Fantasy Football: 5 Bold Predictions for Week 7

One of the things that makes fantasy football so captivating is the variance. Even throughout Cooper Kupp's historic, unflappable season, he was the top wideout for the week just three times in 2021. That means, on individual weeks, some very strange players may pop in terms of fantasy points at their positions.

That opens the door for some room to be "spicy" and make some fun predictions. In a landscape increasingly set ablaze by "hot takes," it can be difficult to understand the difference between a bold prediction -- based on a particularly strong spot for a team or player -- and a senseless take with the prayer of becoming correct based on variance.

Let's shoot for the former with five interesting spots to target during this weekend's NFL games.

Note: All predictions are for half-PPR formats (and FanDuel scoring for quarterbacks).

1. Head for the Mills: Houston's Quarterback Posts a Top-15 Week in Las Vegas

Some people might vote for Davis Mills as the worst starting quarterback in football. I'm not one of them.

Mills averaged 0.01 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back last year, which, for context, was tied with Trevor Lawrence. He earned another opportunity to start in Houston this year, hasn't gone according to plan. He's at -0.11 Passing NEP per drop back, which is the third-worst among qualifiers.

However, Mills' best game might be coming out of the bye in Week 7. He'll face a Raiders defense that is allowing the most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Importantly, Vegas is numberFire's 14th-best rush defense, so the Texans' path to least resistance is through the air.

With an elite matchup in tow, expect a return to his 2021 form and at least 16 fantasy points from the second-year signal caller. That would be a new season-high mark.

2. Hall or Nothing: Breece is Held Under 100 Scrimmage Yards by Denver

I'm starstruck by Jets rookie Breece Hall as much as the next guy, but temper expectations for him this week.

Hall has seen three really solid matchups in a row, averaging 132.7 scrimmage yards against Pittsburgh, Miami, and the fledgling Green Bay Packers. This week against the Denver D/ST will be an entirely different story.

Denver is numberFire's third-best overall defense, and importantly for someone like Hall, the Broncos are allowing the fourth-fewest adjusted fantasy points per target to running backs. We just saw this with Austin Ekeler, who posted just 83 total scrimmage yards at home.

This surprise New York offense will have its moments throughout the season, but this road spot against a motivated Denver squad isn't the place it's likely to come. I'd seriously think about sitting Hall in more shallow leagues (eight teams), and he's not a guy I'll be flocking to in daily formats.

3. Coop, There He Is: Amari Catches 8+ Balls in Baltimore

While the box score has been up and down, Amari Cooper's role for the Browns is one of the best in the NFL.

Cooper's 27.9% target share is 13th in the NFL overall, and it's 31.5% if you exclude his Week 4 trip onto A.J. Terrell's private island. He's seen double-digit looks from Jacoby Brissett in four of Cleveland's six games so far.

This profiles to be a great spot for Amari, and I know -- those are famous last words given his inconsistent tenures with Oakland and Dallas. The Ravens are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to wideouts, and the Brownies are modest 6.5-point underdogs heading to Baltimore.

Notably, the Browns' defense is also the third-worst in numberFire's metrics. It's unlikely there will be a time in this game when Cleveland isn't pressing to score opposite Lamar Jackson.

I see him as a must-start in this matchup where he'll likely see double-digit targets once more.

4. Way of Cade: The Bucs' Rookie Catches His First Career Touchdown

There was some offseason dynasty buzz about Cade Otton after Rob Gronkowski retired once again, clearing the path for a new tight end. Never underestimate the NFL's ability to generate an opportunity.

Otton lost the starting tight end job to Cameron Brate, and before Week 6, he was mostly a blocker. He posted just 3.3 targets per game and ran just 50.9% of the routes. Brate went down with a neck injury in Week 6, and Otton was immediately called upon.

He got three targets in just the second half, and I'm intrigued by the prospect that turned a 17.1% target share into 250 yards at Washington.

Against the struggling Panthers, I truly don't mind him as a tight end streamer in deeper leagues. He paced for over six targets after Brate went down, and Carolina has allowed the fourth-most adjusted fantasy points per target to tight ends.

For fun, let's predict the big-bodied rookie to catch a score from Tom Brady on Sunday.

5. Boston Massacre: New England's D/ST Posts Double Digit Points on the Struggling Bears

Individual matchups really don't get more lopsided than what we'll see Monday.

Even with a long stretch to prepare, the Bears are going to have their hands full with the New England D/ST in Foxboro.

Chicago is numberFire's ninth-worst offense overall, and they're the second-worst passing offense to Carolina. The Bears' offensive line has also ceded a league-worst 31% pressure rate. They scored just one offensive touchdown against the struggling Commanders at home.

Now, they'll face a Patriots defense that gets fifth-most pressure in the NFL (33%), and they've accumulated 12 takeaways in six games.

You can't project a defense for double-digit points all that often, but the Bears aren't scoring on anyone. New England is -- by far -- the top defense of the week in fantasy football if you can get your hands on them.