Fantasy Football Week 7: Projecting Biggest Offensive Breakouts at Each Position
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
As the 2013 NFL fantasy football season heads toward Week 7, owners have likely had enough time to determine which of their players have emerged as "studs" and which are poised to break out moving forward.
There are probably a few of these guys on your roster and given their track record, you have little doubt whether you should start them in Week 7 and beyond.
Yet owners will still question which players will provide the most fantasy value from week to week. After all, these matchups and subsequent performances can prove the difference between a win and a loss.
Let us take a closer look and project the biggest potential breakouts from each offensive position in Week 7.
If you own any of these players, you can expect some big numbers looking forward.
Peyton Manning—Indianapolis Colts
While there is no doubting Peyton Manning is the epitome of a quarterback stud, Week 7 provides a little extra motivation as Manning and the Denver Broncos travel to Indianapolis to take on Manning's former team.
The Colts defense appears to be equal to the task, at least on paper. They have allowed an average of 16.3 points per game—good for fifth in the league—and have given up a mere 1,234 yards through the air.
Yet if any player is capable of shredding defenses, Manning is the guy.
Manning returns to Indy next week; still astounding to recall NFL wire that day: "Termination vested veteran: Peyton Manning, Colts"— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) October 14, 2013
The added pressure of this game will also play into Manning's hands. Already firing on all cylinders, Manning will enjoy playing in front of his former-home crowd.
He is already averaging 363 yards per game and those numbers could increase considering the nature of this matchup versus Indianapolis.
Expect him to throw for 390 yards and four touchdowns.
Tony Romo—Dallas Cowboys
Tony Romo and the Cowboys offense will enjoy taking on the 30th-ranked Philadelphia Eagles defense in Week 7. While Romo was not particularly stellar in Week 6 against Washington, he should bounce back nicely versus the Eagles.
Philadelphia has given up 1,887 yards through the air so far this season and 13 touchdowns.
Romo has already shown an ability to put up big numbers against lackluster defenses. Look no further than what he did versus the Broncos in Week 5—506 passing yards and five touchdowns against one interception.
Thus far, Romo is averaging 282 yards per game. The Eagles defense is prone to giving up even more.
As such, Romo should have a great game against Philadelphia. With these two NFC East division rivals sitting at 3-3, Romo has plenty of motivation to put up some big numbers.
Romo could easily throw for 340 yards and four touchdowns against one interception.
Andrew Luck—Indianapolis Colts
On the other side of the Colts' reunion with Manning, quarterback Andrew Luck is poised to have a breakout game.
While much of the focus will be on the guy he replaced, Luck has done his own share of cementing his reputation. The nature of this game should also provide him with motivation to prove that Indianapolis did the right thing by drafting him.
Is Andrew Luck the next Peyton Manning? Check out the comparison of their first 22 career NFL games: pic.twitter.com/2AL90iF3w0— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 16, 2013
Luck underachieved in Week 6 on the road in San Diego, but will enjoy going up against a Broncos defense that ranks dead last in pass yards against.
This game will feature two high-powered offenses taking plenty of shots at each other. As a result, this matchup is one too good to overlook.
Thus far into the season, Luck is averaging 224.3 yards per game although those numbers will increase against a vulnerable Denver defense.
Luck should keep pace with Manning for most of the game, and it would not be a surprise to see Luck post up 335 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.
NFL rushing leaders: 1 LeSean McCoy 630 2 Arian Foster 531 3 Marshawn Lynch 487 4 Adrian Peterson 483 5 Frank Gore 477— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 15, 2013
Adrian Peterson—Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota takes on the lackluster New York Giants run defense in Week 7, and Peterson can expect to add to his season totals in this particular matchup.
AP is averaging 4.7 yards per carry and New York is giving up an average of 123.3 yards per game. The defense has allowed over 100 yards rushing in each of their last five games.
All of those numbers bode well for Peterson.
The other key point to consider is that the Vikings offense will be relying more heavily on Peterson and the ground game as quarterback Matt Cassel looks to develop some offensive rhythm.
Until he does, Peterson should be getting the majority of the workload.
With these elements in mind, expect Peterson to easily crest 100 yards—142 sounds like a reasonable estimate. Tack on two rushing touchdowns and 22 receiving yards, and Peterson's day should help carry fantasy owners through the week.
LeSean McCoy—Philadelphia Eagles
In Week 6, the Cowboys allowed Washington to rush for over 200 yards. As LeSean McCoy and the dynamic Eagles offense prepare for this matchup, Dallas' inability to stop the run must be music to their ears.
McCoy is leading the league in rushing attempts and average yards per game. Those trends will match up well against a Cowboys defense that is on the ropes after their Week 6 performance.
. @Eagles RB LeSean McCoy leads the NFL with 630 Rush yards, MOST through 6 games in team history.— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 15, 2013
Head coach Chip Kelly's offense has obviously done tremendous work in utilizing McCoy and the running game. The dividends have already paid off for McCoy owners and that trend should continue in Week 7.
Look for McCoy to get on track early against Dallas. It is a key divisional matchup between these two 3-3 teams and the Eagles will figure to use their best offensive weapon often.
There should be no reason to assume McCoy posts anything less than 135 yards on the ground and an added 35 yards through the air. He should also find the end zone at least twice.
Jamaal Charles—Kansas City Chiefs
It is worth suggesting the 2013 Chiefs are duplicating the same success of the 2011 49ers—a strong run game backed up by the game-managing abilities of quarterback Alex Smith.
The only difference is Kansas City is enjoying the stellar play of Jamaal Charles.
Charles is averaging only 79.2 yards per game on the ground which might not seem exemplary on the surface. Yet the fact that Smith and the Chiefs offense also utilizes him in short check-down passes gives him increased value here.
The Chiefs take on a reeling Houston Texans team in Week 7.
Houston's defense, so highly touted at the beginning of the year, is not very effective against the run—26th in the league with 729 rushing yards allowed.
Expect Charles and the ground game to do its work with great results.
With the Chiefs looking to get to 7-0, Charles could easily break the 100-yards rushing plateau for the first time this season.
106 yards rushing combined with an additional 33 yards through the air is possible along with two rushing touchdowns.
Dez Bryant—Dallas Cowboys
Here is another example of the Eagles' ineptitude on defense. What Romo is to quarterbacks in Week 7, Dez Bryant is the same for wide receivers.
Philadelphia is awful against the passing game and Bryant should have no trouble putting up some huge numbers during the game.
Bryant is also on a roll as of late. In his last 14 games, Bryant is averaging 95.6 yards per game and has totaled 16 touchdowns.
Those numbers should carry over nicely against Philadelphia.
Look for the Romo-to-Bryant connection to be a theme during this game. The Eagles will have trouble slowing him down and Bryant will have no problem putting up 118 yards and two touchdowns.
DeSean Jackson—Philadelphia Eagles
Unless owners are relying on defenses from this Week 7 matchup between Philadelphia and Dallas, this game should provide a fantasy haven.
DeSean Jackson should also reap plenty of the benefits.
Jackson is averaging 98.2 yards per game this season and will face off against a Dallas defense that is ranked 30th in passing yards allowed.
DeSean Jackson leads all wide receivers in yards and is only second to Jimmy Graham. McCoy leads everyone in rushing by 99+. #WhereIsTheD— Philly Fanboard (@PhillyFanboard) October 16, 2013
If there was one question about Jackson's performance, it might be whether or not he can sustain a rapport with Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. Yet Foles and Jackson proved in Week 6 that they have a connection. There is no reason to assume any difference in Week 7.
Jackson could easily get 115 yards in this game and put up a touchdown—perhaps two.
Victor Cruz—New York Giants
Good things seem to happen when Giants quarterback Eli Manning is able to get the ball to wide receiver Victor Cruz.
Cruz is poised to have a huge day versus Minnesota in Week 7, and owners should be happy to get plenty of rewards from this game. Minnesota has surrendered the fourth most fantasy points to receivers and Cruz should benefit from this.
He is averaging 90.2 yards per game on a Giants team that is not getting much from its offense.
With that in mind, Cruz is expected to be targeted often, which bodes well for fantasy owners.
Cruz should score higher than his aforementioned average, and is a safe bet to net 105 passing yards with one touchdown.
Vernon Davis—San Francisco 49ers
In Week 6, Vernon Davis put up huge numbers at home against the Cardinals—catching eight passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns.
From last night: The 49ers scored 7 pts when Vernon Davis was out. Since he's been back, they've scored 35, 34 & 32: http://t.co/vihrrnrfmd— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) October 14, 2013
While he probably will not come close to those numbers against the Titans in Week 7, fantasy owners should recognize that Davis is emerging as a top target for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
With San Francisco's offense looking to gain some rhythm against a good Tennessee defense, Davis will likely again figure into the equation.
If Tennessee tries to lock up No. 1 wide receiver Anquan Boldin, Davis will get plenty of looks and be the recipient of some big plays down the field.
92 receiving yards and a touchdown is not far from what should be expected from Davis in Week 7.
Tony Gonzalez—Atlanta Falcons
With No. 1 wide receiver Julio Jones on the mend, the Falcons will look to get back on track by utilizing Tony Gonzalez.
Over his last two games, Gonzalez has recorded a total of 22 receptions and 246 receiving yards along with two touchdowns.
Expect that trend to continue as Atlanta takes on the Buccaneers in Week 7.
Tony Gonzalez this year: 44 targets. 33 receptions. 0 drops. Dude is good. (Jimmy Graham has 3 drops/37 receptions)— FanMouth (@PlayFanMouth) October 16, 2013
Tampa Bay is ranked eighth in the league in passing yards against, which puts more importance on Gonzalez being a factor.
Gonzalez should have no problem meeting those expectations and should be able to record 10 receptions for 95 yards and one touchdown.
Antonio Gates—San Diego Chargers
Antonio Gates and the Chargers offense will benefit from their Week 7 matchup against the Jaguars.
Jacksonville is allowing an average of 33.0 points per game, which ranks 31st in the league. Gates did not factor much into the Chargers' Week 6 matchup versus Indianapolis, but the Jaguars defense is nothing like that of the Colts.
With that in mind, Gates owners can expect a nice day out of the veteran tight end.
Gates should emulate his seven-reception, 74-yard performance against Oakland back in Week 5. He should be targeted often by quarterback Philip Rivers which bodes well for Gates' owners.
Look for Gates to haul in at least six passes and net 82 yards.
Caleb Sturgis—Miami Dolphins
Sturgis is 10-for-11 on field goals this year, including three from 50-plus. The rookie has done tremendous work and that should continue on into Week 7.
Look for another three field goals with three point-after attempts made.
Steven Hauschka—Seattle Seahawks
The Arizona Cardinals may put up a good fight against Seattle's offense in Week 7. This should force the Seahawks to rely on some attempts from Steven Hauschka throughout the game.
Two field goals and two point-after attempts are reasonable.
Shaun Suisham—Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers offense may be in for a rough day against the Ravens, which means a lot of work for Shaun Suisham.
Look for him to net three field goals and one extra point in this matchup.
Some Week 7 matchups provide the backdrop for potentially huge fantasy outbursts.
A number of these players listed could factor into what promises to be an exciting week around the NFL.
If your fantasy team boasts any of the aforementioned guys, you can expect to enjoy some high scoring. Hopefully those numbers will be enough to carry you over to victory in Week 7.
Do you think some other players will put up huge numbers in Week 7? Chime in on the comments section and speak your opinion!
All statistics, records and accolades courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com unless otherwise indicated.
Peter Panacy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him @PeterMcShots on Twitter.
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