Fantasy Football Starts, Sits, Sleepers: Week 7by Mike Fanelli October 23, 2021 2 comments
The best part about fantasy football is winning. The second best part is the draft. However, the draft has come and gone. Now fantasy owners struggle with the weekly decision about which players to start, which to sit, and which to use as a sleeper. To help with that, I will provide two starts, two sits, and two sleepers at each position every week. Be sure to reach out with any fantasy football questions you may have. Without further ado, let’s get started.
All stats are base on four-point per passing touchdown and PPR scoring.
START: Matt Ryan at Miami Dolphins
Over the past two games, Ryan has been on fire, averaging 312.5 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, and 25.3 fantasy points per game. Ryan has thrown two or more touchdowns in four straight games, averaging 20.9 fantasy points per game in that span. Furthermore, Ryan has thrown for at least 280 yards in three of the last four games. Meanwhile, the Dolphins have given up 21 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season, the 10th most in the NFL. Over their past four games, quarterbacks have averaged 2.5 passing touchdowns and 23.6 fantasy points per game against the Dolphins. With Calvin Ridley returning this week, Ryan is in position to finish as a top-12 quarterback.
START: Sam Darnold at New York Giants
After four straight games with at least 18.9 fantasy points to start the season, Darnold has struggled over the past two weeks. He has averaged one passing touchdown, two interceptions, and only 10.6 fantasy points per game in that span. Before the recent struggles, Darnold had the best two-week stretch of his career, scoring six total touchdowns and 28.4 fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, the Giants have allowed quarterbacks to average 21.8 fantasy points per game this season, the sixth-most in the NFL. Over the past two weeks, quarterbacks have thrown for 553 yards, seven touchdowns, and scored 43.8 fantasy points against the Giants. Furthermore, the Giants have allowed an average of 2.3 passing touchdowns per game this season. After a two-week struggle, Darnold will bounce back against the Giants.
SIT: Joe Burrow at Baltimore Ravens
The second-year quarterback has played great coming off a torn ACL that ended his rookie season. Burrow has thrown at least two touchdowns in every game this season, averaging 18.3 fantasy points per game. More importantly, Burrow has scored at least 17.5 fantasy points in every game this season. However, he will struggle tomorrow against a talented Baltimore defense. The Ravens have held quarterbacks to only 13 fantasy points per game over the past four weeks, giving up only four passing touchdowns during that span. Furthermore, they held Justin Herbert to a season-low 195 passing yards and 11 fantasy points last week. As great as Burrow has been this season, fantasy owners need to find a replacement option for this week.
SIT: Taylor Heinicke at Green Bay Packers
Since taking over as the starting quarterback in Week 2, Heinicke has been a roller coaster ride for his fantasy owners. In his first three starts, Heinicke averaged 2.3 passing touchdowns and 23.2 fantasy points per game. However, Heinicke has struggled over the past two weeks, totaling only one touchdown, three interceptions, and 9.6 total fantasy points. Meanwhile, the Packers have picked up their play over the past three weeks, holding quarterbacks to only 13.6 fantasy points per game. They have also held quarterbacks to only four passing touchdowns during that span. With the Washington Football Team dealing with multiple injuries on offense, Heinicke will be lucky to score over 13 fantasy points.
SLEEPER: Tua Tagovailoa vs Atlanta Falcons
Coming off a three-game stretch on injured reserve with broken ribs, Tua returned last week and finished with a season-high 21.4 fantasy points against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He had season-high 47 pass attempts in that game, almost twice as many as in Week 1. More importantly, Tua had over 320 passing yards and a pair of passing touchdowns against Jacksonville. Meanwhile, the Falcons have allowed quarterbacks to average 22.1 fantasy points per game this season. They have given quarterbacks an average of over two passing touchdowns per game this season to quarterbacks. After his performance last week, Tua is the top bye week filer at quarterback for Week 7.
SLEEPER: Carson Wentz at San Francisco 49ers
Wentz has averaged 16.9 fantasy points per game this season, scoring 17 or more in all but one game. More importantly, over the past three games, the Indianapolis Colts offense has started to click. During that span, they have averaged 27.7 points per game and have a 2-1 record. Over the past three games, Wentz has averaged 284.3 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, and 19.2 fantasy points per game. More importantly, Wentz has only three turnovers this season. Meanwhile, the 49ers have given up an average of 21.2 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season, giving up at least 19 fantasy points in 80 percent of their games. For those looking for a bye week filler this week, Wentz offers a safe floor.
START: Josh Jacobs vs Philadelphia Eagles
Since returning from injury, Jacobs has produced for fantasy owners. In the past three games, Jacobs has averaged 14.2 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, Jacobs has averaged one touchdown and 14.9 fantasy points per game this season, scoring 15 or more in three of four games. Meanwhile, the Eagles have been a fantasy gold mine for running backs this season, giving up 28.6 fantasy points per game, the fifth-most in the NFL. Over the past four weeks, running backs have averaged 127 rushing yards, 1.3 rushing touchdowns, and 31.3 fantasy points per game against the Eagles. More importantly, running backs have rushed for 89 or more yards in every game against the Eagles this season. With several star running backs on a bye this week, Jacobs has top-12 upside.
START: James Conner vs Houston Texans
After a slow start to begin the season, Conner has turned into a consistent fantasy player over the past four weeks. Since Week 3, Conner has averaged 13.8 carries for 73.3 rushing yards, 1.3 touchdowns, and 14.4 fantasy points per game, finishing with 18 or more fantasy points in half of those contests. While Conner didn’t score a touchdown last week for the first time since Week 3, that will change tomorrow against Houston. The Texans have been destroyed by running backs over the past five weeks, allowing an average of 132.8 rushing yards, 1.2 rushing touchdowns, and 27.72 fantasy points per game. The Arizona Cardinals will blow the Texans out of the water tomorrow, leading to Conner scoring plenty of fantasy points in garbage time points.
SIT: Devontae Booker vs Carolina Panthers
Superstar running back Saquon Barkley will miss tomorrow’s game as he recovers from an ankle injury he suffered in Week 5. While Booker will fill in for Barkley again this week, fantasy owners should leave him on the bench. Despite a fantasy-friendly matchup last week, Booker finished with only 10.9 fantasy points on 16 total touches. Meanwhile, the Panthers have been the toughest team on running backs this season, giving up only 14.9 fantasy points per game. They have held running backs to nine or fewer fantasy points in half of their games this season. Furthermore, they have allowed only two total touchdowns to running backs in 2021. With many Giant wide receivers expected to miss this game, the Panthers will have no trouble throwing everything at stopping Booker.
SIT: Damien Williams/Khalil Herbert at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
While filling in for David Montgomery, the duo of Williams and Herbert have produced for fantasy owners. In the two games Montgomery has missed, the Williams and Herbert have averaged 21.6 fantasy points per game. However, regardless of how the backfield touches get divided, both running backs belong on the bench this week. The Buccaneers have the best run defenses in the NFL, allowing only 54.8 rushing yards per game. More importantly, they have held running backs to under 15 fantasy points in 67 percent of their games this season. The Buccaneers have also held running backs under 75 rushing yards in every game this year. Even if Williams doesn’t play tomorrow, Herbert belongs on the bench.
SLEEPER: Rhamondre Stevenson vs New York Jets
As great as Damien Harris was last week, Stevenson is the name fantasy players need to pay attention to. While Harris finished with 18 carries for 101 rushing yards and 17.8 fantasy points, Stevenson finished with 15.2 fantasy points despite only five carries. Last week, the New England Patriots used Stevenson as the pass-catching running back. He finished with three catches for 39 receiving yards and 6.9 fantasy points in the air. By comparison, James White had six catches for 45 receiving yards against the Jets in the Week 2 matchup. Meanwhile, the Jets have struggled to stop running backs, giving up 32.8 fantasy points per game to the position, the most in the NFL. Fantasy owners should expect 14 or more fantasy points from both Harris and Stevenson tomorrow.
SLEEPER: AJ Dillon vs Washington Football Team
Aaron Jones continues to be the star running back for the Packers, averaging 18.3 fantasy points per game. However, Dillon has turned into an appealing flex option over the past three weeks, averaging 11.3 rushing attempts and 11.5 fantasy points per game during that span. More importantly, Dillon averaged only 6.6 touches per game over the first three weeks of the season. By comparison, Dillon has averaged 13 touches per game over the past three weeks, seeing 11 or more in every contest. Meanwhile, Washington has struggled against running backs over the past three weeks, giving up an average of 34.6 fantasy points per game to the position. With six teams on a bye this week, Dillon provides fantasy owners an ideal combination of safe floor and upside.
START: Jaylen Waddle vs Atlanta Falcons
Last week Waddle had the best game of his career with 10 catches on 13 targets for 70 receiving yards, two touchdowns, and 29 fantasy points. The rookie has averaged 8.3 targets per game this season, seeing six or more in all but one game. With Will Fuller on injured reserve and DeVante Parker dealing with multiple injuries, Waddle should have another high target share game tomorrow. Meanwhile, the Falcons have given up an average of 40.3 fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season, the ninth-most in the NFL. They have given up two or more touchdowns to wide receivers in 60 percent of their games. Between the matchup this week and the projected target share, Waddle is in line for another dominant performance.
START: Darnell Mooney at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Since Justin Fields took over as the starting quarterback, Mooney has picked up his play. In those four games, Mooney has averaged six targets and 10.6 fantasy points per game. More importantly, Mooney has averaged 4.3 catches on 6.7 targets for 68.3 receiving yards and 13.5 fantasy points per game over the past three weeks. He also scored his first touchdown of the year last week against the Packers. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers have allowed an average of 41.4 fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season, the fifth-most in the NFL. Furthermore, they have given up an average of 1.2 receiving touchdowns per game this season. Mooney should have no trouble taking advantage of a struggle Buccaneers secondary tomorrow.
SIT: Tee Higgins at Baltimore Ravens
As a rookie, Higgins showed flashes of superstar potential. He finished last season with 908 receiving yards and six touchdowns while averaging 12.2 fantasy points per game despite inconsistent quarterback play. However, with the addition of Ja’Marr Chase, Higgins has regressed this season. Since returning from a shoulder injury, Higgins has averaged only four catches on 6.5 targets and 8.8 fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, the Ravens have held wide receivers to 30.6 fantasy points per game this season, the sixth-fewest in the NFL. Over their past four games, the Ravens have stepped up, holding wide receivers to one touchdown, giving up only 23.8 fantasy points per game. While Burrow has picked up his play recently, expect the Cincinnati Bengals to focus on the running game tomorrow, further limiting Higgins’ upside.
SIT: Henry Ruggs vs Philadelphia Eagles
The second-year wide receiver has turned into a weekly flex option for fantasy owners this season. Ruggs has averaged 12.9 fantasy points per game this season, scoring 18.5 or more fantasy points in a third of his contests. However, Ruggs belongs on the bench this week as he takes on the Eagles. They have held wide receivers to only 29.9 fantasy points per game this season, the fourth-fewest in the NFL. Aside from their matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs and Buccaneers, the Eagles have held wide receivers to only 20.8 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, the Eagles held Mike Evans to only 4.7 fantasy points last week. They should have no trouble doing the same to Ruggs this week.
SLEEPER: Marquez Callaway at Seattle Seahawks
While many expected Michael Thomas to come off the PUP list this week, reports are he is still a few weeks away from returning. With Thomas out, Callaway will remain the No. 1 wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints. The last time we saw the Saints on the field, Callaway tied for the team-high with eight targets against Washington. He caught four of them for 85 receiving yards, two touchdowns, and scored 24.5 fantasy points, finishing the week as the WR11. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have allowed an average of 40.7 fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season, the eighth-most in the NFL. While Callaway won’t score 24.5 fantasy points again this week, he will be a reliable WR3 for fantasy owners.
SLEEPER: Mecole Hardman at Tennessee Titans
Over the past five weeks, Hardman has averaged 6.4 targets and 10.9 fantasy points per game. During that span, he is second on the team among wide receivers in both categories. Over the past two weeks, Hardman has averaged 6.5 catches on 8.5 targets for 69 receiving yards and 12.7 fantasy points per game despite not scoring a touchdown. Meanwhile, the Titans have given up the most fantasy points to wide receivers this season, giving up 50.5 fantasy points per game to the position. They have allowed wide receivers to score 64 or more fantasy points in half of their games this season. Last week, the Titans gave up over 14 fantasy points to three Buffalo Bills wide receivers. Fantasy owners should expect at least 14 fantasy points this week from Hardman.
START: Hunter Henry vs New York Jets
After a slow start to the season, Henry has picked up his play over the past three weeks. During that span, Henry is the TE6, averaging 14.4 fantasy points per game. He has scored a touchdown in each of his past three games, averaging five targets per game during that span. Meanwhile, the Jets have given up 16.1 fantasy points per game to tight ends this season. However, the Jets have allowed tight ends to catch 21 passes for 240 receiving yards, two touchdowns, and score 67 fantasy points over their past two games. Since Week 4, Henry is second on the team with 15 targets, six more than Jonnu Smith. Henry will score at least 12 fantasy points tomorrow against the Jets.
START: Zach Ertz vs Houston Texans
A week ago Thursday, Ertz played his final game for the Philadelphia Eagles. He finished the game with four catches on six targets for 29 receiving yards, a touchdown, and 12.9 fantasy points. The next day, Ertz got traded to the Cardinals. After losing Maxx Williams to a season-ending knee injury, the Cardinals had to make a move for a tight end. Over his past three healthy games, Williams averaged five targets and 13 fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, the Texans have allowed tight ends to average 18.7 fantasy points per game this season, giving up 20 or more in 67 percent of their contests. While Ertz won’t score 20 fantasy points in his Cardinals debut, he will finish the week as a top-10 tight end.
SIT: Tyler Higbee vs Detroit Lions
Over the first three weeks of the season, Higbee scored 11.8 or more fantasy points more in two of those games. However, Higbee has averaged only 8.5 fantasy points per game despite catching 11 of his 13 targets over the past three weeks. More importantly, Higbee has scored under 9.5 fantasy points in four of his past five games this season. Meanwhile, the Lions have held tight ends to only 10 fantasy points per game this season, giving up 2.3 fewer points than the league average. Over their past three games, the Lions have held tight ends to only six catches for 46 receiving yards, one touchdown, and 16.6 total fantasy points. While Matthew Stafford will have his way against his former team, expect Higbee to have a quiet game.
SIT: Mo Alie-Cox at San Francisco 49ers
With six teams on a bye, fantasy players might have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find a tight end this week. While he has averaged 12.3 fantasy points per game over the past three weeks, Alie-Cox has scored 48.7 percent of those fantasy points on touchdowns. Meanwhile, the 49ers have held tight ends to only 8.2 fantasy points per game this season, the sixth-fewest in the NFL. They have held tight ends to only one touchdown this season, giving it to T.J. Hockenson in Week 1. Since the opening week, the 49ers have held tight ends to an average of two catches for 14.8 receiving yards and only 3.5 fantasy points per game. As great as Alie-Cox has been lately, this week, he belongs on the waiver wire.
SLEEPER: Ricky Seals-Jones at Green Bay Packers
Since Washington placed Logan Thomas on injured reserve, Seals-Jones has stepped up as the starting tight end. Over the past two weeks, Seals-Jones has averaged 4.5 catches on 7.5 targets for 49.5 receiving yards and 12.5 fantasy points, finishing as the TE10 during that span. Furthermore, he scored a season-high 15.8 fantasy points last week against the Chiefs. Meanwhile, the Packers have given up an average of 13.7 fantasy points per game to tight ends this season, giving up 17 or more in half of their games. Furthermore, tight ends have finished with at least four catches in every game against the Packers this season. Washington will end up chasing points for most of this game, leading to plenty of garbage time fantasy points for Seals-Jones.
SLEEPER: C.J. Uzomah at Baltimore Ravens
The bye week blues are here as several starting fantasy tight ends are unavailable this week, including Dawson Knox and Dalton Schultz. However, an under-the-radar replacement this week is Uzomah. Over the past three weeks, Uzomah has become a critical part of the offense, averaging 3.7 targets, one touchdown, and 13.5 fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, the Ravens have struggled to defend tight ends this season. They have allowed almost 19 fantasy points per game to the position, giving up 13 or more fantasy points in all but one contest. Most importantly, Uzomah is second on the Bengals in receiving touchdowns with three, only behind Chase. Starting Uzomah is far from a sexy move, but one fantasy players should make this week.
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