With the Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers on bye in Week 7 of the NFL season, there are still plenty of good matchups you can use to your advantage when setting your fantasy football lineups. Below are some good plays for this week, as well as some other players you should consider avoiding.
Who to Start
— Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins (QB): Allen will be well-rested coming off the Bills Week 6 bye to take on the Dolphins. He has quietly had a solid fantasy season, with his only down game coming in Week 4 opposite the New England defense. The Bills are 17.5-point favorites in this matchup and have an implied team total of 28.5 points scored. They should have no problem putting up points against a team that is tanking for Tua. Allen is a mid-range QB1 this week.
— Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs (RB): Reeling from two straight home losses, the Chiefs will go on the road to face the Broncos in Week 7. The Chiefs allowed 116 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown to Carlos Hyde in Week 6. Meanwhile, Lindsay had 70 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown against a much tougher Tennessee defense. He should excel this week and is a borderline RB1.
— Tevin Coleman, San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins (RB): Coleman has scored in two straight games since returning from an ankle injury that kept him sidelined since Week 1. Moreover, he had 18 attempts in last week’s game against the Rams, and 15 in the week prior compared to Matt Breida’s 13 in Week 6 and 11 in Week 5. It is safe to say this is a committee that favors Coleman moving forward. He should have no problem putting up points against a weak Redskins defense during a game in which the 49ers should be leading a majority of the time. He is a RB2 with RB1 upside this week.
— Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles Rams at Atlanta Falcons (WR): Cooks caught all three of his targets last Sunday against the 49ers for 18 yards, but quarterback Jared Goff had a career-worst 78 passing yards in the game. The Rams receivers should have a field day against a Falcons defense that has allowed 180 points, the worst in the NFL. Start him with confidence as a WR1 this week.
— Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles (WR): Gallup had a season-low 48 yards on seven targets for four catches in Week 6 against the Jets. That said, Gallup may take on the No. 1 receiver role in Dallas if Amari Cooper’s quad injury prevents him from playing in Week 7. Meanwhile, the Eagles allowed four touchdowns to Vikings receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen in Week 6 and a combined 224 receiving yards. Gallup is a low-end WR1 this week.
— Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers at Tennessee Titans (TE): Henry had a huge Week 6 against the Steelers and caught eight of nine targets for 100 yards and two touchdowns after being sidelined since Week 1 with a knee injury. He slides right back into TE1 status for fantasy and should be matchup-proof moving forward.
— Jacksonville Jaguars D/ST at Cincinnati Bengals: The Jaguars defense has been inconsistent this season, but they have a great matchup against the 0-6 Bengals in Week 7. They are fourth in the league in sacks with 19, and should have no problem stifling Andy Dalton, especially given the Bengals offensive line struggles.
Who to Sit
— Tom Brady, New England Patriots at New York Jets (QB): Brady’s pedestrian fantasy outing on Thursday against the Giants was saved by vulturing two fluky rushing touchdowns. He had a great Week 5 against the Redskins, but struggled in Week 4 against Buffalo with 150 yards passing and no touchdowns. He has also thrown an interception in three straight games, and fumbled in the last one, which is very uncharacteristic of Brady. At least some of this can be attributed to game script since the Patriots have been leading for almost the entire season. He is a low-end QB1 this week and you can sit him in favor of quarterbacks like Jared Goff, Dak Prescott, and Josh Allen.
— Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers at Tennessee Titans (RB): Since Melvin Gordon’s holdout ended with the Chargers, fantasy owners are at a loss of what to do with Ekeler. He has dropped off precipitously with 14 rushing yards on five attempts and three catches on four targets for 14 yards in Week 6 against Pittsburgh. Ekeler has fallen from a matchup-dependent RB1 to a flex option with some upside.
— Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins vs. San Francisco 49ers (RB): Coming off of a 118-yard game in Miami, Peterson will face the 49ers defense, which has been stellar through five games and is second in points allowed behind the Patriots. They stymied the Rams offensive attack and held them to one (passing) touchdown in Week 6. Game script will likely prevent the Redskins from getting momentum on the ground. Peterson should be avoided as a RB3 this week with a low floor.
— Robby Anderson, New York Jets vs. New England Patriots (WR): Anderson racked up 125 yards and a touchdown on eight targets for five catches in the Jets’ Week 6 upset against the Cowboys. He looks much-improved now that quarterback Sam Darnold has returned, but temper expectations for Week 7. The Patriots defense has allowed 30 points total this year and lead the league with 14 interceptions and five touchdowns. With few other target options, Anderson could draw shadow coverage from lights-out cornerback Stephon Gilmore. He slides into WR3/flex territory in a bad matchup this week.
— Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (WR): A crowded Chiefs receiving corps has created a confusing fantasy situation and with the return of Tyreek Hill, Hardman’s value will remain limited. He had two good games in Weeks 2 and 3, but has fallen off a cliff since. He caught all four of his targets on Sunday against the Texans for 45 yards and faces a tough matchup in Denver this week. Hardman has some flex appeal if Sammy Watkins sits, but should be avoided if both Watkins and Hill are on the field.
— Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans (TE): Like most tight ends, Ebron has been extremely touchdown-dependent this year. He was held to four targets and one catch for eight yards on Sunday against a weak Kansas City defense in Week 5. He is outside the TE1 range this week.
— Denver Broncos D/ST vs. Kansas City Chiefs: A tempting start coming off of a strong showing against the Titans, but stay away this week. The Chiefs may not be at full strength, but it’s still Patrick Mahomes, who always has the ability to put up 300+ yards and three touchdowns. The Broncos have appeal for the rest of the season, but they are a definitive sit this week.