Every week, at least one player becomes my fascination of whether he’s worthy of a fantasy football start or bench. The decision can be a mental wrestling match, but for the purpose of brevity, only one player can be chosen as the fantasy football gamble of the week.
The best fantasy football gamble for Week 7
Tracking my predictions: 2-4-0
Win: Player produces ≥ 75% of projected fantasy points
Loss: Player produces >75% of projected fantasy points
Tie: Player is ejected or leaves with an injury
Last week, then-Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz was my choice, and the projected line was 17.6 PPR points. Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ertz produced four catches, 29 yards and a touchdown, generating 12.9 points. This failed to crack the 75 percent threshold by 1.7 percent … do realize how close that is in terms of actual statistics? Three yards would have done it. On one third-and-five play, quarterback Jalen Hurts overthrew a wide-open Ertz for an easy first down.
So, there you have it … about as close to “W” as you can get until Hurts’ inaccuracy snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, and my record falls to 2-4 after my fourth bad beat of the year.
I’ll chalk it up as a moral victory since he still helped gamers but wasn’t quite as prolific as expected. … On to Week 7 we go!
WR Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers vs. Washington Football Team
What makes Cobb so risky? In three of his six outings in this reunion season with the Packers, the veteran has one or fewer targets, and he has landed no more than three passes in all but one of the games. Cobb has recorded more than 32 yards in only Week 4, getting shut out completely in Week 6.
This offense obviously funnels through Davante Adams first and then running back Aaron Jones. Then it comes down to the matchups available to Aaron Rodgers. This one is not particularly appealing for tight ends, especially when it comes to finding the end zone, suggesting Robert Tonyan’s dumpster fire of a season burns brightly for another week.
Jones is second on the team in targets with 23, and Washington has done a quality job of limiting pass-catching backs from doing damage through the air. In Week 5, Alvin Kamara’s 5-51-1 receiving line was the top output vs. this defense, and it’s hard to fault Washington for giving up that line to arguably the best receiving back in the game. Austin Ekeler, Saquon Barkley and Mike Davis combined for five targets, four catches, 24 yards and a score. Jones is Cobb’s biggest threat for success in this one.
Washington’s weak — by weak, I really mean embarrassingly pathetic — spot on defense is containing wide receivers of all varieties. In the past five weeks, no team has allowed more fantasy points in PPR and non-PPR scoring. This is the easiest matchup to exploit for touchdowns in relation to volume faced — the third-most catches against have resulted in a TD every 7.2 grabs.
The 15.8 catches per contest permitted to WRs have produced 213.6 yards, on average, which also ranks third. Fourteen receivers have posted at least 10 PPR points against the Football Team, and eight wideouts have five or more receptions to their credit. Six accounted for double-digit returns in point-per-reception scoring without even getting into the end zone.
That’s a ton of volume, so even if the softest defense, in terms of allowing touchdowns, manages to prevent Cobb from scoring, there’s still a chance he could deliver enough via receptions and yardage to off-set the lack of TDs.
The only real fear I have about Cobb falling way short of the mark is if the Packers do something like this: Non-Cobb playmakers score several touchdowns, and the Packers go into a grind-it-out mode to chew up the clock, making the game far lower scoring than expected. Tipico Sportsbook has a 47.5 Over/Under on this one, and I’m not too confident in Washington scoring more than 17 points, so can Cobb get some love in the remaining 30 points coming from the Pack? I can see a defensive touchdown being in that equation, too, so this recommendation is best followed if six teams on a bye week have you in a dire situation.
My projection: 5 receptions, 59 yards, 1 TD (16.9 PPR points)