Week 7 of the fantasy football season is finally here, and the Rotoworld crew has everything you need to leave the weekend with a win. Patrick Daugherty answers your lineup questions with his Week 7 Rankings, Nick Mensio tells you who to start and who to fade in Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em, Ian Hartitz dives into which receivers are destined for production in his WR/CB Matchups Analysis, Hayden Winks breaks down every matchup in his Fantasy Forecast Column, and I give leans to Week 7's most explosive performances in my Player Props Column.
I'm also here to shed some light on the most important injury situations facing fantasy owners heading into the weekend. The sister resource to this column is the Rotoworld News Page, which will have every single inactive and all the late-breaking news up to kickoff and beyond. I'll also join Josh Norris and a rotating member of the crew every Sunday morning at noon ET on the Rotoworld Fantasy Football Show to answer all of your pressing start/sit decisions.
Editor's Note: Drafting is only half the battle. Dominate all season long with our Season Pass! Use our NEW Start/Sit Tool, Trade Analyzer, Consensus Rankings, Projections and more on your way to a championship! Click here for more!
Rams @ Falcons
*It’s safe to scratch Malcolm Brown (ankle, doubtful) from your lineup since he failed to get in a single practice this week. Todd Gurley (quad) on the other hand wasn’t limited on Friday and is fully expected to play. Seeing as how his every-down participation on 93.1 percent of the team’s offensive snaps in Week 5 is what caused his most recent injury in the first place, it makes sense for coach Sean McVay to scale Gurley’s snaps back to his rate in Los Angeles’ first four games (70.2%). Brown averaged 6.6 touches and 1.2 carries inside the 10 in a backup role during that stretch, making Darrell Henderson a viable FLEX option on an estimated 8-10 touches to Gurley’s 13-15. The latter’s still a confident RB2 with that type of workload in this matchup.
*Jalen Ramsey’s availability revamps Los Angeles’ secondary entirely since DC Wade Phillips previously had the luxury of allowing Marcus Peters (traded) and Aqib Talib (ribs, IR) to play man coverage on both sidelines while S John Johnson (shoulder, IR) was tasked in blanketing tight ends. Rams GM Les Snead said the team has to be “very intentional” in how they deploy Ramsey this week — a subtle hint the stud corner will shadow Julio Jones. Jones is still a WR1 in what’s being projected with the week’s highest total (55), but Ramsey’s presumed assignment would ultimately pit Calvin Ridley and Austin Hooper in softer matchups against Troy Hill and No. 61 overall pick Taylor Rapp.
Dolphins @ Bills
Jaguars @ Bengals
*Even if Dede Westbrook (shoulder, questionable) sits, it’s an easy transition to the slot for Chris Conley since that’s where the latter played on 50.7 percent of his snaps with the Chiefs last year. Third-round specimen Josh Oliver (6’5/249) will also get the nod over TE Geoff Swaim (concussion). The rookie’s receiving prowess was on full display in Indy as he notably checked in with lengthy arms (33 1/2") and massive hands (10 3/4") compared to this year’s class. It’s all the same for D.J. Chark, who was terrorized by Saints corner Marshon Lattimore in Week 6 (3/43) but still accrued 40 percent of the team’s air yards as a foreseeable bounce-back candidate against Cincinnati.
*As if you needed another reason to go right back to Chark, the Bengals are down starting corners William Jackson (shoulder, out) and Dre Kirkpatrick (knee, out). Darqueze Dennard, who was only activated from their PUP list mid-week, is expected to play every snap.
Vikings @ Lions
*Detroit has leaked rushing production up the middle to LeSean McCoy (11/56/1, 5.0 YPC) Jamaal Williams (14/104) and Aaron Jones (11/47) of late without run-stuffing DTs Mike Daniels (foot, out) and Da’shawn Hand (elbow, questionable) and that has a terrific chance of continuing against Dalvin Cook.
Raiders @ Packers
*Keelan Doss is projected as the odd man out with Zay Jones taking over for Tyrell Williams (foot, out) post-bye. Trevor Davis is the play if eager to chase any of them as his recent rapport (4/42) with Derek Carr is far more interesting than Jones’ 3.8 yards per target in Buffalo this year.
*With the recent upgrades to both Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle/knee, questionable) and Geronimo Allison (concussion, questionable), fan favorite Allen Lazard reverted from a confident WR3 to a fringe FLEX play all in the span of 24 hours. If both are active, Lazard morphs into the Packers’ version of Byron Pringle: an intriguing talent with sparing use when the three ahead of him are available. If MVS and Allison are ruled out, Lazard sticks as a recency bias-driven WR3 and mandatory stone-minimum DFS cash game option. Jake Kumerow is an easy pivot in DFS tourneys given Lazard’s concentrated ownership.
Texans @ Colts
*Kenny Stills (hamstring, probable) is expected to return following a full week of unagitated reps. Note Darren Fells was in on merely 50 percent of Houston’s snaps the last time Stills was healthy in Week 1 as the team leaned on 11 personnel as their base offense. Fells has since been in on 72.8 percent of the Texans’ offensive snaps. Their secondary could be short starting corners Johnathan Joseph (hamstring, questionable) and Bradley Roby (hamstring, out), but the jury’s out on whether backups Lonnie Johnson and Keion Crossen aren’t better at this stage of their careers, anyhow.
*Indy will likely be tasked in containing Deshaun Watson without starting corner Kenny Moore (knee, out), S Malik Hooker (knee, doubtful) and CB Pierre Desir (hamstring, GTD), the latter who was used to shadow DeAndre Hopkins in the past.
Cardinals @ Giants
*Coach Kliff Kingsbury said David Johnson (ankle) is a game-day decision and wouldn’t have played had it been a Friday call. It’s all the same for Chase Edmonds in this fantasy friendly matchup; he either starts and becomes a Top 10 option or gets involved behind Johnson and remains a teetering FLEX. Christian Kirk (ankle, questionable) could also be limited if active, but he’s worth gambling on as a WR3 against a Giants secondary that’s allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts.
*You’re firing up Saquon Barkley (ankle) and Evan Engram (knee), no questions asked. It’s all guesswork under a new coaching staff, but CB Patrick Peterson’s return could limit Golden Tate on the outside, making Darius Slayton a deep WR4/FLEX play along the opposite sideline.
49ers @ Washington
*If there were ever a time for Dante Pettis to get off the schneid, it would likely happen without Deebo Samuel (groin, questionable). Note Pettis has quietly led San Francisco’s wideouts in targets (13) over their last three games.
*Not that you’re playing any of them against this defense, but while we’re here, Chris Thompson (foot, out), Vernon Davis (concussion, out), Adrian Peterson (quad, questionable) and Case Keenum (foot, questionable) may all mercifully sit.
Chargers @ Titans
*Los Angeles’ injuries are a sigh of relief for Derrick Henry as the Chargers could be without S Nasir Adderley (hamstring, questionable), DE Melvin Ingram (hamstring) and interior plugs Brandon Mebane (knee, questionable) and Justin Jones (shoulder, questionable). Russell Okung’s return on the left side of the line also buys Philip Rivers more time under center.
Saints @ Bears
*Latavius Murray will get every opportunity to shine sans Alvin Kamara (ankle, out). Unfortunately, he can’t be placed in Chase Edmonds’ range (if David Johnson is out) since the Saints are facing negative game script in Soldier Field without Jared Cook (ankle, out), Drew Brees (thumb, out) and Kamara. Murray’s an opportunity-based RB2 and should only be played ahead of Edmonds if DJ starts. Move Henderson above all if Gurley’s ruled out.
*It doesn’t help Murray that DT Bilal Nichols (hand, questionable) is expected back in the middle of Chicago’s trenches. Assuming Taylor Gabriel (concussion, probable) also returns, expect Anthony Miller’s reps to get decreased since Gabriel previously worked as Chicago’s No. 2 receiver on 83.7 percent of the team’s snaps.
Ravens @ Seahawks
*Marquise Brown (ankle, questionable) went another whole week without practicing, putting his status for Sunday in doubt. Consider the rookie a WR3 if he starts. If not, Willie Snead’s lack of involvement (3/18) on a team-high mark of routes run in the interim proved the buck stops at Mark Andrews.
*Having said that, Andrews shapes up as a sneaky Top 4 tight end if Delano Hill (elbow, questionable), K.J. Wright (knee, questionable) and S Bradley McDougald (back, questionable) all sit, begrudgingly forcing the Seahawks’ third-string safety into the fire.
Eagles @ Cowboys
*The Eagles will still be without DeSean Jackson (abdomen) Sunday night, keeping Alshon Jeffery’s 10-target floor as safe as ever. Cornerbacks Jalen Mills (foot, questionable), Ronald Darby (hamstring, questionable) and Avonte Maddox (neck, questionable) are just guys scattered in the secondary that shouldn’t affect your decision to play Amari Cooper (see below). Tim Jernigan’s (foot, questionable) and Fletcher Cox’s (illness, questionable) potential absences would impact Philly’s No. 4 pressure rate (33.2%) on the year. If both play, Eagles D/ST genuinely become a top streaming option against a hobbled Cowboys o-line.
*Dallas will reportedly have all of Tyron Smith (ankle, questionable), La’el Collins (knee, questionable), Amari Cooper (quad, questionable), Randall Cobb (hip/back, questionable) and CB Byron Jones (hamstring, questionable) active on Sunday. Cooper’s a true boom-or-bust option since another three-snap outing is entirely in the cards with no real way to project. If you’re trailing heading into the Sunday night game, slide him in if only for his potential ceiling.
Patriots @ Jets
*Expectation is none of Josh Gordon (knee/ankle), TE Matt LaCosse (knee) and TE Ryan Izzo (concussion) suit up following Saturday’s missed practice, inserting both Jakobi Meyers and Ben Watson into New England’s starting lineup. Meyers is a serviceable WR4/5 who’s previously shown rapport with Tom Brady whereas Watson is merely a thin Hail Mary TE3 in his first game since re-signing with the team mid-week.
*For those hanging their hats on Chris Herndon’s (hamstring, questionable) status, it’s always plausible to use Watson as a pivot in the event the former’s scratched. The return of C.J. Mosley (groin, questionable) and Henry Anderson (shoulder, questionable) may not mean much for your fantasy team, but it would arguably make the Jets an intriguing wager at +9.5.