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The joy and pain of playing Fantasy Football has been on display a lot this season. And it was evident in every league over the past two weeks.

As Week 6 closed, we likely said goodbye to Aaron Rodgers for this year after he suffered a broken collarbone against the Vikings. This comes after losing guys like Dalvin Cook (knee), Odell Beckham (ankle), Chris Carson (ankle) and Tyler Eifert (back) for the season, among others.

It's hard enough to win Fantasy leagues when everyone is healthy, but it's devastating when you lose star players. And we're still dealing with extended absences to Andrew Luck (shoulder), David Johnson (wrist) and Greg Olsen (foot).

We thought we were about to lose Ezekiel Elliott for six games due to his pending suspension, but that has been put on hold -- again. He's going to play in Week 7 at San Francisco and Week 8 at Washington, and then we'll wait for the outcome of another legal decision.

For now, Elliott is active, which makes his Fantasy owners happy, and hopefully he plays all 16 games. But if he's suspended at any point this season, there will be some level of sadness, unless you have the depth to cover his absence.

We just want our stars on the field. It makes playing Fantasy Football that much more fun.

Editor's Note: Projections are provided by CBS Sports and not Jamey Eisenberg.

Start of the Week

Matt Ryan
IND • QB • #2
at NE
Week 7 Projection20.6 Fantasy Points
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Matt Ryan has been a bust so far this season. Drafted as a top-four player at his position on CBS Sports, Ryan comes into Week 7 as the No. 27 Fantasy quarterback in standard leagues.

In comparing him to other quarterbacks who have made just five starts (Ryan had a bye in Week 5), he's worse than Trevor Siemian and Tyrod Taylor, and he has the same amount of Fantasy points as Case Keenum. Ouch.

But now is time for Ryan to do something about it.

And there's no better week for him to turn things around then against New England. Since Feb. 5, all Ryan has thought about was the Patriots and the loss in Super Bowl 51. He's been taunted with 28-3, which was the lead the Falcons saw evaporate at the hands of Tom Brady.

This is a week for Ryan to get some level of revenge and have his first good game of the season. And he should be able to do what every quarterback against the Patriots has done so far this year – dominate.

New England leads the league in Fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, and every opposing quarterback has scored at least 20 Fantasy points this year. The Patriots helped Alex Smith get off to a hot start in Week 1, cured Cam Newton's woes in Week 4 and made Josh McCown look like Drew Brees in Week 6.

Even Brees looked like Brees against New England in Week 2.

And now it's Ryan's turn. Or so we hope.

He has yet to score 20 Fantasy points this season, and he comes into Week 7 with a combined 22 points in his past two games against Buffalo and Miami. Ryan is due, and he's scored at least 21 Fantasy points in his past two meetings with the Patriots, including the Super Bowl.

This is a game for Ryan to force the ball to Julio Jones, who is also overdue for a big game, and lean on Austin Hooper, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Tight ends and running backs who catch the ball have crushed the Patriots this year.

And so have quarterbacks. The Patriots allow an average of 338 passing yards a game, with 15 total touchdowns allowed and just five interceptions. Quarterbacks are scoring an average of 28.3 Fantasy points a game against New England.

Ryan's Fantasy owners have dreamt about that kind of production all year. Now is the time for it to become a reality.

I'm starting Ryan over: Cam Newton (at CHI), Alex Smith (at OAK), Russell Wilson (at NYG), Philip Rivers (vs. DEN) and Carson Palmer (at LAR)


Start 'Em
24.4 Projected points
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
Prescott had 30 Fantasy points last year coming off a bye, and we hope the same thing happens this week against the 49ers. He's scored at least 26 Fantasy points in three games in a row, and the 49ers are allowing an average of 21.7 Fantasy points a game this season to opposing quarterbacks. Kirk Cousins just beat them up for 31 points last week.
21.4 Projected points
Carson Wentz Philadelphia Eagles QB
Wentz started his breakout campaign with a strong performance against the Redskins in Week 1 when he passed for 307 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for 22 Fantasy points. He's scored at least 22 Fantasy points in four of six games, including two in a row, and the Redskins are banged up on defense, especially if cornerbacks Josh Norman (ribs) and Bashaud Breeland (knee) are out.
20.8 Projected points
Marcus Mariota Tennessee Titans QB
Mariota played in Week 6 against the Colts after missing one game with a hamstring injury, and he didn't look like himself. He had no rushing yards and mostly stayed in the pocket, but he did manage a season-high 306 passing yards to go with one touchdown and one interception. He should improve this week against the Browns, who are allowing an average of 23.7 Fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks. And Mariota is averaging 26 Fantasy points a game against the Browns in two career meetings.
21.0 Projected points
Tyrod Taylor Buffalo Bills QB
Taylor should play blackjack because the number 21 is all around him. He's projected for 21 Fantasy points this week, he's scored 21 points in each of his two home games this year and going back to last season, he's averaged just over 21 points in his past 10 games in Buffalo. He has a favorable matchup this week against the Buccaneers, who are allowing an average of 22.8 Fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks this year.
16.5 Projected points
Carson Palmer Arizona Cardinals QB
Palmer averaged 272 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception in two games against the Rams last year, and that's about the range he should be in this week. The Rams have only allowed two quarterbacks to score at least 20 Fantasy points this season, which were Prescott and Brian Hoyer, but Palmer is averaging 309 passing yards, 1.5 touchdowns and one interception for the season. Palmer is a low-end No. 1 quarterback this week.

Sleeper Quarterbacks 

  • C.J. Beathard (vs. DAL): Beathard is the new starting quarterback in San Francisco, and he has a favorable matchup in Week 7 against Dallas. The Cowboys have allowed four quarterbacks in a row to score at least 22 Fantasy points, and Beathard did OK in relief of Brian Hoyer in Week 6 at Washington. The rookie third-round pick from Iowa completed 53 percent of his passes for 245 yards, one touchdown and one interception and ran for 14 yards. He's a good streaming option this week.
  • Jared Goff (vs. ARI): Goff has combined for just 17 Fantasy points in his past two games against Seattle and Jacksonville, but he did score at least 18 points in three of his first four outings this year. And this week he faces a Cardinals defense that has allowed four of six opposing quarterbacks to score at least 26 Fantasy points.
  • Brett Hundley (vs. NO): He struggled in relief of Rodgers in Week 6 at Minnesota when he completed 55 percent of his passes for 157 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions, although Ty Montgomery dropped a touchdown that would have helped his stats. He doesn't have the easiest matchup in Week 7 against New Orleans with how well the Saints have played defensively of late, but being at Lambeau Field will work in his favor. He's a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback this week.
Sit 'Em
15.8 Projected points
Derek Carr Oakland Raiders QB
In five games in prime time going back to 2014, Carr is averaging 195 passing yards with five total touchdowns and two interceptions. In his past five games against the AFC West, Carr is averaging just 9.0 Fantasy points a game. And in his past five games against the Chiefs, Carr is averaging just 208 passing yards a game with five total touchdowns, five interceptions and two fumbles. He's someone to avoid this week.
14.8 Projected points
Philip Rivers Los Angeles Chargers QB
Rivers had 23 Fantasy points at Denver in Week 1, and he's scored at least 19 Fantasy points in two games in a row against the Broncos. But I'd be hesitant to start him this week against Denver, especially since the Broncos just got embarrassed at home against a winless Giants team in prime time. The Broncos should be able to get after Rivers, and Denver is allowing just 17.2 Fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks this year.
14.0 Projected points
Andy Dalton Cincinnati Bengals QB
Since the offensive coordinator change to Bill Lazor prior to Week 3, Dalton is averaging 23.3 Fantasy points per game, with two games of at least 20 points. That's the good news. The bad news is he's facing a Steelers defense that has allowed just 10.3 Fantasy points per game on average to opposing quarterbacks this year, and he only has one 20-point outing against Pittsburgh in the past five meetings.
15.3 Projected points
Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers QB
Roethlisberger always has the chance for a big game at home, even in a tough matchup, and this one certainly qualifies. The Bengals have allowed just one quarterback to score more than 17 Fantasy points this year, which was Rodgers in Week 3. For the season, Cincinnati is allowing just 14.6 Fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks, and Roethlisberger is averaging 281 passing yards in his past five games with the Bengals to go with seven total touchdowns, seven interceptions and one fumble. We recommend stashing Roethlisberger if you can, but you don't have to start him this week.

Bust Alert

Jameis Winston
CLE • QB • #5
at BUF
Week 7 Projection13.2 Projected points
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Winston is hoping to play after injuring his shoulder in Week 6 at Arizona, but it could be tough for him to post a good stat line even if he's healthy against the Bills. Buffalo is allowing just 9.0 Fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks this year, including matchups with Cam Newton, Ryan and Dalton. It could be that Bills coach Sean McDermott, the former defensive coordinator in Carolina, knows how to handle the quarterbacks from his former division of the NFC South, which is why he's had success against Ryan and Newton. And Winston could follow suit. He's a risky play, especially with the injury, so consider benching him this week if possible.

Running Backs

Start 'Em
11.0 Projected points
Adrian Peterson Arizona Cardinals RB
Consider this my public apology for doubting Peterson after his move to Arizona. I expected him to continue to struggle with the Cardinals just as he did with the Saints, and he still may fail moving forward. But for now, he should be considered a must-start option in all leagues given the matchup with the Rams, who are allowing the most Fantasy points to opposing running backs this year. Peterson had 26 carries for 134 yards and two touchdowns against Tampa Bay in Week 6, and he should stay hot this week in London.
8.2 Projected points
Tevin Coleman Atlanta Falcons RB
The Patriots have struggled with pass-catching running backs this year, and we hope Coleman takes advantage of this matchup. He's worth trusting as a No. 2 Fantasy running back in all leagues. New England has allowed eight different running backs to catch three passes in a game, and Kareem Hunt and Fozzy Whittaker each scored at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league with their receiving stats alone against the Patriots. Coleman has three games this year with at least three catches, and he's scored at least eight Fantasy points in a standard league in four games in a row. He also scored eight Fantasy points against New England in the Super Bowl.
5.7 Projected points
James White New England Patriots RB
Speaking of the Super Bowl, no one had a bigger game against the Falcons than White. He had six carries for 29 yards and two touchdowns, and caught 14 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown on 16 targets. He won't get that much work this week – unless the Patriots find themselves trailing 28-3 again – but he is worth starting as a flex in standard leagues, and is a must-start option in PPR. The Falcons continue to struggle with pass-catching running backs, with seven running backs catching at least three passes in a game against them. White will join that group.
9.8 Projected points
C.J. Anderson Denver Broncos RB
The Broncos have a relatively easy formula they should follow this week and every game this season – give the ball to Anderson. In the three games where he's had 20-plus carries, Denver is 3-0, with victories against the Chargers, Cowboys and Raiders. In the two games where Anderson had fewer than 20 carries, the Broncos are 0-2 against the Bills and Giants. He had 20 carries for 81 yards against the Chargers in Week 1, and including that game, the Chargers have allowed seven running backs to either score or gain 80 total yards. Don't give up on Anderson yet even though he had just nine carries for 17 yards in Week 6 against the Giants. He remains a solid No. 2 running back this week.
10.1 Projected points
Carlos Hyde San Francisco 49ers RB
The 49ers should come across as critical of Hyde every week because the production seems to follow. In the offseason, when it seemed like Hyde was on the verge of being replaced, he responded with a strong training camp and preseason. Then after Week 5, when he lost touches to Matt Breida and was rumored to be on the trading block, Hyde responded with a 75 total yards, two touchdowns and six catches in Week 6. He faces a Dallas defense this week that could get healthy with linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring) back, but they've still allowed four running backs to score or gain 80 total yards this season. Last year, Hyde had 15 carries for 74 yards and a touchdown against Dallas as well.


  • Ty Montgomery (vs. NO): I'd prefer to take a wait-and-see approach with the Green Bay backfield now that Rodgers is out, but Montgomery should be the better of the two this week. The Saints have struggled with pass-catching running backs – six have caught at least three passes in a game this year. Montgomery had 18 catches in three games before hurting his ribs in Week 4 and should be an easy outlet for new quarterback Brett Hundley.
  • Derrick Henry (at CLE): DeMarco Murray is dealing with a hamstring injury, which could give Henry a big workload against the Browns. Cleveland has been a tough team to run on, and only four running backs have scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league. But should Murray sit then Henry would become a must-start option. In four career games with at least 14 carries, Henry has at least 12 Fantasy points in a standard league in each outing.
  • Wendell Smallwood (vs. WAS): I'll update this if Smallwood remains out this week since he's missed the past two games with a knee injury, but he's trying to return Monday against the Redskins. In his last game in Week 4, the first without Darren Sproles (knee), Smallwood had 10 carries for 34 yards and a touchdown, as well as four catches for 45 yards. He'd be a flex option against the Redskins, who have allowed six running backs to catch at least six passes this year.
  • Duke Johnson (vs. TEN): Don't give up on Johnson after one bad game in Week 6 at Houston. In his four previous games, Johnson had either a touchdown or 80 total yards in each outing, with 21 catches over that span. He should benefit with DeShone Kizer returning as the starter, and Johnson had four carries for 18 yards and a touchdown and four catches for 56 yards against the Titans last year.
  • Thomas Rawls (at NYG): In Seattle's last game in Week 5 at the Rams, their first without Carson, Rawls played 32 snaps compared to 19 for Eddie Lacy. Rawls should continue to get more work this week, and the Giants have allowed a running back to score or gain 80 total yards in every game this season. If that trend continues, it will be Rawls getting that production. He's worth using as a flex this week.
Sit 'Em
6.3 Projected points
Orleans Darkwa New York Giants RB
Darkwa has been great the past two games for the Giants and has finally given them a running game, but I'm skeptical of him playing well for three games in a row, especially against Seattle this week. He had eight carries for 69 yards and a touchdown against the Chargers in Week 5 and was dominant at the Broncos in Week 6 with 21 carries for 117 yards and one catch for 13 yards. While the Seahawks have been leaky in their run defense at times this year, I'm expecting them to make stopping Darkwa a focal point coming off their bye week, given New York's lack of punch in the passing game. He's worth using as a flex option in standard leagues, but he's not a must-start running back. Just stash him on your bench for now.
7.8 Projected points
Mike Gillislee New England Patriots RB
You know the deal with Gillislee by now: He's proven to be touchdown-or-bust Fantasy option, and he hasn't scored a touchdown in his last four games. Over that span, he's combined for 14 Fantasy points in a standard league, and he has no catches on the season. To make matter worse, he fumbled last week at the Jets, and Dion Lewis started to take on more work after he was banished to the bench. I'd rather start White and Lewis over Gillislee this week in any format, and we also could see Rex Burkhead (ribs) back in action against the Falcons. Keep Gillislee on your bench, and hope he'll start being more productive soon.
7.5 Projected points
Aaron Jones Green Bay Packers RB
I'm hoping Jones comes out and has a great game against the Saints, but I'm skeptical for a few reasons. The Packers offense is going to struggle without Rodgers, and Jones is going to share touches with Montgomery. He's also facing a Saints defense that has allowed just one rushing touchdown, and Cook in Week 1 is the lone running back to top 70 rushing yards against New Orleans this year. Keep Jones stashed in case the Packers start to become more run-oriented without Rodgers, but don't plan on starting him this week.
7.2 Projected points
Matt Forte New York Jets RB
Forte returned from a two-game absence with a toe injury in Week 6 against New England and played well, finishing with nine carries for 22 yards and eight catches for 59 yards on eight targets. He played 43 snaps compared to 25 for Elijah McGuire, and his workload could increase this week now that he's hopefully closer to 100 percent. I'm fine with Forte as a flex option in PPR, but he could disappoint you in standard leagues; the Dolphins have allowed just two running backs to score double digits in Fantasy points this year.

Bust Alert

Marshawn Lynch
SEA • RB • #24
vs. KC
Week 7 Projection9.0 Fantasy points
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The Chiefs were gashed in their run defense last week by Le'Veon Bell, who had 191 total yards and a touchdown, and we've seen running backs like Melvin Gordon (13 Fantasy points) and Gillislee (22 points) have good Fantasy outings them. But Lynch is hard to trust this week based on his limited workload to date. He has yet to have more than 13 total touches in any of his past five games after getting 19 total touches in Week 1, and he's been held to 63 total yards or less in each of his past five outings as a result He only has four catches on the season, so he's been limited in the passing game, and he needs to score a touchdown to save his Fantasy production. That could happen at home on prime time, which is why he's ranked at No. 24 at running back in standard leagues. But he's risky, and you might have a better option to consider this week. Proceed with caution with Lynch in your lineup.

Wide Receivers

Start 'Em
9.1 Projected points
Alshon Jeffery Philadelphia Eagles WR
I'll take Jeffery out of this spot if Norman is able to play, but we still expect Norman to be out another week. And with Breeland likely out also, Jeffery should have the chance for one of his better games of the season. He only has one game with double digits in Fantasy points in standard leagues this year, which was Week 2 at Kansas City. But he had 10 targets last week at Carolina, and Wentz is trying to keep him involved. With a favorable matchup this week based on the banged-up Washington secondary, look for Jeffery to finally reward frustrated Fantasy owners.
9.3 Projected points
Michael Crabtree Oakland Raiders WR
Crabtree is the best Raiders Fantasy option right now, and it might not be close. With Lynch not getting a full workload, Carr struggling and Amari Cooper pulling a disappearing act, Crabtree continues to deliver. He has at least 80 receiving yards or a touchdown in all four games he was able to finish (he left Week 3 at Washington with a chest injury), and he has six catches in each of those outings. The Chiefs have allowed the second-most Fantasy points to opposing receivers this year, and Crabtree has two touchdowns in his past four games with Kansas City.
7.6 Projected points
Jarvis Landry Miami Dolphins WR
In two games since DeVante Parker hurt his ankle, Landry has played big. He has 13 catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns in his past two outings against Tennessee and Atlanta, and he's been a target hog all year. Jay Cutler has targeted Landry at least 10 times in four of five games, and he has 38 catches on the season. Now, the yards have been a little problematic with just 272, and it's risky to rely on him for touchdowns given his career track record. But he's scored in two in a row without Parker, and we don't expect Parker to play this week. Landry also has at least 16 Fantasy points in a standard league in two of his past four games against the Jets.
7.3 Projected points
Rishard Matthews Tennessee Titans WR
Matthews only had four catches for 69 yards on four targets in Week 6 against the Colts, and he was outplayed by Eric Decker, who had seven catches for 88 yards on nine targets. I like both Titans receivers this week against the Browns, but Matthews has the higher ceiling and is worth starting in all formats. He only has one game with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league this year, which was Week 3 against Seattle, but he's facing a Browns team that has struggled with No. 1 receivers this season. And Matthews had three catches for 70 yards and a touchdown against Cleveland last year.
8.0 Projected points
John Brown Arizona Cardinals WR
Brown went off against the Rams last year with 10 catches for 144 yards on 16 targets in Week 4, and we'd love to see a repeat performance this week. The Rams have only allowed three touchdowns to opposing receivers this year, but Brown and Larry Fitzgerald should play well in this matchup in London. Brown has started to play well each of the past three games with eight catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns on 18 targets, and he's no longer on the injury report because of his lingering quad problem. When healthy, Brown is a quality Fantasy receiver, and he's starting to prove that with his production of late.


  • Robert Woods (vs. ARI): The expectation would be Patrick Peterson covering Sammy Watkins this week, which should leave Woods on either Justin Bethel or Tramon Williams, and that's likely where Goff will attack. The Cardinals have allowed the third-most Fantasy points to opposing receivers, and the majority of it has come opposite Peterson. Woods is worth a look as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week.
  • Josh Doctson (at PHI): I'm anxiously awaiting the Redskins to make Doctson a featured part of this passing game, but so far he's been limited to just three targets or less each week. He scored in Week 6 against San Francisco on an 11-yard catch, nearly had a touchdown to win the game in Week 4 at Kansas City and caught a 52-yard touchdown in Week 3 against Oakland. This could be the week Doctson goes off, and he's worth using as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in all leagues.
  • Nelson Agholor: There's a good track record for Agholor's success so far this year, and it's simple – just throw him the ball. He has three games this year with at least five targets, and he's scored at least 11 Fantasy points in a standard league in each outing. He had a big play in Week 1 against the Redskins with a 58-yard touchdown after Wentz escaped a sure sack, but the numbers have been there when he's had just a slight bump in targets. And with the Redskins hurt in their secondary, this could be another big good week for Agholor.
  • Bennie Fowler (at LAC): Emmanuel Sanders (ankle) is expected to be out this week against the Chargers, and Fowler should see an increase in playing time and targets. In Week 6 against the Giants when Sanders got hurt, Fowler had eight targets and nearly scored a touchdown. He only had three catches for 21 yards, but he had two touchdowns against the Chargers in Week 1 with three catches for 21 yards on four targets. He's worth a look as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week in deeper leagues.
Sit 'Em
5.8 Projected points
Randall Cobb Green Bay Packers WR
Slot receivers have had success against the Saints this year, but it's hard to trust Cobb this week with Hundley under center. While Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams also carry plenty of risk with Rodgers out, they at least have some big-play and touchdown potential. Cobb has been at 60 yards or less in four games in a row, and he only has one touchdown on the season. He's a No. 3 Fantasy receiver at best.
6.0 Projected points
Terrelle Pryor Washington Redskins WR
He's on the chopping block in a lot of Fantasy leagues, and another bad game could see him on the waiver wire. He has one game with double digits in Fantasy points this year, and he just had three catches for 23 yards on five targets in Week 6 against the 49ers. He's been at five targets or less in each of the past four games, and we hope Doctson starts to cut into his snaps. Pryor has been a bust, and he should be benched in all leagues this week.
7.2 Projected points
Sammy Watkins Los Angeles Rams WR
Watkins is expected to see plenty of Peterson this week, and that should be bad news for his already down Fantasy value. He only has one game this season with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league, which was Week 3 at San Francisco, and he's combined for two Fantasy points in his past three games. He also has 10 combined targets over that span. Like Pryor, another bad game for Watkins will see him cut in most Fantasy leagues, especially with the Rams on a bye in Week 8.
6.3 Projected points
DeSean Jackson Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR
Jackson has played well of late with at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league in three of his past four games. He has two touchdowns over that span and one game with over 100 receiving yards, and he's been a serviceable No. 2 Fantasy receiver. But this week could be tough for him at Buffalo. The Bills have only allowed two touchdowns to opposing receivers, and A.J. Green is the lone receiver with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league. You're starting Mike Evans still despite the tough matchup, but Jackson should be considered a No. 3 receiver at best. And with Winston banged up, it's doubtful there will be many deep shots to Jackson down the field.

Bust Alert

T.Y. Hilton
DAL • WR • #13
vs. JAC
Week 7 Projection8.0 Fantasy points
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Hilton comes into this game with a great track record against the Jaguars. He's scored or gained 95 receiving yards in three of his past five meetings with Jacksonville, but there are a couple of things different about this matchup now. For starters, Luck is still out, which has been a big impact on Hilton's Fantasy value this year. And the Jaguars have two elite corners in Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, and this secondary has allowed one touchdown all season to DeAndre Hopkins in Week 1. Hilton has two good games this season, which were at home against Cleveland (21 Fantasy points) in Week 3 and San Francisco (17 points) in Week 5, so playing in Indianapolis is good for him. But the Jaguars should shut down Hilton this week, and he's a No. 3 Fantasy receiver at best.

Tight Ends

Start 'Em
6.5 Projected points
The concern with Seferian-Jenkins at this point would be a failure to score a touchdown, because he's been at 46 yards or less in each of the past three games. But you have to like the targets, as he has 19 in his past two outings against Cleveland and New England, and he scored in both of those matchups. The Dolphins have only allowed two touchdowns to a tight end this year, but three have scored at least seven Fantasy points in five games. Seferian-Jenkins remains a top-10 Fantasy option this week.
6.7 Projected points
Austin Hooper Atlanta Falcons TE
In Atlanta's past two games with Mohamed Sanu (hamstring) injured or out, we've seen Hooper significantly involved, with a combined 16 targets against Buffalo and Miami. The production hasn't been great yet with only 12 catches for 98 yards and no touchdowns, but this could be his breakout game in Week 7 at New England. The Patriots are awful against tight ends with five touchdowns allowed to the position in six games, and Hooper scored against New England in the Super Bow. If Sanu remains out then Hooper is a must-start tight end in all leagues.
4.3 Projected points
Nick O'Leary Buffalo Bills TE
O'Leary benefits in a big way with Charles Clay (knee) out, and the Bills are running thin on reliable pass catchers until Jordan Matthews (thumb) is back. O'Leary played well in Week 5 at Cincinnati after Clay got hurt with five catches for 54 yards on six targets, and we expect him to build on that performance this week. Tampa Bay has allowed a tight end to score in each of the past two weeks, and O'Leary is worth starting as a streaming option.


  • George Kittle (vs. DAL): Kittle and Beathard were teammates at Iowa, so you should expect a solid rapport. And Kittle continues to be involved in the offense. He has 17 targets in his past two games against the Colts and Redskins, and he's finished those outings with 11 catches for 129 yards and a touchdown. He's a low-end starting option this week.
  • Zach Miller (vs. CAR): Miller has two relatively fluky touchdowns in the past two games against Minnesota and Baltimore, which makes him hard to trust. But he does have 10 targets over that span for five catches, 64 yards and two touchdowns, and the Bears could be chasing points this week against the Panthers. Carolina also has allowed four touchdowns to tight ends in the past two games, and linebacker Luke Kuechly (concussion) might be out.
  • Jack Doyle (vs. JAC): The Jaguars have allowed a tight end to score in three of the past five games, and Doyle is coming off a solid game in Week 6 against the Titans with seven catches for 50 yards and a touchdown, although he lost a fumble. Doyle is still a risky Fantasy option without Luck, but he should be considered a low-end starting option this week given the matchup.
Sit 'Em
6.5 Projected points
Jordan Reed Washington Redskins TE
Reed has been terrible this season, whether due to his injured toe and other ailments, or just Cousins not featuring him like we expected. He's been at six targets or less in each of his past three games, and he's failed to score more than four Fantasy points in any outing this year. Backup Vernon Davis has been better than Reed, and Reed's not considered a must-start Fantasy option now until he starts to prove himself.
4.1 Projected points
Martellus Bennett Green Bay Packers TE
Bennett has been bad so far this season, and losing Rodgers isn't expected to help things. He's been held to five Fantasy points or less in every game this season and is still without a touchdown. His targets have also been shaky with seven combined in the past two games, and Fantasy owners who are still hanging onto him are doing so based on hope. He should not be started in Week 7 in the majority of leagues.
4.7 Projected points
Coby Fleener New Orleans Saints TE
Fleener got off to a promising start this season with 20 Fantasy points in his first two games, and he had 10 targets for eight catches, 87 yards and two touchdowns over that span. Since then, Fleener has combined for four Fantasy points in his past three games with six targets, three catches and 42 yards. He only had one target in Week 6 against Detroit and was limited to 18 snaps. You can't play him in any leagues this week at Green Bay.

Bust Alert

Kyle Rudolph
TB • TE • #8
vs. BAL
Week 7 Projection4.9 Projected points
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I thought Rudolph had a chance to play well in Week 6 against Green Bay with Stefon Diggs (groin) out, and Rudolph had nine targets, which matched his season high. But he only had five catches for 47 yards, and he's now failed to top 50 yards in any game this season. And he's only scored two touchdowns. This week, he faces a Ravens defense that's struggled with tight ends with six touchdowns allowed, including two last week to Miller and Dion Sims, but Rudolph isn't guaranteed to take advantage of this matchup. He's a low-end starting option at best this week.

Defense/Special Teams

Start 'Em

Steelers (vs. CIN) – 12.7 Projected points

The Steelers DST has a good track record against the Bengals and comes into this game averaging 13.3 Fantasy points against Cincinnati over the past six meetings. This year, the Steelers DST has scored at least 13 Fantasy points in four of six outings, and the Pittsburgh defense has held four teams to fewer than 20 points this year. The Bengals have allowed three of five opposing DSTs to score at least 11 Fantasy points, and they are allowing an average of 1.2 interceptions and 3.0 sacks per games. Cincinnati has also scored 20 points or less in three of five games this year. 

Sleeper DSTs

  • Saints (at GB): It's time to buy into the Saints DST as being good since it now has three games in a row of solid production with at least 18 Fantasy points against Carolina, Miami and Detroit. Over that span, the Saints DST has 13 sacks, seven interceptions and three touchdowns. It faces a backup quarterback in Hundley who had three interceptions last week at Minnesota.
  • Bills (vs. TB): The Bills DST has been solid all year long with at least 11 Fantasy points in every game. It comes into this matchup against a banged-up Winston, and the Bills DST has two interceptions in each of the past three games against Denver, Atlanta and Cincinnati. No team has scored more than 20 points against Buffalo this year.
  • Dolphins (vs. NYJ): The Jets have been very good for opposing DSTs, and the only team with fewer than 12 Fantasy points against them was the Dolphins in Week 3 when they scored eight. Josh McCown has four interceptions in his past three games, and he's been sacked 12 times over that span. The Dolphins defense has also allowed 20 points or less in every game this season.

Sit 'Em

Ravens (at MIN) – 10.4 Projected points

The Ravens DST has been great the past two weeks against Oakland and Chicago, but they have taken advantage of some good situations against EJ Manuel and Trubisky in those games. The Ravens DST has combined for 41 Fantasy points over that span, but prior to that they scored five points combined against Jacksonville and Pittsburgh. Case Keenum is closer to Manuel and Trubisky than he is to a standout quarterback, but the Vikings offense isn't giving up a lot of production to opposing DSTs, especially when he's been under center. Opposing DSTs are averaging just 7.8 Fantasy points against the Vikings, and the Ravens DST is more of a No. 2 Fantasy option than a starting unit this week.


Start 'Em

Dan Bailey
MIN • K • #5
at SF
Week 7 Projection9.3 Fantasy points
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Bailey has two things going for him this week. The first is the Cowboys offense is intact with Elliott able to play and put off his six-game suspension, which should allow Dallas to move the ball at will. And the second is the 49ers allow the second-most Fantasy points to opposing kickers. Every kicker has made multiple field goals against San Francisco this year, including Phil Dawson and Adam Vinatieri making four field goals. Dawson, Vinatieri, Graham Gano and Greg Zuerlein have all scored at least 11 Fantasy points against the 49ers. Bailey only has one game this season with double digits in Fantasy points, which was Week 1, but this should be another quality outing for him. He's a top-five kicker coming into the week.

Sleeper Kickers

  • Ryan Succop (at CLE): It might seem strange to call Succop a sleeper since he's the No. 2 Fantasy kicker this year, but he's only owned in 53 percent of leagues on CBS Sports. And he's scored at least 12 Fantasy points in every game that Mariota has been able to finish this season. With Mariota healthy against the Browns, look for another big game from Succop this week.
  • Robbie Gould (vs. DAL): Gould has done a nice job kicking for the 49ers this season and comes into this game with at least eight Fantasy points in four games in a row. He should be in that range again this week. The Cowboys have only allowed one kicker to score double digits in Fantasy points this year, which was Greg Zuerlein in Week 4, but look for Gould to also have success in this matchup.
  • Blair Walsh (at NYG): The Giants have allowed four of six kickers to make multiple field goals this year, and three kickers have scored at least nine Fantasy points. Walsh comes into this game with 18 Fantasy points combined in his past two games against the Colts and Rams, and he's scored at least nine points in two of three road outings. 

Sit 'Em

Brandon McManus
WAS • K • #3
at LAC
Week 7 Projection7.9 Fantasy points
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McManus had one of those forgettable games in Week 6 against the Giants, and you hope it doesn't carry over to this week against the Chargers. He missed a 35-yard field goal against the Giants and had a 53-yarder blocked, and he's now tied his career high in missed field goals with five. It's going to be hard to trust him in this game on the road. And the Chargers have allowed only two kickers with multiple field goals, which were Cody Parkey in Week 2 and Jake Elliott in Week 4. McManus was 1-of-2 on field goals in Week 1 with three extra points and scored six Fantasy points. I would expect him to be in that range this week.