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Potential Booms and Busts for Week 7: The Early Games

As we approach the halfway mark of the fantasy football season, it's a great time to think about how unpredictable this year has been. Just think of people who drafted Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, Alfred Morris, Melvin Gordon, Mike Evans, Eddie Lacy or Jimmy Graham with one of their first four picks. How about people who took Chris Ivory, Doug Martin, Cam Newton or Devonta Freeman in the later rounds?

Succeeding in fantasy football is half preparation, half luck. You can track numbers, study trends and follow news updates, but at the end of the day, players have to produce and stay healthy. Fantasy owners also need their players to put up big numbers on the same day to rack up big scores. Sometimes things just don't line up.

The good news is that luck can change. If you've been rolling snake eyes all season long, you're bound to get a few breaks soon. It starts with getting the right players in your lineup. This week's potential boom and bust list will point out the players most likely to have big games or stinkers during the early games of Week 7.

 

Potential Booms for Week 7

Quarterbacks

Drew Brees, QB, Saints: Drew Brees hasn't been the superstar quarterback fantasy owners have become accustomed to in years past. But this Sunday's showdown in Indianapolis has the makings of a shootout. Neither team can play defense, and the Colts have surrendered at least 15.2 fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, including at least 18.6 in the last four contests. Expect a big day from Brees.

Andrew Luck, QB, Colts: Fantasy owners who spent a first or second round pick on Andrew Luck had to wait till last week to finally get a big game. Perhaps the two games away did him well. In Week 7 Luck faces a Saints defense that has allowed 300 or more passing YDs in three out of six games and multiple TDs in four. You weren't benching Luck anyway, but feel extra confident in him getting big points in this potential shootout.

Running Backs

Todd Gurley, RB, Rams: The legend of Todd Gurley continues to grow strong. In what many were predicting to be a rough season for the rookie, Gurley has racked up 305 rushing YDs in the past two games and looks like an absolute stud RB1. On top of it all, he faces an awful Cleveland run D that has allowed 131.5 rushing YDs per game this season and 331 over the last two games. Keep rolling with Gurley.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings: After three consecutive weeks of double digit fantasy points, Adrian Peterson put up a forgettable game last week against Kansas City. The touches (26) were there, but the numbers (60 YDs) were not. Peterson will win back his fantasy owners' confidence this week as he feasts on a Lions defense that has surrendered five rushing TDs and 270 rushing YDs in the last two weeks.

Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers: In the two weeks prior to the Week 6 bye, Doug Martin looked as good as he has since his rookie season. Over the last two weeks, the Redskins run D has been shredded to the tune of 346 YDs and 5.2 yards per carry. This is aligning too perfectly for Martin not to have a big game.

Wide Receivers

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans: Kudos to you if you predicted that DeAndre Hopkins would be the number one receiver in fantasy heading into Week 7. The dude has been downright unguardable, topping 100 YDs in each of the last four games. The Dolphins have been toasted regularly by wide receivers this season and there's no reason to expect it to stop now.

Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars: I know the Bills have shutdown No. 1 receivers this season so far, but I think that's more of a function of luck than design. Allen Robinson leads the team in targets, and the Bills have allowed eight TDs to wide receivers so far this season, and an average of 15.7 receptions and 169.1 YDs per game. Go with Robinson and feel confident.

Tight Ends

Julius Thomas, TE, Jaguars: Following a dud in his first game back from injury, Julius Thomas was right back to his normal TE1 ways in Week 6. The Bills haven't been great against TEs this year and the Jaguars seem committed to feeding Thomas early and often. Start Julius Thomas again and expect him to get into the endzone at least once.

Defenses

Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers defense has been decent this fantasy season, and pretty good over the last four weeks. They've managed five INTs, three fumble recoveries and a TD during that span and should continue rolling this week at Kansas City. The Chiefs are lost on offense without Jamaal Charles and I expect the Steelers to take full advantage.

 

Potential Busts for Week 7

Quarterbacks

Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions: Don't be fooled by last week's performance, Matthew Stafford is who you thought he was. Despite erupting for four TDs and 405 passing YDs against Chicago in Week 6, I wouldn't buy that Stafford is back. Minnesota plays well against QBs, so a repeat is unlikely for Stafford, who only had six total TDs in the five weeks before last.

Alex Smith, QB, Chiefs: Alex Smith was actually decent last week against Minnesota, but nothing special. He put up 282 passing YDs and one TD - this seems like a stat line we will be seeing with him all season. Pittsburgh hasn't exactly shutdown QBs this season, but I wouldn't trust Smith.

Running Backs

Le'Veon Bell, RB, Steelers: Before you start throwing things at the screen, let me explain. Le'Veon Bell has picked up where he left off last season, with 390 rushing YDs, three TDs and a ton of fantasy points. But Bell faces a Kansas City team that has allowed four rushing TDs this season, and they were all in one game in Cincinnati. The Chiefs have been pretty good against the run and you can bank they'll be ready for Bell. I'm not saying bench him, but temper expectations.

LeGarrette Blount, RB, Patriots: If there's one running back to bank on against the New York Jets, it's Dion Lewis, not LeGarrette Blount. The Jets have allowed one rushing TD to running backs this season, and only one team has topped 100 rushing YDs in a game against them. Stay very far away from Blount this Sunday.

Wide Receivers

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Chiefs: The Steelers certainly haven't shutdown receivers this year, but Maclin hasn't exactly lit it up either. Without Charles in the lineup, Maclin is the clear No. 1 option for defenses to focus on. I don't see Maclin as the type of receiver who can overcome double teams and game plans focused on stopping him. Julio Jones he is not.

Defenses

New York Jets: The Jets have been great to fantasy owners this season, and against almost any other team, you would have to start them. But in Foxborough against the unbeaten Patriots, this is a TERRIBLE match up. No defense has scored more than six against the Patriots and two teams have rendered negative points. Look elsewhere if you can.

 

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