The sixth week of the NFL season has now passed and fantasy business went as usual for many players. Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning threw for three touchdowns and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady tossed for four touchdowns. On the other hand, Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray destroyed the top-ranked rushing defense of the Seattle Seahawks, as he became the second running back in NFL history to rush for 100 yards in six straight games to open a season, joining Hall of Famer Jim Brown.
The NFL season is in full swing and you have a pretty good idea of how your fantasy team stacks up in your league, but advice can always help given the unpredictability of the NFL this season. That brings us to the Week 7 edition of the MTSU Sidelines: Start ‘Ems and Sit ‘Ems.
Start ‘Em of the Week: Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos: If you were fortunate enough to draft Peyton in your fantasy league, you’ve likely been doing pretty well this season, as he’s thrown for 1,530 yards, 15 touchdowns and only three interceptions. These are very typical Peyton Manning numbers, as he has now passed for 506 career touchdowns, a couple shy of tying the record of future Hall of Famer, Brett Favre.
Manning will likely shatter the record, as he is on pace to throw for 48 touchdowns this season. Not only will Manning be inspired to tie the record, but he will look to shatter it, and is poised for a big game against the San Francisco 49ers in Denver this week.
Start ‘Ems: Joe Flacco (BAL), Matthew Stafford (DET), Brian Hoyer (CLE), Carson Palmer (ARI)
Sit ‘Em of the Week: Eli Manning, New York Giants: After impressing in weeks four and five, Manning came back to Earth in week six with only 151 yards and no touchdowns against a putrid Philadelphia Eagles pass defense. This week he will go up against a Dallas Cowboys defense that kept Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s receivers out of the end zone and forced him to throw an interception. Eli will not have the assistance of receiver Victor Cruz, who will be out for the season with a knee injury. Do not start the younger Manning, as they will most likely have polar opposite days.
Sit ‘Ems: Drew Brees (NO), Derek Carr (OAK), Ryan Tannehill (MIA), Austin Davis (STL)
Sleeper of the Week: Kyle Orton, Buffalo Bills: Despite nearly retiring, Kyle Orton has been successful for the Buffalo Bills in the past two games, tossing for 607 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Now, he will face a Minnesota Vikings defense that has allowed 10 passing touchdowns, which could set Orton up for another good performance this weekend.
Start ‘Em of the Week: Justin Forsett, Baltimore Ravens: No one would have expected the former Seattle Seahawks running back to revitalize his career in Baltimore. He’s leading the team in rushing with 408 yards, 3 touchdowns and is averaging 6.4 yards per carry. Forsett is going up against the second worst rushing defense of the Atlanta Falcons, allowing 141.3 rushing yards per game. Forsett is set up for a big game.
Start ‘Ems: Eddie Lacy (GB), Alfred Morris (WAS), Andre Ellington (ARI), Arian Foster (HOU)
Sit ‘Em of the Week: Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders: McFadden is having a very poor season, especially after the acquisition of Maurice Jones-Drew. McFadden has rushed for 231 yards, a touchdown and has a 3.9 yards-per-carry average. This week, especially, will not be a good matchup for him as he faces the stingy Arizona Cardinals defense, who are allowing 75.8 yards per game on the ground. McFadden will be hard-pressed to find running lanes against the third-best run defense in the NFL.
Sit ‘Ems: Matt Asiata/Jerick McKinnon (MIN), Khiry Robinson/Pierre Thomas (NO), Zac Stacy (STL)
Sleeper of the Week: Fozzy Whittaker, Carolina Panthers: With DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart injured, Whittaker got nine carries for only 25 yards and a touchdown. While Stewart may be back for the week seven match up against the Green Bay Packers, who hold the worst rushing defense, Whittaker should still see a respectable number of carries. If your back is out on a bye, Whittaker could be a decent pickup for the week.
Start ‘Em of the Week: DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins: The former Eagles wide out had a quiet but great game in Washington’s loss to Arizona, with three receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown. Numbers like this could be replicated in week seven against a weak Tennessee Titans secondary. None of the Titans cornerbacks are athletic enough to keep up with the speedster, as the Titans are allowing 247 passing yards per game.
Start ‘Ems: Torrey Smith/Steve Smith Sr. (BAL), Doug Baldwin (SEA), Travis Benjamin (CLE), Brian Quick (STL)
Sit ‘Em of the Week: Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees and the Saints passing game aren’t on the same page so far this season. Now, they face a tough Detroit Lions defense, and Colston only has 15 receptions for 248 yards and a touchdown on the year. He was held to only three receptions for 63 yards against a horrible Tampa Bay defense, and it won’t get better against Detroit, who is allowing an average of 197 passing yards per game.
Sit ‘Ems: Eric Decker (NYJ), Dwayne Bowe (KC), Kelvin Benjamin (CAR)
Sleeper of the Week: Kenny Britt, St. Louis Rams: Kenny Britt has fallen a far way since his breakout season in 2011 with the Tennessee Titans, later going on to tear his ACL and his career taking a tailspin due to the injury. Since joining the Rams, Britt has only caught 9 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. The Rams face the Seahawks in week seven, who are allowing a surprisingly high 252 yards per game. Britt could emerge as a threat in this game as a solid target for Austin Davis with his large frame, which will be useful against the physically gifted Seattle secondary.
Start ‘Em of the Week: Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns: Cameron seems to have recovered from his injury as he racked up 102 yards and a touchdown in the Browns’ blowout of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now Cameron will face off against the lowly defense of the winless Jacksonville Jaguars. He’s an easy target for Brian Hoyer, who will have many opportunities to find holes in a porous Jacksonville defense that’s allowing 294 yards per game through the air.
Start ‘Ems: Travis Kelce (KC), Jordan Reed (WAS), Jason Witten (DAL)
Sit ‘Em of the Week: Owen Daniels, Baltimore Ravens: Daniels should be benched for the second game in a row for the same reason, he will most likely not be needed this week. Joe Flacco should be able to shred the Falcons defense through the air, and will not need to check down to Owen. Daniels isn’t a hybrid tight end, and remains a minimal part of the offense.
Sit ‘Ems: Luke Willson (SEA), Dwayne Allen (IND)
Sleeper of the Week: Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills: Apparently the Bills like to throw to Chandler when they face a tough defense. He caught six of his nine targets for 105 yards on Sunday against the New England Patriots, and he could see more targets from Kyle Orton against a slightly weaker Minnesota defense.
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