Last week, this column was an apology piece. This week it happens to be a victory lap because I did pretty good predicting who would boom and who would bust. I was 3 for 4 in the QB department, with Russell Wislon performing well along with Joe Flacco and Marcus Mariota posting mediocre stat lines. I was off on Baker Mayfield but you’ll see in a minute that I’m not shying away from Mayfield and the fabulous Baker Browns. I was also 3 for 4 in the WR department with Tyler Boyd exploding against the Steelers for 2 TDs while Kenny Stills and Robbie Anderson both provided duds. I said to start Keke Coutee and he didn’t perform as well as expected. With all of that out of the way, let’s move on to Week 7.
Start ‘Em QB
Browns QB Baker Mayfield @ TB
Last week, the Chargers’ resurgent defense abused Mayfield and it was NOT pretty. This week provides a much more comfortable matchup against an awful Bucs defense that may be missing All-Pro DT Gerald McCoy. Mayfield was in the process of getting into a groove before last week and I think this week he could have a coming out party.
Bears QB Mitch Trubisky VS NE
As a Patriots fan, I hope I’m wrong about this. I will gladly apologize if I am but the Bears under Matt Nagy are Chiefs-lite. They have a lot of similarities and I think Trubisky has the weapons to exploit a Patriots defense that isn’t playing their best ball just yet. I expect points to be plentiful in this game so Trubisky should have plenty of opportunity to sling it.
Sit ‘Em QB
Texans QB Deshaun Watson @ JAX
Banged up and awful O-line play is a bad recipe for disaster against one of the NFL’s best defenses. I am legitimately worried for Watson’s health this weekend when he travels to Duval to play a very pissed off Jags defense. No run game, good weapons but the aforementioned putrid offensive line means a ton of sacks. Watson is a negative play this week.
Bengals QB Andy Dalton @ KC
I know some of you are probably looking at me sideways with this pick but hear me out here. The Bengals are traveling to Arrowhead, the loudest stadium in the league. It will be a Sunday night game, the first for Pat Mahomes in his home stadium. It will be VERY loud and even though Dalton has plenty of weapons, this has the makings of a massacre. I could be totally wrong and the Bengals could show up and play a bad Chiefs defense tough, but I think that place will be roaring and Dalton might be overwhelmed.
Start ‘Em WR
Browns WR Antonio Callaway @ TB
I’m going with the Browns stack this week simply because Tampa Bay is that bad in the secondary. Callaway had 10+ targets last week and they amounted to nothing (less than 10 yards) I expect the targets to continue but this week I think he’ll do more with them. I like Callaway and Mayfield against the Bucs.
Bears WR Taylor Gabriel VS NE
I will also be going with the Bears stack against my Patriots. One week after being burned by Tyreek Hill and his speed, the Patriots will face another speedster in Taylor Gabriel. I know Hill is on another level and Gabriel can’t compare but he is really fast and the Patriots tend to struggle with that type of speed. Couple that with the fact that I expect a lot of attention to go to Allen Robinson and Tarik Cohen and I think Gabriel will have a nice game worthy of a start.
Sit ‘Em WR
Titans WR Corey Davis @ LAC in Wembley Stadium
Traveling across the pond to Wembley, Davis will face a Chargers defense that seems to be getting its act together. Davis has had some solid games this season but this is a weird spot for him and the Titans. Nobody really knows much about Tennessee but one thing that is known is that Mariota just isn’t a quality NFL starter. He’s the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of quarterbacks. I think we get Mr. Hyde this week because it is spooky season after all.
Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins @ JAX
I know this is a very bold prediction because Hopkins is a top 3 WR in this league, but I really am worried about this matchup. I think Watson (as stated above) will have next to no time to throw the ball in this game. That means Keke Coutee might be the better bet for targets. I wouldn’t put it past Hopkins to make me eat my words here but I would at least think about looking elsewhere if you have the options.