Another week for the meek. Injuries and difficult matchups for some star players could leave you on the wrong side of your fantasy score in Week 7 if you make the wrong move.
I've been told multiple times this season on Twitter that I've screwed up somebody's whole day with the following advice, because it's hard to tell someone that their best players could be in for a rough week and pound home the idea that nobody is perfect, but it's the biggest risks that have the biggest rewards.
I've tried to incorporate some bigger names as the season goes along, but when T.J. Yates is on deck and Josh Freeman is starting for a team before he's unpacked his bags, it's hard to know what's going to happen. Freeman doesn't make the QB list this week, partly because I ignored him and partly because he's playing the Giants defense, but these guys did.
Here are the players this week who may leave you just a bit outside.
Though Palmer is an upgrade over Ryan Lindley and John Skelton, he hasn't been much of one. Palmer is throwing interceptions at a higher rate than even what Lindley did last year, though he's added a few touchdowns. Now he faces the Seattle secondary on a short week.
A reasonable estimate would be 200 yards, no touchdowns and a couple picks. Arizona could have gotten that from Skelton at a bargain rate!
Speaking of John Skelton, he's a free agent! Houston isn't only scrambling for solutions at quarterback, it gets to face the No. 1 pass defense in the NFL this week.
Schaub (or T.J. Yates or Case Keenum or whoever) probably won't get a chance to throw a game-changing interception in the fourth quarter. Those will all come in the first quarter, probably.
Dalton isn't really struggling this year. He seems like the same QB, but he's faced some good pass defenses and not done that well, but he's done well in a couple other games. The Lions defense has 10 interceptions this season, and it wouldn't be surprising to see Detroit snag two here, as Dalton has thrown a pick in all but one game.
As bad as the Steelers are this year, it's only resulted in four touchdown passes allowed in five games. That may have to do with teams running on them a lot more than they throw on them, but either way, it likely won't result in a great day for the
over-highest-paid QB in the NFL.
Bradford is enjoying a career year statistically, and could finish with 30 touchdowns and fewer than 10 interceptions, but the Panthers defense has its own case for being the best in the NFL right now, along with Seattle and Kansas City.
This could be a low-scoring game or a hard landing for the Rams after two straight wins.
No one in their right mind wouldn't start Manning this week in his return to Indianapolis, but the Colts have something now that they rarely had when Peyton was there: defense. They've allowed just five touchdown passes in six games, so how much luck will Manning have in Indy on Sunday?
32. Le'Veon Bell, Steelers vs. Ravens
The Ravens may not look a whole lot like their champion selves of last years playoffs, but one thing hasn't changed, and that's defense. They've allowed just one rushing touchdown and 3.6 yards per carry this year. The rookie Bell is averaging just 2.8 yards per carry.
Maths say this isn't a good time to start relying on the most hyped rookie of the preseason.
Another case of production not meeting hype, Miller hasn't topped 70 yards in a game yet this season, and he's coming off of a 15-yard performance against the Ravens. Meanwhile, the Bills have allowed two touchdowns and 3.9 yards per carry to opposing offenses.
Ridley finally broke out last week for 96 yards and two touchdowns, his first two of the year. So is it time to place him back in your starting lineups? Maybe not this week, since the Jets are giving up just 3.0 yards per carry, best in the NFL.
Plus, Ridley didn't do anything for the first month of the season. But the 3.0 yards per carry is important too.
29. Trent Richardson, Colts vs. Broncos
It may be that Indianapolis is good enough that it will only be sending over a first-round pick in the low-20s to the Browns for Richardson, but that was as much as Cleveland could hope to salvage for the former No. 3 pick. Richardson may get a few goal-line carries against Denver and score, but we've rarely seen him be the same player in the NFL he was at Alabama.
The Broncos are allowing only 3.2 yards per carry and get Von Miller back this week.
Martin, like most Bucs, has thus far been my biggest fail of the 2013 season. I had the No. 1 overall pick in a league and drafted Martin over the entire rest of the NFL because I figured he was poised for a huge season. It's no surprise that this Tampa player has been a major disappointment.
With just 3.5 yards per carry, 30 fewer total yards per game than he had last year and only one touchdown, I am really paying for the trust I put into Martin.
Atlanta has given up just two rushing touchdowns this year.
Surpriser of the Week: Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks at Cardinals
Again, I hate the short weeks. Plus, the Cardinals are allowing just 3.5 yards per carry and only two touchdowns on the ground all year. Maybe that means Marshawn scores through the air, as he had a career receiving game on Sunday, but this might be more of a game for Russell Wilson than Lynch.
32. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals vs. Seahawks
Short week, Seattle defense, Richard Sherman, Carson Palmer.
31. Andre Johnson, Texans at Chiefs
Matt Schaub, T.J. Yates, Houston decline, Sean Smith, Chiefs defense, pass rush.
Johnson is also looking for his first touchdown of the year, and he has just six scores since the start of 2011.
30. Torrey Smith, Ravens at Steelers
Smith is averaging over 20 yards per catch this year, tops in the NFL, but in his career against the Steelers, he's averaging 27 yards per game and 12 yards per catch. There might be one thing that Pittsburgh can still do right.
29. Roddy White, Falcons vs. Buccaneers
White is listed as doubtful this week anyway, but even if he plays, he won't be much of an option in any leagues. The loss of Julio Jones will allow teams to focus on White and Tony Gonzalez even more, and the Bucs still have some talented players in the secondary. If White doesn't play, that means Darrelle Revis on... Harry Douglas?
28. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs vs. Texans
On the other side of the ball in Kansas City, Bowe likely won't gain much ground. Though the Chiefs are 6-0, it has little to do with Bowe. (Rhyme intended.) He's averaging 38 yards per game, which is somehow a lot less than what he was doing with Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn last year.
Surpriser of the Week: Demaryius Thomas, Broncos at Colts
In the same vein as what I said about Manning, this might not be the best week to play Thomas. That doesn't mean you bench him, because obviously you don't, but he might be the surprising disappointment of the week for wide receivers. That's why it's a surprise!
Kellen Winslow, Jets vs. Patriots
It's been an off-again, on-again season for Winslow, but this will probably be off, again. The Patriots are fourth in the NFL against tight ends this year, per Football Outsiders.
Myers has been the tight end version of Doug Martin for me. I selected him in two leagues, once as an injury replacement to Rob Gronkowski, but I think I would've rather started Gronk. At least he has an excuse for putting up multiple goose eggs this year.
Minnesota is sixth against tight ends, per FO.
Tony Gonzalez, Falcons vs. Buccaneers
Same as I've been saying about Atlanta during the whole article, the Falcons might make the Texans situation look "not that bad" when it's all said and done. At least in this case you have a pretty good idea that Matt Ryan is still a great player, but they just won't get much traction with all these injuries on offense.
Injuries that mean the only player you have to focus on the entire game might be Gonzalez. Tony, you might be too old for this s---.