Fantasy Football Week 7 start ’em, sit ’em: Lineup advice

Sit and start is relative and league dependent, so consider some of these suggestions more “fliers” and “fades” (note that some are targeted for DFS).

Good luck with your Week 7 lineups.

Sit: Michael Gallup

Start in DFS: Kyle Allen ($22)

Gallup dropped a touchdown and got 3.8 yards per target during his first game with Andy Dalton last week, and he now goes outdoors to face a Football Team that’s allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season. Gallup has gone from finishing top-10 in yards per route run last year to ranking #No. 70 this season and looks like the team’s fourth or even fifth option in the passing game; the Cowboys are on pace to shatter the NFL record in pass attempts, yet Gallup has surpassed six targets in just one game.

[Week 7 Fantasy Rankings: QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | FLEX | DST | Kickers]

Allen has been a big upgrade at QB for W ashington and surprisingly ranks #7 in CPAE. He’s a sneaky start and a punt DFS play this week against a Dallas defense that’s ceded a 14:1 TD:INT ratio and is on pace to allow the most points since the merger (yet remains nearly in first place thanks to an archaic divisional system).

Sit: Jarvis Landry

Start: Tee Higgins

Already slowed while recovering from offseason hip surgery, Landry recently revealed he also suffered a broken rib in Week 5, so he won’t be healthy any time soon. I have around 50 receivers ranked higher this week.

Meanwhile, I have Higgins as a top-25 WR against a Browns defense that’s allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to receivers. A.J. Green showed signs of life last week, but Higgins has been Cincinnati’s No. 1 WR over the last month, as the rookie receiver class has made an unexpectedly big impact right away.

Start: Marvin Jones, Matt Ryan

It’s been a disappointing season for Jones, but he gets an Atlanta secondary that’s allowed the second-most fantasy points to outside receivers this season in a game with an over/under of 56 points. The Falcons have a funnel defense that ranks #8 against the run in DVOA (and #30 against the pass), so Jones is in a favorable setup this week.

Ryan rebounded last week and should continue to put up big stats with Julio Jones back. The Falcons have averaged almost 35 points during Jones’ three fully played games this season, and Sunday’s matchup projects to be fast-paced and high scoring.

Start: Teddy Bridgewater, Emmanuel Sanders

Bridgewater has gotten 8.1 YPA this season, so his six TD passes look unlucky, especially considering his wide receivers. He should be treated as a borderline top-10 QB in Week 7 against a Saints defense that’s tough to run against but has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.

Sanders was top-10 in WOPR over Weeks 4-5 before New Orleans’ bye, and Michael Thomas tweaked his hamstring in practice this week. Carolina has incredibly allowed the fewest YPA (6.1) by a wide margin in the NFL this year, but the Saints have one of the highest implied team totals this week, and Sanders could easily act as Drew Brees’ primary target again. Sanders’ ECR is outside the top-50 wide receivers this week, but I have him top-30.

Start: Zack Moss

Sit: Breshad Perriman

Moss is healthier now and should benefit from game script with the Bills more than double-digit favorites against an Adam Gase-led Jets team that’s on pace to record the worst point differential in NFL history.

The Jets will get a big boost if Sam Darnold is able to return, and Perriman should be rostered in competitive leagues now healthy and finishing #26 in WOPR last week during his return, but he’s best left on benches Week 7 while likely shadowed by Tre’Davious White.

Start: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Brandin Cooks

Valdes-Scantling has his faults, but he’s in a sneaky spot to finish as a top-25 fantasy WR in Week 7 and is an intriguing boom (and admittedly bust) DFS pick. MVS ranked top-10 in air yards last week despite Davante Adams’ return, and Sunday’s matchup has the highest over/under (57 points) of the week featuring two offenses ranked top-six in yards per play and two defenses ranked bottom-six in DVOA. With Bradley Roby shadowing Adams (and Robert Tonyan banged up) in a high-scoring game, MVS should be looking at an opportunity for a big Week 7.

Cooks’ 21 targets are the fifth-most over the last two weeks, and Sunday’s matchup should once again require heavy volume. He remains an injury risk, but Cooks has looked great on Houston and would benefit greatly if Jaire Alexander locks onto Will Fuller. I have Cooks as a top-20 wideout this week.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tennessee titans

Start: Diontae Johnson, Ryan Tannehill

Johnson has been a major injury risk this season, but he’s back practicing fully this week and has been treated as Pittsburgh’s clear #1 wide receiver when on the field. Chase Claypool’s emergence obviously clouds things moving forward, but JuJu Smith-Schuster has taken a clear backseat (he has the lowest average intended air yards in the NFL, with three tight ends and Larry Fitzgerald right behind him), while Johnson has a ton of upside if healthy. The Titans have yielded the sixth-most fantasy points to receivers this season.

Tannehill continues to be an underrated fantasy (and real-life) asset, and he should have to throw more than usual against a Steelers defense that’s held running backs to an NFL-low 274 rushing yards this year. Tannehill is on pace to throw 42 touchdowns despite having the league’s premier red-zone back on his team, and he’s yet to play with A.J. Brown and Corey Davis both fully healthy. Tannehill has a strong argument as the league’s best passer since the beginning of last season.

Ryan Tannehill continues to be underrated in fantasy and reality. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

San Francisco 49ers @ New England Patriots

Sit: 49ers running backs, Damien Harris

With Raheem Mostert suffering yet another injury, San Francisco will likely deploy a full-blown committee Sunday with Jeff Wilson (if healthy), Jerick McKinnon, and JaMycal Hasty running behind the team’s third-string center and with LT Trent Williams banged up. Hasty is the sleeper here for desperate fantasy managers, as he looked noticeably quicker than McKinnon last week, but this timeshare situation is best avoided.

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Harris has far more upside than Sony Michel moving forward, but he’s ignored in the passing game, has to compete with a dominant goal-line runner as his quarterback, and faces a San Francisco defense that’s yielded the fewest fantasy points to running backs this season.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos

Start: DeMarcus Robinson, Tim Patrick

With Sammy Watkins out, many expected Mecole Hardman to benefit, but it was Robinson who finished top-25 in target share (23.1%) last week, making him a viable flex option given his situation.

Meanwhile, Patrick finished fourth in target share (33.3%) last week, impressing when doing so. He looks like Denver’s #1 wideout over Jerry Jeudy right now, and Drew Lock surprisingly leads all quarterbacks in average intended air yards this season. Patrick ranked #2 in WOPR in Week 6, so don’t sleep on him moving forward.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Los Angeles Chargers

Sit: Laviska Shenault

Start: Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley

Shenault has a bright future, but he’s competing with both DJ Chark (who saw 14 targets last week despite being hobbled) and Keelan Cole for looks. The rushing attempts have dried up for Shenault as well, who ranks #84 in WOPR this season, making him bench material.

Jackson surprisingly led LA’s backfield before the team’s bye, but game script should determine the touches between him (who will run more routes) and Joshua Kelley (who should get more red-zone work) moving forward. Both can be started as flex options this week with a thin running back landscape throughout the league and the Chargers more than touchdown favorites at home against a suspect Jacksonville run defense.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Las Vegas Raiders

Start in DFS: Ronald Jones ($23)

Sit: Derek Carr   

Jones is the only back with three straight 100-yard rushing games this season, as he continues to look like one of the league’s best runners right now. Leonard Fournette practiced in full this week, so he’s a wild card here, but it also means Jones should have a lower roster% in DFS, making him highly intriguing against a Raiders defense that’s allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs this season.

Carr sports the second-best CPAE in the NFL this year, behind only Russell Wilson, and his fantasy stats should only improve the more Henry Ruggs plays. But he belongs on fantasy benches against the league’s #1 pass defense in DVOA and with Las Vegas’ entire offensive line sent home this week.

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals

Start: Greg Olsen, Christian Kirk

Olsen is freely available in most leagues (18% rostered in Yahoo) coming off a quiet game and then a bye, but tight end is a thin position, and he remains Seattle’s clear #1 tight end. Sunday’s matchup with Arizona projects to be one of this week’s fastest-paced and highest-scoring, so Olsen is a sleeper and DFS punt ($10) against a Cardinals defense notoriously vulnerable to tight ends.

Kirk can’t exactly be considered safe after scoring twice on just three targets last week, but he continues to see an increase in routes per dropback and has a lot of upside against a Seattle defense that shuts down the run but has ceded almost 400 more yards to wide receivers than any other team this year.

Chicago Bears @ Los Angeles Rams

Start: Jimmy Graham, Rams D/ST

Graham remains a consistent red-zone (and touchdown) threat and should benefit from Chicago likely having to throw more as near TD underdogs against a Rams team with one of the best offenses in football.

While Nick Foles looks like a minor upgrade over Mitch Trubisky, he’s still a liability (his YPA has dropped every game this season), and game script could easily call for higher volume than usual Monday night. The Rams enter with a big advantage up front, and their defensive line should bounce back at home after a frustrating game last week in San Francisco.

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