Will this be the week that Todd Gurley becomes the best running back in football?
Week 7 of the NFL season is upon us, which can only mean one thing... time to look into the crystal ball and see what crazy things are going to happen this week.
Last week I was right about Andrew Luck being a stud again, Matthew Stafford proving he doesn’t suck and DeAndre Hopkins going ballistic and Greg Olsen torching the Seattle Seahawks.
Of course I can’t always be right, which is why it was nice of you to ignore the whole Eddie Lacy being a beast again thing and Tom Brady throwing for over 500 yards and five touchdowns (but Brady did play a great game).
Now let’s see what the future has in store for Week 7...
Todd Gurley Runs for 200 Yards and 3 TDs
This is Todd Gurley’s world and we’re living in it. Not very often does a rookie running back come along and not only live up to the hype, but also make you wish you had him on your team over other stud running backs like Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch. Gurley has been sensational since he’s been giving the reins as the Rams’ No. 1 ball carrier. In his last game he ran the ball 30 times for 159 yards against Green Bay at Lambeau Field. That’s very impressive, especially when you consider that the Rams were playing from behind. That means that Gurley is going to get the ball no matter the game flow or what the game script says. This week the Rams are coming off of their bye and play host to the Cleveland Browns, whose defense is allowing a league-high 149.8 rushing yards per game and are giving up the most fantasy points to opposing running backs. The sky is the limit in terms of fantasy points for Gurley this week.
Tom Brady Only Throws 1 TD Against the New York Jets
The “Tom Brady Revenge Tour” has been a complete success so far this season. He’s already thrown 14 touchdown passes to only one interception. Brady’s good, real good. The next stop on the “revenge tour” is a home matchup this week against the New York Jets. Brady hasn’t played a defense this good yet and historically has had issues in the past against the Jets. To make things even more concerning, the Jets are allowing just 186.6 passing yards per game, which is second best in the NFL and they’ve given up the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks so far this season. This looks like a game where Brady hands the ball off to LeGarrette Blount and to a lesser extent, Dion Lewis, to move the chains and score points. The Patriots will still win, but Brady won’t throw for his usual 300 yards and three scores.
Both Antonio Gates and Ladarius Green Go Over 100 Yards with a Touchdown
It seems that the Chargers are going to let Philip Rivers throw the ball over one million times this season. Partially because the Chargers can’t run the ball (or hold onto it when they run with it – Melvin Gordon) and also because they are usually playing from behind. This week the Chargers play at home against Oakland. The Raiders have shown that they can’t cover a tight end if their lives depended on it, which is great news for both Gates and Green. The other thing to note here with the Chargers is that their wide receivers (Keenan Allen and Stevie Johnson) are banged up and questionable to play this week, which means a lot of targets for Gates and Green.
Jameis Winston Has the Best Game of His Career (So Far)
Interesting note: the Buccaneers are 2-0 when Winston throws fewer than 21 passes and 0-3 when he throws more than that. But this week will be different? Why? Because even though Doug Martin is starting to play like he did in his rookie year, the Washington Redskins’ defense is going to step up and stifle Martin all game. This will mean that Winston will have to throw the ball downfield to make plays. Don’t forget that Winston has two excellent receivers in Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson and this is the game that he finally utilizes them and throws for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns. I know that sounds crazy.
T.Y. Hilton Breaks Out of His Slump with 150 Receiving Yards and 2 TDs
Andrew Luck was finally able to play last week against the New England Patriots and the Colts’ offense finally looked like it did last year. Last week Luck wasn’t even 100 percent and he still threw for more than 300 yards, which led to Hilton having his best game of the season so far with 74 yards and a touchdown. Luck loves throwing the ball downfield to Hilton and this is the week that their magic finally finds its spark. It helps that the Colts are playing at home against the New Orleans Saints and their 24th-ranked passing defense. With Drew Brees on the other side you know that this game is going to be a high-scoring game and look for Luck to connect with Hilton on several deep balls, leading to a big fantasy day for both.
Carson Palmer Throws for More Than 250 Yards and 3 Touchdowns by Halftime
Under the bright lights of “Monday Night Football” head coach Bruce Arians is going to show the world that the Arizona Cardinals are Super Bowl contenders and crush the Baltimore Ravens. The Cardinals are coming off a surprising loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and even in that defeat Palmer threw for 421 yards, but only one touchdown (and two picks). This week with his array of weapons (Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown), Palmer must be salivating at the thought of hitting the field against the NFL’s worst pass defense and the unit that has given up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Palmer won’t do much in the second half, but he’ll get his numbers in the first half.
Sam Bradford Gets Benched in Favor of Mark Sanchez
Bradford has been on quite the roller-coaster ride to start his career as a Philadelphia Eagle. It’s starting to look more and more like Chip Kelly may have made a mistake in choosing Bradford as the guy to run his up-tempo offense. Bradford is second in the NFL with nine interceptions, after throwing three picks on Monday night. He now has five picks in his last two games, even though the Eagles have won both of these games. This week against the Carolina Panthers and super-elite cornerback Josh Morgan, Bradford will throw two picks by the middle of the second quarter and get yanked from the game. Not too sure if Sanchez will fare much better against the Panthers and their defense that has given up the sixth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, but at least there will be a whole lot of questions after the game and maybe even a full-blown QB controversy.
— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.