Colts Media Reporter Steve Andress' picks for the top fantasy matchups this week.
INDIANAPOLIS --- After this weekend, we will be more than halfway through the fantasy regular season. Around half of you are probably frustrated with your results, with highly-touted draft picks not reaching expectations.
You want to trade them. You're tired of waiting, but some of these players should not be traded yet. Last week we told you which surprises to trust. This week, here are a few struggling names I'm holding onto (or trying to trade for):
Steelers WR Antonio Brown - Just ten points combined in standard scoring and twenty in PPR over the past three weeks, but you have to hold onto him. This is simply a direct result of Ben Roethlisberger playing hurt, and Big Ben should be back last week. Even with #2 WR Martavis Bryant back, I'm not concerned. Brown averaged 8.8 receptions, 106.9 yards per game, with 8 touchdowns in 10 games when Bryant also played last year.
Packers RB Eddie Lacy - NFL.com's Chris Wesseling laid out the similarities to last year with Lacy's slow start this year. Soon after, Lacy turned it on with 90+ scrimmage yards per game. I think he's been playing hurt with the ankle and still want to see him after the bye before trading him, when that ankle has had two weeks to heal.
Bengals RB Jeremy Hill - This could be a roller coaster ride all season, with Hill splitting touches with Bernard. However, in a game where it appeared Bernard would get more touches last week at Buffalo, Hill had 16 carries. Then Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson said this about Hill: "I mean, there's another level for him and he'll get there and I believe that with my whole heart...I mean, we need him. He's going to be a huge part down the stretch run once we get back here." With Hill on his bye week, now might be a good time to get him.
Colts QB Andrew Luck - Maybe you want to "sell high" on Luck after his elite fantasy stat line vs. New England. Don't. That would be a mistake. Last week, I traded Dez Bryant and Philip Rivers in my league of record to get Luck, and I already had Cam Newton (who I then traded for a solid RB and TE). He's back. If you have him, keep him. If you don't have him, see if his owner wants to trade him.
Week 7 Start 'Em (16+ points for QBs, 10+ for RB/WR; 26-13 for season, 1-5 last week...Eli, Peyton, Lacy, Duke Johnson. Woof. Time to bounce back.)
Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (vs. BAL) - Baltimore has been awful against the pass, and Palmer has been the exact opposite with his receivers. I expect 20+ points this week.
Chargers QB Philip Rivers (vs. OAK) - You didn't draft him to be your starter, but ride him while he's hot. 503 passing yards and two touchdowns last week in Lambeau and an easier match-up now against the Raiders.
Dolphins RB Lamar Miller (vs. HOU) - Interim Head Coach Dan Campbell committed to giving him the rock last week, which led to a season-high 21 touches for 118 total yards and a score. Miller didn't have that many touches in his last two games combined. One of last season's top-10 fantasy RBs is back.
Raiders RB Latavius Murray (@ SD) - Mysteriously didn't play the 2nd half before the bye week and has had a couple of rough games, but appears to be healthy now with a juicy match-up. The Chargers are allowing 5 yards per carry.
Cardinals WR John Brown (vs. BAL) - Earlier this season I told you to look deeper than the box score in fantasy and pinpointed Brown as a guy that was ready to explode, after having a ton of yards negated by defensive pass interference. John Brown has rewarded those who have stuck by him over the past three games: 7-75, 4-73-1, 10-196(!). The Ravens secondary has struggled mightily against speed WRs too, most recently Torrey Smith of the 49ers last week.
Colts WR Donte Moncrief (vs. NO) - This is not to say don't start T.Y. Hilton too, but if you have Hilton you're starting him. That's obvious. This is to drive home the point that Moncrief should be an every week starter for you moving forward. Luck has targeted Moncrief more than any other Colt this season, and he's scored in every game Luck has started.
SLEEPER OF THE WEEK - Cowboys RB Darren McFadden: This applies more to PPR leagues than standard, but with all the talk of whether Christine Michael will become the starter now ahead of Joseph Randle, what's been lost is McFadden taking over the passing downs role of Lance Dunbar (on IR). McFadden picked up right where Dunbar left off with 9 receptions for 62 yards last time out.
TIGHT END WEEK 5 SLEEPER - Chargers TE Ladarius Green: Antonio Gates has been banged up and missed a couple practices this week. Even if he plays, Green is a good flyer TE against the Raiders, who are giving up the most fantasy points to TEs this year. Even with Gates back, Green has had 50 yards or a touchdown each of the past two weeks.
Honorable Mention - Cowboys RB Christine Michael: Lots of hype...gotta see it first. Stash him, but don't start him.
Week 7 Sit 'Em ( < 16 points for QBs, < 10 for RB/WR; 24-11 on the season, 4-2 last week)
Quarterback - Nobody: It's getting ridiculous trying to predict quarterbacks that won't post numbers for you. It's the state of the position right now in fantasy. 19 QUARTERBACKS posted at least 16 points last week in standard scoring. This is why I told you preseason to not even think about drafting a quarterback in the first round. Play the better match-ups. Plenty of fish in the sea.
Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount (vs. NYJ) - I'm risking Blount falling into a goal line score here, but the Jets front 7 is fantastic. This feels like a Dion Lewis game.
Chargers RB Melvin Gordon (vs. OAK) - Add fumbling issues to concerns about pass catching ability and pass protection. If you own him, you reached for him in drafts, which means your roster is in even worse shape. You can't start Gordon. Try and trade him to get something useful; maybe Jonathan Stewart, Duke Johnson, or Rashad Jennings.
Ravens WR Kamar Aiken (@ ARZ) - He will likely draw Patrick Peterson. That means I have to ignore his last three games where Aiken has put up at least 70 yards and/or a touchdown.
Browns WR Travis Benjamin (@STL) - One of the surprises of the fantasy season, but I hate the match-up against a Rams defense that should pressure Josh McCown all day.
Lions WR Golden Tate (vs. MIN) - I still don't understand how that was a touchdown but Freeman and Eifert's weren't. Nevertheless, the Vikings have a highly underrated defense, and I expect Calvin Johnson to eat up the targets.
Get ahead of the waiver wire competition after this weekend! (Must be under 50% owned on NFL.com to qualify)
Week 7 Pick 'Em Up
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (44.7%, currently #6 QB)
James Starks (19.3%, must own for Lacy owners)
Browns RB Duke Johnson (44.3%)
Titans RB David Cobb (46.1%...on short-term IR, due back in 2 weeks)
Cowboys RB Christine Michael (13.7%)
Bengals WR Marvin Jones (10.6%...needs to be owned WAY more)
Dolphins WR Rishard Matthews (33.0%...Dolphins in more 2 WR sets now, helps Matthews)
Titans WR Dorial Green-Beckham (41.4%)