The hope is that you don’t find yourself in a situation like this. The hope is that you dodge the bullet. But hope won’t help you come Sunday.

Let’s move on to this week’s targets, keeping in mind that these aren’t every week starters. Instead, these are guys that should only be used if you’re in some kind of roster emergency, whether it be related to bye weeks or injuries.


Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Tennessee – 66 percent
. I like Fitzpatrick this week against a Tennessee defense that performed well last week against a better Pittsburgh offense. And Fitzpatrick has struggled recently, but San Francisco and Arizona have a habit of frustrating opposing quarterbacks. Tennessee will have its hands full with an underrated Bills offense, and I like Fitzpatrick to surpass the 220 yards and two scores we’ve projected.

Josh Freeman vs. New Orleans – 62 percent.
Freeman got off to a rough start this season, facing a few tough defenses. But last week, he got on track against the Kansas City Chiefs, as quarterbacks have often done this year. Against New Orleans this week, Freeman gets another poor pass defense, and he’ll likely have to throw the ball a bit more this week than the Buccaneers normally would. We have him projected for 280 yards and two touchdowns, and I think he reaches those marks.

Carson Palmer vs. Jacksonville – 66 percent.
Palmer has been feast-or-famine this season. When the cupboards are bare, you’ll talk yourself into eating just about anything. Jacksonville is average, at best, against the pass, so take a flier on Palmer if you must. Our site has him projected for 290 yards and a score. I can’t believe I just wrote this.

Running Back

Felix Jones at Carolina – 58 percent; Phillip Tanner – 3 percent.
Jones is the real target here, with Tanner a distant second. With DeMarco Murray expected to miss a juicy matchup with a porous run defense, Jones steps up and figures to split work with Tanner, once again. The Cowboys are starting to use the run more consistently, and even stuck with it once Murray left last week. Jones is projected for 120 total yards and a score, and while that’s pretty optimistic, I think that even 80 and a score is more than enough to be worth a start.

Montario Hardesty at Indianapolis – 22 percent.
Hardesty filled in admirably for Trent Richardson last week. Richardson looks like he’ll start and carry the load, but rib injuries are extremely painful and very difficult to predict. He might be able to go the whole game, limiting Hardesty’s value, but you may want to play Hardesty anyway, in case it’s more of a timeshare to limit hits on Richardson, or if the rib injury is too much. He’s only projected for 45 yards, and this is ultimately a gamble on Richardson’s health.

Wide Receiver

Domenik Hixon vs. Washington – 19 percent.
This season, Hixon has emerged as a viable third receiver for the New York Giants, even filling in when Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz have been banged up. He’s made several big plays and has built trust with Eli Manning. With Nicks and Cruz both expected to play, his upside is limited, but the Redskins give up a lot of points to opposing receivers, and with defenses paying more attention to Eli Manning’s other options, I think Hixon can easily match our 80-yard/touchdown projection for Week 7.

Santana Moss at New York Giants – 45 percent.
I know that he’s technically not a “starter” at this point in his career, but he’s been making some plays over the past few weeks. Against a Giants defense that has struggled to bottle up opposing receivers, I think he may be able to get in the end zone this week, and reach the 90-yard projection we have for him.

Tight End

Scott Chandler vs. Tennessee – 58 percent.
Chandler started off hot. In his first four weeks, he had 175 yards and four touchdowns. But in the past two weeks, just five catches, 44 yards, and nothing near the end zone. Tennessee struggles against tight ends, and since I’m already in on Fitzpatrick, I figure I’ll double down with Chandler. We’re projecting him for 40 yards and a score, and I think the touchdown is the only question.

Tony Scheffler at Chicago – 4 percent.
This one’s more of a long shot. Matthew Stafford has been distributing the ball evenly, obviously preferring Calvin Johnson, but mixing in plenty of Brandon Pettigrew and Scheffler. I like Scheffler to reach the 40 yards we’ve projected, and with the Bears being somewhat generous to opposing tight ends, he may get even more.

Good luck in Week 7.

Drew Magyar is a staff writer and can be reached at “What Did We Learn” will be posted each Tuesday morning during the season, and “Rock and a Hard Place” will be posted each Friday morning.

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