Starts, Sits & Smashes

Here’s the pregame rundown before we get to business…

SUNDAY GAMEDAY LIVE CHAT

I’ll be hosting a rapid-fire fantasy live chat from 10:30am to 11:30am eastern this Sunday morning. The usual topics up for debate include Starts & Sits, injury updates, weather reports and our locks/predictions.

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SURVIVOR SMASH: WEEK 7

I put an end to this segment in last week’s column, but after hinting that the Bengals were a decent play in Week 6, I’ve decided to give it another go.

For those of you who still have them available, the Cowboys are your survivor lock of the week. For those who need to dig a bit deeper, why not roll the dice on the Denver Broncos?

POINT SPREAD SMASH OF THE WEEK

Current Record: 3-2 (no pick in Week 2)

Last week’s selection: Cincinnati/Indianapolis OVER (40.5): WIN

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (-1.5) at New York Jets: The Chargers are 4-1, coming off the bye and have the league’s ninth-ranked rushing offense. The Jets are 3-3, coming into this one on short rest and have the league’s 28th-ranked run defense. I’ll take a guy like Philip Rivers over a guy like Mark Sanchez all day long.

CLICK HERE to check out the rest of the Week 6 lines.

Bye Week: Bills, Bengals, Patriots, Giants, Eagles, 49ers

START ‘EM UP

Tim TebowTebow's ability to create plays with his legs is a big plus.

Tim Tebow, QB, Denver Broncos (at Miami): We have no problem buying into the Tebow hype, especially when it comes to a Week 7 date against Miami. The Dolphins currently rank 29th in the NFL against the pass (284.0 yds/gm) and are surrendering an average of 24.0 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (3rd-most in NFL). Remember, the Broncos are coming off the bye and Tebow’s 2008 National Championship team is scheduled to be honored at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday. This is going to be a pro-Tebow crowd.

The line: Miami -1/41.5

Vegas notes: Miami is 1-9 in their last ten home games and 0-7-1 against the spread in their last eight games overall.

The pick: Broncos +1

DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys (vs. St. Louis): If you acquired him off the waiver wire this past week you might as well go the distance and put Murray in your starting lineup as well. St. Louis is a bad football team, as evidenced by the facts that they currently rank dead last in the NFL against the run (161.8 yds/gm) and are giving up an average of 22.9 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (4th-most in NFL). This has all the makings of a coming out party for the rookie from Oklahoma.

The line: Dallas -13/43.5

Vegas notes: The Rams are averaging a pitiful 9.8 points per game (32nd in NFL) and have yet to cover a spread this season.

The pick: UNDER 43.5

Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts (at New Orleans): Wayne has been a real disappointment for fantasy owners this season as the 11-year veteran has recorded just one touchdown to date. However, the upside here is that he takes on a New Orleans Saints defense Sunday night that is surrendering 256.3 passing yards (19th in NFL) and 25.5 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers this season (9th-most in NFL). Fellow Indy wideout Pierre Garcon may see more targets, but we’re still comfortable recommending Wayne as a WR2 for Week 7.

The line: New Orleans -14/48

Vegas notes: The Colts are 2-6 against the spread in their last eight games overall, while the Saints are 5-1 against the spread in their last six home games.

The pick: No play. That’s just too many points to lay.

Kellen Winslow, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Chicago in London): Winslow’s another guy who has underperformed in the eyes of many so far this season, but with six teams and a host of talented tight ends on the bye this weekend, the former Miami product makes for a respectable situational start. As long as the weather holds up in London, Winslow gets a crack at a Chicago Bears defense on Sunday that is surrendering more points to opposing tight ends this season than any other team in the league (12.5 pts/gm). If he can’t get it done this week, Winslow isn’t worthy of a roster spot moving forward.

The line: Chicago -1/43

Vegas notes: The Buccaneers actually opened the week as a 1.5-point favorite, but that line was quickly bet to Chicago -1 by those who like to get their action down early.

The pick: Buccaneers +1. I think Tampa has an advantage in this one having played in the London game two years ago.

Dallas Cowboys, D/ST (vs. St. Louis): New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has made a big impact on this unit, as the Cowboys went from the 23rd ranked defense in the league in 2010 (351.8 yds/gm) to the 5th ranked defense in the league (307.6 yds/gm) through six weeks. Couple that with the fact that the ‘Boys play host to a St. Louis Rams offense that is averaging just 9.8 points per game this season and you have yourself a fantasy must start.

The line: Dallas -13/43.5

Vegas notes: This game opened at Dallas -10.5 and was quickly bet up to Dallas -13, meaning the early bettors are expecting a Cowboys blowout.

The pick: Already made above (UNDER 43.5).

Ben RoethlisbergerBig Ben shouldn't have much trouble with Arizona's defense.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Arizona): Big Ben is averaging 262.6 passing yards per game this season and has thrown six touchdown passes over his last two starts. Expect more of the same Sunday at the Big Toaster against a Cardinals defense that is surrendering an average of 21.8 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (11th-most in NFL).

The line: Pittsburgh -4/43

Vegas notes: The Steelers are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games following an against the spread loss, while the Cardinals are 1-4 against the spread in their last five games against a team with a winning record.

The pick: UNDER 43

Maurice Morris, RB, Detroit Lions (vs. Atlanta): Another Week 7 waiver wire special, Morris is in line for a plethora of touches Sunday against Atlanta now that A) Jahvid Best is out with a concussion and B) the Ronnie Brown trade was vetoed due to Jerome Harrison’s health issues. We don’t expect a monster effort from Morris, but we do think he makes for a solid RB2/flex option against a Falcons defense that is giving up an average of 17.6 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs.

The line: Detroit -3.5/47.5

Vegas notes: The Lions are 5-1 against the spread in their last six home games while the Falcons are 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games overall. Keep in mind that Matt Ryan is completing just 58.4% of his passes and has a QB rating of 79.9 in 27 career road games.

The pick: Lions -3.5 (but this is just a lean).

Brandon Marshall, WR, Miami Dolphins (vs. Denver): He made plenty of mistakes last Monday night against the New York Jets, but Marshall still amassed 109 receiving yards on a season-high 13 targets. While he hasn’t found the end zone since Week 2, we like his chances Sunday against a Denver Broncos team that ranks 22nd in the NFL against the pass (262.4 yds/gm) and is currently surrendering an average of 29.2 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers (3rd-most in NFL).

The line: Miami -1/41.5

Vegas notes: The OVER is 7-1 in the Broncos’ last eight games played in the month of October and 7-0 in the Dolphins’ last seven games played in Week 7. (Hooray for stats!)

The pick: Already made above (Broncos +1).

SIT ‘EM DOWN

Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons (at Detroit): We touched on this above, but it’s worth repeating here in case you missed it: In 27 career road games, Ryan is completing only 58.4% of his attempts, is averaging just 1.3 touchdown passes per game and has a QB rating of 79.9. Throw in the fact that the Lions are surrendering just 14.7 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (5th-fewest in NFL) and you have a recipe for disaster.

The line: Detroit -3.5/47.5

Vegas notes: The UNDER is 4-0 in the last four meetings between these two teams in Detroit.

The pick: Already made above (Lions -3.5, but this is just a lean).

Maurice Jones-DrewICONMJD has a tough matchup with Ray Ray and the Ravens on Monday night.

Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Baltimore): MJD’s posted some consistent rushing totals this season, but the Pro Bowl running back has only found the end zone one time in his last five starts. He’ll get the touches on Monday night, but we’re concerned that Jones-Drew won’t have much to work with against a Ravens defense that currently ranks third in the NFL against the run (76.6 yds/gm) and is giving up an average of only 10.8 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (2nd-fewest in NFL). This is not a good matchup.

The line: Baltimore -8/39.5

Vegas notes: The OVER is 5-1 in the Ravens’ last six games overall and 12-5 in the Jaguars’ last 17 games against AFC opponents.

The pick: OVER 39.5

Vincent Jackson, WR, San Diego Chargers (at New York Jets): He’s headed to Revis Island. Do you really need to hear anything else?

The line: San Diego -1.5/43.5

Vegas notes: The Chargers are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games as a road favorite of 0.5-3.0, while the Jets are 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games overall.

The pick: Chargers -1.5

Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Detroit Lions (vs. Atlanta): Pettigrew has found the end zone in each of his last two starts, but runs into an Atlanta defense this Sunday that has done a nice job of limiting opposing tight ends so far this season. On the year, the Falcons are surrendering only 6.6 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends (10th-fewest in NFL), so we think you’d be better served going with another option.

The line: Detroit -3.5/47.5

Vegas notes: We’ve covered this game twice already.

The pick: Already made above (Lions -3.5, but this is just a lean).

Tennessee Titans, D/ST (vs. Houston): Even after their disastrous performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers back in Week 5, the Tennessee D/ST still ranks in the top-13 in fantasy scoring in standard scoring formats. Consider this a warning for any of you who were getting ready to test the waters with this unit coming off the bye, as opposing D/STs are averaging just 6.3 fantasy points per game against the Houston Texans this season (fourth-fewest in NFL).

The line: Tennessee -3/44.5

Vegas notes: The Texans are 1-4 against the spread in their last five games at Tennessee.

The pick: I don’t have a feel for this game, but the Big Puma has been telling me all week that he loves the OVER, so we’ll go ahead and back that.

Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers (vs. Washington): After an unbelievably hot start, Newton has slowed down a bit over the last two weeks, as the rookie phenom has thrown four interceptions and is averaging just 230.5 passing yards over his last two starts. Not bad, but keep in mind that the Washington Redskins have done a terrific job of limiting opposing quarterbacks this year, as evidenced by the fact that this defense is giving up an average of just 16.1 fantasy points per game to opposing signal-callers (7th-fewest in NFL). Newton isn’t a terrible Week 7 play, but for those of you with better options, we advise you to look elsewhere for your quarterback needs.

The line: Carolina -2.5/43

Vegas notes: The UNDER is 4-0 in the Redskins’ last four games overall and 10-2 in the Panthers’ last 12 games played in Week 7.

The pick: UNDER 43

Shonn GreeneIt's time to move Greene back to the bench.

Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets (vs. San Diego): The former Iowa bulldozer has found the end zone just twice this season and has yet to rush for more than 85 yards in a game. Not good. But for those of you who are still holding out hope that Greene will develop into the stud we all hoped for on draft day (like myself), keep in mind that the Chargers are surrendering an average of only 15.6 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season (5th-fewest in NFL). It’s time to put Greene back on the bench.

The line: San Diego -1.5/43.5

Vegas notes: The OVER is 18-6-2 in the Chargers’ last 26 games as a road favorite and 6-1 in the Jets’ last seven games following an against the spread win.

The pick: Already made above (Chargers -1.5).

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals (vs. Pittsburgh): We all know that Fitz is an absolute beast, but the inconsistencies in Arizona are killing him. The Pro Bowl wideout has found the end zone only twice this year and his quarterback is likely going to be running for his life Sunday when the vicious Pittsburgh pass rush comes to town. The Steelers are surrendering fewer fantasy points to opposing wide receivers than any other team in the league this season (12.7 pts/gm), so you might want to start looking for an alternative start in Week 7.

The line: Pittsburgh -4/43

Vegas notes: The UNDER is 5-1 in the Steelers’ last six games following an against the spread loss and 5-1 in the Cardinals’ last six games following a bye week.

The pick: Already made above (UNDER 43)

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Upcoming Games

Nov 29th, 1:00 PM

Carolina +3.5 -110

Minnesota -3.5 -110

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Nov 29th, 1:00 PM

Tennessee +3 -120

Indianapolis -3 -120

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Nov 29th, 1:00 PM

Arizona -1.5 -110

New England +1.5 -110

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Nov 29th, 1:00 PM

Cleveland -6.5 -110

Jacksonville +6.5 -110

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Nov 29th, 1:00 PM

Miami -7 -115

NY Jets +7 -115

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Nov 29th, 1:00 PM

Las Vegas -3 -110

Atlanta +3 -110

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Nov 29th, 1:00 PM

NY Giants -6 -110

Cincinnati +6 -110

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Nov 29th, 1:00 PM

LA Chargers +5 -110

Buffalo -5 -110

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Nov 29th, 1:15 PM

Baltimore +4.5 -110

Pittsburgh -4.5 -110

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Nov 29th, 4:05 PM

San Francisco +6.5 -110

LA Rams -6.5 -110

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Nov 29th, 4:05 PM

New Orleans -6 -110

Denver +6 -110

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Nov 29th, 4:25 PM

Kansas City -3.5 -110

Tampa Bay +3.5 -110

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Nov 29th, 8:20 PM

Chicago +8.5 -110

Green Bay -8.5 -110

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Nov 30th, 8:15 PM

Seattle -5 -110

Philadelphia +5 -110

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Dec 3rd, 8:20 PM

Dallas +7 -110

Baltimore -7 -110

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Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Cleveland +3 -120

Tennessee -3 -120

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Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Indianapolis -3.5 -110

Houston +3.5 -110

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Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Detroit +5.5 -105

Chicago -5.5 -105

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Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Jacksonville +9 -110

Minnesota -9 -110

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Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Las Vegas -8 -110

NY Jets +8 -110

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Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

New Orleans -3.5 -120

Atlanta +3.5 -120

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Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Washington +10.5 -110

Pittsburgh -10.5 -110

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Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Cincinnati +10.5 -110

Miami -10.5 -110

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Dec 6th, 4:05 PM

NY Giants +7.5 -110

Seattle -7.5 -110

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Dec 6th, 4:05 PM

LA Rams -1.5 -111

Arizona +1.5 -111

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Dec 6th, 4:25 PM

New England +2.5 -110

LA Chargers -2.5 -110

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Dec 6th, 4:25 PM

Philadelphia +7.5 -105

Green Bay -7.5 -105

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Dec 6th, 8:20 PM

Denver +13 -110

Kansas City -13 -110

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