As if signing up for the Fantasy Alarm Assistant GM wasn't a good enough decision already, we present to you even more assistance in setting your lineups this week.
Every Friday throughout the NFL regular season I will be sending you this lineup helper that I like to call: Tough Decisions. In this article I will break down players with similar value, ranking and projection heading into this coming week.
Let's take a look at the TOUGH DECISIONS for Week 7:
The Case for Rivers: Coming off a game against the Packers that saw Rivers complete 43-of-65 passes for a whopping 503 passing yards against the Packers, he is once again starting the season ablaze. With the inconsistencies on the ground, a lot of pressure has been put on the veteran's right arm. He has thrown for over 300 yards in all but two games this season, and he has eclipsed 400 yards twice on the season. With Antonio Gates back on the field, Rivers has another weapon, along with Keenan Allen to catch quite a few passes for San Diego. His Week 7 opponent, the Oakland Raiders, are allowing around 17 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. On average, they are allowing 308 passing yards per game. Since Rivers is averaging roughly 353 passing yards per game, he should have no problem eclipsing 300 yards in this contest.
The Case for Newton: Other than Greg Olsen, Newton has a weak receiving core, but he has still managed to put up quality fantasy numbers. In his most recent performance, he went to Seattle, arguably the toughest place to play against one of the toughest defenses, and put up 19 fantasy points. The Eagles have picked off opposing quarterbacks eight times in six games this season, but if Newton can continue to play like he has, that might not be an issue. He has just four interceptions on the season, while tallying 11 total touchdowns (eight passing, three rushing). While Newton may not pick apart teams with his arm, his ability to run the ball is a huge factor in his fantasy value on a weekly basis. When it comes to the red zone, he is a big threat to run the ball, almost an equal chance as the team’s running back, Jonathan Stewart. On the season, Stewart has 11 rushing attempts inside the 20, while Newton has 10. Newton is a QB1 in all formats this week.
The Verdict: Rivers. While Newton does it on the ground, the San Diego running backs don’t, forcing Rivers to air it out a ton. That should happen again in Week 7, which equates to a huge fantasy day for Rivers. Don’t be surprised if Rivers throws for around 350 yards and three scores against the Raiders on Sunday.
The Case for Foster: Since returning from a groin injury, Foster has 35 rushes and 17 receptions over the last three games. His season debut was rather quiet, but if you look at the last two games alone, he has 51 total touches. However, when it comes to rushing the ball, he has been pretty ineffective. He ranks last among qualifying running backs by averaging just 2.31 yards per carry this season. Luckily enough for him, Houston graces him with close to 20 rushes a game, so he does have a high volume in those regards. After DeAndre Hopkins, Foster is the team’s second option in the passing game. In PPR formats, Foster’s work in the passing game really boosts his fantasy output. The Dolphins have been torched by Alfred Morris, Karlos Williams and Chris Ivory for 100-plus yards in a game this season, and Foster could be the next to do so. Over the last three weeks, Miami is allowing 4.5 yards per carry, and if you combine that with Foster’s heavy workload, there is a lot to like here with the Houston running back.
The Case for McCoy: After missing two games due to injury, McCoy returned with a pep in his step in a Week 6 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals. “Shady” carried the ball 17 times for 90 yards and a touchdown while catching two passes for four yards in that contest. Despite allowing just 3.7 yards per carry on the season, the Jaguars have allowed six rushing touchdowns in six games. Other than a high probability of scoring in this one for McCoy, there are some other things going for the Buffalo running back. Tyrod Taylor isn’t going to play in this one, so EJ Manuel will get another start in Week 7. Buffalo is going to run the ball early and often, especially since they should hold a lead over Jacksonville for most of the game. McCoy could see upwards of 25 carries in this one, which should equate to big time fantasy value. Since Jacksonville has allowed the third-most receptions and yards to opposing backs, don’t be surprised if McCoy makes a big impact in the passing game as well. McCoy is an RB1 in Week 7.
The Verdict: Foster. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love McCoy this week, but it’s hard to go against Foster. Foster racks up a ton of receptions and yardage, which is huge from a running back. He should also be able to be effective on the ground, putting him in line for a huge fantasy day. These two will be very close, but Foster will slightly outscore McCoy.
The Case for Martin: Before the bye, Martin was averaging 26 touches per game, factoring both on the ground and through the air. The Muscle Hamster has shown the knack of finding the end zone lately, scoring four touchdowns in his previous two games. The Bucs seem committed to putting the ball in his hands and as long as he can be effective, his high volume of work should equate to a solid fantasy day. The Redskins have allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, but don’t let that deter you from starting Martin in Week 7. The Redskins have been less than stellar in terms of defending the pass, so Jameis Winston should be able to move the ball, taking some attention off Martin. When the team gets in the red zone, Martin is the back that is on the field more often than not. He has accounted for 58.8 percent of the team’s red zone rushing attempts, and 75 percent of the team’s carries inside the five-yard line. The Tampa Bay running back should find the end zone in Week 7 against Washington.
The Case for Blount: Blount carries some fantasy risk with him, which makes him a tough play at times. Sure, he typically sees plenty of carries (29 over the past two weeks), but his fantasy value is stringent on him finding the end zone. If the Patriots aren’t trying to run the clock out, Blount won’t see as many carries. We all know the Patriots are a pass-first offense, but with five total touchdowns on the year, Blount is in the conversation as a flex option. However, a Week 7 matchup with the Jets is next and they have allowed the fewest rushing yards on the season to opposing running backs. They have allowed just one rushing and one receiving touchdown to the position so far this season. The New England running back will be a flex player for a lot of people this week, but in DFS there are other safer routes you can likely go at the running back and/or flex position.
The Verdict: Martin. Between these two, Martin has the higher floor, and the team is committed to giving him the ball early and often. The Bucs-Redskins game should stay close, which will allow Martin to rack up the yards. Start Martin against the Redskins.
The Case for Brown: Brown is coming off his best game of the season, in which he caught 10 passes for an astounding 196 yards against the Steelers. He has a solid connection with quarterback Carson Palmer as the second receiver in Arizona, behind only Larry Fitzgerald. Brown and the Cardinals face off with the Ravens in Week 7 and they have been atrocious against opposing wide receivers. Baltimore has allowed the second-most yards to the position and a whopping nine touchdown catches in six games. Michael Crabtree (111), Amari Cooper (109), A.J. Green (227) and Anquan Boldin (102) have all eclipsed 100 receiving yards against the Ravens this season. Given all the secondary woes for Baltimore this season, Brown has a lot of upside in this one.
The Case for Moncrief: Like Brown, Moncrief has a favorable matchup in Week 7. The Saints have had their fair share of problems in the secondary in 2015. Believe it or not, between the two main receivers in Indy this year, Moncrief has been the one looking like the top dog, not T.Y. Hilton. Moncrief has caught 62.5 percent of his targets this season, compared to Hilton’s 56.4 percent. Quarterback Andrew Luck has also fared much better when throwing to Moncrief, as opposed to Hilton. In Week 7 against the New Orleans Saints, Andrew Luck should experience a lot of success in throwing the ball to both Hilton and Moncrief. Despite the Saints not allowing a receiver to accumulate 100 yards in a game yet this season, both receivers have a chance to in what likely turns out to be a high-scoring affair.
The Verdict: Brown. I love Carson Palmer against the Ravens and his receiver. Brown should be able to ride the momentum from last week into another productive performance in Week 7. It’s a close one between the two, but Brown should slightly outscore Moncrief.
The Case for Bryant: Wow, what a season debut for Bryant. With his return, he is the team’s primary deep threat, while Antonio Brown will handle most of the work in the possession role. In his season debut against the Arizona Cardinals, Bryant caught six passes for 137 yards with two touchdowns. Even when Ben Roethlisberger returns from his knee injury, Bryant will be a boom-or-bust player, relying on a long touchdown for the majority of his fantasy value. However, with Roethlisberger’s return his fantasy value will still go up, but we are likely at least one week away from seeing Big Ben back in action. Landry Jones will likely start this game for the Steelers, but seeing as they are playing the Chiefs this weekend, Bryant is worth the shot in your flex spot. The Chiefs have allowed the most points to opposing wide receivers, so Bryant should be able to find the end zone once again in Week 7.
The Case for Landry: In PPR formats, Landry has reached double-digit fantasy points in each game this season. He was able to complete such a feat in Week 6, thanks to a rushing touchdown on a tricky reverse play. In terms of the passing game, Landry is a target hog, ranking 19th in the league with 51 targets, 17 more than the next closest player on his team. His 15 red zone targets are second in all of football, trailing only Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins. Landry and the Dolphins will face the Houston Texans in Week 7, a team that is league average in fantasy points allowed to the position. With all of the targets he should get against Houston, Landry is in line for yet another double-digit fantasy point output.
The Verdict: Bryant. With a great performance in Week 6 and a fantasy-friendly matchup this weekend, Bryant is the play between these two. Bryant will break off a big one against the Chiefs on Sunday.
Jordan Cameron (vs. Texans) or Benjamin Watson (@Colts)
The Case for Cameron: As alluded to just above this paragraph, Cameron is second to Landry in terms of most targets among the Miami pass-catchers. He has yet to top four receptions in a game this season, and has caught just one receiving touchdown. In the last three weeks, he has just eight receptions for 65 yards and one touchdown. With all that in mind, where exactly is the upside for Cameron in Week 7? Well, it’s in the Houston Texans’ inability to cover tight ends. Week 1, Travis Kelce, six receptions for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Week 2, Greg Olsen, six receptions for 70 yards. Week 6, Julius Thomas, seven receptions for 78 yards and one touchdown. Cameron is facing a team that presents a great opportunity for a big game, and given his lower price tag in DFS, the upside is well worth it.
The Case for Watson: Watson is coming off his best game in the past couple years. He torched the Atlanta defense for 127 yards and a touchdown on 10 receptions in Week 6. Since he’s caught a touchdown in each of the past two games, fantasy owners can’t shrug off his recent performances as an aberration. We all know that Drew Brees loves to use his tight ends, just ask Jimmy Graham about the past few years. However, don’t for a second think that Watson is anywhere near the playmaker Graham was when donning a New Orleans uniform. The Colts have allowed just one touchdown to opposing tight ends, which slightly diminishes Watson’s fantasy value for Week 7.
The Verdict: Cameron. Sure, Watson is coming off a monster game, but Houston’s consistent inability to stop good tight ends will be the reason why Cameron has a big fantasy day. Watson should come back down to Earth following his superstar performance last time out.