Welcome back to week 7, where your defense is on a bye and you need a team to sub in for the week. Last week was pretty solid; 3 of our teams got us exactly what we were looking for. The Bears and Commanders kept each other under 15 points each, with most yardage coming on the ground rather than through the air, serving to keep total offensive output down. The Chargers kept Denver from riding with less than 20 points and sub-300 yards of offense. The Browns… didn’t show up. If you had punted for the week and started no one at D/ST, that would have matched the Browns’ effort in your team’s box score last week. Zappe Hour was real in Cleveland last week.
So what’s on the slate for week 7? This article would have been significantly easier if it wasn’t for those meddling leagues using Yahoo. The Patriots and Broncos have favorable matchups and are available on ESPN, but Yahoo owners have held tight and prevented them from being featured. I will post them below, however, as the pick-ups to look for in case your league doesn’t have one of those owners in it. Let’s take a look at what’s left. As always, we’re looking for teams around 50% rostered or lower.
Please note that there is a good chance better teams are out there in your league than these four, but we cannot assume they’re out there in every league. Stay active and monitor the league home page, there is also a chance someone will drop a defense after the waivers clear for this week as well.
Opponent: vs. Steelers
ESPN % Rostered: 31%
Yahoo % Rostered: 18%
Following up last week’s performance holding Kirk Cousins to under 200 yards passing and Dalvin Cook under 100 yards rushing, Miami now hosts Pittsburgh on Sunday night. They will be facing off against a Steelers team that before last week’s stalwart performance had given fantasy defenses double-digit points for the prior three games in a row. It remains to be seen who will start under center, as Kenny Pickett has been cleared to practice fully on Wednesday but still has multiple steps in the protocol to go before getting the all-green signal. Even with the win last week, the Steelers failed to go over 200 yards passing and Najee Harris was kept below 50 yards rushing. The Steelers have also given up at least one sack in every game this season. Miami is preparing Tua Tagovailoa as their starter this week. Hopefully, a better offense will mean more rest for their defense and less time on the field by the opposing offense.
Got 'em! 😤 @Raekwondavis_99
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) October 16, 2022
Opponent: vs. Falcons
ESPN % Rostered: 48%
Yahoo % Rostered: 36%
After limiting the Saints to less than 200 yards passing and technically limiting Alvin Kamara to less than 100 yards rushing, Cincinnati will host Atlanta. With Cordarrelle Patterson still out for the indeterminate future, the Bengals will look to stop a quarterback that hasn’t thrown for over 150 yards since week 4. With Marcus Mariota and his suspect passing capabilities, the Falcons will continue to lean heavily on the running game that is averaging close to 5 YPC as a team. Kamara’s 99 yards was the most this Cincinnati team has allowed to a single rusher this season, before that keeping teams in check on the ground. The Bengals have had a sack in every single game and have generated 8 turnovers through six games. The Falcons come in allowing 14 sacks and have turned the ball over 8 times on the season.
New York Jets
Opponent: @ Broncos
ESPN % Rostered: 2%
Yahoo % Rostered: 6%
Don’t look now, but the Jets’ defense has scored over 40 points in fantasy over the last three weeks. When that includes a trip to Lambeau to face Aaron Rodgers, I’m impressed. No one is believing, as they remain sub-10% rostered in ESPN and Yahoo. Let’s see if we can change that as New York travels to Denver to face Russell Wilson as he rides into week 7 with a bottom-5 completion rate and touchdowns thrown. That said, it should be noted that he had an MRI today for what might be considered a “fairly significant injury” according to the NFL Network. Well, that certainly doesn’t improve the offensive chances for them, so we like the Jets just a little bit more after that news.
If he were unable to go, the Jets would be facing Brett Rypien, who only has two pass attempts since playing a game in October of 2020. This offense is a mess with the quarterback news coming on top of a running back issue. Melvin Gordon sat for the majority of the game Monday night as the coaching staff favored Latavius Murray. The Jets will look to follow up on last week’s clinic where they had two blocks and a touchdown. They have 10 turnovers on the season and have only had one game where they didn’t register multiple sacks. The Broncos, on the other hand, haven’t had a game where they didn’t give up multiple sacks. Teams that have faced Denver over the last 4 weeks have scored more than 40 points combined in both ESPN and Yahoo. I’m this far into the game description and I haven’t even mentioned the bonkers season rookie Sauce Gardener is off to! Let’s ride!
— New York Jets (@nyjets) October 16, 2022
💡 DID YOU KNOW?@iamSauceGardner has allowed only 1 reception for 6 yards on 40 snaps in man coverage this season. That's the fewest yards allowed among 62 cornerbacks with at least 30 snaps in man coverage.@nyjets | #TakeFlight pic.twitter.com/295hcX4Mf3
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) October 17, 2022
Las Vegas Raiders
Opponent: vs Texans
ESPN % Rostered: 1%
Yahoo % Rostered: 4%
I normally hesitate to recommend against teams off the bye week, as that extra prep and recovery time is a wrench in the works of trying to predict the game outcome. However, both teams are off the bye, so I guess they’ll cancel each other out. The Raiders are welcoming a Texans team that is bottom-five in yards per attempt. Davis Mills has not thrown for over 250 yards yet this season, and while Houston has finally turned Dameon Pierce loose, Las Vegas has only allowed one rusher to go over 60 yards on the season (D. Henry, 85). The Raiders head into this matchup with six sacks over the last two games against a Texans team that has given up 12 sacks in 5 weeks.
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) October 11, 2022
These teams did not meet the consideration threshold for the main highlight section, but you should check to see if they’re available in your league:
New England Patriots – ESPN: 23% Y!: 66%
Denver Broncos – ESPN: 34% Y!: 67%
Hit me up with some feedback @MikeoftheFF on Twitter!
Photos by Zach Bolinger & Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire | Design by Michael Packard (@designsbypack on Twitter @ IG)