IBM Smart Lineup Decisions for NFL Week 7

Jerry Jeudy could see a steady flow of targets, especially if the Denver Broncos are chasing points against the Kansas City Chiefs. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Fantasy football is an emotional game, and that's a large part of why we love it. But "love" isn't the only emotion that comes with this game ... the flip side is just as strong of an emotion. What if I told you that it was possible to take the emotion out of the decision-making while retaining the sheer joy that comes with watching the games every week? That's where IBM Insights comes in, as it uses Watson AI to break down all of the content you're consuming and then some. And by "some," I mean every inch of the interwebs. Below are the highlights for NFL Week 7 -- good and bad. Now all you have to do is avoid the bust players and watch the points pile up!


Quarterback

Cam Newton, New England Patriots vs. San Francisco 49ers

Rushing numbers for quarterbacks can be spotty on a week-to-week basis, so the fact that Newton's passing touchdown rate is less than half of his worst healthy season is a major fantasy red flag. Even with a banged-up roster, the 49ers rank 11th in opponent pass touchdown rate, and if you remove one outlier game, their 2.9% rate would rank second best. The floor is always low for a player like Newton, and given that the 49ers average the sixth-fewest defensive snaps per game, I'm not sure the ceiling is worth chasing.

Watson's Insight: Newton's bust chance is 10.5 percentage points greater than his boom chance, the greatest difference at the position for this week.

Running back

D'Andre Swift, Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons

Swift was able to score over 11 fantasy points in three of his first four games despite a very limited role, and then he busted out against the Jags last weekend for 27.3 points (123 total yards and two touchdowns). Is the production here to stay? Adrian Peterson's usage rate is declining in a serious way, and the rookie should be able to make the most of his increased role against a Falcons defense that is allowing a league-high 6.7 yards per play this season

Watson's Insight: Swift's Week 7 floor is a mere 11.6% below his current ESPN projection, far and away making him the safest play in terms of expectations this weekend.

Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Jackson held nearly a 2:1 snap edge over Joshua Kelley in the Chargers' first game following the Austin Ekeler injury and is the favorite to open Sunday as the team's lead back in this very strong matchup. The Jags are allowing the fifth-most RB points per game this season, thanks in large part to allowing the third most red zone drives per game (4.3). Well, the Chargers happen to be the fifth-most-efficient red zone offense during the Justin Herbert era, and that boosts Jackson's upside to the point where he should be considered a starter in all formats.

Watson's Insight: Jackson's ceiling is nearly 21 points this week, 42.3% above his ESPN projection (second highest among qualifiers at the position).

Wide receiver

Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos vs Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs' defense is better than most realize, but they've allowed the opponents top pass-catcher to score at least 15.8 fantasy points in four of six games this season. Jeudy has scored or seen at least seven targets in four of five games, and as a 9.5-point underdog, he seems likely to hit one if not both of those thresholds again on Sunday afternoon.

Watson's Insight: Jeudy's ceiling is 74.8% above his ESPN projection, giving him the most room to boom in Week 7!

Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans

The game of the weekend features the player of October in Chase Claypool, but are we overlooking Johnson's impact on this offense? Johnson (back) had a nice week in practice and was the only player in the NFL to see double-digit targets in each of the first two weeks of the season. Claypool has been remarkably efficient this season, but I'm trusting the process (volume) over the recent results and siding with a now healthy Johnson as the more stable fantasy option.

Watson's Insight: Johnson's 27.5% boom chance this week tops all players with a 10-plus point Week 7 projection.

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