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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

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

Nobody needs to be told starting Tom Brady, Ezekiel Elliott, or Antonio Brown is a good idea. Duh, right? You can’t have studs at every position, though, unless you’re in the shallowest of leagues. This is where the Shot Caller comes in. Need help deciding which bargain basement QB to use and which to ignore on Brady’s bye week? Let’s talk. Looking for solutions at running back because Zeke is a game-time decision? Look no further. Need to know which of your unproven targets to start and which to sit since you ignored Brown and went RB-QB-Gronk in your first three rounds? You get the idea. Past results may not guarantee future success, but ignoring them entirely can ruin your Sundays in a hurry (maybe even your Mondays and Thursdays). Read on for a little history and, hopefully, a little sage advice.

Note: Fantasy points based on FF Today’s standard scoring system.

Bye Weeks: Detroit, Houston

Marcus Mariota

Mariota may be gimpy but the Browns are giving up the 4th most fantasy points to quarterbacks.

Grab a Helmet

Brett Hundley v. NO:
The Hundley era begins in earnest Sunday, way sooner than anyone at 1265 Lombardi Ave ever hoped it would. In a perfect world, the UCLA product was being groomed for his next job, playing quarterback for another NFL team. Instead, heíll be asked to replace an irreplaceable player and carry the injury-decimated Pack back to the playoffs for a record-tying ninth consecutive year. Glass half-full scenario? He does exactly that in an offense customized to his unique skill set (strong arm, great mobility). Glass half-empty scenario? We just watched it, a turnover-plagued performance against the Vikes in which he looked overwhelmed and unprepared for life as Green Bayís main man. Iím not the most optimistic guy in the world, but Iíve got a hunch Hundley will be more glass half-full than half-empty, starting this Sunday against an opportunistic but susceptible Saints secondary.

Ryan Fitzpatrick @ BUF: In a week featuring two significant QB injuries, two demotions, and two of the gameís best combining for three pick-sixes, itís only fitting Fitzpatrick should make an appearance. Trailing 24-0 when he entered the game for an injured Jameis Winston, the long-time journeyman rallied Tampa to a near epic comeback, tallied the fifth most points at the position (in 2+ quarters, no less) and displayed the full Fitzmagic repertoire, both good and bad (290 yards, three TD tosses, and two interceptions). Itís unclear at press time if heíll again fill in for Winston, but hereís what he accomplished the last time he faced his former mates in Buffalo: 374 yards, one score, and 24.5 fantasy points, a 2016 high point. Fitzy brings better weapons with him this time around and should relish facing the Bills. If he plays, I like him as a sneaky streaming option.

Marcus Mariota @ CLE: It wasnít all bad news on the quarterbacking front in Week 6 as Mariota made a speedy recovery from a hamstring injury, just in time to lead his Titans to an important 36-22 divisional win over nemesis Indianapolis. He looked a bit rusty, throwing a pick-six, and didnít do much with his legs (just two carries for zero yards), but he topped the 300-yard mark and connected with Taywan Taylor for a nifty 53-yard score that vaulted Tennessee into a lead they never relinquished. Marcus is more valuable as a dual threat, for sure, but a date with the Browns makes him very valuable in Week 7 anyway. Expect the surprisingly stingy Cleveland run defense (just 3.0 yards yielded per rush, tops in the league) to focus primarily on the two-headed monster of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. Mariota and his improved receivers should benefit.

Grab a Clipboard

Jacoby Brissett v. JAX: Brissett wasnít exceptional in the Monday night matchup against Mariota and his Titans (21-of-37 for 212 yards and a score), but he played well enough to get Indy in the win column. Well enough, that is, if a leaky defense hadnít betrayed the effort once again. The Colts have now surrendered 195 points, a league high, and it appears Brissett and Co. will have to start outscoring opponents if they have any hope of avoiding their first losing season since 2011. Thatís a tall order against Jacksonvilleís vastly improved stopper unit. The Jags may be giving up more yards this season, but theyíre allowing fewer than 20 points/game, something they havenít accomplished in more than a decade. Jacksonville is especially tough on opposing QBs (12.7 ppg, fewest overall), so starting Brissett this Sunday seems like a risky proposition at best. Only if youíre desperate.

Mitchell Trubisky v. CAR: Save for an ill-advised throw in his Week 5 debut which probably cost the Bears a shot at victory, Trubisky has been a steadying force for the Chicago offense, staying within himself, not turning the ball over, and flashing the kind of athleticism that made him the No.2 overall pick in Aprilís draft. Thatís exactly what John Fox et al. need right now, but itís not gonna do for the likes of us. Mike Glennon was atrocious in that Week 4 debacle at Lambeau, yes, but he still managed to score more points (14.9) than his rookie teammate has in two successive appearances (12.6 and 12.9). Simply put, itís hard to do much with 20 passing attempts a game, what Trubisky is currently averaging. The game plan will likely remain conservative, so donít expect him to suddenly uncork 40 or 50 against Carolina this coming Sunday.

Eli Manning v. SEA: The winless Giants rolled into Denver last Sunday for a primetime date with the best defense in the league minus their four best receivers (including the best receiver on the planet) and arguably the league’s worst rushing attack. Naturally, they notched their first victory of the season in convincing fashion by running the ball down the Broncos’ collective throats. Wait, huh? It’s an any-given-Sunday kinda league, folks, and there’s just no accounting for intangibles such as preparation and motivation. The G-Men will need another such effort in Week 7 with the well-rested Seahawks coming to town, but I’m not sure they can deliver. They’ve got Seattle’s undivided attention, for starters, and that M*A*S*H unit of a receiving corps is going to catch up with them sooner rather than later. Expect way more passing attempts than last week (just 19) but lackluster production from Peyton’s kid bro.

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers