By Sal Leto (@letosal)
Here we are, the halfway point. There is, perhaps, no more important time to make the moves that will get you that all important victory. Only two teams on a bye this week but losing Deshaun Watson and Deandre Hopkins will leave a void, although that’s not something you would’ve said seven weeks ago. Let’s find the players to fill that void and the others to stay away from.
Blake Bortles @ Indianapolis Colts
Sorry, I knew that would come as a shock but I didn’t expect it would make you fall off your seat. Are you good? Ok then, let’s continue. Yes the game plan has been don’t let Bortles lose it for us up until now. But the Colts have given up 300+ yards in four of six games and 295 in one of the others. The Colts also have been quite generous in giving up points and yardage to RBs as well but there is another important factor here. In his last four games against Indy Bortles has 1,056 yards passing, seven pass TDs, two rush TDs and ZERO INTERCEPTIONS! Also, he targeted running backs 14 times week ago. Not to mention Fournette comes into this game banged up which means if you need a Watson or Stafford fill in you could do worse than taking a shot with Bortles.
Jameis Winston/Ryan Fitzpatrick @ Buffalo Bills
It’s week seven and the Bills have given up two passing touchdowns all year and have two interceptions in four of their five games as well. Those totals at home are zero touchdowns and four interceptions in two games. Jameis Winston’s still hurt but if he thinks he can play it’s a poor decision for the Bucs or you to start him. If it’s Fitzpatrick and you put him in there have your head examined.
Joe Mixon @ Pittsburgh Steelers
If you act quickly you still might be able to buy him cheap. Going into the bye week it was clear that Mixon was taking over lead back duties. His snap percentage grew quite a bit over the last three weeks. Coming out of the bye, I fully expect the workload increase was to get him ready to join his 2017 classmates Fournette, Hunt and McCaffrey as weekly starters. Two weeks ago at home the Steelers gave 181 rush yards and two TDs to Fournette and in week three it was 138 rush yards and two TDs to Jordan Howard. Look for Mixon to be the next young guy leaned on to lead his team vs. Pittsburgh.
Adrian Peterson @ Los Angeles Rams
If you listen to the FLAFFL House podcast you know I have steadfastly said all AP needs is volume. Well he got it in his first start with Arizona to the tune of 26 carries 134 yards and two TDs. This week the league’s worst run defense rolls out the red carpet for Peterson. The Rams have given up over 1,000 yards to running backs, 732 of which was on the ground. Oh, and a league high nine touchdowns to RBs as well. Last week wasn’t a last hurrah it was the start of his season.
Samaje Perine @ Philadelphia Eagles
Some may see Perine had a top 17 PPR performance last week and think he may be a good play. However, the Eagles have given up only 240 rush yards to running backs through six weeks. That’s 40 yards a game. In week one they gave up a total of 34 to Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley so there’s no reason to believe that Perine will make a difference here. Philly is actually the only team in the league giving up more yards receiving than rushing to running backs and that means this should be a game heavily featuring Thompson.
Andre Ellington @ Los Angeles Rams
Man, he disappeared quickly. Looking like the beneficiary of a vacant backfield for a few weeks Ellington busted out with back to back nine reception games on 14 and 10 targets. AP showed up and he had one target and zero receptions. Yes, it is a good matchup but I’m not convinced he’ll be on the field much after seeing a season low 20% of snaps a week ago.
Pierre Garçon vs Dallas Cowboys
A week ago he was on the sink list and with just cause. This week I say plug him back in. Garcon is sixth in the league in targets through six weeks. I expect with the young QB taking over we will quickly find out who the most reliable receiver in the offense is. This is also a good spot to see his TD drought come to an end as Dallas has given up eight touchdowns to wide receivers in five games.
Bennie Fowler vs Los Angeles Chargers
You want a sneaky good play for Week 7 look no further than Fowler. In week one he had a two touchdown game against these Chargers. Now he’ll face them as the number two receiver with Emmanuel Sanders missing the game. LA has given up nine touchdowns to wide receivers which is tied for second worst in the league. Not to mention they give up an average of over 36 PPR points to wideouts as well.
Donte Moncrief vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Remember when all he did was catch touchdowns? Last week he dropped one in the end zone that was in both hands. He did see seven targets and pulled in five of them for 67 yards vs Tennessee Monday night. Coming into this week at WR 70 on the year with one TD doesn’t sit well against the league best Jags and their one WR touchdown on the season.
Austin Hooper @ New England Patriots
Who would have thought the super bowl champs would become the defense against which all your players would get right? The Patriots are right there with the Giants, Browns and Ravens as teams to start any tight end against. With five touchdowns (and a terrible reversal) [Editor’s Note: False. Clearly it wasn’t a touchdown] through six games this is a solid match up to exploit.
Jason Witten @ San Francisco 49ers
We found it! The one thing the Niners are good at doing. Stopping opposing tight ends. San Fran is tied for best in the league in relinquishing only seven PPR points per week to the big boys. After flying out of the gate in week one and two, Witten barely registered a blip in week three and four. I expect pedestrian numbers this week and there are much better match up plays at the position.