Through seven games, Oakland's Zach Miller ranks second among tight ends in receptions and tied for fourth in touchdowns. He has been the best value pick at the position and should have a strong finish. However, his Week 7 matchup is not as favorable as most, and for this reason he can be considered a STUD TO SIT for those fantasy owners with another viable option at tight end. The Seahawks' defense has given up just six touchdown passes (tied for third best in the league) and none to a tight end since Week 3. Miller will have to wait a week before continuing his 2010 tear.
I like the SHORT ODDS, and I also like the following backs to score at least once this week: Frank Gore, Felix Jones and Rashard Mendenhall.
It's been a rough season for the defending Super Bowl champion Saints, to put it kindly. Drew Brees has had a few forgettable games and the offense just isn't performing at the same level it did a year ago. Things will turn for the better Sunday, at least offensively, so I say DOUBLE DOWN on wide receiver Marques Colston and tight end Jeremy Shockey. The Saints host a Pittsburgh pass defense that has allowed 236 passing yards per game, and allows opposing passers a completion percentage of 66.2 percent. Colston finally had a breakout performance in Week 7, and Shockey lives for the spotlight (this game is on Sunday Night Football). Both are recommended plays.
Looking for a pair of receivers that might be on the verge of increased fantasy production? BASIC MATH tells us Chicago's Johnny Knox and Jacksonville's Mike Thomas could be sound bets. Both rank among the top 10 in the league in catches of 20-plus yards, yet they are the only two from that group to record fewer than three scores thus far (Knox caught his first touchdown this past weekend, while Thomas is still waiting).
THE BREAK ROOM (industry experts share their thoughts):
Which preseason "handcuff" pick are fantasy owners regretting the most right now?
RapidDraft.com senior football writer Matt Schauf believes most handcuff picks come without much regret because they tend to get drafted late enough that they're easy to cut if needed.
"That said, anyone who drafted both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart probably figured at worst they had a quality running back throughout the season," said Schauf. "I thought Stewart was overrated in fantasy heading into the season but certainly couldn't have guessed both would be so irrelevant."
Neither Williams nor Stewart rank among the league's top 20 rushers, and each player has just one touchdown so far this season.
SI.com fantasy writer Will Carroll has another NFC handcuff in mind:
"I think if there's one regretful handcuff, it's been the Cowboys backfield," said Carroll. "With three good running backs who have all shown NFL ability, Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett haven't found a way to get the production of one good back out of them. It should be an ideal mix and I can't tell you why it doesn't work. It just doesn't."
SUCKER TRADE OF THE WEEK
Fuzzy writes: "Picked up Jeremy Maclin and Davone Bess for Eddie Royal and Steve Smith from NYG. Big two for two deal!" ... Yep, Fuzzy, Maclin's production has made your deal a success. Now see if you can trade someone for a new nickname.
Mike Beacom is a contributing writer for FootballDiehards.com. Send him your questions and "sucker trade" entries at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a full name and your home state, please.