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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

The Fantasy 6-Pack: Week 7
Paul Sandy
October 21, 2011
 

Quarterback

  • The Tim Tebow show is about to begin. If you picked him up, you’ll want to make sure he’s in your lineup in Week 7 against the Dolphins. The game will be a homecoming of sorts for the former Florida Gators QB. The crowd will likely swing in favor of Tebow and the Broncos rather than the hometown team. Miami has allowed the seventh most fantasy points to QBs this season. The Six-Pack sees Tebow accounting for three scores. After the game, he will part the Caribbean Sea and lead the children of Cuba to freedom.
  • What a disappointment Matt Ryan has been this season. Despite having two elite receivers and a Hall of Fame TE at his disposal, Ryan has just one great fantasy stat line this year. There are at least 15 QBs I’d start ahead of the former No. 1 draft pick in Week 7. Ryan is on the road this week facing a Detroit defense that has allowed the sixth fewest fantasy points to QBs. Plus head coach Mike Smith has indicated the team will focus on the running game in the coming weeks. Ryan should be on your bench (if not your waiver wire).
  • Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is in a lot of fantasy owners’ doghouses this year. He has thrown multiple touchdown passes in just one game this season. Have some faith in him this week against the Cardinals though. Arizona ranks in the middle of the pack as a pass defense and in reality they’re probably not that good since they’ve had games against the Vikings, Seahawks and Redskins. Quality passers have lit them up. Expect Roethlisberger to do the same. The Six-Pack sees Big Ben posting 250 yards and at least a couple scores.
  • Don’t count on Chargers QB Phillip Rivers breaking out of his three-game slump this week against the Jets. New York has allowed just one passing touchdown in the last five games (compared to seven interceptions). Teams are finding the best way to beat New York is to run the football. That will no doubt be the game plan for the Bolts in Week 7. Anything more than 240 yards and a touchdown from Rivers would be a bit of a surprise.

This Week’s Sleepers: Tim Tebow, Matt Cassel, Curtis Painter and Colt McCoy

Running Back

  • It might be time to dust off the old “Fragile” nickname that used to be associated with Fred Taylor. Felix Jones seems to have earned the moniker. Fragile Felix will be “side-whined” for at least a couple weeks with an ankle sprain. He also reportedly has second degree menstrual cramping. While Jones is out, rookie DeMarco Murray is in line for the start. Although he will split carries with Tashard Choice, Murray is a high-upside play against a weak Rams run defense.  Choice is worth a flier in deep leagues on the off chance he gets a goal line carry.
  • When you think tough run defenses, you don’t think “Seahawks.” But Seattle has allowed the fifth fewest fantasy points to the position. They’re also one of eight NFL teams that allow fewer than 100 yards per game on the ground. Keep Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty on your bench if you have a decent alternative. Hillis has a bum hamstring and Hardesty just hasn’t shown enough at this point to be trusted.
  • The Raiders have allowed the second most fantasy points to RBs this season. If you’re a Jackie Battle owner, you have to be feeling giddy about his chances, right? Well, maybe. Although the Raiders got blown up by Buffalo and New England for big RB numbers, they’ve otherwise been pretty solid.  In the last two weeks, they shut down Arian Foster and Montario Hardesty. The Six-Pack is going against the grain on this one and forecasting Battle with 60 all-purpose yards and no touchdowns. 
  • Look for Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch to contribute a useful fantasy stat line on Sunday against the Browns. “Beast Mode” has been effective of late, scoring in two straight outings. Although Cleveland has allowed just two rushing touchdowns this year, that number feels artificial considering the Browns have given up the sixth most rushing yards. Lynch will find a way to get at least 90 yards and a score.

This Week’s Sleepers: DeMarco Murray, Mark Ingram, Earnest Graham and LaDainian Tomlinson

Wide Receiver

  • Saints wideout Lance Moore hasn’t done anything to earn fantasy owners’ trust this season but the Six-Pack is still going to recommend him for a spot start in larger leagues. Moore will go up against a Colts defense that has allowed the fifth most fantasy points to receivers. This game is being played in the Superdome, which bodes well for Moore. In his career, Moore has scored 16 touchdowns at home compared to just seven on the road. Not surprisingly, his only quality stat line this season came at home. Look for Moore to put up something in the neighborhood of six receptions for 80 yards and a score. 
  • Lower your expectations for Seattle wideouts Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin this week against the Browns. Cleveland plays good pass defense, allowing just 192.0 passing yards per game—fourth best in the NFL. The Seahawks still haven’t declared who is starting at QB on Sunday but regardless of who is under center, the Six-Pack recommends owners avoid Rice and Baldwin in standard performance leagues. Baldwin worth considering as a WR3 in PPR leagues.
  • Greg Jennings has owned the Vikings of late. In his last three games versus Minnesota, Jennings has put up five touchdowns. That includes a monster 7-152-3 stat line in his last trip to Mall of America Field. Don’t be surprised if he tallies a pair of touchdowns on Sunday.
  • The Curtis Painter to Pierre Garcon connection will be on full display against the Saints. New Orleans has been torched for five passing scores from beyond 20 yards this season. They’ve given up receiving touchdowns of 50+ yards in two straight games. The Saints have also ceded the ninth most fantasy points to receivers. Garcon has an excellent chance to reach paydirt on Sunday.

This Week’s Sleepers: Lance Moore, Steve Breaston, Malcom Floyd, Eric Decker and Greg Little

Tight End

  • The Bears have allowed five TE touchdowns in their last four games, which makes Kellen Winslow an attractive option for Week 7. Although Winslow hasn’t scored yet this year, he’s been an active part of the offense, making five or more grabs in four out of six games this season. Pencil him in for 70 yards and a score this week.
  • Indianapolis has been able to limit the damage opposing TEs have inflicted against them this season. Only one TE has scored on them and they’ve held guys like Owen Daniels, Ben Watson, Kellen Winslow and Jermaine Gresham to fewer than 40 yards. Saints TE Jimmy Graham is in a different class, the Six-Pack will grant you that, but fantasy owners should still dial their expectations back a notch. Look for Drew Brees to use his WRs and RBs in the passing game more than Graham for a change.

This Week’s Sleepers: Fred Davis, Dustin Keller and Ed Dickson

Kicker

  • Bank on a big number from Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey. Dallas should have little trouble moving the ball against a Rams defense that yields 403.4 yards per game—third most in the league. However, Romo and company have had trouble punching the ball in the endzone. The Cowboys redzone struggles mean Bailey should get at least three field goal attempts and put up double-digit points. If he’s still on your waiver wire add him for some cheap points.
  • Denver’s Matt Prater is worth a spot start against Miami. The Dolphins give up about 26 points per game. They’ve also allowed the fourth most points to kickers. With Tim Tebow’s ability to scramble for first downs to keep the chains moving, Prater should have a busy afternoon. He looks like a safe bet for eight or more points.

This Week’s Sleepers: Matt Prater, Billy Cundiff and Shaun Suisham

Team Defense / Special Teams

  • Roll with the Dallas Cowboys this week against the Rams, who will either start a gimpy Sam Bradford (ankle) or journeyman backup A.J. Feely. No team has allowed more sacks this season than St. Louis. Meanwhile, the Cowboys average over three sacks per game—second most in the NFL. There’s no way Dallas finishes outside the top 10 in DST scoring this week.
  • If you started the Minnesota Vikings last week against the Bears, make sure you drop them in pick up a different squad. Minnesota hosts Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Rodgers is sporting a nifty 17-3 TD-to-INT ratio. While the Vikings may record a sack or two, their upside is greatly limited and they will likely surrender 30+ points.    

This Week’s Sleepers: Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins

The Six-Pack

This Week's Six-Pack: Steenbrugge Blonde Ale,

Brewed by: Steenbrugge Abbey, Steenhuffel, Belgium

Price: $5.99 (one 750 ML bottle)

Appearance: Rather than a six-pack, this ale comes in a single champagne-sized bottle. Keeping up the champagne appearance, it even has gold foil, a cork, and the twisty wire cage thing that covers the cork. The label on the bottle is yellow and has a cardinal on it . . . not the bird, the clergy member. Nothing else is out of the ordinary except it says this beer is brewed with “gruut.” A little research tells me gruut is a hopless style of brewing. In lieu of hops, a variety of herbs are used. Exactly which herbs is a guarded secret. This should be interesting. A few twists of the cork, and we’re on our way. As I poured Steenbrugge in my goblet, the first attribute I noticed was the extreme head building, close to four fingers thick. It was a soapy froth that reduced by 75% quickly and then remained for awhile. The beer is mostly clear and golden.

Smell: It smells like granny smith apples, melon, and yeast.

Taste: Overall, the flavors are a little dull and muted. The apple aromas do carry over to the taste; it’s both sour and sugary. Quite honestly, it reminded me of the green apple flavored Jolly Rancher hard candies. The finish is dry and maybe a little spicy. Carbonation is pretty darn bubbly.

Drinkability: The ABV checks in at 6.5%. Since this beer came in a 750 ML bottle and I was drinking alone, these last few sentences of the review are being typed in a state of moderate-to-heavy intoxication. I’d recommend sharing this one with a friend.

Last Call: Steenbrugge Blonde Ale is just okay. From a pricing standpoint, this is an entry-level Belgian abbey-style beer. A nice option to have I suppose, but I’d recommend you drop a few more bucks and try something else. Two stars out of five.

Up Next: Stone Levitation Ale, Stone Brewing Company, Escondido, California


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