Fantasy Football Week 7 Sit Em, Start Em: Jay Cutler Set for Strong Week?
After missing a week plus with a concussion, Cutler’s return behind center was a rude one. He was sacked six more times against Seattle, bringing the tally to 15 in his last six quarters.
However, in spite of constant pressure (and 17 of 39 completions), Cutler converted passing plays of 67, 36 and 34 yards and averaged over 17 yards per completion.
Failure to prevent the big play has been the bugaboo of the Redskins secondary, as they’ve allowed six passing plays over 20 yards the past two weeks. When the pass rush doesn’t hit home (13 sacks), the result is often a deep connection.
If the Chicago offensive line can muster some protection for Cutler he’s in store for rewarding day at the office. Establishing some semblance of a running attack with Matt Forte would go a long ways in slowing down the rush.
WARNING: Showers in the forecast for Sunday.
QB Sit: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Ryan posted a quality passing line last week (250 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 INT), but those stats need to be taken with a grain of salt. The Falcons fell behind 21-0 midway thru the first half, at which point Ryan had completed four of eight passes for 54 yards. 42 pass attempts is not the norm for a run-first offense, but a three touchdown deficit doesn’t leave many options.
In spite of wide receiver Michael Jenkins’ stellar return to the lineup, Atlanta still lacks a secondary weapon on the outside to compliment Roddy White.
The Bengals eighth rated pass defense will provide a stern test with two shutdown-caliber corners. Cincinnati has more interceptions (7) than touchdown passes allowed (6).
Coming off a bye week, and devastating loss to Tampa Bay the week prior, Marvin Lewis should have his team in a nasty mood. Ryan’s last 300-yard passing game came in week five of 2009.
Seattle has relied on a finesse running attack since 2005 (the exodus of Shaun Alexander), but that needs to change ASAP.
While Lynch wasn’t overly productive in his first game in a Seahawks uniform running for 44 yards, the signs are encouraging.
Despite an abysmal 2.6 yards per rush, they still force fed him the ball 17 times. He also reached paydirt for the first time in 2010.
Lynch is a good bet to break the century mark this week against a porous Arizona rush defense that’s allowing 141 yards per contest on the ground, and 4.3 per carry. The ‘Hawks will continue to establish their new offensive identity behind the presence of a workhorse back.
Lynch is a different player when fed the ball on a consistent basis. He’s a talented pass catcher as well, hopefully something offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates will look to incorporate.
RB Sit: Brandon Jackson, Green Bay Packers
Unless he breaks a run (as he did against Washington) Jackson just isn’t getting enough carries to make a dent. His 12 rush attempts last week were his high since getting 18 reps in week one. He’ll be lucky to reach double digits against the Vikings sixth rated run defense that’s allowing 3.8 yards per rush.
In Green Bay’s last two meetings against Minnesota, Aaron Rodgers has thrown 78 passes. Look for another 35-40 passes this week, but don’t count on the Vikings defense allowing double-digit receptions to a RB in back to back weeks.
Jackson has failed to emerge as the PPR dynamo many expected. Backfield competition is not holding Jackson back. He is restricted by team philosophy and his own shortcomings as a runner. He’s a 3rd down back being masked as a starter.
Davis has displayed flashes this season (5 for 48, 3 for 82, 3 for 39 & TD), but has never earned regular snaps. With Malcolm Floyd already ruled out for week seven, and Antonio Gates hindered at best, the door is wide open for Davis to shine.
Buster has always brought a mixed bag to the table. The tantalizing ability is present, but the drops and bonehead plays usually supersede the ‘promise’. Last week is a perfect example, hauling in a nice touchdown grab, but unable to eliminate the costly dropped pass. With that being said, he was targeted eight times by Philip Rivers, and should see much of the same traffic his way this week.
The Patriots allow 273 net passing yards per game and have been burned for 11 touchdowns through the air. They allowed 10 plays of 15+ yards versus the Ravens in week six.
In his 4th season, will Davis finally separate himself from the bottom end of the Chargers WR depth chart?
WR Sit: Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
Despite his enormous tools, it’s important to remember that Bryant is still the number three receiver, and his talent is still raw. Taking both of those factors into account, it’s hard to expect massive statistical performances on a consistent basis.
Since catching eight balls in his debut, he’s hauled in just ten passes in the successive four games (155 yards). There were already a whole lot of mouths to feed in Dallas, but with the newfound dedication to the run and getting Felix Jones involved, his targets take an even greater hit.
Bryant’s critical third down drop, in which he appeared afraid to take a hit, is likely to linger in the minds of the coaching staff.
The Giants come to town boasting the league’s number seven pass defense and having sacked the quarterback 21 times. In a division rivalry of this magnitude (and a must win game to boot) you ride it out with your proven commodities.
Seeing Jacksonville on the schedule is like Christmas for the passing game. Opposing quarterbacks are completing nearly 67% of their passes against the Jaguars with a QB Rating of 110. This is good news for Matt Cassel and the Chiefs, who finally utilized the downfield passing game last week against a similarly awful Houston secondary.
Moeaki was not a beneficiary last week seeing only three targets, but he made bread on all three for 21 inconsequential yards. The way Titans tight end Bo Scaife was running free all over the field Monday night, Moeaki must be salivating for his opportunity to fill the stat sheet. Cassel’s favorite option should re-find his groove in week seven.
TE Sit: Kellen Winslow, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winslow is averaging nearly five receptions per game, but his overall production has been lacking. He has yet to reach the end zone in ’10, and his big play ability is not there on a week in, week out basis. He had his 5th knee surgery since 2005 in the off-season, so there’s no mystery as to why his explosiveness is on the decline.
The Rams looked awful defending the middle of the field in the preseason, but appear to have fixed the problem thus far in the regular calendar.
They’ve held some top tight ends relatively in check: Zach Miller 3/49, Chris Cooley 5/53, John Carlson 1/15 and Antonio Gates 2/12 (one full quarter plus). Brandon Pettigrew is the only TE to score a touchdown against St. Louis. More suitable matchups can likely be found on the waiver wire.
Written by Adam Ganeles exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com. Check back weekly for Adam's NFL Sit 'Em, Start 'Em
Tags: The Fantasy Fix, Fantasy Football Advice, Fantasy Football, NFL, Adam Ganeles, Sit Em, Start Em, Week 7, Jay Cutler, Matt Ryan, Marshawn Lynch, Brandon Jackson, Buster Davis, Dez Bryant, Tony Moeaki, Kellen Winslow,