After the initial optimism that comes with drafting a new fantasy football team, we’re now firmly in the grasps of the season. Bye weeks are here, and it’s becoming apparent whose teams should be taken seriously.
With that in mind, let us do the hard work for you and give recommendations on who you should be starting and who you should be sitting in Week 7.
START: Jared Goff vs. Atlanta Falcons
Those who invested in Jared Goff have had a frustrating ride so far this season. Through six games, Goff is the QB19, with the same number of points per game as Case Keenum and Jimmy Garoppolo.
Enter: The Atlanta Falcons. No team has allowed more fantasy points to the quarterback position than the Falcons this season. Kyler Murray (QB5), Deshaun Watson (QB1), Marcus Mariota (QB7), Jacoby Brissett (QB11), and Carson Wentz (QB10) all had big weeks. The only quarterback who didn’t score at least 19.5 fantasy points in standard-scoring was Kirk Cousins in Week 1, who still managed 14.3 points despite only throwing the ball ten times.
The Falcons’ defense is in meltdown and Goff is in prime position to remind fantasy owners why he was so highly regarded in drafts.
START: Josh Allen vs. Miami Dolphins
Anybody who has been watching football this year will know that targeting the Miami Dolphins is a good strategy. Whether or not you think they’re tanking, they’re just not a good football team at the moment. Josh Allen has more than 18 fantasy points in four of the five games he’s played this season. The one game that he didn’t was Week 4 against the New England Patriots when he was replaced by backup Matt Barkley due to injury early in the fourth quarter.
People will continue to be critical of his performances, but his rushing ability gives him a solid floor for fantasy football, and the Dolphins are allowing more points per game than any other team to the position.
SIT: Kirk Cousins vs. Detroit Lions
After a disappointing start to the season, Kirk Cousins has thrown six touchdowns in the last two weeks. The Detroit Lions certainly don’t have a dominant defense, but Cousins is unlikely to get the same production out of Stefon Diggs as he did last weekend with Darius Slay in coverage. The Minnesota Vikings want to run the ball, and a tough divisional match doesn’t have the makings of a shootout.
START: Frank Gore vs. Miami Dolphins
You may be noticing a theme. Just because the Dolphins are allowing points to quarterbacks doesn’t mean that running backs are being held in check. Only the Cincinnati Bengals have allowed more points to running backs so far this season than Miami.
Devin Singletary’s return may limit the number of touches that Gore sees, but Adrian Peterson just torched the Dolphins for 136 all-purpose yards despite his previous season-high being only 37 yards. Opposing running backs are averaging 31.2 rushing attempts per game against the Dolphins, and Gore should be in for a big day.
START: Tevin Coleman vs. Washington Redskins
It can be difficult to predict exactly which San Francisco 49ers running back is worth starting each week, but a match-up against the Washington Redskins is difficult to resist. The Redskins are allowing the seventh-most points per game to opposing running backs, and Tevin Coleman is averaging 18 touches per game since his return from injury. In those two games, he’s had eight of the team’s 10 red zone touches and looks to have established himself as the team’s primary option in scoring situations.
SIT: Adrian Peterson vs. San Francisco 49ers
Remember the Adrian Peterson stats in the Frank Gore section above? They are the same Adrian Peterson stats from here. In addition to the fact that Peterson’s performance last week was an anomaly, the 49ers are allowing the fewest fantasy points in the league to running backs. The Redskins are likely to be playing from behind, meaning Peterson could find himself on the sideline more often than not with Chris Thompson in his place.
START: Rams Wide Receivers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Maybe this sounds like I’m hedging my bets. I’m not. If you have Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, or Cooper Kupp, they should be starting for you. If you somehow have all three, then you could do worse than starting all of them.
The Falcons defense is disorganized and lacking talent. There’s no pass rush, and the secondary is struggling in coverage. This season they have surrendered weekly top 10 fantasy football finishes to Nelson Agholor, Will Fuller, A.J. Brown, and Corey Davis. The Falcons are allowing the second-most fantasy points in the league to opposing wide receivers and Desmond Trufant, the team’s top cornerback, could miss out with a toe injury.
START: Michael Gallup vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Michael Gallup is a big-play threat, drawing targets and going against one of the worst secondaries in football. Fantasy football players rejoice! With Amari Cooper at less than perfect health, Gallup could find himself as the top receiving option. The Philadelphia Eagles have allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers and have done a good job shutting down running backs.
SIT: Robby Anderson vs. New England Patriots
Robby Anderson owners had to have been thrilled to see the return of Sam Darnold at quarterback for the New York Jets, but last week’s performance is unlikely to repeat. The Patriots are allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers and rarely get beaten deep. Anderson is likely to spend much of the game matched up with Stephon Gilmore, who is arguably the best cornerback in the league at the moment. That’s not a recipe for fantasy football success.
START: Hunter Henry vs. Tennessee Titans
Hunter Henry’s return last week was a welcome surprise for fantasy owners. In the wasteland that is the tight end position, Henry’s 100 yards and two touchdowns made a big statement. Any time you can get a tight end who is an integral part of the passing game, you should take it, and Henry’s nine targets were encouraging. The Tennessee Titans are allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to tight ends, and a player who draws repeated looks in the red zone from Philip Rivers since entering the league is a must-start.
START: Evan Engram vs. Arizona Cardinals
If you’re concerned about Evan Engram, then don’t be. If he plays, then he’s arguably the strongest play at the position this week. The Arizona Cardinals are allowing the most points to opposing tight ends by a considerable distance, and Patrick Peterson’s return should see fewer targets heading in the direction of the wide receivers.
Engram already leads the team in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Even at less than 100%, he should be in your lineup.
SIT: Delanie Walker vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Delanie Walker’s two-touchdown performance in Week 1 seems like a long time ago. He’s still an important part of the Titans’ offense, but who knows what that will look like with Ryan Tannehill replacing Marcus Mariota. The Los Angeles Chargers allow the fourth-fewest receptions per game to the tight end position, and Walker isn’t stretching the field.
Are you looking for another player? Check out our Week 7 rankings for more information!
Andy Gallagher is a writer for the Pro Football Network covering Fantasy Football. You can follow him @AndySGallagher on Twitter.