Week 7 Fantasy Football Team Recovery
By Alan Squatrito
|NFL HIT LIST
Injuries plague the NFL once again in week 6. You never know who is going to be next on the NFL HIT LIST but it still is never a surprise. This past week in the NFL was the most violent week of football I’ve ever seen in my life. Desean Jackson, Joshua Cribbs, Mohamed Massoquoi, Chris Cooley, Todd Heap, David Garrard, Vincent Young, and Dunta Robinson scared the “you know what” out of me this past weekend, as they all had to be taken out of their games. Six out of the eight players just mentioned above suffered from a concussion in week 6. Illegal hit or not, professional football players keep getting faster and stronger each year, injuries seem to be getting worse and worse each year regardless of the new rules in place. The NFL is strongly considering having an 18 game season in the near future and that may be defeating the purpose of new rules being set into place to prevent serious injuries. “You don’t want to injure people. I don’t want to injure anybody,” James Harrison (OLB for Steelers) said after Sunday’s beat down against the Browns. “But I’m not opposed to hurting anybody.” James Harrison was fined 75,000 dollars for helmet to helmet hits despite the fact that one of the hits was legal (Massaquoi Hit). Harrison gave Massaquoi and Cribbs a concussion on Sunday. That pretty much means to stay away from his side of the field the next time you get a chance. That’s the chance you probably don’t want to get. Anyway, below are waiver wire fantasy players I think you should take a look at and plug into your lineups this week if you need help at that position.
Wide Receiver Recovery List
1. Legadu Naane/Patrick Crayton – With Malcom Floyd out (Hamstring) and Antonio Gates questionable (toe and ankle) for week’s 7 matchup at home vs. the Patriots look for Phillip Rivers to do whatever it takes to march down the field. The reasons why these two receivers are on top of my list this week is because The Patriots rank 28th against the pass, these are two excellent passing teams playing against one another (time slows down due to incompletions, and a possible high scoring game), and you know Phillip Rivers is starting to go into panic mode losing to teams they shouldn’t be losing to and being behind in their division. I honestly think all of the wide receivers for the Chargers will have a good game, but I think these two guys have the best potential. I give Naane the edge if he’s at full strength. Monitor his status during the week and pickup Crayton or Buster Davis if Naane has any setbacks.
2. Deion Branch – “I haven’t felt this way in four years,” Deion Branch said after Sunday’s win over the Ravens. At 31 years old, Deion Branch looked like a young stud hauling in 9 receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown against one of the best pass defenses in the league. Despite the fact that Bill Belichick finds different ways to win every week, Deion Branch turned heads around and can be in for a consistent solid fantasy year with Tom Magnificent throwing him the ball.
3. Anthony Armstrong – Mike Shanahan said that he will be starting from now on in. Two weeks ago he had an incredible touchdown jumping over a defender and I will not give up on this kid. If you had him in your lineups this weekend in a ppr league, Armstrong still managed to pick up 9 points. Donovan loves to throw deep and this is the guy, their chemistry can only get better. Keep in mind Chris Cooley (Concussion) may not play or play limited if he does. The Redskins are going to need a spark against the Bears (18th against the pass) in week 7. Take a risk on him if you need to, he’s worth the shot.
4. Danario Alexander - Filling in the shoes for Mark Clayton who is out for the year is going to be difficult all year round, especially for rookie Sam Bradford. Bradford is doing quite an excellent job. Danario caught 4 passes for 78 yards and a touchdown in week 6 at home vs. the number one pass defense (Chargers). That’s pretty impression. I could be wrong but I think Bradford is just making the right throws. Chemistry still needs to be built amongst the recveivers he has to work with but Alexander seems to be the guy with the most potential. The Rams are playing against the Buccaneers this weekend and have to travel. The Buccaneers rank 16th against the pass but the Rams don’t fair too well when they play away this season. This is a risky start but he Alexander does have potential going forward in the season. Plug Alexander in your lineups with caution this weekend.
5. Mike Williams/Devin Hester/James Jones/Robert Meachem/Lee Evans /Harry Douglas – Cardinals rank 26th against the pass. Where has Devin Hester been all year in the passing game? Why not throw him in as a last minute flex player or wide receiver if you are desperate or too confident in your fantasy team this weekend. Hester is going against the 31st pass defense in the NFL in week 7, the Washington Redskins. Really? Yes, it’s true. James Jones can make a play with his talent, size, and catching abilities. With Jermichael Finley out for the year, I think James Jones is a safe 5-12 point a game going fantasy contributor going forward. If all of these players are out than take a risk on Meachem, Lee Evans, or Harry Douglas.
Running Back Recovery List
1. Danny Woodhead – I’ve said this for weeks now and now he is finally being talked about by everyone. He is fast, electric, and powerful at five feet nine inches. I will not forget to mention this again, the kid runs a 4.3 forty! Two passing teams playing against one another this weekend (Chargers vs. Patriots) in one of the best games of the week. If you are in a ppr league, this is the guy. I am benching Matt Forte for Danny Woodhead this weekend in one my leagues.
2. Chris Ivory – With Ladell Betts costing the Saints the game two weeks ago, (fumble and tipped ball for interception) it’s time to give this kid a chance. Pierre Thomas seems to be saying he will give his ankle a go this week. But the initial diagnosis has Pierre Thomas sidelined from 4-6 weeks. He has only served 3. Chris Ivory looked great last weekend and I don’t care about the Browns and their defensive stats (which are terrible). If Drew Brees is playing for the Saints, the Saints will still move the ball giving Ivory an opportunity. That’s all you’re going to need this weekend and you will see a couple against the Browns (23rd against the run, 21st against the pass). Chris Ivory may have a better game than Woodhead. It’s kind of a toss-up but monitor Pierre Thomas to make sure Ivory is a full go.
3. Willis McGahee – It’d be kind of foolish not to have him on your bench if you have Ray Rice. Word on the street is that the Ravens had no intent on trading McGahee before the trade deadline (Tuesday). The Ravens will go up against the worst rush defense in the league this year, the Buffalo Bills. I think Willis is a solid flex play rb2 this week. I don’t think I have a good reason to say why he is not.
4. Mike Tolbert/Keiland Williams– Mike Tolbert is still getting a good amount of touches each week and the Chargers are always ready to score. He is worth a shot in your lineups this weekend while Keiland Williams is more of a shot in the dark.
Quarterback Recovery List
1. Matt Hasselbeck – Seattle is home and they finally played well on the road last week, beating the Bears. The Hawks can be on to something? The Cardinals are 26th against the pass and the Seahawks really don’t have a good excuse to lose this game. They should be confident beating the Bears last weekend who are first in their division.
2. Bruce Gradkowski – Only if he is healthy (shoulder). He moves the ball during the game consistently. The Raiders love playing for him, he reminds me of Jeff Garcia as I have said in the past. I like to watch him play.
3. Josh Freeman – The Buccaneers play at home this weekend and should rebound against the Rams. I can picture Freeman throwing for a touchdown and if you’re lucky running for a touchdown too.
4. Alex Smith –He is improving significantly and no matter how many mistakes he makes, the Carolina Panthers will always make one more, giving Alex Smith yet another opportunity. Despite that Matt Moore will be under center for the Panthers and that they are 5th in passing defense, Alex Smith is still in do or die mode. If they don’t get this win expect David Carr to come in and replace Smith.
5. Matt Stafford – If you have a roster spot to fill in and need some qb depth. Grab him fast. The Lions are on a bye this weekend but if he can stay healthy (God willing) for the rest of the year than Stafford will go on a roll. They play the Redskins coming off their bye who are 31st against the pass this year. The stats are misleading considering the Redskins played the Colts, the Packers, and the Texans, but it is what it is. Stafford can move the ball.
Tight End Recovery List
1. Jeremy Shockey – He may be available on the waivers and could get some quality points against the Browns.
2. Johnny Carlson – He has the most upside but he has been staying in to block because he is a great blocker. If you think you are going to lose this weekend because you are out of options around the board, you might as well take a risk on someone with huge upside.
3. Bo Scaife - The Titans do play the Eagles, but they are at home. He may be a safer play than Shockey even though he really shouldn’t be.
4. Anthony Fasano – I’ve never seen someone run so slow after the catch and pick up a 22 yard touchdown before in my life, if he needed one more yard for the score, he probably wouldn’t have gotten it. HA! Just kidding, he had maybe about 5 more yards. Anthony Fasano is still a big target in the red zone and could see pay dirt again this week. Miami is playing at home against the Steelers defense in week 7 so Fasano might put up a goose egg. Use your own discretion.
Kicker Recovery List
1. Ryan Succop