2017 NFL Week 7 Start 'em Sit 'em

NFL Week 7's Close Calls and Risky Bets


***WEEK 7 BYE-WEEK TEAMS***
Detroit Lions
Houston Texans
 
WEEK 6 RECAP:
 
Running Backs:
 
Starts: Marshawn Lynch took just 13 totes for 63 yards.  C.J. Anderson struggled for just 17 yards on 9 carries.  Demarco Murray found the endzone on 12 carries for 40 yards, and added another 47 yards on 4 catches.  Chris Thompson ran for just 33 yards on 16 carries, but caught 4 passes for 105 yards.
 
Sits: Ty Montgomery carried the ball 10 times for just 28 yards, and had 1 reception for 3 more yards.  Carlos Hyde was used plenty at the goal line, carrying the ball 1e times for just 28 yards and 2 touchdowns, and caught 5 passes for another 47 yards.  Jonathan Stewart dropped a goose egg, carrying the ball 4 times for negative 8 yards.
 
Wide Receivers:
 
Starts: T.Y. Hilton was locked down for just 19 yards on 1 catch.  Devin Funchess caught just 3 passes for 36 yards.  Taylor Gabriel caught 4 passes for 39 yards.  Will Fuller caught 2 passes for 62 yards and a score.
 
Sits: Jarvis Landry caught 8 passes for 62 yards and a score.  Cooper Kupp was held to just 2 catches for 35 yards.  Alshon Jeffery caught just 4 passes for 71 yards.  Pierre Garcon was limited to just 5 catches for 55 yards.
 
Tight Ends
 
Starts: Darren Fells caught 2 passes for 26 yards and a score.  Benjamin Watson caught 6 passes for just 28 yards. Jared Cooks caught 2 passes for just 14 yards. Ed Dickson caught 4 passes for just 36 yards.  
 
Sits: David Njoku was held to just 2 catches for zero yards.  Evan Engram went off on the Broncos' "No Fly Zone" for 5 catches, 82 yards and a touchdown.
 
Quarterbacks

Starts: Matt Ryan threw for just 248 yards, a score, and a pick.  Kirk Cousins put up 330 yards for 2 touchdowns and a pick on 25 of 37 completed passes.  Deshaun Watson threw for 225 yards for 3 scores and an interception.  Jacoby Brissett passed for just 212 yards, a score, and no turnovers.

Sits: Carson Palmer threw for 283 yards 3 touchdowns and a pick.  Jared Goff passed for just 124 yards but he took care of the ball.
 
Defense / Special Teams
 
Starts: Atlanta Falcons allowed 20 points with just 1 pick.  Washington Redskins allowed 24 points for 1 pick.  Houston Texans had a great fantasy week, limiting the Browns to just 11 points and picking off Hogan 3 times including one for a pick 6.
 
Sits: The Kansas City Chiefs had no answer for Bell or Brown, and got shredded.  Detroit Lions had a pick 6 and a punt return for a touchdown.  Unfortunately, the Saints generated 52 points by turning multiple Lions turnovers into touchdowns.
 
RUNNING BACKS (RB)
 
START:
 
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
Kamara and his crew will be facing a Green Bay Packers team that's struggling on both sides of the ball.  With Adrian Peterson out of the picture, Kamara is set in stone as the backup running back, if he can be referred to as that, and should be just as affective.  Ladt week he rushed just 10 times but gained 75 yards on the ground and caught another 4 passes to add another 12 yards.  He's heavily involved in the Saints' passing game and should be started in all PPR leagues.  He gets starting consideration in most standard formats as well.
 
C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos
Anderson dropped an absolute dud last week against the Giants.  The Broncos struggled and couldn't get much going through the air or on the ground.  Anderson should have an easier time this week against the Chargers' league-worst run defense, and the Broncos may lean on the run even more to protect Siemian's sprained non-throwing shoulder.  Anderson gets the start this week.  
 
DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans
Murray has struggled in recent weeks but gets the start column after a resurgent performance against the Colts, and this week's road matchup against the Browns.  Backfield teammate Derrick Henry did receive 7 more carries than Murray though, so the number of Murray's handoffs should be monitored in the coming weeks.  Nevertheless, he can be left in lineups this week.
 
Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Hyde had been struggling this season with Matt Breida taking away offensive touches.  Hyde did bounce back last week with a 2 touchdown performance in Washington.  He's clearly the goal line back, which is where he got both of his touchdowns, and has averaged 4.2 yards per carry in Kyle Shanahan's system.  Hyde should have another stellar performance when Dallas comes to town this week.
 
Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins
Ajayi finally got over 100 yards rushig for the first time since week 2.  It seems like Adam Gase is starting to get things moving through the air a bit after struggling these past 3 weeks.  This opens up the field for Ajayi a bit underneath.  While he's finally had some nice gains, he has yet to reach the endzone and faces a potentially underrated Jets front.  Ajayi is a cautious start this week.
 
SIT:
 
Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Gore, the ageless wonder, may actually be showing signs of the times.  He's seen his touches gradually decline over the past few weeks, and he hasn't found the endzone since week 3 against Cleveland.  While Jacksonville is a team that can be run on (in theory), he may not find any open lanes this week against a stout Jaguars front, and he may not have many opportunities to run the ball with the Colts playing from behind.  
 
Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Martin may have found the endzone 2 weeks in a row, but the Bucs travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills.  Their stout front may be what stops Martin's run this week.  The Bills have allowed 4 rushing touchdowns to opposing backfields but no runner has rushed for more than 77 yards.  This potentially makes Martin a boom or bust play against a Bills team coming off of a bye.  Martin might be better suited for the bench this week.
 
Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Mixon could be in for a rough day this week in Pittsburgh.  The Steelers defense held rookie sensation to just 21 yards on 9 carries, and could repeat against Mixon.  The Bengals' backfield is a timeshare with Gio Bernard coming in to catch passes.  Mixon scored his first NFL touchdown 2 weeks ago against the Bills, but the division rival Steelers could keep him out of the endzone.  Mixon should be held out of the lineup in all formats this week.
 
LeGarrette Blount, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
LeGarrette Blount has been held out of the endzone in all but 1 game this past season.  With Wentz throwing the ball so much and should continue to do so with so many pass catching playmakers.  He may only get a handful of carries in a divisional matchup and could be used to punch the ball in at the goal line.  This potentially makes him a boom or bust goal line back that should be sat in all leagues.
 
WIDE RECEIVERS (WR)
 
START:
 
Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers
Funchess slumped last week, but could bounce back this week against the Bears.  Funchess is 6'4" which could create issues for the Bears' undersized corners in man coverage.  He caught 7 passes for 53 yards and a touchdown in Detroit in a similar situation.  The Bears' secondary has also looked lost at times, and Funchess has caught multiple passes on busted coverages, thus raising the fantasy ceiling for the Panthers wideout.
 
Pierre Garcon, WR, San Francisco 49ers
After being held to just 55 yards on 5 catches, Garcon could have a bounce back week this week against a very suspect Dallas secondary.  He has a new, more efficient signal caller this week in C.J. Beathard, which raises Garcon's ceiling.  Get Garcon in the lineup.
 
Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins
While it's tough to start Landry in standard formats, his owners should put him in the lineup this week.  No, Jay Cutler isn't Tom Brady and the Dolphins don't have the same quality of receivers as the Patriots.  However, Landry gets a ton of targets and may get even more if Parker isn't able to suit up on Sunday.  That volume alone makes him worth the start.  Oh, and he finally caught his second touchdown of the season last week against a decent Falcons defense.
 
Rishard Matthews, WR, Tennessee Titans
Owners may have gotten frustrated with Matthews' lack of production.  With that in mind, his role must not be forgotten.  He's the next best target in the Titans' passing game  behind Delanie Walker and is the possession receiver for the Titans.  Yes, he's only found the endzone twice this season, but he has a favorable matchup in Cleveland this week.  He should be started in all PPR leagues and in most standard leagues.
 
Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Kupp gets the start this week as the Rams' best wideout.  He could get some opportunities if and only if the Cardinals' shut down cornerback Patrick Peterson sots this week with a quad injury.  The Cardinals' defensive backfield has also been exposed this year as they've just been unable to generate a pass rush.  If Goff gets time, expect a throw to Kupp.
 
SIT:
 
Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When Winston went down, so did Evans' fantasy week.  Save for a 37 yards touchdown reception, Evans did little else on Sunday against the Cardinals.  Evans could have a down week with Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing to him.  Owners should start him only in desperation.  The only upside he really has is a 5 inch height advantage over any rostered Bills defensive back.  In theory, Fitz could put it up where only Evans could get it, but the mistake-prone Fitzpatrick is likely to throw into double or triple coverage.  Even if Winston is actually ready to go, it'll be interesting how much he'll be able to throw to Evans.
 
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Hilton owners should find a streaming option or mentally prepare themselves to be disappointed.  With a backfield led by A.J. Bouye, Jalen Ramsey, and one of the best pass rushes in the game, Hilton will be lucky to catch a pass.  Sit him this week.
 
John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Brown is one of the Cardinals' speedsters.  While he's scored in 2 games in a row, his streak could end this week with the Rams' pass rush.  He may not even have time to get open.  He's tied with J.J. Nelson for 4th in targets behind Fitz, Jaron Brown, and Ellington.  Now that Fitz, Nelson, and Jaron are all healthy, Brown should be benched in most leagues, especially against the Rams pass rush.
 
Mike Wallace, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Even though Maclin and Perriman are both questionable, Wallace should still be on the bench in this week's matchup with one of the best pass defenses in the league, the Minnesota Vikings.  Wallace is just fast.  That's it.  He doesn't display any dynamic route running, physicality after the catch, or the ability to high point and fight for the ball.  Moreover, Flacco has struggled to deliver the ball to his wideouts this season.  Wallace may deliver another disappointment this week.
 
Terrelle Pryor, WR, Washington Redskins
Pryor and the rest of Washington's passing game has struggled to get going.  Chris Thompson has been the team's most productive receiver and that's been a problem.  Those issues could continue this week as the Eagles effectively shut down the Cardinals passing game and only allowed a receiving touchdown to the Panthers' Christian McCaffery that week.  Put Pryor on the pine.
 
TIGHT ENDS (TE)
 
START:
 
Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants
Engram exploded against the Broncos' no fly zone last week for 5 catches for 82 yards and a touchdown.  He matches up against a Seahawks defense that has struggled historically against good Tight Ends.  The Seahawks just gave up 4 catches for 98 yards to the Rams' second year player Tyler Higbee out of Western Kentucky.  Engram is one of the only receiving options for an injured New York Giants team, and could have another great day at home against Seattle.
 
Austin-Stefarian Jenkins, TE, New York Jets
ASJ has come on strong in the last few weeks.  His receptions have increased and he's scored 2 games in a row.  He's emerged as the only consistent receiving target on this New York Jets team and is due for another top performance against a struggling Dolphins secondary.  
 
Greg Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers
Kittle has 11 grabs for 129 yards and a touchdown in his last 2 games.  He's emerged as a viable weapon in the 49ers' receiving arsenal and should continue his success against a soft Cowboys secondary. 
 
Nick O'Leary, TE, Buffalo Bills
This kid is unknown except for his 5 catch performance for 54 yards in Cincinnati after Charles Clay went down.  The Florida State product is expected to fill in for multiple weeks while Clay recovers and could have a great week.  Tampa's defense, which is riddled with injuries, allows Tyrod Taylor to hit O'Leary on shallow crossing routes.  O'Leary should be rostered, if not started, in most leagues.
 
DEEP LEAGUE FLIER
 
Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers
It's been tough to trust Hunter Henry this season, but his usage and catch rate are trending in the right direction.  He's caught 10 passes for 148 yards and 2 touchdowns, and he'll be going up against a Broncos defense that has struggled against the position this season.  
 
SIT:
 
Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts
Doyle is coming off of one of his best performance of the season, catching 7 passes for 50 yards and a touchdown against a leaky Titans secondary.  This week os a far different story.  He'll face an elite Jaguars pass defense that could shut him out.  Shut down Doyle this week and stream another option.
 
Martellus Bennett, TE, Green Bay Packers
Bennett has struggled so far this season.  While he's had glimpses of greatness, he could struggle again this week with a new QB throwing to him.  It might be best to bench Bennett until after he's shown what he can or can't do with a new QB under center.  Aaron Rodgers went down, but hopefully the rest of Green Bay's receiving won't go down with him. 
 
Jared Cook, TE, Oakland Raiders
The former Packer has found himself struggling these past 2 weeks.  Even though Kansas City is struggling to limit receiving options, Cook is tough to trust after catching just 5 passes for 39 yards in the last 2 weeks.  It looks like Cooper may have finally recovered from his case of the drops, which means even fewer opportunities for Cook.  
 
QUARTERBACKS (QB)
 
START:
 
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
If there's one week where Matty Ice can bounce back, it's this week in a Super Bowl rematch against the Patriots' sorry secondary.  Matt Ryan still has all of the tools he had last year except Sanu (status questionable) and last year's Offensive Coordinator, Kyle Shanahan.  The Pats just gave up 2 receiving touchdowns to Josh Mccown and a patchwork receiving corps.  Hopefully the Falcons' air attack can generate some better numbers.  
 
Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans
Mariota came back from injury with a vengeance.  He completed 23 of 32 pass attempts for 306 yards, a touchdown, and a pick.  He's a start in all leagues against a sad Browns defense.  The only X factor could be the first overall pick of the Browns, Myles Garrett.  He's a disruptor who gets into opposing backfield with ease and can stop any play.  Still, Mariota has done enough to prove he's a start this week.
 
Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Through 6 games, Wentz has thrown 13 touchdowns to just 3 picks and 4 total turnovers.  He's really getting on the same page as all of his receiving options and has looked like he's taken that next step his second year, and has proven himself as a solid starter.  He should have another great week this week against an injured Redskins secondary.  
 
DEEP LEAGUE FLIER
 
Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders
The Chiefs struggled after pass rusher Justin Houston former Pro-bowler Eric Berry was lost for the season.  This could be the week that Carr claws some fantasy points back.  Cooper looks like he may have bounced back from the drops and Crabtree has been a reliable target.  The Chiefs pass defense has been struggling against good wideouts, putting Carr in the conversation to start this week.
 
SIT:
 
Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins
Cousins struggled in his first game against the Eagles this week, throwing for just 240 yards, a touchdown and a pick.  He also dropped the ball twice allowing the Eagles to spoil the Redskins season opener.  He could face a similar situation this week in Philly, making him a smart sit.
 
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
Wilson has looked average this year more often than not.  He did put up a couple of nice stat lines against weak secondaries this year, but otherwise hasn't done much.  The Seahawks' offensive line is arguably one of the worst, and they'll be facing one of the best pass rushes in the league.  Wilson could be running for his life most of this game, playing his usual brand of backyard football, but he may not find many guys open.  Wilson could have a tough time putting fantasy numbers this week.
 
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Big Ben looks like he bounced back from a 5 interception game in Jacksonville, but he's been disappointing given all of the talent he's had around them.  Pittsburgh's defense won last Sunday's game against the Chiefs, not the offense.  While Ben's been better, he could just be a mid-tier QB2 at this point.  Owners should start him only if they have to.
 
DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS (D/ST)
 
START:
 
Philadelphia Eagles
The Dirty Birds spoiled the season opener for the Redskins with a 30-17 beat down in Washington.  The Eagles' offense is clicking, which means winning time of possession.  The defensive backfield is getting healthier, which means better coverage and takeaways.  The Eagles' defense is a solid start this week against a struggling Redskins passing game.
 
New Orleans Saints
The Saints travel to the Frozen Tundra this week to take on a Packer offense led by veteran backup Brett Hundley.  Even with the Saints' prolific defensive performances these past few weeks, the Saints' defenses aren't a solid start.  Hundley is able to use his feet to get outside of the pocket, he takes care of the football, and he has some of the best receiving talent around him.  Unfortunately, the Packers offensive line has been hurt and the Saints have a stout pass rush.  If Mike McCarthy can make adjustments in his play calling, it could be a long day for the Saints.  If the Saints can contain Hundley and cover the Packers' talented wideouts, it could be a long day at Lambeau.
 
DEEP LEAGUE FLIER
 
New York Jets
The Jets' defense seems to have the Dolphins number, limiting them to just one touchdown to Devante Parker in the closing seconds of their matchup earlier this season.  Unfortunately, the Dolphins may not have Parker this week but they do play at home.  If the Jets can win time of possession and the Jets' secondary can step up, it could be another down day for the Dolphins.  
 
SIT:
 
Carolina Panthers
The Panthers' sit this week is conditional.  Luke Kuechly hasn't been able to practice and Carolina's defense has looked completely different at times without their man in the middle.  Chicago's run game has been rolling and could give Carolina's front some problems if they're not able to win the battle in the trenches and stuff the middle.
 
Buffalo Bills
The Bills defense touts 8 picks for third best in the league, but they've struggled to generate a pass rush at times, getting just 12 sacks through the first 5 games of the season.  They'll have their hands full trying to cover Evans, Brate, Jackson, and Humphries this week.  The only upside here is how much or how accurately Fitzpatrick or Winston will be able to deliver the ball. 

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