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Week 7 Sleepers

Leon Washington

Last week, I highlighted how bad the Oakland Raiders offense was. By the tone of my rant, I clearly expected them to keep up their malnourished offense for the entire season.

So what do they do? They have their best offensive game of the season and end up beating one the best defenses in the NFL as they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 13-9.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Tom Cable read my piece last week (obvious sarcasm) and used it as motivation for his team. In which case, I would say “You’re Welcome Oakland”, and wish them the very best for the rest of the season.

Week 7 Sleepers

Steve Breaston (WR), Arizona Cardinals

Breaston is flying under the radar in Arizona once again this season. Then again, when you are a receiver on the Cardinals not named “Fitzgerald” or “Boldin”, that will happen.

The third-year receiver is quietly averaging 80 yds per game this season, and with Anquan Boldin’s sprained ankle possibly sidelining him for Sunday’s game, Breaston could be the beneficiary of the Cardinals’ passing game.

Usually a matchup against the Giants would scare you. However, as Drew Brees and the Saints showed us in week 6, the Giants can be beat through the air. Arizona is 2-0 on the road this season, scoring 58 points in those two contests. Even if Boldin plays, his ankle will limit him and Breaston should receive a healthy amount of looks.

Leon Washington (RB), New York Jets

Since Jets QB Mark Sanchez decided to pass the ball to anybody on the Buffalo Bills last week (5 INT!), the running game was put into full effect. Thanks in large part to a weak Bills run defense (181 yds per game, 32nd in NFL), Washington had 99 rush yds on 15 carries to go with 46 receiving yds.

New York faces those pesky Oakland Raiders this Sunday. Now, Oakland may have pulled out a surprise win against Philadelphia, but it wasn’t Philly’s run game that was the problem. Brian Westbrook was averaging over 8.0 yds per carry against the Raiders and in total, he had 50 rushing yds. Westbrook wa also a force catching passes with nine receptions for 91 yds.

The Raiders are allowing over 145 rush yds per game. Do you think Mark Sanchez will be throwing the ball as much after last week? Even in limited touches, Washington will come close to 100 yds on the ground and he will be catching his share of passes out of the backfield.

Austin Collie (WR), Indianapolis Colts

With no Anthony Gonzalez, both Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon have been filling the void at the WR#2 spot. Collie has been the more favored target of Peyton Manning over the past three weeks where Collie has 22 targets and 17 catches for 209 yds and 3 TD.

Indy’s game against the Rams should be a blowout. Manning’s favorite targets, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark, will produce as they usually do. Collie and Garcon should also get plenty of looks, but with Collie getting more looks than Garcon lately, I expect Collie to find the endzone again this week.

Laurence Maroney (RB), New England Patriots

Up until last week, the Tennessee Titans had not allowed a 100-yd rusher all season. Then Laurence Maroney came charging through the snowy field of Gillette Stadium and rushed for 123 yds and a TD.

Maroney just might have back-to-back 100-yd games when he goes up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs give up 171 rush yds per game and 4.9 ypc. Most recently, they allowed the Panthers to run wild all over them. Both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart rushed for over 100 yds on Sunday.

Maroney proved he could run against a good rush defense, and now he gets a shot at one of the worst.

Hakeem Nicks (WR), New York Giants

Nicks has scored a TD in three straight games, and now he gets to face one of the league’s worst pass defenses in the form of the Cardinals. Arizona is 31st in pass defense with over 265 pass yds allowed per game. They interestingly enough are #1 in rush defense with less than 60 rush yds allowed per game.

The Giants will run into a problem (get it?) and will be forced to throw the ball all day. This benefits all Giants receivers. I like Nicks over Mario Manningham because Nicks has more targets, receptions, yards, and TD’s than Manningham over the past two games.

Super Shocker Sleeper Pick

Tashard Choice (RB), Dallas Cowboys

Owner Jerry Jones has said that Choice will get more carries this Sunday against the Falcons. Sine the injury to RB Felix Jones, Choice has taken over as #2 back behind Marion Barber.

With Barber battling a nagging thigh injury, Choice has made the most of his increased time with 40 carries for 207 yds and 2 TD in the past three games. Choice shows great pass-catching ability with nine catches for 83 yds in those three games.

The game against Atlanta is another good reason for owners to play this explosive back. The Falcons are allowing 118 rush yds per game, including 4.7 yds per attempt. Those numbers were worse, but the Atlanta defense has had the pleasure of shutting down San Francisco’s Glen Coffee and Chicago’s Matt Forte for the last two games. Not exactly a real challenge.

Dallas owns the third best rushing offense in football with 161 rush yds per game. Add that to a very beatable Falcons rush defense, and this makes Tashard the right *choice* this week.

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One comment for “Week 7 Sleepers”

  1. […] 2009 at 2:20pm ⋅ Post a comment Screw you Leon Washington! Talk about bad luck for me. I pick him last week to unload against Oakland and he goes ahead and ends his season by breaking his leg. Rookie Shonn […]

    Posted by Week 8 Sleepers | Sports of Boston | October 28, 2009, 2:22 pm

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