fantasy football is more than the weekly head-to-head games we’ve all come to love. On Underdog, fantasy managers can test their player projection skills by predicting player stat lines. Here are my top plays for the Underdog’s Week 7 Pick’em contest.
Top Underdog Pick’ems to Target Today
Pick’ems Underdog allow fantasy managers to predict stat lines and fantasy point totals for almost any fantasy-relevant player. You can make two picks that pay out 3x even money or add more picks to your entry for higher payouts.
Tiers are 3x, 6x, 10x, and 20x, progressing with each additional pick’em you add to your entry. Let’s take a look at this week’s NFL pick’ems.
Drake London less than 10.05 fantasy points
In six weeks, Drake London has exceeded 10.05 fantasy points only twice. In those two games, he scored a touchdown. In one of those games, he would have made it without her.
The Falcons trail only the Bears in run rate at 56%. They’re so determined not to call passing plays that they even have a 51% run rate in the negative play script.
London is an incredibly talented player. On another team or in a different offense, I would smash the highest on that projection. But not in this team. He will almost certainly have to score to get there. The Bengals have allowed just five passing touchdowns all season. This one is more likely to hit than not.
Dak Prescott less than 34 successful attempts
The Cowboys are expected to beat the Lions when Dak Prescott returns to action. I expect head coach Mike McCarthy and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to facilitate Prescott’s return to action as much as possible.
Unless they find themselves trailing by several points or unable to move the ball on the ground, I think they rely on running. That means fewer pass attempts for Prescott, keeping him below 34 assists.
Ezekiel Elliott rushing for over 65.5 yards
At first glance, it may look like a draw. Ezekiel Elliott has rushed for just 65.5 yards in half of his games this season. A closer look reveals that three such instances have occurred in his last four games. Zeke is playing better.
While Tony Pollard is still the better player, Elliott has been quite productive lately. He ran it 13 times for 81 yards last game. It was his most effective game since Week 4 of the 2021 season.
The Lions allow 5.5 yards per rush. Elliott is well placed to carry the ball more than 15 times. I think it hits 100 in this one.
TJ Hockenson under 40.5 receiving yards
TJ Hockenson, always overrated, continues to be overrated. Outside of his Week 4 outburst for 179 yards, Hockenson has been squatting this season. In his other five games, his best effort was four receptions for 38 yards in Week 1.
Hockenson’s smash game was no accident – in fact, it was predictable. That week, Amon-Ra St. Brown, D’Andre Swift and DJ Chark were injured. This week, although Swift is out again, St. Brown is healthy.
The Cowboys allow 33.8 receiving yards per game on tight ends, seventh-lowest in the league. Hockenson should once again fail to reach 40 yards.
Taylor Heinicke over 0.5 interceptions
In 2021, Taylor Heinicke has started 17 games for the Washington Football Team. He threw a pick in 12 of them, including his lone start against the Packers.
MORE: Dolphins vs. Steelers SNF Underdog Pick’em Plays
I’m a little worried the Packers have forced just one interception this season. But I think interceptions have more to do with poor quarterback play than quality defensive plays. All it takes is one error from Heinicke. I think we understand.
D’Onta Foreman under 41.5 rushing yards
Throughout the Tom Brady era in Tampa Bay, the Bucs have been a pass-funnel defense. The Panthers are in full tank mode, trading Robbie Anderson and then Christian McCaffrey. They may very well be losers.
As a result, the Panthers will hang around…a lot. Late teams throw the ball (except, apparently, the Falcons and Bears). But that’s not a concern here. The Panthers throw the ball 74% of the time in a negative play scenario. That means two things: 1) D’Onta Foreman isn’t taking runs, and 2) Chuba Hubbard is probably on the field.
The Bucs allow 4.1 yards per carry on the ground, and the Panthers should be even less effective given their lack of offensive weapons.
There’s also the chance that Hubbard will end up being the leader, or at the very least, part of a 50-50 split. If you took the lowest on every Panther, that might not be a bad idea. For now, let’s stick with Foreman below 41.5 rushing yards.
Wan’Dale Robinson Over 3 receptions
Last week, Wan’Dale Robinson finally returned to the field after missing more than a month with a knee injury. The Giants made it easy, only playing it on 23% of snaps. He caught three of his four targets for 37 yards.
The use of Robinson may have been minimal, but it was also substantial. He was targeted on 40% of his routes traveled. Obviously that rate will go down as he goes more routes, but what it shows is a deliberate intention to give him the ball.
I expect Robinson to play more this week than last week, maybe double that. When he is on the field, there will be called plays designed to give him the ball. We only need four of them.
Travis Etienne superior to 15.5 receiving yards
This one is more about the player than the match. The Giants have defended running backs pretty well as receivers. I just believe in consistently using Travis Etienne as a catcher.
Etienne has reached 18 receiving yards in five of his six games this season. That’s a good enough rate that I’m choosing it to happen again.
Alec Pierce has over 43.5 receiving yards
While Alec Pierce still plays behind Parris Campbell, his usage continues to increase. Last week he played 71% of snaps, a season high.
Pierce has at least 44 receiving yards in each of his last four games. The Titans allow the second-most receiving yards per game to wide receivers. They rank 31st in DVOA against the opposing teams’ WR2s. Pierce is the Colts’ WR2. There’s enough of a chance that Pierce will do it again to go higher on his projection.
Kenneth Walker rushing for over 69.5 yards
Is this a continuation of last week’s production? Maybe. But that’s where the edges of the Underdog pick’ems are. Kenneth Walker is a rookie. Therefore, we operate with a very limited sample size to project his rushing yards. He may be the type of back who constantly rushes 80 yards. I think he’s just good.
Walker ran the ball 21 times for 97 yards last week. The Seahawks probably won’t see a positive game scenario like they did against the Cardinals, but neither should they drag to the point where they have to drop out of the race.
Magazines allow 5.6 meters per range. Walker has five carries for 17+ yards this season. He’s likely to take out a big one, which will only make it easier for him to reach 70 meters on the ground.