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Kozora: Week Seven Fantasy Football Preview

I am a blogger. But now I’m a full-time blogger. Fresh out of college. Which means one thing.

Student. Loans.

You either didn’t react to that at all, because you didn’t have any, or, if you’re like me, involuntarily curled up in the fetal position at the sight of those two ugly words. I got my first bill notice this past week and I’m on the verge of tears.

I chose the cheapest state school around me for a reason and the accrued debt still blows me away. I’m not one to get all political on you but how is college not cheaper in the United States? House aside, it’s arguably the most expensive investment you’ll ever make.

So that’s why I care about my fantasy teams even more this week. Whatever helps me forget that Sallie Mae now owns my soul. Let’s break it down.

*These projections are for standard scoring ESPN leagues.

The Steelers

Landry Jones, fantasy football savior. I’m actually starting him in a 20 team league this week because 20 team leagues are awful and that’s sometimes what you have to do. Either he or Ben Roethlisberger will start and that’s great news for owners of Antonio Brown/Martavis Bryant. Roethlisberger moreso than Jones, of course, but both are significant upgrades over Mike Vick. Play Brown and Bryant like you normally would. That’s big for Brown owners desperate for a bounce-back week after suffering through Vick.

Le’Veon Bell is a top five option, as he is every week. Jones will probably get him involved in the passing game more than Vick did, who struggled to find him as a checkdown, a bonus for PPR leagues.

The Steelers’ defense is a nice streaming option for those looking for a bye week fill-in. They’re a popular ESPN add, claimed by 27.4% of leagues, but are still available in 60% of ESPN leagues. The Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive line is a wreck and Alex Smith has been sacked at least twice in every game this season.

The Rest

The Miami Dolphins have found new life under interim head coach Dan Campbell but I’d still trot out Brian Hoyer at QB if you need one. He has a top five receiver in DeAndre Hopkins and isn’t afraid to pepper him with targets. He’s thrown seven touchdowns and no interceptions in his last three games, with point totals of 17, 19, and 23. He’s owned in just 12.6% of leagues.

Theo Riddick has been an underrated option all year long. Get him now if you’re in a PPR league, though this projection is for standard scoring. Ameer Abdullah continues to struggle with ball security and Riddick is “the guy” in all passing situations. Zach Zenner is out of the picture after suffering a collapsed lung last week. He’s scored 19 combined points over the last two weeks.

Christine Michael has always been big on talent and now he might finally get his chance. There is still a committee but Michael could be the first man up in the Dallas Cowboys’ backfield. At the least, if he’s still available, and he is in 52% of leagues, stash him on your bench and see how it goes.

Michael Crabtree is second-fiddle to Amari Cooper but has played well out in Oakland. The Raiders said they want to get him the ball more and with Jason Verrett shadowing Cooper, Crabtree could be in for a ten point afternoon. Still on the waiver wire in over 40% of leagues.

For deeper leagues only but Robert Woods is a viable option. No Sammy Watkins. No Percy Harvin. E.J. Manuel found him four times for 47 yards last week. Jacksonville allowed 33 points to the Houston Texans’ wide receivers last week.

If you haven’t picked up Stefon Diggs, go grab him. Dude is the real deal. The Minnesota Vikings’ offense is run-first but Diggs is going to continue to surge. Seven catches for 129 yards last week is all you need to know.

Last one for you. Go grab Ladarius Green. Antonio Gates could still very well play, though he’s missed the last three practices, but even if he does, there could be a snap count. The Oakland Raiders have allowed six touchdowns in five games to tight ends. Owned in fewer than 22% of leagues.

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