The Sunday games are now in the books, here are my early week 7 takeaways...
(1) Sorry, Mr. Jackson...You Are For Real- Vincent Jackson put our every other week theory to bed...with a bad calf to boot. Nothing like a little Saints D to make everything right...or wrong in this case. He's a must start going forward, even if he proves us right now and again.
(2) Andre Brown isn't going away- If you're a David Wilson believer, believe in 2013. In the meantime, Brown is still a good bet to be a volume whore if Bradshaw can't pull through a 16 game tilt...and he likely won't, my friends.
(3) Sell High on Felix the Cat, Buy Low on DeMarco -While he had a decent game vs CAR, he should have had a monster game. Business as usual, Jones did get dinged up not once, but twice in this game, and ultimately is tough to trust. Murray may miss a week or two with a foot sprain, but he's a superior back to Jones, and has a nice schedule going forward. Get on this train early.
(4) Sell high on Chris Johnson...but NOT NEXT WEEK!- He faces a buttery soft Indy D in week 8, after gashing the hapless Buffalo D in week 7 for nearly 200 yards and 2TDs. Let his value increase, and get max value in return. He faces an ugly matchup in week 9 vs. Chicago.
(5) The Colts Giveth... -Trent Richardson's dream matchup was cut short, as he still appears to be nursing a rib injury that rendered him ineffective vs. a porous Indy defense. Buy low? If you can weather the storm, YES. Owners will be scared away, but if he has a chance to heal up, he can be a savior down the playoff stretch.
(6) Blame his shoddy OL, but...- Joe Flacco can't carry the Ravens on his back. While some fantasy geeks expected a breakout week for Flacco, he threw two picks and was sacked more times than Chex Mix. It hurts not having legit weapons outside of one trick pony, Torrey Smith and Ray Rice. As the defense gets old and atrophied, Flacco's job gets harder...especially in garbage time.
(7) Cheese Cake- Aaron Rodgers continues to feast on his weakish schedule going forward, hitting multiple receivers, rewarding Nelson owners, and making savvy Cobb owners look pretty smart this week, as he assumes the two TD trend of James Jones (Jones had 2 per the last three weeks). Salad days continue, while Greg Jennings' groin made him a better pitchman than a fantasy option this year.
(8) Good things happen when bad secondaries face off- Drew Brees and Josh Freeman combined for nearly 800 yards passing and 7TDs. Lance Moore had a big PPR day (9/121) and Brees got multiple WRs in the scoring column. Freeman spread the love around as well, but Vincent Jackson was clearly his main guy, bucking the 2Mugsff every other week theory.
(9) Cowboys vs. Aliens?- Cam Newton and the Kalil-less Panthers underwhelmed once again, and are slowly but surely becoming a fantasy bust as an offensive whole. Steve Smith didn't score, but at least he salvaged his day with modest PPR numbers (7/83). Mike Tolbert frustrated JStew-Will owners, vulturing the only rushing score of the day for Carolina.
(10) If you held onto Rashad Jennings for six weeks- Good for you. If not, better pony up a shit ton to get him off the waiver wire, as he'll be a hot commodity with MJD's leg injury. I would expect to drop 40% of your budget, as lead RBs continue to be the dinosaur of the NFL.
(11) Ridley Squat- Puzzling to those of us with the gift of sight, as to why Bill Belichick continues to keep Stevan Ridley in a well, and applying lotion to his person. Pats are a tougher team to defend when they lean on Ridley 20+ times a game, and it's not helping fantasy owners who know what a sleeper goldmine he was the three weeks he was featured this year. Pats used an odd rotation in the first half, and it kept the Jets in the game. Ridley took the bulk of the work in the 2nd half, and helped keep the Pats moving the sticks, along with the short passing game. That said, it's understandably maddening for some. Me? I'm stubborn, and lean on the side of talent rising to the top of the food chain. You'll need the talented one come weeks 14 & 15.
(12) Rummy on the Board-
You can safely place McFadden ahead of Chris Johnson (especially after the next two weeks) as the biggest fantasy bust of the season. Blame the zone blocking scheme of Greg Knapp some, but even the adjustments made haven't helped. You paid a steep price for him in the 1st round (5th-8th pick in most leagues), and he's killing your team right now...even vs. bad defenses like Jacksonville. Pick up Mike Goodson if he's still out there...you may need him.
If you traded for Adrian Peterson a few weeks ago on the cheap, good for you. He's beasting right now, and proving the fugazi surgeons wrong in the fantasy world.
Speaking of beasts, Rob Gronkowski with a bad hip is still better than 3/4 of the tight ends in football. He's still a matchup nightmare, and will be as much a part of the game plan as Hernandez going forward.
Fred Davis is done for the year (torn ACL) , and 6-5 target, Logan Paulsen isn't a bad flier if you're hurting at TE. Four catches for 76 yards is a solid showing vs. a tough defense like the Giants. You could worse.
Sunday Night Football "40-Ounce"-
A story of running backs, goal line vultures, and Mike Wallace's 60 Minutes of drops. Neither Roethlisberger nor Dalton put up fantasy games for the ages, although many thought they would with both defenses struggling a bit this year. Roethlisberger's day was hurt by three key big drops by Wallace, one in the end zone that was reasonably catchable. Jon Dwyer got the lion's share of carries (17/122), but mirrored Benjarvus Green-Ellis, by not being involved in the passing game, and giving up a red zone touchdown to Chris Rainey (BJGE lost a goal line TD to Cedric Peerman). Both starting backs are essentially standard league starts only.
A.J. Green was doubled most of the night, but managed to find the end zone on his only catch of the night. Chalk this one up to scheme, and don't worry about this stud going forward. The rest of the Bengal WR corps? Yikes. Andy Dalton's 105 yard passing tells the story, and the week 8 BYE can't come fast enough for Cincy, who really need to get the passing game on track if they plan on staying competitive going forward.
Antonio Brown continues to be more of a PPR WR3 most weeks, as he was denied the end zone in this matchup once again. Heath Miller continues his low end TE1 status with 6/53 and a TD (as well as a 2pt conversion). Neither defense is worth starting unless they face an ideal matchup,the Steelers join the Bengals on a BYE in week 8.
Stay tuned on Tuesday morning for the Monday Night Football recap, and follow me on twitter at @Rumfordjohnny. Cheers.