Before I get too far into today's newsletter, I want to start with a couple of notes:

First, my Week 7 resolution: No more complaining about how bad Week 7 is. Yeah, your lineups are probably a mess, but guess what, so are everyone's. The playing field will never be entirely level, but the extent of the injury and bye week absences this week are probably impacting everyone to at least a certain extent. That's the hand we've been dealt. Let's play it.

And second, while I would usually say something like, "I hope you got everyone you needed on waivers" on a Wednesday, that doesn't necessarily apply this week. I mean, sure, if you needed to fill a hole in your lineup, I hope you got someone useful, but I also hope you kept enough of your powder dry to take advantage of what could be a truly excellent second waiver-wire run this week. 

Because of all of the injuries and bye weeks, Fantasy players were facing tough decisions across the board last night -- I had to drop Marvin Jones in one league and Jakobi Meyers in another because I just didn't have anyone else I could afford to let go of. Make sure you take a close look at the transaction log in all of your leagues to see which potential difference makers might have fallen victim to the roster crunch. If you've got roster flexibility and a high waiver priority or some FAB to spare, this could be a big opportunity to build for the future. 

In the rest of today's newsletter, I've got five players I'm looking to buy heading into Week 7 and five I'm looking to sell, plus a look at every position with Heath Cummings' position previews. You can see a list of all the injuries we're watching for each position there, along with our consensus expert top-12, matchup notes, numbers to know, and more. And, as always, if you've got any questions about trades, your lineup, or anything else, send them my way at Chris.Towers@CBSi.com with the subject line "#AskFFT" to get included in a mailbag column tomorrow. 

I've also got my rankings for each position available below, updated with some of my thoughts on some of the most interesting players and decisions of the week here:

Hopefully that helps you get an understanding of what to expect for this week. Here's what the rest of today's newsletter has in store to help you get ready for Week 7:

  • 📈Week 7 Stock Watch📉
  • 🔍Week 7 Position Previews

📈Week 7 Stock Watch📉

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Looking to make a trade? A word of caution with so many rosters looking thin due to byes and injuries this week: Don't screw up your long-term plans to try to fix a short-term issue with your lineup. Obviously, that isn't applicable across the board, because a 1-5 team is obviously much more focused on the short term than anything else. But I would say it's a good north star for this time of year. Remember, everyone else in your league is dealing with these byes and injuries, and if they aren't right now, they will be sometime soon. Don't sell a player on bye right now for lower than they are worth just to fill out your lineup this week.  

Or, you might know how to take advantage of someone else's slow start. Make sure you've got your bearings before you go make offers with the help of Dave Richard's Trade Values Chart, and here are five players whose stock I'm buying and five I'm selling ahead of Week 7. 

Five to buy

Here are five players I'm buying into moving forward. Things are only going to get better from here. 

Buy High

You don't always have to sell high or buy low. Sometimes a hot start is just the beginning of something big, and there's value in trying to buy those situations before their perceived value catches up. 

  • Leonard Fournette -- I had Fournette as a sell-high last week, and I hate to be seen as flip-flopping because of the results of one week. However, I don't want to stick with a take out of some misguided notion that consistency is all that matters -- as the man said, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. Speak what you think now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradicts everything you said today." Or, to quote another 19th century American writer, "Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself. (I am large, I contain multitudes.)" Follow the evidence where it leads you, and while I still don't feel great about hitching my wagon to a Bruce Arians running back's star, it would, in fact, be foolish not to acknowledge that Fournette is clearly the lead back in Tampa right now. He has at least three catches in every game to go along with 54 carries over the last three, and he's played 62% of the snaps or more in four out of six now. I wanted little to do with this backfield in the offseason, not because I didn't think it would be a productive situation, but because I wasn't confident they would ever settle on one guy. Well, it sure looks like they have. And if that changes this week, we'll re-evaluate. 
  • Sterling Shepard -- Prior to this season, 2017 was Sterling Shepard's career high in receiving yards per game came in 2017 -- which was also the last time he played primarily in the slot. He's played 69% of his snaps there so far this season, and lo and behold, he's having his best season ever. In a lot of ways, Shepard's usage is pretty similar to what it was last season -- his average depth of target is nearly identical, from 8.3 to 8.1, and his catch rate and yards per reception are close too -- but he's just getting so many more targets right now. Correlation does not necessarily equal causation, but I know I'm hoping they keep him in that slot role moving forward. Maybe the Giants will get Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney back healthy in the next few weeks and it'll be harder for Shepard to remain as productive as he has been, but he has a 28% target share despite leaving Week 3 early, and I think he's going to remain a focal point of this passing game moving forward. 

Buy low

But if you do want to buy low, here are three players I think have seen their worst days already:

  • Marquise Brown -- I don't know if anyone is selling, but if I get the chance, I'm definitely buying. Brown is going off his worst game of the season, and it coincided with first-rounder Rashod Bateman making his debut and out-targeting Brown. But the thing is, Brown didn't really lose much in Bateman's debut -- he actually ran a route on a slightly higher percentage of the team's pass plays Sunday. Bateman took on Sammy Watkins' role, more or less, and maybe Bateman will just be so good moving forward that he'll demand a higher target share than Watkins and hurt Brown that way. However, Watkins actually had more targets than Brown through his four healthy games, and Brown was still on pace for 76 catches, 1,304 yards, and 12 touchdowns. We don't have to look for meaning in every fluctuation of a player's production -- the most likely explanation is that Brown simply had a bad game that happened to coincide with Bateman's debut. If someone in your league is worried, pounce. 
  • Tee Higgins -- Higgins has been targeted on 23% of his routes so far this season, the highest rate among the Bengals receivers, so that's where we'll start our search for positives. He may not be the No. 1 target here with Ja'Marr Chase's emergence, but he's seen a plenty healthy target share (22.6%) -- he just hasn't done much with them. Higgins is averaging just 6.4 yards per target despite a similar catch rate as last season, which is where much of the disappointment lies. Maybe his rookie season was just fraudulent, but I'm willing to bet on the talent here -- remember, Higgins missed Weeks 3 and 4 with a shoulder injury. I'm pretty confident he's going to turn it around and be a WR2, especially since I have faith the Bengals are going to pass more as the season goes on. 
  • Miles Sanders -- For all the concern about Kenny Gainwell taking Sanders' role as the season goes on, the opposite has been true lately -- Sanders has played 78% of the snaps over the past two weeks compared to 65% the first three. You're seeing a similar pattern in the passing game, as Sanders ran 89 routes to 55 for Gainwell in the first four games but has seen that gap jump to 49 to 19 in the last two. The schedule is about to get a lot lighter for Sanders with the Raiders, Lions, and Chargers lined up over the next three weeks, and while I don't have a ton of faith in him getting 15 carries every game, I do think the Eagles should be able to give him more work. He could be about to go on a nice little run here. 

Five to sell

Sell high

I'm not saying these guys won't be useful or good moving forward, but I think you can probably get more in return for them than you're likely to get from them:

  • Antonio Brown -- You need to get a lot for Brown if you're looking to move him, and you should be able to, seeing as he ranks seventh at WR in PPR points per game. And, as always needs to be said when talking about sell-high candidates, I'm not saying I think Brown is going to be bad moving forward. But he's currently averaging 10 yards per target, a level he was never able to hit even when he was the best WR in football in his Steelers heyday -- and he was at just 7.8 a year ago. His role isn't the same as it was a year ago, obviously, as his average depth of target has jumped from 8.9 yards to 13.3, but that has coincided with effectively no drop in his catch rate or yards after catch average. There's no guarantee Brown will regress in all those categories, but it sure looks like he's had a lot go right for him in a way that won't likely be sustainable, even in this offense. He's going to have his off days in an offense that spreads the ball around as much as this one does, and if you can get someone to buy into the idea that Brown might be a top-12 WR again, now might be the best time to sell. 
  • Adam Thielen -- If you do prize consistency, I'm still looking to sell Thielen coming off his big 11-catch, 126-yard game in Week 6. I never said he isn't capable of having big games again, but we're still talking about a guy who has 50 or fewer yards in four of six games this season, after being below 60 in nine of 15 a year ago. One thing that does give me pause is the fact that the Vikings continue to throw the ball a ton, which is helping Thielen's target volume remain healthy overall. If I'm overreacting to the apparent decline in his skills and the volume remains as high as it has been, it could really work out poorly for me. But I think the Vikings want to run more than they have, and if the volume flags, I think Thielen will continue to be a frustrating player to have around. 
  • Zach Ertz -- I think the days before Ertz makes his Cardinals debut may be the perfect time to shop him. People might see him get out from the TE timeshare in Philadelphia into a high-powered passing game and think it's a win for him, but I'm not sure I buy that. The Cardinals have used their tight ends less than basically every other team in the league over the past three seasons, and while Ertz doesn't have to contend with Dallas Goedert, he is going to be playing on a team that runs four-WR sets more than any team in the league and has a ton of competition for targets. As far as touchdown-or-bust tight ends go, you can do worse than one playing with Kyler Murray, but I'm not viewing Ertz as a must-start TE because of this trade. See if someone else is. 

Sell low

Sometimes, getting off a sinking ship is better than hoping they'll be able to fix the breach in the hull. I'm willing to sell these two on name value I don't think they'll live up to:

  • Myles Gaskin -- I figured Gaskin's Week 5 outlier was a result of an unlikely series of circumstances all working in his favor at the same time -- a pass-heavy script in a losing effort with a quarterback who couldn't really move due to a hamstring injury, leading to a ton of dump offs. And Week 6 largely confirmed that assumption, as Gaskin's target share dipped to 12.5% and his snap share fell to 36%, the second time in three games he has been below 40%. He has some PPR appeal due to the passing game role, but we've also seen the Dolphins turn to Malcolm Brown in the two-minute offense more than Gaskin, so even that may not be reliable. Last week was the perfect time to move Gaskin, but I would still be trying to move him because I just don't have much faith he'll ever be the kind of player you can rely on. 
  • Tyler Boyd -- Boyd isn't a bad player, but he clearly isn't in the same class as his two younger teammates, Chase and Higgins. Boyd is the dependable, move-the-chains type, someone who has needed a lot of volume to be Fantasy relevant because he doesn't really score many touchdowns and has averaged 7.6 yards per attempt or fewer in all but one season. If something were to happen to either Higgins or Chase, Boyd's outlook might look a lot different, but right now he's a volume-dependent PPR receiver who is on pace for just 89 targets (over 17 games) in the four he has played alongside both Chase and Higgins. That's a hard player to get excited for. 

So who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 7 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that has out-performed experts big-time.

🔍Week 7 Position Previews

Every Tuesday, Heath Cummings previews each position, providing injury insights, key stats to know, the best waiver-wire adds, DFS targets, and more for quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end. Here's a brief rundown of each position, along with some key details you need to know about and our expert consensus top-12 rankings before you go read Heath's full breakdowns:

QB Preview

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Training Camp
Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports

Consensus Expert Top 12

  1. Patrick Mahomes
  2. Matthew Stafford
  3. Tom Brady
  4. Kyler Murray
  5. Lamar Jackson
  6. Aaron Rodgers
  7. Jalen Hurts
  8. Matt Ryan
  9. Derek Carr
  10. Ryan Tannehill
  11. Tua Tagovailoa
  12. Joe Burrow

RB Preview

Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Consensus Expert Top 12

  1. Derrick Henry
  2. Alvin Kamara
  3. Aaron Jones
  4. Jonathan Taylor
  5. Darrell Henderson
  6. Cordarrelle Patterson
  7. D'Andre Swift
  8. Joe Mixon
  9. Leonard Fournette
  10. Chuba Hubbard
  11. Darrel Williams
  12. J.D. McKissic

WR Preview

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 27: CeeDee Lamb #88 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates his second half touchdown with Dak Prescott #4 while playing the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium on September 27, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Consensus Expert Top 12

  1. Davante Adams
  2. Cooper Kupp
  3. Tyreek Hill
  4. Antonio Brown
  5. Calvin Ridley
  6. Deebo Samuel
  7. Marquise Brown
  8. Cordarrelle Patterson
  9. Courtland Sutton
  10. DeAndre Hopkins
  11. D.J. Moore
  12. Brandin Cooks

TE Preview

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Consensus Expert Top 12

  1. Travis Kelce
  2. Mark Andrews
  3. Darren Waller
  4. Kyle Pitts
  5. Mike Gesicki
  6. T.J. Hockenson
  7. Dallas Goedert
  8. Noah Fant
  9. Hunter Henry
  10. Ricky Seals-Jones
  11. Tyler Higbee
  12. Zach Ertz