(Yahoo!) Fantasy is a speculative game. Predict the future, and you look like a genius. Don't, and you're painfully human. Gazing into the crystal ball, here's our view on 10 intriguing over/unders for Week 7.
Yahoo DFS Bargain Bin. What cheaply priced QB/RB/WR/TE will turn the biggest profit in Week 7?
Brad – LANDRY JONES ($25). Working under the assumption Big Ben doesn't return, Landry is this week's ultimate discount QB. Sean Smith has performed well in coverage since his return, but KC largely remains a couch fire against the pass. The Chiefs have given up the third-most fantasy points to the position. if Jones resembles the efficient QB that relieved Mike Vick last week, he should surpass 250 yards with a couple scores.
Andy – If even a tiny fraction of the CHRISTINE MICHAEL hype is kinda/sorta accurate, then he's the answer here. Michael is priced, understandably, at only $13. He's been taking first-team reps for the Cowboys, and of course neither Joseph Randle or Darren McFadden have done anything special to this point in the season. If Michael simply sees 12-14 touches, he'll earn his Yahoo price tag.
Scott – Any Arizona wideout you want to dial up against Baltimore’s suspect secondary, I’m on board. That starts with big-ticket Larry Fitzgerald of course, but for the purpose of this question, let’s also consider JOHN BROWN ($21, off a monster game at Pittsburgh) and MICHAEL FLOYD ($12, finally starting to show signs of life after a poor opening month). Carson Palmer should be good for multiple TD tosses, and he’ll spread the ball around.
Liz – MICHAEL CRABTREE ($18). Crabtree has four more targets on the season than Amari Cooper. The coaching staff has lauded his talent and claims to want to get him more involved in the offense. He’ll probably see a lot of CB Brandon Flowers – who has struggled mightily - this Sunday. He’s good for five catches, 70 yards, and a TD.
Brandon – ZACH METTENBERGER ($20) - I don't share Marcus Mariota's optimism that he'll be able to play this week with a sprained MCL. I expect Mettenberger to take control of the Titans offense for at least this week. And landing a starting QB with some upside at $20 is as good as it gets in DFS. Mettenberger was good for at least 260 passing yards and 2 TD passes in three of his six starts last season. And in a game against a good Atlanta offense that could very well push the Titans into a second half hurry-up position, I think Mettenberger could once again deliver something in that that 260/2 neighborhood.
Dalton – DONTE MONCRIEF ($19). He saw 11 targets (and scored) during Andrew Luck's return last week, and this game's over/under is 52, which is the highest of the week. Moncrief gets to go up against a New Orleans secondary that's allowed 8.6 YPA with an 11:2 TD:INT ratio, so he should put up some nice stats at a bargain price.
Conversely, what player, at any position, are you stiff-arming in Week 7 DFS?
Andy – There's really no starting TOM BRADY ($48) this week, facing an excellent Jets defense. It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we saw a 20-17 game at Foxboro. Even if you're willing to spend big at QB, you should be targeting a more favorable matchup (Palmer, Rivers, Luck, et al.)
Dalton – TOM BRADY ($48). He's one of the favorites to win MVP this year, but that's an awfully expensive price when facing a Jets defense that's allowed NFL-lows in ppg (15.0), YPA (5.4) and QB Rating (60.9). New York has also yielded the second fewest fantasy points to opposing passers, so look elsewhere at quarterback this week.
Scott – ANTONIO BROWN ($34) clearly can’t be in the DFS conversation until Ben Roethlisbergerreturns. And as much as I respect and admire STEVE SMITH’S game, I don’t want to chase last week’s point total and drop $27 in the process. In seasonal leagues, I actually view it a perfect time to shop Smith, who after all is 36 and dealing with significant health concerns.
Liz – JORDAN MATTHEWS ($24). I don’t know which scares me more: his matchup… or his hands.
Brandon – JARVIS LANDRY ($28) - Landry, at least in DFS terms, is one of the most overrated receivers. He's 32nd among WRs with 312 receiving yards despite being top 10 in targets per game. He does have two scores, but they've come in random fashion (run and return). Of his five games, he's finished with with 67 receiving yards or less four times. At $28, I'm staying far away.
Brad – JULIAN EDELMAN ($31). Some teams have your number. That's certainly the case with Edelman. In 10 career games, he's barely registered a blip netting 3.8 receptions and 40.8 yards per game. Worst yet, he's scored only one TD. Add his likely Darrelle Revis draw in coverage (44.0 catch% allowed) and it's easy to deem his exorbitant price tag 'inflated.'
Blake Bortles, who travels across the pond to face Buffalo in London, final Week 7 rank among QBs 7.5 (Under if he finishes inside top-7. Over if he doesn't).
Dalton – OVER. Bortles has been a fantasy revelation this season, tossing as many TDs the past two games as Peyton Manning has all season. But QB remains a loaded position, and I have 10 ranked ahead of him this week.
Scott – While Buffalo’s defense hasn’t been delivering the sacks, it’s still doing well in other pass-defense metrics (seventh in lowest rating allowed; tenth in defense DVOA per Football Outsiders). And a lot of the Bortles numbers have come from garbage time and falling behind in games — is the Buffalo offense good enough to put Jacksonville in that position? I have no major problem with a Bortles fantasy ticket here, but I have to call this an OVER.
Brandon – OVER. Bortles' numbers have been impressive, but he's the classic example to show how fantasy and reality are different. His low 80s QB Rating is below average and if you watch him play, you'll likely see several head-scratching throws. But in the wash, his numbers always seem to look good for fantasy purproses (at least this season). Buffalo is a matchup where you expect him to throw it a ton, so I see definite QB1 upside. But I like eight QBs ahead of him this week, so I have to roll with the OVER.
Searing waiver add Christine Michael, who is expected to be unleashed this week, rushing yards against the Giants 79.5.
Scott – UNDER, because I can't assume the Cowboys will stick to a game plan or actually put their talented players in position to succeed. I'm in "believe it when I see it" mode with Michael – I'm glad you have him rostered, but I can't put him in the auto-start category yet. There's still an annoying amount of gridlock in this backfield.
Brandon – UNDER. We'll see if Dallas does in fact finally unleash Michael, but I suspect it will end up liberally mixing the three backs (Randle, DMC) against the Giants. And if Randle found the doghouse because of ball security issues, they might not end up caring for Michael's brand of football either as that was a major point of contention when he was in Seattle. No doubt, he's oozing with talent, and he will most likely make a couple dazzling runs. But if I'm a betting man, I say he finishes shy of this O/U mark - something like 11 carries for 68 yards.
Liz – UNDER. Michael should have been unleashed in Week 5, but the Cowboys’ insistence on using Joseph Randle only made things easier for the Patriots. I’ve had CMike stashed for weeks and I like his chances of finding the end zone at the Meadowlands, but I don’t foresee a cataclysmic shift in philosophy here. I see him getting in the neighborhood of 10 or 11 touches for around 50 yards and a TD.
Liz – UNDER. For such a polished rookie, Matthews sure does seem to be suffering from a sophomore slump. He hasn’t topped 50 receiving yards since Week 2. Norman, on the other hand, has been resplendent, shutting down everything in his path. After all, he held the mythical Nuk Hopkins to just 53 yards
Brad – UNDER. Norman has pretty much owned everyone. Targeted 37 times, he's surrendered only 17 catches at an impressive 7.5 yards per catch. His 24.1 QB rating allowed is the lowest in the league. Matthews hasn't done anything in weeks. Another miserable performance is sure to follow. His projected final line: 4-38-0.
Scott – UNDER. Matthews is dropping passes left and right, the matchup is a nightmare, and Sam Bradford brings problems of his own. I want to burn any pro-Philly stuff I may have written during the summer.