Hello again, Fantasy Football fans. Here we are at Week 7 of this column in Cleary’s Notebook. I hope that all the readers of this column are sitting at 6-0. I am 6-0 in one of my leagues and 4-2 in the other. This is a terrific start to the season and I hope it continues.
This week I have some pretty good suggestions about who should and should not be in your starting lineups. As I mentioned earlier in the year, if you have a stud player and he’s not on the BYE week, he should be in your lineup regardless of the match up. That said, always look over the lineup and try to learn as much as you can about the opposition as that is always helpful in setting your lineup.
Let’s get into this week’s lineups.
Ben Roethlibberger had a nice debut last week against Cleveland getting 257 yds, 3 TDs and only 1 pick. He may build on that performance when he visits Miami this week. He closed out last year against the Dolphins with 220 yds, and 3 TDs so we’re looking for that same kind of production here.
Kyle Orton will host Oakland this week and although he struggled against the Jets last week having his worst game of the season. This week, Orton faces the Raiders who have allowed 2 TDs per game in each game this season. There is some downside here as only one QB (Philip Rivers) has passed for more than 200 yds this season. Last year in the two games against Oakland, Orton passed for 435 yds 2 TDs and no picks.
Matt Ryan will host Cincinnati this week. The Bengals are down a few key players and Ryan should take advantage of that especially since he now has Michael Jenkins back in the wideout complement. He has averaged 249 yds in his last 3 home games with 8 TDs and 3 picks. Actually, Carson Palmer of Cincy should do well in this shootout because Atlanta is also missing a cornerback and linebacker. Could be a high scoring affair.
Matt Cassel will host Jacksonville this Sunday and the Jaguars are tied with Houston for most passing TDs allowed at 14. The Jags are coming off of the short week where they got handled by Tennessee. They could be flat coming into this contest and Kansas City should take advantage of this.
Joe Flacco is home vs. Buffalo this week and Flacco has shown he can take advantage of mismatches as he did last week vs. Cleveland. The Bills have allowed 11 TDs in the past 4 games to opposing QBs and they’ll have trouble keeping up with all of the Ravens weapons.
Brett Favre travels to Green Bay this week and he’s always up for this matchup He passed for 515 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions vs. the Packers since he left Green Bay. Favre appears to be OK with his elbow tendinitis, and you can expect him to get Randy Moss and Percy Harvin involved in this matchup.
I do not recommend Donovan McNabb at Chicago, Chad Henne vs. Pittsburgh, Alex Smith at Carolina, Sam Bradford at Tampa Bay, Kevin Kolb at Tennessee or Jay Cutler vs. Washington.
Peyton Hillis is at New Orleans this week and the Saints have allowed 6 TDs to opposing RB. They also allow 106 yd on average per game. Cleveland has been leaning heavily on Hillis all year and this game should be no exception. He is coming off his worst outing of the season vs. Pittsburgu but he should do fine here. If you have him, get him in your lineup.
Ryan Torain is in Chicago this week and he’s coming off his most productive week of the season vs. the Colts last weel when he had 2 TDs and over 100 yds. Chicago is hurting at run stoppers this week and Torrain should do well in this situation.
Knowshon Moreno host Oakland on Sunday and he should see more of a workload this week having come off of a hamstring injury that had him absent from the lineup for 3 weeks. The Raiders are number 30 vs. the run this year. A word of caution. Both Laurence Maroney and Correl Buckhalter could take carries away from Moreno. Over the last several years, Denver has had the RBBC (Running Back By Committee) thing going on so I always avoid all Bronco running backs. I always make it a point to not draft any of them. That said, Moreno averaged 1 td and 80 yds in the two games played against the Raiders last year.
Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles should both do well vs. Jacksonville this week. Betweek them, last week thery went for nearly 200 yds and 5 receptions for 34 yds. Jacksonville has allowed 6 TDs to opposing running backs this year and the Chiefs should handle the Jags very well during this game.
Chris Ivory will host Cleveland this week. If you don’t have him on your team and he’s available, try to pick him up. With injuries to both Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas, Ivory has been given the starting job and he’s earned some big respect. Last week Ivory he rushed for 158 yds. The Saints are relly leaning on him more each week.
I do not recommend Felix Jones vs. New York Giants, Ronnie Brown vs. Pittsburgh, Fred Jackson at Baltimore, Brandon Jackson vs. Minnesota or Darren McFadden at Denver this week.
Dwayne Bowe host Jacksonville this week. Bowe came alive for the Chiefs last week receiving 108 yds on 6 catches and 2 TDs. He’s in line for another great game this week. Of the 14 passing TDs given up by the Jags this year, 11 have gone to wide receivers. Last year vs. Jacksonville, Bowe had 4 catches for 74 yds and he should easily reach that total again based on how poor the Jaguars have looked in their secondary.
Robert Meachem is facing a struggling Cleveland secondary this week in New Orleans and he should be good for at least one score and 50 to 90 yds receiving. Whoever lines up against Eric Wright should have a great day whether it’s Meachem, Lance Moore or Marques Colston. Meachem appears to have the hot hand at the moment so get him in your lineup if you can.
Mike Williams of Tampa Bay will host St. Louis this week as the Rams have some key players injured in their secondary. He’s developed a good rapport with QB Josh Freeman and he should play well here as the Rams have allowed 6 TDs to opposing wideouts.
Deion Branch is at San Diego this week and he’s coming off his best game in years having received 9 8yds and 1 TD from Tom Brady last week in his re-debut for New England. A caution here in that the Chargers have the number 1 defense vs. the pass this year however they may be overrated as they have faced Kansas City, Jacksonville, Seattle, Arizona, Oakland and St. Louis this year.
Terrell Owens visits Atlanta this week and he should pick up where he left off prior to the BYE week where he had 324 yds and 17 catches in the two games prior to this week. The Falcons have injuries on Defense and both Owens and Ochocinco should take advantage of the situation. This should be a high scoring affair.
Patrick Crayton was not drafted by a lot of teams this year since he was the 4th or 5th receiver on Dallas. He’s now with San Diego and will face New England this week. Crayton has moved up on the depth chart with injuries to both Antonio Gates, Legedu Naanee, and Malcom Floyd. He should be on your team and in your lineup as he has big sleeper potential for this game. Philip Rivers should pick New England’s secondary apart and he’s very aware of Crayton having targeted him 7 times for 6 catches and 117 yds. not on a lot of teams this year.
I do not like Mike Sims-Walker at Kansas City, Donald Driver vs. Minnesota, Steve Johnson at Baltimore, Louis Murphy at Denver, Dez Bryant vs. New York Giants of Kenny Britt vs. Philadelphia this week.
Heath Miller is at Miami this week and in his last two games, he has 7 catches for 106 yds a 2 TDs. Last year vs. Mimi, Miller had 5 catches for 56 yds and 1 TD. Miller is worth the start this week based on al of the tight ends on BYE as well as those dealing with injuries.
Benjamin Watson is in New Orleans this week and the Browns will not have either Cribbs or Massaquoi this week. Watson has shown an instant rapport with new QB Colt McCoy as the two connected for six catches, 88 yards and a touchdown at Pittsburgh, and this is a better matchup for him at the Saints.
Jermaine Gresham is in Atlanta this week and he should be able to produce in this matchup. The Falcons have some injuries in their secondary and this should create some opportunities for the Bengals tight end. Consider Gresham a sleeper and excellent BYE week replacement this week.
I don’t recommend Greg Olsen vs. Washington, Anthony Fasano vs. Pittseburgh, Visanthe Shiancoe at Green Bay or Mercedes Lewis at Kansas City.
DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS
This week, I like Kansas City vs. Jacksonville, Seattle vs. Arizona, Washington at Chicago, and Denver vs. Oakland.
I do not like Cincinnati at Atlanta
Robbie Gould vs Washington, Garrett Hartley vs. Cleveland, Jeff Reed at Miami and Billy Cundiff vs. Buffalo.
I do not like Jay Feely at Seattle this week.
Detroit, Indianapolis, New York Jets, Houston
Make sure you have replacements for Best, Manning, Wayne, Addai, Garcon, Sanchez, Tomlinson, Shaub, Foster and Andre Johnson.
That’s all for this week folks. Looking for more of your comments in the weeks to come. I hope to hear any questions, concerns, or suggestions to improve this column.