Joseph Fauria's dance moves last Sunday remind us of Scott breaking it down every time "Good Vibrations" comes on. (USA Today Sports Images)
Hey, you! Yeah, you. Liam Neeson wants you to start Eli Manning this week. Yes, seriously. (AP Photo)
By: Tony Andracki, Scott Krinch and Mark Strotman
Welcome to another edition of CSNChicago.com's Start'em and Sit'em, where three totally unqualified guys give their take on the best and worst plays in the upcoming fantasy football week.
We're not experts, but then again, how can anybody truly be an "expert" at fantasy football? This is a game of luck and nobody can predict the future.
We don't have special powers, but we are pretty obsessed with fantasy sports. Just ask our girlfriends...if we had any.
Every week, each of us will comprise a trio of players with the best matchups or situations on tap for the week ahead and a corresponding trio of guys who are most likely to run into a metaphorical brick wall.
[RELATED: Week 6 Picks]
And because we're men and we love perpetuating stereotypes, we, of course, turned this into a competition. Why not?
After three weeks (and all of last year), we realized a major flaw in our scoring: If we assign 0-5 values to each player's performance, there's nothing worse than a zero. And Mark's Week 3 sit of Antonio Brown (who went off for 31 ESPN standard points) should have been bad enough to sink his entire week (as Tony's picks of Cam Newton and DeSean Jackson in Week 6 did), instead of just that one pick.
So we've instituted a new system. We will add up the ESPN standard fantasy points for all of our "Starts" and subtract the points from all our "Sits" and the difference will be the weekly score. If one of us winds up with a negative score, so be it.
(Scoring example: If Scott's three starts total 45 fantasy points and his three sits total 20, he would finish the week with 25 points.)
So without further ado, here are our picks for Week 7:
Tony Andracki (Week 6: -37 points (seriously); Total: -34 points)
Well, that was quite the embarrassing showing last week. If it makes you guys feel better, karma already caught up to me with four losses among my five fantasy teams. Guess it serves me right for making fun of Mark's Antonio Brown pick in Week 3.
Oh well. Live and learn. Don't get caught up in the past. You can't move forward if you're stuck in the past. Insert your own cliche here.
Like Liam Neeson, we're just going to keep powering through. Sidebar: Can we talk about how much of a bad-ass Liam Neeson is? Saw his new trailer for "Non-Stop" this week and it's basically "Taken," but on an airplane. I may be more excited for it than I was for "Fast Six: The Fastest One Yet" (aka the movie where The Rock and Vin Diesel are friends).
I bet Liam Neeson is awesome at fantasy football. Somebody should ask him if he plays.
Nick Foles, QB -- PHI (vs. DAL)
Nicky Nick had the second-best fantasy day among QBs last week, accounting for four tuddies in relief of Michael Vick. This week, Foles draws the Cowboys defense, which has given up the most fantasy points to opposing QBs in the league. In three of six weeks, Dallas has surrendered at least 400 passing yards and opponents have scored 14 TDs through the air, more than two a game. Talk about a great matchup.
Chris Johnson, RB -- TEN (vs. SF)
Total gut call here. CJ(.5)K is averaging just 3.1 yards per carry, but is still a threat for that home run every time he touches the ball. The Niners have given up six rushing scores and 596 yards through six weeks. So, basically 100 yards and a tuddie each week.
Josh Gordon, WR -- CLE (@ GB)
If only Gordon had an actual, decent professional QB throwing to him. In four games since returning, Gordo has put up 429 yards and two scores. Green Bay is allowing opposing WRs to rack up almost 200 yards a game. The only other true option in the Cleveland passing game is tight end Jordan Cameron. You don't have to be a math major to see Gordon is a must-start this week.
Sam Bradford, QB -- STL (@ CAR)
This pains me because earlier this year, I was boasting about how I thought Sam Bradford was enjoying his breakout year, just as I had called preseason. Not so much. While he does have six TDs the last two weeks, Bradford has just 339 yards and now faces the league's best defense at limiting fantasy QBs. Nuh uh. Don't like it.
Doug Martin, RB -- TB (@ ATL)
I don't get the "Muscle Hamster" nickname. Why is that a thing? And how does it apply to Doug Martin? Is it because he's a muscle-bound workhorse, a la a hamster running in a wheel? Anyways, Martin is suddenly not an every-week starter. Watch our awesome video above to hear more on why not (shameless plug!!).
Andre Johnson, WR -- HOU (@ KC)
As Mark so astutely pointed out, the last time I sat Andre Johnson was Week 10 of 2012, when Johnson went off for 14 catches, 273 yards and a tuddie against the Jags. BUT (and that's a big but, you know, like the kind Sir Mix-a-lot likes), this is an awful situation for Johnson right now. The Houston quarterback case is a mess and the Chiefs defense is GOOD. So good I had to put them in all caps, just to get my point across.
One more time: Check out Liam Neeson's awesome trailer. So sick.
Mark Strotman (Week 6: -10 points; Total: -16 points)
Oh, to love the waiver wire. Injuries are happening quickly and there is plenty of talent to be had in free agency. The flex spot has been a tough one to pick this season because there really hasn’t been too many dominant performances, making it tough to figure out who goes in the 1 and 2 spots at positions and who to slot in the flex and who to bench. But these high-upside players can be had on the cheap, and I’m going to run them on a week-to-week basis. Here we go.
Keenan Allen, WR – SD (@ JAC)
Say hello to perhaps the waiver wire pickup of the year. With Danario Alexander and Malcom Floyd out, Allen has stepped up and become Philip Rivers’ top target. Over the last two weeks the Cal alum has been targeted 21 times, grabbed 15 passes for 222 yards and two scores. Those are Dez Bryant numbers, and while he won’t make anyone forget about the Dallas superstar, he’s a healthy WR2 in a stellar offense playing the pitiful Jacksonville Jaguars. If you were wise enough to scoop him up, get him in your lineup and watch him rack up the fantasy points.
Joseph Randle, RB – DAL (@ PHI)
Another waiver wire pickup, Randle is in a fantastic situation as the top Cowboys’ running back who is going to see plenty of action this week against the Eagles. Randle didn’t play all that well last week when Demarco Murray went down (11 rushes, 17 yards) but he did find the end zone and plays an Eagles defense that has given up points. Put him in your flex this week.
Ryan Tannehill, QB – MIA (vs. BUF)
Coming off the bye week, I expect Tannehill -- who surprisingly has thrown for double-digit fantasy points in all but one week -- to have a big game against the reeling Bills. Miami should control the clock against Thaddeus Lewis' offense, meaning plenty of chances for the second-year quarterback to go up top to Mike Wallace, who is in desperate need of a big game. The Bills just allowed Andy Dalton to throw for 337 yards and three touchdowns, and they're ranked 22nd in fantasy passing points-against, meaning this is a solid matchup if you've got your QB1 on a bye week (Pryor, Brees).
T.Y. Hilton, WR – IND (vs. DEN)
The Colts’ No. 2 wide receiver is quickly becoming Mike Wallace v2.0. His Week 5 blowup against the Seahawks (140 yards, 2 touchdowns) was great, but he’s scored more than four points just one other time (Week 2, 12 points). Yes, the Broncos have given up more passing yards than any team, but getting Von Miller back should be an emotional boost to the Denver defense. It’s boom or bust for Mr. Hilton, and I’m betting he busts against Miller and the Broncos defense.
Stevan Ridley, RB – NE (@ NYJ)
Well look who finally decided to show up. After 16 fantasy points through five games, Ridley went for 22 (96 yards, two touchdowns) against the Saints. It was great to see the first-round fantasy pick back in form, but going on the road against the Jets is going to be a steep test. Ridley went for just 40 yards on 16 carries in Week 2, and the Jets have been great against the run this season. It’s going to be tough, but you should stay away from Ridley this week.
Matt Ryan, QB – ATL (vs. TB)
This was the toughest one of the week for me. Ryan has been fantastic this season, throwing two touchdowns in each of the Falcons’ five games, but he is now without Julio Jones and likely Roddy White this week. With only Tony Gonzalez I’m going to bench Ryan this week, even though Atlanta is coming off the bye and has had time to game plan without two of his top targets.
Scott Krinch (Week 5: -10 point; Total: 5 points)
So it wasn't my best week of the season with a -10 spot, but hey, at least I didn't finish with -37 like Tony. Really Tony? What happened to you in Week 6? Did you let your dog make your picks? My starts weren't too flashy, but Big Ben did perform like I expected him to. Matt Stafford was my big miss of the week with 23 points. Take away the dancing machine, Joseph Fauria, and Stafford has a mediocre game. As we're almost at the midpoint of the season, I'm going to explain why Justin Blackmon is a must-start each Sunday. Also, don't lose out hope on Doug Martin, he's ready to break out. Finally, don't buy in on the Harry Douglas hype machine. So with that said, here are my picks:
Eli Manning, QB -- NYG (vs. MIN)
Call me nuts, but I still think Eli Manning has decent fantasy value. Yes, he's had three games of seven points or lower. Forgot about those stats. The former Super Bowl MVP is capable of putting up a 20-point game and there's no reason why it shouldn't happen on Monday night. Manning must be licking his chops at the thought of playing against a soft Vikings defense that's has allowed 20 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. There won't be a better week to start Eli. Also, if you play pick'em, go with the Giants. I promise they will get their first victory of the season in Week 7.
Doug Martin, RB -- TB (@ ATL)
The 'Muscle Hamster' has struggled in terms of RB1 fantasy value throughout the 2013 season. His high point total is only 14, which is downright awful if you selected him in the Top 3 in your league. But for some reason -- I really don't have any proof -- I believe Martin is ready to get back to elite level. He's filled with talent and has no health concerns. The problem is the Buccaneers have been airing it out when they enter the red zone. That will change against the lowly Falcons defense this weekend. Martin is a stud and will quiet all the doubters in Week 7.
Justin Blackmon, WR -- JAC (vs. SD)
Did people in your league criticize you for drafting the suspended Justin Blackmon? Well, now you can laugh in their face straight to the bank. Blackmon is a definite start every single week. He's got the talent to be a Top 5 wide receiver in the NFL. And he's on a team that's forced to throw. In two games, the former Oklahoma State wideout has 19 catches for 326 yards and a touchdown. On Sunday, he gets the Chargers who have allowed the seventh-most points to opposing wide receivers. Frankly, I don't care who he plays. I want him in my lineup every week and so should you.
Tom Brady, QB -- NE (@ NYJ)
Ouch. Tom Brady keeps putting up stinkers. In six games, he's only reached the 20-point mark once. His wide receiving corps has been depleted. Danny Amendola is a no-go and the mysterious Rob Gronkowski injury question still lingers. This weekend, Brady goes up against the Jets who he's beaten in six straight games. But remember, Brady only threw one touchdown and had 185 yards in a Week 2 matchup between the two clubs. Temper your expectations and don't start Brady until he has a full arsenal or at least a healthy Gronk.
Trent Richardson, RB -- IND (vs. DEN)
The numbers don't lie regarding Richardson. He's been as awful as the statistics indicate. Richardon's single game season-high yard total is 60 this season. He's averaging a dismal 3.2 yards per carry and he's being outperformed by the once-forgotten man in Indianapolis, Donald Brown. On Sunday Night Football, Richardson squares off against a Denver defense that's allowed a touchdown to an opposing running back in every game this season. Streaks are meant to be broken. The Colts WILL get a rushing touchdown in Week 7, but my prediction is that it will come from Andrew Luck or Brown.
Harry Douglas, WR -- ATL (vs. TB)
So you gave up your high waiver claim to grab Harry Douglas? You're ready for him to put up WR1 type numbers because that's what he is now, right? Think again. Before injuries to Julio Jones and Roddy White, Douglas was already second on the Falcons in red zone targets. How many touchdowns did he score with those targets? Zero. If you're planning on starting him this week, just don't. There are much better options out there. If guys like Keenan Allen or Terrance Williams are available in your league, snag them up and get them in your lineup.