2013 Fantasy Football Week 7 Gold Mine: Freeman, Stacy, Simpson, Ertz
The half way point of the Fantasy Football regular season began last night and Russell Wilson (SEA), Marshawn Lynch (SEA) showed exactly what we already knew about them. However, Carson Palmer (ARI) and Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) completely flopped in the Thursday Night Football game vs. Seattle.
That goes to show you that predicting who is going to break out and who isn’t is a very difficult profession. No one thought Fitz would be this bad with Palmer at QB. There isn’t much time to make moves in your league but you certainly can help yourself sustain your lead or your team’s ability to crawl into the playoff scenario by making smart moves.
As we gear up for the end of the 1st half of Fantasy Football lets check out the week 7 best of the best owned under 25%. [am4show have=’p3;p4;p7;p9;’ guest_error=’Front Office’ user_error=’Front Office’ ]
Josh Freeman (MIN): Freeman (5.8%) is one year removed from his career year of 4,065 yards and 27 touch downs but 2013 hasn’t been very friendly to the former Kansas St QB. Some of which is certainly on Freeman but a lot of it has got to be on the shoulders of the players around him. Doug Martin (TB) hasn’t lived up to his first round capabilities and even Vincent Jackson (TB) hasn’t played to the caliber that we are used to. Freeman was dropped by the Bucs and quickly picked up by the Vikings. The Vikings obviously aren’t that much better but with a much better RB and a comparable WR in Adrian Peterson (MIN) and Greg Jennings (MIN) respectively Freeman could in fact see himself in a better position than he was just a few weeks ago. The Vikings have already named Freeman the starter and while he has only been on the team for 2 weeks he has one heck of a favorable match up against the 31st worst defense against opposing QBs in the New York Giants.
Mike Glennon (TB): We spoke about Glennon (1.6%) a few weeks ago when he was originally named starter after the aforementioned Freeman was benched. His first start in the NFL wasn’t very attractive but his second produced 273 yards, 2 scores and 20 rushing yards equating to 22 fantasy points in 6 point per TD pass leagues. Glennon was highly scouted entering in the 2013 NFL Draft and in week 6 he certainly showed that he may in fact have some NFL style skills that we want as a Fantasy QB. In week 7 Glennon faces another favorable match up with the 28th worst defenses against opposing QBs in Atlanta on Sunday. Atlanta has given up at least 24 fantasy points in each of their games but one with at least 2 TDs in each so far this year.
Zac Stacy (STL): Stacy (9.7%) has taken over for the bulk of the carries in St. Louis with 16 on average over the last 2 weeks. While he hasn’t broken out for 100-yard games he has picked up at least 78 in each. The Rams offense isn’t that good and it doesn’t move the ball very well so most of their TDs are from a few yards out and thus it hurts Stacy’s value but he is one TD away from being the double-digit rusher we need on a fantasy team. Stacy goes up against the 17th worst defenses vs. opposing running backs in week 7 and could easily be the guy to fill in when needed.
Andre Brown (NYG): I am going to get out ahead of this one right now. Brown (18.3%) hasn’t played a down in the NFL this season due to a broken leg and he won’t be available for you until at least week 10 when he officially can be removed from the IR / Eligible to return list. I understand this isn’t going to help you for week 7 but if you are smart you are going to snatch this man up immediately. With the very serious injury to David Wilson (NYG) and the up and down ability of Brandon Jacobs (NYG) when Brown is ready to come back he will get the majority of the reps. Brown practiced this week which is a great sign but due to league rules needs to wait for his return, which only means he will be at full strength and full knowledge of the playbook by the time he is ready to come back.
Jerome Simpson (MIN): If we can select Freeman (MIN) as the guy to pick up this week, we can certainly grab Simpson (4.7%) to go with him. Simpson hasn’t been completely astounding but has had at least 3 weeks of 4 receptions, and 2 weeks of 7 catches and at least 124 yards. He hasn’t scored a TD just yet, but has averaged 11.6 fantasy points in PPR leagues on the year and is going up against the 23rd worst defense to opposing WRs. The Monday Night affair between NY and MIN will certainly be a shoot out and Simpson should get a fair amount of receptions from his new QB.
Brandon LaFell (CAR): Originally when I saw LaFell (4.7%) was still owned in less than 25% of leagues I almost spit up my breakfast. Then I looked at his statistics and realized why he was. LaFell has had two very good games thus far in 2013 with at least 3 catches in each of those games and 3 TDs combined. LaFell has certainly been Cam Newton’s (CAR) crutch of late with 4 receptions in each of his last two games and last week gained 107 yards and a TD. In week 7 LaFell has another great match up facing the 22nd ranked St. Louis Rams vs. opposing WRs.
Jordan Reed (WSH): Much like Glennon (TB) mentioned above, we have already spoken about Reed (3.7%) earlier this year but it seems as if you haven’t listened. I can certainly understand why though, although he has had at least 8 fantasy points in each week he played this year and double-digit points in two of the 4 so far, he has yet to reach the end zone. You can certainly put that on the inept offense of the Washington Redskins who have struggled mightily in the early part of the 2013 season. Despite his lack of TDs Reed continues to get looks although he remains the 4th string TE on the roster with at least 4 receptions and 38 yards in three of the first 5 contests this season. Very similar to the aforementioned Zac Stacy (STL) the difference between Reed being a top tier TE and not is finding the end zone. In week 7 Reed and the Redskins face the Chicago Bears ranked 22nd against opposing TEs.
Zach Ertz (PHI): Ertz (1.0%) is an extremely deep league play this week. Its obvious that Brent Celek (PHI) is still the go to TE on the roster and it is also clear that the Eagles offense doesn’t seem to like throwing to the TEs all that much as even Celek has failed to bring in more than 3 receptions in any game this season. What makes Ertz very intriguing to me is his deep play capabilities. With three games of at least 19 yards per reception and two games of at least 29 yards per reception Ertz has shown a great deal of down the field ability. Ertz has yet to find the end zone in 2013 but he has an extremely favorable match up in week 7 against the 31st ranked defense against opposing TEs on Sunday.
The season is certainly not over and while I will never say “it’s not over until the fat lady sings” if you aren’t in the mix for a playoff push its definitely going to make things extremely difficult to move up the pecking order. For those who are in the mix it’s going to be the little moves you make when you have a bye like Jimmy Graham (NO) and Drew Brees (NO) or Denarius Moore (OAK) and Tyrelle Pryor (OAK) that will save you from fantasy depression.
*All Statistics and Percent Owned come from ESPN Fantasy Football PPR Leagues with 6 points per Passing TD.
**Follow me on twitter @justinmandaro where I give my start / sit advice leading all the way up until game time.