1. Drew Brees (NO) – He has without question been the most consistent top flight fantasy QB so far this season. Brees’ average game in 2008 consists of 332 passing yards with 2 TD’s, and only 1 interception. He will face off against Carolina’s #2 ranked pass defense in week 7. While the Panthers pass defense looks excellent on paper, they have only faced one legitimate fantasy QB all season. That was a week 1 game against Phillip Rivers in which he torched them for 3 TD passes. In spite of what appears to be a difficult match up, Brees should excel once again in week 7, especially if WR Marques Colston and TE Jeremy Shcokey return to the Saints starting line up as expected. Brees threw for 260 yards and 3 TD’s in his last meeting with the Panthers in 2007.
2. Peyton Manning (IND) – We can’t think of a better way that Manning could have jump started his season than by lighting up the Ravens top ranked pass defense. After a mediocre start to his 2008 campaign, he returned to form in week 6 by torching Baltimore for 271 yards and 3 TD’s. With a week 7 match up against Green Bay on the horizon, Manning stands a good chance to stay on track, full steam ahead. The Packers deceptively rank 7th in the NFL in passing yards allowed, but when you look at the level of competition they have faced in opposing QB’s this season, it is easy to comprehend why. The couple of times that they have faced an elite caliber QB this season, the results were not as rosy, and they rank near the bottom of the NFL with 9 passing TD’s allowed. After only one big game, it is still a bit pre mature to say that Manning has returned to elite fantasy QB status, but things are certainly looking up, and we like his chances against a beat up Green Bay secondary.
3. Jay Cutler (DEN) – While Cutler’s numbers have dropped off over the last few weeks, he remains a top flight fantasy option when the match up calls for it. A week 7 meeting against New England is just favorable enough. The Patriots pass defense has been solid ranking 12th in yards allowed, but they have been shaky at best in keeping opposing WR’s out of the end zone, allowing 9 TD’s through the air on the season. In addition, they have struggled against big play WR’s this season, and it just so happens that Cutler has a big play WR in his arsenal with Brandon Marshall. Cutler might have his shaky moments, which have been fairly common lately, but all in all, this match up bodes well.
4. Matt Schaub (HOU) – He might seem a little risky based on his overall performance this season, but Schaub has been hot of late, and he has a great match up in a tough week for fantasy QB’s. In his last 2 starts, Schaub has thrown for 687 yards and 4 TD’s while adding another TD on the ground in week 6. In week 7, he will face the Lions 30th ranked pass defense. Detroit has allowed over 250 yards passing per game and they have also given up 9 TD’s through the air this season. It would not be surprising to see Schaub’s name at the top of the fantasy leader board in week 7 with this match up.
5. Aaron Rodgers (GB) – Whether it is through the air or on the ground, he simply has a knack for finding the end zone. Rodgers now has 14 TD’s on the season and he is proving to be almost as dangerous running the football as throwing it. That said, he might be forced into using his feet a little more in week 7 in order to be successful. Rodgers will likely be challenged by a stingy Colts pass defense that has only allowed 1 passing TD in 5 games this season. In addition, Indy ranks 6th in the NFL in passing yards allowed, giving up just over 173 yards per game. It will be a tall order for Rodgers to dominate the Indianapolis secondary through the air, but how can you bench a fantasy QB that has 6 TD’s in his last 2 games and has played at a top flight level all season? Rodgers remains a must start for week 7 in spite of the difficult match up. Check injury report: shoulder
6. Brett Favre (NYJ) – He saw maybe the most dramatic game to game drop off in fantasy football history following up a monster 6 TD effort against Arizona with a mediocre performance against the Bengals. In all fairness, the Cincinnati secondary has proven to be legit limiting top notch fantasy QB’s all season. Favre should rebound in week 7 with a promising match up against Oakland waiting for him. The Raiders are dangerous at CB, but they have yet to live up to their billing, ranking a poor 25th in the NFL against the pass. In addition, the Raiders were torched by Drew Brees last week and look to be on the downward slide. Favre should get back on track against a struggling Oakland pass defense.
7. Phillip Rivers (SD) – Rivers looks like he is back to his old unpredictable ways. Some weeks he looks like an elite fantasy QB, and other weeks you want to kick yourself for starting him. The good news is that he seems to at least have a pattern to go by this season. After throwing 3 TD passes in each of his first 3 games, Rivers only managed to hit pay dirt 2 times in week’s 4 and 5 combined. In week 6, he once again managed to throw 3 TD’s. Thus, we are optimistic for another strong effort in week 7. He will have his work cut out for him against Buffalo’s 8th ranked pass defense, but he seems to play better this season when the match up is less promising. Rivers is truly a mystery, but if his pattern holds true, fantasy owners should be rewarded in week 7.
8. Eli Manning (NYG) – We thought that an underrated Browns secondary might give him some trouble in week 6, but we had no idea that Manning would be shut down in the manner in which he was. In addition, Manning suffered a severe chest bruise in the 3rd quarter of that game. X Rays and an MRI revealed no serious damage, so while Manning will likely battle some pain issues in week 7, we do expect him to start. We also expect him to rebound from his Monday night meltdown with a solid effort against San Francisco in week 7. The 49ers pass defense ranks 20th in the NFL. Check injury report: chest
9. Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) – After struggling through injury issues and some shaky performances through the first few games, Roethlisberger should be on the mend after the bye week, and he is coming off of a monster effort against Jacksonville in week 5. A week 7 match up against the Bengals 4th ranked pass defense isn’t exactly favorable for him, but he seems to be turning the corner on the difficult set of circumstances that limited him earlier this season. While the Cincinnati secondary is stout, Roethlisberger should provide fantasy owners with solid production.
10. Jake Delhomme (CAR) – He finally appeared to be on track after the return of Steve Smith, but a week 6 meeting with Tampa Bay proved to be a huge let down for fantasy owners as Delhomme threw 3 interceptions and was completely shut out of the end zone. While it looks like he is not to be trusted in certain match ups, we do expect him to regroup in a promising week 7 meeting with the Saints. New Orleans ranks just 21st in pass defense allowing 227 passing yards per game. Given New Orleans recent success against the run, we anticipate that Delhomme will come out firing early and often against this defense. Despite a rough week 6, we think Delhomme can do some damage with this match up.
11. Kyle Orton (CHI) – We expected more from him in week 6 based on his recent play, but all in all, he performed adequately. Adequate is probably about all you can expect from him again this week as well. Orton will face division rival Minnesota in week 7. While the Vikings pass defense is vulnerable, they have been fairly solid to this point only allowing 4 passing TD’s in 6 games. Orton is capable of solid numbers with this match up, but you shouldn’t expect anything more than that.
12. Trent Edwards (BUF) – If anyone could have used a bye in week 6, it was Trent Edwards. Edwards was knocked goofy in week 5 and carted off the field with a concussion. He is expected to be back for a week 7 game against San Diego and the match up appears promising. The Chargers have struggled all season against the pass allowing 254 yards per game and 10 total TD’s through the air this season. Edwards should put up decent numbers with this match up, but keep in mind that he hasn’t exactly torched any defense this season. He has been very efficient, but Edwards has not exceeded 1 TD pass in a game all season, even against a pathetic Rams pass defense. Check injury report: concussion
13. Brad Johnson (DAL) – In all honesty, it is difficult to judge Johnson’s fantasy value for week 7. On the one hand, you have a 40 year old journeyman QB that hasn’t started a game in 2 years. On the other, you have a proven experienced signal caller, with a loaded offense at his disposal, playing against a weak St. Louis pass defense. It really all depends on your perspective and your options at QB this week, but we think he is capable of solid production with the favorable match up. That said, don’t expect him to step in and put up Romo type numbers. (UPDATE: Romo did throw passes today and says he wants to play Sunday. We'll keep an eye on his status.)
14. Jason Campbell (WAS) – We had high expectations for Campbell with a promising week 6 match up against St. Louis, but he did not deliver. After a solid start to the season, Campbell has been held without a single TD pass for 2 straight weeks now. He hasn’t been horrible, but from a fantasy standpoint, the numbers have been very disappointing. Campbell will face an underrated Browns pass defense in week 7 that embarrassed Eli Manning last Monday night. While we can foresee Campbell playing yet another efficient game, we don’t see him putting up big fantasy stats against this defense. If you have a better option at QB this week, we suggest using him.
15. Gus Frerotte (MIN) – He has developed a strong rapport with WR Bernard Berrian, and Frerotte has shown solid potential, but solid is about as far as he can take you even with the best of match ups. That said, he has a great week 7 match up against a struggling Bears pass defense that ranks 27th in the NFL. Regardless, you can probably expect more of the same from him with another decent performance that won’t make or break your week 7 fantasy roster. Even with the favorable match up, Frerotte should only be used as a bye week filler.
16. Derek Anderson (CLE) – The Browns looked like a different team on Monday night against the undefeated Giants in large part due to the stellar play of Derek Anderson. Hopefully, this performance was an indication that he has turned the corner and will return to the form that made him one of 2007’s top fantasy QB’s. While it certainly was promising, you also have to keep in mind that it was only one game in an otherwise forgettable season. At this point, we are going to need to see more from Anderson before suggesting you throw him back in your starting line up on a regular basis, but we do at least feel that he has earned a shot as a bye week fill in this week against the Redskins.
17. Jeff Garcia (TB) – He isn’t the kind of fantasy QB that is going to give you big numbers in any match up, but Garcia is quietly efficient and typically produces on a level acceptable for use as a quality bye week filler. He will face a Seattle pass defense that ranks 22nd in the NFL against the pass. Garcia should be productive against this defense, but not to the point that he is going to wow you.
18. Matt Cassel (NE) – He has another exceptional match up in week 7 against the Broncos who currently claim the worst pass defense in the NFL. That said, Cassel has yet to deliver in equally promising match ups throughout the season and only has 3 TD passes with 4 interceptions to his credit in 5 games. The match up is right, but Cassel is not. Unless you are in desperation mode, He is not highly regarded for week 7 fantasy play.
19. Chad Pennington (MIA) – While he continues to improve and show consistency, Pennington’s numbers probably aren’t going to be enough to put you over the top in most fantasy leagues. He has a week 7 meeting with the Baltimore Ravens. In spite of getting lit up by Peyton Manning last week, the Ravens still maintain the NFL’s top ranked defense against the pass, and let’s face it; Pennington does not have the weapons to embarrass this defense two weeks in a row. He is a risky bye week fill in at best.
20 Kerry Collins (TEN) – He is little more than desperation bye week filler for week 7 against a middle of the road Chiefs pass defense. The Titans will likely focus on the run in this match up, and Collins likely won’t muster up more than a few fantasy points at best.