Ed Williams III

Snapdraft Football

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Under the Cap: Week 7

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Snapdraft is a weekly game in which you select a team that fits under a $27 million salary cap. There’s a wide variety of league sizes, and while each league costs at least $1, there are cash prizes as well. Each week I’ll take a look at the matchups and the salaries and put together a winning combination. Since there’s a salary cap, you can’t just stack your team with a bunch of studs, so finding some bargains will be key. Here’s the Week 7 squad.

 

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Quarterback

Drew Brees, Saints, $6,380,000, vs. Colts
We’re going to start off with a sure thing this week and go with Drew Brees. While Brees did throw for 383 yards last week, he also threw three picks, and he’ll be anxious to rebound in a big way at home against the Colts. His low yardage total of the season was 270 in Week 2 and he’s thrown at least one TD in every game, so you know you’re going to get some points here.

Other value picks
Matt Cassel, Chiefs, $3,440,000, at Raiders
Cassel can be hit or miss at times, but he’s coming off his two best games of the season and a bye week. He threw four touchdowns against the Colts in Week 5, and has had the bye week to prepare for the Raiders. Steve Breaston has looked more comfortable on his new team recently, and that will help open things up in the passing game.

Christian Ponder, Vikings, $1,900,000, vs. Packers
This would be a real roll of the dice, but if you want to save some money, Ponder provide some nice value at under $2 million. The Vikings will likely be playing catch-up all game, so Ponder will be forced to throw the ball. You just have to hope he can hit playmakers like Percy Harvin for some big gains and avoid the turnovers.

Running back

Ray Rice, Ravens, $5,940,000, at Jaguars
The Ravens should be able to dominate the Jags, which means they could be running the ball an awful lot after jumping out to a nice lead. Rice has totaled more than 100 yards from scrimmage in four of his first five games, and I don’t see Jacksonville bucking that trend. While Rice has only two rushing TDs on the year so far, look for that number to go up this week.

Willis McGahee, Broncos, $2,000,000 at Dolphins
There are some nice value picks at this position this week due to a lot of injuries around the league, but McGehee has been a solid value pick all season long. McGahee has broken the 100-yard barrier in three of his first five games already, and while Tim Tebow’s promotion could take away some of his goal line work, he’ll still be in line for plenty of carries. The Broncos will likely be fairly conservative, which means Mcgahee will get a lot of touches.

Other value picks
Jackie Battle, Chiefs, $2,040,000, at Raiders
With the season-ending injury to Jamaal Charles, Battle got a chance to shine in Week 5. He went off for a surprising 119 yards against the Colts and had the bye week to rest up after the huge uptick in carries. Since Battle has only produced in one game, there is some risk with this pick, but at the price, he could pay nice dividends.

DeMarco Murray, $3,100,000, vs. Rams
With Felix Jones down with a high ankle sprain, Murray gets a chance to shine against the Rams. The rookie hasn’t had much of a chance to showcase his talents, so this is a huge opportunity for him. The Rams have been terrible this season, so if the Cowboys can get up early, Murray could have a nice day as they try to run out some clock.

Wide receiver

Eric Decker, Broncos, $2,520,000, at Dolphins
The Broncos traded Brandon Lloyd to the Rams, which makes Decker a very intriguing option here. While Tim Tebow will be running a fairly conservative offense as he gets acclimated to his starting role, Decker will likely be his No. 1 option. The Dolphins have been the fourth worst passing defense in the league, so Decker could be in line for a nice day.

Greg Little, Browns, $1,800,000, vs. Seahawks
Little had a very encouraging performance in his first game as a starter last week against the Raiders. He had six catches for the second straight week, and if he hadn’t stumbled at the goal line on one reception, he would have had a touchdown as well. He’s the most talented receiver on the Browns, so look for Colt McCoy to keep feeding him the ball.

Other value picks
Pierre Garcon, Colts, $2,400,000, at Saints
Garcon has two monster weeks before coming back down to earth a bit last week. He had 271 yards receiving and four touchdowns against the Bucs and Chiefs and then still had a respectable 52 yards on eight receptions against the Bengals last week. The Saints have given up plenty of points this season, so Garcon could be in line for some more big numbers.

Danario Alexander, Rams, $2,160,000, at Cowboys
It’s risky taking anyone in the Rams’ passing game right now, but Alexander looks poised for a breakout game any time now. He hauled in six catches for 91 yards last week against the Packers in a game in which they were blown out. The Cowboys have the firepower to jump out to a big lead as well, which will force the Rams to keep throwing the ball. Sam Bradford has an injured ankle, but is expected play.

Tight end

Jimmy Graham, Saints, $2,900,000, vs. Colts
We’re taking Drew Brees, so why not take his favorite target? While it was expected Graham would be a big goal line target, Brees has gone to him early and often this season. Graham is coming off four straight games of 100+ yards receiving, joining Tony Gonzalez as the only tight ends to accomplish that feat. Graham has gone a couple games without a score, but look for that to change this week.

Other value picks
Dallas Clark, Colts, $2,100,000, at Saints
Staying in the same game, Clark is coming off his best game of the season. When Peyton Manning was his QB, Clark was one of the game’s elite tight ends. With Curtis Painter at the helm, not so much. He’s also dealt with a lot of drops, but he might finally be turning a corner.

Jared Cook, Titans, $1,360,000, vs. Texans
Cook is coming off a bye week, and in Week 5 he was targeted a season-high nine times. With Kenny Britt out for the year, look for Matt Hasselbeck to keep trying to get his athletic tight end involved. At his price, he’s worth taking a shot.

Defense/Special Teams

New Orleans Saints, $1,550,000, vs. Colts
The Saints’ defense has left a little to be desired this season, but at this price, and against this team, this could be a nice week for them. Look for them to force Curtis Painter into a couple turnovers, and if Darren Sproles can break a kick return, then that’s  just icing on the cake.

Other value picks
Oakland Raiders, $2,230,000, vs. Chiefs
The Raiders special teams came up huge last week as Jacoby Ford returned a kickoff for a touchdown and Shane Lechler connected with Kevin Boss for a touchdown off a fake field goal. While you can’t expect those to happen each week, they could have a nice day against a struggling Chiefs team.

Carolina Panthers, $1,300,000, vs. Redskins
While the Panters aren’t a great defense, they’ll be going against John Beck in his first start of the season. While he should fare better than Rex Grossman did last week (four picks), he could easily turn the ball over a couple times. If you’re looking to save money, this could be a good pick.

Kicker

Shaun Suisham, Steelers, $2,300,000, at Cardinals
I never like to spend a lot of money on a kicker, so Suisham should be a nice pick here. The Steelers should move the ball pretty easily against the Cardinals, so he should get plenty of chances to put up points. Hopefully the offense will stall in the red zone a couple of times for some easy field goals instead of just racking up extra points.

Other value picks
Neil Rackers, Texans, $2,460,000, at Titans
The Titans defense can be tough, and the Texans are without Andre Johnson, but they still have enough weapons to keep moving the ball.

Olindo Mare, Panthers, $2,160,000, vs. Redskins
Cam Newton has this offense clicking, so they should be able to get a decent amount of scoring opportunities against the Redskins. If Washington can keep Cam Newton away from the goal line, then the Panthers may be forced into a few field goal attempts.

Flex

Tim Tebow, Broncos, $1,580,000, at Dolphins
It’s finally Tebow time in Denver, and that means he should easily outperform his low salary here. QBs can rack up a lot of points, so it makes sense to take one in the Flex position. It might not always look pretty, but Tebow can produce touchdowns. Whether it’s through the air or on the ground, he finds the end zone and should spark the Broncos to a nice game against the hapless Dolphins. Coming off a bye week should also help the new starter.






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