Week 7 Previews
Dallas Cowboys @ Carolina Panthers - 1:00pm EST Sunday
I'm certainly not the only one out there who is extremely worried about Cam Newton at this point (and I don't even own him in fantasy). The guy is an excellent player, but he's blaming himself way too much and opposing defensive coordinators are taking advantage of his often reckless play. On the other side of the ball, Tony Romo finally calmed down to some degree last week, and it wasn't necessarily his fault that the Cowboys lost. He could have done more, but it isn't his job to make place kicks or tackle returners. The Panthers are an abysmal 1-4 coming off a bye week where they really needed to just take a mental break. This team isn't as bad as they have been playing, and it's fantasy owners especially who are hoping to see more out of this offense. The Cowboys defense is ranked well in every important fantasy category, so this will likely be a tough game for the Panthers.
Fantasy Outlook: Mediocre
8th Tony Romo - Romo has been impossible to predict this season, but I have a feeling that the game against the Ravens and Bryant's ability to catch the ball makes Romo a good play this week. The Panthers haven't been good or bad against the pass this season, and it would be a disappointment for fantasy owners if Romo couldn't reach 18 points this weekend. It will be tough, but with Felix Jones running the ball and two good receivers, Romo isn't someone you should shy away from this week.
16th Cam Newton - Newton has the potential to explode every week. He proved that as a rookie. Newton also has the ability to implode every week. He's proved that multiple times this season. I don't want to pile on to Newton, but given that he probably won't ever read my blog, I won't feel bad about it. The guy needs to act like a leader and he needs to do it now. When Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers throws an interception you don't see them hiding under a towel. Newton needs to man up. That won't be easy this week against a Cowboys team that is averaging 12.48 points per game for opposing QBs.
6th Felix Jones - Against the 5th most favorable run defense in the league, it's very hard not to like Felix Jones this week...especially given his performance last week. The backup running back ALWAYS plays better in Dallas. This is a team that always makes their backup look amazing. Even last season, Felix Jones amazed us the game after DeMarco Murray got hurt by racking up 131 scrimmage yards. It probably won't last past this week, but Jones is a guy to play this week. The Panthers give up a lot of receiving yards to running backs.
26th DeAngelo Williams - I never know which one of these backs to rank higher. They have enough potential to be ranked, and they're both talented enough to be ranked, but that doesn't mean the score points. It's hard to imagine Williams going over 12 points. You really need a touchdown out of him, but the Cowboys have a seriously tough run defense.
28th Jonathan Stewart - I always hate writing about Williams and Stewart because it makes me think about how good these guys would be if they got twice as many carries. Anyways, he's rarely a good start, but I like him catching the ball against this Cowboys team to some degree. If you play him, you better hope he scores a touchdown.
18th Dez Bryant - The Panthers have been efficient at slowing down wide receivers this season, so Dez takes a drop even though he has been improving steadily. I'm most worried about the likelihood that he finds the end zone this week. The Panthers are allowing fewer than one touchdown to wide receivers per game this season. If you are looking for a sure thing you can look elsewhere.
21st Steve Smith - The Cowboys lead the league by holding opposing wide receivers to an average of 16.24 points per game. That is an unbelievable low number to be split between multiple receivers. Smith would need to monopolize that to be a valuable fantasy player. Smith is always a fantasy starter because he is a great source of yardage, but he has yet to find the end zone this season. That is really hurting fantasy owners and his standings here.
26th Miles Austin - Like I mentioned with Bryant, this defense is good against opposing wide receivers. Bryant's boon has been Austin's bain, with the latter losing his streak of 4 consecutive games with over 10 fantasy points. He hasn't been blowing it up this season, and with a tough defense he's probably better left on the bench this week. He could get lucky and score a touchdown, but that might be pushing it. With so many bye weeks you likely have no choice, though.
Jason Witten - I'm not ranking tight ends this week because it is a waste of time (in my opinion), but I will tell you that the Panthers allow just over 8 points per game to tight ends this season.
Greg Olsen - This guy is a staple of the Panthers offense, with Olsen looking like Newton's second target. The Cowboys have allowed 7.5 points per game to tight ends.