Sometimes there are times in your life when you are just on top of your game, and all the shots are falling for you. Then, there are times in your life where the opportunities of life seem to be a pinhole on a target and you are trying to hit it with a dart. Fantasy football is full of ups and downs through the season, and week 7 was no exception with 9 touchdowns in each the Titans-Bills game and the Saints-Buccaneers contest. Our fantasy team of James Morris and Jon Cope reviews all of the week 7 action and helps you get prepared for week 8.
Winners (by James Morris)
Josh Freeman – QB Buccaneers: I knew Freeman would have a big day, and he was huge for those smart enough to grab him and start him this week. The Saints gave up a ridiculous 420 yards passing and 3 TDs to Freeman, which gave him the #2 QB ranking for week 7 in fantasy football (Drew Brees’ 377 yards and 4 TDs was #1).
Ryan Fitzpatrick – QB Bills: In true Ryan Fitzpatrick style, the Bills QB threw for just 225 yards, but managed to toss in 3 TDs and just a single INT. I personally think it had more to do with the horrible Titans defense, than the skill of the Bills offense, but stats are stats and the 16.4 percent of NFL.com owners who started him will take it.
Chris Johnson – RB Titans: Just like Fitzpatrick, this good game had more to do with the poor defense than a great offense. CJ2K ran for 195 yards and 2 TDs, and looked like a Pro Bowler in doing so. You have to play him again next week as he faces the Colts, so don’t think he is one-and-done.
LaRod Stephens-Howling – RB Cardinals: “The Hyphen” scampered his way to 104 yards on the ground, 45 yards in the air via 4 catches, and found the endzone once on Sunday. In NFL.com PPR formats, LSH finished the week ranked #3, and will be a hot commodity when the waiver wire opens on Tuesday/Wednesday.
Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller – RBs Bills: Jackson finished with 71 yards rushing, 8 catches for 49 yards and a TD, while Spiller racked up 70 yards rushing and 6 catches for 32 yards on Sunday. Jackson was the #2 ranked fantasy RB, while Spiller was ranked #11 in NFL.com PPR scoring. It is rare to see two RBs on the same team finish as fantasy RB1’s, but that is just what the Titans defense did for the Bills ground game this weekend.
Vincent Jackson – WR Buccaneers: I told people who emailed me or found me on various social media sites, to start V-Jax and you all owe me some high-5’s. Jackson finished with 7 catches for 216 yards and a TD on Sunday, and easily the #1 ranking at WR for week 7. When your QB throws for 400-plus yards, you can bet your WR1 had himself a good fantasy day as well.
Randall Cobb – WR Packers: Cobb shined once again with Greg Jennings out as he hauled in 8 passes for 89 yards and 2 TDs, and ran for another 19 yards on the ground. Cobb is only owned in 33.9 percent of NFL.com leagues, but his value is going to be limited going forward with the Packers hoping to have Jennings back next week.
Dustin Keller – TE Jets: Keller is owned in just 51.0 percent of NFL.com leagues, but he finished week 7 as the #2 ranked TE in fantasy football. His 7 catches for 93 yards and a TD was good enough for 22 points in NFL.com PPR formats. He is as risky of a play as they come, so don’t plug him into your fantasy starting line-up just yet.
Houston Texans defense: The Texans’ put a beating on the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday and the defense finished the fantasy week ranked #1 in the NFL. The Texans’ racked up 4 sacks, 2 INTs, a safety and a defensive touchdown. They did give up 13 points, but that doesn’t matter as they put up 21 fantasy points this week.
Losers (by James Morris)
Christian Ponder – QB Vikings: I told you to sit Ponder, but did you listen? The Vikings QB was by far the worst fantasy QB in the NFL this weekend as he threw for 58 yards (not a typo, 58 passing yards), 2 INTs and just a lone TD. I had no idea Ponder would be this bad, but you can bet he will hit a lot of waiver wire’s after this weekend.
Russell Wilson – QB Seahawks: One has to wonder if Wilson is thanking God right now for Ponder putting up the game he did, because people might just forget about what he didn’t do on Thursday night. The rookie finished with 122 passing yards, an INT and no endzone visits. He is only owned in 8.8 percent of NFL.com leagues, so only the truly dead teams were hit by this nightmare.
DeAngelo Williams – RB Panthers: Williams was amazingly horrible for fantast owners on Sunday as he rushed two times for 4 yards. Coach Ron Rivera confirmed after the game that Williams was not injured, just apparently just left out of the game plan. Williams is owned in 84.6 percent of NFL.com leagues, but in 0.0 percent of my teams for this exact reason.
Maurice Jones-Drew – RB Jaguars: MJD was carted off the field with a foot injury, and showed up back on the sidelines in the 3rd quarter wearing sweats and sporting crutches. All totaled he finished with two carries for 6 yards. Make sure you check with me if you own MJD as I will update his injury status via Twitter and Facebook.
Brandon Lloyd – WR Patriots: Lloyd was worth a fantasy play the first four weeks of the season (25 catches for 287 yards), but since then he has just 10 catches for 120 yards and no scores. One of those catches and six (6) of those yards came this week as he hurt the 95.4 percent of people that own him in NFL.com leagues.
Dez Bryant – WR Cowboys: Apparently the groin injury kept Bryant out of the gameplan, as he was targeted just three times, with was the 5th most on the Cowboys. He was held to just 14 yards on 2 catches. Bryant is always a dangerous player on the field, but this groin injury could make for some interesting fantasy playing going forward.
Kyle Rudolph – TE Vikings: Rudolph’s lack of production (0 catches) is due to his QBs inability to move the ball in the air, so this isn’t the end of fantasy value for Rudolph. He did have a 19-yard catch, but it was called back due to a penalty. Rudolph is still a legit TE1 moving forward, and this is a great time to buy low on him.
Baltimore Ravens defense: And on the other end of the defensive spectrum, we have the Baltimore Ravens. I warned people to stay away from them following some serious injuries, and they made me look like a genius as they gave up 35 points and only added 2 sacks for their fantasy stats. This poor performance netted their owners (96.8 percent owned, 87.7 percent started) -2 points this week, which means you would have literally been better off playing the Dolphins defense on a bye week and taking the 0 points!
Week 8 Waiver Wire Additions (by Jon Cope)
Rashad Jennings- RB, Jacksonville (owned in 28.8% of NFL.com leagues)- Jennings is the must-add of the week with Jaguars star running back Maurice Jones-Drew going out with a foot injury against the Raiders on the second play of the game Sunday. Jones-Drew’s status is uncertain moving forward, and if he’s out an extended period of time, Jennings will be a good #2 running back for most fantasy teams as he will get the bulk of the work in Jacksonville. Even if his rushing numbers aren’t great, Jennings will be a factor in the passing game (7 receptions on Sunday) for a team that isn’t blessed with tremendous wide receivers.
LaRod Stephens-Howling- RB Arizona (owned in 7.2% of NFL.com leagues)- the “Hyphen” as James dubbed him, stepped up in a big way on Sunday with a 149 yards and a TD against a relatively strong Vikings defense. This was a backfield that was looking for a back to emerge after the injuries to Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams; now Stephens-Howling has proven that he can be more than just a 3rd down back. I wouldn’t advise starting him in week 8 against the 49ers defense, but he’s a good add for the weeks beyond.
Vick Ballard- RB Indianapolis (owned in 8.4 % of NFL.com leagues)- Ballard had over 100 total yards on 21 touches in the Colts loss to the Browns on Sunday. Ballard’s day would have been even better, except Andrew Luck got a pair of short rushing touchdowns instead of the rookie running back. Ballard is a good start in week 8 against a fairly vulnerable Titans defensive front that allowed 166 rushing yards to the Bills on Sunday.
Randall Cobb- WR Green Bay (owned in 34.4% of NFL.com leagues)- Cobb, who’s been on this list before, had a huge game on Sunday with 8 receptions for 89 yards and 2 TDs. Even with Greg Jennings likely coming back soon, Cobb is a good option moving forward because Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense is once-again firing on all cylinders.
Jeremy Kerley- WR New York Jets (owned in 3.2 % of NFL.com leagues)- Kerley proved that he’s the Jets best wide receiver on Sunday with 7 receptions for 120 yards against the Patriots. Kerley had an impressive 11 targets in the passing game, and should be a productive fantasy option moving forward as he will get plenty of opportunities in a Jets offense that is in need of playmakers.
Be sure to check back on Wednesday for a Week 8 fantasy Q & A.
Also, for more fantasy guidance follow James on Twitter here.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
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