It is official; half the fantasy football season is a thing of the past. We have seen a lot of ups and downs this season. Some players we thought were primed to have a huge year have not panned out and some have exceeded our expectations. Later this week, we will be giving out fantasy awards for the entire first half of the season, but before we get to that we need to hand out the awards for the seventh week of the 2013 season.
Quarterback of the Week- Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts)
The Colts have officially been turned over to Andrew Luck. In Peyton Manning’s first game back in the Indianapolis, Andrew Luck proved to everyone he can fill the shoes of one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time by beating his predecessor. Luck threw for 228 yards and three touchdowns and added 29 yards and a score on the ground. Luck was extremely valuable this week because he was the only quarterback to put up over 30 fantasy points. Next week Andrew Luck and the Colts have a bye, but he will continue to be a dominant force throughout the remainder of the season.
Runningback of the Week- Matt Forte (Chicago Bears)
It was a poor week for fantasy runningbacks. However, this did not apply to the Chicago Bears’ Matt Forte. Forte totaled 109 yards and scored three times. The big game was encouraging to Forte owners because it is argued he is only a top tier runningback in PPR scoring formats. However, Forte only had two receptions this week and none of his touchdowns came through the air. Therefore, Forte would have led any league in fantasy points by a runningback regardless of the scoring format. Forte is still most valuable in leagues that award point for receptions, however this week he proved he is a top five fantasy back in all leagues. The Bears are on bye next week, so be looking on the waiver wire for a replacement.
Wide Receiver of the Week- Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions)
It is about time. Calvin Johnson came into the season as the undisputed top fantasy wide receiver. Until this past week, he had not really lived up to the high expectations. We all knew eventually this would change. In week seven Calvin Johnson caught nine passes for 155 yards and 2 touchdowns. So where has this been all season? There were two good weeks in the beginning of the season, but since then Johnson took a little bit of a beating and even missed one week due to injury. The injury has still been slowing him down for the last little while, but it appears that is finally behind him. With Calvin Johnson back to full strength, fantasy owners we begin to see why he was the first wide receiver taken in drafts. Expect another huge game against the Cowboys’ 30th ranked pass defense in week eight.
Tight End of the Week- Jordan Reed (Washington Redskins)
Everybody thought this section would be reserved for Rod Gronkowski after his long awaited return from injury. Gronk played admirably, but it was rookie Jordan Reed who proved to be the best of the fantasy tight ends this weekend. Reed caught every ball thrown his way. He tallied nine receptions for 134 yards and a touchdown against the strong Chicago Bears’ defense. The future looks very bright for the Redskins’ tight end, but it is the immediate future against the Broncos and their passing defense which ranks dead last that is most intriguing to fantasy owners. With another performance like the one against the Bears, Jordan Reed will solidify himself as a strong starter for the rest of the season. He very well could prove it in Denver.
Kicker of the Week- Graham Gano (Carolina Panthers)
Graham Gano has been very accurate this season. If you play in a league that subtracts points for missed field goals, Gano is definitely a kicker to look into. This season, he is a perfect nine for nine. In a week seven matchup against the St. Louis Rams, Gano kicked three field goals and three point after attempts. One of his field goals came from 51 yards away. The Panthers are travelling to Tampa Bay next week, which could mean big things for Gano. The Bucs have a good secondary making it tough to score touchdowns instead of field goals in the redzone. Gano will get the chance to put the ball through the uprights a couple of times.
Team Defense of the Week- Carolina Panthers
The Panthers played a great game against the St. Louis Rams. The Rams only score 13 points the whole game. The Panthers defense recorded four sacks, one interception, and recovered two fumbles. They also score a defensive touchdown. All of this equates to a nice 20 fantasy points for the Panthers defense. This total is well above and beyond the average for this week. If the Panthers are still available in your fantasy league, you might want to pick them up this week. Carolina is going to Tampa Bay to play the Buccaneers. It would not be surprising if they put up similar stats in week eight.
Rookie of the Week- Jordan Reed (Washington Redskins)
Normally when a rookie puts up the stat line Jordan Reed did he is an easy choice for the rookie of the week. However, this was a tougher decision than one might think. Green Bay Packers’ runningback Eddie Lacy also performed very well. However, Reed was easily the most dominant tight end of the week. Reed’s 19 fantasy points outscored all tight ends by a long shot. The next best total was 12.
Sleeper of the Week- Brandon Gibson (Miami Dolphins)
Before discussing our sleeper pick, we need to clarify what a sleeper is. Roy Helu is not a sleeper. Sure, he scored three touchdowns and put up a ton of fantasy points, but that is an anomaly. A sleeper is a player who is more than likely on somebody’s roster and has potential to be used as a starter. Helu has played for years and doubled his career number of touchdowns in one game. This type of game will never happen again for him. Sleepers require a fantasy owner to research a player and come to a decision that there is a chance this player will have some value at some point in the season. If you do any research on Helu, you will see he is not worth picking up. Starting a sleeper who performs well has very little to do with luck. Brandon Gibson was actually worth a spot start in many leagues if somebody’s starter had a bye week or got injured. Gibson had five receptions for 40 receiving yards and two touchdowns. It is hard to see him doing this again next week against the Patriots; however Gibson has shown he is a strong option to come off your bench in times of need. It is not advised to start him every week, but depending on his match-ups he can come in handy.
Bust of the Week- C.J. Spiller (Buffalo Bills)
We are going to give Arian Foster and his 11 rushing yards a pass on this one because he left the game due to injury. Instead, the award goes to C.J. Spiller. Spiller has been the most disappointing player of 2013. Week seven was his worst outing of the whole year. Spiller rushed for a total of 11 yards and had three catches for negative four yards. Spiller came into 2013 as a top five runningback who demanded a high first round draft pick. There were even talks of him being the most likely candidate to finish the season with 2000 rushing yards. This week he rewarded fantasy owners with zero points. This is not what you want from the player who you drafted to be the cornerstone of your fantasy team.
Comeback Player of the Week- Chris Johnson (Tennessee Titans)
Chris Johnson demanded a second round draft pick coming into the season. So far, he has not lived up to that high expectation. Of the seven weeks of the 2013 NFL season, week seven was only his second good performance. He is remembered for his 2000 yard rushing season, but since then he has been very inefficient. Every once in awhile the one they call “CJ2K” comes alive and shows us some of his old moves, but it is a very rare occurrence. This past weekend, Johnson had a total of 110 yards from scrimmage and scored a touchdown. Do not expect a lot of these performances this year and do not fall into a trap after his upcoming bye week. Many owners will look at his week seven performance and think he will do it again in week nine due to the extra rest. That is simply an excuse to chase a player’s past fantasy production. John is one of the most overrated players in fantasy football. It is time we stop thinking of him as CJ2K and start looking at CJ2-day.
Fanspeak.com Most Valuable Player of Week Seven- Matt Forte (Chicago Bears)
Matt Forte was the number one option at runningback in week seven. Da Bears’ tailback shattered expectations in a week where there were not many strong performances from the half back position this weekend. Runningbacks are considered to be the most important players in fantasy football and many of them did not show up this past week, just look at Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster, and C.J. Spiller. Matt Forte came into the week as a boarder-line top five fantasy runningback who was taken in the later part of the first round in most drafts. This is the type of week where you were rewarded for risking your top pick on Forte. In weeks where most players from a certain position struggle; it is nice to know you can count on your top player not to let you down. It is even nicer when your top player is the top performing runningback for the entire week. Giving a nod to SNL, there was a hurricane in week seven and the name of the hurricane was Hurricane Forte.