This is Underdog Best Player Pick ‘Ems NFL Week 7! Welcome back to the 2023-24 Underdog Fantasy Pick ‘Em article series. This is your spot for finding the best-value weekly spots to pick whether players will go higher or lower than their projection. As usual, if you want weekly audio content for pick ‘ems, including getting in early on some lines that will move early in the week, check out the Pick ‘Em Power Hour every Wednesday and Friday with us hosts, Ahaan S. Rungta (@AhaanRungta) and Trevor Tipton (@FFCULater).
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If you would like to tail our plays or create your own, join Underdog today with promo code UNDERWORLD for a 100% deposit match up to $100 USD upon entry. Here are our picks for Week 3.
Ahaan’s Week 7 Picks
Kenneth Walker III (SEA) HIGHER than 71.5 rushing yards
Taking the “higher” on a high number like this one can be scary. But in this case the number is still too low. After losing by a possession on the road in Week 6, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll will look to manage the pace in Week 7 against the Arizona Cardinals with his run game. The Cardinals’ No. 30-ranked run stop win rate defense meets the Cardinals’ No. 7-ranked run block win rate offense. That leaves the door open for efficiency from Walker.
In addition, Walker’s teammates are banged up and need the running back to work a bell cow role. Not only are receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett entering the week with injury designations, but backup rookie running back Zach Charbonnet did not practice on Friday and is now doubtful, promoting volume from Walker.
This projection is up to 75.5 on some sportsbooks. Since last season, Walker has recorded at least 72 rushing yards in eight of his 11 games with at least 15 carries.
Rivals Receptions: Logan Thomas (WSH) HIGHER than Jahan Dotson (WSH)
For the first time this season, we are taking advantage of the Rivals feature on Underdog Fantasy, a menu right underneath your usual “Higher/Lower” menu on the navigation bar. The job we are asking is simple here. Tight end Logan Thomas needs to catch more passes this Sunday than his teammate, Jahan Dotson. We don’t care how many that is, as long as Thomas has more.
Since Thomas’ return from injury, he has at least as many targets and receptions as Dotson in two of his three games. Dotson, the former first-round pick, has seen his route participation dip below 90-percent in all three games. Additionally, just earlier this week, he was seen at practice taking part in special teams’ drills—yikes.
The veteran, Thomas, is also perfectly fit for a matchup like this one. Not only is the weather suspect, with potential rain and wind hitting MetLife Stadium, but the Giants defense has also been easy to produce against in the short game as they have allowed a 6.6-yard defensive average depth of target (No. 4-lowest in the NFL). Thomas’ average depth of target this season: 6.6 yards, No. 21 among tight ends.
Trevor’s Week 7 Picks
Puka Nacua (LAR) HIGHER than 5.0 Receptions
Puka Nacua has been one of the biggest surprises of the 2023 fantasy football season. The rookie wide receiver has stepped up in a big way with Cooper Kupp out of the lineup, averaging 13 targets and 125.25 receiving yards per game through the first four weeks. In the two weeks since Kupp’s return, Nacua is still running more routes and has 18 targets to Kupp’s 21.
Nacua is facing a Pittsburgh Steelers defense in Week 7 that is the No. 7 worst in the NFL against wide receivers. The Steelers are giving up 265.4 receiving yards a game to wide receivers. The Steelers are also tied for allowing the most ADOT in the NFL at 10.1. Patrick Peterson is on the limited practice injury report this week along with T.J. Watt having a DNP on Thursday. Pittsburg plays the No. 7 highest rate of man in the NFL which both Kupp and Nacua have torched. Add in the Steelers are giving up 12.29 yards per route which is No. 3 worst in the league, and this will open up more opportunities for Nacua.
The Los Angeles running back situation is a disaster right now. Darrell Henderson was just signed off the streets, and it was announced he will be active this week. The Rams are going to lean on Stafford and his two stud wide receivers Kupp and Nacua to carry them to victory this week.
Allen Robinson (PIT) LOWER than 27.5 Receiving Yards
Allen Robinson, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver, is coming off a disappointing season in 2022. In that season, he caught just 56 passes for 800 yards and two touchdowns. He has been even worse so far in 2023. Thus far, he has totaled just 17 catches for 137 yards and zero touchdowns in six games. This is all while Diontae Johnson has been on the injured reserve list.
There are multiple reasons why we like Robinson to go under 27.5 yards this week. First, Diontae Johnson returns to the lineup and thus far has been Kenny Pickett‘s safety blanket. Robinson has posted one of the lowest ADOTs in the league at 6.72 while only gaining 34 yards after the catch this season.
Second, Robinson has only been targeted 25 times this season which is No. 4 best on the Steelers. He now has Johnson back which will push him even further down the list. The Rams have also been one of the top defenses against wide receivers this season. The Rams are allowing only a 54.2-percent catch rate and just one touchdown to opposing wideouts.
Finally, here is a list of quarterbacks that have been better than Pickett this season: Zach Wilson, Mac Jones, Joshua Dobbs, Ryan Tannehill, and Baker Mayfield. Robinson’s quarterback was supposed to take a leap forward this season. Without Johnson, while having to rely on Robinson, Pickett has been one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL. In addition to Robinson only beating this line by .5 yards last week while having nine targets and five receptions, we expect him to only see two targets for 11 yards this week. Make sure you add this in early as we project this pick’em number to move down even lower closer to game time.