Our weekly GameDay live chat kicks off on Sunday morning at 10:30am eastern and runs for an hour. Bring any and all fantasy/gambling questions you may have and we’ll be sure to answer them rapid-fire style.
FADE OF THE WEEK (Season: 2-4)
Last week: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-4.5) vs. New York Giants (loss)
CAROLINA PANTHERS (+2.5) vs. Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys came off the bye looking to right the ship but still came up short at Baltimore last week. Why this team is favored on the road at Carolina (who is coming off the bye) is beyond me, which is why we’ll back the home NFC dog in this spot.
LVH SUPERCONTEST SELECTIONS
Last week’s 3-2 effort puts our overall total at 13-17 on the season. Good thing I still have my day job.
CAROLINA PANTHERS (+2.5) vs. Dallas Cowboys
ST. LOUIS RAMS (+5.5) vs. Green Bay Packers
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (+2.5) vs. New Orleans Saints
CINCINNATI BENGALS (+2.5) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
HOUSTON TEXANS (-6.5) vs. Baltimore Ravens
CLICK HERE to check out all of the Week 7 lines.
SURVIVOR SMASH FOR WEEK 7
We’re 5-1 on the season after the Falcons found a way to grind out a victory over the Oakland Raiders last Sunday. Between the teams on the bye, the Week 7 schedule and the squads we’ve already used up, this is our toughest challenge yet.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS over Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals are averaging less than 12 points per game on the road this season, while the Vikings are surrendering just 14.3 points per home contest in 2012.
Teams used prior to this week: Detroit, New England, Chicago, Green Bay, NY Giants, Atlanta
FANDUEL WEEK 7 SALARY CAP CHALLENGE
You guys have been laying the wood over the last few weeks so I’m out for redemption this Sunday. $2 entry fee, $1,000 prize pool and, as usual, bragging rights over Bowen and myself if you can roll up more points.
CLICK HERE to enter.
START ‘EM UP
Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Saints): Freeman has thrown five touchdown passes with no interceptions and is completing 68.3% of his passes over his last three starts against the Saints, which have resulted in two Tampa Bay victories. On the season, New Orleans currently ranks 26th in the NFL against the pass (283.2 yds/gm) and is surrendering an average of 24.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (fifth-most in NFL). If you’re in a pinch at the QB position this Sunday, Freeman’s your guy.
Felix Jones, RB, Dallas Cowboys (at Panthers): Jones rolled up 92 rushing yards and a score on 18 carries last Sunday at Baltimore and now gets his first start of the season Sunday at Carolina due to DeMarco Murray’s recently sustained foot injury. The Cowboys are struggling this season, but the game plan for Week 7 should feature a heavy dose of the ground & pound against a Panthers team that ranks 23rd in the NFL against the run (127.4 yds/gm) and is giving up an average of 24.3 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season (sixth-most in NFL).
Wayne's 70 targets have him tied for the NFL lead.
Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Browns): The former Pro Bowler is currently tied for the NFL lead in targets, with 70, meaning rookie quarterback Andrew Luck absolutely loves throwing the rock his way. That’s excellent news for Sunday, as the Colts play host to a Browns team that ranks 30th in the NFL against the pass (294.2 yds/gm) and is surrendering an average of 33.5 fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts (second-most in NFL). If the Colts can execute the game plan, Wayne should record a monster stat line.
C.J. Spiller & Fred Jackson, RBs, Buffalo Bills (vs. Titans): Yes, they’ll be splitting carries by rotating every two offensive series’, but Spiller and Jackson should both roll up some solid numbers against the Titans this weekend. Why? Tennessee has been dreadful on defense in 2012 and currently ranks 24th in the league against the run (129.5 yds/gm) while surrendering an average of 24.4 fantasy points per contest to opposing running backs (fourth-most in NFL). Spiller and Jackson are both worthy of a starting roster spot as RB2s for Week 7.
Kenny Britt, WR, Tennessee Titans (at Bills): Despite his less than stellar hands, Britt’s Week 6 stat line against the Steelers (4-62-1, 11 targets) had to have fantasy owners smiling. With extra rest, the former Rutgers standout and his Titan teammates head to Buffalo in Week 7 for a showdown with a Bills squad that currently ranks 20th in the NFL against the pass (256.3 yds/gm) and is giving up an average of 28.6 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers this season (fourth-most in NFL). This is a great matchup for both Britt and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
Martellus Bennett, TE, New York Giants (vs. Redskins): After scoring three touchdowns in his first three starts of the season, Bennett has cooled off a bit in recent weeks, recording just five receptions for 41 yards over his last three games. But Week 7 offers up a great bounce-back opportunity for the former Cowboy, as Big Blue welcomes in the Washington Redskins and a defense that is surrendering an average of 12.5 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends in 2012 (second-most in NFL). Take note that the ‘Skins have already given up five touchdowns to opposing tight ends this year.
Minnesota Vikings, D/ST (vs. Cardinals): The Vikings are 3-0 at home this season while giving up an average of just 14.3 points per game with seven sacks and six forced turnovers. Clearly, the dome is where the heart is. On the flip side, here comes a John Skelton-led Arizona offense that is averaging only 11.5 points per game on the road in 2012 with three turnovers and 11 sacks surrendered. With an over/under of just 40 in Las Vegas, clearly the bookmakers are expecting this to be more of a defensive struggle.
SIT ‘EM DOWN
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions (at Bears): Stafford’s already served his bye week, so take this for what it’s worth. But the Detroit quarterback currently ranks just 18th in fantasy scoring at the quarterback position and has thrown only four touchdown passes to five interceptions in five games. Throw in a Monday night road game against a Chicago Bears team that ranks first in the league in scoring defense (14.2 pts/gm) and is surrendering an average of fewer fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than any other team in the league this year (12.7 pts/gm) and you have an obvious sit situation.
One good week doesn't mean Greene should be back in your starting lineup.
Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets (vs. Patriots): Yeah, Greene turned some heads with last week’s 161-yard effort that included three touchdowns, but let’s face facts here: The four-year veteran is still averaging only 3.5 yards per carry this year and had found the end zone only once prior to last weekend. We don’t see Greene staying hot, especially when you look at the fact that New England ranks fifth in the NFL against the run in 2012 (82.7 yds/gm) and is surrendering an average of only 12.7 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (seventh-fewest in NFL).
Steve Smith, WR, Carolina Panthers (vs. Cowboys): Five starts, no touchdowns and a receiving average of just 77.6 yards per game in 2012. That doesn’t sound like a very productive wide receiver now, does it? Smith may be coming off the bye, but the Cowboys still rank 2nd in the NFL against the pass (181.6 yds/gm) while giving up an average of just 16.4 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers (third-fewest in NFL). Leave Smith on the bench for Week 7.
All Arizona Cardinals running backs (at Minnesota): I don’t care who is getting the carries for the Cardinals these days. Arizona ranks 27th in the league in rushing (83.2 yds/gm), 26th in scoring (18.3 pts/gm) and has to face a Minnesota defense on the road this Sunday that is giving up an average of just 10.9 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season (third-fewest in NFL). Oh yeah, this is a really bad offensive line. Leave these guys on the bench.
Brandon Lloyd, WR, New England Patriots (at NY Jets): Through six starts this season, Lloyd has topped 80 receiving yards in a game just once and has only one trip to the end zone to show for his 34 receptions. He hasn’t been a bust, but those numbers warrant a spot on the bench Sunday against a Jets defense that ranks 6th in the NFL against the pass (209.3 yds/gm) while giving up an average of just 16.7 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers (fourth-fewest in NFL). There are better options out there.
Fred Davis, TE, Washington Redskins (vs. NY Giants): For all of the statistics that quarterback Robert Griffin III is rolling up this season, very little of that is trickling down to Davis. The Washington tight end has yet to score a touchdown this season and is averaging just 52 receiving yards per game through six starts. Leave him on the bench Sunday against the Giants, who are giving up an average of just 4.9 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this year (t-third-fewest in NFL).
Baltimore Ravens, D/ST (at Texans): Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb are out for the season, while nose tackle Haloti Ngata enters this one at less than 100% after spraining his MCL in last Sunday’s win over Dallas. With a depleted defensive unit, we aren’t all that comfortable inserting the Ravens into the starting lineup against a Houston offense that is scoring an average of 28.8 points per game this season (fifth-most in NFL).
Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh