Don’t Start Jermichael Finley, Shonn Greene, Brandon Lloyd, Russell Wilson in Week 7

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<p> Don’t Start Jermichael Finley, Shonn Greene, Brandon Lloyd, Russell Wilson in Week 7</p>

Who should you sit in Week 7? Well, with six teams on bye this week, every fantasy owner’s roster depth is sure to be tested. With players like Matt Ryan, Peyton Manning, Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez and many others not available, chances are you might be starting some unfamiliar faces. That said, here are a few names we would advise you to sit in Week 7, if at all possible.

Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay at St. Louis
In Finley’s defense, he is dealing with a shoulder injury, which has cut down on his playing time. This also obviously has an adverse effect on his production. Injury issues aside, the truth is the big target just hasn’t been that effective or productive period this season. He has 24 receptions for only 210 yards (8.8 ypc) and one lone touchdown, which came in Week 1. Since that opening game against San Francisco, where he caught seven balls for 47 yards and that score, his number of receptions has gone down each successive week. Last week in a game in which the Packers put up 427 yards of total offense and Aaron Rodgers threw six touchdown passes, Finley caught a grand total of two passes for 12 yards. What’s more, this week’s opponent, St. Louis, has allowed only one touchdown reception to tight ends so far. Between the injuries, the lack of production and the match-up, you can take your pick as to the reason why you should leave Finley on the bench this week, and probably until further notice.  

Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets at New England
Greene, who was our Sneaky Start for Week 6, exploded last week for a career-high 161 yards rushing and three touchdowns against Indianapolis. Of course it certainly helped that he was facing one of the worst rushing defenses in the league, no? Prior to his career performance, Greene had rushed for 217 yards and one touchdown in his first five games. In other words, he nearly quadrupled his per-game average over five games in only four quarters of play. As valuable as Greene was to those owners who stuck by him, don’t expect anywhere near similar results this week. New England is eighth in the NFL in rushing defense, compared to Indianapolis, who is No. 26. The Patriots are allowing 3.4 yards per carry and have surrendered only two rushing touchdowns. In two games last year against his AFC East rivals, Greene had 144 yards rushing and one touchdown. It may be hard to bench last week’s top-scoring running back, but I just don’t see Greene putting up big numbers this week.

Brandon Lloyd, WR, New England vs. New York Jets
Lloyd is the Patriots’ second-leading receiver in both receptions and yards, and actually has more targets than even Wes Welker. However, Lloyd has caught just one touchdown pass so far, as Tom Brady has spread out his 15 scoring strikes to six different receivers. Speaking of all those weapons, Brady got another one back last week with the return of Aaron Hernandez, who promptly caught one of Brady’s two touchdown passes in the loss to Seattle. When the season started it appeared that Welker was the one being hurt the most by the presence of Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, two athletic, pass-catching tight ends. However, once Hernandez went down with an ankle injury, it was Welker, and not Lloyd, who made the most of the opportunity. Lloyd also hurt his shoulder late in last week’s game, and while he says he is fine, you know how mysterious (dare I say frustrating?) the Patriots are when it comes to injury disclosures. While I expect him to play, I just don’t think he’s a huge part of the aerial attack right now. Also, the Jets, even without All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis, have done a pretty good job defending wide receivers. They have only given up three touchdown receptions to opposing wideouts and are allowing the fewest fantasy points to the position as a whole.

Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle at San Francisco (Thursday)
For at least one week, the rookie upstaged the veteran as Wilson out-performed Tom Brady in the Seahawks’ come-from-behind victory over the Patriots. The third-round pick out of Wisconsin set career highs in both passing yards (293) and touchdowns (3), and didn’t turn the ball over as he moved his career record to 3-0 against the likes of Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Tony Romo. Of course, it didn’t hurt Wilson that all three of these games were at home, and he has the support of one of the league’s best defenses behind him. Speaking of defenses, Wilson’s next test is against the No. 5 San Francisco defense, a unit that is still smarting from the whipping the Giants gave it last week. Oh and did I also mention the game is in San Francisco? In home games so far Wilson has a sparkling 6:0 touchdown-to-interception ratio. On the road, it’s 2:6. Let’s see, Thursday night game, on the road, against a fired up 49ers defense in a pivotal NFC West match-up? Good luck rook.

- By Mark Ross, published on Oct. 18, 2012

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