In honor of the NFL’s recent decision to change the way the game is played, I present a few “Quick Hits” for the upcoming week:
- Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) came back faster than anyone expected and seems to be back on track. Have no fear starting this man in the future.
- Brett Favre (MIN) had an effective but unproductive game against the Cowboys. This week, he gets the Packers, a defense he dominated in two meetings last year. While Favre hasn’t looked great this year, he is startable this week. Favre (right) plays well under the Monday Night Lights and hopefully won't be distracted by the ongoing investigation.
- Vince Young (TEN) did not live up to my praise last week, mainly due to a sprained knee suffered against the Jags. He is currently day-to-day, but I expect him to play on Sunday
- Matt Stafford (DET) is worth a look for anyone scouring the waiver wire for a smart pickup. The Lions have a bye this week, but Stafford should return after that. He looked stellar early and will be able to match Shaun Hill’s production, if not outdo the backup.
Now, on to who to start in Week 7:
|Chad Henne vs PIT
|Henne has very quietly averaged 300 yards and two touchdowns against three premiere teams in the last three weeks. Last week, he went for 230 and two TDs while leading his team to an overtime victory of the Packers.
While the Pittsburg pass D sounds tough in name, the stats haven’t backed up that assumption. The Steelers are 23rd against the pass this year, and won’t rise after Henne exploits them. The 3rd year QB is significantly better at home, especially in September. Don’t let the matchup prevent you from making the smart choice to start Chad Henne.
|Matt Cassell @ JAC
|Hopefully someone listened to my call to start Cassell last week. I’m sure those people enjoyed his three touchdowns against the Texans. Cassell gets another cushy matchup this week as he goes to Jacksonville. The Jaguars can’t do anything right and are 29th in pass yards against. Everyone gets another chance to start Cassell and enjoy the returns.
|Kevin Kolb @ TEN
|If you play in any leagues like mine, you may have a chance to take advantage of someone else’s misfortune by picking up Kevin Kolb. Many owners dropped him only to see him rise again, throwing for 300+ yards and 3 scores last week. Rub some salt in their wounds by starting Kolb again this week against the Titans. Tennessee is 26th against the pass, and Kolb will produce, even without Desean Jackson.
|Jay Cutler vs. WAS
|It’s understandable for a QB to be less than perfect when returning from a concussion. However, Cutler should get back on track this week against Washington. The ‘Skins have been awful against the pass, but have been able to put up points, so I expect a shootout with both signal-callers benefiting.
|Matt Hasselbeck vs. ARI
|Hasselbeck has not been great this year, but he’s my “shoot, it’s Saturday night and I need a QB for tomorrow” pick-up of the week (that’s trademarked by the way). Arizona has been very bad against the pass and Matt has been doing better at home. He isn’t a lock to put up numbers, but he’s a safe bet to consider.
And here is who to sit in Week 7:
|Kyle Orton vs OAK
|Kyle Orton only mustered 200 yards and one touchdown against the 22nd ranked Jets defense. While these numbers aren’t bad, they are significantly worse than his prior performances. This week, Oakland comes to town, bringing the 8th best passing defense with them. So far this year, Orton has done worse at home, another challenge he will have to face this weekend.
In addition to the Raiders, Orton will have to battle Tim Tebow for playing time. Tebow grabbed some goal line snaps last week, and he may steal a TD or two from the starter each week. Orton has had surprising success, and he may put up big points, but I’d consider other, safer bets this week.
|Colt McCoy @ NO
|The rookie certainly exceeded expectations by succeeding against the Steelers last week. This week, if he plays, he will go against a much tougher Saints pass defense. New Orleans is 7th against the pass and McCoy will struggle in the loud dome. Sit the man in his 2nd NFL start.
|Tom Brady @ SD
|Brady has had a solid year thus far, but his numbers have been inflated in two games against the Bengals and Bills. Now, without Randy Moss, the offense will be less effective. Deion Branch is not the long term answer. This week, Brady and the bunch face San Diego’s pass defense, the best in the league in terms of yardage. Avoid starting Brady if possible.
|Alex Smith @ CAR
|Smith has had two solid performances in a row, but I’m not ready to take him out of the dog house. First, he will have to produce against Carolina on Sunday. The only thing the Panthers are good for this year is pass defense; they’ve given up the 5th fewest yards.
|Matt Moore vs. SF
|Speaking of the Panthers, guess who’s the new qb in town….again. After a couple atrocious starts, Jimmy Clausen was put out of his misery (for now) and Matt Moore was given the keys to the old, beat-up car. Moore was great last year, but I don’t expect much from him in the immediate future, although he’s worth a flier if you’ve got the bench space and need a risky quarterback.