All your favorite NFL Fantasy analysts (and the other ones, too) spend all week pouring over data, slugging through hours of game film and debating amongst each to give you the best advice on what to do with your fake football squads. In this space, however, as the work week comes to an end we'll crank up the heat a bit more than usual and go off the map. Every week, our analysts will drop their boldest predictions and inevitably dance around their desks with idiotic grins if they ever happen to come true. If said predictions go belly up, we shall never speak of them again.
Call me a homer if you want, but I look at the Week 7 slate and see a slew of disastrous quarterback matchups (and some disastrous quarterbacks, but I digress). Hundley now has a full week of practice under his belt and is playing at home against a Saints defense still allowing the fourth-most passing yards per game. If he can avoid the unlucky turnovers he suffered last week and maybe run for a touchdown, a top-10 finish should be well within reach.
Pick your poison, Los Angeles Rams. Do you allow your poor run defense to get shredded by Adrian Peterson? Or do you do what you did last week against the Jaguars -- load up the box to neutralize the ground game? It worked against the Jaguars...but their quarterback is Blake Bortles. If Wade Phillips goes that route this week, Carson Palmer will carve them up with the play action pass. It won't be a jolly olde time in England.
Taking on the Browns this week and with Demarco Murray nursing a sore hammy, look for the Titans to lean on Henry. The fancy-pants FPA numbers say the Browns are good versus fantasy running backs, common sense tells me it's more like F(orget) PA, amirite? Mark me down for 25 total touches, at least 120 total yards and a score.
Cousins has been one of the hottest quarterbacks in fantasy football, but I wouldn't be shocked if the Eagles cool him down. Last week, their defense held Cam Newton to just seven fantasy points as a passer (most of his success came on the ground), and Carson Palmer was held to fewer than 16 points the previous week. What's more, Philadelphia held Cousins to fewer than 11 fantasy points in Week 1. As a result, don't be surprised if Captain Kirk doesn't beam your fantasy team up this weekend.
Listen, have I loaded up on pumpkin spice lattes to the point it's the only thing I can think about this month? You know it. But hear me out on this. Three big-time players have pumpkins in the touchdown column this year - Adam Thielen, Julio Jones and LeSean McCoy. I'm predicting all three of them reach the end zone this week. And if not, well, guess what? No. I'm not buying you a pumpkin spice latte because that (expletive) is expensive. I was just going to make some sort of pumpkin-based pun, but you've ruined my momentum and I'm going to take my leave. I hope you're proud of yourself.
The interior of the Chargers defense has been pretty sieve-like, which has resulted in the most rushing yards allowed in the NFL (152.5 per game). In the Broncos first two games, their ground game was No. 1 in the NFL but has fallen to No. 20 since then. With Sanders out, while both Thomas and Siemian are banged up, it sets the stage for a run-heavy attack.
In the two games since Dalvin Cook went down, Jerick McKinnon has been a beast, with 245 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. But Murray's workload has been in the double-digits both weeks, as well, and the Vikings coaching staff has reiterated that Murray will see his share of the touches. That bodes well for him in a matchup against a Ravens defense that was just gashed for 231 rush yards last week by the Bears. I think Murray finds the end zone in Week 7, and finally outscores his dynamic teammate.
If you all can't tell by my generally ambivalent attitude, I really do not care about my fantasy teams. Don't get me wrong, I work hard all week to make sure I'm providing good analysis for you all to make informed decisions in your leagues. As for my teams...really don't care what happens. Honestly, I can't even remember the last time I legitimately tilted about a game featuring my own squads. However, I took over co-managing a fantasy team this past week, and let's just say the results of this league really matter to me. Here's the problem: this team has Leonard Fournette, DeMarco Murray and Kelvin Benjamin, all carrying DNP tags at practice through various points of the week. Oh, and that's in addition to a bench David Johnson (we need to have a conversation about that one) and Golden Tate, who are already hurt. My skeleton rose from the ashes to care for once, just in time to hit mega-tilt every moment I think about this squad. I made a ton of waiver adds on Tuesday but had to go out and scour one more running back Friday morning with Fournette sitting out practice. Amid bleak options, I chose Thomas Rawls. He's as likely as anyone in this backfield to lead the team in carries with Chris Carson out of the mix. The Giants are sneaky bad at defending ground attacks this year, ranking 27th in Football Outsiders rush defense DVOA. So, yes, this is a call for my good fortune. However, there's reason to believe it could actually happen.