Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 7: Planning Ahead for Tough Calls at Quarterback
The quarterback position is nowhere near as deep as everyone figured.
Well, the plan has worked fine if you grabbed Matthew Stafford or Tony Romo. Otherwise, you might be angry you didn't just grab a stud.
That means selecting your starting quarterback is not entirely a sure thing, as not every squad is fortunate enough to own a worthwhile option. Looks like that gives us some work to do, folks.
But what if you have Drew Brees on his bye week? Or a big-name quarterback who suddenly must truck on without all of his pals? Let's take a look at some interesting quarterback conundrums for Week 7.
|1||Peyton Manning||at Indianapolis Colts|
|2||Aaron Rodgers||Cleveland Browns|
|3||Tony Romo||at Philadelphia Eagles|
|4||Cam Newton||St. Louis Rams|
|5||Andrew Luck||Denver Broncos|
|6||Philip Rivers||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|7||Jay Cutler||at Washington Redskins|
|8||Matthew Stafford||Cincinnati Bengals|
|9||Tom Brady||at New York Jets|
|10||Robert Griffin III||Chicago Bears|
Andrew Gould's rankings
Andrew Luck (vs. Denver Broncos)
Andrew Luck hasn't been that special of a fantasy football quarterback.
Luck ranks 25th with 224 passing yards per game while 16 passers have generated more than his seven passing touchdowns. For all the hype around him as a future star, Luck has simply served as a game manager for the Indianapolis Colts this season.
Look for that all to change against the Denver Broncos, who rate last with 338 passing yards per game. They saved Tony Romo's serviceable numbers into a sterling top-five option by helping him earn 506 yards and five touchdowns during a Week 5 loss.
Nobody is saying Luck will throw for 500 yards and five touchdowns, but he's going to need to throw much more than his current 31 times per game to keep up with Peyton Manning.
The easy counterargument is that the San Diego Chargers boast the AFC's second-worst pass defense, yet Luck managed a measly 202 passing yards and zero touchdowns against them. Well, that's a valid point, but let's hope the receivers can hold the ball this time around.
Matt Ryan (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
And so begins a new, murkier stretch for owning Matt Ryan.
Formerly a top signal-caller most managers could ride with confidence, Ryan is now a borderline starter with many of his weapons hurt. Steven Jackson's absence has made the Atlanta Falcons one-dimensional, averaging just 78.4 rushing yards per contest. Now that one element is severely threatened.
Is Matt Ryan a top-10 fantasy quarterback going forward this season?
Julio Jones will miss the remainder of the season after requiring foot surgery. Roddy White has played through pain but not well. The veteran has caught just 14 passes for 129 yards on the season and can now add a hamstring injury to his list of ailments.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter, White's status this Sunday remains in doubt after missing Tuesday morning's practice.
That leaves Ryan with Tony Gonzalez and a cast of fill-ins against a Tampa Bay squad that ranks in the middle of the pack with 248 passing yards allowed per game.
I can say "Start" or "Sit," but it truly depends on your alternatives. You're not sitting him for Ryan Tannehill or Alex Smith, but he's worth benching for Jay Cutler or Nick Foles (assuming he starts).
It all depends on your circumstance, as many owners probably don't have the luxury of benching Ryan. Just be warned that he is unlikely to post gaudy numbers.
Jay Cutler (at Washington Redskins)
Is Jay Cutler now a legitimate starting fantasy quarterback?
He threw for 262 passing yards and two touchdowns on Thursday night against the New York Giants, giving him five multi-touchdown games on the season. With exception to a clunker against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cutler has provided some value every week, and there's no reason anyone in a one-quarterback league would play him at Pittsburgh.
Free from Lovie Smith's conservative approach, Cutler has attempted 36 passes per game, up from his 29.5 average from the previous three years. He's also working on setting a career best with his 65.9 completion percentage.
Washington ranks 24th with 272 passing yards per game and has generated just three interceptions this season. With Alshon Jeffery forming a dynamic duo alongside Brandon Marshall, Cutler should have ample opportunity to pick apart the porous secondary on Sunday.
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