News and notes to help you make those all-important lineup decisions for Week 7…
Byes: Oakland, New Orleans.
•The Packers’ receiver situation is a mess. Randall Cobb fractured his right fibula against the Ravens and is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks. James Jones sprained his PCL in the same game. Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Jones “may have a chance to play,” but his status against Cleveland remains uncertain. (Jones is listed as questionable.)
As far as pass catchers go, that leaves the Packers with Jordy Nelson (four catches, 114 yards and a touchdown vs. Baltimore), Jermichael Finley (three catches, 75 yards vs. Baltimore) and not much else. Green Bay’s depth chart lists two other receivers: Jarrett Boykin and Myles White. Boykin has six career catches. White, who was just promoted from the practice squad, has none. If you lost Cobb or Jones, you’re looking outside the Green Bay roster for a replacement.
• Feel free to panic if you’re an Aaron Rodgers owner. Rodgers has scored 123 points in standard leagues, which makes him the eighth-best fantasy quarterback this year. But he hasn’t thrown multiple touchdowns in a game since the Packers' Week 2 win over Washington. And now he’s working with a thin receiving group. Making matters worse: The Packers face Cleveland in Week 7. The Browns allow just 18.3 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs, eighth fewest. You’re probably still starting Rodgers given his pedigree, but you shouldn’t feel good about it. If you’re in a 10-team league and you have a capable second option with a good matchup (say Philip Rivers against Jacksonville or Jay Cutler against Washington) it’s worth considering making the switch.
• Ok. So that’s the bad news. The good news -- or at least the non-awful news -- is that Packers’ running back Eddie Lacy has looked solid so far. Lacy had 120 rushing yards against the Ravens, who entered the game as the stingiest fantasy defense against running backs. Lacy had 23 carries against Baltimore and 23 the week before against the Lions when he rushed for 99 yards. With all the unrest in the Packers’ passing game, Lacy is an auto-start in all formats.
• Demarco Murray was having a serviceable fantasy season. The Dallas running back posted double-digit points in four of six games -- then he sprained his MCL against Washington. He’s expected to miss Week 7 against the Eagles. When Murray went down, Joseph Randle got most of the work for the Cowboys. Randle had 13 touches for 32 total yards and a touchdown against Washington. That’s not great, and his matchup against the Birds is just average. The Eagles surrender 16.7 fppg to RBs (18th). Unless you’re in a deep league and you’re desperate for a running back, you probably want to avoid that situation.
• Nick Foles can be played in all formats and league sizes this weekend. Foles had 35 fantasy points in Week 6, second most among quarterbacks (only Cam Newton, who put up 36 points, was better). In Week 7, Foles will face Dallas, which has given up the most points against opposing quarterbacks (29 fppg).
• If it wasn’t clear before, it is now: Zac Stacy is the St. Louis running back you want. He had 18 carries for 79 yards and two catches for 11 yards against Houston. Not great, just solid. What you like there is the workload. Over the last two weeks, Stacy has averaged 16 carries. And against the Texans, 54 of his rushing yards came after contact. Again, he’s not flashy. But as low-end No. 2 RBs/flex options go, you could do worse.
• What to make of Kyle Rudolph? The Minnesota tight end was targeted 18 times in the first three weeks of the season. But last week against Panthers, he was targeted an eye-popping 11 times. Rudolph turned those looks into nine catches for 97 yards and a touchdown. The problem with Rudolph has always been consistency. He’ll be involved one week and then disappear the next. He has a good chance to remain relevant this weekend, though. The Vikings play the Giants, who have given up 10 or more fantasy points to tight ends in four of six games.
• Justin Blackmon is a monster. The Jacksonville receiver had 14 catches for 190 yards against Denver. Even better: he was targeted 20 times. Since coming off his four-game suspension, Blackmon has been targeted 29 times, and he’s posted 19 points in standard leagues in both games. He’s an auto-start in all formats and league sizes.
• Quick hits: St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is having a surprising fantasy season. He’s scored the seventh most points among QBs in standard leagues. That puts him ahead of Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton, among others. Don’t get too excited about Bradford, though. The teams remaining on the Rams’ schedule have combined to allow just 12.2 fppg…Chicago tight end Martellus Bennett has been targeted 45 times, fifth-most at the position. The Bears play Washington, which has given up the 10th-most fppg to TEs. Bennett owners are in a good spot this weekend, but make sure to check his health. He's listed as questionable with a knee injury …Stevan Ridley, who has been a big disappointment for much of the year considering where he was drafted, reemerged in Week 6. The Patriots’ running back had 21 touches for 110 yards and two touchdowns against the Saints. That’s encouraging, but don’t count on a repeat performance in Week 7. The Pats play the Jets, who have given up the third-fewest fppg to RBs.