We're nearing the midway point of the season, so it's a good time to take a look stock of where things stand. And where things stand is the 2019 season is looking like a big loss for the Zero-RB strategy, as the early-round running backs have dominated the Fantasy landscape through six weeks.
Among the top 10 running backs in ADP entering the season, six have been in the top 10 in Fantasy points per game; the exceptions being Saquon Barkley (16th), James Conner (12th), Le'Veon Bell (13th), and Todd Gurley (17th). All in all, that's pretty good for a position where even the elite options have been notoriously hard to predict — and things are even better when you realize only Barkley has missed multiple games so far. If you took a running back or two early, you're sitting pretty.
Things aren't quite as rosy at wide receiver, where just one top-10 receiver in ADP currently ranks in the top 10 in scoring: Michael Thomas. Julio Jones, Adam Thielen, and Mike Evans also come in inside the top 20, which means Davante Adams, DeAndre Hopkins, Tyreek Hill (who also missed four games with an injury), JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Antonio Brown (… yikes) have all been pretty significant disappointments so far. It hasn't been pretty.
The good news is, there's still hope for many of those struggling wide receivers. With the exception of Adams (and, well, Brown), they are healthy and have a chance to turn their seasons around. In our look at the rankings for Week 7, I asked our experts first to take a look at some of the biggest disappointments in Fantasy so far in 2019, to give their diagnoses and see how they are feeling about them moving forward. Plus, we're taking a look at their favorite streaming options for Week 7, and checking their temperature on the Rams offensive struggles and the question of whether anyone has surpassed Patrick Mahomes as the No. 1 quarterback.
Plus, we're helping you set the right lineup for Week 7 with:
- Jamey's look at the
- Heath's preview of the , and positions
- Dave's and
- , Ben Gretch's breakdown of every game from Week 6 with stats, trade candidates and everything else you need to know
- Jamey Eisenberg: I'll take Hopkins for a few reasons. For starters, he's healthy compared to Adams, who has no definitive return date yet with his injured toe. Hopkins also has the better quarterback compared to Beckham, who is dealing with a struggling Baker Mayfield. Hopkins hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 1, but he's still averaging more than nine targets per game in his past three outings. Better production is coming soon, so stay the course.
- Dave Richard: There's no way Hopkins can keep up this poor production. He's fifth among receivers in targets (56). That's not changing. The Texans passing game will be the genesis of their offense. That's not changing. So eventually things will turn his way and he'll be awesome for your Fantasy teams. He's the healthiest of the three.
- Heath Cummings: I'll take Hopkins, but I am concerned none of these receivers will be as good as we'd hoped coming into the year. Adams' health and Beckham's quarterback play are the difference here.
2. Who do you trust more to break out: Joe Mixon or Todd Gurley?
- Jamey: Mixon simply because he's healthy. I'm hopeful that if the offensive line gets better soon for the Bengals — a healthy Cordy Glenn (concussion) would help — and A.J. Green (ankle) is back then Mixon's performance will improve.
- Dave: I can't buy into Mixon as a top 12 running back candidate any more. He's struggling behind that putrid offensive line. Maybe things will be a little easier once Green comes back, but for now I'm thinking Mixon is a sizable bust.
- Heath: Trust is the wrong word but I have more hope for the upside of Gurley. Mixon's situation is just awful and now he's losing snaps to Giovani Bernard.
3. Who can you trust to start from the Rams offense?
- Jamey: For this week, I like Jared Goff, Cooper Kupp, Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods with the matchup at the Falcons. Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson are flex plays this week, and Gerald Everett is a low-end starter just because of the position he plays. I expect the Rams offense to get on track this week against Atlanta just given the matchup.
- Dave: My attitude isn't changing after one bad week. They barely had the ball, the offensive line suffered an injury in-game that they couldn't recover from and they played a really tough 49ers squad. Everyone in their passing game will be in my Week 7 lineups against the rotten Falcons pass defense.
- Heath: I'll start whoever they start at running back and Copper Kupp for sure. This week they have a great matchup, so I'm fine with starting any of them, including Gerald Everett.
4. Who is your No. 1 QB for the rest of season?
- Jamey: I'll take Matt Ryan. A bad defense in Atlanta has been great for Ryan, and the Falcons have the best receiving corps in the NFL.
- Dave: You could make the case for five different quarterbacks but the one I'll stick with is Mahomes. Getting Tyreek Hill back is huge. His offensive line should get healthy soon and the Chiefs run game isn't turning heads.
- Heath: I'm sticking with Patrick Mahomes. He's played hurt without his best receivers and 40% of his offensive line and he's still top five. Big things are ahead.
5. From the Panthers, Browns, Steelers and Buccaneers, who is the toughest bye week hold decision you have to make?
- Jamey: Jameis Winston. I still believe he's a good Fantasy quarterback, so I would stash him if you need a quarterback in Week 8 and beyond.
- Dave: Curtis Samuel's timing may have swung how Fantasy folks view him. A two-score game will keep him on rosters when he might otherwise have been an easy drop candidate. He's nowhere near a consistent Fantasy entity, but he also would get claimed in a heartbeat if he were dropped.
- Heath: Ronald Jones and Jameis Winston. I really believe in this offense and I'm hoping they figure some things out over the bye.
6. Who is your top tight-end target for Week 7 besides Hunter Henry?
- Jamey: I like Dawson Knox with his matchup against Miami. His targets have been up, this is a great matchup and I wouldn't be shocked if Knox scored this week against the Dolphins. I'd also be on the lookout for Jack Doyle, Darren Fells and Vernon Davis.
- Dave: I like what I've seen from Darren Fells, and his playing time should stabilize with the Texans offensive line incuring another injury on Sunday. I have him as a top-12 tight end in PPR formats.
- Heath: Rhett Ellison and Luke Willson. If Evan Engram is out this week, Ellison is a top-10 option against the Cardinals. Willson should get a chunk of Will Dissly's work.
7. What is the top streaming DST to target for Week 7?
- Jamey: The 49ers are No. 1, and it's not close. Now, the 49ers DST is owned in 71 percent of leagues on CBS Sports, so it might not be available. But if you can find the 49ers DST, you're in great shape with the matchup at Washington.
- Dave: None. Seriously. There's nothing good among the DSTs owned in 70 percent-plus leagues. I guess the Eagles DST has a little appeal given their Amari-less opponent, but even they don't have a rosy outlook, not with that tattered secondary.
- Heath: It is an awful week for streaming. There's not a defense below 70% I want to start. The closest are the 49ers at 71%.