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Fantasy Football Rundown, Week 7: Starts & sits for every NFL game

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A sentence on every fantasy viable player this week.

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Welcome to the Fantasy Football Rundown. In here you will find at least one sentence on every player with fantasy value in Week 7 of the NFL. I would highly recommend using your web browsers search function to find specific players you’re curious about.

Let’s begin!

Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans

Steelers

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is a high-flying QB option this week as his now-healthy receiving corps prepares for liftoff against a Titans pass defense that’s allowing the 5h-most passing yards per game (272.8) to opposing aerial attacks. He’s this week’s overall QB7.

With Diontae Johnson (back) returning to the lineup, a snap share reckoning is upon us. With Johnson ailing, rookie receiver Chase Claypool thunderously announced his presence in the NFL, keyed by an earth-shattering Week 5 performance and a stout Week 6 follow-up. Prior to Claypool’s explosion, Johnson was the talk of Steel Town having asserted himself over slot receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster as the team’s top dog at receiver. Claypool and James Washington had been duking it out for the rights to the team’s downfield receiver role. Johnson’s absence allowed Washington to claim the job while Claypool operated as the team’s X-receiver. For this week, fantasy managers have it easier than they may think as Tennessee is preparing enough southern comfort to show all four receivers a good time — their 20.8% pressure rate is 10th-worst in the league. Fire up Claypool as a don’t-sweat-it Top 15 option. That the team is straight up engineering touches for him at this point (six carries for 21 yards and two rushing scores). Even with Johnson back, Claypool ain’t going anywhere. Expectations for Johnson should be mildly tempered as it’s his first real week of practice in a while. He’s a confident high-end flex/back-end WR2 though. JuJu Smith-Schuster’s up-and-down season is on an upswing this week as the Titans’ so-so slot coverage was most recently on display against Randall Cobb in Week 6, who found the end zone from 4-yards out. JuJu is a solid flex option. With those three running wild, James Washington should have single-coverage in the deep field all night long. He’s a great bet for a long score.

Tight end Eric Ebron has a good match-up on his hands, facing a Titans defense allowing the 8th-most .5PPR points per game to the position (13.1). Unfortunately for him though, No. 2 tight end Vance McDonald has a sturdy snap share of his own that continues to hinder Ebron’s box score viability. Ebron is just a Hail Mary option at the position.

Excluding James Conner’s ankle-induced absence in Week 1, the 60+ percent snap-share back is .5PPR’s RB12 in scoring. Facing a Titans’ front that’s yielded the 11th-most .5PPR points to opposing backfield per game (22.2), Conner can be safely teed up as a rock-solid RB1 this week.

Benny Snell is just a change of pace/handcuff.

Titans

The Titans’ hyper-efficient offense faces it’s toughest match-up of 2020. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has done enough this year with his 7.5% touchdown rate, 3rd-best in the league, to maintain back-end QB1 honors though. Following up his league-best 2019 Completion Percentage Above Expectation (8%) with the league’s No. 4 ranked 5.7% CPAE, Tannehill is proving that he belongs in the upper echelon on the NFL quarterback discussion.

After storming back into our hearts and Titans’ box scores over the last two weeks, having battled back from multi-week a bone bruise issue, cold water’s been poured on A.J. Brown’s hopes this week as a knee injury kept him from practicing on Thursday. This is not a good sign for his Week 7 availability. Fantasy managers need to make backup plans. Should he play, he’s a locked-in Top 15 option though.

Over their last three games, the Steelers’ secondary has been a bit more friendly than expected to both perimeter and slot receivers, highlighted by Travis Fulgham’s Week 5 showing on the outside (10 catchers, 152-yards, and one touchdown) and slot-ster Randall Cobb’s Week 3 performance (four catchers, 95-yards, and one touchdown). Fill-in X-receiver Corey Davis would be a stout WR2, should Brown miss and a decent flex option if Brown plays. Slot receiver Adam Humphries is a Honda-like steady flex option with PPR upside.

.5PPR’s overall TE4, Jonnu Smith was hampered by an ankle injury in Week 6 but managed full participation in Thursday’s practice. He’s a high-end TE1 option.

Despite Tennessee’s COVID-induced Week 4 bye, Derrick Henry sits as .5PPR’s overall RB4. Pittsburgh’s defensive-front is as good as it gets but it won’t matter for Henry. He’s an elite RB1 play.

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team

Cowboys

The Cowboys’ offense offers pendulum-like fantasy production as the team’s offensive line—a former strength—has been decimated by injuries. The return of defensive end Chase Young to Washington’s already-stout defensive line bodes poorly for Andy Dalton’s clean-pocket potential. Washington’s leaky secondary could give way to big plays though. As such, quarterback Andy Dalton is a mid-tier QB2.

Amari Cooper showed situation-proof reliability last week, posting overall WR6 .5PPR numbers. He’s a locked-in Top 12 option.

CeeDee Lamb’s slot receiver role should continue to produce high-floor numbers as Dalton’s No. 1 safety valve option. His shot at a ceiling game is lower than most weeks.

Michael Gallup is simultaneously the best bet for chunk gains and the best bet to bust, due to the lack of reliability that a downfield receiver brings to the table. The Washington secondary offers little resistance to his deep-field route running but their defensive line could keep Dalton from looking downfield all day long. Find him in the dictionary next to “boom/bust flex option”.

Tight end Dalton Schultz’ in ability to produce last week in a decent match-up was extremely concerning. Dalton simply cannot support the same array of fantasy-relevant Cowboys as Dak Prescott. Schultz is now just a high-end TE2.

Two fumbles derailed an otherwise decent outing for running back Ezekiel Elliott last week in a contest that saw Zeke see a team-high 11 targets. His usage is bulletproof but his offensive line is not. His overall RB6 ranking is the lowest of the season. He’s still a sturdy RB1 option though based on his guaranteed 20+ touch workload.

Tony Pollard saw a sharp uptick in snaps last week. It’s possible the Cowboys role him out more often to provide Dalton with more checkdown options but it’s also possible that Zeke’s fumbling issues necessitated a one-off change in personnel. Hold him has an elite handcuff.

Football Team

Wide receiver Terry McLaurin reassuringly saw a team-high 11 targets in backup quarterback Kyle Allen’s pass-happy Week 6 outing, providing fantasy managers with the security needed to continue treating McLaurin as a back-end WR1 option. That Kyle Allen could only produce mid-tier QB2 numbers after attempting 42 passes is telling though. He’s not a recommended streaming option.

Dontrelle Inman and Antonio Gandy-Golden are far too risky to start in fantasy lineups.

Tight end Logan Thomas’ outrageous usage (hat tip to Sam Hoppen for his stellar charts) finally helped fantasy managers last week—if there were any left who started him. He’s been such an unreliable option and is difficult to trust. For those in need, chasing usage is not a bad strategy. He’s a low-end TE1 with serious boom/bust potential.

As explained in Week 7’s Tiered Running Back Rankings, the WFT backfield provides two high-quality starts this week. Dallas’ run defense is dreadful—Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake literally doubled his combined season-best box score against them last week. Antonio Gibson’s touch-total and J.D. McKissic’s passing game usage make them very fantasy-friendly with such a good match-up on tap. Gibson is a back-end RB2 and McKissic is a solid flex play.

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets

Bills

The Jets’ defense is more or less schemed to allow opponents to score as much as possible against them. Start Josh Allen as this week’s overall QB2 accordingly.

Wide receiver Stefon Diggs has a chance to produce season-highs against their division “rival” Jets. He’s in contention for overall WR1 honors this week.

With John Brown ailing, slot receiver Cole Beasley elevates from a reliable flex option to a studly WR2 while Gabriel Davis is a valid flex option.

Update 10/24: Dawson Knox has tested positive for COVID-19. Three of the Bills other tight ends were in close contact with him. Monitor the situation.

Tight end Dawson Knox is not expected to play this week.

The Jets’ defensive-front has yielded the 7th-most .PPR points per game to opposing backfields this season (26.2), setting a fanciful spread for Devin Singletary to feast on. Unfortunately for him, backfield Zack Moss has returned to the lineup after a multi-week absence. The big-bodied Moss will threaten to steal redzone work from Singletary, limiting in our fantasy trust in the latter to just a back-end RB2 ranking. Moss is a touchdown-dependent flex option.

Jets

Quarterback Sam Darnold is expected to return to action this week after managing limited participation in Wednesday and Thursday’s practices. He’s not a recommended start though.

Update 10/24: Jamison Crowder has been downgraded to doubtful. Fire up Braxton Berrios as a high-end flex play.

Jamison Crowder deserves WR2 treatment against Buffalo, who he hung a seven-catch, 115-yard, one touchdown performance on in Week 1. Crowder’s bulletproof target market share, having seen double-digit targets in every game this season.

Wide receiver Breshad Perriman is a boom/bust flex option.

Ignore all other Jets players.

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints

Panthers

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is back in the land of viable streamers this week, facing a Saints secondary led by Janoris Jenkins and a struggling Marshon Lattimore. Robby Anderson, .5PPR’s WR10 in scoring, should keep on humming as he feasts on the temporarily washed Lattimore’s lacking coverage.

As humorously noted on Twitter by Josh Hermsmeyer on twitter, D.J. Moore’s Weighted Opportunity Rating has finally pulled even with Anderson which bodes extremely well for Moore’s box score potential. He’s a high-end flex option/low-end WR2. Check out his free database for yourself here.

Slot receiver Curtis Samuel may sit this week, which could excitingly pave the way for recurring preseason all star Keith Kirkwood. Kirkwood leapfrogged the other backups last week with a 51% snap share. Kirkwood is a long-shot flex option with sneaky, contrarian start-ability.

Tight end Ian Thomas is not fantasy-relevant.

Running back Mike Davis turned in the worst .5PPR performance of his starter-time in Carolina last week but still finished as the RB19. Davis’ usage continues to make him a can’t-miss option. As such, he’s this week’s overall RB5.

Saints

Quarterback Drew Brees will be without wide receivers Michael Thomas (hamstring) and Emmanuel Sanders (COVID - Reserve List) this week, making life somewhat harder in an albeit cake of a match-up. It’s possible that Brees gets game-scripted out of action, as many quarterbacks have, facing Carolina. But the odds that fill-in X-receiver Tre’Quan Smith—who typically plays the downfield role—and Alvin Kamara are able to house a few passes on his behalf. Count on Brees as a back-end QB1. As for Smith, he should rocket back to being the team’s No. 1 receiver. An eight-target workload is well within his range of outcomes. Against the Panther’s Junior Varsity-like secondary, that’s good for locked-in WR2 production.

Deonte Harris, Marquez Callaway, and Austin Carr are the next men up at the receiver position. Harris will slide into the downfield role and offers intriguing upside as the team’s primary kick and punt returner. Carolina’s special teams’ defense has been a lockdown unit while the Saints lead the league in punt return yards. A compelling match-up is at hand. Consider Harris a boom/bust flex option and ignore the other two.

Pass catching tight end Jared Cook should inhale targets this week. Cook offers unique upside at the position, carrying New Orleans deepest average targeted air yards (12.4). He’s an elite TE1 option.

Running back Alvin Kamara has served as the team’s No. 1 pass catching target this year, with Michael Thomas having been sidelined since Week 1—Kamara’s 45 targets leads the league at the running back position. Facing a Panthers’ defensive-front that’s allowed the 4th-most .5PPR points per game this year (28.4), Kamara is the no-brainer overall RB1 this week.

No. 2 back Latavius Murray garners serious flex consideration as well. Murray’s seen double-digit touches in all but one outing this season and with both Michael Thomas and Emannuel Sanders missing, head coach Sean Payton will engineer touches for all of his capable ball carriers.

Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans

Packers

Having failed to properly stock the pass catching cabinet in one of the deepest wide receiver drafts of all time, the Packers are reportedly resorting to a desperation-trade ahead of the November 3rd trade deadline, per Aaron Nagler. Fortunately for Green Bay’s current pass catchers, the potential extra mouth to feed hasn’t arrived yet and they’ve got a great match-up on tap this week. The Houston Texans’s secondary is allowing the 7th-most .5PPR points per game this year (33.3), setting the table for a potential Batman and Robin performance by quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Davante Adams. It’s worth noting that left tackle David Bakhtiari is doubtful to play this week (chest), which drops Rodgers to the high-end QB2 range. Adams should pulverize the Texans’ back-end on his way to a top-flight Week 7 outing.

Both tight end Robert Tonyan and running back Aaron Jones have been prominent members of Green Bay’s passing attack this year but both closed the week as genuinely questionable to play. 4for4’s John Paulsen noted that Green Bay’s medical staff is “notoriously conservative” and may opt to keep Jones, and his late-week calf injury, out this week. That Tonyan was able to get in a limited session on Friday is a good sign, but back-to-back absent days on Wednesday and Thursday are very concerning.

The fallout from these injuries should go as follows: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, typically the team’s downfield receiver, will likely see as much work as he can possibly handle. Said workload increase raises his floor to that of a safe flex option with a decently high ceiling.

Trends in snap shares of Malik Taylor and Darrius Shepherd indicate the team didn’t love what they were seeing out of them, which led to a bit more work for the once-promising Equanimeous St. Brown. None of the three are terribly inviting for fantasy purposes but ESB’s speed makes him a Hail Mary option.

Should Robert Tonyan play, he’d be a locked-in TE1. In his absence, Jace Sternberger and Mercedes Lewis would form a fantasy-unfriendly platoon. Sternberger would theoretically be the better play as he was expected to be the team’s top tight end this year.

Jamaal Williams immediately steps into an 18+ touch workload in an outrageously wonderful match-up. Houston’s front-seven has been eviscerated by opposing backfields all year, most recently highlighted by Derrick Henry’s overall RB1 results in .5PPR scoring that he posted against them last week. Williams is a high-end RB2.

Rookie bulldozer A.J. Dillon could be started in the flex as a good bet for a rushing touchdown, if not much else.

Texans

Green Bay’s pass defense has largely held opposing signal callers in check. The game figures to be a high-scoring affair though as dueling offenses can oftentimes buck the defensive impact on things. Deshaun Watson has shredded secondaries in the two weeks since head coach/general manager/dockey Bill O’Brien was fired, leading him to overall QB2 fantasy production. He’s a Top 5 option this week.

Wide receivers Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks, operate as the team’s 1-2 punch in the passing game, each having seen 40 targets on the season. Will Fuller’s usage is slightly more reliable though, as his Weight Opportunity Rating (0.56) is 0.12 higher than Cooks (0.48). Fuller’s development as a route runner has been a treat to watch and his game breaking speed puts him in an elite fantasy tier. He’s a high-flying WR1. Cooks has rebounded from a Week 4 dud by totaling the 2nd-most .5PPR points at the position in the ensuing two contests. He’s a WR2.

Slot receiver Randall Cobb carries high-floor flex appeal, having seen between four and six targets in every the last five games.

Tight end Darren Fells stays locked in as a high-end streaming option this week as fellow tight end Jordan Akins is once again unlikely to play, as he was unable to practice this week. Like Cooks, Fells has produced the 2nd-most .5PPR points at his position during Akins’ absence over the last two weeks.

Green Bay’s front-seven has been very friendly to opposing backfields, as evidenced by outings like Alvin Kamara in Week 3 (197-yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns) and Ronald Jones in Week 6 (121-yards form scrimmage and two touchdowns). With No. 2 running back Duke Johnson Jr. a complete afterthought in the minds of Texans’ coaches, lead back David Johnson can be counted of as a sturdy RB2.

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals

Browns

Cleveland’s passing game faces a get-right spot against a Bengals secondary that’s allowed the 10th-most yards on the season (1,514). Browns’ quarterback Baker Mayfield looks lost at this point in his career, though it’s fair to mention that he’s battling with an injured rib cage. Things got bad enough last week that backup QB Case Keenum — who Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski had under his tutelage in 2017 with the Minnesota Vikings — actually saw some playing time. With the possibility of a benching if the wheels fall off, it’s tough to trust Mayfield as anything other than a contrarian QB2.

Odell Beckham Jr. has a great match-up on his hands as the Bengals have routinely given up chunk gains, as their Weeks 4 and 6 outings against the Jaguars and Colts show us. There’s cause for concern with Beckham though as he’s faced serious box score struggles during his Cleveland tenure. Dr. Edwin Porras also noted that Beckham casually shared that he’s dealing with a Grade 1 turf toe injury in a recent interview as well. Beckham is a boom/bust flex option.

Jarvis Landry’s hip health is more of an issue than the Bengals’ slot coverage. He’s just a flex option this week.

Rashard Higgins has been on the receiving end of two Baker Mayfield touchdowns over the last two weeks. His meager workloads make him tough to trust though. He’s a boom/bust flex option in an albeit good match-up.

Just when Austin Hooper had separated from David Njoku and Harrison Bryant, Hooper suffered a bout with appendicitis and is out for an undetermined amount of time. The Bengals have been waxed by tight ends Mark Andrews and Trey Burton in back-to-back weeks, making both Njoku and Bryant valid streaming options. Njoku is the pass catching specialist while Bryan can both catch and block. Njoku is the preferred option of the two.

With running backs D’Ernest Johnson and Dontrell Hilliard operating strictly as seldom-used change of pace options, fill-in bellcow Kareem Hunt is set for a King Kong showing against a Bengals’ front-seven that’s allowed the 6th-most rushing yards in the league (854). Hunt is this week’s overall RB2.

Bengals

Cleveland’s defensive-front has the potential to derail the Bengals offensive hopes, but if the Cincy O-line can performed even moderately well, quarterback Joe Burrow and Co. can take advantage of the Browns’ linebackers and secondary. The Browns have allowed both the 5th-most passing yards and passing touchdowns on the season, setting the table for Burrow to feast. With defensive end Myles Garrett in mind though, we’ll keep expectations for Burrow limited to the high-end streaming realm.

A.J. Green played well enough last week to throw a wrench into our fantasy aspirations. It’s tough to know if Green has found the motivation that was so evidently on lacking prior to Week 6’s contest. Given his 2020 history of quitting on plays, he’s a risky flex option.

The ascension of Tee Higgins has impeded Tyler Boyd’s attempt to takeover as the clear cut No. 1 option in the passing game. Both players carry high floors in this one with Boyd perhaps the higher ceiling player. Cleveland has been worked over by opposing slot receivers thus far, as evidenced by Week 4’s shellacking by CeeDee Lamb.

Mike Thomas and Auden Tate are not reliable enough for fantasy consideration.

Tight end Drew Sample is not a viable streamer.

With running back Joe Mixon out this week (foot), Giovani Bernard is in for a heavy workload. Already operating as the team’s 2-minute/passing down back. The O-Line/D-Line match-up has the potential to nuke his day but the likelihood of Bernard seen 18+ touches bodes well for his potential box score success. If the Bengals are able to get the ball to him in space, Cleveland’s lacking linebacker corps will have a tough time stopping him. He’s on the RB1/2 borderline. Samaje Perine and Trayveon Williams will likely see 10-12 combined touches.

Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons

Lions

Fire up your Detroit Lions’ standouts this week. The Falcons’ secondary is allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing signal callers (29.3), making Matthew Stafford and his cannon of an arm a shoe-in QB1.

Wide receiver Kenny Golladay’s Weighted Opportunity Rating (0.58) far outweighs any of his teammates and against the Falcons, he’s got a great shot at posting season-high marks. He’s a Top 12 option this week.

Slot receiver Danny Amendola offers moderate-floor flex appeal, as a role player between the 20s, but will likely be out-targeted by wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. and tight end T.J. Hockenson who won the two highest red zone target market shares on the team. It should be noted though that Golladay is hot on their heels in that department, despite missing two games due to injury. Jones is a decent flex option and Hockenson is a Top 12 TE option.

Rookie running back D’Andre Swift looked great last week but is still stuck in a rotation with Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson. Fantasy manager should expect a slight increase in touches for Swift after he rocked the world with .5PPR’s overall RB3 performance last week. Consider Swift a back-end RB2 and Peterson a high-end flex option against the Junior Varsity-esque Falcons’ front-seven. Johnson is not fantasy-relevant.

Falcons

The Lions’ defense offers so little resistance that opposing offenses have mostly rolled them with their run game, allowing the 6th-most .5PPR points per game to opposing backfields (27.6). Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan has attempted the 3rd-most passes in the league (244) though — a product of both Atlanta’s offensive system and their paper towel of a defense allowing opponents to score at will. With such a leaky secondary ahead of him, Ryan can be trusted as a locked-in QB1.

Despite battling a nagging hamstring injury, Julio Jones posted the 2nd-highest .5PPR point total last week (27.9). Both he and Calvin Ridley are elite WR1s with their dominant Weighted Opportunity Ratings.

Slot receiver Russell Gage and tight end Hayden Hurst cannibalize each other’s fantasy ceilings as running interior, safety valve routes out of the slot. In such a strong match-up though, both carry fantasy relevance — Gage as a mid-tier flex option and Hurst as a back-end TE1.

With the aforementioned friendly front-seven, running back Todd Gurley is a high-end RB2. Although Brian Hill and Ito Smith have been getting a little time on the field, neither one is seeing much work. They mostly provide breathing room for Gurley while Matt Ryan peppers his pass catchers with targets. Hill and Smith are not fantasy-relevant.

1:05-1:25pm PST:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Las Vegas Raiders

Buccaneers

Tampa Bay heads to Vegas to take on a Raiders squad that’s allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks (20.4), which bodes well for Tom Brady and his now-mostly-healthy wide receiver duo of Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. The Raiders have allowed touchdowns to slot receivers, Cole Beasley and Sammy Watkins, in back-to-back games. Count on slot receiver Chris Godwin to have himself a day against their lacking slot coverage. He’s a high-floor WR2. Although Mike Evans is the team leader in targets, the overall usage just hasn’t been there for him to return WR1 value. He’s .5PPR’s WR15 through six weeks, a number that should be his floor though in this sweet, sweet match-up. Brady, with a plethora of passing game options keyed by his two top dogs is a high-end QB2.

Scotty Miller, Justin Watson, and Tyler Johnson are all just sporadic producers in Tampa’s spreadout passing attack. Miller is the best bet for a long score but it’s a total toss-up.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski has continued to be more and more involved in the passing attack, since O.J. Howard was placed on Injured Reserve. Over the last two weeks, Gronk is .5PPR’s overall TE6 in scoring. Count on him as a back-end TE1 option now that the receiving corps is returning to full health.

With running back Leonard Fournette out (ankle) over the past three weeks, Ronald Jones has stormed his way to overall RB4 status in .5PPR scoring during that timespan. Fournette is returning to the lineup this week, which is slightly concerning. The match-up is so good though that we can trust Jones to remain in the low-end RB1/high-end RB2 conversation even if Fournette gets 10 or so touches. The Raiders are allowing an average of 30.1 .5PPR points per game to the position, 3rd-most in the league. Fournette is a risky flex option.

LeSean McCoy and Ke’Shawn Vaughn are not fantasy-relevant.

Raiders

The Bucs’ defense is playing at a near-impossible level, most recently evidenced by its limiting of Aaron Rodgers to just 160 scoreless yards in Week 6. Rodgers was outscored by Joe Flacco’s 6.44 fantasy points. Derek Carr needs to be glued to fantasy benches in for this one. He’s a QB3.

Wide receiver Henry Ruggs is just a boom/bust flex option.

Hunter Renfrow and Nelson Agholor are not recommended starts. Bryan Edwards is out (foot/ankle).

Tight end Darren Waller can stay in fantasy lineups as Carr is likely to direct a high volume of pass attempts his way. Expectations must be tempered though.

Running back Josh Jacobs has still never scored a touchdown in a Raiders loss — and they are not expected to win in this one. Jacobs is also splitting passing game work with pass catching specialist backs Jalen Richard and Devontae Booker. Given the team’s commitment to giving Jacobs a high-volume of carries, he remains a viable RB2 play. But a box score of 80 scoreless yards and 2-3 catches is of a high probability. Richard, meanwhile, has a chance to pop as a flex option this week with the Raiders expected to trail for most of the game’s four quarters. He’s unlikely to see much rushing work though so fantasy managers are counting on strong production from 6-8 targets. It’s not a great situation. Booker is not fantasy-relevant.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Chargers

Jaguars

Gardner Minshew enters a suddenly difficult match-up against a Chargers’ defense that just activated defensive end Melvin Ingram and defensive tackle Justin Jones from Injured Reserve. The Bolts had been surrendering an average of 23.9 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, 2nd-most in the league but the return of two stud defensive lineman should drastically improve things. Still, Minshew has been outrageously consistent this season, budging from the QB1/2 fringe, in fantasy scoring, just once this season. He’s this week’s overall QB13 in our rankings at FakeTeams.com.

Wide receivers D.J. Chark and Keelan Cole are in a league of their own, with respect to their teammates, in Weight Opportunity Rating and their respective 12.9 and 12.0 average targeted air yards shows us they are used at all levels of the field. Treat them both as locked-in WR2s this week.

Slot receiver have performed well against the Chargers as of late. Scotty Miller, filling in for the injured Chris Godwin in Week 4, caught five balls for 83-yards and a score while Emmanuel Sanders caught 12 for 122-yards in Week 5. Laviska Shenault is worth a flex start this week as a result.

Downfield receiver Chris Conley and tight end James O’Shaughnessy are not likely to be fantasy-relevant at this time.

Running back James Robinson, the 11th-most targeted running back in the NFL (26), could see even more passing game looks than usual this week as pass catching back Chris Thompson was place on the COVID - Reserve List on Saturday, the 24th. Devine Ozigbo will make his 2020 debut as the No. 2 back this week but is unlikely to have much work given Robinson’s breakout performance this year. Robinson is a back-end RB1.

Chargers

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense is largely talent-deficient, which bodes very well for all of Los Angeles’ prominent play-makers. Through the four games that he’s been the team’s starting quarterback, Justin Herbert is fantasy QB7 overall. The train should stay right on track this week against the Jags’ defense that’s full of JAGs. He’s the QB8 overall.

For a forecast of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams’ Week 7 outing, look no further than Jacksonville’s Week 5 loss to Houston in which both Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks posted respectable, touchdown-filled days. Allen and Williams are both Top 15 options this week.

Jalen Guyton is a decent flex option with a likely capped ceiling. K.J. Hill isn’t quite seeing enough time for fantasy relevance.

Tight end Hunter Henry hasn’t found his ceiling yet this year but his usage is bulletproof and the Jaguars are averaging the 7th-most .5PPR points per game allowed (13.3) to tight ends. He’s a sturdy TE1.

Running back Justin Jackson soundly out-snapped expected starter Joshua Kelley in their most recent, pre-bye outing, giving us a blueprint for what to expect this week. Facing a Jags’ front-seven that’s average the 5th-most .5PPR points allowed to opposing backfields (27.7), Jackson deserves back-end RB1 consideration. Lock him into your lineup and throw away the key. Kelly, meanwhile, should see flex-worthy usage as well.

San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots

49ers

Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t have a great match-up on tap here, making him tough to trust, even though the offense got back on track last week. Perhaps most notably, the Patriots are averaging just 6.7 .5PPR points allowed per game to the tight end position, 5th-fewest in the league — and that’s after facing Mike Gesicki, Darren Waller, and Travis Kelce already. George Kittle maintains TE1 status due to his talent and team-leading Weighted Opportunity Rating (0.59) but box score expectations should be lowered. Correspondingly, Garoppolo is just a mid-tier QB2.

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel quickly returned to full-time starter status, coming off of his summer Jones fracture recovery. Although the team will undoubtedly continue scheming the ball into his hands near the line of scrimmage, impending shadow coverage from Stephon Gilmore renders him just a mid-tier flex play. Deebo’s return has resulted in a lessened workload from stud rookie Brandon Aiyuk, making the latter a tough-to-count-on flex option this week.

Kendrick Bourne is not a fantasy option this week.

Although Jerick McKinnon should take over as the lead back while Raheem Mostert is on Injured Reserve, beat writer Matt Barrows of The Athletic made it a point to note that rookie back JaMycal Hasty looked great while taking over of the 4th-quarter backfield touches last week. McKinnon, meanwhile, looked like the heavy workload he’d seen as of late may be pushing his cardio to the extreme. Hasty is a must-add player with potential standalone value as the “2” in the Niners 1-2 punch at running back. With Tevin Coleman a long shot to return in Week 8, Hasty could provide a solid flex start next week. For this week, consider McKinnon a rock-solid RB2 and Hasty a low-end flex.

Patriots

San Francisco, hit by early-season injuries, has offered moderate resistance to opposing passing games, paving the way for a solid QB1 outing from Cam Newton.

The Patriots wide receiver, running back, and tight end personnel features a smorgasbord of flex options and stay-aways. Leading the flex charge is veteran receiver Julian Edelman. His usage has been solid but the results mostly lacking. Unfortunately for Edelman, it appears as though his banged up body has betrayed him. He’s now now just a high-floor flex play.

Damiere Byrd and his 0.49 Weighted Opportunity Rating is second-highest on the team but he’s been largely quite in the weekly box scores. Given that San Fran’s allowed a trio of long touchdowns in back-to-back weeks, Week 7 provides as good of an opportunity as any to find paydirt. He’s a solid boom/bust flex option.

Running back James White is the only remaining viable flex option. His safety valve passing game usage is sublime.

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos

Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes has yet to trounce a division rival this season but Week 7’s date at Mile High gives him a great opportunity to do so. Denver’s secondary is allowing, on average, 20.6 fantasy points per game (9th-most in the NFL) which bodes very well for Mahomes’ box score success. He’s the overall QB1 this week.

Travis Kelce, .5PPR’s top scoring tight end, is viable to increase his outrageous 27-point lead on .5PPR’s TE2, George Kittle. He’s the overall TE1, again, this week.

Tyreek Hill is the No. 1 receiver on the Kansas City Chiefs. Treat him as a fantasy WR1 accordingly.

Even with Sammy Watkins out last week, head coach Andy Reid opted not to unleash Mecole Hardman onto the world. With Watkins out again this week, all we can expect is another quiet outing for the play-maker in-waiting. Hardman is just a handcuff for Tyreek Hill.

Despite being a full-time player at this point, Demarcus Robinson is largely capped-ceiling flex option.

Byron Pringle is not fantasy-relevant.

With Le’Veon Bell’s Week 7 status up in the air, it’s unclear as to what the backfield touches will look like. Should Bell be active, it’s possible he takes over the goal-line role as he’s significantly larger that the diminutive Clyde Edwards-Helaire. CEH should still be the team’s lead back though — maintaining a workload of 18+ touches every week. In the KC offense that’s enough to continue warranting RB1 rankings. Bell would be a high-risk/high-reward flex option, if active.

Broncos

Kansas City is happy to offer opponents rushing production in exchange for killing the clock, as the Chiefs run up the score. As a result, KC’s able to focus on slowing opposing passing games as much as possible. Broncos’ quarterback Drew Lock should find himself in a high-volume passing situation as his team struggles to keep pace in the 2nd-half, which is likely to result in some garbage time production for his pass catchers but increases his interception potential. He’s a QB3.

Perimeter receiver Tim Patrick has finally made good on the preseason-promise he’s shown through the years, asserting himself as the team’s No. 1 pass catcher while K.J. Hamler and Noah Fant recovered from injury. Patrick is now neck and neck with rookie slot receiver Jerry Jeudy for the team’s second-highest Weighted Opportunity Rating (0.46) and has vastly out produced him (14 catches, 257 yards, and two touchdowns to Jeudy’s nine catches, 148 yards, and one touchdown) over the last three weeks. Count on Patrick to continue his high-end flex/WR2 ways this week in an albeit tough match-up. Jeudy is just a low-end flex option.

Speedster K.J. Hamler is a boom/bust flex option who is unlikely to “boom” this week.

Tight end Noah Fant managed back-to-back full participation in practice this week so he’s back on the TE1 radar. Fant looked like a game-wrecker early in the season — even though it’s a tough match-up he should be in your lineup as you likely don’t have stronger options.

Kansas City’s front-seven has averaged 21.6 .5PPR points allowed to opposing backfields thus far. With 18 or so touches on tap, expect lead back Melvin Gordon to safely return high-end RB2 value against them. Phillip Lindsay, meanwhile, performed well enough in last week’s Gordon-less game that he should maintain a solid 10-12-touch role in the offense. That’s flex-worthy usage, given the match-up.

Sunday Night Football: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals

Seahawks

Russell Wilson heads to Arizona to face the Cards’ malleable defense, finding himself as our overall QB4.

D.K. Metcalf is playing, and scoring, like one of the best receivers in the game in just his second NFL season. He’s a top-flight WR1 in a surefire shootout. The now-Robin to his Batman, Tyler Lockett retains high-end WR2 value, having had a few lackluster outings as of late. Seattle’s made it a point to get more players involved in their passing game and Lockett’s been the one to feel it. This match-up offers can’t-miss potential though.

Part-time players, David Moore and Freddy Swain offer contrarian flex appeal with Moore the easily preferred choice. Moore’s looked great this season but is victim of circumstance with Metcalf and Lockett being on the same team as him.

Although tight ends Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister see the field from time to time, Greg Olsen is the team’s TE1. With the platoon-like usage though, he’s just a TE2 streaming option.

With the return of Carlos Hyde to the backfield rotation, Travis Homer’s flex appeal is markedly lowered. One of Hyde or Homer could make some box score noise, playing behind lead back Chris Carson, but it’s tough to say who. Homer has the edge in the passing game, while Hyde perhaps more likely for a goal-line carry. It’s best to avoid them. Carson, however, returns from Seattle’s Week 6 bye to the overall RB9 ranking this week. This looks to be a high-scoring affair and Carson should be heavily involved.

Cardinals

Despite playing just five games due to their by week, Seattle’s secondary has allowed opposing teams to pass for the 2nd-highest yardage total this year (1,852). Kyler Murray is set to smash the Week 7 box score against them. He’s this week’s overall QB3.

After reassuringly managing a limited practice session on Friday, All Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is set to contend for overall WR1 honors this week against Seattle’s Jamal Adams-less secondary.

Although he’s not quite seeing the heavy usage he deserves, downfield receiver Christian Kirk has a nice three-week streak going that’s resulted in him taking overall WR13 honors in .5PPR scoring formats. In what’s sure to be a high-scoring track meet on Sunday night, Kirk’s number will be frequently called upon to answer Seattle’s incoming big plays. Count on Kirk as a high-end WR2 this week.

Wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald, Andy Isabella and tight end Dan Arnold have been underwhelming, and sporadic, producers this year. Fitz is washed while Isabella and Arnold are underused. The trio is not recommended for fantasy purposes but long-shot money could be placed on an Isabella long-touchdown.

With the Cardinals expected to be frequenting the Seattle red zone, Kenyan Drake is in for another big week, having out-carried the rest of the team (eight to five) in the red zone over the last two weeks. Pass catching back Chase Edmonds should hear his number called between the 20s too, leading both to fruitful fantasy outings. Drake is a rock-solid RB2 with multi-touchdown upside and Edmonds is a flex option with PPR upside.