In the blink of an eye, we are already heading into week 7, meaning that your fantasy football regular season is about half way over for most of you. Wait what? I don’t want to think about it… Let’s just jump right into it. Who do we like this week? Who looks like they are in for a tough game?
Adrian Peterson should have never been a thing in New Orleans, and even though AP didn’t vulture away a ton of carries from Ingram, his departure seems to have much wider spread implications for the New Orleans backfield. We have seen his carries steadily increase from week to week and FINALLY in Week 6, we were able to get a taste of what he can do with a full workhorse load. He saw a season high-30 touches, and took them for all they were worth – 25 rushes, 114 Yards and 2 TD, while also collecting 5 rec for 36 Yards through the air. I will admit, Alvin Kamara looks great and will continue to be a piece in this offense, but the Saints have finally shown that they look to be part of a more balanced game, and I can see both backs forming a significant role. Ingram is definitely the No. 1 back for this Saints offense, and I expect to see more of the same from him against the Packers this week.
It is easy to forget about a guy on an 0-6 team who was catching passes from Brian Hoyer and now CJ Beathard. However the Niners are technically the best 0-6 team in NFL history… not that it really means a whole lot, other than the fact that they aren’t as bad as everybody thinks. The 49ers have thrown the 2nd most pass attempts of anybody in the league, as they play from behind quite often. Pierre Garcon is deceptively 6th in the league in targets, getting at least 8 of them in 5 of 6 games. He has received the most targets in the league without getting into the endzone, and I feel like that changes this week, with them likely playing late game catch-up against a more talented Cowboys team. The Cowboys haven’t been great at shutting down opposing receivers- in their last 4 games, the opposing team’s leading receiver has combined for 33 receptions, 380 yards, and seven touchdowns. That amounts to an average game of 8.25 rec, 95 yards, and 1.75 TD. I’ll do the math for you, that is 23-29 PPR points folks… Pierre Garcon might be catching passes from CJ Beathard, but I feel good about this one. Put him in Coach!
Look, I know it is weird that I am feeling good about a tight end considering how bad the position has been this season, plus considering a tight end going up against a Giants defense who looked pretty good last week in a shocking win against Denver. However, when you look at how bad the Giants have been against the position, you might come around. Get this, the Giants have allowed a touchdown to an opposing Tight End in EVERY GAME so far this season, including a touchdown to 2 different ones against Tampa Bay, and a touchdown to some guy named Jeff Heuerman, the Broncos 3rd tight end. (I admittedly didn’t even know who that was until just now.) Graham is just the TE21 on the season, but ranks 5th among tight ends in targets per game. Even though Graham has been an afterthought, this is more about the Giants being bad against the position, more so than Graham being good. Either way, I like him this week – Opposing tight ends are seeing a baseline of 5 rec for 60 yards and a TD against the Giants, and considering that you are likely staring at a single digit fantasy output from your Tight End, this is a huge upgrade. Start him.
After an atrocious start to the season, Andy Dalton seems to be progressing back towards the mean, and playing like the player we thought he was. New offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has given Dalton new life:
Weeks 1-2 (Pre Lazor) : 394 Yards, 0 TD, 4 INT, 2.4 combined fantasy points
Weeks 3-5 (Post Lazor) : 826 Yards, 7 TD, 2 INT, 59.2 combined fantasy points
With Aaron Rodgers going down, Andrew Luck still not playing, and the health and status of other QB’s like Jameis Winston and Trevor Siemian up in the air, it may be tempting for fantasy owners to stream Dalton this week. He is only owned in 32.6% of ESPN leagues, and with his recent trend upwards, he might seem like a more tolerable play than a Josh McCown or Case Keenum. I’m here to tell you think again… Pittsburgh is allowing the fewest yards per dropback and can rely on a top seven pressure rate against opposing quarterbacks. The Steelers have also only allowed just four touchdown passes and an average of 9.8 point per game to opposing signal callers. Dalton may need more than Bill Lazor to keep his 15+ Fantasy points per game streak alive. Find another option to fill your QB spot this week.
Ravens Running Backs
It doesn’t take a fantasy football expert to realize that the Ravens are just terrible on offense. I realize that players have the ability to produce on pure volume in this offense, but for the most part, everyone is just… bleh. Buck Allen gets a lot of touches in this offense – 3rd most snaps among Ravens skill position players last week, 20+ carries in 2 games this season, and is 2nd on the team in receptions. Alex Collins is also seeing an uptick in work, with double digit carries in the last two weeks, while actually being the team rushing leader despite all the Buck Allen work. It is clear who does what in this offense – Collins is the better runner, and Allen is the better pass catcher, but does any of that even matter this week? The Ravens travel to take on the Vikings who have allowed 20 points or less to offenses including New Orleans, Detroit, and Green Bay. The Ravens allow the 4th most points to opposing defenses, leading me to get real bad vibes about this game. They struggle to score on offense – and I expect the Vikings to continue that trend. Steer clear if you can…
Keenan Allen has been pretty good so far this season… 4th in the NFL in targets, and is one of only two receivers in the league to get at least nine targets in every game this season. However, he has only found the endzone once (ironically against the Broncos), but seems to be a possession receiver in this offense as opposed to a down the field big play kind of guy. Denver… let’s just say they haven’t been too kind to opposing receivers this year. The Broncos are allowing an average of only eight receptions a game to opposing receivers, and the 6th fewest fantasy points per game to the position. Combine that with the fact that the Broncos have the 5th highest blitz rate in the league, and figure to make it a priority to get after Philip Rivers. Just as I mentioned with the Raiders-Chiefs deal, in a divisional matchup when it’s an offense vs defense type of decision, I will pick defense just about every time. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Keenan Allen has a BAD game necessarily, I just think his ceiling is significantly lower this week than it is most weeks. Not really feelin this one guys… sorry.