Well last week was a rough week for myself, as well as most pass catchers out there, as Week 6 of the NFL season only had 11 players record games of 100 or more receiving yards, and for this articles sake, none of those were tight ends. In other words, it was more of a crapshoot than normal.
My big debacle of last week was regarding a member of the Cleveland Browns (who would have thought that one?), but this week i hope to make it up to Benjamin Watson by showing him a little bit more respect. In week 6, both Heath Miller and Tony Gonzalez put in solid performances with Miller adding a score to his 50 receiving yards, and Gonzalez going for 2 TDs on only 3 catches. Mercedes Lewis, along with the rest of the Jaguars, looked dreadful on Monday Night Football, despite it being in crystal clear HD. Tony Moeaki came up way short of expectations, and I would just rather not talk about it. On a good note, Jason Witten only had 52 yards last week! Woohoo! I just hope this week is different I can’t handle the stress anymore.
This week is all about big names in low places and the lowly coming up big. On one hand we have two Starts on sub-par, sub-.500, teams who can give their guys a bit of a spark. On the other, we’ve got a defending champ and an early season stud that are still looking to make more of an impact, but it will not be this week. Hopefully my boys will do me proud in Week 7 and get me some big games and some major duds. Here are my Week 7 Start/Sit predictions for Week 7 of the NFL season.
|Vernon Davis @ CAR||Things are finally starting to get on track for Vernon Davis. His yardage and receptions per game have been all over the place lately, but the one thing that has been consistent? Touchdowns. Davis has caught a TD in each of the last 3 games, despite catching more than 4 balls, or tallying up more than 36 yds receiving, in only one of those games (5 catches for 104 against Philly). Essentially what this has meant is that with Alex Smith under center, the Niners staff is weary of taking Davis off of the line and are using him more as a blocker for Frank Gore and hedging the pass rush to give Smith just a fraction of a second longer to find receivers downfield. Well, this applies to everywhere except in the Red Zone. Davis is still their most sure handed receiver and is the guy they are going to look to when the game is on the line, which is why he had such a big day in Philadelphia.
This week Vernon Davis squares off against a struggling Panther team that has reverted back to opening day starting QB Matt Moore. Moore has proven to be rather ineffectual and has turned the ball over with some frequency, which will subsequently allow the 49ers offense to see the field a lot more.
Despite working through a bruised knee, I still see Vernon Davis getting his fair share of touches when it counts, especially against the Panthers who will be looking to take away the running game and make the 49ers beat them downfield.
|Benjamin Watson @ NO
||The Browns have been a bit surprising as of late all things considered. They have a rookie starting QB, their top two wide receivers, Mohammed Massaquoi and Josh Cribbs, seem to be perpetually on the mend, and they have a relative unknown at running back in Peyton Hillis, but what they have had is consistency at the tight end position. If it weren’t for the popular headlines of Colt McCoy and Hillis, we would probably hear a bit more about Benjamin Watson. He has been shockingly consistent despite all of the turmoil in the team, and has become the only set of reliable hands on a young offensive unit. Last week he was able to defy the odds I gave him and came down with 6 grabs for 88 yards and a score against one of the best defenses in the league, so I don’t see why he couldn’t produce more of the same against a New Orleans team that has given up the 8th most fantasy points against TEs this season.|
|Aaron Hernandez @ SD||Out of the two rookie tight ends that New England has at its disposal, Aaron Hernandez seems to be the more dynamic of the two. He has great speed, runs great routs, and has been tremendous after the catch, which is why he leads the team in receiving yards and YAC (barely beating out Wes Welker in both categories). Hernandez hasn’t been as big of a threat in the Red Zone as his counterpart Rob Gronkowski, but time and time again they use Hernandez to attack down the field and he will hit the End Zone soon enough.
The Patriots and Aaron Hernandez face up against a San Diego Chargers team that is severely depleted on offense, possibly no Malcolm Floyd or Antonio Gates, and is coming off a major loss to St. Louis. Despite leading the league in passing defense the Chargers have been known to let tight ends have their way in the Red Zone, just look a the damage done already this year:
Z. Miller- 62 yds and a TD
J. Carlson- 61 yds and a TD
M. Lewis- 5 catches for 70 yds
T. Moeaki- 21 yds and a TD
And here is who to sit in Week 7:
|Visanthe Shiancoe @ GB||Despite coming out of the gate hot, Shiancoe has been relatively non-existent as of late, with a lot of that to do with the arrival of Randy Moss. Early in the season Brett Favre had no big receivers to throw to with Percy Harvin limited and Sidney Rice out entirely, Shiancoe was really the only option downfield, but with everyone healthy plus Moss, he has become a 3rd option at best. In the past 3 games he has only had 3 catches for 35 yards and had zero targets in last weeks game against Dallas. Now he lines up against Green Bay who has an effective pass rush, which disrupted Favre’s game last week, and haven’t given up a 100+ yd game to a tight end this year and only allowed one score.|
|Jeremy Shockey vs. CLE||Just one amongst many, and that is his biggest problem. Jeremy Shockey is just one weapon amongst many for the talented Saints offense. The trick with the Saints is that you could be the guy one week and then be the fourth option the next. Drew Brees loves to spread the ball out and Shockey gets his fair share of looks being targeted 34 times, but many of his catches fail to produce big yardage (41.2 yds/g) and can hasn’t been a dominant force in the Red Zone with only 2 TDs on the year.
This weekend Shockey and the Saints are coming off of a huge bounce back win against Tampa Bay, and they have the Browns set squarely in their sights. Is this good news for Jeremy Shockey owners? Not so much. The Browns have only given up more than 50 yards to a tight end once this season, not to mention the fact that they have almost completely shut down the position in the Red Zone giving up only a single touchdown thus far.
|John Carlson vs. ARI||John Carlson may be the only stable player in the Seahawks offensive attack. He is always reliable and is productive when he gets the chance, but those chances seem to be dwindling. It was under my assumption, as well as many others’, that when Deion Branch was traded to New England Carlson would see a spike in his targets, but alas we were all sadly mistaken. Instead of Carlson getting more touches, most of them went to Mike Williams who had 15 targets in last week’s win at Chicago. This may be a one game fluke, but for some reason I doubt it. Carlson always seems to sit in the mid range passing game and is mainly a check down receiver and not the threat that he could be. Instead Pete Carroll and co. has been trying to establish a stretch game that leaves guys like Carlson out of many statistical categories. He will still get his touches, but they will be few and far between, which means his only real value is when he can hit the End Zone, which has only happened once this season so far. This pick has much more to do with Seattle’s system than Arizona’s defense, which has struggled against tight ends all year, but until the Hawks show that he is an integral part of the offense, he is simply too much of a risk.|