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October 22, 2009

Fantasy Football Quarterback Start/Sit Rankings (Week 7)

*Updated QB rankings WITH COMMENTS will be posted on Friday. Any additional updates that are necessary will be posted no later than Saturday in the final week 7 rankings.

1. Peyton Manning (IND) – He has now thrown for 300 plus yards in each of his first 5 games to go along with 12 TD passes. He is coming in fresh off of a bye week and Manning has an extremely favorable match up against the Rams 27th ranked pass defense. What more could you ask for ? Manning is a no brainer for week 7 fantasy rosters.

2. Tom Brady (NE) – 380 passing yards and 6 TD’s in the span of just over 2 quarters and in snowy windy conditions no less, are you kidding? We would not have believed it if we didn’t see it. This is exactly what Brady needed to get on the fast track back to playing top flight football. Fortunately, we fully expect him to continue his stellar play with a very friendly week 7 match up against Tampa Bay across the big pond in London on Sunday. The Bucs rank a respectable 11th in the NFL in passing yards allowed, but that does not tell the whole story as the Tampa secondary is shaky at best. They have allowed 13 passing TD’s in 6 games and they have allowed more pass plays of 40 yards or longer than any other team in the NFL and yes, that does include the Titans. Brady is by far the best signal caller this defense has faced all season and we expect the Pats high powered passing attack to embarrass the Bucs in front of our friends in the UK in week 7 (although not quite to the degree we saw them embarrass the Titans, that is literally impossible to top). Check injury report: shoulder (probable)

3. Drew Brees (NO) – After 2 lackluster performances in a row, Brees bounced back with a monster week 6 against the NFL’s top ranked pass defense. We expect more of the same from him in week 7 against Miami. While Brees has struggled in his 2 previous meetings against AFC East opponents, it should be much different this time around. The Dolphins rank a mediocre 18th in the NFL in pass defense and their secondary is highly susceptible to giving up big plays which bodes well for Brees and the Saints high powered passing attack. Brees is a must start for week 7.

4. Aaron Rodgers (GB) – He has now thrown for over 300 yards in his last 2 games and he has at least 2 TD’s in his last 3 contests. We look for him to continue his successful run with a very favorable week 7 match up against a beat up Browns defense. Cleveland has not only suffered a rash of injuries on defense of late, but several key players are suffering from the flu this week as well. The Browns currently rank 23rd in the NFL in pass defense and they were torched for 417 yards and 2 TD’s just last week. Pass protection continues to be a problem for Rodgers, but it is not a glaring issue against this defense and it should not have much effect on Rodgers week 7 fantasy numbers. Rodgers is a very solid fantasy option. Check injury report: foot (probable)

5. Phillip Rivers (SD) – He was slightly underwhelming in week 6, but considering the opponent, Rivers was not all that bad. He should rebound nicely in week 7 against a very generous Kansas City pass defense. The Chiefs rank 25th in pass defense giving up a hair below 250 passing yards per game. They have also allowed 10 passing TD’s in just 6 games. The last time Rivers faced the Chiefs in Kansas City, he threw for 346 yards with 2 TD’s and 1 interception. In fact, he threw for over 300 yards and 2 TD’s in each of the 2 match ups in which he faced the Chiefs last season. Rivers is a very solid starting option for your week 7 fantasy roster with this match up.

6. Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) – He continues to pour it on opposing defenses on a weekly basis and now leads the NFL in passing yards (1,887) and his 12 total TD’s (2 rushing) ranks him among the top 3 scoring QB’s in the league. In week 7, we look for Big Ben to continue the trend against a very shaky Minnesota secondary which is the only chink in the armor of an otherwise solid defense, but it is a glaring weakness none the less. The Vikings are very stingy against the run, so it seems logical that Pittsburgh will lean heavily on the passing game, not that they weren’t going to that anyway based on the ridiculously high number of pass attempts we have already seen from the Steelers this season. Roethlisberger will have to contend with a fierce Vikings pass rush from Jared Allen and company, but all in all, we expect this match up to pay high dividends in terms of fantasy production. Keep him locked in your starting fantasy line up as Roethlisberger is on fire.

7. Matt Schaub (HOU) – Following week 6’s monster performance against Cincinnati, Schaub has now thrown for 300 yards or more in 4 out of the last 5 weeks. He also leads all NFL signal callers with 14 TD’s on the season and ranks a close 2nd in passing yards. He is clearly on fire and we expect him to carry that momentum into a fairly promising match up against the Niners. San Francisco ranks a mediocre 20th in the NFL in pass defense and they were torched by Matt Ryan for 329 yards and 2 TD’s in their last game. The Niners are probably a little better than their ranking and poor effort against Atlanta may suggest, but they are still no match for Schaub and Andre Johnson. Schaub is an excellent option for week 7 fantasy line ups.

8. Eli Manning (NYG) – He struggled a bit in week 6, but it was not completely unexpected and it is certainly no reason to reach for the panic button. It was a tough match up under poor circumstances. In fact, we think he will bounce back nicely in week 7 against Arizona at home on Sunday night. The Cardinals currently rank a very poor 31st in pass defense and they have allowed 9 passing TD’s in just 5 games. Taking into consideration that Arizona ranks 1st in the NFL against the run, we expect a heavy dose of the Giants passing attack and this game could very well turn into a shootout through the air which almost always results in a big fantasy day. We like his chances against this defense a lot barring any hangover from last week. Check injury report: foot (probable)

9. Kurt Warner (ARI) – On paper, a week 7 match up against the Giants top ranked pass defense is not very appealing, but when you consider the beating that the Saints put on them and the fact that the Giants had not previously faced a good passing offense until last week, this match up is not quite as menacing. At the very least, Drew Brees laid out a nice blue print for Warner against this defense. That said, we don’t believe this will be a cakewalk for Warner on the road. The Giants will be out for redemption and they will do their best to make life difficult for him. Warner threw for 351 yards with 1 TD and 1 interception against the G-Men last season. This should be an interesting match up this time around and we expect Warner to put up a solid numbers in spite of the potential for a few hiccups along the way.

10. Matt Ryan (ATL) – He didn’t wow anyone with his week 6 performance, but he did salvage an otherwise lackluster night by throwing 2 TD passes against the Bears. Ryan should fare better in week 7 against a shaky Dallas pass defense. The Cowboys rank just 26th in the NFL in passing yards allowed and they have given up 8 TD’s through the air in 5 games. Considering the sub par level of competition Dallas has faced from the QB position so far this season (Eli Manning being the exception), it is safe to say that they have struggled mightily against the pass. We expect a solid effort from Ryan in week 7.

11. Jay Cutler (CHI) – He had his first 300 yard passing game of the season in week 6 and the prospects of him adding another 300 yard effort in week 7 are actually pretty good. Cutler will face a Bengals defense that has been riddled with injuries of late and it showed as they were shredded for 392 yards and 4 TD’s by Matt Schaub last week. While we seriously doubt Cutler can match Schaub’s numbers, he should be in for a very good afternoon against the ailing Cincinnati defense. Cutler makes for a solid starting option against the Bengals 28th ranked pass defense.

12. Tony Romo (DAL) – Romo’s struggles were well documented through the first quarter of the season, but he seemed to have found an answer for his critics in week 5, thanks in large part to the emergence of playmaking WR Miles Austin. While Austin did play a major role in Romo’s week 5 success, we were more impressed with Romo’s vast improvement in 3 key areas in which he had previously been lacking 1) decision making skills 2) poise 3) and most importantly, his accuracy. Granted, he was playing a weak Chiefs defense, but it was still a huge step in the right direction. Following the bye week, the well rested Romo will face a fairly generous Falcons pass defense at home. There is always a chance he could regress, but we seriously don’t expect that to happen against the Atlanta defense in week 7. Romo still has much to prove and we think he will continue his resurgence with a solid fantasy effort on Sunday . He is serviceable as a low end QB1.

13. Brett Favre (MIN) – He continues to shine and Favre is coming off of his best fantasy performance of the season in week 6 against Baltimore. Unfortunately, things start to get a bit more difficult for him in week 7 when Favre faces his toughest test to date against the Steelers on the road. While Pittsburgh is not quite as bullet proof against the pass as they have been in year’s past, they are still extremely solid and the return of their superstar safety Troy Polamalu only makes them more dangerous. Favre will have his work cut out for him this week, and he looks more like a QB2 than a QB1 with this difficult match up.

14. Donovan McNabb (PHI) – For reasons unknown, McNabb did not look at all sharp in what was thought to be a very favorable week 6 match up against Oakland. Unfortunately, the prospects for a big rebound game in week 7 do not look all that great either. It’s not that McNabb is not capable of having a big game against Washington, but his recent track record against the Skins suggests otherwise. In fact, he did not have a single TD against Washington in 2 games last season and averaged a mediocre 213 passing yards per game. The Skins may struggle in many areas, but pass defense in not one of them as they rank 3rd in the NFL in that respect. They have also allowed just 5 passing TD’s in 6 games. Again, we wouldn’t put it past McNabb to bounce back with a big game. It’s just that history and a poor match up are not on his side.

15. Carson Palmer (CIN) – We wouldn’t go so far as to call him a bust, but it is fair to say that Palmer has vastly underachieved so far this season. He has yet throw for 300 yards through 6 games and Palmer has almost as many interceptions as he does TD passes. Unfortunately, we are not optimistic that he will breakout in week 7 either. While the match up against Chicago is not terrible, Palmer has not shown any sign that he is capable of performing at an elite level and an improving Bears pass defense that ranks 14th in the NFL will likely prove challenging.

16. Matt Cassel (KC) – Cassel’s streak of 3 consecutive games with 2 TD passes came to an abrupt end in week 6 as he was shut out of the end zone against a solid Washington pass defense. He should have better luck getting back to the end zone in week 7 against a San Diego pass defense that has allowed 8 passing TD’s in 5 games. That said, the Chargers are not a pushover and Cassel will likely have his work cut out for him. He is fairly safe to use as a bye week replacement, but don’t expect a major contribution from having him on your fantasy roster.

17. Shaun Hill (SF) – He has a semi-favorable match up in week 7 against a mediocre Houston pass defense and we like the added weapon in Michael Crabtree, but Hill is yet to make a major contribution on a fantasy roster all season and we doubt this will be the first. Hill is serviceable as a decent bye week replacement, but anything more than average production from him should be considered a bonus given his track record to date.

18. Chad Henne (MIA) – He has been impressive and appears to be improving each week. Unfortunately, he is limited by Miami’s expanding use of the “wildcat” package and his match up against New Orleans is far from safe. Henne is not highly recommended for week 7 fantasy use.

19. Mark Sanchez (NYJ) – He has some capable weapons now, but the rookie signal caller seems to be getting worse by the week. Sanchez is not a safe fantasy play against an improving Oakland pass defense that made Donovan McNabb look pretty bad last week.

20. Josh Johnson (TB) – He may have to throw the ball a ton this week playing from behind against New England, but that is about the extent of his fantasy upside in this match up and Johnson is not highly recommended for obvious reasons.

21. Jason Campbell (WAS) – Do you really want a guy that had to be benched against Kansas City quarter backing your fantasy team against Philly’s top 5 pass defense in week 7? We didn’t think so.

22. Derek Anderson (CLE) – He has averaged just 72 passing yards per game in his last 2 starts with just 1 TD and 2 interceptions. A week 7 match up against Green Bay should certainly yield better results than the previous 2 weeks, but that isn’t saying much at all and Anderson can not be trusted as a starting fantasy option. Check injury report: ankle (probable)

23. JaMarcus Russell (OAK) – He wasn’t half bad in week 6 against Philly and the return of WR Chaz Schillens should provide a much needed boost, but Russell’s chances for success against a stout Jets pass defense in week 7 are minimal at best.

24. Marc Bulger (STL) – He basically has nothing to work with and he is facing a Colts pass defense that is one of the best in the NFL. Bulger is not worth consideration for fantasy line ups in week 7.

25. Jake Delhomme (CAR) – The Bills are pretty bad in general, but they do have a very good pass defense and Delhomme just plain sucks as a fantasy QB. He will probably still be throwing interceptions against this defense on Tuesday.

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