“Trust your guys or trade them.” That’s my motto. If you’ve lost faith in a player due to poor performances, or his just not playing up to your standards, it’s better for you to trade him to a team that will find worth in him than to send him to your bench where he will sit for all eternity, or until the next time he has a good performance, which of course you can never predict. And I broke my own rule when I sat Vincent Jackson down last week in one of my leagues. Yes, I knew he was playing against a poor Eagles secondary, and I knew Mike Williams was out so Jackson was the only real weapon for Glennon, but it was Mike Glennon. I didn’t trust him, and Jackson hadn’t shown where the two of them had built any chemistry yet. Yes, I tried to rationalize benching him, but there was really no reason to do that. I drafted him in the fourth round to be a solid member of my team, and even though he hadn’t played like it, I knew he would at some point. So, when he did perform like it, he did it from the far side of my bench, sitting between Brent Celek and Eddie Royal.
Now, I have two things I can do to assure myself something like that never happens again with Vincent Jackson. Either put him back in my lineup and keep him there until the end of time (or until/if he gets hurt), or trade him to someone who will use him and get someone back who I am confident in to perform for me. This would be the week to trade him, too, coming off a dominating performance. I could get the most in return. That’s just one lineup decision I have to make, but it will be made before kickoff on Sunday. Never wait to see what will happen. Make up your mind and stick to it. I’m sure you too have some lineup decisions to make for week 7, and that’s what I’m here for, to make those go as easily as possible for you. Time for Setting Your Lineup…
Bilal Powell or Danny Woodhead
I don’t suggest using either of these players as your RB1 or RB2 for this week, but there is upside to each that might make them good possible flex plays for your team. Powell has a good matchup against the Patriots, and Woodhead has a dream game against the Jaguars. But Woodhead is dangerous through the air and on the ground, and the weakness of opponent also gives him the edge. Definitely start Woodhead over Powell this week, and he should reward your fantasy team. He will get at least 14 standard fantasy points this week.
Hakeem Nicks or Mike Wallace
Wallace is coming off his best game of the season, and the Dolphins are coming off a bye, so he’s fresh and ready for the Bills. Nicks is facing statistically one of the worst defenses against the pass in the Vikings. But both are undependable, and both can tend to disappear for long stretches of time within their respective offenses. I would go with Nicks because I don’t trust the Giants running game and Eli will have to air it out for them to win their first game. Cruz will get his yardage, but I think Nicks gets by Randle in this one to post solid stats. Go with Nicks as a WR2, and he should get you at least 10 standard fantasy points this week.
What to Expect From:
“Ridley’s back!” came the hallelujahs from the gallery. Of course he was probably sitting on your bench when he went for 22 standard fantasy points this week in his return to fantasy relevance. Does that mean he’s back for good, or was it a hiccup along the way to an abysmal season? I tend to think the former. He was really good last season for a reason, and I think they’re getting back to that kind of football in New England, more a mix of run and pass, instead of the immense numbers of passes they’ve had to utilize coming from behind so much. With the possible return of Gronkowski this week, too, it will help keep defenses honest and give Ridley more running room. He remains the number one back in New England when healthy, and I would count on him this week. Ridley gets 14 standard fantasy points or more against the Jets.
Freeman obviously has some issues that he needs to overcome, or maybe it was all about whatever mess was going on in Tampa Bay and he’s all clear now that he’s in Minnesota. And he’s starting against that horrible Giants defense on Monday night in week 7, so should he be starting for you? He’s a clear upgrade over both Cassel and Ponder, but what does that mean? It means he will be able to pass down the field accurately, but he hasn’t had enough time to truly learn all the plays, so it also means he will be handing off to Peterson a lot. This game could come down to Peterson, but it won’t come down to the quarterback. Leave him on the waiver wire, or on your bench for now. He will not reach 20 standard fantasy points for this matchup, even against the Giants.
Tight End Roulette:
If Gronk plays, put him in your lineup. He will pay immediate dividends. Those people who think he and Brady won’t have chemistry right away are kidding themselves. He will score at least one touchdown and have 70 receiving yards or more. The demise of Antonio Gates was premature, and he’s playing the Jaguars this week. Need I say more? Get him active. He will score. Scott Chandler is probably still on your waiver wire. I championed him in Walking the Wire, and I will do it again here. Thad Lewis needs an outlet, and Chandler is it. He will get at least 60 receiving yards, and a possible touchdown. Kyle Rudolph is a nice sleeper. Heck, anyone is a good sleeper against the Giants. Get him active. He’ll get at least 50 receiving yards, and a possible short touchdown.
Oh, and start Vincent Jackson or you’ll regret it.