WR Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 7: Darnell Mooney & Darius Slayton will help you through the bye-pocalypse

With a heavy bye week and injuries piling up, which WRs made the list of the top start 'em and sit 'em options for Week 7?

Now that we are into the part of the season where bye weeks wreak havoc on teams, fantasy football managers will be facing even more difficult lineup decisions. Let’s take a look at our Week 7 WR start ’em and sit ’em plays.

Week 7 Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Wide Receivers

Which wide receivers are starts heading into Week 7?

Start ‘Em | Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears (@ TB)

This is a difficult week because of the sheer magnitude of players out due to bye weeks and injuries. It makes just about any healthy fantasy-relevant player with a game this week worth starting. Darnell Mooney is one of those players.

Mooney has been definitively better than Allen Robinson from a fantasy perspective. That’s why his name is here instead of ARob’s. Mooney is averaging 10.4 PPR points per game through the first six weeks of the season and has been producing as a fantasy WR4. With all of the byes and injuries affecting Week 7, Mooney could flirt with WR2 value relative to his peers.

Unfortunately, we do need to rely somewhat on head coach Matt Nagy using logic. Yet, the Bucs are a pass-funnel defense. Opposing offenses should and have thrown excessively against them.

Tampa Bay has the best run defense in the NFL but allow the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Justin Fields has yet to attempt more than 27 passes a game. That needs to change this week if the Bears want any hope of moving the ball against the Bucs. Therefore, bank on that happening and start Mooney this week.

Start ‘Em | Darius Slayton, New York Giants (vs. CAR)

It’s likely that Darius Slayton is out there on many waiver wires. He hasn’t played since Week 4, and if everyone on the Giants is healthy, Slayton is their WR4. As we know, however, New York’s wide receivers are not healthy.

Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney are doubtful to play this week. If Slayton can return, he will start opposite Sterling Shepard.

The Panthers are an average pass defense. They looked great early in the season against soft opponents but have struggled recently against better ones. In Week 7, we can’t be overly concerned with finding a favorable matchup. This is about chasing targets. Slayton has a good shot to be second on the team in targets this week. You can start him.

Week 7 Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Wide Receivers

These wide receivers should be left on your bench in Week 7.

Sit ‘Em | Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (vs. NO)

Just as difficult as it is to recommend starts when any warm body will do this week, it’s hard to tell fantasy managers to sit any wide receiver that will be on the field commanding targets.

I’m probably going to keep putting Tyler Lockett here until the weekly rankings across the fantasy communities accept that Lockett is nothing more than a random WR4 while Russell Wilson is out.

Lockett’s lofty Week 7 rank likely has more to do with all of the top WRs not playing this week. But there are still several guys below him that are flat-out better for fantasy. Lockett is averaging just 36.75 receiving yards per game over the past four weeks. In his first game without Wilson, Lockett caught just 2 passes for 35 yards.

Last week’s analysis holds true — Lockett is more reliant on rapport with his quarterback and precision passing. He’s not getting that from Geno Smith. Until the ranks adjust or Wilson returns, Lockett will be a recommended sit unless he proves otherwise.

Sit ‘Em | A.J. Green, Arizona Cardinals (vs. HOU)

The Cardinals are 17-point home favorites against the Texans. There is going to be a cavalcade of points scored in this one. Why not invest in anyone you can in this offense?

Well, I’m buying into the DeAndre Hopkins’ revenge game narrative. Hopkins has not been the alpha we saw last season. He’s just another cog in the machine. He’s still a really talented cog, but the deliberate targeting hasn’t been there.

Under normal conditions, there would be no reason for the Cardinals to risk switching things up. They’re undefeated. It’s been working. However, they know they’re winning this game with ease. That means they can do what they want with minimal risk. I think they’re going to force-feed Hopkins to stick it to the Texans.

If Hopkins is getting peppered with targets, there won’t be much for the other guys. And A.J. Green is the most likely party to be left out of the fun.

Green has been surviving on efficiency. He’s seen 6 targets in every game this season (except Week 5, where he saw 2). While he’s only had two games that weren’t fantasy-viable, this week is shaping up to be the third.

Jason Katz is a Fantasy Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter: @jasonkatz13 and find more of his work here. Don’t forget to listen to the PFN Fantasy Football podcast and check out our free fantasy newsletter.