Four years ago, we began honoring radio legend Steve Czaban — who was surprisingly booted from the SB Nation Radio morning lineup in 2016, despite having perhaps the most engaging program in the radio marketplace — with a “You Are Looking Live!” preview of each NFL weekend.
The bit was so well-received, so roundly praised by media pundits (including a few SB Nation writers) and Czabe’s legion of fans alike, that we decided to make You Are Looking Live! a permanent Friday staple of the BATSBY Sports Network programming.
As such, it makes perfect sense to include Brent Musburger and Joey Porter into the presentation, via YouTube:
PITTSBURGH (5-0) @ TENNESSEE (5-0)
TIME: 1 p.m. EST
LINE: Titans (-1 1/2) … Over/Under: 50.5
REFEREE: Shawn Hochuli
TV ANNOUNCERS: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis, Evan Washburn (CBS)
FANTASY MUSINGS: Say hello to this year’s version of the Irresistible Force meets the Immovable Object.
Tennessee’s Derrick Henry has amassed the most rushing yards of any back this season, despite playing only five games to date.
The NFL’s reigning rushing king has also found the end zone six times, lagging second only to the Vikings’ Dalvin Cook (553 total yards, 7 TDs).
The Steelers, in turn, have allowed the second-fewest team rushing yards, holding opposing backs to minuscule averages of 3.22 yards per carry.
So, how to interpret the Sunday showdown in Nashville?
Well, Henry probably won’t be a candidate for 200 rushing yards — an otherworldly strata he’s reached three times since 2018; and the Alabama product failed to hit end-zone paydirt in his only career meeting with the Steelers (2017).
On the plus side, Henry has racked up 100 rushing yards and/or one touchdown in 13 of his last 15 games (postseason included).
So, don’t be afraid to start him in Week 7, with full impunity.
CAROLINA (3-3) @ NEW ORLEANS (3-2)
TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Saints (-7) … Over/Under: 51
REFEREE: Craig Wrolstad
TV ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Kugler, Chris Spielman, Laura Okmin (FOX)
FUN FACT/FANTASY MUSINGS: Feel like making an imminent blockbuster offer to Alvin Kamara’s owner?
Well, if you’ve been pondering a 3-for-1 or 4-for-1 swap for Kamara — the top-ranked fantasy tailback this season (162.6 points through five games) — now’s the time to make such a bold move.
Before Sunday at 1 p.m. EST.
Why is that?
****Kamara’s the runaway leader, among tailbacks, with catches (38), targets (45), receiving yards (395), total yards (676) and total touchdowns (7).
****Opposing backs are averaging 4.85 yards per carry versus Carolina.
****The Panthers rank either 30th, 31st or dead-last in rushing touchdowns, catches, targets and receiving yards surrendered to opposing running backs.
****Looking down the road, Kamara’s Saints have three juicy matchups with the Falcons (Week 13), Chiefs (Week 15) and Vikings (Week 16) during the December playoff period.
DALLAS (2-4) @ WASHINGTON (1-5)
TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Even (PK) … Over/Under: 45
REFEREE: Ron Torbert
TV ANNOUNCERS: Joe Davis, Darryl Johnston, Pam Oliver (FOX)
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS … AGAIN: There are no grand fantasy concerns with Cowboys tailback Ezekiel Elliott, even though he’s yet to post 100 yards rushing this season, and factoring in Dallas’s horrific injuries along the offensive line.
Why is that?
Since Week 2, Elliott has collected seven-plus receiving targets four times; and for Weeks 1-5, the Ohio State product notched 100 total yards and/or one touchdown on all five occasions.
Which brings us to this:
Charting his last six outings versus Washington, Elliott owns supreme averages of 117 total yards and 1.3 touchdowns; and that includes one clunker of 42 total yards and zero scores.
WEEK 7 PREP WORK
QB RANKINGS: Mahomes, Allen, Wilson highlight the Week 7 passers
RUSH TO GLORY: Kamara, Hunt, Henry lead the Top 60 PPR backs
PLAYING CATCH: Golladay, Adams, Boyd, Diggs fuel the WR rankings
BIG & BAD: Kelce, Kittle, Engram headline Week 7’s PPR tight ends
IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS: 10 Super-Fun Facts to ponder for Week 7
PIGSKIN PERFECTION: ‘You Are Looking Live!’ preview of NFL Week 7
GOOD BEATS: 15 best betting picks for College Football, NFL weekend
BUFFALO (4-2) @ N.Y. JETS (0-6)
TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Jets (+10) … Over/Under: 46
REFEREE: Carl Cheffers
TV ANNOUNCERS: Greg Gumbel, Rich Gannon, A.J. Ross (CBS)
GET-RIGHT SUNDAY: The Bills have looked out of sorts in their last two games, a pair of low-scoring defeats to the Titans and Chiefs (average of 16.5 points).
But all is hardly lost from a fantasy perspective, when discussing quarterback Josh Allen.
For starters, Allen has racked up multiple touchdowns in all six outings this season (19 overall); and in his last three complete games against the rival Jets, the MVP candidate owns stellar averages of 323 total yards and two touchdowns.
Here are two more things to celebrate:
****In 2020, opposing quarterbacks boast a staggering completion rate of 71.7 percent versus New York.
****The Jets curiously own bottom-10 rankings with passing yards and passing touchdowns allowed, despite suffering five blowout defeats of 10 points or more (usually a recipe for clock-draining runs).
CLEVELAND (4-2) @ CINCINNATI (1-4-1)
TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Bengals (+3) … Over/Under: 50.5
REFEREE: Tony Corrente
TV ANNOUNCERS: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta (CBS)
BETTOR’S HUNCH: Let’s see. Baker Mayfield hasn’t eclipsed 250 yards passing in a single game this season, and Bengals tailback Joe Mixon (foot injury) has already been ruled for Sunday.
And yet, the spread of 50.5 points should hold great appeal to the betting community.
Why is that? Well, the Bengals and Browns still have plenty of big-time playmakers taking the field on Sunday. Plus, recent history just SCREAMS for the ‘over.’
Charting their last six head-to-head meetings, the Browns and Bengals have averaged 52 combined points.
What’s more, the weather in southern Ohio should be ideal for passing, with temperatures in the mid-50s.
GREEN BAY (4-1) @ HOUSTON (1-5)
TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Texans (+3 1/2) … Over/Under: 57
REFEREE: Clay Martin
TV ANNOUNCERS: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake (FOX)
PRELUDE TO A BREAKOUT: Packers wideout Davante Adams seems like a good bet for monster numbers against the Texans, citing three key reasons:
a) With opposing receivers, the Texans are a bottom-10 defense in the categories of receptions and touchdowns allowed.
b) Citing his last 14 games (including the playoffs), Adams has collected 12 outings of double-digit targets and nine touchdowns.
c) Adams has notched 100 yards receiving and/or one touchdown in his last nine games played indoors (dating back to 2017).
For this prolific stretch, the Mississippi State product absurdly averaged 8.5 catches, 99 yards and 1.1 TDs.
DETROIT (2-3) @ ATLANTA (1-5)
TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Falcons (-2 1/2) … Over/Under: 55
REFEREE: Land Clark
TV CREW: Chris Myers, Brock Huard, Greg Jennings, Jen Hale (FOX)
FANTASY CONUNDRUM: There’s a tangible temptation to include Detroit’s Matthew Stafford among this week’s top-five quarterbacks, given how the Falcons rank dead-last in completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns surrendered.
However, we’re a tad hesitant to go all-in on Stafford (No. 11 ranking for the week), citing a few notables:
a) Stafford has an ongoing streak of five straight games with less than 300 yards passing. (Unfortunately, this trend shows up a lot during September/October from previous years.)
b) Lions wideout Marvin Jones hasn’t crossed the 60-yard receiving mark in nine straight games; and of equal mediocrity, Jones has averaged only four targets since Week 2.
c) Tailback D’Andre Swift enjoyed his best day as a pro last week, gouging the Jaguars for 123 total yards (116 rushing) and two touchdowns.
(If that sounds like a ho-hum stat, just remember Barry Sanders was the last Lions rookie to rush for 100 yards/two TDs in the same game … way back in 1989.)
TAMPA BAY (4-2) @ LAS VEGAS (3-2)
TIME: 4:05 p.m. EST
LINE: Raiders (+4) … Over/Under: 52
REFEREE: Scott Novak
TV CREW: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Lindsay Czarniak (FOX)
THE DARKNESS LINGERS: Back in August, BATSBY Sports had Chris Godwin confidently ranked as the No. 2 PPR wideout, pointing to his strong 2019 numbers (86 catches, 1,333 yards, 9 TDs) and seemingly infinite upside heading into 2020.
In reality, though, Godwin (16 catches, 191 yards, 1 TD) has been a high-round flop, failing to collect 100 yards or double-digit catches when healthy … and already missing two games to injury.
Our hopes for a Sunday rebound aren’t necessarily strong either, even with the Las Vegas defense ranking 26th overall against the pass.
Why so glum?
The Raiders have been continually torched by tailbacks and tight ends this year; but with opposing wideouts, Las Vegas curiously owns top-10 marks with catches, targets, receiving yards and touchdowns allowed to this position.
KANSAS CITY (5-1) @ DENVER (2-3)
TIME: 4:25 p.m. EST
LINE: Broncos (+8) … Over/Under: 45
REFEREE: Brad Rogers
TV ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Harlan, Jay Feely, Melanie Collins (CBS)
HEALTHY AND (PASS) HAPPY: This should be an interesting test case for Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, considering how the Broncos have yielded the second-fewest passing touchdowns (seven in five games).
Of course, Denver has yet to encounter Mahomes this season. Which brings us to this:
Mahomes has accounted for multiple touchdowns in 11 of his 12 games (including the playoffs). That run of good fortune extends to the 2018 NFL MVP’s previous four road outings.
One more thing: Mahomes has eclipsed the 300-yard passing mark in his last three complete outings versus the Broncos.
SAN FRANCISCO (3-3) @ NEW ENGLAND (2-3)
TIME: 4:25 p.m.
LINE: Patriots (-2) … Over/Under: 44
REFEREE: Shawn Smith
TV ANNOUNCERS: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (CBS)
A SORT OF HOMECOMING: Let’s be honest here: This game looked a lot more appealing back in August, when the Niners and Patriots were being touted as likely playoff contestants.
Instead, we could be looking at a de facto elimination outing for the loser, knowing that four defeats before the seasonal midpoint looks awfully daunting.
(To be fair, the NFL added one postseason club per conference this season.)
Luckily, the No. 1 CBS crew of Nantz, Romo and Wolfson has a fallback plan, in terms storyline hype:
Sunday’s clash marks the Foxboro return of Niners QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who once served as the heir apparent to Tom Brady’s fortune with the Patriots … before shockingly getting traded to San Francisco back in 2017.
Speaking of which … care to guess how many starts Garoppolo logged with New England?
The answer’s two; and for it’s worth, Jimmy G (268 yards passing, 3 TDs last week) never eclipsed the 300-yard passing mark while donning Patriots garb.
JACKSONVILLE (1-5) @ L.A. CHARGERS (1-4)
TIME: 4:25 p.m.
LINE: Chargers (-7 1/2) … Over/Under: 49
REFEREE: Clete Blakeman
TV CREW: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton, Sherree Burruss (CBS)
BACKDOOR FANTASY PLAY: Jaguars RB James Robinson owners have been consistently giddy this season, drawing six consecutive outings of double-digit scoring (when using ESPN.com’s PPR system) … from an unknown rookie who was a late-round or free-agent afterthought during the August/September drafts.
Which begs the question: Should owners be leery of starting Robinson against the Chargers, the only NFL defense that has yet to surrender a rushing touchdown to a tailback?
Ordinarly, the answer would be a resounding ‘yes.’ But let’s factor in a few other nuggets:
a) Among tailbacks, Robinson currently ranks 3rd in receiving yards, 7th in catches, 11th in targets and tied for 7th in receiving touchdowns.
c) Since Week 2, Robinson has posted five consecutive games of four or more targets.
d) This season, the Chargers have endured bottom-10 rankings with catches, targets and receiving yards allowed to opposing tailbacks.
e) Rhetorical question alert: Would anyone be shocked if the Chargers opened up a sizable first-half lead, obliging the Jaguars to throw their way back into contention after halftime?
SEATTLE (5-0) @ ARIZONA (4-2)
TIME: 8:20 p.m. EST
LINE: Cardinals (+3 1/2) … Over/Under: 56
REFEREE: John Hussey
TV CREW: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michelle Tafoya (NBC)
NO WORRIES, MANY HURRIES: In normal fantasy circles, we’d be aghast by a receiver posting a catch-to-target ratio of 25 percent against one of the NFL’s weakest defenses (Cowboys).
However, DeAndre Hopkins has done more than enough to earn a free pass from last week’s two-catch, eight-target, 73-yard outing … in a game where Arizona hung 38 points on Dallas.
What makes us so confident, moving forward?
b) Tailback Kenyan Drake (notoriously streaky fantasy asset) has caught fire once again, rolling for 224 total yards and three touchdowns since Week 5; and fellow receiver Christian Kirk scored twice against the Cowboys last week.
These mini-breakouts should theoretically create more route-running room for Hopkins, heading into November and December.
c) The Seahawks have given up the most catches, targets and receiving yards to opposing wideouts. They also have a bottom-5 ranking with touchdowns allowed to the same position.
CHICAGO (5-1) @ L.A. RAMS (4-2)
TIME: 8:15 p.m.
LINE: Rams (-6) … Over/Under: 45
REFEREE: Bill Vinovich
TV CREW: Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, Lisa Salters (ESPN)
BETTOR’S HUNCH: Here’s a good reason to take the ‘under’ at 45 for this Monday showdown:
The Bears and Rams have surrendered the fewest receiving touchdowns to opposing wideouts — a grand total of four scores over 12 total games.
Along those lines, the Bears and Rams receivers have produced 12 touchdowns this season, for a tidy, but slightly underwhelming average of one per game.