Scott Engel of RotoExperts.com is in his seventh season of Fantasy Football analysis on seahawks.com. Scott is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association’s Hall of Fame and a former FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year Award Winner. He can be heard on FNTSY Radio every morning and seen on FNTSY Sports Network daily on CenturyLink’s sports package and Dish Network.
More injuries and bye weeks continue to make setting an ideal lineup a seemingly daunting Fantasy Football task. But if you have worked the waiver wire effectively and realize there are only two teams on bye this week then most of your starting core should be effectively fortified. No Fantasy team is going to have a safe option at every position. But if you can meet the challenges and come out with victories, you surely will have earned them. Savvy roster and lineup management separates the winners from the also-rans in these key weeks of the Fantasy season. This is your Week 7 survival guide.
Matt Ryan vs. New England: The Falcons QB has only one 300-yard game and one with more than one TD pass this season. But the Patriots easily allow the most Fantasy Points Per Game to opposing passers on NFL.com (24.19) and every QB they have faced has reached the 300-yard mark this year.
Jared Goff vs. Arizona: The Cardinals allow the second-most FFPG to the position among NFC teams (19.50) and Goff is doing a great job of spreading the ball around and taking what a defense gives him. With a deep receiving crew facing a vulnerable secondary, he is a Top 12 Fantasy starter this week.
Marcus Mariota vs. Cleveland: The Browns are tied with the Patriots for most passing TDs allowed (14). Mariota returned to action last week and threw for over 300 yards on Monday Night Football against the Colts. He really started to look somewhat comfortable again as the game progressed.
Russell Wilson vs. New York Giants: The Giants have allowed 11 TD passes, second most in the NFC, and 1,550 passing yards, fifth most in the conference. Wilson threw three TD passes at MetLife Stadium last year vs. the Jets and should unleash the big plays again in New Jersey.
Joe Mixon vs. Pittsburgh: The rookie is easing into a role as the lead runner for the Bengals and he should at least be solid, if not spectacular this week. The Steelers have allowed 20.58 standard FFPG to opposing RBs, fifth most among AFC teams on NFL.com.
Tevin Coleman vs. New England: The Patriots have been very vulnerable to pass-catching running backs, so both Falcons RBs will post good numbers this week. The Patriots have surrendered an NFL-high 457 receiving yards to the position this year, so all Coleman needs is one or two chances on a swing or flat pass to make a big play. He will also be effective as a runner.
Isaiah Crowell vs. Tennessee: He has not posted the Fantasy numbers we have expected this year, but a hungry, winless team at home will be dangerous. Crowell is a key to Cleveland finally earning their first win by playing ball control.
Chris Thompson vs. Philadelphia: Right now there is not a more electric, explosive playmaker on a screen or flat pass. The Eagles have allowed 48 receptions to opposing running backs, fourth most in the NFC. Letting Washington get the ball into the hands of its best playmaker will be something the Eagles may regret and Thompson’s Fantasy owners will enjoy, especially in PPR formats.
Cooper Kupp vs. Arizona: Patrick Peterson may be locked in on Sammy Watkins, and Robert Woods has also started to command more defensive respect. That leaves open room for Kupp, who is a go-to guy in the slot for Goff. The Cardinals have allowed 25.77 FFPG to opposing WRs on NFL.com, the second-highest average in the NFC.
Josh Doctson vs. Philadelphia: This is a super deep option if you are searching for one. The Eagles allow 24.53 FFPG to opposing WRs, third most in the NFC, and Washington needs someone to step forward at WR. Doctson has big-play ability and could have a breakout game.
Bennie Fowler vs. Los Angeles Chargers: The Broncos need him to play a bigger role with Emmanuel Sanders out. Fowler caught two TD passes in the season opener against the Chargers and Los Angeles has allowed nine TD passes to opposing WRs, second most in the NFL.
Pierre Garcon vs. Dallas: Rookie QB C.J. Beathard will know who his go-to guy will be in his first NFL start. The Cowboys have allowed 24.42 FFPG to opposing WRs, fifth most in the NFC. Garcon should be peppered with targets and is a must-start in PPR formats.
Tight Ends, Kickers & Defenses/Special Teams
Nick O’Leary will have to fill a void in the Buffalo passing game and is a nifty option against the Tampa Bay pass defense. …. The Ravens allow 11.05 FFPG to opposing TEs, second most in the AFC, so roll out Kyle Rudolph with confidence. … An aggressive New Orleans defense could be in for some more big plays against Green Bay. … Miami’s defense is underrated and an adequate start against the Jets. … Ryan Succop is a premier Fantasy kicker again with Mariota back. … Former Seahawk Stephen Hauschka is re-emerging as a strong Fantasy option.
Seahawks Fantasy Focus
This will be a big week for Jimmy Graham. The Giants have endured consistent struggles defending the tight end and allow 13.87 FFPG to the position, the most in the league on NFL.com. The depth of the Seattle receiving corps may be too much for the Giants secondary to handle overall. Doug Baldwin is a must start and Paul Richardson should get starting consideration if you need WR help. He could find the end zone this week. C.J. Prosise will be back in action and could be a sneaky play in PPR formats. The Seahawks defense is an elite start this week. The Seahawks have never lost at MetLife Stadium in four tries and Bobby Wagner and Kam Chancellor will be the keys in shutting down the run game and containing the TE. Frank Clark will bring much pressure off the edge and you’ll get the Fantasy sacks you need this week. Expect at least two field goals from Blair Walsh.
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