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.
Brandon – OVER. Carolina has allowed seven running backs to reach at least 9.5 fantasy points over its past four games, so clearly there's enough meat on the bone in this matchup to feed both Lacy and Starks. And although the snap count has been even the past couple weeks, the Packers are still calling Lacy's number more often (27 carries to 20 over the past two games). I think Lacy goes for at least 75 YFS and a touchdown against a Panthers defense allowing 5.5 YPC to opposing backs.
Scott – OVER. I'm giving Lacy one more shot here. Carolina's rushing defense is a complete sieve (5.5 YPC allowed, easily the worst in the league), and this looks like a contest the Packers should control (creating a positive game script for Lacy). And if you're thinking about an outgoing Lacy trade, I'd wait until this result is in.
Brad – UNDER. The matchup is extremely favorable, but he must find the end-zone to justify the over. In a dead-even split with Starks, I wouldn't bet he does.
Cam Newton, finally off and running after lighting up Cincy for over 100 yards on the ground, rushing yards this week in Green Bay 54.5.
Andy – Look, I love Cam and think he's a terrific trade target. His second-half schedule is a gift. But this is a huge number for a QB. My assumption is that Jonathan Stewart will return this week and get a bunch of touches against Green Bay's user-friendly run defense. No way Cam finishes with another 15-plus carries. Thus, UNDER.
Brandon – OVER. Sure, I'll bite on this one, which is about half his total from last week. Now that the restraints have been removed for Cam in the ground game, I think it's going to be a lot more of the same thing we saw last week (17/107/1 on the ground). The Panthers' running game has been virtually non-existent and, I think utilizing Cam's feet is how head coach Ron Rivera plans to make up for the backfield woes. At 2-3, Carolina has to go for broke, which means Cam has to keep on runnin'.
Dalton – UNDER. I’m buying into Newton’s return to health and a running threat, but even during the best rushing season of his career, he averaged 46.3 ypg. The Packers have also allowed the second-most rushing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks this season. But I’m still going under here, as betting on any QB to reach 55 rushing yards in a game isn’t exactly safe.
Ben Roethlisberger, who's underachieved massively in soft matchups this year, passing touchdowns Monday night against Houston 1.5.
Brandon – UNDER. I've whiffed on Roethlisberger the past two weeks, incorrectly thinking he'd have big games. Fool me three times? Nah, I'm going under as Big Ben has been terrible in the red zone (39 pass attempts, five touchdowns) and Houston does a good job of putting pressure on the QB (J.J. Watt leads defensive ends in QB hurries) and covering receivers (top 7 in the NFL in passes defensed).
Dalton – UNDER. Roethlisberger has thrown multiple touchdowns in just two of six games this season and Houston has ceded 1.7 TD passes per game, so I’ll just go with the odds here. Moreover, the Texans have been better against the pass (No. 10 in YPA) than against the rush (No. 20 in YPC).
Andy – I'll say OVER, but not by much. I'll give him two TDs. Pittsburgh's defense sure looks like it's gonna force the Steelers into a few shootouts this season, and it's not as if Houston can't be scored upon. The Texans currently rank 28th at defending the pass (271.5 YPG).
Frank Gore, who according to an Ian Rapoport report had to earn his spot on the Niners roster preseason, total touches Sunday night in Denver 14.5.
Dalton – UNDER. Gore has averaged 19.3 rushing attempts over the past three games, but the 49ers are nearly touchdown underdogs, and the running back has six total targets on the season. Denver has the fewest rushing attempts against them (94) in the NFL.
Brad – UNDER. This game becomes the Peyton Manning record-breaking slobber-fest. Combine that with Gore's slowly diminishing role and difficult matchup (Denver has allowed 2.90 ypc to RBs) and it's conceivable he doesn't touch the ball 10 times.
Scott – I'll sneak this one UNDER because Gore is rarely used as a receiver these days (four catches, six targets). If Denver races out to a lead of more than one score (which is entirely reasonable, given the spread), Gore might wind up on the bench when San Francisco shifts into comeback mode.
Mohamed Sanu, off an earth-shaking 15-120-1 in the kiss-your-sister battle versus Carolina, receiving yards in the follow up at Indy 74.5.
Andy – Good number. I'll take the OVER, because I'm assuming a shootout here. Sanu is pretty clearly the healthiest competent receiver that Cincy has at its disposal these days.
Scott – OVER. I want you to start Sanu anywhere you can. He's scored in back-to-back weeks, he's seen 32 targets over the last three games, and he's capable of running everything in the route tree. He's the obvious No. 1 downfield read while A.J. Green rehabs.
Dalton – OVER. Sanu has averaged 79.5 receiving yards over the past four games, but he saw a whopping 14 targets for 120 yards and a score last week with A.J. Green out. The best guess is Green will remain sidelined in Week 7, making Sanu a must start.
Hot waiver wire pickup Jerick McKinnon, who looks to be in the driver's seat in the Minnesota backfield, total yards against the league's stiffest run defense (Buffalo) 69.5.
Brad – UNDER. The Vikes staff has said they want to get Asiata more involved after 'gifting' him three touches last week. McKinnon should still see 15-17 touches, but the Bills, particularly at home, are virtually impenetrable. Rushers are averaging just 3.44 yards per touch against them. Sharpie me in for 60-65 total yards.
Andy – OVER. I don't think he'll cross the goal line, but I do think we'll see a decent receiving total from McKinnon. We should also note that it's not a given that Matt Asiata won't get a half-share of the snaps, because the Vikes don't seem sold on McKinnon in pass protection. (Remember, the rookie is coming from a collegiate system and role that gave him no meaningful experience in pass pro.)
Brandon – UNDER. Pass protection is an issue for the rookie, as he allowed a sack and four QB hurries last week in an elevated role. That's why we heard head coach Mike Zimmer making noise this week about getting Matt Asiata back into the mix. McKinnon is still likely to be the lead RB, but I expect something close to a workload split, and I don't think that affords either back enough of an opportunity to go over this mark against a defense allowing an NFL-low 2.7 YPC to the RB position.
Larry Donnell, virtually nonexistent over the past two weeks catching just one pass for six yards, receptions on the road against Big D 3.5.
Andy – UNDER. I'm not going to get caught up in the fantasy-points-against argument here. The fact is, the Giants have not been looking Donnell's way, at all. He's seen only one target in two games.
Dalton – OVER. Donnell has one catch on three targets over the past two weeks, but he’d averaged 6.3 catches (while scoring four touchdowns) over the first four games of the season. With Victor Cruz out, Donnell will need to step up, and he faces a Dallas secondary that has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this year.
Brad – OVER. Down Victor Cruz, Donnell won't be shackled to the line like he has been the past two weeks. Dallas, which has allowed five TEs to cross this mark so far, is the most generous defense to the position in fantasy. A major turnaround is coming for the Giant.
Keenan Allen, who currently ranks outside the top-60 in per game average among WRs and has yet to find the end-zone, touchdowns against KC .5.
Dalton – OVER. I wouldn’t feel great about predicting any WR to score during any week, but Allen had seven touchdowns over the final six games last year. So I’ll go with the lowest common dominator analysis saying he’s “due.” Seriously, Allen has to score some time, right?
Brad – UNDER. Allen logged a tremendous amount of success against KC in two games last year, but he continues to get lost in the shuffle, especially inside the red-zone. Better days are on the horizon, however, this week his TD-less streak extends.
Scott – UNDER, with a heavy sigh. We know Allen isn't getting deep this year (10.6 YPC), but the short stuff is also a problem. Philip Rivers has attempted 19 passes inside the 10-yard line, and Allen hasn't been targeted on any of them. Until the story turns somewhat (Allen did produce in this matchup last year), I'm pumping the brakes. And yes, I know I'm already too late on that move.
BOLD PREDICTION. The one running back under 50-percent started in Yahoo leagues that has the best chance to finish with 15-plus standard fantasy points in Week 7 is ____________.
Brad – ISAIAH CROWELL. Off an 11-77-1 effort, the rookie draws an ultra-friendly matchup, facing a Jags D that's allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to the position. Ben Tate will be the primary back, but on a similar workload as Week 6, I foresee another 70 yards and a TD for the Crow.
Scott – BERNARD PIERCE isn't much of a player, but he did get 15 carries in last week's blowout at Tampa, including four red-zone rushes and a cheap touchdown. The Ravens host Atlanta this week, a club that's given up 841 rushing yards and 12 ground TDs. Justin Forsett is clearly the preferred back to own in Baltimore, but I could see deeper-league owners giving Pierce a one-week contract.
Brandon – ISAIAH CROWELL. Even in a backup role, his workload has been decent, as he's garnered 11 carries in three of his past four games. And he's been money in the bank in the red zone, scoring four times on just five carries. Against a soft Jags defense, I think his usual 11-plus touches (though he could see more if Cleveland jumps out to a big lead) could deliver his biggest numbers yet.
Top-Five Buys. Your best bets (versus the spread or over/unders) for Week 7.
Andy – 1) Ten +5 at Was, 2) Cin at Ind OVER 49.5, 3) Mia +3.5 at Chi, 4) Det -2.5 vs. NO, 5) KC +4 at SD
Brandon – 1) JAX +5.5 vs. Cle 2) NYG +6.5 at Dal 3) CHI -3 vs. Mia 4) DEN +7 vs. SF 5) Chicago-Miami under 48
Dalton – 1) ARI -3.5 at Oak 2) NYG +6.5 at Dal 3) CHI -3 vs. Mia 4) JAX +5.5 vs. Cle 5) CAR +7 at G.B.
Scott – 1) Giants +7, 2) Raiders +4, 3) Chargers/Chiefs over 45, 5) Browns-Jags under 45, 5) Bengals-Colts over 49.5.
Brad – 1) StL +7 vs. Sea), 2) Atl/Bal UNDER 49, 3) NYG +6.5 at Dal, 4) Ari/Oak OVER 44.5 5) Den -7 vs. SF
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