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Last Minute Emergency Lineup Changes: Week 7

The deadly week 7 is upon us and every fantasy football owner in the world is shaking in their boots.  Teams on their bye this week are the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles and the San Diego Chargers.  Throughout those teams there are some real fantasy studs that need to be replaced this week like Matty Ice, Peyton Manning, Jamal Charles and LeShawn McCoy.  With big names like these on the bench this week, fantasy owners are scrambling to fill their rosters and pick up the best players available on the waiver wire.  Well I’m here to make your decision making a little easier.

Andrew Luck (QB):  Sunday 1:00 PM EST

The #1 draft pick from this past years draft is making his first appearance on the Sports Debaters Sleepers article…he should be honored.  With 4 regular fantasy starting quarterbacks on bye weeks (Peyton, Ryan, Vick, Rivers), many owners need to find a reliable replacement.  Andrew Luck has been having a pretty solid rookie campaign throwing for nearly 300 YPG.  One of Luck’s issues, which is common among rookies, is his turnovers.  Through his first 5 games, Luck has thrown 7 picks and fumbled 3 times.  Luckily for Luck- see what I did there- he has the privilege of facing the god awful Cleveland Browns this week on his home turf.  With the Colts starting tailback, Donald Brown, out for the near future, Luck will have a lot more responsibility in an already pass-friendly offense.  I can see this being Luck’s best game as a starter for the entire season.  If your regular starting QB on your fantasy team is off or injured this week, or if your QB just has a tougher matchup then your comfortable with, Luck is a must start.

Predictions for week 7:  28-50 for 340 yards and 3 touchdowns, 2 rushes for 15 yards

Leonard Hankerson (WR):  Sunday 1:00 PM EST

The Washington Redskins have been an anomaly this season.  They have won games they should have lost, lost games they should have won, they have star players injured and no name rookies exploding for ridiculous numbers, i.e. Alfred Morris, and they are doing all of this with a rookie QB, who in my mind is the front runner for Rookie of the Year.  In week 1, RG3 found a favorite target in Pierre Garcon but since Garcon got shook up in that game he hasn’t been the same since.  RG3 has had to find other help like Morris, Fred Davis and the always reliable Santana Moss.  This week in their division matchup against the first place New York Giants, RG3 is going to need to unload his entire bag of tricks and I think that will start by introducing the second year man out of Miami, Leonard Hankerson, to the world.  Hankerson has already showed signs of talent and he even had a game in week 3 where he was targeted 11 times against the Bucs in a Redskins thrilling win.  With Garcon most likely not playing again this week, RG3 will be taking advantage of Hankerson’s speed and I see this being a breakout game for the sophomore.  The Giants secondary is nothing to brag about but they have been playing better of late, but knowing Tom Coughlin, their focus will be on the Redskins ground game.  That leaves the field open for my man Hankerson.

Predictions for week 7:  7 receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown

Greg Olsen (TE):  Sunday 1:00 PM EST

Greg Olsen has been driving fantasy owners, including myself, crazy for years.  The six year man out of the University of Miami has extremely reliable hands and is one of the best rout running Tight Ends in the NFL.  So why are his numbers so inconsistent?  No one knows.  Olsen has had the second most targets on his team and is only 4 behind Cam Newton’s favorite target Steve Smith.  The 1-4 Panthers have been a huge disappointment this year and I honestly don’t think things are going to get any better.  This week they go up against the reeling Dallas Cowboys in a game that I can all but guarantee the Panthers will lose.  Dallas will score early and often forcing Cam to try and comeback on his arms and not his legs.  Smith will get his targets and even Lafell will get some looks, but I think the biggest receiving performance for the Panthers will come from Olsen.  I’m expecting Olsen to be the recipient of a lot of short dump passes from Newton when he feels DeMarcus Ware breathing down his neck.  Olsen also has the potential for some big plays up the seam.  With Tony Gonzalez on bye week, I feel that Olsen can feasibly have the best week out of any TE in the league…plus he has a ridiculously hot wife!

Predictions for week 7:  9 receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown

Carson Palmer (QB):  Sunday 4:25 PM EST

I remember a time when Carson Palmer was a must start in every league 8 teams or more, when Chad Johnson was a respectable and feared receiver and the Cincinnati Bengals were an extremely scary team to face.  How things change.  Now Palmer is at the helm of one of the laughing stocks of the NFL.  The Oakland Raiders are so beyond bad that success does not seem like it will be coming any time soon.  Arguably two of the worst teams in the NFL, the Jaguars (1-4) and Raiders (1-4) face off in a battle that will prove who is actually on the bottom of the league.  The Raiders are pathetic but I think the Jaguars might be worse.  While Palmer’s season ending numbers won’t be anything to hang on the refrigerator, I think this week will be a successful one for the former #1 draft pick out of USC.  Palmer is coming off of his best start of the season (23-53 353 yards 1 TD 1 INT) against an Atlanta Falcons defense that is more than impressive.  This weeks task is much easier and if you are in need of a quarterback this week and Andrew Luck is already taken, Palmer will be a very safe and smart start.

Predictions for week 7:  24-46 for 320 yards and two touchdowns

Jonathon Dwyer (RB):  Sunday 8:20 PM EST

Information surfaced early yesterday that Rashard Mendenhall and Issac Redman will both be inactive for the Steelers Sunday Night Football matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals.  Jonathon Dwyer is the Steelers third tailback and will now be the starter with the top two backs out with injuries.  He will be splitting runs with their fourth tailback, Baron Batch, but Dwyer will be seeing the majority of touches in the backfield.  Dwyer is yet to do anything of significance this season but this will be a game where he can prove his worth.  It is a nationally televised game against a team that just fell to the only team without a win in the NFL.  The Bengals are falling from grace really fast and since Big Ben and company are coming off of a surprising loss themselves, this game is a must win for Pittsburgh.  I do feel that majority of the Steelers offense will rely heavily on the air attack, but that doesn’t mean Dwyer won’t benefit from that.  Dwyer has wicked fast speed and if he is lucky enough to be on the receiving end of a Roethlisberger screen pass, he can easily take at least one to the house.  I think this game can be the answer to whether or not the three year man out of Georgia Tech can be a formidable option in the NFL.

Predictions for week 7:  15 rushes for 80 yards and a touchdown, 4 receptions for 50 yards

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