Week 7 Fantasy Football Start/Sit:
After six extremely unpredictable weeks of the 2009 NFL season, we are all faced once again with the challenge of predicting our fantasy outcomes. Luckily for you, we take pride in doing that job for you.
Quit sweating over which guys to start or leave to potentially waste away on your bench. Let Wayne Makela sway you with this week’s Start/Sit column:
QB Jay Cutler, CHI @ CIN
After the Week One debacle at Lambeau (4 INT), Cutler has been consistent in his following four appearances (9 TDs and 3 INTs). After coming off a tough loss to Atlanta on Sunday night, the Bears will look to rebound by beating the Bengals through the air.
Besides, it is not a Sunday night game, in which the Bears are 0-2. When they don’t play on Sunday night? Try 3-0 with Culter averaging 208 pass yards, 2.3 TDs, and 0.3 INTs per game in day games.
Prediction: 23-31, 260 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
RB Steve Slaton, HOU vs. SF
Slaton was very effective in the Houston passing game last week, which can only mean that the Texans offensive machine is finally nearing it’s full potential. As Schaub continues to air it out and beat defenses, softer run defenses will allow Slaton to pick up more big gains on the ground on a consistent basis. Not to mention, besides Ray Rice and Brian Westbrook, Slaton is next to none as a receiving RB.
Prediction: 15 att, 79 yds 1 TD, 5 rec, 57 yds, 1 TD
WR Hines Ward, PIT vs. MIN
Ward is leading the league in yards, but that’s not the reason to start him this week against the Vikings. The Vikings have a very aggressive defensive line, which will leave quick routes and slants open to Ben Roethlisberger. The absence of Minnesota Pro Bowl corner Antoine Winfield doesn’t hurt, either.
Prediction: 8 rec, 110 yds, 1 TD
TE Jermichael Finley, GB @ CLE
Finley had his coming out party against the Vikings in “Favre Bowl I”. He has put up respectable numbers in the last two weeks, and with Donald Lee’s drop problems, the Packers are looking to get the ball more to their most dependable tight end. Finley is a freakishly athletic tight end, too, which you can expect Aaron Rodgers to take advantage of against the lowly Browns.
Prediction: 5 rec, 80 yds, 1 TD
QB Eli Manning, NYG vs. ARZ
Manning will be facing an Arizona defense that has improved drastically since the first few weeks of the NFL season. Add in Manning’s injury plague and potentially windy, cold conditions on Sunday night and it could be a recipe for disaster for the Giants’ offense.
Prediction: 18-33, 210 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
RB Ronnie Brown, MIA vs. NO
Ronnie Brown has probably been the surprise fantasy back of the year so far. Even with splitting time with Ricky Williams, Brown has still amassed 101 YPG and 1.2 TD/G. However, the Saints are for real this year, and their defense, while still a bit shaky at times, has grown to be a top 10 unit. He and Williams may find some success, but it won’t be what you’re hoping for.
Prediction: 13 att, 44 yds, 0 TD, 3 rec, 18 yds, 0 TD
WR Chad Ochocinco, CIN vs. CHI
The Bears will be keying in on stopping ex-teammate Cedric Benson, which most fantasy owners think would be a plus for 85. However, if the Bengals can’t establish the running game, the whole offense is going to suffer, and thus Ochocinco (and the Bengals) may have a miserable time Sunday afternoon.
Prediction: 3 rec, 45 yds, 0 TD
TE Visanthe Shiancoe MIN @ PIT
Shiancoe has been Favre’s favorite red zone target so far this year. The game between Minnesota and Pittsburgh on Sunday may require one team to go to the air more often for most of the game. If the Vikings get the lead early, they will probably try to establish the run and then use short screens and slants to wide receivers to pick up first downs. If the Vikings do get in the Red Zone, the red-hot Shiancoe will be the focus of the Steel Curtain defense.
Prediction: 3 rec, 30 yds, 0 TD
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