Week 6 was devastated by concussions in the NFL, but fantasy owners will feel the pain every bit as much as the players do… if only in their own minds. Losing a player because they are on their bye is one thing, but injuries are one of the things nobody can predict yet you have to have a back-up plan in place just in case it happens. One of the most common mistakes fantasy players make is too much depth at one position.
For instance, why carry three QBs in a one QB start league? Chances are nobody is going to trade you for your QB and all you will do is waste a roster spot on a guy that will never play for you. Remember, if the guy has no shot of every breaking your starting line-up, even on a bye week or when an injury happens, chances are they wouldn't break anyone else's starting roster and thus they will never be traded.
Byes: Lions, Texans, Colts, Jets
DeSean Jackson and Michael Vick: Jackson is Out until after the Week 8 bye… and possibly longer. Vick is likely to wait until after the bye for his return as well.
Steve Smith (Carolina): Likely out this week against the 49ers with a high ankle sprain.
Steve Breaston: Breaston returned to practice Monday and should be in the line-up this weekend. I'd wait to play him until we see what kind of rust he has and how Max Hall distributes the ball.
Josh Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi: Massaquoi was the victim of a missile with the name "Harrison" on the back of it. Nothing is official just yet, but count Mass out this week. Cribbs on the other hand is closer to hopeful and should be in the line-up on Sunday.
David Garrard: Garrard is another concussion victim and is likely out this Sunday. Trent Edwards suffered a thumb injury, but signs are pointing him Edwards starting on Sunday.
Pierre Thomas: Thomas missed Week 6 with an ankle sprain and his status for Week 7 is questionable. Check back Friday afternoon with me you if own Thomas.
Darren McFadden: McFadden looks like a go this week and should take over as the feature back. The Raiders have hinted that they don't want a committee at RB, so if McFadden plays make sure you bench Michael Bush.
Antonio Gates, Vernon Davis and Chris Cooley: Gates and Davis are going to play and should be in your starting line-up. Cooley is questionable right now, but it looks like he may play.
Ben Roethlisberger: Big Ben is done serving his suspension and looked like he hadn't missed a game in Week 6 as he completed 16-of-27 passes for 257 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. This week he faces the Dolphins and their 12th ranked pass defense. I feel comfortable putting Roethlisberger as a mid-level QB1 this week.
Jay Cutler: Cutler and the Bears match up against the Redskins and their 31st ranked pass defense on Sunday. Cutler is having a great season, but he is a huge injury risk in a Mike Martz offense. I like Cutler as a high-end QB1 this week and see no problems starting him.
Steven Jackson: Jackson has had back-to-back 100-plus yards games, but he has just two TDs to show for the first six games of the season. However, this week Buccaneers 31st ranked run defense and he should add another 100-plus yards and a score on Sunday.
Frank Gore: Gore has not been the fantasy stud any of us had hoped he would be this season, averaging a meager 78.5 YPG. This weekend the Niners hit the road to face a Panthers team that ranks 26th in YPG allowed (134.4) and 4th in rushing touchdowns allowed with four. I think the Niners have every bit as many problems as the Cowboys do as a team, but Gore should get you RB1 stats this weekend.
Danny Woodhead: I know Woodhead lines up in the backfield, but he dual qualifies at RB and WR in fantasy formats. He was slipping tackles and fighting for extra yards all day long in Week 6 and I have no problems putting him in the flex in all PPR leagues.
Brandon Marshall: We all know how good the Steelers defense is, but it might surprise you to know that they are actually ranked 23rd against this pass this season. That makes Marshall a prime candidate for stud numbers in Week 7.
Aaron Hernandez: Hernandez had two overtime drops that were costly, but the Patriots are saying it won't be counted against him moving forward. Hernandez is the youngest player in the NFL, so expect some growing pains with him this season, but also expect stellar TE numbers from him this weekend against the Chargers.
New Orleans Saints Defense: The Saints defense has hardly been terrible this season as they are ranked 7th in total yards allowed. But, they are ranked 16th in fantasy points and have given owners little reason to start them up till now. This weekend they play the Browns and rookie QB Colt McCoy. I'd play the Saints defense as a top 3-5 play in Week 7.
Tony Romo: Romo and the Cowboys have some major issues this season, and this week they face the Giants and their 2nd ranked pass defense. Romo has been up and down in the boxscore all season and I think this is another one of those down weeks.
Brett Favre: I am not a fan of Favre's anymore when it comes to fantasy football. Favre is averaging 195.8 YPG this season and that is not what fantasy owners expected when they drafted him. He would have to throw three TDs or more a game to make it worth it to play him, and that isn't going to happen.
Beanie Wells: Wells has been one of the bigger fantasy busts through the first half of the season with his 43 YPG average. This weekend he faces the Seahawks 2nd ranked run defense and I am going to sit him until he shows me some life.
Ronnie Brown: Brown was drafted as a RB2, but hasn't even shown flex type of numbers yet this season. This weekend the Dolphins play the Steelers and I want no part of Brown or Ricky Williams.
Davone Bess: Even though I like Marshall this week, I still have no idea why people are so high on Bess. Sure, he is averaging 5.2 catches-per-game, but he has turned in just 284 receiving yards from it (56.4 YPG) and two TDs. I see no reason to think he will put up anything better than WR3 numbers and expect weak flex numbers from him.
Mike Sims-Walker: I am a big Sims-Walker fan; but, with his starting QB out and his back-up dinged up, I can't see any reason to play him this weekend. He has struggled to get a rhythm going all season long, so keep him on the bench until the Jaguars find some consistency in the passing game.
Todd Heap: I am not a fan of Heap in fantasy circles because he doesn't produce more than 50 yards most weeks and he isn't a big redzone target for Joe Flacco. That being said, Heap also was the lucky recipient of a concussion in Week 6, which kept him out of practice Wednesday and keeps him on my sitters list this week.
New England Patriots Defense: The Patriots defense is ranked 29th against the pass (273.4 YPG allowed), and the Chargers are ranked 1st in passing YPG (316.2)… see the problem? I expect a big game from Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense, which means I want no part of the Patriots defense this weekend.
Question of the Week
Q: I realize that Jamaal Charles is the better RB but is Thomas Jones still going to have games like this? Somebody dropped him last week and I want to pick him up. (Ryan Nearhood in Clyde, OH)
A: The thing is you can never play them both... you'd be taking two RB slots and splitting him in half. I wouldn't mind having him if I own Charles as a handcuff, but I wouldn't ever start him unless Charles is out.
Remember, you can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), follow me on Twitter (twitter.com/fantasyguy23) or find me on Facebook to get your fantasy fix and have your questions answered.