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Fantasy Football Week 7: Start 'em and Sit 'em

This is the week the "Suck for Luck" wagon and the Tim Tebow lovers have been waiting for.  Two terrible teams take the field this Sunday.  This season has been tough, but hopefully there is one streak we can continue.  The Dolphins have not been disappointed the past two Sundays, albeit they haven't played on Sunday for nearly three weeks now.

The most optimistic of Dolphin fans are no longer thinking that we can make the playoffs, but we can turn things around and still get a quality QB like Landry Jones of Oklahoma or Robert Griffin III from Baylor.  So how do we keep ourselves positive through these tough times?  By making these smart moves to win in your Fantasy Football league!


Start 'em:

Tim Tebow: Logic says you don't start a QB that has completed under 50% of his passes for his career.  Somehow though, Tebow does have a knack for scoring touchdowns.  Ifhe's not making plays through the air, he's making them on the ground.  Plus he is playing the Miami Dolphins.  The only players that drop more passes than Miami's offense is Miami's defense, meaning it's likely Tebow won't have multiple turnovers.  If you have hope for Miami, you may want to skip this part.  The Dolphin defense surrenders 284 yards through the air and has allowed 10 TDs while only intercepting 2 passes on the year.  They have allowed 23 pass plays to go for 20 yards or more and opposing QBs have a QB Rating of 103.9.  Ouch!  He should be a good start if your starting QB is injured or has a bye week.

Tony Romo:  He is slowly getting healthier and so are his WRs.  On the flip side, Felix Jones is injured and an already pass oriented team will be without their best RB.  The Rams have a respectable pass defense, but I expect the Cowboys to attack often through the air to end a two-game skid by hosting the Rams.  I expect 200+ yards and at least 2 TDs by Romo this week.

Matthew Stafford: The weakness of Atlanta's defense is their secondary, but they have a strong run game.  Jahvid Best may not play with a concussion and Ronnie Brown will not be joining Detroit's backfield.  This means Detroit will be forced to attack through the air.  Fortunately, Stafford has passed for over 200 yards and at least 2 TDs in every game this year.

Sit 'em:

Kevin Kolb:  He'll be lucky just to survive the game.  The Steelers have the best pass defense in the NFL and Kolb has not been the answer the Cardinals were hoping he would be.  Kolb has passed for over 200 yards in each game, but he's gone 10 quarters without throwing a single TD.

Blaine Gabbert:  He is going against the Baltimore Ravens and like Kolb, will be lucky if he survives the entire game. Gabbert has started four games now and has yet to throw for multiple TDs in a single game or reach 200 yards passing.  If he failed to reach those marks against the likes of the Saints, Bengals, and Panthers then he likely won't reach it against the Ravens.

Mark Sanchez:  The San Diego Chargers rank 2nd in the NFL in pass defense, surrendering only 179.6 yards per game through the air.  Sanchez is showing to be nothing more than a game manager.  He may score a TD, but his yards will likely be low.  The last time he faced a quality defense was three weeks ago against Baltimore.  He ended that day completing only 31% of his passes, threw an INT, and fumbled 4 times.  He failed to score a single TD.  Two decent games managing the offense against poor defenses doesn't mean Sanchez is back to being the star QB people expected him to become.


Start 'em:

Rashard Mendenhall:  He finally showed life last week, but the biggest reason to expect a good game from him this week is because the Pittsburgh Steelers should easily handle the Cardinals.  Arizona has a weak defense all around to match their weak offense.  The Steelers will lead early andwon't surrender the lead, meaning they will control the ball with plenty of runs.

Ryan Mathews:  The Jets have been struggling against the run, but are strong in pass defense.  The Jets haven't been especially strong at stopping the opposing RBs from making receiving plays out of the backfield, an attribute Mathews happens to be particularly strong at.  He may not score multiple TDs and he may not score any, but he should rack up solid rushing and receiving yards, making him a worthy play for a #2 back in some leagues and certainly a strong play in the flex.

Ray Rice:  The Jacksonville Jaguars have a respectable defense, but their offense is going to be shut down.  Like the Steelers against the Cardinals, the Ravens will have this game in control early and will run the ball often to secure a lead.  Rice should be able to carry the ball over 20 times and rack up over 80 yards rushing.  A score is also likely.

Sit 'em:

Thomas Jones/Dexter McCluster/Jackie Battle:  None of them have been terribly effective and they have been splitting carries.  All of the RBs average under 40 yards per game and the Chiefs have failed to score a single rushing TD for the season, making all of them a poor play.

Keiland Williams:  He will likely start for the Lions with Best injured and Jerome Harrison lost for the year with a brain tumor.  Unfortunately, he will be starting against a strong run defense.  Williams has not been effective in spot duty so far this season and has averaged only 2.6 yards per carry.  Don't expect an increased workload to drastically improve his numbers.

Steven Jackson:  He has done pretty good when healthy, but that hasn't been often.  On top of that, the Dallas Cowboys have the best run defense in the NFL.  With below average WRs and a banged up Sam Bradford, the Cowboys will most likely focus on stopping the run and force a struggling passing game to beat them.


Start 'em:

Brandon Marshall:  Matt Moore was practically forcing the ball to Marshall last week against the Jets.  Marshall was targeted a team high 13 times against the Jets even when he was matched up against Darrelle Revis.  The Broncos do have a poor pass defense as well, allowing QBs to possess a 106.5 QB Rating.

Marques Colston:  He's healthy once again andis going against a terrible defense.  Drew Brees looks to Colston more than any other WR and Colston should have a big day against the hapless Indianapolis Colts.

Dwayne Bowe:  Bowe has surpassed 100 receiving yards in 3 of 5 games.  He has scored 4 TDsin the past 3 weeks.  Matt Cassel has been improving the past few weeks and this will greatly help Bowe.  The Oakland Raiders are 28th in the NFL in pass defense and Stanford Routt hasn't been the #1 CB Oakland hoped he would be when Nnamdi Asomugha left via free agency.

Sit 'em:

Brandon Lloyd:  It'shard to expect a player to have success in his first week with the team.  It will probably take Lloyd a few weeks to get acclimated to a new offense and a new QB.  As said before, the Rams WR corps isn't very impressive and Bradford is banged up.  The Dallas secondary has also improved as Mike Jenkins gets in better health and Orlando Scandrick has returned to the lineup.

Percy Harvin:  He's been a good bench player to have this year, but he hasn't been starter material.  He'seclipsed 80 yards in 4 of 6 games, but that has come with moderate success running the ball.  Don't expect him to be too effective in the passing game as he is coming off a rib injury andwill be matched up with Charles Woodson of the Green Bay Packers.  He will also have a rookie making his first start so the offense may not click immediately.  He has failed to score a single TD through the season's first six games.

Sidney Rice: He will be facing a Cleveland Browns secondary that ranks 4th in the NFL in pass defense.  He will be going against one of the best young up-and-coming CBs in the NFL in Joe Haden as well.  I expect Charlie Whitehurst to start, which may actually be an upgrade at QB for Seattle.  Still, the Seahawks have done a pretty good job of spreading the ball around to their WRs, making them a difficult start in any given week.


Start 'em:

Jimmy Graham:  This kid is going to be a Pro Bowler.  Not in the next few years or next year, but this year.  He has been a rock solid TE for Drew Brees this year andshould finished the year with some of the best stats for all TEs.  He has scored 3 TDs in 6 games, has at least 50 receiving yards in each game, and has caught at least 4 passes in each game. If you had him as a backup and another solid TE as your starter, you may want to trade your starter.  Yes, even if that starter happens to be Antonio Gates or Dallas Clark.

Brandon Pettigrew:  He hasn't put up solid numbers, but he has scored a TD in his last two games.  His targets and receptions have been increasing as he has been held to under 5 receptions only once in the previous 4 games.  As I said above, the Lions should be attacking through the air more often, but the Falcons should be expecting that as well with Best injured. This means the Lions will have to get a little innovative this week and Pettigrew should be seeing plenty of attention, especially in the red zone, as the Falcons will focus on Calvin Johnson.

Dallas Clark:  Forone, the Colts will be in catchup mode after their second offensive series.  Clark has struggled this season, but not because of a new QB not throwing him the ball.  Clarkwas having his own problems with drops and he appeared much better last week against the Bengals.  The Saints will probably play it rather safe and focus on not allowing Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon to beat them on a big play.  Consider this another gut feeling, like I had last week of Ahmad Bradshaw, as I pick Clark to start turning the corner from a poor start to the season.  

Sit 'em:

Heath Miller:  He hasn't been as involved in the offense as he has in the past and his numbers reflect that.  He used to be the 2nd or 3rd target for the Steelers, but is now the 4th target andis losing ground to Emmanuel Sanders as well in the passing game.  Additionally, the Cardinals are not very good on defense and Ben Roethlisberger won't be forced to check down to his TE much.  The second half will see the Steelers primarily running the ball, limiting Miller's targets.

Daniel Fells:  No, this isn't because Miami's defense stepping up.  I'm saying you should sit Fells despite Miami's defense.  The Broncos just haven't been focusing on him much.  He has seen only 19 passes thrown his way so far this season and he is not a popular red zone target.  With Lloyd gone, I think we'll see Eddie Royal's targets go up, but I don't think we'll see much of a change for Fells.

The Dolphin Sleeper of the Week:

Matt Moore:  He now has a full game under his belt for Miami, even though it wasn't a great performance.  The Broncos defense is much worse than the Jets though.  They have only 3 INTs for the year and opposing QBs are completing over 68% of their passes, an astounding number.  Opposing QBs have a QB Rating of 106.5 against Denver.  If Moore doesn't show progress this week, we may not see much progress at all this year.  This is a great opportunity for him to show his potential.