Joe Mixon has upside in Week 7 fantasy football

The FedEx Air & Ground fantasy preview is back!


In case it slipped your mind, NFL football fans have the opportunity to vote on top performers at the running back and quarterback position following every regular week of action.

The candidates at quarterback last week were Carson Wentz, Kirk Cousins and Carson Palmer. At running back, Le'Veon Bell, Adrian Peterson and Jordan Howard were all featured following big games. You can check out the Week 6 winners here and cast your vote every week.

Now, without further ado, let's dive into some players who could have huge games in Week 7, both through the air and on the ground.

Air Analysis:

Carson Wentz vs Redskins

It's been a few weeks since I've talked up Wentz, so I'm due. I was on him as an underrated option in Week 2 and Week 3 and it's time to return to the Wentz well with a matchup against Washington on Monday night.

For some reason' Wentz is still available in about 29 percent of leagues. He's the fourth-highest scoring fantasy quarterback so far this season, with an average of over 20 fantasy points per game with 13 touchdown passes and just three picks all year. Despite averaging just 17 completions per game over his last three contests, Wentz has been extremely efficient with eight touchdown passes in that span. He has also logged over 300 pass yards in half of his games this season. He's been matchup-proof too, with 27 and 21 fantasy points against Arizona and Carolina in his last two outings.

This week, Wentz has huge upside against a Washington defense that will be without Josh Norman again. While on paper, the Redskins defense has posted decent numbers in terms of limiting opposing quarterbacks, they struggled last week against rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard. Beathard came into the game in the second quarter to spell Brian Hoyer, and in his first career NFL action, he moved the 49ers offense (245 pass yards, TD, INT) and led them to 24 points in a little less than three full quarters.

With cornerback Josh Norman (ribs) slated to be out again, corner Brashaud Breeland (knee) on the injury report and defensive lineman Jonathan Allen (foot) done for the season, Wentz should have ample time and room to put up fantasy points in what's likely to be a high-scoring game.

Russell Wilson at Giants

The Giants defense has been "formidable" according to our weekly research packet here at NFL Media, but there are some major weaknesses that Russell Wilson should be able to exploit on Sunday. New York's defense is allowing eighth-most passing yards per game (248) and has given up 11 passing touchdowns this season, tide for the third-worst mark in the NFL. The first three weeks, the Giants defense was tough against fantasy running backs allowing just 14 fantasy points per game to the position, but in the last three weeks, they've struggled with a 20 fppg average.

Wilson's been up and down this season, but even with a few slow games, he's the QB11 in fantasy football, and that's with a Week 6 bye. He's averaging 19.3 fantasy points per game despite the Seahawks averaging just 22 points per game on offense. Seattle is missing two starting offensive linemen to injury this week, which means a couple of things. They probably won't have a very effective run game, which isn't really a surprise as they've been inconsistent in that aspect all season. It also means Wilson could be scrambling out of the pocket or using his legs to make up for a lack of protection and in turn, being forced to throw if the run game can't get going. It could also mean a lot of quick dump-offs to C.J. Prosise who is slated to return from an injury. All of this points to a nice bye-week return for Wilson and his fantasy owners.

Ground Analysis:

Joe Mixon at Steelers

After a rough start, the Bengals offense has turned things around with new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. In the three games under his watch, the team is averaging 345.3 yards per game and 25 points compared to 258 yards and 4.5 points per game before he took over. Lazor has done wonders for everyone in the offense, including rookie back Joe Mixon. Before Cincinnati's bye, Mixon had transitioned to the clear-cut primary back role ahead of Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard. His rush attempt share spiked from 41 percent the first two games to 66 percent in the last three. Mixon also owns a 67-percent share of the team's backfield opportunities inside the 10-yardline. He leads the team's running backs with 11 receptions too, and is no slouch in the passing game.

A matchup against the Steelers defense is favorable as they've allowed five rushing touchdowns to running backs this season, and give up an average of 112 rush yards per game to the position. Pittsburgh does have one of the better defenses in the league, but they can be beat on the ground. If Cincinnati is smart, they'll pound the rock with Mixon early and often, making him an upside play for Week 7.

Jerick McKinnon vs Ravens

In the two weeks since Dalvin Cook went down with a season-ending injury, Jerick McKinnon has emerged as a weekly must-start at running back. He's averaged 5.3 yards per carry on 31 attempts for 164 yards and has logged 81 receiving yards on 11 receptions, with three total touchdowns. Sure, McKinnon is in a rotation with Latavius Murray, but it's clear that the Vikings offense moves with the more athletic McKinnon on the field. And a matchup against the Ravens is an ideal spot for him to produce for the third straight week.

Baltimore is allowing the third-most rushing yards per game to running backs through six weeks. Their defense was just gashed, at home, by the Bears committee duo of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen for 231 rush yards a week ago. If the Vikings get McKinnon anywhere close to the 26 touches per game he's been averaging, he's set up for another huge week, and fantasy owners have to get him into their lineups.

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