Week 7 Fantasy Sleepers: AJ Dillon, Rhamondre Stevenson, and Sony Michel

Some fantasy RBs are startable. Others aren't rosterable. And some are sleepers. Here are sleeper RBs with a shot at busting out in Week 7.

10/24/21 Update: At 11:00am, Rhamondre Stevenson was declared inactive for today’s game.  He remains a strong long-term play as a potential bell-cow-in-waiting.

Week 6 is in the books. Congratulations on winning, sorry to hear if you lost, and if you tied … well, not sure what to tell you. But now we have to look ahead. Although it’s only Tuesday, it’s never too early to examine a few Week 7 fantasy football sleepers who could help you win — particularly with six teams on a bye.

Week 7 Fantasy Sleepers: AFC

Which sleeper RBs should you consider playing in Week 7?

Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, New England Patriots

When I’m examining potential sleepers, I like projecting game flow. Will one team’s dominance allow them to feature a player who normally doesn’t get many touches? Enter Rhamondre Stevenson, who’s averaged 9.5 touches the last two weeks as the Patriots’ No. 2 running back. Why isn’t he No. 1? Because head coach Bill Belichick remains invested in Damien Harris.

Both backs scored touchdowns this past week against the Cowboys — an important milestone for Stevenson, who finally got looks in Week 5 after Harris fumbled and also briefly exited with an injury. Was that a one-time outburst for Stevenson? Or would he start carving out a backfield niche? As it turns out, the latter, as the rookie averaged 4.6 yards per carry in Week 6 to go with an impressive 3 receptions for 39 yards.

This weekend he’ll face a Jets team that has given up almost twice as many points as they have scored. New England has beaten them 11 straight times, with their last loss coming in 2015 when Ryan Fitzpatrick was slinging it to Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. This has all the makings of another comfortable Patriots victory, meaning Stevenson should see 10+ touches and is a decent bet for another score.

Week 7 Fantasy Sleepers: NFC

Turning to the NFC, let’s look at a few sleeper RBs for Week 7.

AJ Dillon, RB, Green Bay Packers

AJ Dillon would probably be the starter on at least a half-dozen NFL teams. Instead, he’s one of the top RB “handcuffs” in fantasy. Why did I put handcuffs in quotes? Because he’s a handcuff in name only. Dillon is arguably just as talented as starter Aaron Jones, and by next year — or earlier if things break right — Dillon could work his way into a true timeshare.

He’s earned a healthy 58 touches this season compared to Jones’ 104. But since Week 4, their usage has tightened: 13.0 touches per game for Dillon and 17.7 for Jones. So their fantasy production differential doesn’t tell the whole story. Dillon appears to be on the cusp of something bigger.

This coming week, the 5-1 Packers will host Washington in what should be a solid win for the home team. I believe Dillon has a great shot at cracking 10+ points against a severely underperforming Washington defense. 8+ rushes for 35+ yards is realistic, as is 3+ catches for 30+ yards. Furthermore, a touchdown would seal the deal. Start Dillon if you don’t have an RB3 ready to go.

Sony Michel, RB, Los Angeles Rams

Speaking of the Patriots, this former New Englander is chugging along in his new digs, running behind starter Darrell Henderson. There’s usually not a good reason to start Sony Michel as anything more than a TD-dependent dart throw. But facing a Lions unit that’s tied for the fifth-most points given up in the NFL and hasn’t exceeded 17 points scored since Week 1, LA could be on the right side of a blowout. The Rams’ offense has been clicking, and in their last two games, their defense has performed as many expected it would when the season began.

The Rams have no incentive to overwork Henderson, who’s proven to be a moderate injury risk during his young career. Michel should continue to see usage as a complementary back, and he could crack 12 touches if things get out of hand Sunday. That’s what you’re hoping for if you choose to start Michel as a worthwhile Week 7 flyer.

BJ Rudell is the Fantasy Football Director for Pro Football Network. You can read all of BJ’s work here, listen to him on PFN’s Fantasy Football podcast, and check out his contributions in PFN’s free fantasy newsletter. Give him a follow on Twitter: @BJRudell.

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