We are 7 weeks into the NFL season and only one winless team remains- the hapless Buffalo Doormats Bills. Joining them in futility with 1 win on the season are the Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and… the Dallas Cowboys?
Don’t bother rubbing your eyes or doing a double take. Yes, the Cowboys are 1-5 and things only got worse on Monday Night Football when Tony Romo (Hook’s QB sit of the week/predicted injury) broke his collar bone. The fractured clavicle will keep Romo out a bear minimum 6 weeks (I’m hearing it could be up to 10) making Jon Kitna a must add for all Romo owners. Kitna’s last productive season was in 2007-2008 where he threw for 4068 yards, 18 TDs and 20 INTs for the Detroit Lions. He’s got a plethora of talent to work with in big D and instantly becomes a top 12 fantasy QB. Oh, and he plays JAX at home in his first week of fulltime action. ‘Nuff said.
If anything positive came out of the Cowboys’ Monday Night debacle it was the emergence of Dez Bryant as an absolute stud on a national stage. With Miles Austin and Roy Williams (yes, that Roy Williams) having solid seasons, Dez has been overshadowed to a certain extent. Last night, Dez took a 93 yard punt to the hizzy and scored two more times in 4th quarter garbage time, but the way he scored them wasn’t trash. Dez ran solid routs and his massive hands engulfed the ball, much like a Calvin Johnson or Randy Moss. While Bryant is not a go to guy in fantasy just yet, look out for this guy next year. We’re talking top 15-20 WR territory with huge upside in 2011-2012.
As for the G-Men on Monday night, Eli Manning looked special. The Rain Man of NFL QBs threw for 306 yards and 4 scores, hooking up with several receivers throughout the game. His 3 picks, though, is what separates him from big brother Peyton and the other truly elite QBs. The main benefactor of Eli’s arm has been Hakeem Nicks. With 2 TDs on the night, Nicks now leads the NFL in touchdowns with 8 on the season (tied with Antonio Gates). He has certainly eclipsed Steve Smith as the Giants’ #1 WR who also had over 100 yards receiving and a TD Monday night. Manningham caught Eli’s 4th TD pass and Bradshaw/Jacobs ran all over the place as the Giants held on for a sloppy 41-35 victory.
The Giants pass rush has been absolutely decimating QBs throughout the league. In 7 weeks they have injured a total of 5 players and the amount of games these guys miss due to injury continues to pile up:
Week 1 vs Carolina- QB Matt Moore concussion
Week 2 vs Indianapolis-no injury
Week 3 vs Tennessee-no injury
Week 4 vs Chicago- made up for the last two weeks, QB Jay Cutler concussion, QB Todd Collins stinger
Week 5 vs Houston- no injury
Week 6 vs Detroit- QB Shaun Hill broken forearm
Week 7 vs Dallas- QB Tony Romo broken left collarbone
They’ve gone from concussing quarterbacks to breaking bones and there’s no end to the violence in sight. All the hits have been absolutely clean as this relentless pass rush takes no prisoners. If this D doesn’t strike fear into opposing QBs, I don’t know what will.
Let’s take the DeLorean up to 88mph and go back to the Sunday Week 7 games. The drama and fantasy implications of Monday Night Football had me itching to talk about it, but there was plenty of action on Sunday as well. We had several games go over 60 total points scored (the Raiders put up 59 on their own) and there were plenty of upsets. Drew Brees gave the game away with 4 INTs as the Saints lost to a sub-par Cleveland squad. It took overtime for Baltimore to put away the league doormats as Buffalo lost in typical Buffalo fashion. Pittsburgh had a controversial call go their way in their 1 point win over Miami and the San Diego receivers gave the game away to New England.
The Chargers/Pats game was by far the most painful to watch this week as San Diego turned the ball over 4 times in the first half, 2 of which were unforced. Whether it was rookie receivers leaving the ball on the turf or wideouts letting lateral passes fall on the ground for fumbles, an unfocused San Diego offense blew this game. To put the cherry on the cake, the Chargers had a chance to tie the game late with a 45 yard field goal, only to get a 5 yard false start penalty which lead to Kris Brown plunking the ball off of the upright on a 50 yard attempt. Game over, Pats win and the Chargers suck their way to a 2-5 start.
As for the Sunday Night game, the NFL’s obsession with Bret Favre continued in this back and forth battle. Once again it was Favre’s inability to protect the football that lead to his team’s demise. Just like 3 dong pics can cost you a marriage, 3 interceptions (including a crucial pick 6) will cost you a win. Favre left the game banged up with two fractures in his ankle (won’t require surgery) and his amazing 291 consecutive played games streak may be coming to an end.
With these huge scores in Week 7 we had several fantasy studs, and by studs I mean guys that basically won the week for you on their own. Sadly for fantasy teams worldwide, some of these studs were surely left on the bench/waiver wire. Darren McFadden was listed as probable and scored 4 touchdowns with 196 all purpose yards. Kenny Britt is a benchwarmer on many teams that decided to catch 7 balls for 225 yards and 3 TDs. Lee Evans (still available in 64% of Yahoo! Leagues) scored 3 TDS on 105 yards receiving. Cincy WR Jordan Shipley (available in 95% of Yahoo! leagues) had 131 yards and a score also. Rounding out the unknown fantasy dimes of the week were Carolina’s David Gettis (125 yards receiving, 2 TDs) and Buffalo’s Steve Johnson (158 yards 1 TD) and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (backing up a solid Week 6 with 374 yards, 4 TDs 2INTs).
The starters that blew up this week include 2nd round fantasy draft pick Roddy White (11 rec, 201 yards 2 TDs and a 2pt conversion), Michael Turner (144 yards 2 TDs), AP (172 yards 1 TD), Hakeem Nicks (108 yards 2 TDs), Dwayne Bowe (81 yards 2 TDs) and Hines Ward (131 yards 1 TD). Carson Palmer and Matt Ryan threw for 3 TDs in a slugfest, and we already talked about Eli’s great game. It’s safe to say that if you had any 2 of these guys in your lineup, you won your Week 7 fantasy matchup.
On the flip side, there were several duds this week. The Week 7 grenades and landmines were headlined by underachieving quarterbacks, including Tony Romo (told you to sit him… fear the podcast), Brett Favre and Kevin Kolb. Tom Brady’s numbers suffered due to the Chargers futility (tough to throw for solid yards when the other team gives you 20 yards to work with every possession) and Jay Cutler sucked his way to a 4 INT performance, all to Dante Hall. It was also a tough week for the likes of Miles Austin, Larry Fitzgerald, Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd. These guys couldn’t seem to get anything going. DeAngelo Williams’ struggles continue and Rashard Mendenhall was Hook’s grenade of the week with only 37 yards rushing and a fumble lost.
That wraps it up for Week 7 of the NFL season. Check out Hook’s Must Adds, Must Drops, and other players to keep an eye on going into Week 8
Must Add: Jon Kitna (QB DAL), Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB BUF), Steve Johnson (WR BUF, probably no longer available), Kenny Britt (WR TEN, see Steve Johnson)
Must Drop: Tony Romo (QB DAL), Marion Barber (RB DAL),
Keep an Eye on: James Jones (WR GB), David Gettis (WR CAR), Blair White (WR IND), Jacob Tamme (TE IND), Brody Eldridge (TE IND) one of these last 3 guys is going to get a bump from Dallas Clark being out.