Dallas Cowboys at Carolina
Yahoo – 20%, ESPN – 33.8%
The Panthers offense is averaging just 18.4 points per game, putting them in the bottom 10 in the league. While that isn’t necessarily enough, Cam Newton continues to struggle leading to the Panthers entire offense failing to impress.
The Cowboys defense has a lot of potential, yet they have just 1 INT and 10 sacks on the year. That could change dramatically this week. The Panthers have thrown 5 INT and allowed 13 sacks in five games this season.
The Cowboys secondary has done a great job stopping the pass (league best 181.6 passing yards per game), so this would be a good week for them to begin generating turnovers. Throw in tying for seventh in sacks a year ago (42), and this could be a defense primed for a nice turnaround. In a week where there aren’t many good streaming options, this may be the best of the bunch.
Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis
Yahoo – 10%, ESPN – 4.2%
The Browns defense has 15 sacks and 10 interceptions this season, so taking on a rookie quarterback they will have an opportunity to continue making plays. The Colts have thrown 7 INT and allowed 13 sacks, putting them in the bottom half of the league in both categories.
That said, the Browns are allowing 294.2 passing yards per game as well as 15 TD, so pass defense isn’t exactly their strength. While the Colts rushing attack leaves a little to be desired with Donald Brown out, there is a lot of risk involved here. If they can confuse and harass Andrew Luck, they will have the potential to be a Top 10 defense this week. If they can’t, they are going to struggle.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Cleveland
Yahoo – 2%, ESPN – 6.6%
Their usage will be solely determined by the availability of Trent Richardson. If he is unable to play, the Browns team is nearly completely void of talent. I know the Colts defense has not been impressive, including getting shelled by the Jets in Week 6, but if the Browns are missing their top running back they could really struggle moving the football.
Consider this an absolute desperation reach, and only if Richardson isn’t going to play. After seeing what Shonn Greene did in Week 6, if Richardson is healthy he could be a monster.
Other potential options and reasons I don’t like them:
- Oakland Raiders vs. Jacksonville - The Jaguars offense is built around Maurice Jones-Drew and the Raiders are allowing over 110 rushing yards per game
- Tennessee Titans vs. Buffalo - The Titans struggle to stop the run, so seeing C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson produce big days would not be surprising
Make sure to check out all of our Week 7 rankings: