Underdog Fantasy NFL Picks: Week 7

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase lines up for the next play.
Image Credit: Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Do you feel like a sharp football fan? Does winning money sound appealing to you? Of course!

Thankfully, Underdog Fantasy offers sports fans many gaming options such as best ball fantasy drafts and pick ’em prop challenges. As for the initial question posed, I’m here to help sharpen your football acumen by utilizing several helpful resources such as BetPrep projections to topple the over/under and rivals picks.

It’s easy to get started. Here’s how it works:

  • Create an account on Underdog Fantasy.
  • Use the promo code PROPS to claim an extra $10 on your first deposit.
  • Go to the Pick’em Games.
  • Make two or more selections to receive a correlated payout of 3x, 6x, 10x, or 20x
Use promo code PROPS for $10 free!

It’s pretty fun, and Underdog Fantasy is available in most states except for the following: Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Louisiana, Montana, Washington, Delaware, and Iowa.

Now, let’s take a look at my favorite Underdog Fantasy NFL picks for the main slate of Week 7.

Jamison Crowder UNDER 51.5 Receiving Yards

Image Credit: Kevin R. Wexler-NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

Let’s jump-off with the only under I’m touting in this week’s piece. The Jets are coming off of their bye to face a Patriots team that held Zach Wilson to only 210 passing yards, befuddling him on the way to four sacks and four interceptions back in Week 2.

Sure, Jamison Crowder was injured and didn’t play in that contest, but I’m expecting more struggles from Wilson in the rematch in New England this go-round. This year, Crowder’s played in two games, failing to surpass 70% of the team’s offensive snaps in either contest, per Pro-Football-Reference. He amassed 61 yards in his first game against the most-giving defense to wideouts before cratering to 24 receiving yards against the below-average Falcons.

This week, the sledding is more formidable against the Patriots. Football Outsiders ranks New England smack dab in the middle of that pack at 16th in pass defense Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA). Considering the Falcons rank 30th in this metric and Crowder flubbed that matchup, I’m not optimistic about a bounce-back in this game.

Further, I believe there’s a realistic chance we see a playing time and usage shift for the Jets’ jumbled wide receiver corps out of their bye. The team asked Crowder to take a salary cut to return this year while spending an early second-round pick on Elijah Moore.

The Jets have attempted to jam a square peg in a round hole playing Moore on the perimeter after excelling in the slot at Ole Miss. But, according to Pro Football Focus, Moore’s aligned wide on 70.9% of his passing snaps and in the slot on only 29.1% of those snaps. And, out of 120 receivers targeted at least 10 times this year, he ranks tied for 112th with 0.65 yards per route run (Y/RR).

Even assuming Crowder retains his pre-bye role in the offense, I believe he’ll fall short of 50 receiving yards. However, adding in the potential for the Jets to take a long-term view and increase Moore’s slot reps makes this a slam-dunk selection for me. Further, Bet Prep likes the under as well, projecting Crowder for 43.11 receiving yards.

Joe Burrow OVER 259.5 Passing Yards

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Joe Burrow is on fire as the Bengals have drastically shifted their run and pass ratio over the last three weeks. According to Sharp Football Stats, with an offensive scoring margin ranging from trailing by seven points to leading by seven points in Week 1 through Week 3, the Bengals passed at a 57% clip. Using the same scoring parameters from Week 4 through Week 6, the Bengals have passed at a 64% rate.

Burrow has blown up with the increased workload. From Week 4 through Week 6, he has passed for 348 yards, 281 yards, and 271 yards, good for a per-game average of 300 passing yards. Further, he’s consistently flown over his 259.5 passing yards pick.

Also, I tip my cap to Pro Football Focus’s Andrew Erickson for mentioning Burrow’s success against the blitz on the PFF Fantasy Football podcast this week. According to Pro-Football-Reference, the Ravens are blitzing at the fourth-highest rate (32.0%). Unfortunately for them, it could lead to a big week from Burrow. According to Pro Football Focus, Burrow is averaging 10.5 yards per pass attempt, completing 72.3% of his passes, and owns a 10.4% big-time-throw rate that’s fourth-highest among quarterbacks when blitzed this year.

Ja’Marr Chase OVER 71.5 Receiving Yards

Image Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Now, let’s sprinkle in a correlated over along with Burrow’s passing yardage over pick. If Burrow hits his over, it stands to reason his top receiving threat will have a good game as well. Ja’Marr Chase is making the transition from college to professional football seamlessly.

According to Sports Info Solutions, he’s responsible for the 12th-most Intended Air Yards (655). He also boasts a stellar 24.1% target share. He’s married those two splendid marks to produce 4.5 receptions and 92.2 receiving yards per game.

In addition, he hasn’t been a boom-or-bust option, either. His season-low for receiving yards is 54, and he’s bested 75 yards in four of six games, including three straight. So finally, Bet Prep supports taking the over, projecting Chase for 84.74 receiving yards.

Kyle Pitts OVER 51.5 Receiving Yards

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Kyle Pitts provided fans of the Falcons and fantasy gamers a hint of his upside before Atlanta’s Week 6 bye. Playing in London in Week 5, he erupted for nine receptions and 119 receiving yards on 10 targets.

Yes, obviously, Calvin Ridley didn’t play in that game and is back for this week’s contest. But, thankfully, Pitts’ underlying numbers supported a breakout even before Ridley’s absence. So, I’m not worried about Ridley’s return knee-capping Pitts’ usage. The rookie tight end has been targeted six or more times in four of five games.

Further, even with a bye last week, the unicorn tight end’s 174 routes are tied for the ninth-most among tight ends in 2021. Beyond the routes, I’m encouraged by head coach Arthur Smith using Pitts all over the formation, aligning him inline for 41 passing snaps, 58 wide, and 96 in the slot.

This week, he has a dreamy matchup against the Dolphins. Miami is 26th in pass defense DVOA, mid-pack in receiving yards allowed to tight ends, and they’ve coughed up the third-most receiving yards (1,260) to wideouts (which matters since Pitts frequently plays the slot and wide), per Pro-Football-Reference. Additionally, the pace should be over-friendly, as Football Outsiders credits the Falcons for playing at the 11th-fastest situation neutral pace, and Miami ranks 13th.

Everything looks good on Pitts’ front, and Bet Prep likes the over. They’re projecting him for 55.43 receiving yards.

Leonard Fournette OVER 64.5 Rushing Yards

Image Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This week features a few massive favorites, and the Buccaneers fit the bill as 11.5-point favorites against the visiting Bears. And the game script projects to be favorable for Leonard Fournette. However, the Bucs are a pass-happy offense. Nevertheless, they’ve made a notable change in their last three games.

In their first three games, when tied or leading, the Bucs passed at the highest rate (64%). Yet, their pass rate has dipped to 60% when tied or leading in their last three games. The change is favorable for Fournette’s rushing yards exceeding 64 yards.

In addition, he’s piling up rushing yards lately. Fournette rumbled for 92 rushing yards in Week 4, 67 in Week 5, and 81 in Week 6. Also, his rush attempts totals in those games are 20, 12, and 22. Additionally, he’s played 62% of the team’s offensive snaps or more in each of those games. Thus, you can’t ask for much more regarding his usage.

He’s also helped by running in an above-average run-blocking offense. According to Pro Football Focus, Tampa Bay grades 12th in run blocking. However, Football Outsiders is more bullish on Tampa Bay’s run-blocking exploits, ranking them third in Adjusted Line Yards.

I expect the Bucs to steamroll the Bears, and Fournette should have a hand in the offense’s success out of the gate and while salting away the clock with a big lead. However, don’t just take my word for it, as Bet Prep projects Fournette to rumble for 66.44 rushing yards.