Here is your Week 7 Hot Starter & Bench Warmers! Also, at the bottom is the TNF preview along with my pick for the game. Good Luck tonight in your wagers and fantasy games. Tomorrow: Kyle's Money Makin' Picks for each NFL game & DK Lineup for the weekend!
Kelvin Benjamin @ GB: Benjamin has probably been the best rookie fantasy player so far this season. This week, he will have his real break out game. Even as a rookie, Benjamin leads his team in targets and is 9th in the league with 55 targets. He hasn’t had a game yet with fewer than 8. He already has 4 double digit point games this season, and Green Bay has allowed 8 or more points in every game but one to opposing #1 WRs.
As a Green Bay fan, this game scares me. The Packers are notorious for getting demolished by mobile QBs, i.e. Vick, Kaeperick, Wilson. They extend the play and our below average defense can’t stay up with the WRs for that long. On top of all of this, Tramon Williams and Sam Shields are both questionable with injuries they suffered last week.
**Note: Benjamin is questionable with a mild concussion, so make sure he starts before you set your lineup.** Prediction: 18 points
Isaiah Crowell @ JAC: Like I have said many times, I am not in the business of telling you to start your studs. So I don’t need to tell you to start Tate vs JAC. But I really want to talk about Crowell. Last week it took just 8 completions from Hoyer for the Browns to win 31-10. This week they play the worst team in the NFL.
The Browns, since their bye, have averaged 32 rushes per game. This includes a game where they got down 31-3! In the heat of Jacksonville, the Browns will probably rotate Tate and Crowell more frequently. Crowell has 18 touches in the last 2 weeks, and if he gets 11-13 touches vs. Jacksonville he should get 80+ yards and a chance at a score. He is Flex worthy this week, and with Tate’s injury history, is a solid pick up before he gets more buzz after this weekend. Prediction: 12 points
Branden Oliver vs KC: Not the best matchup against the 9th ranked run defense of KC, but Oliver has been a beast since becoming the starter. He has 306 total yards and 3 TDs in the last two weeks. The best part for fantasy is he has 53 touches in that time frame. The Chargers completely trust him, and you should too. Ryan Mathews will find it hard getting his starting spot back when he comes back from injury. Prediction: 16 points
Jordan Reed vs TEN: In his first week back from injury, where he was suppose to be “limited”, Reed got 11 targets and produced 8 receptions for 92 yards. He has already put Niles Paul on the back burner, and has a great matchup against the Titans 25th ranked pass defense. They have allowed nearly 12ppg to opposing TEs in their last 3 games. Since taking over for RG3 in Week 2, Cousins has averaged 37 pass attempts per game, so there will be plenty of opportunities for Reed this week and going forward. Prediction: 14 points
Others I like: Marques Colston @DET, Mike Wallace @CHI, Jonathan Stewart @GB, Martellus Bennett vs MIA
Matthew Stafford vs NO: Stafford is no longer the 5,000 yard passer or the 700+ attempts a season QB that he once was. With Jim Caldwell as his coach, they feature a much more conservative offense. With a conservative offense and no Calvin Johnson, you just cannot trust Stafford any more.
12.6 points. That is his average in his last 5 games and those 5 games were mostly against favorable passing defenses: CAR, GB, NYJ, BUF & MIN. The NO defense is bad, but it is mostly in the run game. The past three games they have given up 15.6 points to opposing QBs. They had 2 weeks to prepare, and Stafford hasn't played well since Week 1. Look elsewhere for a QB. Prediction: 13 points
Drew Brees @ DET: What used to be a dream matchup for fantasy, NO vs DET, now features both QBs on the Bench Warmers list. Brees has been consistently average in fantasy this year, scoring no less than 15 but no more than 19 in any game so far.
Now in Week 7, Brees goes up against the #1 pass defense. The Lions are giving up less than 10ppg to opposing QBs, which includes Rodgers, Eli, and Cam. Brees is also notorious for being worse on the road. Yes, they had two weeks to prepare, but against this defense and without Graham I don’t think Brees breaks his 16.8ppg average. If you have Brees you are probably starting him, but keep expectations low. Prediction: 15 points
Eddie Lacy vs CAR: Despite having double digit carries in every game this season, Lacy has only broken the 50 yard mark once. With his struggles being obvious, the Packers have gone to a committee and Lacy has actually played less than 50% of snaps the past two weeks. Also, if you take out the MIN game on a short week, Lacy is averaging just 5ppg. It is a nice matchup vs CAR, but you just can’t trust Lacy as more than a Flex right now. Prediction: 5 points
Roddy White @ NYG: From my Hot Starters last week to my Bench Warmers this week. You can see some of the trust between he and Ryan is gone. White doesn’t have more than 5 receptions in any game this season, and hasn’t had more than 75 yards yet in a game. The worst part about Roddy is that he has had the opportunities; he has only caught 19/40 targets and has dropped 12.5% of them. He is tied for 2nd in the league in dropped passes. ATL is a terrible team on the road, leaving White as no better than a low end WR #3. Prediction: 5 points
Mohamed Sanu @ IND: Sanu was a beast for fantasy owners and our DK lineup last week, catching 10 balls for 120 yards and a TD. This week though, he will go up against Vontae Davis for a good portion of the game. With AJ Green likely out and Marvin Jones to IR, Sanu is their only legitimate threat at WR.
Last week we correctly predicted Andre Johnson would be successful against the 3rd rank IND pass defense. But there is a big difference between AJ and Sanu. Obviously AJ is more talented as a WR, but Sanu also plays primarily on the outside. AJ had some of his production from the slot, and that is a place Sanu rarely sees snaps. That will make it easier to keep Davis on him, or Toler with a safety shadow to that side. Sanu is a WR #2 the rest of the way, but this week he is a WR #3 with lower expectations. Prediction: 6 points
Others I don’t like: Percy Harvin @STL, Pierre Garcon vs TEN, MIN RBs McKinnon & Asiata @BUF, STL RBs Cunningham, Stacy, Mason vs SEA
Thursday Night Prediction: NYJ @ NE
Vegas has it as NE -9.5 and O/U 44.5
When it comes to the short week Thursday Night games, 9 times out of 10 times I go with the home team. I also prefer to take the team with an elite QB. This week it just so happens that the home team has the elite QB. Brady is 6-0 on Thursday Night Football with an average winning margin of 12.5 points. The Patriots are 7-3 in their last 10 games vs NYJ with an average winning margin of 10.1.
The Jets are 0-5-1 ATS this season, with an average margin of defeat of 10.3 points. They have only played two road games, but they have bee outscored 24-62 in those games.
Kyle’s Money Makin’ Pick: These two teams in their 12 games have gone over 44.5 seven times. With the NE vs NYJ average margin of victory just 10.1 and the Jets averaged margin of defeat this season just 10.3, I can’t feel comfortable just going NE -9.5. Therefore I will tease it down to NE -3.5 and, with the trend of scoring on TNF, taking over 38.5.
NE -3.5 and OVER 38.5