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The Shot Caller's Report - QBs
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 7
Positions: QBs | RBs | WRs

Everyone knows to start Peyton Manning every week, regardless of the match-up. But not all decisions are as easy at that one. So to help you decide who you should start and who you should bench I have identified the players at the QB, RB and WR positions that should excel this week and should be started, as well as the players who will struggle this week and should be benched.

Let's start with the QB position. You shouldn't have to be told, but just in case... always, always start the following players: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Schaub, Tony Romo and Philip Rivers. Now onto the question marks…


Bye Weeks: Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, and the NY Jets, so that means Matthew Stafford and Drew Stanton, Matt Schaub, Peyton Manning and Mark Sanchez are all benched.

Start 'Em:
Quarterbacks Who Will Outperform Relative To Their Draft Position And Recent Hype

Max Hall @ SEA
The good news is that undrafted rookie quarterback Max Hall won his first NFL start and is completing nearly 60 percent of his passes. The bad news is that he has no TDs, has been sacked 10 times in one and a half games, and has 3 fumbles (1 lost) and an INT. So why am I recommending starting him? The Seattle Seahawks 30th-ranked pass defense is why. Seattle gives up 291 yards and 1 TD per game through the air, in addition to the third most big plays and the seventh highest yards per completion (7.4) in the league. And remember, Hall still has Larry Fitzgerald to throw the ball to.

Matt Cassel vs. JAX
The Jaguars are just what the doctor ordered for Matt Cassel and his weak 170 yards per game. Cassel is 23rd in the league in passing yards but does have 7 TDs against just 3 INTs, and his 4 sacks are the lowest in the league for any starting quarterback. Heck, Jay Cutler gets sacked four times in one offensive series. Meanwhile, the Jaguars are giving up 264 yards and 2.5 TDs per game on average. Only Houston has given up as many passing TDs this season, and their 8.8 yards-per-completion average and 33 big plays allowed are both worst in the league. Cassel should thrive against a team allowing opposing quarterbacks a 67 completion percentage and a 110 QB rating.

Trent Edwards @ KC
Trent Edwards will likely fill in for the concussed David Garrard, although it could be Todd Bouman if Edwards can’t play with a sprained right thumb. Edwards started the first two games of the season in Buffalo, was benched, then cut, and didn’t see action until last week when he had to step in for the injured Garrard. Edwards’ totals this year are horrible: 43 for 76 with 381 yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs, and 9 sacks in three games. But last week aside, the Jaguars have been putting up points, and this week’s matchup should result in another high-scoring game. So I’m going out on a limb here and saying Edwards will get lots of chances to rack up some yards and a score or two against the league’s 27th-ranked pass defense that is giving up 250 yards and more than a TD per game.

Jay Cutler

Jay "Ragdoll" Cutler.

Jay Cutler vs. WAS
Sure, Cutler is the NFL’s official ragdoll, getting sacked 23 times in five games (almost 5 sacks per game); but he’s averaging 240 yards per game (10th best in the league) and 8.5 yards per completion (2nd best) to go along with his 60 percent completion rate and his 1 TD per game average. And this week he faces the Redskins, the leagues 31st-ranked pass defense. Washington is one of just two teams giving up more than 298 yards per game through the air (Houston is the other). The Redskins have given up the fourth most big plays and have allowed 9 TDs, the eighth highest QB rating (90.9), and the eighth worst passer completion percentage (65%). As long as Cutler can stay on his feet—and, granted, that’s a big “if”—he should have a nice day throwing the ball and getting you some solid fantasy points.

Bench 'Em:
Quarterbacks Who Will Under Perform Relative To Their Draft Position And Recent Hype

Alex Smith @ CAR
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback and the Carolina Panthers defense have something in common: both have 9 INTs. In Smith’s case, that’s a bad statistic, and he leads the league in that category. In Carolina’s case it’s good, and third best in the league. Another unfortunate similarity they share is QB rating: Carolina allows a league best 66.6 rating and Smith has just a 73.9 rating, which is fourth lowest among regular starting quarterbacks. Smith does average 238 yards per game—10th best in the league, thanks to constantly being behind in games and having to throw—but Carolina allows only 182 yards per game, which is fourth best in the league. Put all of this together and odds are Smith, coming off his first win of the year, should stay benched this week.

Kyle Boller @ DEN
Denver’s pass defense is for the most part average to below-average. They allow 210 yards and1.5 TDs per game. They also can’t sack anybody (fifth lowest sack total in the league with just 7) and give up the fourth most big plays, over 7 yards per completion, and a completion percentage of 61. But guess who’s coming to dinner this week—the Oakland Raiders. Oakland’s “good” QB, Bruce Gradkowski, who is still hurt, averages 177 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT per game to go along with his 71 passer rating and 52 percent completion rate. But he’s most likely out this week. The “other” QB, Jason Campbell, averages 102 yards, less than half a TD, and 1 INT per game to go along with his 61 passer rating, 56 percent completion rate , and league-low 5.6 yards per completion average. Isn’t it time for Kyle Boller, even if both Gradkowski and Campbell are healthy enough to play? Regardless of who loses the luck of the draw and has to play quarterback for Oakland this week, the results won’t be pretty—even against a so-so Denver pass defense.

Ryan Fitzpatrick @ BAL
On the stats sheet, Fitzpatrick looks like a decent play at QB. He has 7 TDs to just 2 INTs, hardly ever gets sacked (third lowest in the league), averages 7 yards per completion, completes 61 percent of his passes, and has a QB rating of 100. The big problem with Fitzpatrick (besides him playing for the Buffalo Bills) is his yardage. He averages only 198 yards per game, which is one of the lowest for all starting quarterbacks. Baltimore only gives up 175 yards per game, so the odds are that Fitzpatrick will be right around 160 yards passing, which just ain’t gonna get it done for you in Fantasyland. Fitzpatrick can have a good game here and there (last week against Jacksonville he threw for 220 yards and 3 TDs), but this week is not going to be one of those good weeks. Bench him.

Eli Manning @ DAL
Eli Manning and his “deer lost in the headlights” look travels to Dallas to take on a beyond-desperate Cowboys team whose pass defense ranks fourth in the league. On average, Dallas gives up 181 yards and just over 1 TD per game. They have only 2 INTs and 12 sacks and give up a QB rating of 94.5, but this is another huge game for them—and a divisional game at home on national TV (Monday night game) as well. So I think this will be a slugfest, resulting in a poor day for Eli. Manning is 10th in the league in passing yards, fifth in completion percentage, and tied for fourth in TD passes, but he’s also second in INTs and has a QB rating of just 86.2, which ranks him around 17th in the league. Look for Eli to struggle this week on the road, and give him the week off if he’s on your fantasy team.

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