Hits & Misses – Week 7: New England heads to Old England

Here are our “Hits” and “Misses” for week seven, listing players you want to make sure are in your lineup, as well as those you might consider shelving for the week (or at least lowering your expectations!) This week I’ve again tried to leave off the most obvious picks, such as Peyton Manning’s dream match-up against the Rams, so that the list only includes players you may have been scratching your head about starting this week. Also, not to get too far off topic, but the Patriots head to London this week to play the Buccaneers, which got me thinking…is the team name “New England Patriots” offensive to the British? I mean, they ARE the nation that we were being patriots against in the first place! Anyways, I guess we’ll let some of our readers from the U.K. comment on that, so let’s get into the hits and misses for the week…

Quarterback
Hits
Misses
Philip Rivers, Chargers @ KC – Rivers has had a pretty tough schedule pass defense-wise, yet he still continues to produce. This week he is rewarded for his good work with a match-up against a Chiefs defense that has been torched by every decent quarterback they’ve played this year. Brett Favre, Vikings @ PIT – With Troy Polamalu back, the Steelers defense should quickly become one of the better pass defenses in the league. While Favre has been amazing this year, this could be a week where he takes a minor setback.
Jay Cutler, Bears @ CIN – The Bengals defense had been doing alright until Matt Schaub came to Cincinnati last week and carved them up to the tune of 392 yards and four touchdowns! Cutler won’t pass for all that yardage, but I have a feeling he’ll throw for a few touchdowns. Mark Sanchez, Jets @ OAK – The Raiders limited Donovan McNabb and the high-flying Philly offense last week to zero passing scores and this week Sanchez, fresh off a five interception debacle, comes to town. Even the biggest Jets homers can’t possibly have him in their starting line-up this week.
Matt Ryan, Falcons @ DAL – The Cowboys gave up about 250 yards passing and two touchdowns to Kyle Orton and Matt Cassel. If you believe Matt Ryan is a bit more talented than those two (as I do), then there’s a good chance he’ll at least match those numbers this week. Chad Henne, Dolphins vs NO – Henne has gotten better with each game this year, but coming off the bye he’ll have to play a Saints team that is firing on all cylinders. If the Dolphins stand a chance in this one, it’ll be due to a lot of Wildcat formations and clock-burning…not a lot of deep passing.
Running Back
Hits
Misses
DeAngelo Williams, Panthers vs BUF – The Panthers running game came alive in a big way last week against Tampa Bay and now they play a Bills team that was just run over by Thomas Jones. Expect a big day for both Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Adrian Peterson, Vikings @ PIT – Peterson has been solid so far this year as the Vikings have beat up every defense they’ve encountered. However, they now play a staunch Steelers defense…IN Pittsburgh. There’s no way your benching Purple Jesus, but this may be a week where you need other guys on your team to step up and do their part.
LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers @ KC – LT wasn’t happy about being pulled when the Chargers got to the goal-line last week and this Sunday the coaching won’t make the same mistake. Expect a big day from a guy who was usually a lock in the RB1 spot, but who is now an alternate RB2 for most teams. Brandon Jacobs, Giants vs ARI – His numbers have been in decline for the past three weeks and the Cardinals have only allowed one team to rush for over 100 yards on them this year. I don’t expect Jacobs to be the second.
Laurence Maroney, Patriots “@” TB – Maroney was great in the snow against the Titans, rushing for 123 yards and a touchdown. With Sammy Morris banged up, he should get another chance to strut his stuff against a weak Bucs defense that rolled over for the Panthers last week. Jamal Lewis, Browns vs GB – Against the Steelers last week Lewis rushed for a whopping 21 yards on 11 carries. While I’m sure his numbers will be slightly better this week, they still won’t be good enough for you to want him in your line-up.
Wide Receiver
Hits
Misses
Randy Moss & Wes Welker, Patriots “@” TB – I have a feeling that the Brit’s are in for a show when “New” England comes to town this Sunday and a big part of that is going to be the Brady-to-Moss-and-Welker Show. Both receivers went off against the Titans last week and while the conditions won’t be so nice in London, their numbers should be nearly as good. Santana Moss, Redskins vs PHI – One catch against the Chiefs last week was not what fantasy owners were hoping for from Santana. This week he plays a much better defense and probably makes a good bench warmer for your team if you have other options.
Vincent Jackson, Chargers @ KC – After being listed on the “miss” list multiple times this season (and usually proving me wrong!) V-Jax has earned his stripes and gets rewarded with a game against the Chiefs. Expect big things from the big man this week. Terrell Owens, Bills @ CAR – I’ll be one of the first to admit that I completely overrated T.O. coming into this season. I thought he and Lee Evans would be a great receiving duo that would let Trent Edwards step up his game to the next level…but I was very wrong. Edwards is now hurt and is unlikely to play Sunday, but either way, I’m not starting T.O. this week.
Roddy White, Falcons @ DAL – Over the past two weeks White has racked up 266 yards and three touchdowns and is finally putting up the kind of numbers you expected from your WR1. Expect him to continue his hot-streak against a Cowboys defense that hasn’t been all that great against the pass this year. Roy Williams, Cowboys vs ATL – There’s a chance that Williams might not even play this week, but even if he does, he shouldn’t be in your line-up if possible. The Falcons have only allowed one wide receiver to find the endzone this year and it appears that Tony Romo has found a new favorite target with Miles Austin anyways.
Tight End
Hits
Misses
Heath Miller, Steelers vs MIN – Miller has four touchdowns over the past three games and the Vikings have given up over 500 yards and four scores to the tight end position this year. Sounds like a good match-up to me. Vernon Davis, 49ers @ HOU – Although the Texans haven’t played too many big name tight ends this season, they’ve been great at limiting the production from that position. With no touchdowns allowed to an opposing TE this year, I don’t expect Vernon Davis to be the first.