Here are Locker Room Update’s starts and sits for Week 7.
Steve Smith: The Ravens star receiver notched 137 yards and a touchdown on ten receptions against the 49ers and when he’s been on the field, has essentially been the Ravens offense. With a matchup against a tough Cardinals secondary, I wouldn’t shy away from starting Smith. Expect Flacco to go to him early and often, especially if Arizona gets an early lead.
Devonta Freeman: The Atlanta running back has been on a tear all year long, and that shouldn’t stop against a Titans defense that has been run through all season (28th against). With Mariota out, the Falcons should easily grab a lead. Freeman will get plenty of touches in the first half; don’t be surprised if he gets just as many in the second half with a solid lead.
Miami defense: I know. A defense? Should be pretty straight-forward, right? Not necessarily. The Dolphins have been torched this year, and the expensive defensive line hasn’t lived up to the bar at all. Last week, that changed. Although it was against a relatively weak Titans team, the game could start a trend under a new interim head coach. Houston doesn’t have the best offense in the NFL, either.
Adrian Peterson: He’s questionable. Even if he starts, it’s an illness that will probably leave him less than 100 percent against the Lions. He drastically underperformed last week against the Chiefs, and Bridgewater looked very comfortable taking on the job of protecting the lead they maintained for much of the game. Peterson could very well have a bounce-back game, but the circumstances are a bit too risky for my taste.
Antonio Brown: While his abilities as a receiver shouldn’t be doubted, his chemistry with Landy Jones should. Jones was very solid in relief of Michael Vick, but his looks generally went towards Bryant. In any case, until Big Ben is back on the field, Brown’s production is a giant question mark from week to week.
Philip Rivers: This one is a hit-or-miss, admittedly. However, he’s on this list not because of him, but because of the fact that both Keenan Allen and Antonio Gates, stars in their own right, are both currently questionable for Sunday’s game against the Raiders. While they may very well play, the injuries may limit the ability for them to create separation (MCL sprain for Gates, hip injury for Allen), which might put a cap on Rivers’ performance.