Fantasy Football: Sit/Start tips for Week 7 of the NFL season

Fantasy football sit-and-start advice should always be relative and league-dependent. Note that some players are targeted for DFS. Good luck with your Week 7 lineups!

Start in DFS: Amon-Ra St. Brown ($26)

Start: Michael Gallup

St. Brown is more valuable in full PPR, but he’s still a strong Yahoo DFS option this week now fully healthy coming off Detroit’s bye. Meanwhile, DJ Chark and Josh Reynolds are both likely to miss Sunday’s game, and D’Andre Swift doesn’t sound 100 percent yet either. With Detroit near-TD underdogs, expect a ton of targets for ARSB. Playing indoors in a matchup with a high over/under against a Dallas secondary allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to the slot over the last month, St. Brown is my No. 3 ranked WR this week.

Gallup’s targets have increased each game since he returned from injury, and he racked up a team-high in air yards last week. Dak Prescott returns at QB for Dallas in Week 7 (and CeeDee Lamb is banged up) when the Cowboys face a Lions defense that ranks last in DVOA against the pass. They’ve also allowed the most EPA/pass and the fifth-most fantasy points to outside receivers over the last month. Indoors in a matchup that projects to be fast-paced, Gallup is well worth starting this week.

Sit: Kareem Hunt

Start in DFS: Lamar Jackson ($40)

Hunt remains touchdown dependent having yet to reach 75 yards from scrimmage in a game this season. This week the Browns are near-touchdown underdogs and will be missing guard Wyatt Teller, so game script could be a problem.

Jackson has totaled just three touchdowns over the last three weeks after ripping off 12 scores over the first three games of the season, but his schedule eases up Sunday. The Browns defense ranks second to last in DVOA and has given up the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Only the Lions (who had allowed the most points in the NFL before Thursday night’s game despite already having a bye) have ceded more EPA/play on defense than Cleveland.

Since Week 1, Jackson has averaged 86.8 rush yards over five games, which is more than the year in which he set an NFL record for rushing yards by a QB. Jackson stands out during a DFS slate missing Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts.

Start: Buccaneers D/ST

Sit: All Panthers

The Buccaneers have serious issues on offense, but their defense continues to play well and gets a highly favorable matchup this week. The Panthers didn’t bother attempting a forward pass last week with PJ Walker, whose over/under in passing yards Sunday is a lowly 152.5; Carolina’s team total is down to 13 points! DJ Moore will see more targets with Christian McCaffrey now gone, but this is the league’s worst offense by a mile.

Start: Marcus Mariota

Start in DFS: Joe Mixon ($21)

Mariota has been a top-15 fantasy QB this season — ahead of Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson — while somehow averaging 11.8 completions on fewer than 20 attempts over the last four games. This week — with Atlanta near touchdown underdogs and facing a Bengals defense that’s top-10 in pass rate against — Mariota should be asked to throw far more than usual. There’s upside given Mariota’s rushing ability and Drake London and Kyle Pitts as his weapons.

Volume has been there for Mixon, and his difficult schedule that included four of the last five games on the road gets more favorable this week. The Bengals return home to face a Falcons run defense that ranks 25th in DVOA and has allowed the second-highest percentage of rush attempts go for first downs this season. Mixon led the NFL in touches per game (24.8) before last week’s shootout, and Sunday’s matchup should be much different (last week Cincinnati ran every single meaningful play out of shotgun) facing an Atlanta offense that might be the most conservative in the league.

Consider Joe Mixon in your daily fantasy lineups for Week 7. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Mixon has gotten 5.6 YPC over the last two weeks after failing to surpass 3.0 during any game over the first month of the season, and he’s on pace to shatter his career-high in receptions by 25. Mixon is one of the league’s few true workhorses, and the Bengals are near-touchdown home favorites against a shaky defense that’s bottom-five in EPA/play allowed. Yet, his salary is barely that of a top-15 RB this week.

Start: Daniel Jones, James Robinson & Travis Etienne

In a week filled with stars on bye and during a season in which many big-name quarterbacks have disappointed, Jones becomes a solid fantasy start. Jacksonville’s defense has improved but has already allowed top-three QB finishes from Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan this season.

Jones has scored essentially the same number of fantasy points as Tom Brady this season despite dealing with a ton of injuries to his receivers, facing four top-12 pass defenses and attempting 88 fewer passes than the GOAT. Dimes adds sneaky value with his running, and Sunday’s game script will likely be different than the 5-1 Giants have been accustomed to.

New York’s run defense ranks 28th in DVOA and has allowed an NFL-high 5.6 YPC and the second-most EPA/rush. Both Robinson and Etienne can be treated as top-25 RBs in this matchup which should provide a favorable game script for running.

Start: Matt Ryan

Start in DFS: Derrick Henry ($37)

Maybe things change with Jonathan Taylor back, but the Colts dramatically upped their tempo and no-huddle rate last week. It’s also possible Taylor isn’t 100% yet returning from a high-ankle sprain, and Indy faces a Titans defense that has the highest pass rate against over the last three weeks. With a shakier-than-expected offensive line and Alec Pierce emerging, Ryan may be asked to carry the load more moving forward. Tennessee has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks and the eighth-fewest to running backs this season.

The previously dominant Colts run defense has allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to RBs and ranks in the middle of the pack in EPA/rush this season. Henry has looked great after a slower start to the year, is getting targeted more than ever and should be fresh coming off the bye. Indy’s defense has the fifth-highest run rate against them this season.

Sit: Aaron Rodgers

Start: Brian Robinson

Of course, sitting Rodgers is relative and depends on your alternatives, but he’s just outside my top-12 ranked QBs this week. Rodgers ranks 23rd in EPA/dropback and has already taken twice as many sacks as last season. It’s safe to say he misses Davante Adams. Rodgers is also dealing with a real thumb injury and faces a Washington defense Sunday that’s top-three in pressure rate. It’s also a matchup that’s expected to be slow-paced against a Washington defense with the fourth-lowest pass rate against over the last three weeks.

Robinson has immediately taken over as Washington’s lead back, and this week he gets a Green Bay run defense that ranks last in DVOA. Only the Bears have produced a higher run rate against them than the Packers this season, and the Commanders will want to hide backup QB Taylor Heinicke as much as possible Sunday.

Brian Robinson #8 of the Washington Commanders

Brian Robinson could have a big day in Week 7. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Sit: All Jets but Breece Hall

Start in DFS: Greg Dulcich ($10)

The Jets have gone from having Joe Flacco attempt the most passes in NFL history over the first three weeks of the season to an extremely run-heavy (and slow) offense since Zach Wilson returned. The Jets travel to Denver this week to face an awesome Broncos defense allowing the second-fewest EPA/play this season. Wilson has four completions during 29 dropbacks under pressure this season, and the Broncos rank top-five in pressure rate. In a matchup with the week’s lowest total (38.5 points) and with no Elijah Moore, only Hall can be trusted in fantasy lineups.

The Broncos are a mess at quarterback and running back, but Dulcich immediately took over as Denver’s top tight end during his debut last week. The rookie had an 81% route participation rate while Albert Zero was inactive (Andrew Beck and Eric Tomlinson each ran just four routes). Dulcich is an intriguing DFS option no matter who starts at quarterback for Denver this week, with Tampa Bay’s Cade Otton also available at the $10 minimum.

Start: Brandin Cooks

Start in DFS: Josh Jacobs ($32)

Dameon Pierce is a beast who’s quickly become a fantasy must-start regardless of matchup, but this week Houston faces a Raiders defense that’s allowed the fewest EPA/rush this season. The Texans are also touchdown underdogs, so Houston should be throwing plenty against a Las Vegas pass defense that ranks 30th in DVOA.

Jacobs has gone from playing in the Hall of Fame game with Raiders backups to completely taking over the team’s backfield. He recorded a whopping 59 touches over two games before the bye and, most importantly, recorded five catches in three straight games. The Texans have been gashed for the most fantasy points by running backs this season, and Jacobs should once again be busy with fresh legs off the bye and with Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow battling injuries.

Start in DFS: Kenneth Walker ($23)

Start: Gerald Everett

Walker impressed during his first start last week and immediately acted as Seattle’s lead back (even seeing three more targets than DeeJay Dallas). He gets a Chargers defense that had allowed the most fantasy points to running backs this season before facing Denver’s league-worst rushing offense Monday night. Seattle continues to be the premier fantasy matchup this year, getting the second-most yards per play and allowing the third-most.

This week they face a Chargers team with the league’s fastest pace (neutral situations) in a matchup with the slate’s highest over/under (50.5 points). Walker easily leads the NFL in avoided tackle rate and is undervalued with a salary outside the top 10 running backs.

Keenan Allen, Joshua Palmer and Donald Parham are all highly questionable to play this week (Allen has conceded that the team’s upcoming bye could be a factor), while Everett has returned to a full practice. He looks like a top-five TE this week in a matchup with the slate’s highest total against a Seahawks defense allowing the most fantasy points to tight ends this season.

Kansas City Chiefs @ San Francisco 49ers

Sit: Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Start: Jimmy Garoppolo

Edwards-Helaire’s expert consensus rank still treats him as a borderline top-20 RB this week despite him reaching 10 carries just once this season. He’ll continue to benefit from touchdowns while playing for KC’s offense, but CEH has a 42.5 percent snap share over the last two weeks. He gets a 49ers defense Sunday allowing an NFL-low 3.3 YPC and the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. SF is dealing with injuries but should be healthier than last week.

The 49ers haven’t allowed any running back to reach even 60 rushing yards and have shut down all receiving RBs other than Christian McCaffrey (who managed just 50 scoreless yards on 12 targets). Firmly in a committee and facing an extremely difficult matchup, Edwards-Helaire is a shaky fantasy start this week.

Garoppolo was a top-10 fantasy QB last week despite a couple of brutal drops that cost him at least 100+ passing yards. This week the 49ers may be forced to pass more than usual yet again as home underdogs against Kansas City. The Chiefs have the highest pass rate against and have allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, so Jimmy G is a strong start in a fast-paced matchup with one of the highest totals on the slate.

If newcomer Christian McCaffrey (let’s go!) is active, both he and Jeff Wilson Jr. can be treated as flex options this week.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Miami Dolphins

Start: George Pickens, Tua Tagovailoa

Chase Claypool is coming off a nice game thanks to Mitch Trubisky taking over, but Kenny Pickett should be back Sunday night. The Steelers are touchdown underdogs facing a Miami pass-funnel defense that’s tough to run against but ranks 31st in DVOA versus the pass, allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season.

Pittsburgh’s defense is getting healthier but has allowed the second-most passing scores (12) this season and still badly misses T.J. Watt. Tagovailoa hasn’t gotten enough credit for how well he’s played this season when healthy, getting an NFL-high 9.0 (!) YPA despite facing the Bills. He should be treated as a top-five fantasy QB this week.

Both Pittsburgh and Miami defenses rank bottom-four in pressure rate, so expect passing fireworks Sunday night.

Chicago Bears @ New England Patriots

Sit: All Bears

Start: Damien Harris & Rhamondre Stevenson

David Montgomery can be started if needed given his workload, but the Patriots have ceded the third-fewest fantasy points to running backs and are the only defense yet to allow a touchdown to an RB this season. Chicago may have a lowly 15.5-point team total this week, but Bill Belichick is still treating them like the 1985 Bears.

Harris was originally expected to miss multiple weeks with his hamstring injury but has returned to a full practice and appears good to go Monday night. The Bears have easily the highest run rate against them this season, and Mac Jones will likely be returning just one month removed from a high-ankle sprain that was expected to sideline him 4-6 weeks.

(He’s possibly rushing back not wanting to lose his job to Bailey Zappe).

Expect a run-heavy game plan by New England, allowing both Harris and Stevenson to be top-20 fantasy RBs this week.

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Fantasy Football: Sit/Start tips for Week 7 of the NFL season

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