Fantasy Week 7: ‘Gang Green’ to give Pats a red light
In an interesting slate of games during the NFL’s Week 7, many fantasy questions beg asking.
Can the New York Jets’ No. 2 passing defense slow down the New England Patriots’ No. 2 passing attack? Does a quarterback change in Pittsburgh – whether it’s Ben Roethlisberger or Landry Jones – carry a skilled receiving corps back to the forefront of the fantasy WR position? What does Devonta Freeman do to the Tennessee Titans’ bottom-five rush defense?
The past four Jets-Patriots matchups have yielded a point differential of three. In that time frame, the Pats have gone 3-1 but haven’t won by more than three points or scored more than 27. It will be an entertaining game, but for fantasy value there is a huge red flag on both sides.
Facing a passing D that has struggled all season, including allowing 340 yards and two scores to an anemic San Francisco 49ers air attack a week ago, look for Carson Palmer to post a monster day.
The Arizona Cardinals’ signal caller is coming off his worst performance of the season – posting 18.74 points by the way – but will undoubtedly rebound against a Baltimore Ravens secondary allowing 286.2 yards per game.
A quality discount for those looking to save salary at the quarterback position, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr is coming off a bye week to prepare for a conference showdown. Visiting San Diego to face a Chargers team coming off a tough loss in Green Bay, the Raiders will be looking to secure their title as “playoff contender.”
Given the absolute tear he has been on, not playing Freeman is a mistake. The Atlanta Falcons RB has posted 29 or more points in four straight weeks, and now faces a Titans D that allowed 18.8 points to Miami Dolphins’ Lamar Miller last week – by far the most for him this year.
For a cheap fill at the RB2 position, Dallas Cowboys’ Christine Michael is expected to take on a bulk of the carries this week. Also, Washington RB Matt Jones is expected to return to action after being a full participant in practice the second half of the week.
After seeing his production drop drastically with Mike Vick in the backfield, Antonio Brown is set to go nuts facing a Kansas City secondary allowing over 275 yards per game. The combination of a decreased salary – down to $8,300 – and a QB that will be allowed to drop back a bit more make Brown one of the smartest plays of the week.
Once again, Rob Gronkowski has far and away the highest salary for a TE. To be expected, however, as he has been the only dependable production at the position. But Gronk’s $8,100 salary isn’t worth it.
The Chargers face a Raiders secondary that seems to have forgotten tight ends are allowed to catch passes. Though Antonio Gates has missed practice all week, backup Ladarius Green is a viable option as well. Both come with a more than affordable salary, $5,800 for Gates and $5,100 for Green. Play whoever starts.
Kickers have been the biggest problem position all fantasy season. Missed extra points have bred a lack of confidence leading to missed field goals and the dreaded “-1.” For that reason, plus the small spread between the highest and lowest salary at the position, take a guy that will get opportunities and is among the most accurate kickers in history of the league. Pay the $4,800 for Ravens’ Justin Tucker.
The 2015 Steelers defense is long removed from the “Steel Curtain” of the ‘70s, but facing a Kansas City Chiefs offense built around a player that will not play, it may seem that “Mean Joe” Greene is on the gridiron this week. With Jamaal Charles out due to a torn ACL, the Chiefs offense will struggle to get first downs, much less score.