Fifa, Football, and Fantasy; Week 7

The weekly report that talks about all things FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT), NFL Football, and Fantasy Football.

Fifa%2C+Football%2C+and+Fantasy%3B+Week+7

Toby Junker, Sports Writer

Fifa

With another weekend of FUT Champions in the books there’s much to talk about. While the reception to the new game mode has been generally positive thus far, that doesn’t mean it’s flawless. Although the mode was originally designed for the pro FIFA players, the FIFA community as a whole has taken an interest. This is all fine and well except for the time commitment that the mode requires. I briefly touched on this issue last week and while pro players may not mind grinding the mode on a weekly basis it’s quite a lot of FIFA for the normal player. Everyone wants to win more games and receive better rewards (the top monthly players are automatically qualified for real-life competition such as Gfinity’s Play Like a Legend event) but if you were to strictly limit your FIFA playing to qualifying through the daily tournament and playing the games in the Weekend League you would be on pace to play 2288 games of FIFA over the course of a year. As a point of reference, I’m known amongst my friends for how much I play the game and this vastly exceeds the highest totals I’ve reached on a single installment. It will be interesting to see if EA want to keep the mode directly aimed at the pro player or if they decide to be more inclusive to the entire community over the coming weeks/months.

 

Football

Power Rankings (Top 10):

Super Bowl Favorites

1). Vikings (–) – There’s not a whole lot to say that I haven’t gone over. The Vikings had a bye Week 6 and are the only undefeated team remaining. They visit the Eagles Week 7 and while Doug Pederson’s crew got off to a hot start against weak competition, the past two weeks have presented average opponents and resulted in consecutive L’s. The Vikings aren’t an average team, they should improve to 6-0.

2). Patriots (–) – The Pats gave me a slight scare after falling 7-3 and then 14-10. However, sparked by a Dont’a Hightower sack-safety, they quickly built a 25-14 lead and closed out a 35-17 victory over the defending AFC North champions. Tom Brady now has 782 passing yards, a 76% completion rate, 6 TDs, 0 INTs, and a 135.5 QB rating through 2 games. Brady seems to be on a tear since returning from his deflategate suspension and shouldn’t have any issues picking apart a Steelers team that could be missing their QB in Week 7.

Super Bowl Contenders

3). Seahawks (+3) – The Seahawks are catching their stride and the rest of the NFL should be on red alert. Week 6 featured the #1 Total Offense (Atlanta Falcons) vs the #1 Total Defense (Seattle Seahawks); The defense reigned supreme. It wasn’t always clear who would end up winning but the Seahawks made plays (and got a none-call on a clear DEF Pass Interference…) when it mattered most and ultimately prevailed. Sitting at 4-1 atop the NFC West with the Cardinals (2-3) off to a slow start, Seattle is primed for a division title, a first round bye, and possibly home field advantage throughout the playoff (if the Vikings were to slip up).

4). Falcons (-1) – Robbery… That’s the only thought on the minds of Falcons fans after Richard Sherman clearly interfered with Julio Jones on what would be the final offensive play for Atlanta this week. The Falcons faced a 17-3 deficit early in the 3rd quarter before the the offense caught fire and scored 3 unanswered TDs. Russell Wilson responded with a late TD only to miss the extra point. With a 1 point lead the Falcons were aggressive with their play calling leading to a Julio Jones dropped pass turned Earl Thomas INT. Seattle marched down the field for what would be the GW field goal. While much will be made of the no-call on Sherman, the Falcons were flat on their last drive and Seattle earned it’s victory.

5). Dallas (+3) – What a difference a week makes!!! Last week I questioned whether or not the current Cowboys crew had what it takes to win the big one, this week, they answered. The Cowboys went into Lambeau field and dismantled the Green Bay team. While Dak Prescott finally threw an interception, it wasn’t before he set the new NFL record for consecutive passes to start a career without an INT. It wasn’t just the Dak protected the ball, he stepped up when the Cowboys needed him to and threw for 3 TDs. Much was made of the best offensive line & rookie sensation Ezekiel Elliott facing off against the NFL top run defense. The packers had allowed under 3 ypc to opposing RBs through 5 games, Zeke gashed them to the tune of 28/157 (5.6 ypc).

Did You Know?:

Ezekiel Elliott has now posted 150+ yards from scrimmage in 4 consecutive games. The last player to do this was Chris Johnson for the Tennessee Titans in 2009. Johnson broke the NFL’s Single-Season Yards from Scrimmage record that season.

Playoff Teams

6). Packers (-2) – What a difference a week makes….. Just one week ago I viewed this team as a legit Super Bowl contender. The offense was showing signs of life and the team had a 3-1 record despite struggling early. One week later, this team doesn’t even look like it belongs in the playoff picture. The offense reverted to a shell of what it could be Aaron Rodgers continued to look bad. While he missed a few throws over the course of the night, a costly fumble in the red zone and a pass that sailed out of the endzone intended for a wide open Randall Cobb were particularly painful to watch. With Jordy Nelson yet to prove he’s 100% after having offseason knee surgery and both Packers RBs (Eddie Lacy & James Starks) injured, the Packers will have to rely entirely on Rodgers to turn around their fortunes. If it wasn’t for my ultimate faith that Rodgers will get back to his old self (think 2014 and prior), this team might have fallen out of the top 10.

7). Bills (NR) – After an 0-2 start this Buffalo team has pulled of consecutive wins against ARI, NE, LA, and SF. Lead by a resurgent LeSean McCoy (who piled up 140 yards on just 19 carries this week) the Bills offense is clicking. I’d written them off when they lost Sammy Watkins, their only dynamic aerial threat, but Tyrod Taylor has shown that he can thrive on his own. With Rex Ryan’s defense finally starting to click and the return of Marcell Dareus looming, this team is starting to look more & more like a lock for a wildcard spot (sorry but they’re just not catching Tom Brady) and could make some serious post-season noise.

Playoff Contenders

8). Chiefs (NR) – In typical Andy Reid fashion the Chiefs came out and balled out in the week following their bye. KC went into the Coliseum and downed the Oakland Raiders 26-10. The Chiefs got everyone involved in the run game as Jamaal Charles, Spencer Ware, and even DT Dontari Poe scored rushing TDs. It was interesting to see Spencer Ware out touch and out snap Jamaal Charles even after Charles was active Week 4 against the Steelers and had the entire bye week to recover. Regardless of whether or not there has been a changing of the guard in the KC backfield the Chiefs seem to be rolling and are only a ½ game back from the division lead.

Here By Default

9). Broncos (–) – I would move the Broncos down in these rankings but there just isn’t a team to replace them. With the Raiders, Steelers, Rams, and Ravens all suffering loses there was no one to push Denver out of the top 10. So, instead, I created a new section. Denver’s performance against San Diego was lackluster at best. Philip Rivers carved up the Broncos defense in the first half and while he didn’t have the same success in the 2nd, the Broncos offense shot itself in the foot one too many times. With multiple holding/false start penalties in the 4th quarter, the Broncos put this one out of reach all by themselves. Particularly memorable was a spectacular effort by CJ Anderson that would’ve trimmed a 21-10 Chargers lead late in the 4th quarter. However, a holding penalty by Russell Okung erased the catch and run and the Broncos had to settle for a field goal.

10). Raiders (-3) – I was so ready to hop on the Oakland bandwagon, and the first drive (resulting in a passing TD) was so encouraging. But, alas, the Raiders got outscored (and really outclassed) 26-3 from that point forward. While there is still hope for this team (it was nice to see Amari Cooper get involved 10/129) with young offensive superstars they suddenly find themselves in a tight division race (Broncos 4-2, Chiefs 3-2, Chargers 2-4). They’re away against Jacksonville and Tampa Bay then back home to host Denver before their Week 10 bye. If Oakland can manage 2 wins during that stretch they’ll be primed t make the playoffs.

 

Fantasy

(6 ppt, .5 ppr, % Owned according to NFL.com)

QB –

Start: Derek Carr, OAK (@JAC) – After struggling in a divisional matchup vs the Chiefs owners might find it hard to roll out Carr yet again but those who remain faithful will be rewarded. Andy Reid’s Chiefs are great following a bye and it was pouring down rain. In Week 7 Carr draws the Jacksonville Jaguars who surrender the 7th most points to opposing QBs. Look for Carr and his receivers to have a big day.

Sit: Carson Palmer, ARI (SEA) – Week 7 is pretty friendly towards QBs owners would be looking to start. This one is pretty straight forward as the Cardinals host Seattle in Week 7. If you drafted Palmer to be your every week QB you may want to look for a good matchup on the waiver wire as Seattle boasts the #1 Defense in the NFL.

*This article is being written prior to the Week 6 Monday Night Game between the Jets and Cardinals.*

Stream: Brian Hoyer, CHI (@GB) (5% owned) – Last week Brian Hoyer was my QB stash and now he’s my QB stream. Hoyer is owned in a criminally low 5% of nfl.com leagues. He didn’t manage to throw a TD this week but continued his streak of 300+ yard games with no INTs. Hoyer gets to visit a struggling Packers team that allowed 3 passing TDs to a rookie last week.

Buy: Tyrod Taylor, BUF – Taylor has been playing solidly over the past three weeks (18, 19, 23 respectively) but has yet to have a huge game. If you drafted a QB such as Blake Bortles or Carson Palmer that has struggled thus far, Taylor could be a cheap solution to your roster problem. As an added bonus Taylor has a very favorable schedule (JAC, @OAK, PIT, CLE, MIA) to close out the fantasy season.

Sell: Matthew Stafford, DET – Stafford, and to a larger extent the Lions offense, has been up and down this entire season. Stafford still has 2 games against the Vikings looming so if you can sell high on him now (he’s averaged 30 points over the past 2 weeks and 25 over the past 4) you should consider it.

Stash: Marcus Mariota, TEN (73.8) – Mariota would’ve been a great buy low candidate 2 weeks ago but after 2 great performances I’m guessing you’ll be hard pressed to acquire the dual threat QB. Mariota gets IND, JAC, @SD, GB, and @IND over his next 5 games. If you’re a Mariota owner roll him out every week. If you have a top tier QB already trade them to upgrade your roster elsewhere and roll with Marcus.

RB –

Start: Spencer Ware, KC (NO) – Despite Charles having the entire bye Week to recover Ware saw 39/64 snaps and 23 carries. He turned those 24 carries into 131 yards, a TD, and 23 fantasy points. While I believe Charles will eventually reclaim this backfield, the Saints give up the most fantasy points to opposing RBs. Roll with Ware for at least one more week.

Sit: Matt Forte, NYJ (BAL) – Forte has been trending down ever since his 100 yard 3TD performance against Buffalo, that was 3 weeks ago. He’s slowly been phased out of the passing game in favor of the younger Bilal Powell. Forte draws a tough matchup against a Ravens team that is playing good team defense. If you have the RB depth to bench Forte you should seriously consider it.

*This article is being written prior to the Week 6 Monday Night Game between the Jets and Cardinals.*

Stream: James White, NE (@PIT) (12.8%) – For the second straight week James White appears as my RB stream. He made me look good with a 22.6 point outing against the Bengals and should continue to produce against a lackluster Steelers defense (the same one that allowed Jay Ajayi to post 32 points). White will continue to provide production at least until the return of Dion Lewis. Until that happens he should be owned in 100% of leagues.

Buy: Doug Martin, TB – After missing two weeks and having a Week 6 bye Doug Martin should be ready to return Week 7, when he get the 49ers. The 49ers have allowed 5 straight 100 yard rushers and were just torn apart by LeSean McCoy. Hopefully the Martin owner in your league has forgotten just how good he is and is ready to move on. Talk up Jacquizz Rodgers performance against the Panther on MNF and you might be able to buy an RB1 at RB2/3 value.

Sell: Jay Ajayi, MIA – There’s no time like the present to sellon Jay Ajayi. He’s posted double digits in consecutive weeks for the first time this year and broke out for a dumbfounding 32 points. Unfortunately, the Dolphins haven’t played well this year and so Ajayi’s potential is limited. Look to package him to an RB desperate team to upgrade your team at another position.

Stash: Jalen Richard/Deandre Washington, OAK (12.8/12.4%) – Latavius Murray was struggling before he was hurt and has now missed 2 games with injury. Neither Richard nor Washington has grasped the opportunity thus far but both have borderline RB1 upside if they were to take over the backfield. You probably don’t have the roster space for both but they’re worth a speculatory add if you can afford it.

WR –

Start: Willie Snead, NO (@KC) – It seems like forever ago Snead posted 27 points against the Raiders. Since then Snead has been mediocre while battling through injury. With Snead nearing 100%, he draws the KC defense in Week 7. KC allows the 5th most points to opposing WRs and just allowed Amari Cooper to walk all over them. Look for Snead to have another big week as a hot Drew Brees will be looking for another big day.

Sit: Demaryius Thomas, DEN (HOU) – Thomas had posted double digit point totals in Weeks 2-5 but came away with only 4 points in Thursday Night’s matchup with San Diego. Thomas doesn’t have a particularly favorable matchup this week (HOU surrenders the 5th least points to opposing WRs) and the offense looked flat last week despite the return of Trevor Siemian.

Stream: Cameron Meredith, CHI (@GB) (11.4%) – Meredith has dominated the target share in Chicago and proved he was a 1 week wonder with an 11/113 performance against Jacksonville. Meredith gets a Packers team allowing the 6th most fantasy points to WRs in Week 7. Start Meredith this week and keep him on your roster going forward,

Buy: Dez Bryant, DAL – Yes the Cowboys are on a bye during Week 7 but reports of Dez being ready to go for Week 8 are surfacing. Dez wasn’t particularly special prior to his injury but part of that is being a red zone threat. Dez has never been a yards guy and with Zeke and Dak moving the offense more efficiently Dez should see an uptick in redzone opportunity. See if you can’t buy low on Dez before he starts snagging TDs again.

Sell: Golden Tate, DET – Tate had been terrible through 5 weeks of the season. If you were loyal enough to play Tate in Week 6 you were handsomely rewarded. Unfortunately, Marvin Jones is still seeing the downfield targets and is splitting redzone targets with Boldin. The return of Riddick and Ebron will cut into Tate’s targets in the near future. Look to move him for even a RB2 or flex guy.

Stash: Mike Wallace, BAL (59.2%) – Wallace has quickly become one of Flacco’s favorite targets and it isn’t just about the deep ball. He’s got 3 double digit games this year and ⅚ have been 8.5 points or more. Wallace won’t be a WR1 this year but he’s available in a lot of leagues and if you’re hurting at WR he will provide a serviceable fix.