Welcome to Week 7 of the Brew Crew Corner. The big topic this week is the quarterback position as four teams will be making a change at that position. The Vikings are turning to Christian Ponder while the Broncos start the Tim Tebow era. John Beck will get the start for the Redskins and Carson Palmer forgoes retirement in a trade that sends him to the Raiders for two first round draft picks. On top of those four quarterback changes, Sam Bradford and Tarvaras Jackson have an injury and you have Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Michael Vick, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andy Dalton and Alex Smith off this week because of a bye. So if you’re keeping score that is 12 quarterbacks that you either have to bench or find a replacement. Its situations like this that make drafting a top tier quarterback worth it.
The good news is there are six quarterbacks coming back from a bye. Four quarterbacks will be back in fantasy lineups, Kevin Kolb, Matt Cassel, Philip Rivers and Matt Hasselbeck are set to return while Tim Tebow and Charlie Whitehurst replace starters coming off the bye.
Another thing about quarterbacks, several teams are in the “Suck for Luck” watch already.
The Golden Mug Award
Awarded to the fantasy player who came through for their team.
Ahmad Bradshaw– 26 carries for 104 rushing yards and three touchdowns. The rushing yards were bad early on but once Bradshaw started punching the ball into the endzone and the Giants pulled ahead, he passed the 100 yard mark. Bradshaw was averaging just 57.1 rushing yards per game before Week 6. Last year he posted just 4 games of 100 yards or better and still finished with 1,235 rushing yards.
Michael Turner– 27 carries for 139 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Turner had a three week stretch of poor rushing yards but was able to run the ball down the Panthers’ throat all day and picked up yards in chunks.
Fred Jackson– 16 carried for 121 rushing yards and one touchdown with five receptions for 47 yards. Jackson posted 110-plus yard rushing games in back-to-back weeks and now has four games of 111 yards or more in six weeks.
The Urinal Cake Award
Awarded to the fantasy player who you would like to, well you know.
Pierre Thomas– Seven carries for 11 rushing yards and one fumble lost. I had picked up Thomas as a bye-week fill in considering he scored the week before and had back-to-back games of double digit fantasy points. Thomas was a non-factor in this game and his fumble actually lost me a point. I would have been better off starting a player that had a bye week than to have played Thomas.
Rex Grossman– 9-for-22 for 143 passing yards and four interceptions. Bad Rex came to this game and it was ugly. Grossman played himself back to the bench. Another quarterback to add to the drop list.
Peyton Hillis– Six carries for 14 yards. The Madden cover jinx is in full effect for Hillis this season. Other than Week 2, he’s had just 32 carries total in the other games he has played. He has missed a game and some time due to injuries and has had contract issues all season. There maybe someone in your league you can dump him on because there are too many red flags here.
Good quarterback match-ups this week:
Tony Romo against the Rams. The Cowboys can’t afford to lose this game after dropping to 2-3. They are playing at home against the winless Rams who might be without Sam Bradford. A.J. Feeley hasn’t started a game since 2007. Dallas has the league’s best run defense which will limit the Rams offense. The Rams defense has given up 11 passing touchdowns this season. Start all your Cowboys in this one.
Matt Cassel against the Raiders. Cassel had a four touchdown game heading into the bye and should throw well against the Raiders’ 28th ranked pass defense. The Raiders are allowing 283.5 passing yards per game with a league high of 12 touchdowns allowed. This is a good week to have Cassel as a bye-week fill in.
Sleeper Pick of the Week: Curtis Painter– Painter is averaging 249 passing yard in the past three games with seven touchdowns to just one interception. In a week where the quarterback position is such a mess you need to play someone you can feel good about. He will be playing against a Saints defense which is allowing 256.3 passing yards per game (19th) and tied for the league high with 12 TDs given up.
Good running back match-ups this week:
Darren Sproles/Mark Ingram against the Colts. It is obvious that Pierre Thomas is losing touches to Sproles and Ingram and eventually it will be a two back offense instead of a three back committee. The Saints come home to the newly named Mercedes-Benz Superdome after spending three weeks on the road. The Colts can be run on and are allowing 136.7 rushing yards per game (30th) with seven touchdowns given up.
Ryan Mathews against the Jets. There is no question that the Jets are tough against the pass but they aren’t stopping anyone on the ground. The Jets defense is allowing 132.0 rushing yards per game (28th) with eight touchdowns allowed. Add in the troubles the Jets have had on offense and how the Chargers have had two weeks to prepare for that poor run defense and it spells a good fantasy day for the Chargers’ offensive players. Mathews should be healthy now and is running well.
Sleeper Pick of the Week: DeAngelo Williams– Williams has been facing tough fronts all season and Cam Newton running in touchdowns has been killing his stats as well. Teams are going to adjust to Newton and start dropping more players into coverage which will allow Williams more room to run. The Redskins are decent in run defense allowing just 106.0 yards per game but will have their own issues on offense allowing Carolina more opportunities to run plays.
Bad quarterback match-ups this week:
Mark Sanchez against the Chargers. Sanchez just isn’t playing well as he is averaging just 162 passing yards with three touchdowns over his past three games. He’s holding on to the ball too long and over throwing his receivers. He’ll have a tough time facing a Chargers team coming off a bye and sporting the 2nd best passing defense allowing 179.6 passing yards per game with seven touchdowns allowed and five interceptions.
Carson Palmer against the Chiefs. Despite the Kansas City pass defense being ranked 17th, you can’t expect Palmer to do anything more than hand the ball off 50 times in this game. The rust has to be there and the fact that he was signed this week and has not had much time to work with the offense has to make him a non-start. There are going to be desperate owners out there who may need a one week fix but don’t expect much in Palmer’s first start of the season.
Kevin Kolb against the Steelers. Kolb will struggle in this match-up as the Steelers come to town with the league’s best pass defense holding opponents to 157.7 passing yards a game with just six passing touchdowns allowed.
Bad running back match-ups this week:
Maurice Jones-Drew against the Ravens. MJD is averaging 95 yards rushing a game but has just one touchdown over the last five games. On Monday Night he will be facing Baltimore’s 3rd ranked run defense allowing 76.6 rushing yards a game and having given up just one touchdown. I expect the Ravens to go up early in this game forcing Blaine Gabbert to have to throw.
Adrian Peterson against the Packers. Tough matchup for Peterson as the team will have Christian Ponder starting his first game. Peterson rushed for just 39 yards last week against the Bears but did find the endzone. The Packers are tough to run on giving up 82.8 rushing yards per game (4th) with just two touchdowns allowed. Expect the defensive focus to be on Peterson all day.
Jahvid Best against the Falcons. Best may not be cleared to play but I can’t imagine any of the backups playing well in his place. I expect this to be a game with a lot passing which will limit the number of rushing attempts. The Falcons have the 7th rank rushing defense allowing 97.5 rushing yards per game with six touchdowns allowed.
Week 7: If your quarterback situation is shaky, hit the waiver wire hard or work those trade options.
Good Luck to everyone in Week 7. Follow @BrewCrewCorner