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On Second Thought – Week 7

As we near the mid-point in our fantasy seasons, strengthening our lineups is essential.  In fantasy football and real football, any team that is going to be competitive needs to be strong down the stretch.

Many fantasy owners put a lot of work into the draft and then once the season starts they do not study as much as they did before the draft.  The importance of the draft is obvious, but due to injuries and surprise players coming out of nowhere, continuing to work hard throughout the season and push through to the very end is imperative for any championship hopeful.

One of the most tired clichés in high school, college and pro football is the 4th quarter gesture.  You know what that is, it’s when a team, usually both of them, raises 4 fingers in the air at the start of the 4th quarter to denote that they “own” the 4th quarter.  Well, only one team can own the fourth and guess what?  It’s not the team that raises there 4 fingers the fastest.  Nope, it’s the team that has the most momentum going into the 4th quarter.

Just raising your hand up does not make you the better team, you need to be working hard from the onset of the second half and build up momentum going into the 4th quarter.  Similarly in fantasy football, if you stink it up through the first 3 quarters of the season, even if you pull out a miracle last quarter, you will most likely be too far in behind in the standings to make the playoffs.

We are approaching the half-way point in the fantasy season.  If your team is successful so far you need to really step it up and finish strong going into the playoffs.  If you have been struggling up to this point you will need to step it up even more and give yourself a good last push in order to get yourself into the playoffs.

Either way, nobody should be mathematically out of the playoffs yet.  So start now.  Find your roster gaps and fill them.  There were some breakout performances this week and some injuries as well, so the waiver wire is prime for mining.  Beware though, as there is also some fool’s gold out there, so let’s try to help you hit the mother lode and steer clear of the pitfalls that await your roster in Week 7.

Landry Jones came in for Michael Vick in the second half after Vick hurt his hamstring.  Jones went on to throw for 168 yards and 2 touchdowns.  This has many people talking about adding him to their rosters this week in hopes of cashing in on this high-powered offense going against a Kansas City Chiefs team which can be scorched for lots of points.

QB_Landry_Jones_PIT_1
Pittsburgh QB Landry Jones.

It sounds tasty, it looks tasty, but I promise you Jones is no Baby Ruth.  Now I’m not saying that Jones is, well, the opposite of a Baby Ruth, but his shelf life is much much shorter.  Word around Steelers camp is Big Ben is very close to coming back, and opposing defenses with a week to game plan for Jones will make sure we all understand that he is not quite ready to take over this offense.  This is nothing against Jones, he has just never taken an NFL snap before Sunday so don’t expect anything from him going forward.  If you need a QB for a fill-in or injury, there are a few very nice ones out there. For example:

I avoided Brian Hoyer the last few weeks because the Texans coaching staff kept refusing to officially name him as a starter.  It always gives me pause when a player does not have the backing of a coaching staff, but it seems that after throwing for 837 yards and 7 touchdowns with only 1 interception in the last 3 weeks, they are willing to go out on a limb and call him the starter, way to man up and make a tough call Texans coaching staff.  This makes me happy and makes me tell you to go grab him as he is still available in 93% of leagues right now.

His next match up is against a Miami team that falls in the middle of the pack against opposing QBs.  He has Arian Foster back at seemingly full strength and the hottest receiver in the NFL right now in DeAndre Hopkins. What’s not to like?  He faces a nice match up in Tennessee the week after as well.  This is a solid pick up.

Jay Cutler is someone else I have been screaming to pick up for a few weeks now.  Cutler is still available in 76% of leagues but after everyone saw his horse that goes by the name of Alshon Jeffery come back and stampede the Lions for 147 yards on 8 catches and a TD, Cutler will be flying off the waiver wire.

The idea of having a capable QB with Matt Forte out in the flat and Jeffery and Martellus Bennett in front of him begging for targets is a very nice prospect indeed, don’t miss this one.  One note on Cutler, he is on a bye week this week so if you need help this week then you will need to look elsewhere, if you are looking to bolster your QB position then the surly Bears QB is your man.

As a quick bonus, I want it noted that Colin Kaepernick and Ryan Fitzpatrick are playing great ball right now and should be considered roster-worthy in any format.  I however, cannot in good faith suggest you play either of them this next week as the 49ers face a Seattle team that you have to assume is anything but happy and Fitzpatrick is traveling up to Foxboro this week to take on a permanently angry Patriots team. I like these guys right now, just not this week.

About Rick Olson

Rick joined FantasySharks,com as a staff writer in 2013, though he fell in love with fantasy football in 1988 with the first league he played in. In his articles he tries to feature players off the radar or deeper than most since, in his experience, by the time a player is a waiver wire "must have" they are not usually available in most leagues.