Week 7 Fantasy Football Projections: Under-the-Radar Players Destined to Shine
With six teams on bye in Week 7, desperation time has set in for fantasy football owners hoping to find adequate replacements for their big-named stars.
Luckily for those despondent souls, there are a few players out there who should come through with breakout performances on Sunday. Whether it's due to a nice matchup or simply because they are continually underrated by the fantasy community, it's oftentimes these types of players who win your week.
They may not be available in your average league, but they should finally get a chance for elite recognition with so many teams on bye.
With that in mind, here is a look at a few under-the-radar players who should have big games in Week 7.
Carson Palmer (QB, Oakland Raiders)
While it's easy to question his abilities as a real-life quarterback, Palmer has quietly been a solid fantasy option this season.
The Raiders signal-caller has three games at or over the 300-yard passing mark, including a fantastic 353-yard performance against the Atlanta Falcons last week.
Expect that trend to change on Sunday against a weak Jacksonville Jaguars secondary. Coming into Week 7, the Jaguars rank 23rd in the league against the pass, giving up 261 yards per game.
When factoring in the Raiders' inability to run the football, it's likely that the team's game plan will rely heavily on the pass. Considering the number of teams on bye, there's little reason to think Palmer will wind up be anything except a top-10 quarterback this week.
Stat Projections: 325 passing yards, two touchdowns
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (RB, Cincinnati Bengals)
The Law Firm will be a consistently underrated fantasy option all season, and that's certainly the case in Week 7.
In the past, a matchup against the vaunted Pittsburgh Steelers defense would make Green-Ellis a must sit in nearly all formats.
However, we've seen all season that this is not the Steelers defense we're accustomed to seeing. While the counting stats look normal—Pittsburgh ninth in the NFL against the run—advanced metrics tell the true story of the team's defensive downfall.
According to Football Outsiders' DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) metric, the Steelers actually have the 20th-best run defense in the NFL.
Couple that with the team's struggles on the road and Sunday should be a nice day for Green-Ellis. Look for him to get into the end zone and get over 100 total yards against the Bengals' AFC North foe.
Stat Projections: 115 total yards, one touchdown
Anquan Boldin (WR, Baltimore Ravens)
Fantasy football experts may rank Torrey Smith ahead of Boldin on a weekly basis, but the stats continue to show a completely different story.
Over the past three weeks, the steady, reliable Boldin has out-gained his more explosive teammate 311 to 159 in receiving yards and 18 to 11 in receptions.
If that's not enough to convince you Boldin is the better option, he's also gotten 28 targets in those contests, compared to just 18 for Smith.
That trend should continue this week when the Ravens travel to Houston to take on a reeling Texans team. Wade Phillips' defense gave up six passing touchdowns last week to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, so there are obviously exploitable holes in the secondary.
If Joe Flacco is able to take advantage, Boldin should be the recipient of most of those big plays.
Stat Projections: seven receptions, 100 yards, one touchdown
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