When 90,000 London residents, granted most are probably Americans, bought tickets to this game back in the summer, they had no idea how bad the Miami Dolphins would be this year. Heck, even real football fans never thought members of the 1972 Super Bowl Champion Dolphins would be taking shots at the current group. Miami’s talent evaluators recently extended their streak of incompetence in April’s NFL draft by taking Ted Ginn Jr. at the No. 9 spot when their “quarterback of the future,” Brady Quinn, was staring them right in the face. Oh, and for the second year in a row, they went out and signed a quarterback in the offseason who is injured and won’t be playing with the team next year.
But lookout. Without the pressure of having a winning season, the Dolphins could shock the overrated Giants this weekend on another continent.
But before we get into this week’s stuff, here are my thoughts for the past week:
1. I know I’m usually pretty hard on the Houston Texans, so I feel compelled to congratulate them on their amazing 29 points in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans. It was truly the greatest demonstration of futility I have ever seen.
2. Just a quick timeout for those who have been displaced by the fires in California. LaDainian Tomlinson, whose home was in danger, said it best in an Associated Press article when he expressed his hopes that this weekend’s game would be a pleasant distraction for those affected most by this difficult situation.
Here’s this week’s top three waiver wire adds and the matchups to keep an eye on.
Waiver Wire Adds:
Jesse Chatman (RB-MIA): Ronnie Brown has racked up more fantasy points than any other running back this season, but he won’t be suiting up the rest of the year. Chatman is a tough inside runner with good hands, who will start the rest of the year for a Miami offensive attack that is run-heavy. This all bodes well for a solid No. 2 fantasy back for your team.
Tony Scheffler (TE-DEN): The loss of Javon Walker and Stephen Alexander has thrust Scheffler to center stage. Jay Cutler hooked up with him for great numbers at the end of last season before the arrival of Daniel Graham. Scheffler should be a solid flex option now that he has been rediscovered by Cutler.
Ike Hilliard (WR-TB): Hilliard is actually outperforming any other Tampa Bay wide receiver in receptions, and with the injury to Michael Clayton, those numbers will only improve. Joey Galloway has the most upside, but Hilliard is a better bet between the two receivers.
Week 7 Matchups:
New Orleans at San Francisco: The Saints does indeed have a pulse and it should keep it going against the perpetually underwhelming 49ers. Reggie Bush will have some running room against a porous San Francisco defense and Drew Brees will capitalize on the ensuing play-action passes. The upside for the 49ers is that even Trent Dilfer should be able to pass on New Orleans’ defense.
Houston at San Diego: This should be a home game for San Diego, but the fires in California have complicated things. Wherever this game is played, it will be a horrible mismatch. The Texans’ defense has cooled off and won’t be much of a match for Tomlinson and Co. Watch for a big game from new Charger wide receiver Chris Chambers. On the other side of things, Owen Daniels is a must-start, but that’s about it. Matt Schaub finally knows how
it feels to be David Carr, and Andre Johnson is out at least one more week.
Green Bay at Denver: This Monday night showdown will pit the greatest gunslinger of all time against two of the best corners of all time. Throw in a nonexistent Green Bay running game and this is a recipe for disaster. The Packer defense, however, will overpower a shaky Denver running game and weak quarterback play.
New York at Miami: Nothing like a 10-hour flight to suck the momentum out of a team that has won five in a row. Look for Cleo Lemon to continue his hot streak against a pedestrian Giants’ defense. Chatman’s running should at least partially neutralize New York’s pass rush in addition to helping stabilizing Miami’s offense. Plaxico Burress will continue his impressive season, and that will help Eli Manning’s numbers.
Jacksonville at Tampa Bay: Jacksonville will be looking to bounce back from a rough game against the Colts and should have an easy time Sunday. Maurice Jones-Drew will be the benefactor of any success the Jaguars might have since the quarterback injury bug has hit Jacksonville. On the other hand, Tampa Bay has its original starting quarterback in Jeff Garcia, but that’s about it. Look for Earnest Graham to continue his impressive performance from last week and Garcia to keep finding Galloway behind defensive backs for long scores.