FanNation Week 7 fantasy picks
Week 6 produced another emphatic victory for the challengers (which would be you folks) over your host (me, currently slouched in embarrassment). Matt Ryan's disappointing day against Chicago -- aided by a horrendous effort from the Atlanta offensive line and receivers -- served as my undoing.
Right back on the horse, though, for Week 7.
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My lineup for this weekend is below.
Luck continues to be a fantasy gold mine. His worst game so far under the FanNation scoring system was a 19.88 performance back in Week 2 and he's topped 30 points twice since then. Cincinnati's defense is reeling right now, having allowed a combined 936 yards over the past two weeks -- Cam Newton hung 38.06 fantasy points and 37 actual points on the board against them last Sunday.
Manning's high projection makes him a tiny bit of a gamble. But with the all-time record for career touchdown passes in his grasp, count on Manning to put on a show versus San Francisco Sunday night.
Already mentioned Newton, and he probably is playing the best ball of his career right now. His team has a tough matchup this week, on the road at Green Bay. It might be a better one for Newton, the type of dual-threat QB that has given the Packers defense fits before. Even if he doesn't throw for 300 yards, Newton could pick up a rushing touchdown or two.
If you really want to push the envelope, gambling on Carr could be the way to go. He's coming off a four-TD showing against the Chargers and draws Arizona this week.
There might be a lower ceiling on a guy like Forsett as compared to Murray, Le'Veon Bell and others. In FanNation's scoring system, which handicaps head-to-head matchups based on a team's total projected points, the Ravens' running back might pay off in a big way. He found the end zone in Weeks 4 and 5, then rushed for 111 yards last week. A favorable matchup with a struggling Atlanta team awaits this Sunday.
Murray lands at the other end of the spectrum -- he and Chicago's Matt Forte carry the highest point projections for Week 7. So long as Dallas continues to feed Murray the ball, tough, he makes for a strong fantasy play no matter the circumstance.
Le'Veon Bell is due for a breakout performance. He hasn't hit the 100-yard rushing mark in three games and has failed to find the end zone since Week 1. Coming off a blowout loss in Cleveland, count on Pittsburgh to try to establish Bell early Monday night versus Houston.
The other Bell option here, Joique, comes in at a bargain price. He posted 74 yards rushing, two catches and a touchdown versus Minnesota last week. Reggie Bush might steal some of Bell's work in Week 7, but both Bush and Bell will be motivated against the Saints, their former club.
Sticking with the motivation theme, we come to Marshall. There is little question that the Bears' star will be rarin' to go against the Dolphins on Sunday. Marshall put up six grabs for 113 yards last week, a step forward after three subpar performances caused by a lingering ankle injury.
Nelson ranges anywhere from a safe play to someone who can win you a fantasy week on his own. He might trend closer to the latter this weekend, with a matchup versus Carolina's shoddy defense.
Smith and Fitzgerald each have plus matchups, too -- Smith against the Falcons, Fitzgerald in Oakland against the winless Raiders. Joe Flacco has made Smith his new go-to receiver this season, so even when Smith doesn't score there are enough receptions to propel his fantasy total. Meanwhile, Fitzgerald finally scored his first TD of 2014 last weekend, an encouraging development that coincided with Carson Palmer's return to the lineup.