All good things must come to an end, right? Well, that hasn’t been the case just yet for my fantasy tips. After providing you with some very accurate advice in Week 4 and Week 5, I put forth some pretty good tips in Week 6.
It may have been a small step back, thanks to big misses on benching Jay Ajayi (RB1), Marcus Mariota (QB4), and Matt Jones (RB9), while starting T.Y. Hilton (WR56) and Jeremy Maclin (WR57). I made up for it, though. Remember how I insisted you start Cam Newton (QB6) and Jonathan Stewart (RB7)? How about sticking with Andrew Luck (QB8) and Ezekiel Elliott (RB11)? Those may have been a little easy, but benching Philip Rivers (QB23) for Brock Osweiler (QB16) was pretty bold.
Since I was a little off last week, it’s time to nail Week 7. As usual, I’m not going to waste your time by telling you to start Tom Brady, DeMarco Murray, and Odell Beckham Jr., advice your 87-year old grandmother who doesn’t watch football could just as easily give you. I’m going to give you some less obvious (and more valuable) plays for the week.
An Inflexible Six Fantasy Tips for Week 7
1) Start both Chiefs running backs
Not only have the Saints allowed the most fantasy points per week to running backs (28.32), but Andy Reid is not going to want Alex Smith trying to win a shootout against Drew Brees. The Chiefs are going to establish the run early, and continue to hand it off all game to slow the pace and keep the Saints offense off the field.
With the expectation that Jamaal Charles is still not ready for a full workload, Spencer Ware will deservedly remain the lead back. I see Ware as a top-five RB play in this juicy matchup.
However, Charles will get his touches, too (so long as the swelling in his knee isn’t anything serious). He was out-touched 26-11 last week by Ware, but the gap won’t be that big this week. Expect Charles to see about 15 touches; he’ll make them count against a very weak Saints defense that’s allowing 4.3 yards per attempt. Value Charles as a top-20 RB play this week. But, be sure to monitor his questionable tag.
2) Thanks to matchups, consider starting …
Jacquizz Rodgers – Doug Martin’s recent setback has Rodgers locked in as the Bucs’ lead back for at least a couple more games. This week, he faces the 49ers, who are allowing an average of 25.27 fantasy points per week to running backs (third-most), and have allowed 130.1 fantasy points to the position over the last four weeks, combined. Rodgers becomes a low-end RB1 in this matchup.
Allen Hurns – He may only have 300 receiving yards and one touchdown this season, but he’ll be facing a Raiders defense that has allowed an average of 28.07 fantasy points per week to wide receivers (most in the league). Allen Robinson is an obvious start in this matchup, but don’t be gun-shy when it comes to Hurns; value him as a WR2 with a high ceiling.
3) Thanks to matchups, consider benching …
Drew Brees – Not only are the Chiefs only giving up an average of 13.29 fantasy points per week to quarterbacks (eighth-fewest), but New Orleans’ offense isn’t the same outdoors. The Saints have played two games on the road this year, and they failed to amass 300 total yards in either; 474 is their low at home.
DeAndre Hopkins – Remember that whole thing about the Broncos defense? Brock Osweiler shouldn’t be a regular starter in anyone’s lineup, so I can’t tell you to bench him because of the matchup. But, as Osweiler struggles, so will his receivers. Hopkins will have to deal with Aqib Talib and Chris Harris all day. Put him on the bench.
4) Despite a “tough matchup” stick with Matthew Stafford
This may sound crazy, but Stafford (the current QB2) is playing the best football of his career without his go-to receiver, Calvin Johnson, around.
This week, he’ll face a Washington defense that is only allowing 14.26 fantasy points per week to quarterbacks (tenth-fewest), but that’s no reason to panic. Over the past three weeks, Washington been able to silence Carson Wentz, Joe Flacco, and Cody Kessler. There’s just one thing: none of those players are fantasy juggernauts.
Stafford is the best quarterback Washington has faced since Ben Roethlisberger in Week 1; when they played Eli Manning, the Giants offense was very out of sync. There is no reason to look for another option at QB this week, Stafford will be a top eight play.
5) Bench every Jets player you own
Geno Smith is starting at quarterback. Need I say anymore? Probably not, but I will.
The Ravens defense may be giving up the second-most fantasy points per week to wide receivers (27.53), but that’s a result of the 12 touchdowns they have allowed through the air. Geno Smith will not be able to get in the endzone like Eli Manning and Derek Carr did over the past few weeks. Sit Brandon Marshall and Quincy Enunwa.
The other Jets player you should have on your bench is Matt Forte. Not only are the Ravens stingy against the run, only allowing 11.6 fantasy points per week to running backs (second-fewest), but they’ll be able to stack the box, daring Geno to beat them with his arm.
Unfortunately, owners of all these players just took a major hit with the Jets turning to Smith.
6) Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell keep some value
With Ben Roethlisberger out of the lineup, the Steelers offense will have to turn to Landry Jones. By no means would I suggest starting Jones and his 76.0 career passer rating this week against the Patriots. But don’t panic and remove Antonio Brown or Le’Veon Bell from your lineup.
The Patriots may only be allowing 21.18 fantasy points per week to wide receivers (eighth-fewest) and just 14.38 per week to running backs (seventh-fewest), but both of the aforementioned players will still rack up a fair number of points. Neither will be their usual selves, but Brown is still a good start as a WR3/Flex, and Bell should be seen as an RB2.
Do get Sammie Coates out of your lineup, though.