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.

Another week, more expectations for Marcus Mariota and Kendall Wright. Facing a porous Atlanta passing D, Mariota and Wright are overdue for a Tennessee two-step of an offensive outburst.

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.

There are several other starts on the board, like Cam Newton or Calvin Johnson, so take in to
consideration who the rest of your league is playing.