2021 Season: Week 7 Boom/Bust (PPR)

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Herms (@HermsNFL)
The Lateral Chief Editor

Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Editor

[EDITOR'S NOTE: The FantasyPros ECR projected points listed are those at the time of writing and may change as the week progresses as they are dynamic in nature.]

Well, here goes nothing. We hope everyone is as prepared as you can be for this nightmare we call Week 7. No matter what, tough decisions will have to be made with so many teams on bye weeks. This column might help you out a bit. Best of luck from The Lateral.

Week 7 Boom/Bust (PPR)

Week 7 Booms

Quarterback (QB)

Herms: Carson Wentz (Indianapolis Colts) [15.8 projected points]

After starting the season with some injuries, Wentz is the QB13 overall in fantasy from Week 4 on. The Niners defense is not one that offers too difficult of a challenge to opposing QBs to date (16th in points allowed to the position). Though the team may be without WR T.Y. Hilton, a player who did not practice this week, Wentz should find himself hitting the over on the 15.8 projected points. Aside from Week 3 vs the Tennessee Titans, the former Eagles signal-caller has done so every single week this season. If you're looking for a safe pivot, this is one to look to.

McLateral: Justin Fields (Chicago Bears) [16.2 projected points]

Tampa Bay has been incredibly consistent on defense. You cannot run on them at all, and you can pass on the Buccaneers like there is no tomorrow. That is good news for fantasy football managers rostering Justin Fields, as the quarterback typically is the one passing the ball. Seriously though, as much as the Chicago Bears love to run the ball, they are going to need Fields to shine to win this game. Expect him to have a good performance.

Running Back (RB)

Herms: Devonta Freeman (Baltimore Ravens) [8.7 projected points]

RB Latavius Murray is out, Freeman is the next man up, and to hit 8.7 points requires moderate success in yardage and falling into the end zone. The starting RB for the Ravens is capable of that on a weekly basis. This one is easy. This is one of my favorite streaming plays of the week. 

McLateral: Rhamondre Stevenson (New England Patriots) [6.6 projected points]

Can Rhamondre Stevenson maintain his recent RB2 role in this offense? If so, he should be able to beat this projection against the New York Jets. The Jets are nearly the best fantasy football matchup for opposing running backs, and even a slice of the New England rushing attack should be enough for Stevenson to have a good day.

Wide Receiver (WR)

Herms: Amon-Ra St. Brown (Detroit Lions) [10.2 projected points]

St. Brown is the team's leader in targets since Week 4 and has seen no less than seven targets in every game in that span. The Rams secondary is middle-of-the-pack against opposing WRs and while I don't expect much of QB Jared Goff in his return to Los Angeles, St. Brown himself should do just fine on the basis of volume alone.

McLateral: Rashod Bateman (Baltimore Ravens [9.6 projected points]

Rashod Bateman made his debut for the Baltimore Ravens last week, and while the fantasy football points were underwhelming, the performance was not. Bateman tied tight end Mark Andrews for the lead in targets against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 6. If quarterback Lamar Jackson is already trusting the rookie wide receiver this much, the sky is the limit. Expect double-digits from Bateman this week without question.

Tight End (TE)

Herms: C.J. Uzomah (Cincinnati Bengals) [6.6 projected points]

I'm not looking to be in the business of predicting TE this year anymore, so I'll go ahead and agree with the below assessment.  

McLateral: C.J. Uzomah
 (Cincinnati Bengals) [6.6 projected points]

Okay, remember how earlier this week over at BallBlast Football, I said C.J. Uzomah should not be in lineups? I still stand by that, but the Baltimore Ravens allow a ton of touchdowns to opposing tight ends. So if a fantasy football manager was truly desperate, they could play Uzomah as a touchdown-dependent option, since there is actually a good chance he will score a touchdown this week.

Defense/Special Teams (DST)

: New York Jets [5.8 projected points]

The growing pains of New England Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones have been a boon to opposing defenses. Only the New York Jets (ironically?) have been a better fantasy football matchup. While the Patriots offense will run on the Jets plenty, a turnover or two could still leave the Jets defense with a solid fantasy football performance.

Kicker (K)

McLateral: Will Lutz (New Orleans Saints) [6.2 projected points]

This pick borders on a free space, but given the projections for New Orleans Saints kickers Brian Johnson and Will Lutz are nearly identical, it can be assumed that fantasy football experts are serious about this low projection. This is odd because the Seattle Seahawks give up plenty of fantasy football points to opposing kickers.

Week 7 Busts

Quarterback (QB)

Herms: Ryan Tannehill (Tennessee Titans) [20.3 projected points]

To be honest, given the nature of this week with so many teams on bye weeks, beggars cannot be choosers. God's honest truth? A warm body at QB is a warm body at QB. I agree with the assessment below about Derek Carr, but I'm taking the easy way out on this one. You're playing whoever you're playing and that is that.

That said, my one note to share is that if Titans QB Ryan Tannehill cannot hit his 20.3 projected points, please give up. Shucks, even if he does well, just drop him. Honestly, Tannehill should have been dropped before last week, but we talked about this on The Lateral Show recently enough. He has only hit above 20 points once so far this season and the Titans offense runs through RB Derrick Henry. Continuing to look for excuses for this guy is futile. 

McLateral: Derek Carr (Las Vegas Raiders) [19.7 projected points]

There are tougher matchups than the Philadelphia Eagles, but betting against Lamar Jackson or Tom Brady felt like a mistake. Even Jalen Hurts, as mediocre as the film has looked, is killing it in terms of production. So, unfortunately, Derek Carr gets the vote of no (or at least diminished) confidence here. The Las Vegas Raiders quarterback has played well this season, but not exactly mistake-free. If the Eagles defense can force him to make mistakes, then Carr could come up short this week.

Running Back (RB)

Herms: Miles Sanders (Philadelphia Eagles) [12.8 projected points]

I've seen plenty of reasons for why people should be optimistic for Sanders (snap counts, the matchup against the Raiders being objectively good, etc.) and as much as they make sense, the truth is that it does not matter. After a good opening week, starting Sanders has been equally as effective as playing Raiders RB Kenyan Drake in your lineups since Week 2. Seriously. Like, I mean that literally. The best thing you can do is find the person in your league that buys the narrative that Sanders will turn this around eventually and pawn him off on them. Take whatever you can get.

McLateral: Elijah Mitchell (San Francisco 49ers) [13.6 projected points]

The Indianapolis Colts are one of the toughest fantasy football matchups for opposing running backs in 2021. They do not even give up 13.6 fantasy football points per game per Pro Football Reference (note: Pro Football Reference does not use point-per-reception (PPR) scoring for this metric), so expecting Elijah Mitchell to hit this projection seems unlikely. Especially now that JaMycal Hasty will be back, taking away some of Mitchell's opportunities.

Wide Receiver (WR)

Herms: Terry McLaurin (Washington Football Team) [16.5 projected points] 

Should you play McLaurin? Absolutely. 19 targets in the last two weeks is solid opportunity. The issue is the eight catches on those targets. Something has been rough between he and QB Taylor Heinicke even though matchups against New Orleans and Kansas City should have been good on paper. Even without CB Jaire Alexander, the Packers are a tough defense in general so far this season

McLateral: Jakobi Meyers (New England Patriots) [13.6 projected points]

It feels wrong to bet against Jakobi Meyers's target volume. However, this fantasy football matchup against the New York Jets is so good for opposing running backs, that it has been terrible for opposing wide receivers. Plus due to an inexplicable inability to find the end zone, Meyers has already fallen short of this projected point total four times this season. One such time was in Week 2 against—you guessed it— the Jets.

Tight End (TE)

Herms: Most of them?

The position of tight end has been extremely frustrating this season. I don't have a good read on it this week at all. I'm going to try and include this in the show sheet for next week's episode of the podcast. Your guesses are as good as mine for this week.

McLateral: Mark Andrews (Baltimore Ravens) [15.7 projected points]

Betting against Mark Andrews this week comes down to three reasons. First, as mentioned earlier, Rashod Bateman is taking over the targets in this offense. If he continues to do so, then Andrews may see his targets start to drop. Second, the Cincinnati Bengals are a tough fantasy football matchup for opposing tight ends. They have only allowed one touchdown all season to an opposing tight end. This is a problem since, without a touchdown, Andrews has fallen short of this 15.7 point threshold every time but once this season.

Defense/Special Teams (DST)

: Green Bay Packers [6.5 projected points]

The Washington Football Team has been a surprisingly poor matchup for opposing defenses. Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke has definitely had a rough two weeks, but the Green Bay Packers defense allows plenty of touchdowns. A shoot-out is not an unlikely scenario for this game, which would be disastrous for the fantasy football performance of the Packers defense.

Kicker (K)

McLateral: Daniel Carlson (Las Vegas Raiders) [8.4 projected points]

This one is a case of simple math. The Philadelphia Eagles only allow 6.3 fantasy football points on average to kickers. Plus if Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr struggles, it all adds up to Daniel Carlson falling short of this projection.

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