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START/BENCH: Week 7

Now that Week 6 is firmly in the rear view mirror, we are basically at the halfway point of the fantasy football season. Owners have a good idea of where they stand and what they may need to do heading into the second half of the season. As legendary head coach Bill Parcells once said, “You are what your record says you are.” Or something close to that.

If you are sitting at 6-0 go ahead and start looking at those playoff week matchups. You’ve earned the right, but as the legendary Han Solo once said, “Don’t get cocky kid.” Hey, if I can’t work in a Stars Wars quote every once in awhile then what’s the point?

If you are 5-1 right now then go ahead and start lofting out those low-ball trade offers to the teams that are struggling right now. They may bite and you can stockpile talent to overtake those pompous 6-0 teams.

If you 4-2 or 3-3 then the playoffs are still in sight and just keep working that waiver wire. There are always some hidden gems out there.

Those owners sitting at 2-4 need to watch out for those low ball offers that the 5-1 or 6-0 owners will try to hoodwink you with. Hold fast my friends as there is still time to right the ship. Do not panic…yet.

If you are sitting at 1-5 or 0-6 then it’s time to maybe start thinking about what went wrong on draft day unless you are in a league in which everyone makes the playoffs. That being said, it’s still necessary for you to continue to fight on. There are owners out there that depend on your honor as a fantasy football owner to play the season out until the bitter end. There is always the chance to play spoiler and a sense of satisfaction in knowing that you did not give up.

There have been a few changes to the ‘stud’ lists this week. No, I did not remove Aaron Rodgers yet as a showdown with Chicago could be just what the fantasy doctor ordered for the Packers this week.

Alright then. Let’s do this.

 

QUARTERBACK

STUDS

Cam Newton –bye week-
Aaron Rodgers
Andrew Luck
Drew Brees
Tom Brady
Carson Palmer
Derek Carr
Matt Ryan
Philip Rivers
Matthew Stafford

Step On Up

Matthew Stafford It’s time to elevate Stafford to ‘stud’ status as he continues to put up top-5 fantasy numbers on the season as he has thrown for three or more TDs in four of the first six games. With Calvin Johnson now retired Stafford is spreading the ball around more and has completed passes to 11 different players and thrown TDs to seven. Last week, Golden Tate reemerged as a weapon in the offense further bolstering Stafford’s fantasy outlook moving forward.

 

START

Marcus Mariota, TENNESSEE vs. Indianapolis – We are in the midst of a nice stretch of matchups in which to ride Mariota. The Colts defense has allowed at least two TDs to the QB position in three consecutive games. In that time, Indianapolis has managed a single interception and has lacked a consistent pass rush managing only four sacks. Mariota has been hot over the last three weeks posting 793 total yards (an impressive 144 on the ground) with seven total TDs and only two interceptions. In his only meeting with the Colts last season, Mariota threw for 367 yards and a pair of scores and we see at least those numbers this week.

 

Kirk Cousins, WASHINGTON at Detroit – All that needs to be said about this recommendation is that Case Keenum just went 27 for 32 with 321 passing yards as well as seven rushing yards and four total TDs against the Lions. Want a little more convincing? On the season, Detroit is allowing 293 total yards and an average of three scores to the QB position per game. Here it comes…”You like that!”

 

Eli Manning, NY GIANTS at Los Angeles – We finally had an Eli to Odell reunion last week and we like the chances of a repeat performance in this week’s matchup across the pond. The Rams’ secondary will be without CB Trumaine Johnson once again and was just torched for 270 yards and four passing TDs by Matthew Stafford. The D-line is beat up for Los Angeles so the Giants will keep Manning upright (they allowed only one sack last week) and able to get the ball to Odell Beckham Jr. frequently this week. In the last two games the Rams have given up six TD passes while failing to register an interception. We ride Eli in Week 7.

 

Andy Dalton, CINCINNATI vs. Cleveland – Let’s go ahead and chase a porous Browns’ secondary that has allowed three touchdown passes in each of the last four games. Dalton had a decent day last week against the Patriots putting up 271 total yards with both a passing as well as rushing TD. This is a get healthy week for the Bengals’ passing game as the Browns’ secondary isn’t equipped to handle A.J. Green. In the two meetings between these teams last season, Dalton threw for only 454 yards but had five TD passes and a rushing score as well. We love “The Red Rifle” this week.

 

BENCH

Carson Wentz, PHILADELPHIA vs. Minnesota – Wentz is coming off the worst performance of his brief career as he failed to score a TD for the first time and was sacked five times. Things will not get any easier this week as the Vikings come to town. Minnesota has racked up 19 sacks in five games while picking off seven passes. There will be better days ahead for the young QB but he belongs firmly on the bench this week. Nothing to see here.

 

Trevor Siemian, DENVER vs. Houston – It may have been a case of Siemian not being fully recovered from his non-throwing shoulder injury, but he looked pitiful last week in the loss to San Diego. His passes were wobbling off target and rarely went for more than 10 yards as he was a dink and dunk machine. The Texans defense is stingy in allowing fantasy points to QBs having given up only four TD passes in six games. They have given up a pair of rushing scores to QBs but that’s not really Siemian’s forte. This has the makings of a low-scoring affair and Siemian can safely be benched this week.

 

Tyrod Taylor, BUFFALO at Miami – The Dolphins have actually been pretty stout against opposing QBs of late, holding them to one or fewer TDs in three of the last four games. That’s not entirely the reason I’m sitting Taylor this week though. What we have here is a matchup between the top rushing offense in the NFL (according to NFL.com) in Buffalo against the 31st  ranked run defense in Miami. This game has LeSean McCoy and Mike Gillislee written all over it. Taylor will be asked to turn and hand the ball off plenty, limiting his fantasy value this week. There are much better options out there that will actually have to throw the ball.

 

Case Keenum, LOS ANGELES vs. NY Giants – We are not going all the way to London and chase the huge stat line Keenum had last week against Detroit. The Lions defense has been the friendliest in allowing fantasy points to QBs and Keenum did what he was supposed to do against them. However, he also did what he does at the end of the game by throwing an ill-advised interception to seal the loss. The Giants secondary, as well as their pass rush, is better than Detroit’s and will not yield the same production to Keenum. The Giants have held opposing QBs to a single TD or less in four of six games to date.

About Wally Spurlin

Wally Spurlin is a Fantasy Football Staff Writer at Fantasy Sharks and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writer Association (FSWA). Spurlin’s work has appeared in print publications, including the FSWA award winning 2014 USA Today Fantasy Football magazine as well as the 2015 edition. Wally is also a weekly co-host on the Fantasy Football Feeding Frenzy pod cast on Fantasy Sharks Radio at Blog Talk Radio.Follow him on Twitter @WaltonSpurlin