Fantasy Football

2017 Fantasy Football Week 7 Preview: Frontline


It is hard for us to fathom the mortal risks for regular folks like you and me in the 1840s along the Oregon Trail. The trek across America in the untamed frontier was extremely dangerous. You might think it a pretty dumb idea to bring your pregnant wife and kids along on such a trip, but they did!

The wagon train was a kind of “moving town” as they inched their way to the lands along the Pacific. Although there was a community of sorts, the safety in numbers made little difference to the overall hardship. Shortages of medicine, food, and other necessities led to disease, thefts, murders, etc.

In our little microverse of Fantasy Football, we have our own hardships. No matter how severe your injury woes and troubles for rostering a team are this season, hang in there. You can win much with experience and become a spoiler for the opponents ahead of you and may even pull out a playoff spot after all. Getting to the end of the trail with pride is good for your attitudes of many other things in life.

In the meantime, let’s watch some football and see our fantasy players do the part we like best – score points!

2017 Fantasy Football Week 7 Preview

Byes: Lions, Texans

Games to Watch

Feature Game: Saints (3-2) at Packers (4-2)

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This game had much more the makings of a classic from a 14th of October point of view. The Saints have not visited Lambeau since 2012 when Brees and Rodgers duelled to a 28-27 win for the Pack. This time however, Green Bay will be in lament without their star quarterback.

The Saints are coming off a big win versus Detroit.  Two of three interceptions returned for touchdowns and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. Two more forced fumbles and five sacks. Oh nothing special, just the usual for the Saints defense. Uhh, yeah… the defense.

They are opportunistic and dangerous. With Brett Hundley at the helm now, the Saints will again pin their ears back and attack this solid pass-protecting offensive line. They are going to try and force Hundley to get rid of it quickly.

The best hope for the Packers is that Rodgers will be a guiding hand for the young quarterback and the running game maintains enough problems for the Saints to allow the team to put drives together. Hundley has speed and he’ll need it.

The Saints offense, powerful as always, will rely on their usual schemes of standard draw runs and short outside passes to the running backs. I expect we’ll see plenty of Michael Thomas involved in many of those short outside passes too.

Sleeper: Willie Snead, WR, New Orleans Saints

High OU line game: Cardinals (3-3) vs Rams (4-2) in London

This is the third of the London games; with the Vikings and Browns to finish up the London series next week.

Adrian Peterson came to London last time with the Saints in Week 4, but wasn’t a factor at all in the 20-0 win by his former team over the Dolphins. This time the patrons in England might get what they paid for and actually see what an unleashed Peterson can do. It’s so appropriate to say “unleashed”, because that’s exactly how it was for him to leave the Saints.

The Cardinals are so much better with a running attack that Peterson provides. We should never have doubted his ability and shutting him down poses a major problem for the Rams. The mistake that the Buccaneers made was expecting Peterson to be only a slight cut above Chris Johnson. Adrian Peterson was, and is, a tier above.

The Rams have their own weapons and Todd Gurley will no doubt display his ability to make everything around him appear in slow motion. His last game against Jacksonville, although scoreless, once again showed he is an RB1 of high regard and the Cardinals cannot rest easy when this run glider of a human breaks free into open space.

I expect Larry Fitzgerald to wow the London crowd with his ability, but I sense that his involvement depends on the game flow and how much Peterson is able to do on the ground.

The Rams will need to target Sammy Watkins, but with Patrick Peterson in man-to-man, Goff may again prefer the safer options. Sammy Watkins may need to wait another week for his own revival.

Sleeper: Tyler Higbee, TE, LA Rams

Sunday Night Football: Falcons (3-2) at Patriots (4-2)

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The much anticipated matchup between last year’s Super Bowl contenders hasn’t the spirit of a revenge game. More like, “let’s just do this and get it over with.”

The Falcons offense is not the same without Kyle Shanahan – that much we know. The loss to the Dolphins was almost expected and revealed a house of cards offense. Out of a bye-week, you would expect better.

The Patriots are showing major cracks in the defense and the team cannot control games properly with just the offense alone. Every team that plays against them have at least some hope of a rally to beat them with a late field goal.

The Falcons offense, as clunky as it is, should be able to compete well enough with the Patriots and I’m expecting a Julio show. It’s sort of a revival week for everyone, so why not? If it’s a revival week for the Patriots defense too however, then all bets are off.

We might get an insight of how Belichick prepares by comparing the first half of the Super Bowl to this gameplan. The differences might reveal something we can prepare for in the Patriots running game.

Sleeper: Taylor Gabriel, WR, Atlanta Falcons

Monday Night Football: Redskins (3-2) at Eagles (5-1)

The Eagles climbed into first place with brute force and nothing they have done to this point indicates they are a well-oiled machine. Yet, they are there and the record must speak for itself.

Carson Wentz manages to defy all doubters by winning and putting up mid-range QB1 numbers. Primarily, he is keeping that INT to TD pass ratio well within an acceptable range.

He is making something out of Nelson Agholor, a player given up for the fantasy scrapheap after 2016. At the same time, Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery continue their strong output.

The Redskins and Kirk Cousins are patching together a passing game somehow, because nobody except a tight end and running back are making the workhorse plays. Doctson is supposed to breakout soon, but I’m not holding my breath. The running game? It’s fantasy unreliable too.

I suppose a Doctson breakout is imminent, because the last time on Monday night he failed to gather in a pass for a game-changing touchdown. Okay, it was an elite level difficulty play to make, but he must make those in the NFL.

Ugh… why fight it? Here he is…

Sleeper: Josh Doctson, WR, Washington Redskins

Players to Watch

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I guess I’m watching for revivals this week to see if anyone else signs up for the program. I’ve already mentioned Watkins in the London game, so here’s a few more guys. Plus a couple possibly about to enter a new fantasy tier.

Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans (at Browns)

Okay kid, it’s your show this week. DeMarco Murray looks to possibly rest a chronic hamstring problem which has bothered him since early in the season. This is Henry’s NFL moment.

Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs Bengals)

Here’s a true revival candidate. Bryant was a real squeaky wheel this week when a rumor surfaced about his unhappiness with the team and trade desires. If Ben is feeling like a top quarterback this week, Bryant might join the club in a good matchup.

Orleans Darkwa, RB, New York Giants (vs Seahawks)

Hey, tough guy. Think you can prove it twice? Okay, you defeated the number one defense against the run on the road. Try it on Seattle this time, they’re only 11th. You’re at home, so no problem, right? Just say, “can’t wait” and we’ll move on.

Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons (at Patriots)

Mr. Ice is living up to it – the wrong way. Turning matters around for his team and his own confidence on Sunday Night could do the trick. The best matchup for quarterbacks are the Patriots. It might not be a revival, but getting back into some kind of groove would certainly benefit Ryan moving forward.

Zay Jones, WR, Buffalo Bills (vs Buccaneers)

Okay, you might be thinking I’m putting Zay in here to poke fun. Well, he is a revival candidate and the Buccaneers do give up the most fantasy points to wide receivers, so why not give him a chance? Oh well, I tried. Deep sleeper? No? Geez.. tough crowd.

Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins (vs Jets)

Well, he revived a little bit last week because of his second 100+ rushing game, but still no touchdowns to this point. Ajayi remains the last of the high RB1s without a score. With the Jets and their uncertain defense week to week, Ajayi should finally get that long overdue first touchdown.

In The Booth On Sunday

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Daryl Johnston

CBS – Early Games

Panthers at Bears: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Ravens at Vikings: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green
Jaguars at Colts: Tom McCarthy, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker
Titans at Browns: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta

CBS – Late Games

Bengals at Steelers: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Seahawks at Giants: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton
Broncos at Chargers: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon

Fox – Early Games

Cardinals vs Rams (in London): Sam Rosen, Ronde Barber
Saints at Packers: Kenny Albert, Charles Davis
Jets at Dolphins: Dan Hellie, Chris Spielman
Buccaneers at Bills: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston

Fox – Late Game

Cowboys at 49ers: Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman

Check out the rest of our 2017 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Richard Savill

Richard is an NFL Fantasy Football Writer and Editor of Fantasy Six Pack. Host of The Fantasy Edge Podcast. FantasyPros Contributor. Member of the FSWA. Richard is known for his "outside the box" insight into NFL fantasy football. Winner of the 16-Team 2015 FSWA challenge.

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