Fantasy Football: Week 7 sleepers, daily advice, mailbag
Injuries could make players like Jack Doyle and Mike Gillislee great sleepers in Week 7. Jamey Eisenberg looks closer at them and other sleepers leading into Week 7.
LeSean McCoy's hamstring injury is the biggest storyline we're monitoring heading into Sunday, and his status could open the door for the biggest sleeper of the week in Mike Gillislee. If you added Gillislee and don't own McCoy, you should hope McCoy is out in Week 7 at Miami.
Gillislee would be a high-end No. 2 running back if he's the starter, and he could be a difference maker for Fantasy owners this week. He's one of my favorite sleepers in Week 7, along with Jameis Winston, Dwayne Washington, Mike Wallace and Jack Doyle, among others.
We've had a good run with this column in terms of successful sleepers, and we hope to continue that success in Week 7.
For all of your must-start options go here for the Week 7 Start 'Em and Sit 'Em.
Editor's Note: Projections are provided by CBS Sports and not Jamey Eisenberg.
Winston is past the tough part of his schedule through Week 5, and things get much easier from this point forward. He does play at Kansas City in Week 11 before facing Seattle at home in Week 12, but otherwise he could be a solid Fantasy option for the rest of the year, starting this week against the 49ers.
San Francisco has allowed five quarterbacks in a row to throw at least two touchdowns, and four of the past five quarterbacks have scored at least 21 Fantasy points. We hope Winston is ready to dominate coming off his bye in Week 6.
Smith failed to deliver as a quality Fantasy quarterback in Week 6 in a great matchup at Oakland because the Chiefs ran all over the Raiders with Spencer Ware and Jamaal Charles. A similar scenario could unfold this week against the Saints as well, but there's also the chance Smith has a solid stat line at home in a favorable spot.
Three quarterbacks in a row have scored at least 22 Fantasy points against New Orleans, and four quarterbacks have reached that total for the season. Smith is averaging 23 Fantasy points in two home games this year, and he's worth the risk as a streaming option in this matchup.
Taylor could be asked to do more work this week if McCoy is out. We clearly like Gillislee to run well, but maybe the Bills also give Taylor the chance to show off as a passer. He's attempted fewer than 30 passes in three of his past four games, and he's scored more than 20 Fantasy points just once over that span, which was last week against the 49ers with 23 points.
He will be without Robert Woods (foot), which hurts, but I'm expecting a Charles Clay touchdown and maybe one from Justin Hunter, Marquise Goodwin or even a rushing score from Taylor. He's a solid option in two-quarterback leagues this week, and Taylor also had 273 passing yards and three touchdowns at Miami last year.
Kaepernick didn't throw the ball particularly well in Week 6 at Buffalo, which was his first start this year, but he still managed 19 Fantasy points in a standard league. He completed just 13-of-19 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown, but he also added 66 rushing yards.
This is now two games in a row where the 49ers quarterback had at least 66 rushing yards (Blaine Gabbert had 70 in Week 5), and that aspect should help Kaepernick be a suitable Fantasy option in two-quarterback leagues. It's also a decent matchup since three of five quarterbacks against Tampa Bay have scored at least 21 Fantasy points, and Kaepernick should do well at home.
Coleman has been great this season with at least 11 Fantasy points in a standard league in four of six games. He had a dud in Week 6 at Seattle with just one Fantasy point, but he also had his fewest touches of the year with six (five carries and one catch). We expect him to be more involved in this game, which is a favorable matchup, especially at home.
The Chargers have allowed four running backs to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league, with seven rushing touchdowns and two receiving scores. Devonta Freeman and Coleman should both be in line for a good outing.
I like McKinnon and Matt Asiata this week, and both have the chance to be helpful in this matchup with the Eagles. Last week, Philadelphia allowed Matt Jones, Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley to gain 231 rushing yards and a touchdown, and that trio averaged 7.7 yards-per-carry. Defensive lineman Bennie Logan (groin) is banged up for the Eagles, and McKinnon and Asiata should be able to take advantage of this matchup.
McKinnon only has one game with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in his three starts since Adrian Peterson (knee) got hurt, but he has at least 17 total touches in three games in a row. That workload should start turning into quality production. Asiata is coming off his best game in Week 5 against Houston with 15 Fantasy points, and he could be the one scoring a touchdown this week. McKinnon is a low-end No. 2 running back in all leagues, and Asiata should be considered a flex.
Gillislee will be a must-start Fantasy option if McCoy is out, but we'll have to wait until Sunday morning to get the final answer on his status. We don't expect Gillislee to run at McCoy's level, but Buffalo's offensive line should help Gillislee do well in this matchup. The Bills have run for at least 150 yards in the past two games, and Gillislee has scored in each of those outings against the Rams and 49ers.
Last year, Gillislee had three games in a row with at least eight Fantasy points in a standard league, and Miami has already allowed three running backs to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league. If McCoy is active, I still consider Gillislee a flex option since it's clear McCoy is less than 100 percent.
Washington is expected to play this week after missing the past two games with an injured ankle, but he'll be in a rotation with Zach Zenner and Justin Forsett. We expect Washington to get the majority of work, and he could have success in a favorable matchup. The Redskins have allowed seven touchdowns to opposing running backs, and five have scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league.
Every running back with at least 10 carries against the Redskins has scored a touchdown or ran for at least 95 yards. Washington has one game with 10 carries, but this could be a week where the Lions give him extended touches with Theo Riddick (ankle) out. He is worth using as a flex option this week even though we don't love players in their first game back from an injury.
Carlos Hyde (shoulder) is out, which means the 49ers will lean on Davis and Shaun Draughn in this matchup. It won't be easy, especially if Tampa Bay defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (calf) plays as expected. But the Buccaneers will be without Clinton McDonald (hamstring) and Robert Ayers (ankle), and hopefully the 49ers running backs can take advantage of the situation. Davis is better in standard leagues, and he had more touches than Draughn in Week 6 at Buffalo when Hyde got hurt.
It was only five carries for 13 yards, but he will likely get the bulk of Hyde's workload on the ground. Draughn should operate as the third-down back, and he's the better option in PPR leagues. He only has four catches on the year, but his workload will increase in this matchup. Davis and Draughn are only options in deep leagues this week.
Jackson has been more bust than boom recently, but this is another good matchup to take a chance with him against the Lions. Jackson has just one touchdown on the season, and he's been held to a combined eight Fantasy points in a standard league in the past three games. But the Lions have been abused by opposing receivers this year with nine touchdowns allowed and four receivers scoring at least 12 Fantasy points in a standard league.
Kenny Britt just went for seven catches, 136 yards and two touchdowns against the Lions, and we hope Jackson follows suit with a big outing. I also like Jamison Crowder as a sleeper with Jordan Reed (concussion) again out.
Wallace will again operate as the No. 1 receiver for the Ravens with Steve Smith (ankle) hurt, and he gets lucky that Joe Flacco (shoulder) is going to play. We can now fire up Wallace as a low-end No. 2 receiver in a great matchup against the Jets, who have allowed the second-most Fantasy points to opposing receivers.
There are eight receivers who have either scored or gained 90 receiving yards against the Jets, and Wallace just had four catches for 97 yards on nine targets against the Giants last week. He has three games this year with at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league, and hopefully Flacco can get Wallace going again in this matchup.
It's a stretch to call Maclin a sleeper since most Fantasy owners start him as at least a No. 3 Fantasy receiver, but there's a growing sense of frustration with him given his lack of production. This week, he's worth trusting again given the matchup since the Saints are No. 10 in Fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers.
The Raiders were an even better opponent last week, and Maclin had just three catches for 49 yards on three targets. But he's due for a quality outing since he hasn't scored since Week 1 despite getting at least seven targets in four of five games. I'm still using Maclin as a high-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week.
The Lions have been saying for the past few weeks that they wanted to get Tate going, and it finally happened in a big way in Week 6 against the Rams with season highs in targets (10), catches (eight), yards (165) and his first touchdown. He came into that game with just 17 catches for 134 yards in his previous five games, so hopefully last week was the beginning of a streak for him and not just a rare occurrence of positive production.
One thing that could have helped Tate is Riddick being out, and he's out again this week. That could force Matthew Stafford to rely on him more, and Marvin Jones and Anquan Boldin should also stay involved. We like Tate as a high-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver in this matchup.
Fantasy owners will look at Britt's game last week at Detroit and expect that's a one-time thing, which is likely true at that level. But Britt has actually played well all season, and he's stepped up as the No. 1 receiver for the Rams this year. He's scored at least seven Fantasy points in a standard league in four of his past five games, and the only thing missing is the touchdowns.
We'd love to see Case Keenum pepper Britt with targets to see what his ceiling is, but he's averaging just under seven targets a game. Maybe last week's performance will give Britt more chances, and he's worth using as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in this matchup in London.
Doyle played well in Week 6 at Houston with four catches for 53 yards and a touchdown on four targets, and this is the second time he's scored at least 11 Fantasy points in a standard league this year. He benefits this week with Dwayne Allen (ankle) hurt, and in 2014 whenever Allen was out, we saw Coby Fleener dominate.
He had three games with at least 14 Fantasy points in a standard league in the four games when Allen was out, and hopefully something similar happens with Doyle. The Titans have only allowed one touchdown to a tight end this year, but Doyle could be heavily involved as the starter, which makes him worth using as a streaming option this week.
Brate comes off his bye week in what could be a good situation against the 49ers. Vincent Jackson (knee) is now out for the year, and Brate could see an increase in targets. It's also a good matchup since San Francisco has already allowed two tight ends to catch at least five passes for 100 yards and a touchdown, with Greg Olsen and Jimmy Graham.
Now, Brate isn't in those class of tight ends, but he does have two games this season with at least eight targets, which led to 10 catches, 113 yards and two touchdowns in those outings against the Rams and Broncos. Brate isn't a must-start option, but he is worth streaming given the matchup and expected increase in targets with Jackson out.
Davis the starter again this week with Reed out, and he did well in Week 6 against the Eagles with two catches for 50 yards and a touchdown on four targets. He won't play like Reed, but this is a good matchup since the Lions have allowed seven touchdowns to tight ends this year. A tight end has scored against Detroit in five of six games, including Lance Kendricks last week. Davis is a great streaming option if he starts for Reed again.
Clay could see a huge boost in targets and production with Woods out and McCoy hurt. This is a terrible receiving corps to begin with, but if Taylor is stuck with Hunter and Goodwin as his top options then Clay could be a valuable asset. It also helps that Dolphins standout safety Reshad Jones (shoulder) is out for the year, and Clay has five catches in each of the past three games, with 50-plus yards in his past two outings.
Miami has only allowed two touchdowns to tight ends, with Martellus Bennett and Delanie Walker scoring at least 12 Fantasy points in a standard league, but Clay is worth a flier in this matchup. He's better in PPR leagues than standard formats, but don't be surprised if he finds the end zone for the first time this year against his former team.
DFS Advice for Week 7
Here's my FanDuel lineup for Week 7
- QB: Andy Dalton ($8,100) vs. CLE
- RB: Spencer Ware ($7,000) vs. NO
- RB: Mike Gillislee ($5,300) at MIA
- WR: Julio Jones ($9,200) vs. SD
- WR: A.J. Green ($8,500) vs. CLE
- WR: Mike Evans ($8,000) at SF
- TE: Jack Doyle ($4,700) at TEN
- K: Mike Nugent ($4,600) vs. CLE
- DST: Jets ($4,400) vs. BAL
Here's my DraftKings lineup for Week 7
- QB: Kirk Cousins ($5,900) at DET
- RB: DeMarco Murray ($7,200) vs. IND
- RB: LeGarrette Blount ($4,900) at PIT
- WR: Mike Evans ($7,800) at SF
- WR: Allen Robinson ($7,300) vs. OAK
- WR: DeSean Jackson ($5,700) at DET
- TE: Jack Doyle ($2,500) at TEN
- FLEX: Devonta Freeman ($5,900) vs. SD
- DST: Jets ($2,600) vs. BAL
I'm trusting our Start of the Week in my FanDuel lineup, and I stacked Dalton with Green. I wanted to put together a lineup with Green, Jones and Evans, and I love the outlook for all three this week. Gillislee will be popular if McCoy is out, but he's cheap and worth using if he starts against the Dolphins. I also like Ware with the chance Jamaal Charles (knee) could miss the game against the Saints after suffering a potential setback Friday. Doyle, as listed above, is a good sleeper this week with Allen out, and I'm excited about this roster.
On DraftKings, I did a mini-stack with Cousins and Jackson, and the Redskins should be able to score on the Lions through the air. I went with Evans again here, and I also like Robinson with his matchup against the Raiders. Murray should be a beast against the Colts, and Freeman should also excel against the Chargers at home. I expect Blount to beat up on his former team with the Steelers, and again I'm going with Doyle again here in his matchup with the Titans.
I'm not giving up on Jones unless it's a tremendous package, and this doesn't qualify. While Michael has been fantastic as the starter for the Seahawks, there's the chance when Thomas Rawls is healthy that it's a timeshare. And Landry is too inconsistent to make up for what you're losing in Jones. It sucks that Charles isn't back at 100 percent yet, but if he does get there then you're giving up too much. Keep your guys.
I hope that Cameron Meredith will remain a viable Fantasy threat if Brian Hoyer (arm) is done for the year, but there's an unknown now. But even if Jay Cutler comes back and makes Meredith one of his favorite targets, you can cut Meredith since the Bears play the Vikings in Week 8 and then have a bye in Week 9. You're not starting him in either of those two weeks, so find someone else who can help you.
It's going to be hard to sell both guys at their top price since Jones has faded the past couple of games, and Pryor is now dealing with a hamstring injury. Of the two, Pryor worries me the most because of the expected return of Corey Coleman (hand). Jones could still perform like a high-end No. 2 Fantasy receiver, and he has the better quarterback in Stafford. That said, it's not a bad idea to shop both of them to see if there's an offer you can't refuse.
Before dropping him, unless you're the Le'Veon Bell owner, I would look to trade him to the Bell owner for anything you can get. But yes, it's safe to drop Williams. He's hurt now with a knee injury, and he's not going to play in Week 7. We hope Bell doesn't get hurt, but the only way Williams will be Fantasy relevant again is if Bell were to miss extended action.
Yes, Devontae Booker is the No. 1 lottery ticket now, and he could be a star if C.J. Anderson got injured. The Broncos will likely give Booker more work each week, especially if Anderson continues to struggle, and I would even use Booker as a flex option in Week 7 against the Texans. If Booker ever got the starting job for the Broncos this season he would become a must-start Fantasy option in the majority of leagues.
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