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FFL: Week 7 | NFL: Week 7

Jaguars-Bengals Preview

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Cincinnati Bengals' Joe Burrow (9) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles' Fletcher Cox (91) during overtime of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)


Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Davon Godchaux (56) pressures Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew, left, as he looks for a receiver during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Joe Burrow and Gardner Minshew are getting used to picking themselves up off the ground.

As far as their teams are concerned, giving the dynamic, creative quarterbacks better protection has become a pressing issue.

Burrow, the Bengals' rookie, has been sacked a league-high 14 times in the first three games, including eight in last week's 23-23 tie with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Minshew, the Jaguars' second-year quarterback, has taken 10 sacks, tied for fourth in the NFL.

The Bengals (0-2-1) are still seeking their first win - and Burrow his first NFL victory - as the Jaguars (1-2) come to town Sunday as the losers of two straight.

In Cincinnati, there has been much handwringing about the dismal performance of the offensive line. Burrow was throttled last week Sunday against the Eagles, getting hit 18 times. Still, he has emerged as one of the few bright spots for the struggling Bengals.

Cincinnati auditioned some potential offensive line replacements this week and signed a guard off the practice squad for help.

''Still working through it,'' Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor said.

Burrow says the numbers might be a little misleading.

''My style of play, I'm going to get hit,'' said the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner who piloted LSU to a national championship. ''You know I'm going to try to extend the play as much as I can, and that's something that I'm going to have to live with and I've lived with it. I understand that's going to happen.''

Minshew plays behind a veteran line in Jacksonville, but was sacked four times in last week's 31-13 loss to Miami and four times in the Week 1 win over Indianapolis.

He said he's working on his pocket presence and avoiding sacks.

''You have to be able to keep your eyes downfield and (on) your reads as you feel the pocket, feel when you have space, feel when it's closing in too fast and adjusting,'' Minshew said.

SPEAKING OF JOE

The Jags have had mixed results against rookie starting quarterbacks during Todd Wash's five seasons as defensive coordinator.

They are 2-2 against Sam Darnold (2018) of the New York Jets, Buffalo's Josh Allen (2018), Cleveland's DeShone Kizer (2017) and Denver's Paxton Lynch (2016). None of those guys completed more than 50% of their passes against Jacksonville or threw for at least 180 yards. Allen and Lynch won their games, though. Allen ran for 99 yards, and Lynch took advantage from a stout defense that forced three turnovers, including one interception for a score.

This is a much different defense for Jacksonville and a much different matchup against Burrow.

''I don't want to get myself into a mind of saying veteran quarterback and rookie quarterback because I'm going against first-year quarterback in Joe Burrow, who doesn't play like a rookie quarterback,'' Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said.

''He can run. He can move. He's got a quick release. He can throw the ball. He can hit all the different spots. He's got a hell of a lot of talent around him, and he's very talented player. He's tough as hell. You see that on film.''

SOFT ON THE RUN

The Bengals' defense has struggled stopping the run, despite several offseason signings designed to address that weakness.

Cincinnati is second-to-last in the league in rushing yards allowed, having allowed an average of 181.6 yards per game on a league-high 110 attempts.

They gave up a total of 175 yards to the Eagles last week, including 65 yards and the tying touchdown to quarterback Carson Wentz in the final minute of the fourth quarter.

KICKING CAROUSEL

Jacksonville is going with its third place-kicker in as many games. Josh Lambo (hip) landed on injured reserve after Week 2, and undrafted rookie Brandon Wright strained a hamstring during his NFL debut against Miami and was waived/injured.

Now it's Stephen Hauschka's turn - and he's already hurt. The journeyman worked out for and signed with the Jags on Monday, but Hauschka missed practice Wednesday after experiencing soreness in his right knee. He's expected to recover and be fine for the game.

Player Notes
Tom Brady Oct 24 1:00am ET

The Las Vegas Raiders defense has been statistically one of the worst defenses in the league this season. They are averaging under two fantasy points per game and face an ascending Buccaneers offense this week. Tom Brady is currently fourth in the league in passing touchdowns, and this Tampa Bay offense is ascending after hanging 31 offensive points on Green Bay in Week 6. The Raiders rank 27th in scoring defense and 24th in yards allowed. There is nothing to suggest they will have a good performance this week and should be kept on the bench or dropped entirely.

From RotoBaller

Darren Waller Oct 24 12:40am ET

Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller has a tough test against the Buccaneers this week, but he should be able to produce a solid fantasy performance. Waller has been great at home this season, with 21 catches, 193 yards, and a touchdown in two games. The Buccaneers have one of the league's best defenses, but the Patriots are the only team to hold Waller under five catches so far this season. He currently ranks third in fantasy points per game among tight ends, and he leads the Raiders in targets. The Buccaneers rank sixth in the league against tight ends, but fantasy owners should feel comfortable starting him based on his performances so far this season.

From RotoBaller

Henry Ruggs III Oct 24 12:20am ET

Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III will have a tough matchup against a good Buccaneers secondary in Week 7. Ruggs had a breakout performance in his last game against the Chiefs, but his value rests with the deep ball at this time. That is not great news considering the Buccaneers are one of the best defenses against the deep ball, ranking third in the league in allowing receptions of over 20 yards. He was able to get loose in the Chiefs secondary with a 72-yard reception in the first half but caught just one other pass the rest of the game. Ruggs' big-play potential makes him a fringe flex option in deeper leagues, but don't expect a lot of targets for the rookie this week.

From RotoBaller

Josh Jacobs Oct 24 12:10am ET

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs will face one of the league's best run defenses this week in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers are allowing just three yards per carry and rank second in the league in total rushing yards allowed. Jacobs is having a productive year and is certainly a must-start option, but he is averaging just 3.6 yards per carry on the season. Jacobs has just one game this season where he has rushed for over four yards per carry. With that being said, he is still seventh in points per game among running backs. It will not be an easy day for Jacobs, but fantasy owners should feel encouraged that he can put up a solid fantasy performance despite a difficult matchup.

From RotoBaller

Derek Carr Oct 24 12:00am ET

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will have one of his most difficult tests of the year against a great Buccaneers Defense. The Buccaneers defense has allowed just seven passing touchdowns and have grabbed eight interceptions in their six games this season. Opposing quarterbacks have a passer rating of 82 against this Todd Bowles defense. They confused Aaron Rodgers and made him uncomfortable, so this will not be an easy day for Carr. With that being said, Carr has thrown for almost 600 passing yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions in two home games this season. The Raiders are coming off a bye, and Carr is having a career year. However, he is likely a bench option this week due to the matchup.

From RotoBaller

New Orleans Saints Oct 23 9:10pm ET

The New Orleans Saints Defense faces a middle-of-the-pack matchup against the Carolina Panthers in Week 7. It's a date with former Saint Teddy Bridgewater, who started five games for the team in 2019. New Orleans' defense is finally starting to get healthy after a rash of injuries, as they will get Janoris Jenkins (shoulder) back and essentially be at full strength. This unit may start to put together some good performances, starting with this week. They can be used as a starting option.

From RotoBaller

Wil Lutz Oct 23 9:00pm ET

New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz faces a favorable matchup in Week 7 against the Carolina Panthers. Lutz is perfect on the season, having made all nine field-goals and all 18 extra-points. Carolina ranks 22nd in fantasy points allowed to kickers, making this a juicy matchup for Lutz. Expect strong fantasy numbers from the 26-year-old.

From RotoBaller

Jared Cook Oct 23 8:50pm ET

New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook could see more opportunities in Week 7 against the Panthers. Cook had one of his better games against the Chargers, catching two passes for 52 yards and a score. New Orleans is down two of it's best pass-catchers- Michael Thomas (ankle, hamstring) and Emmanuel Sanders (COVID-19)- heading into the contest against the Panthers. The veteran tight end should see more targets, making him a good start as a TE1 in Week 7.

From RotoBaller

Carlos Hyde Oct 23 8:43pm ET

Seattle Seahawks RB Carlos Hyde (shoulder, toe) fully participated in practice Friday, Oct. 23, and is not on the injury report for Week 7.

Fantasy Spin: Hyde will serve as the backup for Chris Carson but should see a handful of touches during the game. Fantasy players should be able to find better options and can keep Hyde on the bench.

From TheHuddle

Raheem Mostert Oct 23 8:43pm ET

San Francisco 49ers RB Raheem Mostert (ankle) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 23, and has been ruled out for Week 7.

Fantasy Spin: Mostert is expected to miss multiple weeks because of the injury, so fantasy players should look for other options to use. Jerick McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty likely will share playing time while Mostert is sidelined. McKinnon probably has more fantasy value and can be a flex option in leagues. Hasty should be rostered in leagues and has a chance to be a flex option depending on the opponent.

From TheHuddle

Keenan Allen Oct 23 8:33pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers WR Keenan Allen (back) fully participated in practice Friday, Oct. 23, and is not on the injury report for Week 7.

Fantasy Spin: Allen has been targeted at least eight times in four of the five games this season and seems to have a good connection with Justin Herbert. Allen can be considered a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

DeAndre Hopkins Oct 23 8:33pm ET

Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) was limited during practice Friday, Oct. 23, and is listed as questionable for Week 7.

Fantasy Spin: Hopkins likely will be able to play despite the injury, but fantasy players will need to check the inactive list for his status. He is a must-start option in all leagues if he is active for the game.

From TheHuddle

Tre'Quan Smith Oct 23 8:30pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith faces a tricky matchup in Week 7 against the Panthers. However, matchup concerns are alleviated by the fact that New Orleans will be without Michael Thomas (ankle, hamstring) and Emmanuel Sanders (COVID-19). Smith will be busy against a Panthers Defense that has surrendered the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to wideouts. With a good chance of finding the end zone, Smith is looking like a high-end WR3 in Week 7, despite the matchup.

From RotoBaller

Sammy Watkins Oct 23 8:23pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 23, and has been ruled out for Week 7.

Fantasy Spin: Demarcus Robinson served as the No. 2 receiver for the Chiefs last week and probably will have a similar role this week. He can be a flex option or bye week replacement in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Alvin Kamara Oct 23 8:20pm ET

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara gets an excellent matchup against the Panthers Defense. Kamara has offered fantasy managers the safest floor of any running back, particularly in PPR formats, as he's had at least 19 fantasy points in every game this season. He'll go up against a Panthers defense allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing halfbacks. The Saints will probably go with a more run-heavy approach, seeing as their top-two wideouts- Michael Thomas (ankle, hamstring) and Emmanuel Sanders (COVID-19)- are out for the contest. Kamara is a must-start in redraft leagues and is well worth the price in DFS formats.

From RotoBaller

Latavius Murray Oct 23 8:20pm ET

New Orleans Saints running back Latavius Murray has a favorable matchup in front of him against the Panthers in Week 7. Murray has had at least 13 touches in three of five contests this season, with two of those games coming against teams that struggle to stop the run. New Orleans will be without Michael Thomas (ankle, hamstring) and Emmanuel Sanders (COVID-19) against the Panthers' 24th-ranked run defense. Murray is a good bet for 12-15 touches in Week 7, putting him squarely in the flex discussion.

From RotoBaller

Robert Woods Oct 23 8:13pm ET

Los Angeles Rams WR Robert Woods (groin) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 23.

Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to keep an eye on the situation to see if Woods will be able to play in Week 7. He can be a No. 2 or No. 3 receiver in fantasy leagues if he is cleared to play.

From TheHuddle

Tyler Higbee Oct 23 8:13pm ET

Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee (hand) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 23.

Fantasy Spin: Higbee probably will need to practice Saturday, Oct. 24, if he wants a chance to play in the Week 7 game. He is coming off his best game of the season and would see a few targets if he plays this week. He could be a low-end No. 1 tight end in some leagues.

From TheHuddle

Aaron Donald Oct 23 8:13pm ET

Los Angeles Rams OT Andrew Whitworth (non-injury) and DT Aaron Donald (non-injury) fully participated in practice Friday, Oct. 23.

From TheHuddle

Drew Brees Oct 23 8:10pm ET

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees faces the Panthers in Week 7. Brees will face a sneakily-good Carolina defense without his top two receivers, Michael Thomas (ankle, hamstring) and Emmanuel Sanders (COVID-19). Despite not having Thomas, Brees has thrown for at least 250 yards or two touchdowns in each game this season, giving fantasy managers a solid floor. The Panthers allow the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, limiting Brees' upside. However, he should be able to finish as a solid QB2 in Week 7.

From RotoBaller