“Greatest trade in football” may be a slight exaggeration from Oakland Raiders’ Head Coach Hue Jackson, but the Carson Palmer acquisition is certainly the week’s biggest headline. Palmer has returned to California, but this time to Northern California to join the Raiders. The veteran quarterback played seven seasons in Cincinnati following a successful college career with USC including winning the Heisman Trophy in 2002. With Jason Campbell sidelined for the rest of the season, the Raiders exhibited Al Davis’ “Commitment to Excellence” by doing whatever it takes to continue competing for the AFC West. Although Palmer will not replicate his 2005 numbers, he should still be useful for fantasy owners in desperate need of a quarterback.
Week 5 had an abundance of highlights and a few low-lights including the infamous scuffle between Detroit Lions Coach Jim Schwartz and San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, the Green Bay Packers improvement to 6-0, and another miraculous comeback from Tom Brady and company.
Undoubtedly, this weekend will be packed with surprises and anticipation for a few quarterbacks receiving their first start this season including Tim Tebow, Carson Palmer, Christian Ponder, and John Beck. Will you be relying on one of these debuts in your matchup this weekend? Take a dive with me as we review several key matchups for Week 7.
QB Matt Cassel- Kansas City’s season appeared to be in dire straits after the first two weeks when they could only score a total of 10 points and allowed 89 points, while also suffering a slew of injuries including a season-ender to Jamaal Charles. The Chiefs refused to surrender and won two of their next three games while riding on the shoulders of their quarterback. Cassel’s quarterback rating has improved each week of the season. Kansas City has had two weeks to prepare for their upcoming matchup against the Oakland Raiders, who have allowed the third most points to quarterbacks this season. With the loss of Jason Campbell and recent addition of Carson Palmer, this may be a week when Oakland’s offense is in flux, which should help Cassel and the Chiefs.
Week 7 projection: 225 passing yards and two touchdowns
RB DeMarco Murray- Dallas Cowboys’ starting running back Felix Jones will take a seat for a few weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain, which resulted in DeMarco Murray being a popular waiver add this week. Neither Murray nor backup Tashard Choice have received much work thus far nor created much hype, but the rookie out of Oklahoma has shown more explosion and will be the first choice. Murray has had a full week to prepare for his upcoming matchup against the winless St Louis Rams who allow the most rushing yards per game. Although Dallas will continue to rely on Tony Romo to air it out to their receiving corps, expect a solid dose of the run and a few catches from Murray.
Week 7 projection: 100 total yards and one touchdown
TE Fred Davis- Washington Redskins’ tight end Chris Cooley broke his finger in Week 6 and will likely miss this weekend’s contest, which should result in additional targets for Davis. Despite a poor passing attack against Philadelphia, Davis was the Skins’ top pass catcher with 95 receiving yards from 11 targets. Regardless. with John Beck starting in Week 7, Davis should have a solid outing against the Carolina Panthers.
Week 7 projection: 75 receiving yards and one touchdown
WR Mike Williams- How long will Williams’ sophomore slump last? After his first five games in 2010, the Bucs’ young receiver had accumulated 283 yards. He has underperformed this year with 242 thus far and only one score. However, Josh Freeman appeared more comfortable and demonstrated improved accuracy in Week 6. Williams was targeted 13 times and earned 59 yards on six catches. The Bucs will host the Chicago Bears who rank 25th in passing yards allowed per game. Williams should get back on track as Tampa Bay’s top wideout and rebound from his disappointing start.
Week 7 projection: 100 receiving yards and one touchdown.
DEF Dallas Cowboys- Dallas may have lost a heartbreaker to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the final two minutes of Week 6, but they were successful in halting the Pats’ streak of 13 consecutive games with at least 30 points. They should have no problem harassing the winless St. Louis Rams who rank last in points scored and lead the NFL in fumbles.
Week 7 projection: 12 points
Week 6 Results – “Ehhhh…..my worst week to date. At least I was “on” for Week 5. Sorry folks!”
Week 6 projection: 200 passing yards and two touchdowns
Week 6 results: 264 passing yards and one touchdowns (Partial Success)
RB Ryan Torain
Week 6 projection: 100 rushing yards and one touchdown
>Week 6 results: 22 rushing yards (FAIL)
BR>WR Victor Cruz
Week 6 projection: 100 receiving yards and one touchdown
Week 6 results: 2 receiving yards (FAIL)
TE Heath Miller
Week 6 projection: 75 receiving yards and one touchdown
Week 6 results: 27 receiving yards (FAIL)
Week 6 Projection: 11 points
Week 6 Results: -1 (FAIL)
BR>Best of luck this week!