Start/Sit and NFL Predictions: Week 7

Reflection on Week 6

Week 7 is upon us, and this NFL season has not disappointed thus far. This week, I’m going to give out some awards for the season through six weeks.

MVP: Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Brady has a completion percentage over 70%, a passer rating over 118, almost 1,700 yards, 14 touchdown passes, and one interception (off Julian Edelman’s broken pinky for a pick-six last week) in five games. He’s been doing all this after a crazy offseason and with an ever-evolving offensive line that started three rookies in one game earlier this season. Apologies to Aaron Rodgers, Andy Dalton, and Cam Newton.

Offensive Rookie: Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams

This award is usually divided into offensive and defensive, but I’m going to just keep as one with the season still pretty young. In his two starts, sure it’s a small sample size, Gurley has run for over 100 yards, running for 5.7 yards per carry. The only other offensive rookies that have stood out are Amari Cooper, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, and Stefon Diggs.

Defensive Rookie: Kwon Alexander, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

My preseason pick already takes care of play-calling for the Tampa Bay defense as a rookie. He’s second on the team to Lavonte David with 32 tackles in five games, and he’s been all over the field for Lovie Smith’s team. Love to Damarious Randall and Marcus Peters.

Coach of the Year: Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers

Overall, McCarthy has dealt with some terrible injuries on offense, passed along the play calls to offensive coordinator Tom Clements, and been mourning over the death of his brother. McCarthy has been able to focus more on the team as a whole since giving up the play calls, and he’s proven to be a much better NFL coach because of it. He’s lead the Packers to an undefeated season into the bye after a pretty tough schedule to start the season. Apologies to Bill Belichick, Bruce Arians, Mike Tomlin, Marvin Lewis, and Ron Rivera.

Surprise Team: Carolina Panthers (5-0)

As someone who has watched almost every available football game on my local channels this season, I can say that the most impressive win of the season so far was the undefeated Panthers over the Seahawks in Seattle. Newton has only Greg Olsen around him, and he’s leading this offense to a surprising undefeated season. Their schedule does get tougher now, so we’ll see what happens going forward.

Biggest Disappointment: Seattle Seahawks (2-4)

Not to downplay the Panthers’ win in Seattle, but the Seahawks have easily been the most disappointing team this season. They can’t hold onto leads in the fourth quarter, Russell Wilson has only looked unstoppable in a few of their games, and the Legion of Boom has struggled, even with Kam Chancellor back. The Ravens have also been very disappointing this season.

Fantasy MVP: Devonta FreemanAtlanta Falcons

This is pretty obvious, as Freeman did not even come into the season as the Falcons’ No. 1 running back on the depth chart. Similar to Odell Beckham, Jr. last year, if you have Freeman on your team, you’re probably doing pretty well for yourself.

Super Bowl Favorite: New England Patriots

The most dominant team in the NFL has wins over the following playoff contenders Pittsburgh (home), Buffalo (road), Dallas (road), and Indianapolis (road). Sure, the Cowboys’ quarterback was Brandon Weeden, but the team will likely be in the playoff hunt at the end of the season. Brady and the offense has looked dominant almost every possession (just ask the Jaguars in their other game), and the defense has been surprisingly impressive due to a recharged front seven and Malcolm Butler and Devin McCourty’s play in the secondary.

Click here for this week’s fantasy football rankings.

Per usual, I will be evaluating my picks from the previous week utilizing completions (good advice), interceptions (wrong advice), and incompletions (irrelevant advice).

Week 1: 16-15-5
Week 2: 11-16-9
Week 3: 13-14-9
Week 4: 19-13-4
Week 5: 19-10-7
Week 6: 17-13-6

Total: 95-81-40

Completions Interceptions Incompletions
Jay Cutler (START) Teddy Bridgewater (START) Tyrod Taylor (SIT) * Inactive
Colin Kaepernick (SLEEPER) Ryan Tannehill (SIT) C.J. Anderson (SLEEPER)
Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount (START) Cam Newton (BUST) Zach Ertz (SLEEPER)
Chris Johnson (BUST) Eddie Lacy (START) Jordan Reed (BUST) * Inactive
T.Y. Hilton (START) Jonathan Stewart (SIT) Jets D/ST (START)
Kamar Aiken (SLEEPER) Lamar Miller (SIT) Packers D/ST (START)
Leonard Hankerson (SIT) Jordan Matthews (START)
Greg Olsen (START) Travis Benjamin (SIT)
Julius Thomas (START) Jarvis Landry (BUST)
Heath Miller (SIT) Charles Clay (SIT)
Nick Folk (START) Matt Bryant (START)
Josh Lambo (SLEEPER) Andrew Franks (SIT)
Travis Coons (SIT) Eagles D/ST (SIT)
Graham Gano (BUST)
Ravens D/ST (SIT)
Bills D/ST (BUST)

Week 7 Start/Sit



Eli Manning, New York Giants (vs. Dallas Cowboys)

Manning is 33-10 in his career in October, despite his poor (offensive line) showing against the Eagles on Monday night. The Cowboys also held Manning to less than 10 points in Week 1 in Dallas. But, look for Manning to bounce back at home against a familiar foe that will struggle to keep possession of the ball with Matt Cassel under center.

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (vs. Houston Texans)

The Texans have given up double-digit points to each quarterback they have faced this season, and that should continue when Miami hosts Houston at home on Sunday. Tannehill and the ‘Fins needed that bye week two weeks ago, which resulted in a blowout of the Titans last week.

Sleeper: Brian Hoyer, Houston Texans (@ Miami Dolphins)

The Dolphins contained Marcus Mariota last week in their revamped defense under interim head coach Dan Campbell. Still, I think Hoyer will play well against the Dolphins’ defense with All-Pro weapons in Arian Foster and DeAndre Hopkins.


Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings (@ Detroit Lions)

The Lions have given up at least 15 points against every opposing quarterback this season, but Bridgewater only has only thrown three touchdowns all season along with four interceptions. Bridgewater cannot figure out his receivers and the offensive line is very banged up. I like the Lions in this game, and think there are better players to start than Bridgewater until he proves he can put up a solid performance.

Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles (@ Carolina Panthers)

The Panthers will bulldoze the average Eagles’ offensive line this weekend, and Bradford is pretty weaponless outside of his running backs and Jordan Matthews (more on him later). I can’t figure out a reason why I would start Bradford in this game, as he hasn’t looked that great all season anyway.

Bust Alert: Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Buffalo Bills)

Similar to the Lions and Panthers, the Bills have actually given up at least double-digits to opposing quarterbacks each week. But, I think the Bills are due for a big defensive game, and they will force some mistakes from the Jaguars’ quarterback.

Running Backs


Chris Ivory, New York Jets (@ New England Patriots)

The Patriots have played very well against the run this season compared to past years, but the injury to linebacker Dont’a Hightower showed last week against the Colts. Frank Gore had a few big runs, and I would make sure to start Ivory this week in New England, who is coming off a huge performance against the Redskins, another great running defense.

Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts (vs. New Orleans Saints)

Gore had a productive night against the Patriots last week, but the team had to keep passing the ball in the second half to catch up to New England. The Saints come off games in which they gave up over 25 points (standard) to running backs against Philadelphia (DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews) and Atlanta (Devonta Freeman).

Sleeper: Christine Michael, Dallas Cowboys (@ New York Giants)

As we’ve been detailing all week, Michael is supposed to be in the mix this week according to the Cowboys’ coaching staff. He’s a talented runner who, given the opportunity, should deliver against a Giants run defense that has given up at least 10 points to an opposing running back every week this season.


Joseph Randle, Dallas Cowboys (@ New York Giants)

It’s unclear how many snaps Randle will get on Sunday afternoon with Michael’s involvement and Darren McFadden right behind Randle. I would stay clear of Randle until we know the situation in Dallas after this week. I have Michael as a sleeper only for his potential as told to the media by the coaching staff.

Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions (vs. Minnesota Vikings)

After giving up a huge game to Carlos Hyde in Week 1 and a long rushing touchdown to Ronnie Hillman in Week 4, the Vikings have held opposing running backs in check. Abdullah isn’t even guaranteed to get all of the snaps with Theo Riddick getting a lot of looks too. I wouldn’t trust the rookie averaging 3.3 yards per carry right now.

Bust Alert: Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

Hyde will play Seattle at home on Thursday night, and the 49ers will likely rely on him with Colin Kaepernick’s struggles against the Seahawks in recent years. Despite giving up two rushing touchdowns to Jonathan Stewart last week, the Seahawks have held most opposing running backs in check.

Wide Receivers


Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers (@ Kansas City Chiefs)

This is a great matchup for Bryant, who should be able to build on his two-touchdown performance last week against a weak Kansas City pass defense. Landry Jones will look for Bryant down the field, and he has the play-making abilities to capitalize on the Chiefs worrying about Antonio Brown.

John Brown, Arizona Cardinals (vs. Baltimore Ravens)

Brown received 14 targets last week against the Steelers, accumulating 196 receiving yards. With the Ravens coming into town on Monday night, Brown should continue to perform for Carson Palmer against the poor Ravens secondary. Keep your eye on Brown, as he has been dealing with a hamstring issue.

Sleeper: Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ Washington Redskins)

The Redskins’ defense has played well, but I think Jameis and his weapons (Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson, and Evans) will have big games on Sunday. Evans has not had a break-through performance yet this year, and I think this could be the game.


Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles (@ Carolina Panthers)

Josh Norman has been arguably the top corner in the NFC this season for the Panthers, and I believe he will be guarding Matthews Sunday night. Matthews also had a disappointing performance on Monday night, fumbling and turning the ball over in that contest. He has not been what fantasy owners were expecting this season.

Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings (@ Detroit Lions)

Diggs has been one of the best offensive rookies this season, posting back-to-back solid weeks for the Vikings. He’s become a favorite of Bridgewater’s, but still hasn’t found the end zone. I see why people would start Diggs as a flex with a bye week for several key fantasy players, but I don’t like the matchup very much.

Bust Alert: Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders (@ San Diego Chargers)

Cooper will face off against Jason Verrett and a strong Chargers’ pass defense. Coming off the bye, Cooper has had an impressive rookie campaign, but the Chargers have not given up more than 13.20 yards (standard) all season to an opposing receiver.

Tight Ends 


Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans (vs. Atlanta Falcons)

After surrendering a huge game to the resurged Benjamin Watson, the Falcons go to Nashville to likely face Zach Mettenberger. The former LSU quarterback will probably take over for the injured Marcus Mariota, and one of Mettenberger’s favorite targets is Walker. The Titans tight end had a solid week last week agains the Dolphins.

Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)

The Steelers have given up big games to both Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Gates this season (five total touchdowns). I believe Kelce will join them in the touchdown club against the Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium.

Sleeper: Jordan Cameron, Miami Dolphins (vs. Houston Texans)

Cameron was in a great situation entering the season with the Dolphins, but he has struggled in five weeks to get it right. I think Cameron is a guy to watch this week against a Texans defense that struggles to stop tight ends, and the man finally found the end zone last week.


Crockett Gillmore, Baltimore Ravens (@ Arizona Cardinals)

Considering the Cardinals have not given up more than four catches to opposing tight ends this season, I wouldn’t play Gillmore Monday night. The Cardinals’ defense is superior at home as well, and Joe Flacco cannot get anything going.

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (@ Carolina Panthers)

Ertz has only had one solid game all season, and I don’t expect him to put one together on Sunday night against the Panthers. Carolina has played well against tight ends all season, only giving up a big day to Jimmy Graham.

Bust Alert: Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks (@ San Francisco 49ers)

The 49ers have given up some touchdowns to opposing tight ends, but something about this game could spell trouble for the visiting Seahawks. Graham cannot seem to put consecutive games together, and he seems to be a perennial candidate for the bust alert.



Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts (vs. New Orleans Saints)

Vinatieri has not been solid this season, but he should score several points in a high-scoring affair.

Josh Lambo, San Diego Chargers (vs. Oakland Raiders)

The former MLS goalkeeper has been solid for the Chargers, and they should put up some points against Oakland.

Sleeper: Phil Dawson, San Francisco 49ers (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

Dawson has been putting together big games lately, and he’ll face off at home against the Seahawks who have given up 10 or more points to opposing kickers thrice.


Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh Steelers (@ Kansas City Chiefs)

Boswell, Josh Scobee’s replacement, has played well thus far. Unfortunately for him, the Steelers have Landry Jones under center at one of the toughest places to play in Arrowhead Stadium.

Travis Coons, Cleveland Browns (@ St. Louis Rams)

Coons probably won’t get many opportunities on the road in St. Louis.

Bust Alert: Caleb Sturgis, Philadelphia Eagles (@ Carolina Panthers)

Sturgis will head to Carolina in a game the Eagles may struggle to score points.

Defenses/Special Teams


Carolina Panthers D/ST vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The Panthers host Sam Bradford.

Atlanta Falcons D/ST @ Tennessee Titans

The Falcons face off against the underwhelming Zach Mettenbergers.

Sleeper: Washington Redskins D/ST vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Any team that plays against Jameis Winston and that struggling offensive line has a chance to have a big day.


New York Jets D/ST @ New England Patriots

I wouldn’t start any defense at Gillette Stadium.

Philadelphia Eagles D/ST @ Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton has been Superman lately.

Bust Alert: Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST @ Kansas City Chiefs

Steelers head to Arrowhead in a trap game.

Week 7 Predictions

It was a good week for me, going 10-4 in a pretty predictable week. This week presents a lot of tough matchups, so without further ado, here are my Week 7 picks.

Week 1: 10-6
Week 2: 7-9
Week 3: 10-6
Week 4: 8-7
Week 5: 7-7
Week 6: 10-4

Overall: 52-39

Week 7

Seattle Seahawks 24, San Francisco 49ers 20 (Seahawks -6.5)
Buffalo Bills 28, Jacksonville Jaguars 16* (Bills -7)
Cleveland Browns 14, St. Louis Rams 27 (Rams -5.5)
Minnesota Vikings 20, Detroit Lions 23 (Lions +2.5)
Houston Texans 10, Miami Dolphins 21 (Dolphins -4)
New Orleans Saints 31, Indianapolis Colts 38 (Colts -4.5)
Pittsburgh Steelers 20, Kansas City Chiefs 23 (EVEN)
New York Jets 17, New England Patriots 30 (Patriots -10)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24, Washington Redskins 21 (Buccaneers +3)
Atlanta Falcons 31, Tennessee Titans 14 (Falcons -4)
Oakland Raiders 17, San Diego Chargers 34 (Chargers -4)
Dallas Cowboys 20, New York Giants 25 (Giants -3)
Philadelphia Eagles 17, Carolina Panthers 27 (Panthers -3)
Baltimore Ravens 20, Arizona Cardinals 34 (Cardinals -10)

*Game played in London at 8:30 AM CT on Sunday

Sources: Yahoo! Fantasy, ESPN Fantasy, Rotowire

Image: Bryant

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