Fantasy owners might have to dig a little deeper this week with three undefeated teams on a bye. The Bengals, Broncos, Packers, and even the lone non-undefeated team on a bye the Bears have big time offensive players on their rosters. Some of the big name guys you will be without this week include: Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb, James Jones, Emmanuel Sanders, Ronnie Hillman, Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, Giovanni Bernard, Matt Forte, Martellus Bennett, and Alshon Jeffrey. While other players such as Eddie Lacy, Peyton Manning, Demariyus Thomas, C.J. Anderson, and Jeremy Hill get a needed reprieve in order to try and regain their usual fantasy prowess. Either way that’s a lot of name value that wont be in your lineups this week.
Fantasy Football Start/Sit – Week #7
Start – Carson Palmer vs Ravens
For some reason Carson Palmer’s name always ends up in my fantasy QB start and this week might be the best week to start him against a woeful Ravens secondary. The Ravens defense has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Four QBs has gone for at least 340 yards with multiple TDs against them including Josh McCown, Colin Kaepernick, and Derek Carr. Palmer should thrive in this game and get big yards in bunches as the Ravens have allowed the most 40+ yard passing plays in the NFL and the second most 20+ yard passing plays. The only thing that can hold Palmer back from being the number 1 QB this week is a blowout victory which would limit his passing attempts. Palmer should be in your starting lineup this week.
Notables – Phillip Rivers vs Raiders, Eli Manning vs Cowboys, Cam Newton vs Eagles
Sit – Sam Bradford vs Panthers
If Sam Bradford couldn’t play decent at home against a favorable Giants pass defense (280 yards 1 TD and 3 Ints) then he has no chance this week on the road against a tough Carolina Panthers defense. Luke Kuechly is back controlling the middle of the field, Thomas Davis is still running sideline to sideline, and their best defensive player this season CB Josh Norman has been a shutdown corner only allowing a league best 24.1 passer rating when targeted. It will be tough for the Eagles signal caller the rest of the year with top receiver Jordan Matthews dropping balls every week and his top deep threats being Miles Austin and Riley Cooper. If you are Bradford owner you might need to look elsewhere until he shows he can overcome the deficiencies in the Eagles passing offense.
Notables – Joe Flacco vs Cardinals, Josh McCown vs Rams, Blake Bortles vs Bills
Start – Latavius Murray vs Chargers
Latavius Murray in his first year as a starting running back has been up and down this season. He was benched in each of his last two starts in the second half due to ball security issues and a shoulder injury after having a big game against the Browns when he rushed for 139 yards. Everyone has run well against the Browns so far but Murray gets another sweet matchup this week against a struggling San Diego Chargers run defense. Coming off of a bye week look for the Raiders to lean on Murray once again facing a defense that has given up the most fantasy points to opposing running backs, the third most rushing yards, the most 20+ yard rushes, and 5.43 yards per carry which leads the league. If the Raiders want to win this game Murray will need to be the catalyst.
Notables – Todd Gurley vs Browns, Frank Gore vs Saints, Arian Foster vs Dolphins
Sit – Joseph Randle vs Giants
The Cowboys starting RB Joseph Randle hasn’t been terrible this year but he has managed to work his way into head coach Jason Garrett’s doghouse leading to a lot of backup RB Christine Michael chatter during the Cowboys’ bye week. Although I don’t think Michael will start getting the bulk of the carries, I do expect him to cut into Randle’s carries a bit this week and that cut can take Randle’s nominal 14.8 attempts per game to an even lower amount limiting his fantasy output. Not only is Randle’s workload a question coming into his Week 7 matchup but his opponent, the New York Giant,s has only allowed 3.7 yards per carry and is a Top 8 run defense in the league. Keep Randle on your bench as the Cowboys offense is in disarray due to injuries to their top two offensive players.
Notables – Chris Johnson vs Ravens, LeGarrette Blount vs Jets
Start – John Brown vs Ravens
A flare up to his troublesome hamstring will be the only thing that can slow down John Brown in a tasty matchup against the Ravens. All the stats listed above in my Carson Palmer recommendation is all you need to know why Brown is also a must start. You need to start all your Cardinal’s receivers in this matchup but Brown’s big play abilities is the reason I give him the nod. Brown is heating up as of late after starting slow by catching 14 balls for 269 yards and a TD in his last two games. His production should continue this Monday Night.
Notables – Larry Fitzgerald vs Ravens, Donte Moncrief vs Saints, Stefon Diggs vs Lions, Martavis Bryant vs Chiefs
Sit – Steve Smith Sr. vs Cardinals
The receiver on the opposing team in the Monday Night Football game Steve Smith Sr doesn’t have such a good matchup facing off against stud CB Patrick Peterson and the Cardinals secondary. You can never count out the feisty difficult cover Smith who is having another great year in his last season in his illustrious career but he is the only weapon for Flacco and the Cardinals will more than likely game plan to shut him down. He will be very hard to bench for fantasy owners but you need to temper your expectations on Sr this week.
Notables – Jordan Matthews vs Panthers, Brandin Cooks vs Colts
Start – Charles Clay vs Jaguars
The Bills will be without their top two wide receivers Sammy Watkins and Percy Harvin in this matchup across the pond against the Jacksonville Jaguars. What does this mean? A lot of Charles Clay targets from check down artist E.J. Manuel. Targets are a fantasy owner’s best friend and Clay has been targeted at least 13 times in two of the last three games. Look for this trend to continue as Clay will be near 10+ catches in this ball game.
Notables – Julius Thomas vs Bills, Delanie Walker vs Falcons
Sit – Zach Ertz vs Panthers
No matter his potential nor opportunities are given to Zach Ertz he has yet to get over the hump as a consistent receiving threat in the Eagles offense. Just when you think this will be Ertz year to breakout he has been pedestrian all season long catching only 19 passes for 207 yards and 0 TDs. In fact Ertz has only scored one touchdown in his last 16 games. Although Jimmy Graham came alive last week against the Panthers, Ertz is not Graham and the Panthers defense has been stingy all year long against the pass. Please don’t do it and keep Ertz on your bench.
Notables – Crockett Gillmore vs Cardinals, Larry Donnell vs Cowboys
Start – Giants D vs Cowboys
Still no Romo nor Dez Bryant. Matt Cassell gets his turn to stink it up. Other great streaming defenses include the Redskins, Falcons, Steelers, and Jaguars.
Sit – Colts D vs Saints
Drew Brees is looking like Drew Brees again therefore you may want to sit the Colts defense in this matchup.