Week 7 Start 'Em and Sit 'Em
Justin Forsett has emerged from a crowded backfield in Baltimore, but should he be started in Fantasy in Week 7? Our Jamey Eisenberg shares his outlook in his Start 'Em and Sit 'Em.
Editor's note: FanDuel.com is hosting a one-week $500,000 Fantasy Football contest for Week 7. It's only $10 to join and first prize is $40,000. Starts Sunday, October 19th at 1 p.m. ET. Enter now to play with Jamey.
This should be a fun week for Fantasy owners with a lot of interesting storylines in the works. None are bigger than Peyton Manning within three touchdowns of passing Brett Favre for the all-time lead in passing scores, and we hope he does it this week.
We'll also find out how the Patriots plan to replace Stevan Ridley (our guess is Brandon Bolden , who should be considered a sleeper). And if Eddie Lacy can separate himself from James Starks , or is this something we'll have to deal with all year.
Some other things to note are Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford continued struggles, the Saints trying to succeed without Jimmy Graham (shoulder) and if the Giants can manage without Victor Cruz (knee). As usual, there is a lot going on heading into Week 7, but we've got you covered.
So dive into our recommended starts and sits for this scoring period, and hopefully when everything is over Monday night you come out on top.
Justin Forsett continues to be one of the best finds for Fantasy owners this year. He's been amazing since taking over as the main running back in Baltimore in Week 3.
In his past three games, Forsett has at least 90 total yards in every outing with two touchdowns and one 100-yard game over that span. He's losing some production to Bernard Pierce and Lorenzo Taliaferro , but Forsett has shined in offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak's system.
We'd love to see him take on a bigger workload since he hasn't had more than 17 touches in any game this season, but he's managing to play well despite sharing touches. And this week he faces a bad defense from the Falcons at home.
Atlanta has already allowed 11 touchdowns to opposing running backs. Eight running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points, and we like Pierce as a sleeper this week because he can definitely get a garbage-time touchdown.
But Forsett will have the chance to keep rolling in this matchup, and he should be considered a must-start Fantasy option until he proves otherwise. We don't expect that to happen this any time soon, and Forsett should have another standout performance at home.
I'm starting Forsett over: Frank Gore (at DEN), Eddie Lacy (vs. CAR), Ahmad Bradshaw (vs. CIN), Fred Jackson (vs. MIN), Andre Williams (at DAL)
It was great to see Newton run like he did against the Bengals in Week 6. He's been throwing the ball well for most of the year, but the running has been lacking. But at Cincinnati, Newton looked like his old self with 17 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown. Twice this season Newton has reached double digits in rushing yards, and those have been his only two games with at least 20 Fantasy points. It's hard to say he will keep this up, but the Panthers need Newton to be a dominant force with his legs. And there's a track record for it against Green Bay with how Colin Kaepernick has torched them in the playoffs each of the past two years. The Packers have allowed two rushing touchdowns to quarterbacks already this season, and they are dealing with injuries in their secondary to Sam Shields (knee) and Tramon Williams (ankle). Just make sure Kelvin Benjamin (head) is ready to go by Friday.
I liked Kaepernick so much last week at St. Louis that I risked having to wear a mustache for three days in a bet. Unfortunately I lost, but not because Kaepernick was bad; Tom Brady was just better. Kaepernick had 34 Fantasy points against the Rams and now has at least 20 points in four of six starts, including all three on the road. This game with the Broncos has the potential to be a shootout, especially with the 49ers likely chasing points. Denver has faced two legitimate quarterbacks this season in Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson , and both scored at least 25 Fantasy points. Kaepernick is doing a great job using all his weapons, including his legs, and he should continue to play well this week.
Wilson was a dud last week against the Cowboys when he scored 10 Fantasy points, his first time under 21 points all season. But he'll rebound this week against the Rams. In four career meetings with St. Louis, Wilson has just one game with more than 20 Fantasy points, which was in 2012 at home. But the Rams have been a disaster defensively all year with at least two touchdowns allowed to every opposing quarterback, including Matt Cassel and Josh McCown . Now, Kaepernick is the first quarterback to score more than 20 Fantasy points against St. Louis, but we're counting on Wilson to play well after last week's tough loss at home.
Romo played a great game in Week 6 at Seattle and scored 20 Fantasy points. Unfortunately, he finished as just the No. 16 quarterback in standard leagues, but we hope the 20-point performances continue to come, as he's reached that total in three straight games. The Giants have only allowed two quarterbacks to reach that mark this season with Matthew Stafford in Week 1 and Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 3, but their secondary is banged up with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie banged up and third cornerback Trumaine McBride (thumb) out for the year. Romo has scored at least 19 Fantasy points in each of his past five meetings with the Giants, with at least two touchdowns in every game over that span.
Palmer returned from his three-game absence with a shoulder injury against the Redskins, and coach Bruce Arians wasn't afraid to turn him loose with 44 pass attempts. He completed 28 and finished with 250 passing yards and two touchdowns. Arians likes to throw the ball at will, and Palmer should have the chance for 20-plus Fantasy points on a consistent basis. He's played just two games this year and is averaging 23 Fantasy points. The Raiders don't allow a lot of 20-point Fantasy outings because teams run all over them, but that's not how the Cardinals operate. And the last two opponents against Oakland -- Ryan Tannehill and Philip Rivers -- both scored at least 24 Fantasy points, giving Palmer plenty of upside against his former team.
SleepersJoe Flacco (vs. ATL): He'll stay hot against the Falcons at home.
Ben Roethlisberger (vs. HOU): He should rebound vs. this defense at home.
Kirk Cousins (vs. TEN): He has at least 20 Fantasy points in four of five games.
I'm nervous recommending to sit Ryan based on his talent level, especially when Julio Jones and Roddy White are healthy. But with his offensive line in shambles and playing outdoors against a good defense, this could be a long day. Ryan has scored 16 Fantasy points or less in the past two games against the Giants and Bears. He's played three games outdoors this season and has one game with more than 16 Fantasy points, which was against the lowly Vikings, and he's combined for five touchdowns and six interceptions in those outings. Now, the Ravens have allowed three quarterbacks to score at least 20 Fantasy points, including Mike Glennon last week despite Tampa Bay getting blown out, so hopefully Ryan can prove me wrong. But just use caution when starting him this week because the past two games have been ugly.
Dalton played well last week despite not having A.J. Green with 22 Fantasy points in the overtime tie against the Panthers. But this is a tougher test against the Colts on the road. Indianapolis has allowed just one quarterback to reach 20 Fantasy points this year, which was Peyton Manning in Week 1, including matchups with Nick Foles and Flacco. The good news for Dalton is he's played well on the road so far with at least 20 Fantasy points in two games away from Cincinnati at Baltimore and New England. But if the Colts can negate Mohamed Sanu like they have most opposing No. 1 receivers so far this season, it could be tough for Dalton to have success this week.
All the progress Manning made in the four games prior to Week 6 at Philadelphia went out the window when he scored just six Fantasy points against the Eagles, ending his run of at least 19 points in every outing since Week 2. He lost Victor Cruz (knee) in the process, and it could be tough for him to succeed against the Cowboys. Dallas has allowed three quarterbacks to score at least 21 Fantasy points this season, but the Cowboys do have seven interceptions in their past five games. Manning has had some big games against Dallas in his career as you would expect, but he has just one game with more than 18 Fantasy points in three of his past four meetings with the Cowboys. Let's see how Manning does without Cruz, but his Fantasy value is about to be tested this week in this crucial NFC East battle.
My colleague Pete Prisco likes to say about certain quarterbacks who are destined to be backups that you are who you are. And the real Davis likely showed up last week against the 49ers when he completed 21-of-42 passes for 236 yards, one touchdown and one interception for 13 Fantasy points. He had scored at least 27 Fantasy points in each of his past two games against Dallas and Philadelphia, but he should struggle this week against the Seahawks. While Seattle's pass defense has not been the same this season with four quarterbacks in a row reaching at least 20 Fantasy points, the real Legion of Boom will likely show up this week and limit Davis to minimal production.
Tannehill has been great the past two games with at least 21 Fantasy points against Oakland and Green Bay. But only once in his career has he had at least 20 Fantasy points in three straight games, and he has just two games in his career with at least 20 Fantasy points in an opponent's stadium (he played the Raiders in London this year). The Bears have only allowed one quarterback to score more than 18 Fantasy points against them this season -- which was Aaron Rodgers in Week 4 -- including matchups with Kaepernick, Newton and Ryan. Tannehill isn't a bad option in two-quarterback leagues, but he's not a must-start option in any format given his history on the road and how Chicago has done against opposing passers this year.
As we said last week with Stafford, sitting him really has little to do with his opponent and more to do with his performance without Calvin Johnson (ankle), who is again expected to be out. Stafford had 13 Fantasy points at Minnesota last week, and he now has just one game with more than 20 Fantasy points in his past five games. This is a bad trend for Stafford, who has just two games with at least 20 Fantasy points in his past 10 games going back to last year. Now, the good thing for Stafford is he's playing at home, and the Saints have allowed two quarterbacks to score at least 30 Fantasy points in five games. But you might be better off playing it safe with Stafford and sitting him until Johnson returns. Once that happens, we hope the elite Stafford will show up and shine.
The Bears have done a nice job in run defense this season with only five touchdowns allowed to opposing running backs and no one rushing for more than 63 yards, including matchups with Frank Gore and Eddie Lacy . But Miller just got the golden opportunity we've all been waiting for with Knowshon Moreno (knee) out for the year. He should now be able to dominate touches, and he should have the best game against Chicago all season. Miller has already showed off his skills this year with double digits in Fantasy points in four of five games. He has yet to get 20 touches a game, so we'd love to see his potential if given a heavy workload. Maybe that happens in this game.
No offense to the Titans, but Morris is going to feel like he's facing a junior varsity squad this week after playing Seattle and Arizona in the past two games. He struggled in those matchups with 26 carries for 70 yards and no touchdowns combined. But against Tennessee, Morris should have the chance for his best game of the year. He has yet to run for 100 yards and has scored just three touchdowns in two games, but the Titans have already allowed seven touchdowns to opposing running backs and five to reach double digits in Fantasy points. They have given up a touchdown or 100 yards to a running back in each of the past five games, and we expect Morris to make that six in a row. He is back to being a starting-caliber Fantasy option this week.
We'll find out how the Chargers plan to use Oliver once Donald Brown (concussion) and Ryan Mathews (knee) are healthy, but Oliver should remain a significant contributor this week against the Chiefs. In the past two games, Oliver has combined for 45 carries for 215 yards and two touchdowns and eight catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. He's scored 47 Fantasy points over that span against the Jets and Raiders, and the Chiefs should be his next victim. Now, Kansas City has yet to allow a running back to score a touchdown and only Miller and Gore have reached double digits in Fantasy points. But Oliver looks legit, and we hope the Chargers keep him rolling no matter what happens with Brown or Mathews moving forward.
This pick could backfire given how good the 49ers have been against the run, but they are banged up on defense right now with Patrick Willis (toe) potentially out. Hillman had the best game for a Broncos running back in Week 6 at the Jets with 24 carries for 100 yards and three catches for 16 yards, and Denver should continue to feed him with Montee Ball (groin) out. San Francisco has given up two rushing touchdowns in the past two games, and three running backs have gained at least 75 total yards. We expect Hillman to do at least that, and hopefully he can score his first touchdown of the year.
Reggie Bush (ankle) could return this week, which would hinder Bell's upside, but the guy who showed up in Week 6 at Minnesota is the running back we've been waiting for all year. Bush was out, so take that into consideration, but Bell had a season-high 18 carries for 74 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 23 yards. He should see at least 15 carries and potentially two catches this week even if Bush is active, and this is a good matchup against the Saints at home. New Orleans has allowed six touchdowns to opposing running backs, including at least one in four of five games, and five running backs have scored at least nine Fantasy points. Bell is a solid No. 2 running back this week in all leagues, and we'd even use Bush as a flex option against his former team if he plays as expected.
SleepersAndre Williams (at DAL): I'll give him another chance as at least a flex.
Fred Jackson (vs. MIN): A running back has scored vs. MIN in five straight games.
Isaiah Crowell (at JAC): Look for him to score again if he gets 11 carries.
Bishop Sankey (at WAS): He'll produce if he gets another 18 carries.
Shane Vereen (vs. NYJ): Ridley's injury could be the opening he needs.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer put a damper on McKinnon's upside when he said Matt Asiata will get more involved after McKinnon had 17 touches to three over Asiata in Week 6 against Detroit. We'll see how both are used this week against the Bills, but we'd keep McKinnon reserved even if he was the guaranteed starter. Buffalo has yet to allow a running back to score this season, including matchups with Matt Forte and Arian Foster . Our hope is that McKinnon comes out of this game again as the primary rusher for the Vikings, because he has favorable matchups ahead against Tampa Bay and Washington in the next two weeks. He could become a starting Fantasy option if the Vikings plan to rely on him.
The Rams went from giving Stacy at least 17 touches in two games before their bye in Week 4 to a full-blown committee with Benny Cunningham and Tre Mason in the mix after Week 6. We're not sure what role Stacy will hold outside of likely starting, but coach Jeff Fisher plans to continue using all three running backs, especially this week against the Seahawks. Along with that, Stacy is facing the Seahawks this week, which makes him hands off in all formats. Sure, Seattle got rocked by DeMarco Murray in Week 6, but prior to that the Seahawks locked down Eddie Lacy , Ryan Mathews , Ball and Morris to 38 rushing yards or less and no touchdowns. Last year, Stacy had 26 carries for 134 yards against the Seahawks at home, but that running back has yet to emerge this year.
Here's what we'd like to have happen with Jackson -- put him on the bench in favor of Antone Smith . Let Smith get the 13 touches Jackson averages a game and give Jackson the four touches Smith gets on a weekly basis. Smith has five touchdowns of at least 38 yards, and Jackson needs a goal-line plunge to reach double digits in Fantasy points, which he's done just twice. For this week, we'd avoid all the Falcons running backs on the road. Baltimore has allowed two touchdowns to opposing running backs but none in the past three games against Carolina, Indianapolis and Tampa Bay. We're not expecting Jackson to gain more than 74 total yards, which is his high for the season in Week 5 at the Giants, and otherwise he's been at 54 total yards or less each week. You're likely never going to start Jackson in most standard leagues moving forward, at least until Week 10 at Tampa Bay, and he's someone you can cut to open up a roster spot for someone with more upside.
McFadden has emerged as the top running back for the Raiders ahead of Maurice Jones-Drew . In the first game for interim coach Tony Sparano, McFadden had 14 carries for 80 yards and two catches for 6 yards against San Diego, and Jones-Drew was limited to four carries for 30 yards and one catch for 10 yards. McFadden has actually had at least seven Fantasy points in a standard league in three of his past four games, and he's a great running back to stash in all formats. But I'd be cautious starting him this week against the Cardinals. While Arizona has allowed three touchdowns to opposing running backs, Mathews, Rashad Jennings and Gore were held to 64 rushing yards or less. McFadden is unlikely to reach double digits in Fantasy points this week.
The only Saints running back I like this week is Pierre Thomas , who should be considered a sleeper, so plan on benching Mark Ingram as well in his return from a broken hand. With Ingram back, he will cut into the touches for Robinson, who was great the past two games with 105 total yards at Dallas in Week 4 and 97 total yards and a touchdown against Tampa Bay in Week 5. I wouldn't be surprised if Ingram or Robinson scores this week since the Lions have allowed three rushing touchdowns, but Chris Ivory in Week 4 is the only running back to gain more than 50 rushing yards against Detroit, including matchups with Jennings and Lacy. Trying to figure out who the Saints will rely on between Ingram and Robinson is impossible, so give it a week to sort it out. And the reason Thomas is the best option is because with Jimmy Graham (shoulder) out, he will be needed in the passing game.
There's something about Gore on the road that doesn't add up. His production tends to disappear away from San Francisco. The 49ers have played three road games this season at Dallas in Week 1, at Arizona in Week 3 and at St. Louis in Week 6. Gore has combined for 10 Fantasy points in those matchups, and only the Cardinals are a standout run defense. Last year, Gore had just three road games with double digits in Fantasy points, and he could struggle again this week. The Broncos have allowed three running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points with Knile Davis , Marshawn Lynch and Andre Ellington . But it took Davis getting 22 carries to gain 79 yards, Lynch needing 26 carries for 88 yards, and Ellington only had 32 rushing yards on 16 carries. Gore continues to share touches with Carlos Hyde -- Gore had 16 touches against the Rams and Hyde had 12 -- and we wonder how much running the 49ers will do if they're chasing points at Denver. It's hard to bench Gore in the majority of leagues, but I wouldn't consider him a must-start option this week on the road.
Palmer's return should have every Fantasy owner confident in Floyd and Fitzgerald again. They were both solid in Week 6 against the Redskins with each scoring at least 10 Fantasy points. Floyd had four catches for 47 yards and a touchdown on seven targets, and Fitzgerald had six catches for 98 yards and a touchdown on six targets. The Raiders have only allowed four touchdowns to opposing receivers, but three of them came in the past two games against Mike Wallace , Malcom Floyd and Eddie Royal . Since Palmer will once again likely attempt at least 30 passes this week, we expect Floyd and Fitzgerald to get plenty of work. Consider Floyd a must-start Fantasy option, and Fitzgerald is a solid No. 2 receiver in the majority of leagues.
The Giants secondary has been fantastic this season with only four touchdowns allowed to opposing receivers and four reaching double digits in Fantasy points. But they're banged up heading into this game with Rodgers-Cromartie hurting and McBride out. Prince Amukamara can't cover Dez Bryant and Williams by himself, and we expect Williams would get backup cornerback Zack Bowman if Rodgers-Cromartie can't play. That's a matchup Romo should try to exploit, and Williams has done a nice job this season with at least seven Fantasy points in five of six games, with five touchdowns over that span. He's scored in every home game this year, and we hope that's a trend that continues this week.
The Cardinals secondary should be able to lock down most receivers, no matter the talent level, with Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie . But the exact opposite has happened this season, especially of late. In their past three games, the Cardinals have allowed two receivers for every opponent to score at least nine Fantasy points, including Michael Crabtree and Steve Johnson , Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders and DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon . Those six receivers have combined for 41 catches, 656 yards and five touchdowns, and here comes Holmes playing at a high level in his past two games against Miami and San Diego. He has 20 targets for nine catches, 195 yards and three touchdowns over that span, and we expect him to again be heavily involved, especially late with the Raiders chasing points. He should remain a Top 20 Fantasy receiver this week.
Benjamin is dealing with a concussion, which sidelined him in practice Wednesday, so keep an eye on his status by Friday. If he doesn't practice by then we'll switch him out here and downgrade Newton. But the hope is he plays against the Packers, who are dealing with injuries in their secondary. Benjamin has been a borderline stud this season with double digits in Fantasy points in four of six games, and he's scored in all three games on the road. He has at least eight targets in every game, and the Packers have allowed six touchdowns to opposing receivers, including two against the Dolphins last week.
It's at the point where you just have to start Jackson in all leagues until he suffers a prolonged slump. He's had at least 115 receiving yards and a touchdown in three of his past four games, and Cousins has targeted him 11 times in two of those outings. The Titans have allowed at least 84 receiving yards or a touchdown to a receiver in every game this year, with six receivers reaching double digits in Fantasy points. Pierre Garcon should also have the chance for a solid game, but Jackson has become a shining star in this offense, especially working with Cousins. We hope it continues, especially this week at home.
SleepersSammy Watkins (vs. MIN): He's off Revis Island and should play well.
Brandin Cooks (at DET): He has at least seven catches in three of four indoor games.
Malcom Floyd (vs. KC): KC has allowed a receiver to score in every game.
Cecil Shorts (vs. CLE): He has 30 targets in three games played this year.
DeAndre Hopkins (at PIT): A rebound game is in order after his dud in Week 6.
Decker gets his first trip to Revis Island as a member of the Jets, and we're expecting him to struggle. Last week, Revis helped limit Watkins to two catches for 27 yards, and he played well against A.J. Green in Week 5. Decker has done a nice job this season with at least seven Fantasy points in four of the five games he's been able to finish, with three touchdowns over that span. He's struggled with hamstring problems this year, and this week he should post a minimal stat line because of his opponent. Weather could also be a factor, so don't plan on using Decker in the majority of leagues.
White is a risky receiver in outdoor games, and he's played three games away from the Georgia Dome already this year. He had five catches for 42 yards at Cincinnati in Week 2, four catches for 73 yards and a touchdown at Minnesota in Week 4 and two catches for 26 yards at the Giants in Week 5. He only has one game this season with more than eight targets, which was against the Vikings when he had 14, and this should be a tough matchup this week. The Ravens have allowed five touchdowns to receivers this year, but three of them were No. 1 options prior to last week when Mike Evans and Louis Murphy scored. We'll see how White fares this week, but I would only consider him a No. 3 Fantasy receiver at best. Keep in mind, he has two games with double digits in Fantasy points on the season and three games with four points or less.
I was extremely disappointed in how the Rams used Quick in Week 6 against the 49ers. He saw just three targets, but two of them were just errant throws downfield. He has the chance to rebound this week against the Seahawks, but it's obviously a tough matchup. Seattle has allowed three touchdowns to opposing receivers and three to reach double digits in Fantasy points, but DeSean Jackson is the only No. 1 receiver to do well against the Seahawks. Bryant, Demaryius Thomas , Keenan Allen and Jordy Nelson were all held to eight Fantasy points or less against Seattle, and we expect Quick to be in that range this week. He should only be considered a No. 3 Fantasy receiver at best.
Crabtree put to rest any doubts about his health and recent lack of production with a decent stat line at St. Louis in Week 6. He had three catches for 49 yards and a touchdown on eight targets, and that snapped a two-game skid where he combined for six catches for 59 yards against the Eagles and Chiefs. I would still consider Crabtree a No. 3 receiver this week, but he's not a must-start option against the Broncos. Denver has been able to limit No. 1 receivers to four Fantasy points or less prior to Decker scoring a touchdown last week, and Kaepernick is doing a nice job of spreading the ball around to Anquan Boldin , Brandon Lloyd , Steve Johnson , Vernon Davis and Crabtree. Kaepernick can still have a big game without Crabtree, so he's not a must-start option in this matchup on the road.
There could be a rebound game coming for Welker after he was held to one catch for 8 yards on one target against the Jets in Week 6. We're not sure what was going on there because Welker came into that game with at least six catches for 58 yards and nine targets in his previous two outings. The 49ers could be doing some shuffling in their secondary with Jimmie Ward (quad) banged up, but Welker is only worth starting in PPR leagues. He has yet to score a touchdown in three games since his suspension, and he doesn't have any red-zone targets. I'm hesitant to bench any Broncos players, especially with Peyton Manning three touchdowns away from breaking Brett Favre's career touchdown mark at 508. But Welker isn't likely to be on the end of any Manning touchdowns this week based on his play so far this year.
Colston should see a bump in targets with Graham out, and hopefully the production will follow. But it's hard to count on Colston in a tough matchup even if he could become more of a focal point on offense. Colston only has one touchdown this season but no games with double digits in Fantasy points. In his past two games -- both indoors at Dallas and home against Tampa Bay -- he combined for eight catches for 113 yards and no touchdowns on 17 targets. The Lions have allowed just two touchdowns to opposing receivers, and Decker is the only opposing No. 1 option to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Otherwise, the Lions have held Victor Cruz , Benjamin, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb to five Fantasy points or less this season. We'll see how the Saints fare without Brees, but I'm not ready to trust Colston yet even if his role should expand.
Cameron finally had the breakout game Fantasy owners were waiting for in Week 6 against the Steelers with three catches for 102 yards and a touchdown on five targets. We'd like to see more activity from him in terms of targets and catches, but he showed his athleticism with a 51-yard touchdown grab. He has the chance to stay hot against the Jaguars, who have allowed five touchdowns to opposing tight ends this year. Jacksonville has improved of late in slowing down Antonio Gates in Week 4 (three catches for 30 yards), Heath Miller in Week 5 (three catches for 46 yards) and Delanie Walker last week (three catches for 57 yards). But we like that Cameron finally had a positive game, and Fantasy owners should start him with confidence this week.
Reed returned from his four-game absence with a hamstring injury and didn't miss a beat in Week 6 at Arizona. He led the Redskins in targets with 11 and finished with eight catches for 92 yards. He should keep rolling this week against the Titans, who have allowed five touchdowns to opposing tight ends, including four in the past three games against Dwayne Allen , Coby Fleener , Jim Dray and Clay Harbor . Reed should be a must-start tight end for the rest of the season as long as he can stay healthy.
Bennett's production has tailed off the past two games with just seven catches for 69 yards and a two-point conversion against Carolina and Atlanta. He hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 3, and the fear is another hot start will lead to a mediocre finish like he's done each of the past two years. We're going to pump the brakes on that for now with the hope he can take advantage of this matchup with the Dolphins. Miami has allowed a tight end to score in four of five games this year, including Andrew Quarless with the game-winner last week for the Packers. Rob Gronkowski in Week 1 is the lone tight end to reach double digits in Fantasy points against the Dolphins, but Bennett could easily find the end zone in this matchup.
SleepersBoth Colts (vs. CIN): Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener each could score.
Larry Donnell (at DAL): He's due for a rebound game in a plus matchup.
Timothy Wright (vs. NYJ): Let's hope he scores for the third week in a row.
The Steelers need to focus on getting Miller more involved. He has one game this season with more than six targets, and it was Week 4 against Tampa Bay when he had 11 for 10 catches, 85 yards and a touchdown. Since then, he's had seven targets combined against Jacksonville and Cleveland and finished with five catches for 65 yards. The Texans have done a good job against tight ends this year with only two touchdowns allowed and none reaching double digits in Fantasy points. Niles Paul had the best statistical day against Houston with four catches for 86 yards in Week 1; otherwise no tight end has had more than 60 receiving yards, including matchups with Jason Witten and Donnell. We need to see more from Miller before you can consider starting him again in the majority of leagues.
The Saints gave up a touchdown to a tight end in Week 1 -- which was Levine Toilolo -- but since then they have locked down the position. No tight end has scored against New Orleans in the past four games, and only Witten had more than 41 yards with his 61 in Week 4. Ebron has plenty of long-term potential, but he's only scored one touchdown on the season and hasn't reached 40 receiving yards yet. He also has just four targets max in his past three games, and Fantasy owners should be able to find a better bye-week or injury replacement this week.
Daniels was the lone disappointment for the Ravens in their Week 6 blasting of the Buccaneers. Flacco threw five touchdowns, but Daniels managed to catch just two passes for 34 yards on only three targets. He now has just 11 catches for 147 yards and no touchdowns in three games since Dennis Pitta (hip) got hurt, and he might not improve this week against the Falcons. For all their deficiencies on defense, Atlanta has done well against tight ends. No tight end has scored against the Falcons, and only Jimmy Graham had more than five Fantasy points with eight in Week 1, including matchups with Donnell and Bennett. Daniels still has potential this season, but he needs to start proving himself first before Fantasy owners can start him.
Witten finally found the end zone in Week 6 at Seattle, and he finished that game with two catches for 24 yards and a touchdown for eight Fantasy points. We hope he starts to improve and post bigger stats, but he's not playing like an elite Fantasy tight end this year. The Giants just got abused by the Eagles tight ends with Zach Ertz and James Casey both scoring touchdowns in Week 6, but those are the lone tight ends to score against this defense. Witten also scored four touchdowns against the Giants in two meetings last year, but that tight end has been missing this season because of his blocking. And with the Cowboys having some health concerns on their offensive line -- Tyron Smith (ankle) is questionable and Doug Free (thumb) is out -- Witten could again be reduced to blocking more than catching.
Catanzaro has proven to be a great kicker for the Cardinals in his first year with the team. He hasn't missed a field goal yet this year in 14 attempts, with at least two field goals in every game and three outings with double digits in Fantasy points. The Raiders have allowed 10 field goals this season and two kickers to score at least 10 Fantasy points. We like Catanzaro as more than just a streaming option, and he's worth using in all leagues for the rest of the season since Arizona is already past its bye week.
SleepersBilly Cundiff (vs. JAC): JAC allows the most Fantasy points to kickers.
Dan Carpenter (vs. MIN): He already has three games with multiple field goals.
Matt Prater (vs. NO): Three kickers have multiple field goals vs. NO this year.
Bryant did great as our start kicker last week with 11 Fantasy points against Chicago thanks to two kicks of 50-plus yards. It was his first game with double digits in Fantasy points since Week 1, and we like to avoid Bryant when he's outdoors. He had two field goals and eight Fantasy points at the Giants in Week 5, but prior to that he had just two made field goals in his past four games outside going back to last season. The Ravens allowed 15 Fantasy points to Mike Nugent in Week 1, but since then only Adam Vinatieri in Week 5 has scored more than six Fantasy points against Baltimore with eight. We're confident Bryant will be held to single digits in Fantasy points this week.
If you're buying into the Browns DST this week you're banking on how the Jaguars have done on offense. So far, the Jaguars "allow" the most Fantasy points to opposing DST units. The Jaguars have given up 27 sacks on the season and eight interceptions, including at least one in five consecutive games. Three DST units have scored touchdowns against Jacksonville, and the Jaguars have failed to score more than 17 points in any game this year. Now, the Browns DST has been an underwhelming unit, but they are worth the risk of starting this week based on the matchup.
SleepersBills (vs. MIN): MIN has given up 14 sacks in the past two games.
Texans (at PIT): JAC and CLE both scored 10 Fantasy points vs. PIT.
Titans (at WAS): Three teams have DST touchdowns vs. WAS this year.
The Broncos offense, as you would expect, doesn't give up a lot of Fantasy production to opposing DST units. Peyton Manning only has three interceptions on the season, and he's been sacked just six times. The 49ers DST has been solid this season despite being down some key guys, including NaVorro Bowman (knee) and Aldon Smith (suspension), but now they are hurting even more. Patrick Willis (toe) and Jimmie Ward (quad) are banged up, and that should make things even more difficult in this matchup. I'd rather start the Browns, Bills, Texans or Titans this week.
Full Disclosure from Week 6
There were a lot of extremes in my recommendations for Week 6. When I was on, it was great, but I also whiffed big on a handful of players.
Let's start with the good. Ben Tate was awesome as the Start of the Week, and he finished No. 5 in Fantasy points among running backs in standard leagues.
We also had two Top 10 quarterbacks in Philip Rivers and Jay Cutler , five Top 15 running backs in Branden Oliver , Justin Forsett , Ahmad Bradshaw , Joique Bell and Ronnie Hillman , two Top 4 receivers in T.Y. Hilton and Mohamed Sanu and the No. 8 tight end in Jordan Reed . Our positive sit calls included Nick Foles , Matthew Stafford , Zac Stacy , Alfred Morris , Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins , among others.
But I missed on several starts in Eli Manning , Ben Roethlisberger , Russell Wilson , Andre Williams , Wes Welker , Vincent Jackson , Golden Tate , Brian Quick and Delanie Walker . And I failed when I said to sit Cam Newton , Steve Smith , DeSean Jackson , Jordan Cameron , Zach Ertz and the Eagles DST.
Hopefully the good calls worked in your favor, and I'm sorry if I let you down with any bad suggestions. I promise to do better this week.
|Player||Fantasy Pts. (proj.)||Fantasy Pts. (actual)||Pos. rank|
|Ben Tate , RB, Browns||13||19||5|
|Philip Rivers , QB, Chargers||27||31||6|
|T.Y. Hilton , WR, Colts||12||28||1|
|Branden Oliver , RB, Chargers||13||18||6|
|Matthew Stafford , QB, Lions||19||13||25|
|Alfred Morris , RB, Redskins||9||5||36|
|DeAndre Hopkins , WR, Texans||9||1||83|
|Eli Manning , QB, Giants||23||6||29|
|Steven Jackson , RB, Falcons||11||2||53|
|Brian Quick , WR, Rams||12||1||82|
|Cam Newton , QB, Panthers||19||37||3|
|DeSean Jackson , WR, Redskins||6||17||7|
|Steve Smith , WR, Ravens||9||17||8|