Here’s who I like and who I don’t like for Week 7.
IN: Tim Tebow, Broncos
The Tebow Era begins Sunday and the young pivot couldn’t have asked for a better matchup — the Dolphins have allowed at least 18 fantasy points to every quarterback they’ve faced this season. Along with his arm, Tebow can do a lot of damage with his legs (he has seven rushing touchdowns in his 12 career games). On top of that, Sunday is “Gator Day” at Sun Life Stadium (saluting the 2008 National champs) so there should be a very pro-Tebow crowd on hand.
OUT: Joe Flacco, Ravens
Flacco hasn’t thrown a touchdown in each of his last two games (although he did run one in last week) and isn’t throwing a high completion percentage lately either (just 32% against the Jets in Week 4). From a fantasy perspective, Flacco hasn’t been consistent enough to warrant an every week play. The Ravens are facing the Jaguars in Week 7, a team that has been effective against the pass, allowing just 210 yards per game through the air.
IN: Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks
Lynch got off to a slow start but is turning things around after scoring a touchdown in each of his last two games. In his most recent start against the Giants in Week 5, Lynch averaged 8.2 yards per carry. The Seahawks back will get a lot of touches this week against the Browns, who are allowing an average of 16 points to opposing running backs this season. Historically, Lynch has done well against Cleveland (384 total yards and a touchdown in the last three meetings) so he could be a nice bye-week fill-in.
OUT: Steven Jackson, Rams
Because of all the byes this week, it’s highly unlikely you’ll stick Jackson on your bench but points will be hard to come by. The Cowboys have the best run D in the league (allowing less than 70 yards a game) and have given up just one rushing touchdown this entire season. Jackson has also been banged up and ranks just 30th among fantasy running backs. The Rams will rely on him to get the offense going on Sunday (especially if A.J. Feeley gets the start), but they could abandon the run altogether if trailing by a wide margin.
IN: James Jones, Packers
The problem playing Green Bay receivers week to week is you never know which one will be Aaron Rodger’s target de jour. But picking which Packer to play in Week 7 shouldn’t be a problem — they are all likely to see plenty of action. The Vikings are giving up almost 270 passing yards per game and Jones has a three-game touchdown streak on the go. During that stretch, the receiver is averaging almost 25 yards a catch. Jones is another deep threat for Rodgers and he’ll get a chance to shine Sunday against the lowly Vikings.
OUT: Vincent Jackson, Chargers
As with running back Steven Jackson, the Chargers’ Jackson is in for a tough time on Sunday. Welcome to Revis Island. Jackson did not have a good game in Week 5 against another elite cornerback (Denver’s Champ Bailey held him to just three catches for 34 yards) and he’s got his work cut out for him this week against Darrelle Revis. Jackson has also been struggling with a hamstring injury and even though the Chargers are coming off a bye, it’s unlikely he’ll be 100 percent. You probably can’t afford to sit Jackson with so many teams off in Week 7, but don’t expect big numbers from this Charger.
IN: Dallas Clark, Colts
Without Peyton Manning, Clark has had a disappointing season but maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The tight end is coming off his best game of the year (six catches for 53 yards and a touchdown) and could finally be finding his groove with quarterback Curtis Painter. The Saints have not been effective defending tight ends this season, averaging around 10 fantasy points to the position. Plus, they’ve given up a league-worst 12 touchdowns through the air. Clark has a shot to put up some good numbers.
OUT: Jared Cook, Titans
Cook has benefited from the loss of receiver Kenny Britt. The tight end has been targeted 15 times in the last two games but has just six catches for 153 yards to show for it. Cook has not made the most of his opportunities and has a tough matchup this week. The Texans defense is giving up the third-fewest points to tight ends this year and only Jimmy Graham has been able to gain more than 40 yards against that unit. Cook has a bright future, but should be sitting on your bench for Week 7.
IN: Dan Carpenter, Dolphins
We know Miami’s offense has been struggling but Carpenter could still be a good fantasy play this week. He has been more consistent recently (hitting six field goals in a row) and this week the Dolphins are taking on the Broncos, who have given up the most fantasy points to kickers this season. Touchdowns might be hard to come by for Matt Moore and company, meaning Carpenter could get his chances this week.
OUT: Ryan Longwell, Vikings
Despite the inconsistencies of the Vikings’ offense, Longwell has had some good fantasy games this season. This week will not be one of those. Rookie Christian Ponder takes over at QB for Minnesota and the offense will have issues keeping up with the high-flying Packers. Green Bay is also giving up the third-fewest fantasy points to kickers this season, so Longwell might not get many opportunities on Sunday.
Yes, Oakland has given up a lot of points this season, but the unit has continued to be a viable fantasy option. The Raiders have scored double-digit fantasy points in four of their six games this season thanks to their 16 sacks and nine interceptions. In Week 7, Oakland has a juicy matchup against Kansas City, a team that is averaging just 15 points per game. The defense could come up big on Sunday.
Detroit’s defense has been a pleasant surprise, but last week against the Niners they had major issues stopping the run (Frank Gore gashed them for 141 yards). This week Detroit faces off against Atlanta and another strong running back in Michael Turner. The Falcons offense hasn’t performed to expectations, but they have the ability to put points on the board in bunches (more than 30 in three of their six games this season). This one could turn into a shootout so you might want to leave the Lions on your bench.