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.
Pick a Bill: C.J. Spiller or Fred Jackson?
Dalton — SPILLER. Both are terrific players in an even timeshare. Pro Football Focus graded Jackson as the best RB last season despite him missing 6+ games. But Spiller is six years younger and leads the NFL by a wide margin with 5.2 YPC after contact and has his own right to claim to be best back in the NFL as of today.
Brad — SPILLER. Jackson continues to net more snaps than Spiller, but the second fiddle has serious wiggle. He's forced 13 missed tackles on just 150 snaps, the seventh-highest in the league. Point blank, C.J. is lethal in small doses. Bank on 80-90 total yards and a score against the Titanics this week.
With DeMarco out of uniform, Felix Jones total yards at Carolina 94.5
Scott — OVER. The Panthers give it away on a per-carry basis and a per-game basis. Bet on those cat-like reflexes.
Andy — OVER. For a week, you'll enjoy Felix. He's facing a generous run defense, he's in line for plenty of touches, and he's as healthy as he ever gets. Jones is a competent receiver, capable of picking up 40-60 yards via the screen/check-down game.
Dalton — OVER. He'll probably disappoint again, and Dallas' run blocking is poor, but I got him for $33 (all of my remaining FAAB) in Y! F&F, so I might as well go all in. Carolina has allowed the fourth most fantasy points to opposing RBs, and Jones looked noticeably slimed down during his first real action of the year last week.
Larry Fitzgerald, sans Kevin Kolb, total receptions at Minnesota 5.5
Andy — OVER. The only thing that fantasy owners have ever really liked about John Skelton is his unwavering focus on Fitz. I'm not going to promise multiple touchdowns here, but I do think Fitzgerald could see 12-15 targets. Assuming that happens, six catches should be a layup.
Dalton — OVER. The Vikings have allowed the fifth-most receptions to opposing WRs this year, and while I understand it's not always so simple looking at backtracking stats like that, Arizona should be playing from behind Sunday, and Fitzgerald has a history of performing better with John Skelton under center.
Brad — UNDER. Barely. In 13 John Skelton starts, Fitz had reeled in 5.6 receptions per game. But Arizona's dreadful offensive line combined with an aggressive Vikings pass rush means opportunities could be limited this week. Think he finishes in range of 4-5 catches for 60 yards.
Mike Williams, off consecutive 100-yard games, receiving yards vs. New Orleans 79.5
Brandon — OVER Six receivers have hit the 79-yard mark or better against the Saints in their five games. He hasn't gone over this number against NO in his four career meetings, but then again, he never had an attention-deflecting presence opposite him before like Vincent Jackson.
Scott — UNDER. I don't like betting that aggressively on a secondary receiver, and the Saints offense generally isn't as high-powered outdoors (and on a natural surface). Williams is still a fine play, but I'm not all-in on him yet.
Andy — OVER. The Bucs will have to put the ball in the air more often than they'd like this week, and it's not as if they're facing a fearsome D. Both Williams and V-Jax should post solid fantasy lines.
Alex Green total yards at St. Louis 79.5
Brad — OVER. Green is the unrivaled beast of burden in Green Bay with Cedric Benson sidelined. The Rams aren't pushovers in the trenches anymore (3.9 YPC to RBs last five weeks), but with another hefty load, he should creep over this number.
Brandon — UNDER the Rams are allowing just 4.0 YPC, and Green is dealing with a bit of a sore shoulder. He fell short of this number on 23 touches in a blowout of Houston last week, and I think he comes up shy again.
Scott — OVER. We already know Green is a good volume bet, and his skill set gets a boost playing on the carpet in St. Louis.
TE Tussle: Martellus Bennett, Scott Chandler or Jermichael Finley?
Dalton — FINLEY. This is a crap shoot to say the least. Chandler faces a defense that has allowed an NFL-high seven scores to opposing tight ends, while Bennett appears back to health. Finley is easily one of the most overrated players in the league, but I'd still prefer him over the other two.
Brad — BENNETT. The Black Unicorn is way overdue. Limited by a tender knee over the past couple weeks, he's finally practicing in full this week. Anticipate a resurgence. The 'Skins have allowed four TEs to reach the 11-point mark this year.
Brandon — BENNETT That he wasn't listed ion the Giants initial injury report this week is a good sign that Bennett is getting over that sore knee he's been dealing with the past couple weeks. His matchup is fantastic this week, facing a Washington defense that has allowed a top 6 fantasy TE in four of their six games.
Thursday Throwdown: Marshawn Lynch or Frank Gore?
Brandon — LYNCH I'm not sure I have a good reason for favoring one over the other here. This is two shutdown run defenses against two of the league's premier tough guy running backs. But Lynch has had 40 more carries than Gore over the first six weeks, so workload is my deciding factor.
Scott — LYNCH, mostly because I feel better about his chances at a touchdown. And the Seahawks will probably feed him more, not wanting to turn this into a game Russell Wilson has to win on his own.
Andy — BEAST MODE. But really, there's not a lot of enthusiasm behind this selection. Lynch and Gore are both in the high-teens in my ranks, great players with lousy match-ups. Slight edge to Marshawn, based on projected workload.
Matthew Stafford passing yards at Chicago 279.5.
Scott — UNDER. First and foremost, we know Stafford will probably take the initial 30 minutes off, as the Lions always do. This guy probably cranked out every term paper the morning it was due. And given how nasty Chicago's defense is on all three levels, I'm not projecting a massive Detroit windfall in the second half.
Andy — OVER. Stafford could very well get an empty 300 here, with multiple turnovers and.
Dalton — UNDER. This is hardly a no-brainer, as Stafford is on pace to finish with 698 pass attempts this season, which would set an NFL record, so we know the volume will be there. But Chicago's defense might be the best in football, and playing outdoors hurts too. Stafford has got just 6.8 YPA this season, which is below league average.
Steve Smith, still scoreless on the season, .5 TDs against Dallas.
Dalton — OVER. Dallas has allowed just three touchdowns to wide receivers this year, but that's been accompanied by 7.6 YPA and a 6:1 TD:INT ratio, so they haven't exactly been a shut down secondary. Smith has surpassed eight touchdown receptions just once in his career, but he's on pace for 1,242 yards this year, so a handful of scores are sure to follow.
Brad — UNDER. Newton's plummeting accuracy matched with an unsavory matchup arrow to more donuts in the TD category. Dallas has yielded just three WR scores in five games.
Brandon — UNDER Dallas has allowed just 3 receiver TDs this season, second fewest in the league. And it has given up just one pass play of 40-plus yards, which doesn't bode well for Smith. In Carolina's offense, Smith needs to score from deep because it's all about Cam Newton and Greg Olsen in the red zone.
Backup Mash-up. Which QB2, not named Josh Freeman, saves owners from the bye week blues: Brandon Weeden, Carson Palmer, Christian Ponder, Ryan Fitzpatrick or Matt Hasselbeck?
Brad — WEEDEN. Consider the transgressions on defense for both Cleveland and Indy there's a strong shootout potential in this matchup. Rookie has thrown for at least 231 yards in five straight.
Brandon — WEEDEN. I'm highest on Weeden. Not much defense to be found in this game in either side. Weeden is eighth in the NFL in pass attempts per game and this looks like another high volume affair against an Indy defense allowing the fourth-highest QB Rating in the league.
Andy — FITZPATRICK. Blech.
Dalton — FITZPATRICK. Palmer is on pace to finish with 4,589 passing yards, which would be top-25 all time, but I'm going to buy Fitzpatrick low after he's gone back-to-back weeks without a TD after throwing 12 over the first four weeks and facing a Tennessee secondary that has allowed an NFL-worst 107.9 QB Rating this season.
Scott — You haven't picked up WEEDEN yet? Be a lot cooler if you did. The Indy-Cleveland match has shootout written all over it, and Weeden has something going with deep threat Josh Gordon. The Browns passing game was a hot mess in Week 1, but Weeden has rallied nicely since then.
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