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Prepare Thyself: Week Seven

October 17, 2008 | By Andy Goldstein | comment on this post

Every season, there’s a week when things start clicking together. A few early slumpers break out. Some early surprises just get better while others start to fade. This season, that happened last week. Derek Anderson and Braylon Edwards? They’ll be just fine, thank you. Roddy White and Aaron Rodgers? Current and future studs. Jay Cutler and Michael Turner? Don’t start carving the fantasy MVP trophy just yet.

Basically, the fantasy season has three parts. The opening act is chaos and uncertainty. You ride the hot hands and hope to avoid catastrophe. That just ended and now we’re smack dab in the middle of Act II: The Byes. In fiction, the middle act is when the protagonist often has very little hope. Luke is drifting on an Ice Planet. Sméagol is a dangerous presence. Harry is accused of murdering Cedric. You don’t get to start your proper lineup for five or six weeks. I usually fast forward through the bad parts of movies, but there’s little recourse in fantasy football. All you can do is find the sneaky starts and avoid the surprising sits. Luckily, I’m here to help you do exactly that.

Sneaky Starts

Brad Johnson, Dallas Cowboys (@ Rams): Alright. This one is easy. No Tony Romo + the addition of Roy Williams + Rams = start Johnson.

Ryan Grant, Green Bay Packers (vs. Colts): – I don’t really know why Grant has struggled so much this season. Sure, part of it is defenses maybe not respecting Rodgers and the passing game and part of it is offensive line play that has not up to last season’s standards. But if those were the only issues, Grant would have done better the last couple weeks. I have to believe something else (like an injury) is holding him back. Still, the Colts rank near the bottom of the league in rush defense and Grant will get 20 to 25 carries. That’s enough reason to be cautiously optimistic this week.

Bernard Berrian, Minnesota Vikings (@ Bears): – Okay, Berrian has two straight games of 100+ yards and a score, so I don’t know if he exactly qualifies as a “sneaky” start, but going against the Bear defense will worry many fantasy owners. Don’t sweat it, Bra! As the Bears displayed last week, when it comes to an offense with a quality back, they’ll completely sell out to stop the run. So while Adrian Peterson is facing 11 in the box (approximation), Berrian will be free to run. And catch.

Surprising Sits

Matt Forte, Chicago Bears (vs. Vikings): – Once again, Forte failed to hit four yards per carry last week. He is averaging a paltry 3.6 yards per attempt on the season. Forte has feasted on bad defense and he contributes in the passing game, which is nice. But the Vikings rank fourth overall in rush defense. Because he’s a clear cut starter, there’s also a chance at a cheap goal line score, but don’t expect much in the way of yardage at all.

Lance Moore, New Orleans Saints (@ Panthers): Since the week after Marques Colston was felled by his thumb injury, Moore has averaged 77 yards per game. It’s been an impressive streak considering three other guys were at one point or another supposed to be “the guy.” Unfortunately, Colston is all but assured of returning to the lineup Sunday, which makes Moore’s days as a consistent force numbered. Sure, he’ll have his occasional good game, but as long as Colston is happy, Moore is nothing more than a fantasy backup. Pun intended.

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