“The Amateur Ward” The Front 7, Linebacker/Defensive Line Plays Week 7

I figured I’d swap up my piece title as the old one was a little to boring. This week, I am also trying out a new format that will pit players against one another. 3 Tiers: The Battle Royale- Players who will be nearly universally owned and are going completely ham this season. Ol’ Steady Eddy- Players who are owned and will be a solid contributor, but also have some blank weeks. Russian Roulette- players who will be either make or break a win for you any given week. Overall, last week I had a decent week with 5 wins, 4 losses, and 1 tie (due to injury). My biggest hit was Brandon Graham who smoked the Giants as the Eagles blanked the GMen 27-0. My biggest miss was Demario Davis who had a very solid game against the Broncos in a 31-17 losing effort. With this week’s rankings, hopefully I will be accurate in predicting the winners of my match ups as I pit 2 players against one another, then have the winners from the first two categories go head to head. We’ll see how this format works out!

Last Week’s Recap

Danny Lansanah (LB-TB)- (Left game in first half against Ravens, head injury). Tie as through the point where he left, he had 5 tackles,, 4.5 FP/MLFF.

Brandon Graham (LB-PHI)- I predicted he’d be boom or bust, and the first half was right. He went boom: 16 FP/MLFF, 4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble.  Big win.

Carlos Dunlap (DE-CIN)- 5 tackles/9.5 FP/MLFF. Loss. Outside of the 5 tackles, he contributed no other counting stats.

Julius Peppers (DE-G.B.)- 11.2 FP/MLFF. 4 tackles, a forced fumble for 2 yards. Win. He’s holding his own on the Packers defensive line quite nicely.

Haloti Ngata (DT-BAL)- 3 tackles/2.5 FP MLFF. Loss. Ah the life of the fantasy defensive tackle: erratic production. Fortunately, Ngata will still be one of the more consistent options.

DeMario Davis (LB-NYJ)- 11 tackles, 8.5 FP/MLFF. I’ll call that a loss as I said he’d be quiet against the Broncos in Week 6.

Alec Ogletree (LB-StL)- 6 tackles/8 FP MLFF against the 49ers. Win. You expect more out of your LB1s and Ogletree did not deliver (as predicted) against San Fran.

Robert Quinn (DE-StL)- 3 tackles, 0 sacks (again)/8 FP MLFF versus S.F. Win. I told you to steer clear. Continue to do so until he rips off a few solid games in a row.

Muhammad Wilkerson (DE-NYJ)- 8 tackles, 1 sack/12 FP/MLFF against Peyton and Co. Loss. Hopefully you ignored what I said about him in Week 6, and started him with confidence.

Steve McLendon (DT-PITT)- Nada; zip. Win. McLendon got blanked against a vastly improved Browns offensive unit, now he’s out indefinitely.

The Battle Royale

C.J. Mosley vs. DeAndre Levy- Both are having top 10 LB seasons and are locks to produce high numbers each week at linebacker. All Levy has done this season is tally 57 tackles, 3 passes defensed, an interception, and 1 score. This week he’ll get Brees and Co. in Detroit in what should be a high scoring affair. Detroit boasts a surprisingly solid top 5 passing defense this season, meaning that the saints may look to run the ball to open up the big play for Brees. Regardless, Levy should be in for another double-digit scoring day in fantasy leagues. Mosley is right up there with Levy in terms of fantasy production with one apiece in each of forced fumbles, recovered fumbles, and interceptions. he also has 2 more passes defensed than Levy, for a total of 5. With both Atlanta and Baltimore secondaries being very porous, the game will be won or lost in the trenches. While Atlanta may have the better offensive attack, they are completely incapable defensively of stopping anyone. In the battle of the Birds this week, Mosley will continue to be among the linebacker leaders in terms of fantasy production as he seems poised for a huge day against Atlanta. (Photo courtesy of www.gannett-cdn.com)

Winner: Mosley- Given his potential and pedigree, he narrowly takes this one this week over Levy.

J.J. Watt vs. All Other DEs: With both Chandler Jones and Muhammad Wilkerson already playing, there’s no one who could really challenge Watt one-on-one this week. Put this in perspective: Watt already has a fumble recovery TD, an interception TD, and a receiving score. He’s ahead of the nearest DE in MLFF by 46.1 points. This week he’s up against the Steelers front 7 who have allowed Big Ben to be sacked 17 times this season. Unless one of the remaining DEs, led by peppers, Willie Young, or potentially Jason Pierre-Paul goes completely nuts this week, Watt will dominate all other DEs (and most IDPs) this week. Wait, what am I saying, Watt can’t be stopped by anybody right now. (Photo courtesy of grantland.com)

Final Round- Mosley vs. Watt: It might be close given Mosley’s ability to make plays everywhere on the field, but Watt is in another stratosphere at the moment and will not be denied.

Ol’ Steady Eddy

Jason Pierre-Paul vs. Jared Allen- I’m pretty sure this is the last time you’ll see JPP’s name in my articles, as I’ll be done writing about him if he proves me wrong again. In this matchup, we have two sack monsters, who when healthy and on top of their games, are capable of leading the league in sacks. JPP has 1.5 sacks and 4 passes defensed, and has been hit or miss this season, with 1 week of 25.5 MLFF pts, but also 3 weeks of sub-10 MLFF pts. Allen, in his new uniform in Chicago, has a sack, a forced fumble, and a pass defensed, but has been less boom/bust than JPP. From a matchup perspective, Allen (vs. Miami), has the more appealing matchup than JPP (@DAL), but JPP’s playmaking ability is vastly superior due to his age. For his career, JPP has been solid against the Cowboys with 5 sacks and a defensive score, so he should tally a sack at minimum against them this week. Allen is in the twilight of his career, but should see ample opportunity to rack up a few tackles and a sack against the run-heavy Dolphins. (Photo courtesy of article.wn.com)

Winner: Allen- I want to go with JPP on this one, but with the way the Cowboys are playing at home, Allen takes the nod. Not only that, Allen will have more chances to rack up the stats against Miami.

Marcell Dareus vs. Sen’Derrick Marks- In the battle of defensive tackles this week, Dareus will get his first crack at rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater, who’s going to be butt hurt after last week’s 3 pick, 1 fumble performance against the Lions. Marks, and the Jags, who also start a rookie QB in Bortles play the surprise team of the season thus far, the Browns. Based purely on the match ups, Dareus seems to be the play here as he figures to wreak havoc against rookie QB Bridgewater and the AP-less Vikings, but Marks will be heavily relied upon by the Jags to try to stop Ben Tate at the point of attack, as the Jags are dead last against the pass. (Photo courtesy of funny-pictures.picphotos.net)

Winner: Dareus- The matchup here is just too good to pass up. A week after he got destroyed by the Lions secondary, Dareus will look to pound Bridgewater into the turf in Buffalo.

Final Round: Allen vs. Dareus- Dareus. Dareus versus Bridgewater is like putting a piece of red meat in a lion’s den. There’s no competition.

Russian Roulette

Jacquian Williams vs. Avery Williamson- Over the past few weeks both have completely burst onto the fantasy scene, and are both unowned in MLFF leagues. Williams has 44 tackles and 2 passes defensed on the season, versus 21 tackles, a fumble recovery and 2 passes defensed for Williamson. Over the past 3 weeks, Williamson has 37.1 pts/ MLFF versus 35.5 for Williams. The deciding factor here could very well come down to opponent. Williams faces a tough Cowboys offense that’s clicking on all cylinders with Murray looking like the best back in the League. Williamson faces the Redskins who can score, but, defensively struggle. Williamson represents the bigger boom/bust play of the 2, as the rookie ILB out of Kentucky is athletic and raw and has a slightly more favorable matchup, but is less seasoned. Williams is the more steady option this week. Keep an eye on these 2 this week, as both could very well decide your matchup if you play them/your opponent plays them. Regardless, both need to be snapped up in all leagues. (Photo courtesy of tennessean.com)

Winner: At the end of the day, Williamson will take this bout. There will be more opportunities for him to produce and rack up the stats for him from the inside position versus Williams on the outside. His athleticism is very intriguing.

Please leave feedback on my setup for this week’s rankings as I’ll be tweaking this some in the future to better aid fantasy owners chose the right players for the right match ups. This is a huge learning curve for all writers involved so any feedback we receive will only better our analyses and give us factors to key in on going forward. Ok, I’ll admit, there is some bias and ego in these rankings, but we try to leave that on the field for when we set our lineups for our match ups so we can dominate. I got a great feeling about this week, so go hide under your rock if I’m playing you this week, as I’ve already won before the starting bell…DING DING.


Major League Fantasy Sports Radio: Join Ej Garr and Corey D Roberts on Sunday October 19th from 11am-12pm EST for this weeks installment of Major League Fantasy Football Radio sponsored by theSports Palooza Radio Network. We will be taking live callers at 646.915.8596Our guests this week will be Bryan Robinson who is a writer for majorleaguefantasysports.com. Bryan’s article publishes every Thursday and he focuses on the running back/wide receiver position. He also does a weekly Q&A for us onreddit’s fantasy football section every Saturday. Jeff Nelson will also be joining us again. Jeff is the DB coach for White Hall H.S. in PA and is a two time Major League Fantasy Football Champion. Come join us for a very spirited conversation.

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