Week 7 Fantasy Advice

Here we go again, guys. Week 7 kicks off tonight, so here’s to another awesome week of NFL football. Personally, this is one of the craziest, parity-filled seasons I’ve ever seen, so if your fantasy team is struggling with all of this unpredictability, don’t feel bad. It happens to the best of us. But, don’t forget to take some of this advice into consideration – hopefully it’ll help you get the season back on track. Without further ado…

Fave Five:

  1. Jared Goff
    • After a down week against the shut-down Jaguars secondary, Goff should be back to impressing this season. Going up against a Cardinals D that’s 28th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks this season, I fully expect him to air it out big time. Yes, Patrick Peterson is an elite defender, but Justin Bethel is not and QBs have taken advantage of that all season. Plus, with Peterson possibly not 100%, look for Goff to ball out.
  2. Joe Mixon
    • Could this finally be the breakout game fans have been waiting for? Being that the Pittsburgh defense has been playing out of their minds in the secondary lately, and are 27th in fantasy points allowed to RBs, I say yes. Since week 3, when Bill Lazor took the reins for this offense, Mixon’s averaging a healthy 19 touches per game, tying him with Carlos Hyde. He’s also has 15 or more carries in 3 straight games – only Fournette, Bell, and Howard have a longer streak. Plus, he’s graded out at 80.3 according to Pro Football Focus, which would make him the 14th best halfback in the league despite a horrendous o-line. The talent is there, results should follow.
  3. Kirk Cousins
    • It’s no secret that Philadelphia has an elite rush defense, while their secondary leaves a lot to be desired. Despite a poor showing against them in the season opener, I expect Cousins to show off his talents this Monday, especially because he’s historically been better as the season has gone on and has continued that trend this year. And, don’t forget that there was a designed run for him at the goal line last week. Captain Kirk is a points machine.
  4. Delanie Walker
    • Delanie’s had a slow start this year, but I think that has more to do with the team’s struggles overall rather than a steep decline in his own play. Of course, another week for Marcus Mariota to get healthy is a major boost for his value, but the major selling point for Walker comes from his matchup with the Browns. At this point, you should just play whatever tight end is up against the Browns, because it seems like they manage to spot whatever lucky player that happens to be a ton of points. This week, that lucky player is Delanie Walker.
  5. Everybody in the ATL/NE game
    • Whenever two struggling defenses matchup, it’s great for fantasy. And with the Falcons looking to bounce back after a shocking upset by the anemic Dolphins, I think they take advantage of one of the worst defenses in the league. While the Falcons’ defense hasn’t been horrible this season, and I expect Vic Beasley and Desmond Trufant to play up to their abilities, I don’t see this Patriots offense scoring less than 20 points. That being said, I could see Atlanta keying on Brandin Cooks so look for a big day from Chris Hogan after last week’s dud.

Cause for Concern:

  • T.Y. Hilton
    • To me, T.Y. is the ultimate boom-or-bust, especially after alternating huge weeks with absolute flops lately. I’m a Jacoby Brissett fan, but I don’t like his chances against this elite Jacksonville secondary and without him producing, neither will Hilton. Yes, his ceiling could be a top 10 receiver each week, but his floor could also be outside the top 30. That volatility is too much to handle for me.
  • Cam Newton
    • For the past few weeks, so many people have been wrestling with the same question: Is Cam Newton back? After big games against the Pats and Lions, a lot of people say, “Yes.” Personally, I’m still not sold. I’ll admit, the performance on the road in Detroit was impressive to me, but last week’s 3-interception game against Philly left me wondering what he really has left. Seeing the rushing numbers come back was certainly encouraging, but the Panthers have made it clear that they don’t want him running as much this year. With so many question marks and a matchup with a stout Bears D in Chicago, I’d temper expectations
  • Alshon Jeffery
    • Let’s get a few things out of the way, first. Carson Wentz is awesome. Zach Ertz is also awesome. I’m not yet ready to proclaim Alshon Jeffery awesome. Honestly, Ertz is Wentz’s safety blanket and his go-to end zone target, so where is Alshon’s fantasy value? Interestingly, Wentz has trusted him with an impressive amount of contested balls, but not enough to return elite value like so many wanted from him. I don’t like Jeffery’s prospects in this game, especially if Josh Norman returns this week.

Streamers and Sleepers:

  • Zay Jones
    • The Tampa Bay defense has been straight-up BRUTAL recently. After making the ageless Larry Fitzgerald look like he was 25 again, I could see Jones having a big game as the Bills’ number one option.
  • NY Jets D/ST
    • The Jets’ defense was extremely impressive last week and, if not for a late second-half interception by Josh McCown, could have easily held the Patriots under 20 points – safe to say, that’s no small feat. The secondary looked energized and nearly picked off the great Tom Brady twice. If they could bait Brady into such mistakes, what could they do to Jay Cutler?
  • Mohamed Sanu
    • Sanu returns this week for the Falcons, which should take some pressure off the offense and get them back on track. Of course, a matchup with the New England defense isn’t too shabby either, so look for Mo to get some looks in the end zone with Julio Jones only receiving one such target all year.

Week 6 Fantasy Advice

Well, after a hiatus that was far too long, the fantasy column is BACK. This season’s been a blast so far and I hope you guys enjoy my advice…

Fave Five:

  1. Deshaun Watson
    WOW! Coming off of a five touchdown effort against the undefeated Chiefs, Deshaun Watson could be the most exciting player in football right now. Suffice it say, I don’t expect him to slow down against a soft Browns secondary that’s ranked 29th in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. Not to mention, Cleveland’s been surprisingly stout against the run this year, so the potential for more passing opportunities and scramble plays for Watson looks promising to say the least.
  2. Alvin Kamara
    Kamara could be the biggest beneficiary of Adrian Peterson’s move to Arizona. Not only does the trade free up 7-10 touches per game in that backfield, but New Orleans has also proven that they love the young runner in the passing game and trust him between the tackles. In fact, his stellar game against the Dolphins might have just punched Peterson’s ticket to the Cardinals, so in a game where Michael Thomas could get shadowed by Darius Slay, I see big potential for Kamara.
  3. Todd Gurley
    Guys, he’s fine. I promise. After disappointing against the Seahawks – a game that could have had an entirely different story if not for Gurley’s inopportune fumble at the goal line – I fully expect a bounceback for the incredible ball carrier this week against a Jacksonville defense that’s been run over this season. Plus, I doubt that Jared Goff is going to want to go anywhere near that Bouye-Ramsey secondary, so Gurley could end up getting elite volume this weekend between rushes and targets in the flat. Expect a monster day on Sunday.
  4. Larry Fitzgerald
    There hasn’t been much consistency for Fitz this season, but one spot that’s remained constant is volume. In fact, he’s one of only three receivers to have at least 50 targets this season. That bodes well moving forward, especially against a Tampa secondary that’s allowing the most points in the league to opposing wideouts.
  5. Demarco Murray
    Finally, Demarco actually looks to have a promising matchup and workload. (Knock on wood just in case I jinxed that.) But, with Marcus Mariota nearing a return on Monday – a game that shouldn’t be all that close – and Murray seemingly establishing himself as the clear starter over the past couple of weeks, this just might be his revival. As an added bonus, Taylor Lewan could also be back for the game which should help a line that was extremely disappointing last week.

Cause for Concern:

  • Michael Thomas
    It’s time to consider Darius Slay a shutdown corner. He just gets better and better and he held Michael Thomas to 4 receptions on 5 targets in week 13 of last season. The return of Willie Snead means Brees will have even more weapons and probably won’t have to challenge Slay very often, especially with Alvin Kamara poised to have a higher workload this week. Thomas should obviously be started in all leagues, but I’d temper expectations for the young receiver.
  • Sammy Watkins
    Ultimately, he is who we thought he was. Watkins exploded week three against San Fran, but has been invisible throughout the rest of the season so far. Unfortunately, I don’t expect that to get any better this week against a Jaguars secondary that is rivalling Denver for best in the league. This game should rest squarely on Todd Gurley’s shoulders and I’m not sure how many looks the former Clemson Tiger will even get.
  • Ben Roethlisberger
    Maybe he just doesn’t have it anymore. Coming off an abysmal five-interception effort at home, I think Ben can be dropped in just about all standard-sized leagues. Honestly, there are just too many good quarterbacks to roll the dice on a guy that over the past three years or so has been a completely different player on the road and at home. Now that he isn’t even contributing at home, what’s the point? If you expect Roethlisberger, who has historically been a far worse quarterback on the road, to turn it around in a hostile road environment against the undefeated Chiefs, then kudos to you. You must be a Steelers fan.

Sleepers and Streamers:

  • Stephen Gostkowksi
    It’s hard to justify mentioning kickers in a blog like this, but this one interests me. It’s no secret that the Pats’ D has been horrendous so far this year, nor is it surprising that their offense has blown the doors off some teams with Brady still at the helm. However, the Jets’ offense has shown an ability to hold its own, so is it that crazy to think that this could be a high-scoring affair? And even if it’s not, New England is notorious for doing everything it can to try to run up the score, especially against a division rival like the Jets. Most importantly, New York has had the best defense in the league once opposing offenses have gotten within the Jets’ 30-yard line, only allowing teams to score around 60% of the time. What does that mean? Field goals. Giddy-up.
  • Austin Sefarian-Jenkins
    There aren’t many stories better than ASJ’s redemption this year. Since coming back, he’s played great and has shown to have great rapport with quarterback Josh McCown, who he knows from their Buccaneer days. He hasn’t had less than four receptions in any of the games he’s appeared in this year and looks like McCown’s favorite target. Against the league’s worst defense – a defense that’s already surrendered four touchdowns to tight ends – I see potential for big things.
  • Desean Jackson
    Jackson has been earning more and more of the target share as the season’s progressed and that should only continue to grow. Being that the Bucs have such a vertical attack, Desean is a perfect fit for the offense and after showing off his elite speed against the Pats, his big-play ability is still in there. While Mike Evans will draw Patrick Peterson, Jackson could quietly feast on a shaky Justin Bethel on Sunday.

Finally, it’s back…​

Well, here we are. At 8:30 tonight, the NFL will kick-off and the road to Super Bowl LII will be underway. Of course, with the season comes everybody’s favorite weekly escape, Fantasy Football. Maybe you play because you’re a football junkie and can’t get enough of the game. Or, maybe you’re a Jet fan like me and you need a reason to root for some other players as well this year. Hey, maybe you’re not even a huge football fan, but you’re in a league with friends or at work and just want to win for the sake of bragging rights. Whatever the case may be, this gridiron game brings people together and Fantasy Football is the cherry on top to a season that brings so much excitement. Here we go with my weekly Fantasy Advice:

Fave Five

  1. Kelvin Benjamin
    • Benji could have a major bounce-back season this year and it starts week 1 in San Francisco. Not only does Benjamin have arguably the weakest cornerback schedule in the league this season, but the addition of Christian McCaffrey as a Swiss Army knife for that offense should force defenses to respect the run more. Plus, now a year removed from ACL surgery and with the Panthers looking to have Cam Newton be more of a pocket passer and run less, I see Benjamin torching a weak 49ers secondary and improving upon the two scores he’s already had this preseason.
  2. Melvin Gordon
    • I know, I know. They’re playing Denver this week. Yes, I expect Denver to have a good showing and play LA tough (it’s still weird to me that they’re not San Diego anymore). The thing is, by volume alone I expect Flash Gordon to start this season with a bang. Over the past three years, Phillip Rivers’ target share to receivers goes from 54% to 47% against Denver. Where do all those targets go? To the running back, and with Danny Woodhead now in Baltimore, Melvin should get an enormous amount of touches through the air and on the ground, especially with the all-world cornerback duo of Chris Harris and Aqib Talib patrolling the secondary.
  3. Brandon Marshall
    • Another bounce-back candidate for me, I fully expect Marsh to return to form as an elite end zone target. I keep hearing about how he’s old and continue to see people point to his regression last year. Relax. First of all, he’s only 33, it’s not like the guy is hobbling around out there and he’s not on an Andre Johnson-esque trajectory. I’ll admit, he uncharacteristically dropped way too many balls last year, but how much of that was his miserable situation combined with the fact that he had ineffective quarterbacks throwing him the ball? The Giants can’t run and will look to feast on an uninspiring Cowboys’ secondary. Couple this with the facts that I don’t expect Odell Beckham to be 100% and the Giants love to deploy 3-wide receiver sets and I see tremendous opportunity for B-Marsh. Not only is it a tough task to cover Marshall man-to-man, but the Giants also drop back to pass the 4th-most in the NFL in the red zone over the past two years… and now have the best fantasy wide receiver in the red zone since 2012. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that this looks pretty promising for his debut for Big Blue.
  4. Todd Gurley
    • I fully expect the Rams to run the ball down Indy’s throat with the intentions of exploiting a weak defense and controlling the clock. Throw in the fact that Andrew Luck is out and Scott Tolzien, who can be subject to turnovers, is starting for Indy and I expect a huge day for Gurley – one that puts his disappointing 2016 firmly behind him.
  5. Bilal Powell
    • I mean, who else is going to get the ball? I don’t expect Josh McCown to throw very much on Sunday and when he does, will can that offensive line even hold up? My bet is he checks it down when he drops back and hands it to Powell the rest of the time. I do think Matt Forté will get some work too and have a nice game himself, but with the former pro bowler in his age 31 season and the best veteran leader the team has, I expect it to be the Bilal Powell Show in Buffalo.


Cause for Concern

  1. Keenan Allen
    • See: Melvin Gordon. I’m actually high on Allen’s prospects this season and expect him to finally have a healthy year this year. *Knocks on wood* Unfortunately for him, he begins the season against that all-world secondary I mentioned earlier and if Rivers plays Denver the same way he has over the past 3 years, then the LA receivers will have only 47% of the target share to split amongst themselves. Over the course of the season, I consider Allen a great pick and major sleeper at his current draft position, but I’d temper expectations for this week.
  2. Dez Bryant
    • The oft-injured receiver would make me nervous as a fantasy owner with his physical style of play. Although obviously a great talent, I don’t trust him against high-end corners. Yes, he typically devours mediocre corners, but in tough matchups he chokes far too often for me to trust him as a low-end WR1. Oh yeah, and in TWO games against the Giants last year he had two receptions for 18 yards and a fumble. I’m wary of Dez this week.
  3. T.Y. Hilton
    • Ultimately, T.Y. is way too make or break for me to trust him as a WR1. Of course, you have to respect any player that led the league in receiving yards, but with Scott Tolzien starting for Indy week 1 against a respectable Rams defense I don’t have much confidence that he’ll put up WR1 numbers. Plus, I think the Colts’ decision to trade for Jacoby Brissett says something about their confidence in Tolzien. Beware.


Top Streaming Options

  1. Paul Richardson
    • Green Bay surrendered the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in the entire league last year. Now playing out wide opposite Doug Baldwin and with the Seahawks’ running game a major question mark, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Richardson get some volume in a game that could see a lot of scoring. Yes, Seattle has a great defense, but is anybody really ready to count out Aaron Rodgers? Against the best quarterback in the league, Russ is going to have to air it out and I don’t think the Green Bay secondary has anybody to stop Richardson from having a great day.
  2. Zay Jones
    • Sammy Watkins is gone. Jordan Matthews just arrived and may or may not be hurt. Um, this Jets-Bills game this weekend could be the worst combination of receivers I’ve ever seen in a regular season game. That being said, is it that crazy to say that the rookie Jones might be the best receiver on the field? Coming off a season where he caught a ridiculous 158 balls at ECU, I’d say it’s not that crazy. Despite the fact that I expect the Jets’ defense to be much improved this year, I think it’s a great matchup for Jones and could see him getting some nice volume as the Bills’ top receiver.
  3. Andy Dalton
    • The Red Rifle finished last season as the 12th best QB in fantasy despite missing AJ Green, Tyler Eifert, Gio Bernard, and having to deal with a regressing Jeremy Hill. Two seasons ago he was top 5. The guy is a sneaky great fantasy quarterback and with Green, Eifert, and Gio all fully healthy, plus the addition of Joe Mixon, I could see him having a resurgent year. Against a Baltimore defense that doesn’t inspire a ton of fear anymore, I see him hitting Eifert and Green for a few scores as Cincy rolls over the Ravens.