Note: Don't miss CBSSports' one-week Fantasy football championship on FanDuel. Double your cash each week, compete against CBSSports experts and play in a FREE $100K final! Enter now

There is a lot of star power missing in Week 7 with Green Bay, Cincinnati, Denver and Chicago on a bye, and it could leave Fantasy owners in a tough spot. We hope you were prepared for this scoring period.

While you finally have a legitimate reason to bench busts like Peyton Manning, C.J. Anderson and Eddie Lacy, many owners are scrambling to find replacements for Aaron Rodgers, Matt Forte, A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert, among others. It's even difficult being without Brandon McManus and the Broncos DST based on their successful seasons so far.

You could see some interesting lineups this week, especially in deeper leagues, and we'll find out who will be the surprise scorers in Week 7. Last week, Brian Hoyer and Ryan Fitzpatrick were among the best quarterbacks, James Starks was a Top 3 running back, Lance Moore was a Top 10 receiver and Benjamin Watson was the No. 2 tight end.

You don't need stars to win each week, but it is nice when your No. 1 options come to play. So let's root for Andrew Luck, Adrian Peterson, Julio Jones and Travis Kelce to play big in Week 7. When you have top players show up in the box score, and you can supplement them with standout complementary options, that's when Fantasy teams are at their best. And with all the key players on a bye this week, we're going to need plenty of help from the secondary options to carry our teams.

Start of the Week: Todd Gurley, RB, Rams

Todd Gurley
ATL • RB • 21
vs CLE
Projections
PROJECTION16.4
View Profile

Prior to the season, this was the week I expected Todd Gurley to make his NFL debut. He was coming off last year's torn ACL at Georgia, and the Rams had a bye in Week 6.

The Rams and Gurley had other ideas, and Fantasy owners are thankful at what's transpired so far. He played in Week 3 against the Steelers, but the training wheels came off soon after, which has been impressive.

Gurley ran through the Cardinals in Week 4 with 19 carries for 146 yards and two catches for 15 yards, and he was dominant at Green Bay in Week 5 with 30 carries for 159 yards. Those are two top-notch run defenses he faced on the road, and Gurley made them look silly.

He's a special talent, and his knee issue looks like a distant memory. The Rams offensive line has also played well, and Gurley should stay hot this week against the Browns. It's a dream matchup since Cleveland has allowed a running back to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league for nine games in a row going back to last year, and Gurley should make it 10.

We expect his first NFL touchdown to come this week at home, and he should give Rams fans plenty of reason to celebrate. Gurley looks like a budding star, and Fantasy owners should be thrilled to have him playing at a high level heading into Week 7.

I'm starting Gurley over: Chris Ivory (at NE), Arian Foster (at MIA), Marshawn Lynch (at SF), Mark Ingram (at IND) and LeSean McCoy (at JAC)

Quarterback

Start 'Em

Carson Palmer
ARI • QB • 3
vs BAL
Projections
PROJECTION23.2
It's almost impossible to type, but Palmer is my No. 1 quarterback this week. And I'm so excited about it. Palmer has been great this season with four games of at least 22 Fantasy points in a standard league and no games with fewer than 18 points. And this week he's facing a Ravens defense that allows the most Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Four quarterbacks have passed for at least 340 yards and multiple touchdowns against Baltimore, including Derek Carr, Josh McCown and Colin Kaepernick. This should mean a great performance for Palmer, especially since he struggled last week at Pittsburgh with 421 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Get him active wherever you can in every format.
View Profile

Cam Newton
CAR • QB • 1
vs DAL
Projections
PROJECTION17.9
The Eagles don't give up a lot of production to quarterbacks, but Newton has become a must-start option no matter the matchup. Newton just scored 21 Fantasy points at Seattle, which was his third game in his past four outings with at least 21 points. His rushing ability is carrying his stat line since he's scored three touchdowns on the ground and has three games with at least nine Fantasy points thanks to his legs. Kirk Cousins is the only quarterback with more than 19 Fantasy points against Philadelphia, including matchups with Ryan, Brees and Eli Manning. Newton also had a miserable game at the Eagles last season with 306 passing yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions and just two carries for 6 yards with a fumble, and he was sacked nine times. We expect him to do much better in the rematch this year at home, so don't hesitate to use him in the majority of leagues.
View Profile

Philip Rivers
IND • QB • 17
vs OAK
Projections
PROJECTION24.8
Rivers is rolling right now coming into this home matchup with the Raiders. He's scored at least 24 Fantasy points in three games in a row, and he passed for 503 yards and two touchdowns in Week 6 at Green Bay. The Chargers are struggling to run the ball now, so Rivers should continue to carry the offense. And the Raiders have allowed four quarterbacks to score at least 21 Fantasy points against them this year. Rivers only has two games with more than 20 Fantasy points against Oakland in his past five meetings, but we'll take our chances with him this week in the majority of leagues as a potential Top 5 Fantasy quarterback.
View Profile

Eli Manning
NYG • QB • 10
vs DAL
Projections
PROJECTION26.8
Manning is due for a bounce-back game after last week's travesty at Philadelphia when he had 189 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for 10 Fantasy points. His only other game with fewer than 23 points was Week 1 at Dallas when he had seven Fantasy points. That's not typically what happens for Manning against the Cowboys, and he averaged almost 28 Fantasy points in his previous four meetings with Dallas prior to Week 1. The Cowboys have also struggled with opposing quarterbacks of late with Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and Tom Brady all scoring at least 26 Fantasy points. We doubt Manning has two bad games in a row, especially since he's at home, and he should be started with confidence in all leagues.
View Profile

Ryan Tannehill
TEN • QB • 17
vs HOU
Projections
PROJECTION22.6
Even though Miami was dominant in Week 6 at the Titans, Tannehill only had modest totals with 266 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for 19 Fantasy points. He only has one game with more than 19 Fantasy points this season, and interceptions have been a problem of late with seven picks in his past three outings. We hope things improve this week against the Texans, who have allowed four quarterbacks to score at least 20 Fantasy points, including two in a row with Matt Hasselbeck and Blake Bortles. Tannehill should take advantage of Jarvis Landry, Rishard Matthews and Jordan Cameron making plays, and he should have the chance to be a Top 10 Fantasy quarterback at home.
View Profile

Sleepers

Blake Bortles (vs. BUF): QBs are averaging 21 Fantasy points vs. BUF.
Matthew Stafford (vs. MIN): He had 23 Fantasy points vs. MIN in Week 2.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (at NE): Garbage time should help Fitzpatrick this week.

Sit 'Em

Colin Kaepernick
SF • QB • 7
vs SEA
Projections
PROJECTION16.7
We'll find out this week if Kaepernick is worth using as a Fantasy option moving forward if he can play well in this matchup. He's been great the past two games with an average of 25 Fantasy points against the Giants and Ravens, but those are easy opponents by comparison to Seattle. Now, the Seahawks have given up some big games to quarterbacks this season with four guys scoring at least 20 Fantasy points, but Kaepernick has a miserable history in this series. In his past five meetings with the Seahawks in the regular season, Kaepernick has two touchdowns and seven interceptions and only one game with more than 200 passing yards. He's not worth using in most standard leagues, but if he comes out of this game playing well then he could be a low-end starter for you in deeper formats.
View Profile

Josh McCown
HOU • QB • 3
at STL
Projections
PROJECTION23.4
As expected, McCown's bubble burst in Week 6 against Denver when his three-game run of at least 23 Fantasy points ended in his first matchup against a standout defense. He had 15 Fantasy points against the Broncos with his first multi-interception game of the year, and he should struggle again this week. The Rams have yet to allow a quarterback to score more than 18 Fantasy points, including matchups with Palmer, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson. They have allowed five passing touchdowns and five interceptions, and they should be able to pressure McCown all game. He is not worth starting in most single-quarterback leagues.
View Profile

Joe Flacco
NYJ • QB • 19
at ARI
Projections
PROJECTION22.1
The Cardinals have given up some surprising production to quarterbacks of late with Nick Foles scoring 24 Fantasy points in Week 4 and Landry Jones and Michael Vick combining for 22 Fantasy points in Week 6. Those are the only two games where the Cardinals failed to get an interception, and the opposing quarterbacks took advantage of the turnover-free game. We'll see if Flacco can follow suit, and he's been great of late with at least 21 Fantasy points in four of his past five games. This could be a tough week for him though if Patrick Peterson limits Steve Smith's production since Flacco has relied on Smith as his only consistent receiver. I'd be surprised if Flacco doesn't have an interception this week (he has one in five of six games), and we know when a quarterback makes a mistake against the Cardinals the Fantasy production is usually minimal.
View Profile

Derek Carr
LV • QB • 4
at SD
Projections
PROJECTION23.4
Carr needs to step up his production because he's had two great games so far this season and three stinkers. He scored 32 Fantasy points against Baltimore in Week 2 and 24 points at Cleveland in Week 3, but he's combined for 28 points in three other games against Cincinnati, Chicago and Denver. The Chargers don't have the greatest defense, and three quarterbacks have scored at least 23 Fantasy points against them with Andy Dalton, McCown and Rodgers. But the Raiders should be able to run on San Diego, and you can anticipate Amari Cooper having a bad game against Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett, which takes away Carr's lone reliable target. Based on the five-game sample size we have with Carr so far this season, it's easy to bench him based on the matchup on the road.
View Profile

Alex Smith
WAS • QB • 11
vs PIT
Projections
PROJECTION19.7
The first start for Smith without Jamaal Charles (torn ACL) did not work out so well in Week 6 at Minnesota. It wasn't horrible as Smith managed 18 Fantasy points, but this passing game might now have to carry the offense, which isn't necessarily a good thing. Smith has now gone three games in a row with fewer than 20 Fantasy points, and he hasn't had multiple touchdowns in a game since Week 1 at Houston. He could snap that streak in Week 7 against the Steelers since Pittsburgh has allowed three quarterbacks to score at least 24 Fantasy points this season. Jeremy Maclin (concussion) is banged up, so keep an eye on his status, but Smith is only worth using in two-quarterback leagues this week.
View Profile

Sam Bradford
ARI • QB • 9
at CAR
Projections
PROJECTION22.7
Just when it looked like Bradford had turned the corner with his production the past two games he put up a stinker in Week 6 against the Giants with 280 passing yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. It's going to be hard for Fantasy owners to trust him coming off that performance and then facing a tough opponent in the Panthers. Carolina just allowed its first 20-point game against Wilson in Week 6, but he had eight carries for 53 yards in that matchup. We doubt Bradford is going to help his cause on the ground, and the Panthers have allowed five touchdowns with eight interceptions on the season. Bradford has a bye in Week 8, so hopefully things will improve for him after that if he struggles this week as expected. He'll still have plenty of big moments ahead, but this isn't the week to start him on the road.
View Profile

Running back

Start 'Em

Lamar Miller
NO • RB • 36
vs HOU
Projections
PROJECTION12.9
It was great to see the Dolphins come off their bye with Dan Campbell taking over for Joe Philbin and be committed to the run at the Titans. Miller had season highs in carries (19), rushing yards (113) and scored his first touchdown in 2015. Going back to last year, Miller now has at least nine Fantasy points in five of his past six games when he's had at least 15 carries. We hope the Dolphins continue to feed Miller, and the Texans have allowed some quality outings to running backs this season. Five running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points against Houston, and Miller should remain productive with a consistent workload. We're excited about his outlook this week.
View Profile

Doug Martin
LV • RB • 22
at WAS
Projections
PROJECTION15.6
We hope the bye week didn't stop Martin's momentum because he was playing great in his previous two games. Martin went into the Week 6 bye with consecutive games of at least 100 rushing yards and a touchdown against Carolina and Jacksonville, and he combined for 51 Fantasy points in that span. The last time he had consecutive games with double digits in Fantasy points was Weeks 2 and 3 of 2013, and only once before in his career has he rushed for 100 yards in back-to-back games, which was Weeks 8 and 9 of his rookie season in 2012. The Redskins run defense was considered a strength coming into the year, but they have been abused the past two weeks by Devonta Freeman and Chris Ivory, with each running back getting at least 196 total yards and a touchdown. We'll see if Martin can follow suit, but he's worth trusting based on what we saw from him the last time he played in Week 5.
View Profile

LeSean McCoy
TB • RB • 25
at JAC
Projections
PROJECTION14.7
The Jaguars have done a nice job against the run when Paul Posluszny has been healthy, and the only running back to gain more than 80 yards on the ground has been Martin in Week 5 when Posluszny was out with an ankle sprain. But that doesn't mean running backs haven't had good Fantasy days against Jacksonville. Five running backs have scored double digits in Fantasy points against the Jaguars in their past four games with eight touchdowns allowed over that span. That bodes well for McCoy, who played well in Week 6 against the Bengals after missing the previous two games with a hamstring injury. He had 17 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown and played his first game without Karlos Williams (concussion) stealing touches. Williams should be out again this week, so look for McCoy to get a heavy workload in London. He should be able to reach double digits in Fantasy points in this matchup.
View Profile

Latavius Murray
BAL • RB • 28
at SD
Projections
PROJECTION13.2
Murray needed the bye in Week 6 to likely get a break and also prove to the coaching staff he can be trusted. He was benched late in each of the past two games against Chicago and Denver, but that shouldn't impact his status for this week. And it's a great matchup to trust him since the Chargers allow the most Fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. San Diego has allowed a running back to reach double digits in Fantasy points in every game this season with nine touchdowns allowed and four guys running for at least 100 yards. Murray only has two games this season with double digits in Fantasy points, but the matchup is too good to overlook. And despite being benched twice, he still has at least 18 touches in four of five games, with at least three catches in four games as well. He'll touch the ball enough this week to post a quality stat line against a bad opponent on the road.
View Profile

Frank Gore
NYJ • RB • 21
vs NO
Projections
PROJECTION13.9
Gore played well in Week 6 against the Patriots with 13 carries for 78 yards and two catches for 16 yards, but he failed to score a touchdown, which left him with just eight Fantasy points in a standard league. He's now scored at least eight Fantasy points in three of his past four games, and he should have another solid stat line this week. The Saints have struggled with running backs of late as DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and Freeman each scored at least 15 Fantasy points in the past two games. For the season, five running backs have scored double digits in Fantasy points against New Orleans, with four of them coming on the road. Gore wasn't impacted too much by Ahmad Bradshaw in Week 6 since he had just four carries for 8 yards and one catch for 8 yards, and his five touches were comparable to what Josh Robinson had in other games this year. At some point Bradshaw could pose a problem, but we'd still trust Gore this week with his home date against the Saints.
View Profile

Sleepers

Darren McFadden (at NYG): NYG struggle with pass-catching RBs.
Alfred Morris (vs. TB): He's worth trusting if Matt Jones remains out.
Theo Riddick (vs. MIN): He's becoming a must-start option in PPR.
Shane Vereen (vs. DAL): DAL struggles with pass-catching RBs.
Dion Lewis (vs. NYJ): He'll be better than LeGarrette Blount this week.

Sit 'Em

Charcandrick West
IND • RB • 36
vs PIT
Projections
PROJECTION10.3
Last week was a total letdown in West's first game since replacing Charles with nine carries for 33 yards and one catch for 6 yards with a lost fumble at Minnesota. The only good news was he had more work than Knile Davis (five carries for 13 yards and one catch for 12 yards), but Fantasy owners who went all in on West are hoping for more. Maybe it happens this week against the Steelers, but it's hard to trust him in the majority of leagues. And the Steelers have been tough on running backs this season as only Lewis and Justin Forsett have reached double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league. Also, no running back has scored against Pittsburgh, and we're still not sure if West or Davis will get goal-line work for the Chiefs when they're in the red zone. Don't give up on West just yet, but you don't have to start him this week either. We hope the best is yet to come, but we need to see it first before putting him in our lineup in most formats.
View Profile

Ameer Abdullah
CAR • RB • 20
vs MIN
Projections
PROJECTION10
Abdullah has been a colossal disappointment of late with Joique Bell (ankle) out the past three weeks, and he's failed to take advantage of the situation. He's combined for just nine Fantasy points the past three games and has struggled with fumble issues, and he continues to get outplayed by Riddick. Bell could return this week, which would hurt Abdullah's outlook even further, and the Vikings have done well against opposing running backs this year. Carlos Hyde beat them up in Week 1, but since then only a 72-yard touchdown run by Ronnie Hillman in Week 4 has been their lone blemish, including facing the Lions in Week 2 when Abdullah had six carries for 9 yards and one catch for 9 yards. Detroit had just 18 rushing yards from its running backs in that game, and Abdullah will likely struggle again in the rematch. We hope the best is yet to come for Abdullah, but for now keep him reserved in the majority of leagues.
View Profile

Melvin Gordon
DEN • RB • 25
vs OAK
Projections
PROJECTION9.2
It's been a long time since anyone said to bench a running back against the Raiders, but that's where we are with Gordon because the Chargers appear to have benched him as well. After losing two fumbles last week at Green Bay, Gordon was sent to the bench, and we're not sure what to expect this week. He could have already paid his punishment against the Packers, or coach Mike McCoy might want to teach him a further lesson and go with Danny Woodhead and Branden Oliver for this game. Woodhead would be the only Chargers running back to trust this week, and I consider him a No. 2 option in the majority of leagues. Gordon is still looking for his first NFL touchdown and first game with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league, and the Raiders haven't allowed a running back to score in their last three games against the Browns, Bears and Broncos.
View Profile

Joseph Randle
DAL • RB • 21
at NYG
Projections
PROJECTION9.8
There's a little bit of a guessing game going on with the Cowboys running backs coming off their bye week. Reports out of Dallas said Christine Michael has been getting first-team reps in practice, which indicates he could be the starter ahead of Randle and McFadden. And McFadden appeared to take over for Lance Dunbar (torn ACL) as the receiver out of the backfield for the Cowboys since he had nine catches for 62 yards on 10 targets in Week 5 against the Patriots. So where does that leave Randle? On your Fantasy bench this week against the Giants. It will definitely be all three guys sharing the workload for this matchup, which could leave Randle in a tough spot, especially if he's third on the depth chart. The Giants have struggled with running backs the past two games with Hyde and DeMarco Murray each scoring at least 15 Fantasy points, and Randle had over 100 total yards against the Giants in Week 1. I would gamble on Michael as a low-end No. 2 running back this week, and I like McFadden in PPR leagues. As for Randle, we don't know what's going to happen with his role, so keep him reserved in most formats.
View Profile

Andre Ellington
TB • RB • 32
vs BAL
Projections
PROJECTION7
It might be a good idea to avoid all three Cardinals running backs this week with Chris Johnson, David Jonson and Ellington all sharing the workload. It was a mess last week at Pittsburgh when Chris Johnson had 14 carries for 40 yards and one catch for 5 yards, Ellington had one carry for 7 yards and two catches for 47 yards and David Johnson had three carries for 9 yards and one catch for 8 yards. It was a different story the previous week when all three reached double digits in Fantasy points against the Lions, but it's risky with all these mouths to feed in the backfield. Chris Johnson is the closest thing to safe based on his role on rushing downs, and Ellington could be good in PPR leagues. David Johnson will need a touchdown to be relevant, but Baltimore has been good against the run this year with only Latavius Murray and Le'Veon Bell scoring rushing touchdowns. This game should be all about Palmer, and we would avoid the Cardinals backfield if possible in most standard formats.
View Profile

Carlos Hyde
JAC • RB • 24
vs SEA
Projections
PROJECTION14.6
There are two things working against Hyde this week that makes him a risky starting option. He's dealing with a foot injury, which shouldn't keep him from playing this week, but it could limit his production with the risk of a setback on a short week. Then there's also the health of Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who missed Week 6 against Carolina with a pectoral injury, but is expected to return for this Thursday night game. The Seahawks allowed Jonathan Stewart to score two touchdowns with Wagner out, so his return will help this defense likely focus on stopping Hyde. He had a down game last week against the Ravens despite 21 carries, and he managed just 55 yards with two catches for 5 yards. Hyde does have two games with double digits in Fantasy points against Minnesota and the Giants, but he's struggled in his four other outings. This could be another down performance, and you might want to bench him if possible.
View Profile

Wide receiver

Start 'Em

John Brown
JAC • WR • 13
vs BAL
Projections
PROJECTION5.5
If the Ravens allow the most Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks then you know that can't bode well for their performance against receivers, and Baltimore is No. 2 in that category behind Kansas City. All three of the top receivers for the Cardinals have a chance to make plays this week, with Larry Fitzgerald and Brown as must-start options, and Michael Floyd as a No. 3 receiver. Brown is coming off two solid games with 30 Fantasy points combined against Detroit and Pittsburgh. He has three games this season with double digits in Fantasy points, and Baltimore has allowed nine touchdowns to opposing receivers and six to score double digits in Fantasy points. This is a perfect matchup for Brown to have a big game on Monday night.
View Profile

Allen Hurns
MIA • WR • 8
vs BUF
Projections
PROJECTION3.16
I'm a little wary of Allen Robinson this week because the Bills have locked down the opposing No. 1 receiver in the past four games with Landry, Odell Beckham, Kendall Wright and A.J. Green all being held to six Fantasy points or less with no touchdowns. Meanwhile, the opposing No. 2 receiver has been great with Donte Moncrief, Rishard Matthews, Rueben Randle and Marvin Jones all scoring touchdowns with at least nine Fantasy points. Robinson is the No. 1 receiver for the Jaguars, but Hurns is No. 2. And he's been hot of late with a touchdown in four games in a row, and he's scored at least nine Fantasy points in every game over that span. We'd love to see Robinson and Hurns both play well together, but I like Hurns over Robinson this week if I had to pick one.
View Profile

Donte Moncrief
HOU • WR • 12
vs NO
Projections
PROJECTION3.27
T.Y. Hilton remains the No. 1 option for the Colts passing game, but Moncrief has proven to be a close second. Both scored in Week 6 against New England, but Moncrief had more targets with 11 to nine for Hilton. He finished with six catches for 69 yards and a touchdown, and this is the fourth touchdown for Moncrief and third time he's scored double digits in Fantasy points. This week, he faces a Saints defense that has allowed five touchdowns to opposing receivers and four to reach double digits in Fantasy points. I'm expecting a big game from Andrew Luck this week, which means Hilton, Moncrief and even Dwayne Allen are worth starting. Moncrief should continue to be relevant and start for most owners in Week 7.
View Profile

Eric Decker
NE • WR • 81
at NE
Projections
PROJECTION4.31
Decker has been the model of consistency for Fantasy owners, and we like consistent when it works in our favor. Decker has a touchdown in the four games he's played this season, and he missed Week 3 against the Eagles with a knee injury. The Jets will likely be chasing points this week, and Brandon Marshall and Decker should see plenty of targets. New England has allowed six receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points with seven touchdowns allowed, and Decker will look to extend his scoring streak to five games in a row going back to last year. I never expected to write that Decker could be a must-start receiver for the rest of the season, but based on his performance thus far it's a strong possibility. We just hope he has another good game this week based on the matchup against the Patriots.
View Profile

Martavis Bryant (at KC): Fantasy owners who had patience with Bryant during his four-game suspension and then one week of being inactive were rewarded in a big way in Week 6 against the Cardinals. Despite playing with Vick and Jones, Bryant had six catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns in his season debut on eight targets, and we can't wait to see him play with Ben Roethlisberger (knee). But even with the chance Jones starts this week you should still plan on starting Bryant against the Chiefs, who allow the most Fantasy points to opposing receivers. There have been nine receivers who have scored double digits in Fantasy points against the Chiefs with 11 touchdowns allowed. This should be a good week for Bryant and Antonio Brown, so start them in the majority of leagues.

Sleepers

Stefon Diggs (at DET): We hope Bridgewater keeps feeding him the ball.
Brandin Cooks (at IND): IND has struggled to defend receivers all season.
Pierre Garcon (vs. TB): TB has struggled with No. 1 receivers all year.
Rishard Matthews (vs. HOU): He's been Miami's best receiver this season.
Tavon Austin (vs. CLE): He's scored three touchdowns in his past two games.

Sit 'Em

Jordan Matthews
WR •
at CAR
Projections
PROJECTION5.1
Matthews started off the season playing well with at least 10 Fantasy points in his first two games, and his targets have remained constant with seven or more in every game this season. But he hasn't broken through yet, and he's scored five Fantasy points or less in each of his past four games. We hope things start to click for him soon, but this is a tough matchup to trust him against the Panthers on the road. Carolina has locked down No. 1 receivers this season thanks in part to Josh Norman, and only two receivers have scored double digits in Fantasy points with Vincent Jackson in Week 4 and Ricardo Lockette last week. I still consider Matthews a buy-low candidate, so trade for him now while you can because the best is yet to come in the second half of the season.

Amari Cooper
DAL • WR • 19
at SD
Projections
PROJECTION4.14
Verrett's brother Tre works in the Raiders front office, according to the Chargers official website, and he grew up rooting for Oakland, so this game has special meaning to him. That should provide extra motivation for him to shut down Cooper in this matchup, not that Verrett needs it. He's helped the Chargers limit No. 1 receivers all season, including holding Calvin Johnson to two catches for 39 yards in Week 1, Antonio Brown to three catches for 45 yards in Week 5 and Randall Cobb to two catches for 38 yards last week. Cooper struggled in a tough matchup with Denver in Week 4, and he should be limited again this week. He's a No. 3 Fantasy receiver at best in Week 7.
View Profile

Anquan Boldin
BUF • WR • 80
vs SEA
Projections
PROJECTION4.3
Boldin is dealing with a hamstring injury, but he's listed as questionable and should be ready to play against the Seahawks. And he's coming off two solid games against the Giants and Ravens with 26 Fantasy points combined. But Boldin has a terrible history against Seattle in the regular season with 14 catches for 163 yards and no touchdowns in his past five meetings. The Seahawks also have allowed just one touchdown to an opposing receiver, which was James Jones in Week 2 in Green Bay. Boldin has once again been a reliable Fantasy option this year with double digits in Fantasy points in three of his past five games, but this is a good week to bench him in the majority of leagues.
View Profile

Kendall Wright
ARI • WR • 12
vs ATL
Projections
PROJECTION4.29
It sounds like Marcus Mariota (knee) will be able to play this week against the Falcons, but if he's out then Wright could struggle with Zach Mettenberger. The two played together for five games in 2014, and Wright had one touchdown and one outing with double digits in Fantasy points. In his four other games with Mettenberger he averaged fewer than five Fantasy points a game. Wright has struggled of late with seven catches for 63 yards and no touchdowns in his past two games, and the Falcons have allowed just two touchdowns to opposing receivers and three to score double digits in Fantasy points on the season. I'd consider Wright as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week, but he's far from a must-start option given the matchup, his recent poor play and the unsettled quarterback situation with Mariota.
View Profile

Golden Tate
WR •
vs MIN
Projections
PROJECTION5.3
Tate finally scored his first touchdown of the season in Week 6 against the Bears, but he still managed just 10 Fantasy points. It's been a frustrating season for Tate, who continues to struggle every time Calvin Johnson is healthy. Tate had a good PPR game in Week 2 at Minnesota with six catches for 80 yards on 10 targets, and in two meetings with the Vikings last year he had 14 catches for 82 yards and a touchdown. I'm OK with Tate as a No. 2 receiver in PPR leagues, but I'd prefer him as a No. 3 option in standard formats. The Vikings have allowed just four touchdowns to opposing receivers this year (Johnson scored against them in Week 2), and only three have scored double digits in Fantasy points. Maybe Tate can build off his performance in Week 6, but we're not overly optimistic given his overall level of play thus far and the matchup.

Steve Smith
BAL • WR • 89
at ARI
Projections
PROJECTION5.5
Smith has proven to be one of the toughest receivers to cover in his career, and he's been fantastic so far this season. He has three games with at least 19 Fantasy points in his past four outings, including last week at San Francisco when he had seven catches for 137 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets despite playing through a back injury. But Smith will have to deal with an elite cornerback in Peterson, who has helped slow down No. 1 receivers this season like Calvin Johnson and Antonio Brown, and they both finished with a combined eight Fantasy points against the Cardinals. Smith should still be considered a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in the majority of leagues, but you have to dial down your expectations given the matchup with Peterson. We hope Smith can deliver this week in a big way, but we'd be surprised if that happens on Monday night.
View Profile

Tight end

Start 'Em

Julius Thomas
MIA • TE • 89
vs BUF
Projections
PROJECTION3.89
Thomas returned from his hand injury in Week 5 at Tampa Bay, but his playing time was limited. We'll say Week 6 against Houston was his first game back since he dominated the Texans with seven catches for 78 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets. This should be a good week to use him again since Buffalo has struggled with tight ends at times this season. Allen, Rob Gronkowski and Eifert scored touchdowns against the Bills, and I can see Bortles leaning on Thomas if Robinson is stuck in tough coverage. He has the chance to be a Top 5 Fantasy tight end in London.
View Profile

Jordan Cameron
MIA • TE • 84
vs HOU
Projections
PROJECTION2.5
There's a lot to like about Cameron this week based on the matchup with the Texans. He scored his first touchdown in Week 6 at the Titans, and we hope Campbell's insertion as the head coach will help Cameron remain a significant factor on offense. He's had at least seven targets in four of five games, and that should remain the same against the Texans. Houston has allowed three tight ends to score at least seven Fantasy points, including Kelce and Thomas scoring touchdowns. The Dolphins have actually had a tight end score a touchdown in three games this season with Jake Stoneburner in Weeks 2 and 4, and then Cameron and Dion Sims scored last week. Tannehill likes using his tight ends, and hopefully Cameron continues to benefit.
View Profile

Delanie Walker
TEN • TE • 82
vs ATL
Projections
PROJECTION3.26
The quarterback situation for the Titans is troubling with Mariota potentially out, but Walker should play well even with Mettenberger. He scored at least nine Fantasy points in two of the five games he played with Mettenberger in 2014, and this is a good matchup for him against the Falcons. Atlanta has allowed four tight ends to score at least eight Fantasy points, including Benjamin Watson in Week 6 when he had 10 catches for 127 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets. Walker only has one touchdown on the season, but he's had at least six targets in each of his past four games, including 10 targets in Week 6 against Miami with eight catches for 97 yards. We could see a similar outing this week.
View Profile

Sleepers

Dwayne Allen (vs. NO): Allen will score a touchdown this week.
Charles Clay (at JAC): This should be another week with plenty of targets.
Jason Witten (at NYG): He's scored seven times in his past five games vs. NYG.

Sit 'Em

Crockett Gillmore
BAL • TE • 80
at ARI
Projections
PROJECTION1.95
It used to be that you started all tight ends against Arizona, but things are different this year. The Cardinals come into this game with the fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends, and they have yet to allow a touchdown to the position. Now, they haven't faced the toughest competition to date with only Watson and Martellus Bennett the names to note, but Gillmore hasn't done much aside from facing the Raiders in Week 2. He's also battled a calf injury, but it's hard to trust him in this matchup. Take away his 20 Fantasy points at Oakland in Week 2, and he's combined for nine Fantasy points in his three other games. He's just a bye-week replacement in deeper leagues at best.
View Profile

Larry Donnell
BAL • TE • 84
vs DAL
Projections
PROJECTION3.96
The Cowboys held Donnell to three catches for 21 yards on four targets in Week 1, and Dallas has been great against tight ends all season. The Cowboys are the lone team to hold Gronkowski to single digits in Fantasy points in Week 5, and no tight end has scored double digits in Fantasy points against Dallas. Donnell has just 12 catches for 135 yards in three meetings with the Cowboys going back to last year with no touchdowns. And despite scoring two touchdowns in his past five games, Donnell has yet to reach double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league. You should expect another week of minimal production against Dallas, and Donnell is worth benching in all formats.
View Profile

Zach Ertz
ARI • TE • 86
at CAR
Projections
PROJECTION2.46
I bought into Ertz having a good game against the Giants in Week 6, and again he let me down with just four catches for 43 yards on seven targets. His six Fantasy points in Week 5 against the Saints is his season high, and he's still looking for his first touchdown. In fact, he's scored just once in his past 16 games going back to last year. The Panthers just got abused by Jimmy Graham, who had eight catches for 140 yards on 12 targets, but expecting Ertz to follow suit with a similar performance is like trying to win the lottery. Until he starts playing on a consistent level he should not be started in the majority of leagues.
View Profile

Benjamin Watson
NE • TE • 84
at IND
Projections
PROJECTION2.89
Watson had a career game in Week 6 against the Falcons with 10 catches for 127 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets. Just to put that in perspective, he came into that outing with 13 catches for 139 yards and one touchdown in his previous five games. Now, we hope Watson keeps it up, and he's scored in back-to-back games, but it's hard to trust him as a must-start option against the Colts. And Indianapolis has done well against tight ends this year with only one touchdown allowed to Gronkowski last week. No tight end has more than 68 receiving yards, and Watson will likely regress with his performance. He's a definite sell-high candidate if you can trade him before Sunday.
View Profile

Defense/Special teams

Start 'Em

Rams (vs. CLE): The Rams DST should be ready to go coming off their bye in Week 6, and they get a great matchup with the Browns. As good as McCown has been of late, he's been sacked at least four times in each of his past four starts. He threw two interceptions last week against the Broncos, and three teams have scored at least 13 Fantasy points in a standard league against Cleveland this year. The Rams have 11 sacks in two home games this year against Seattle and Pittsburgh, and St. Louis has four interceptions and three fumble recoveries in the past three games. There's also the threat of Austin on special teams, which makes the Rams DST a Top 5 unit heading into this week.

Sleepers

Dolphins (vs. HOU): Was the MIA defense in Week 6 a Fantasy or reality?
Falcons (at TEN): The Titans offense could be in trouble without Mariota.
Vikings (vs. DET): The MIN DST has 23 Fantasy points in its past two games.

Sit 'Em

Jets (at NE): The Jets DST has been great this season with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in four of five games, but this isn't the week to trust them. You're not going to slow down Tom Bradyin New England, and he rarely throws interceptions with just one on the season, which came last week at Indianapolis as a result of a bobbled pass. The Colts DST is the lone unit to reach double digits in Fantasy points against the Patriots because safety Mike Adams returned that interception for a touchdown, but New England is averaging nearly 37 points a game. We'll find out how this Jets defense measures up to the No. 1 offense in the NFL, but Fantasy owners shouldn't take that risk. Bench the Jets DST in Week 7 at New England.

Kicker

Start 'Em

Josh Lambo (vs. OAK): Only the Ravens allow more Fantasy points to opposing kickers this season than the Raiders, so this is a good week to trust Lambo. And he's been solid so far this year to begin with, so that's a good sign. Three kickers have scored at least 10 Fantasy points against Oakland this year, including McManus and Robbie Gould in the past two games. For the season, three kickers have already made at least three field goals in a game against the Raiders. Lambo has made two field goals in five of six games this season and is 7-of-8 on field goals at home. This is a great week to trust him in the majority of leagues.

Sleepers

Greg Zuerlein (vs. CLE): Three kickers have multiple field goals vs. CLE.
Kai Forbath (at IND): Every kicker vs. IND has made two field goals.
Dan Carpenter (at JAC): Three kickers have at least 10 Fantasy points vs. JAC

Sit 'Em

Caleb Sturgis (at CAR): The Panthers haven't exactly faced the toughest competition this season in terms of quality opponents with games against Jacksonville, Houston (without Arian Foster), New Orleans (without Brees) and Tampa Bay before playing at Seattle last week, so take that into account. But Steven Hauschka last week is the lone kicker to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league against Carolina. Otherwise the Panthers are allowing fewer than six Fantasy points to opposing kickers on the season, which is No. 6 in the NFL. Sturgis is 6-of-7 on field goals in three games with the Eagles, including 6-of-6 the past two games against the Saints and Giants at home. Those were easy opponents, and this will be a much tougher test for Philadelphia to put up points.

Full Disclosure from Week 6

It was another good showing for this column in Week 6, although our duo for Start of the Week produced mixed results. LeGarrette Blount was great with a Top 5 finish at running back, but Dion Lewis flopped and finished at No. 37 for his position.

Our good start calls, including sleepers, were Matthew Stafford, Philip Rivers, Blake Bortles and Andy Dalton as Top 10 quarterbacks, Chris Ivory, Lamar Miller and Giovani Bernard as Top 12 running backs, Marvin Jones, Brandon Marshall, Allen Robinson and Donte Moncrief as Top 20 receivers and Delanie Walker as the No. 7 tight end. I also said to sit, among others, Antonio Brown, Russell Wilson and Melvin Gordon, who all struggled.

Some of my bad start suggestions included Sam Bradford, Eli Manning, Chris Johnson, Carlos Hyde and Jordan Matthews. And I said to sit Jonathan Stewart, Jeremy Hill and Gary Barnidge, with each of them playing well.

Full Disclosure from Week 6
Starts of the Week
Player Sportsline projected Pts. Actual Fantasy Pts. Start % Pos. rank
LeGarrette Blount, RB, Patriots 11.3 22 74 4
Dion Lewis, RB, Patriots 12.9 3 78 37
Recommended starts who made us look good
Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers 15.7 32 64 3
Chris Ivory, RB, Jets 12.1 25 83 2
Lamar Miller, RB, Dolphins 8.3 17 66 7
Recommended sits who made us look good
Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks 21.2 20 69 16
Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers 10.4 2 94 72
Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers 8.7 0 60 62
Recommended starts who made us look bad
Sam Bradford, QB, Eagles 20.6 11 53 23
Eli Manning, QB, Giants 17.8 2 62 26
Chris Johnson, RB, Cardinals 10.9 4 69 31
Recommended sits who made us look bad
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers 7.1 19 24 5
Gary Barnidge, TE, Browns 6.8 15 58 3
Jeremy Hill, RB, Bengals 9.3 12 62 13