Diamonds In The Rough Week Seven

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Week six saw another great week of football action.  It was the week where Tom Brady pulled out another clutch comeback and stunned the New Orleans Saints (along with me).  Also, the Buffalo Bills showed some life taking the Cincinnati Bengals to overtime with a practice squad quarterback, the Jacksonville Jaguars surprised the Denver Broncos and the rest of the world by keeping that game close for awhile, and the Houston Texans didn’t show up against the Rams (plus their fans were despicable booing Matt Schaub after he got hurt).

Week six also meant a chance to establish your team at the top of your division in your fantasy football league.  Also, another week of fantasy football means another week of hits and misses from this column.  The hits: Denarius Moore, Marlon Brown, Zac Stacy, almost any Denver player, Doug Baldwin, Stevan Ridley, Michael Floyd, and Keenan Allen.  The rest are classified as misses. 

Remember: This column is not designed to spotlight the top options at each position.  If you are looking for advice on start/sit options or top players at a specific position, check out our rankings and other columns throughout the week.  This is going to be a weekly spotlight of one player from each game this weekend that has a shot to be a nice flex or last starting option (a WR3 or RB3 for example).  Will they all produce a large number of points?  No.  These are nice lottery tickets to fill in on your team and give you a chance to steal the win. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons 

Harry Douglas (Atlanta Falcons) – With Julio Jones out, it’s time for the other Falcons to step up, especially the other wide receivers.  Roddy White is still banged up and he’ll most likely fight through the pain, but he’s not too effective while he’s hurt.  It is going to be on the veteran Douglas to step it up and produce on the outside.  Matt Ryan and the Falcons like to lean on their passing attack game in and game out.  So, the catches have to come from somewhere and that somewhere is Douglas for me.  He gets five catches for 65 yards and a possible score. 

Cincinnati Bengals at Detroit Lions 

Giovani Bernard (Cincinnati Bengals) – Before the NFL draft this season, I said that this guy was the best back in the draft.  I still think he is and he gets a great matchup against a very poor run defense in the Detroit Lions.  He also is a big contributor as a receiver (PPR gold!).  The Bengals are going to rely on Bernard more and more as the season progresses and this has the makings of a really big breakout game.  He gets 70 yards rushing along with six catches for 40 yards and a score. 

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins 

Brandon Gibson (Miami Dolphins) – Gibson has been an unsung contributor in Miami so far this season.  He has been putting up consistent point totals in fantasy circles week after week.  He’s been getting around five catches and 65 yards a week, but has not found the end zone once.  I see him having another solid day against the division rival Bills.  He gets five catches for 70 yards on Sunday. 

New England Patriots at New York Jets 

Bilal Powell (New York Jets) – This has the makings of another low-scoring slugfest between these two AFC East rivals.  Powell gets a good matchup against a team that is hurt in the middle of the defense (DT Vince Wilfork out for the season and LB Jerod Mayo likely out).  He’s struggled the past few weeks, but I see a rebound on Sunday.  He gets 60 yards rushing and a score. 

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles 

Nick Foles (Philadelphia Eagles) – Expecting Joseph Randle?  I think he’ll have a okay day, but nothing special in the pass heavy Cowboys offense.  I really like this spot for Foles this week.  He looked good last week in Tampa and the return home against a division rival whose pass defense is suspect looks promising for a big day.  What also may help is the fact that the Eagles may need to pass in order to keep up with Tony Romo’s passing attack on the other side of the field.  Foles throws for 350 yards and three scores in a great Sunday matchup. 

Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins 

DeAngelo Hall (Washington Redskins) – Okay this is a joke, but Jay Cutler does love throwing it to him.  The Redskins’ radio promo depicting this is a true gem.  The real selection is … 

Alshon Jeffery (Chicago Bears) – I’m going back to the well once more.  Jeffery had a bad game a week ago, but his production has been immense this season.  The Redskins have been vulnerable on the defensive end (looked better last week though).  Jeffery has the luxury of being overlooked as opposing teams spotlight Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte.  Jeffery gets six catches for 65 yards and a score. 

St. Louis Rams at Carolina Panthers

DeAngelo Williams (Carolina Panthers) – Williams has been a very productive back, one of the most surprising in the NFL this season.  The problem is that he does not score touchdowns at all.  Mike Tolbert is the touchdown stealer on the Panthers and this hurts DeAngelo’s value in fantasy circles.  No team gives up more rushing yards to opposing running backs this season than the St. Louis Rams.  I’m not holding my breath on it, but he might break one this week and get into the end zone.  Williams gets 100 yards and maybe that elusive score. 

San Diego Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars 

Keenan Allen (San Diego Chargers) – This is most likely the last week I can spotlight Allen in this column as he will graduate past diamond status.  Allen has been an unbelievable producer these past two weeks and has become Philip Rivers’ favorite wide receiver (Antonio Gates is still his favorite target).  Another great week is on the horizon as the Chargers get the lowly Jaguars.  Allen and the entire offense should have a great day.  Eight catches for 110 yards and a score for Allen this Sunday. 

San Francisco 49ers at Tennessee Titans 

Kendall Wright (Tennessee Titans) – Since the 49ers mostly rely on the same guys week after week, it is hard to find any diamond on that team.  So, I move over to the Titans for my player.  Wright has been a very nice producer from the slot for Tennessee, being targeted eight or more times in each of the last three games.  The Titans get a stiff test against a dominant defense, so it may not be the most statistically explosive game.  Wright gets five catches for 55 yards. 

Cleveland Browns at Green Bay Packers 

Jarrett Boykin (Green Bay Packers) – He has one catch on the season and only six in his career.  But, now he’s got the opportunity to make a mark with Randall Cobb out for awhile and James Jones possibly out this week.  The Packers may rely on the run game a bit more with Eddie Lacy producing and the top receivers out.  But, Aaron Rodgers likes to sling it around and Boykin will get a lot of single coverage as the spotlight is on Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley in the passing game.  Boykin will use his great speed to get four catches for 65 yards.

Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs 

Anthony Fasano (Kansas City Chiefs) – I don’t expect much scoring in this game at all.  The Texans have Case Keenum at quarterback so there will most likely be not too much offense from them.  The Chiefs have been relying on their defense (which is a top play this week) and a little bit of offense mixed in.  I’m going out on a major limb with Fasano since he’s coming back from injury (check the actives/inactives before the game just in case).  He’s a nice offensive option for Alex Smith as he returns and could get three catches for 30 yards with a possible red zone score. 

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers 

Emmanuel Sanders (Pittsburgh Steelers) – Sanders seems to have settled into his role in the Steelers offense.  He’s getting four or five catches a game and got into the end zone for the first time a week ago.  This shapes up for a field goal type of game so I don’t expect many great fantasy performances from offensive players.  But, Sanders should have a nice day and could be a solid replacement on your fantasy team.  He gets four catches for 50 yards. 

Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts 

T.Y. Hilton (Indianapolis Colts) – You’re probably going to start him anyway, but I like him a lot this week.  The Broncos have the worst pass defense in the league and Hilton has the speed to break a big one.  Hilton gets six catches for 85 yards and a score. 

Minnesota Vikings at New York Giants 

Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota Vikings) – You may remember my previous use of tight ends playing against the Giants.  Well, here I go again.  The Giants are weak against tight ends and Josh Freeman will be looking for his tight end as he continues to learn the offense.  Rudolph continues his success after a big game last week and gets five catches for 50 yards and a score. 

As you head out into the rest of week seven in the NFL, take these suggestions with a grain of salt.  This is all about filling that last flex spot in your starting lineup with a guy that has a good matchup or a solid chance of production.  These guys are my best options for that to occur.  I wish everyone luck in their seventh week of the season and hope your team turns into a solid contender.