Sit and start is relative and league dependent, so consider some of these suggestions more “fliers” and “fades” (note that some are targeted for DFS).
Good luck with your Week 7 lineups.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens
Start in DFS: Joe Burrow ($27)
Start: Rashod Bateman
Burrow has thrown multiple touchdowns in every game this season despite averaging just 29.0 pass attempts, as he’s been eased back from knee surgery. The Bengals have Tee Higgins back healthy joining budding star Ja’Marr Chase (along with Tyler Boyd), and they may have to pass more than usual this week as near-TD underdogs to Baltimore. The Ravens have a middling defense, and Burrow’s 8.9 YPA leads the AFC.
Bateman was targeted on 30 percent of his routes during his NFL debut and a team-high six times last week. Sammy Watkins looks set to miss another game Sunday, and the Ravens are unlikely to run for a ton of success with their lead backs, Devonta Freeman and Le’Veon Bell (with Latavius Murray nursing an injury). Bateman should benefit from Lamar Jackson throwing downfield more too.
Carolina Panthers @ New York Giants
Start: Robby Anderson
Start in DFS: New York Giants D/ST ($10)
Anderson has been a huge disappointment, including turning 11 targets into 11 yards last week. But he ranks top-20 in air yards this season and should benefit from Terrace Marshall looking unlikely to play and facing a Giants defense allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to outside receivers this season.
The Giants are a salary-saving option at home facing a quarterback who’s committed seven turnovers while taking 12 sacks (5.9 YPA) over the last three games. Christian McCaffrey remains out, and Carolina’s offensive line is struggling, so New York’s D/ST is a strong flier at the minimum.
Washington Football Team @ Green Bay Packers
Start: J.D. McKissic, AJ Dillon
McKissic led all backs with 10 targets last week and should have another favorable game-script Sunday with Washington playing as big underdogs. You’re starting McKissic for his work through the air, but he could also see more carries than usual with Antonio Gibson dealing with a shin issue (and the team’s RB2 being a rookie without much experience). Green Bay enters with the No. 30-ranked run defense in DVOA.
While Aaron Jones should have a huge game, Dillon can also be used as a flex during a week with so few RB options. Dillon is averaging 13.0 touches over the last three games and has a plus matchup this week with Green Bay big home favorites against a Washington defense allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to running backs this season.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Tennessee Titans
Start: Mecole Hardman, Ryan Tannehill
Hardman remains an intriguing flier with both Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce battling injuries before a matchup against a Titans secondary that’s been burned for the most fantasy points by receivers this season. Kansas City doesn’t run with much success, and this game has easily the week’s highest over/under (57.5 points).
Tannehill is coming off a tough game against a Buffalo pass defense that ranks No. 1 in DVOA but gets to face a KC secondary that ranks 31st this week with Julio Jones and A.J. Brown both on track to be available. The Chiefs have ceded the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks and figure to sell out trying to stop Derrick Henry, so Tannehill is an easy top-10 QB in this likely high-scoring matchup.
Atlanta Falcons @ Miami Dolphins
Start: Matt Ryan, Tua Tagovailoa
In a sneaky DFS matchup that should be fast-paced, both quarterbacks are viable fantasy options in a week with six byes. Ryan is coming off extra rest and gets Calvin Ridley (and Russell Gage) back, while Kyle Pitts was finally unleashed in London. Ryan has an 8:0 TD:INT ratio over his last three games, and he gets a beatable Miami defense allowing 8.0 YPA and the 10th-most fantasy points to QBs.
Tagovailoa’s future in Miami may be in doubt, but he’s a top-12 fantasy QB this week against a Falcons pass defense that ranks 30th in DVOA. The Dolphins have abandoned their run game behind a shaky offensive line, as Tagovailoa attempted 47 passes during his return last week. DeVante Parker was back in practice this week, while Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki have impressed. Tagovailoa is a Week 7 sleeper.
New York Jets @ New England Patriots
Sit: All Jets
Start: Jakobi Meyers
Michael Carter isn’t the worst flex option given the six-bye week, but the Jets are preferable on fantasy benches as touchdown underdogs in New England. Hopefully, New York comes out of its bye improved, but odds are stacked against Zach Wilson facing Bill Belichick this week. The Jets have one of the lowest implied team totals, and their receiving group is more crowded with Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, and Jamison Crowder now all healthy.
Meyers ranks top-15 in target%, and Mac Jones has mostly impressed. The Jets have been one of the toughest defenses against outside fantasy receivers this year, but Meyers has run more than 75% of his routes from the slot. Positive touchdown regression is coming, and Meyers is also just $13 in Yahoo DFS.
Detroit Lions @ Los Angeles Rams
Sit: Jamaal Williams
Start in DFS: Darrell Henderson ($27)
Williams is averaging only 20 snaps over the last three games and has averaged just 1.8 targets since Week 1. The Lions are huge underdogs against a Rams defense coming off a dominant performance, so Williams is tough to use in Week 7 even with so many RB questions around the league.
Henderson continues to be treated as the Rams’ true feature back, as he saw 22 of the team’s 24 backfield touches last week until it was 38-3 in the fourth quarter. Despite missing one game, he’s on pace to finish with 1,391 scrimmage yards and 14 touchdowns. Henderson is in a smash spot with the Rams 16-point home favorites against a Detroit defense that’s allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs this season, so he’s a strong DFS building block. His usage over the last three games has been through the roof.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Las Vegas Raiders
Start in DFS: DeVonta Smith ($14)
Sit: Kenyan Drake
The rookie is coming off a season-low four-target game despite a highly favorable matchup, but Smith should bounce back indoors in Week 7. The Raiders pass defense has admittedly not allowed a bunch of fantasy points this season, but this game should be high-scoring and Philadelphia has essentially given up even trying to run the ball. Smith ranks top-15 in air yards and top-20 in WOPR this season in the NFL’s most aggressive system, so he could have a huge second half. His DFS salary is too low to ignore.
While it’s tempting to use Drake coming off a two-touchdown performance during a game with a new head coach, it happened with him playing a measly 11 snaps on offense (he averaged 40 over the first three games), so there wasn’t any real change in his role. Josh Jacobs’ toe injury is reportedly feeling much better, and he’s in line for a big game against a run-funnel Philadelphia defense.
Chicago Bears @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Start: Cole Kmet, Tampa Bay Buccaneers D/ST
The tight end position has slowly gotten deeper as the season has progressed, and Kmet is an option this week against the league’s No. 1 pass-funnel defense (Tampa Bay is comically allowing an NFL-low 42.3 rushing yards per game to RBs). With both Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney battling injuries in a game in which Chicago will be forced to throw more than usual, Kmet should see plenty of quick targets underneath.
The Bucs have hardly been dominant on defense this season, but they are impossible to run against and face a rookie QB who’s gotten 4.5 YPA while taking 11 sacks on 42 attempts on the road to open his career. The Bears are huge underdogs and dealing with injuries to both their wide receivers and top two running backs. Tampa Bay’s D/ST could put up a crooked number this week.
Houston Texans @ Arizona Cardinals
Sit: All Texans but Brandin Cooks
Start: Zach Ertz
Cooks saw another 13 targets last week and remains a solid weekly PPR receiver as Houston’s best option on offense by a mile. He should benefit from Tyrod Taylor’s return next week and remains the only Texans player worth using in fantasy leagues until then, as Houston is massive underdogs against an undefeated Cardinals team with the No. 2-ranked defense in DVOA.
Arizona traded for Ertz after losing Maxx Williams, who was seeing good work in Arizona’s potent offense. Ertz is now a top-10 fantasy option as Arizona’s starting tight end, and even if he’s eased into action during his first game in the desert, Ertz gets a Houston defense allowing the second-most fantasy points to tight ends. Arizona’s implied team total is a whopping 32.5 points.
Indianapolis Colts @ San Francisco 49ers
Start: Michael Pittman, Elijah Mitchell
Pittman’s fantasy value took a hit when T.Y. Hilton returned last week, but Hilton appears on the wrong side of questionable for Sunday night’s game after suffering a quad injury. Parris Campbell is also out, Quenton Nelson should return, and Carson Wentz is playing much better, getting 9.8 YPA with a 6:0 TD:INT ratio over the last three games. There’s some concern about wind/rain in this game, but the Colts are also facing a San Francisco run defense that hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in an NFL-high 25 straight games, so Pittman (who ranks top-20 in WOPR this season) is in line to see a ton of targets against a shaky secondary.
Mitchell has fewer than 10 carries over the last month but enters Week 7 as a top-15 RB in “Expert Consensus Ranks” thanks to so many byes, injuries, and committees at the position throughout the league. It’s also clear the expectation is for the rookie to be SF’s feature back now healthy coming out of a bye. The Colts have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy point to RBs, but Mitchell is a fast back with fresh legs in a Shanahan system that also wants to hide its quarterback who’s dealing with a strained calf (in rainy weather).
New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks
Sit: Jameis Winston
Start: DeeJay Dallas
The Seahawks entered last week on pace to allow the most yards in NFL history, but Winston is still a shaky fantasy start having not attempted more than 30 passes in a single game this season. A Hail Mary helped him reach 230 passing yards for the first time in 2021 last week. Winston has seen his YPA drop from 8.7 with zero sacks at home down to 7.1 with nine sacks on the road this season. This week he travels to play a night game in Seattle, where it’s projected to rain.
Seattle’s backfield situation needs to be monitored (and playing Monday night isn’t ideal), but Dallas is a deep flier with Chris Carson out, Alex Collins battling a groin injury that kept him out of overtime last game and practice this week, and Rashaad Penny just now returning off IR. Penny is also a sleeper, but Dallas could see a lot of work as the team’s passing-down back versus a New Orleans run defense that ranks No. 2 in DVOA and has allowed the second-fewest rushing yards to running backs (55.0 yards per game) this season. Dallas is a PPR sleeper in Week 7.