By: Alan Squatrito
Falcons vs. Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals travel to the Georgia Dome on Sunday to play the Atlanta Falcons. The Bengals lost two in a row against the Cleveland Browns and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home. This is a must win for the Bengals who were on top of their division last year, sweeping their division. With cornerback Dunta Robinson out for the Falcons (concussion from Desean Jackson hit), Ochocinco just might have his best day of the season. Expect Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco to hook up all day and rekindle their on field relationship. Carson Palmer just needs to step up his game, especially on third downs. Michael Turner should have a solid day against a team who has been giving up 4.4 yards a carry. Matty Ice should play fairly well as he gets Michael Jenkins back on the field this week. I also see Cedric Benson making a solid fantasy impression this week as well.
Dolphins vs. Steelers
The Miami Dolphins went to Lambeau Field and squeaked one out last week against the Packers, winning by a field goal. Chad Henne looked a lot more comfortable in the pocket. Clay Mathews was out last week and the Packers have been losing their identity on defense as of late but I believe the Dolphins are going to play at home with confidence this week, from last week’s win. With the season on its way for 6 weeks look for the Steelers to struggle a little bit early. I like Henne in the pass game this weekend at home because the Steelers defense has been faring well against the run while their pass defense has some catching up to do. Look for Marshall, Henne, and Heath Miller to have solid fantasy days in week 7.
Ravens vs. Bills
The Ravens faceoff against the Buffalo Bills this weekend at home and they were contemplating starting Ed Reed who is healthy at free safety. The Ravens feel confident enough that they can bench Ed Reed (safe him) and still get the win against the Bills. I happen to agree. The Bills who rank last in rushing defense aren’t going to fix their rush d overnight, or during the rest of the season. Look for McGahee and Ray Rice to have solid fantasy days on the ground because of the blow out game. The Bills are desperate for a win, but I don’t see them coming close. Lee Evans is due for a big day or can have a decent outing on Sunday with his usual one catch, which is a deep ball, for a score.
Chiefs vs. Jags
This is the defense to start this weekend. Kansas City Chiefs are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Texans last week within the final minute of the game. That doesn’t even matter. Arrowhead stadium is supposedly the hardest place to play at in the NFL. Also, David Garrard is out with a concussion. Also, Trent Edwards is questionable with a serious thumb sprain on his throwing hand. Wait a minute. Are you trying to tell me that the Jag’s third string quarterback may start this weekend in Arrowhead stadium? Ought oh, who even is their third string quarterback? Todd Bauman, he hasn’t played a game in 5 years. It’s going to be a long day for the Jags and I expect Dwayne Bowe to continue his fantasy stats and play well this weekend. I also think Tony Moeki, Thomas Jones, and Jamaal Charles all have a day. Look for Maurice Jones Drew to carry the load for the Jags but the load is going to be way too heavy. Pocket Hercules may have a decent day if you have in a ppr league and they give the kid some screens to find him with the ball in some space. This is going to be a fun game to watch for Chiefs fans.
Saints vs. Browns
The Saints finally are starting to play like we know they can, with swagger. Chris Ivory has filled the running game hole and is acclimating very quickly to the speed of the NFL. Colt McCoy is getting his second start this weekend and I expect him to be blitzed more this weekend more than he was last weekend. I still see the Great White Water Buffalo (Peyton Hillis) having a solid fantasy day. I like the Saints in this game as everyone else in the world does. Marques Colston should have a great day at home this weekend and Chris Ivory will carry the load as well. The Browns are one of the worst ranked rushing and passing defenses in the NFL this year, that’s not good. Plug in Drew Brees and watch him pour on the stats all day, all day.
Bears vs. Redskins
Chicago, Illinois native Donovan McNabb goes back to wear he was born and raised to cause some havoc. The Bears still have problems protecting Jay Cutler but the Washington Redskins pass defense is ranked 31st, but stats aren’t always what they seem. The Redskins have faced Tony Romo, Matt Schaub, Kevin Kolb, Aaron Rodgers, and Peyton Manning during the regular season and two of those games went into overtime letting the passing yards rack up. Mike Shanahan changed their defense from a 4-3 to a 3-4 because he loved what he saw in Dick LeBeau’s Steeler defense last year. Albert Haynesworth has only seen 16 percent of all the Redskins defensive plays this year. He will be active for Sunday’s game this week. Their defense is filled with talented players and it’s only a matter of time before they all put it together. I like the Redskins in this game and I like Donovan McNabb to sling the ball around and have two or three passing touchdowns. Jay Cutler should still par well and I think Johnny Knox will have a solid day in ppr leagues and Devin Hester may get a deep ball to the house just because he’s due. Anthony Armstrong is the new deep threat for Redskins and he could be a solid flex play this week against a weak Bears secondary. I am not a big fan of Matt Forte this week.
Panthers vs. 49ers
Panthers head coach John Fox finally brightened up and decided to start Matt Moore once again for the second time this season. DeAngelo Williams can only benefit from this and play better and the real Steve Smith is back on the field again after a high ankle sprain. I like the 49ers in this game still because they are a better team than what is on paper and they are starting to get a hot hand. Matt Moore and the rest of the Panthers will start to turn it around this season desperate for a win but it will be a slow start with Matt Moore having to get acclimated to game speed once again. Look for Patrick Willis to make a lot of plays this game and the 49ers to have something to talk about on the airplane home. I love Frank Gore, Crabtree, and Vernon Davis this week despite his bruised knee. I think all of the Panthers players are still risky starts until you see them making some progress. Bench all of the Panthers with confidence this week. Give them just one more week.
Buccaneers vs. Rams
Having home field advantage is always a good thing to have. The Rams hate it when opposing teams have home field advantage this year and they have yet to win a road game. This Sunday they have a great chance to get their first road game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but it still won’t happen. Despite how well rookie Sam Bradford has been playing I still have to see it to believe it once again and for their first time on the road. I still do expect Steven Jackson to run all over the Buccaneers and break Erik Dickerson’s franchise rushing record for the Rams. Jackson just needs 32 yards. I expect the Buccaneers to make big plays on special teams, defense, and offense. I like Kellen Winslow and Mike Williams in this game to rack up some solid fantasy points.
Titans vs. Eagles
Vince Young is doubtful for week 7 against the Eagles, but that doesn’t matter too much because Kerry Collins can still get the job done, and will. Kevin Kolb has been playing well but can LeSean McCoy still carry the load with his injured ribs? I think Jerome Harrison is going to have to jump in and steel a dozen of carries if they want to stay in this game. The Eagles rank 22nd against the run and we are still waiting for Chris Johnson to have that 50 point game that carries our team to victory without even checking back on your score for the rest of the evening. I think Chris Johnson has his best game of the season by far in week 7 and carry the whole load. I like Kenny Britt if he plays (possible benching from barfight) as a low end number three while Bo Scaife should be a low end number one tight end this weekend. Jeremy Maclin seems to be a solid number three receiver/low end number two. I like the Titans to win this game by 13 points.