The PFW staff offers its late-week fantasy QB tips for Week Seven, including a reminder for owners in need of a signalcaller to look at Josh Freeman.
Owners in deeper formats with their No. 1 quarterback on bye ought to consider starting Bucs QB Josh Freeman this week. He’s coming off his best and most productive outing of the season and has a favorable matchup against the Saints’ 26th-ranked pass defense, which has allowed an average of 283.2 passing yards per game. New Orleans has given up nine passing TDs and picked off only three passes. Freeman has had his ups and downs this season, but he should provide for fantasy owners in need this week.
Week Seven features a number of the game’s top fantasy signalcallers, including Matt Ryan and Peyton Manning, on bye, putting owners in a pinch and in a hurry to hit the waiver wire. If you’re in need of a fill-in and looking for a solid combination of experience and upside under center, how about Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck. Coming off his strongest showing of the season — a 290-yard, one-TD, one-INT showing against the Steelers — Hasselbeck makes a suitable spot starter Sunday against a the Bills’ 20th-ranked pass defense.
For better or worse, John Skelton will be starting under center for the Cardinals for the foreseeable future with Kevin Kolb out at least 6-8 weeks after suffering multiple detached ribs in the loss to Buffalo last Sunday. Unless you’re really desperate, Skelton does not shape up as even a serviceable fantasy option, as he is operating in a weak offense averaging only 283 total yards and 18.3 points per game entering Arizona’s road trip to Minnesota.
Bears QB Jay Cutler was showing signs of heating up heading into Chicago’s Week Six bye — he has thrown four TDs and been picked off only once in the last two games. Cutler has played very well vs. Detroit — he has a TD-INT ratio of 10-1 in his six career games vs. the Lions as a member of the Bears — and he fits as a low-end No. 1 QB in deeper formats this week.
Week Seven figures to be an opportunity for the Bills to get their passing game on track, and if you need a bye-week fill-in, take a close look at Ryan Fitzpatrick. He has been inconsistent and at times turnover-prone this season, but he did throw 12 touchdowns in the team's first four games — he has not thrown one since, though. Fitzpatrick faces a Titans defense that is 29th against the pass. Last season against Tennessee, Fitzpatrick completed 29-of-46 passes for 288 yards and a TD.
Bengals QB Andy Dalton comes off a 381-yard, three-TD performance at Cleveland in Week Six, but he has a tougher matchup on Sunday night vs. Pittsburgh. In two meetings with Pittsburgh in 2011, Dalton completed just 26-of-54 passes for 305 yards with three TDs and two interceptions.
The Bengals are allowing opponents to complete 66.1 percent of their passes and 228.0 passing yards per contest. In short, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger looks like a solid starting option in Week Seven at Cincinnati.
The Colts have surrendered 10 TD passes in five games, so if you’re looking for a bye-week starter in bigger leagues, Browns QB Brandon Weeden could have some appeal. The Browns’ rookie quarterback is on pace to throw for more than 4,000 yards.
The Texans had surrendered just six TD passes in five games before allowing a half-dozen to the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers in Week Six. Ravens QB Joe Flacco isn’t an unreasonable play if you want to see if Houston’s pass-defense woes are more than just a one-week blip.