Rookie running backs are making a huge impact on NFL teams this year. It’s almost like they collectively got together and decided that enough was enough. They had to do something to get future running backs taken high in the NFL Draft again.
Miami and Houston are the only two teams on bye. You may need to fill a hole in your roster left by QBs Deshaun Watson and Matthew Stafford or WR DeAndre Hopkins…a long-term replacement for injured Packers QB Aaron Rodgers.
Here is our Fantasy Football Sit/Start for Week 7 of the 2017 NFL season…and enjoy our
weird fabulous MS Paint masterpiece of Chargers RB Melvin Gordon.
I want to explain what I mean by “sit” and “start.” Of course you are going to start some of the guys i say to bench this week, because you probably used high draft picks or a lot of money in an auction for them. My ‘sit’ players are guys I am just not completely sold that they will have good weeks. If you have a guy that you are on the fence about, maybe this will help you pick between the players.
- RB Melvin Gordon (Los Angeles Chargers) – Gordon will have a tough go against Denver this weekend, but the Chargers are going to find ways to get him the ball. He’s been the point of action in over 1/3rd of all offensive snaps. He had 150 total yards and two touchdowns against Oakland. Denver will pressure QB Philip Rivers this weekend and Gordon will get plenty of dump passes when escaping the pass rush. His final numbers may not be astronomical, but Gordon is still a solid start.
- WR Josh Doctson (Washington Redskins) – I added Doctson here because WR Terrelle Pryor is bad at football. QB Kirk Cousins has to throw the ball to someone and Doctson is his big play receiver. Touchdowns are unpredictable, but when Cousins wants to hit a home run, the ball is headed in his direction. If you can’t get Doctson, I’d add WR Jamison Crowder over Pryor.
- RB Adrian Peterson (Arizona Cardinals) – I’ve bashed Peterson many times for getting himself in a bad situation with the Saints. I actually thought getting traded to Arizona was almost a lateral move since they also use their backs as receivers in many plays. He proved me wrong with a 134-yard, two touchdown performance against Tampa Bay. They face the Rams this weekend, who has given up over 100 yards to running backs in four of six games this year. Also, running backs have scored seven touchdowns against them this season. Peterson should have a good fantasy week.
- QB Tyrod Taylor (Buffalo Bills) – Buffalo plays at home against Tampa Bay this weekend. The Bucs are ranked 30th in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. QBs Eli Manning and Carson Palmer have both have multi-touchdown games against them this season. Taylor will be hard to defend and is a nice long-term replacement for Aaron Rodgers.
- RB Jerick McKinnon (Minnesota Vikings) – I’ve had McKinnon here in back-to-back weeks. It looks like he’s the most effective running back on Minnesota. RB Latavius Murray is getting opportunities, but he hasn’t done anything with them. Minnesota faces Baltimore this week. The Ravens are coming off a rough week against the Bears backfield. The Vikings will unleash the same two-headed rushing attack and both backs could have good fantasy games, but I’m putting my money on McKinnon scoring more fantasy points.
- The New York Giants Defense & Special Teams – The Giants got to Broncos QB Trevor Siemian time and time again last week. Their opponent this weekend is Seattle, who has had their issues on the offensive line. They will make Seattle QB Russell Wilson scramble around. I don’t see the Seahawks putting up a lot of points. The G-Men could even get a turnover or two. They should be available on the waiver wire in just about every league.
- WR Rishard Matthews (Tennessee Titans) – Matthews caught all four of his targets in last week’s win over Indy on Monday Night Football. He didn’t have many yards and really didn’t make much of a difference, but will be a match-up nightmare for the Cleveland Browns. Titans QB Marcus Mariota will be looking for him on Sunday.
- RB Alvin Kamara (New Orleans Saints) – Kamara is developing into one of the best rookie PPR-friendly running backs in the league. He faces Green Bay this week, who has been okay against running backs in fantasy, but teams like Atlanta and Cincinnati have score 28+ fantasy points in a single week against them. Kamara is a must-add and one of my favorite flex options in Week 7.
- TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (New York Jets) – I was all-in on ASJ coming out of college. I thought the Bucs got a steal when they drafted him. Behavioral and injury issues caused the Bucs to cut him and the Jets hoped they could right the ship. He has very good hands and size, so it’s just a matter of getting him open. He should have had two touchdowns last week, but sadly the refs really blew it. The Jets face the Dolphins this week, who are 27th in the league against fantasy tight ends.
- RB Jay Ajayi (Miami Dolphins) – Ajayi finally looked healthy last week against the Falcons. He carried the ball 26 times for 130 yards. He has been getting dropped in some leagues because he has yet to score a touchdown this season. The Jets are 28th in the league against opposing fantasy running backs. They’ve only given up four TDs to running backs this season, but RBs are averaging 27.1 fantasy points per game against the Jets.
- QB Brett Hundley (Green Bay Packers) DEEP LEAGUE ALERT – It’s been awhile, but do you remember the Heisman buzz Hundley had in his last year at UCLA? The year wasn’t as prolific as expected, but he still had a very good college career. He’s been in Packers head coach Mike McCarthy’s system for three seasons now. He knows the offense up and down, so he’s miles ahead of many backup quarterbacks in his situation. He still needs to physically perform, but sometimes the mental aspect and being ‘comfortable’ in a system can be half the battle. If you’re in a deep league and have no available quarterbacks (since you either had Rodgers or Stafford/Watson), Hundley could be worth a shot against the Saints.
- RB Marshawn Lynch (Oakland Raiders) – This one hurts. I love Lynch as an off-the-field character, but he’s not getting enough action to be fantasy relevant. If he got 20+ carries a game, he would probably average 80 to 100 yards per game, but he is only getting a dozen carries a game. Last week, Pittsburgh had some success on the ground against Oakland’s Thursday night opponents (Chiefs). His first 20-carry game could happen this week, but I just don’t see it. The Raiders could be playing from behind, which means ‘Beast Mode’ will be tamed.
- TE Cameron Brate (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Brate is having a nice season for the Bucs, but he faces the Bills on Sunday. Buffalo has yet to allow a touchdown to a tight end this season. They have allowed 50+ yards to TEs three times this season, but no more than 71 yards. Most of Brate’s value is his ability to get in the end zone. If that is cut off, he’s not worth a start.
- RB Javorius Allen (Baltimore Ravens) – Baltimore has put together a rotating turnstile at the running back position. Allen along with Alex Collins (and Terrance West, when healthy) just inch the ball down the field. None of those guys are elite, but they tend to wear out a defense as the game goes along. They face a Minnesota Vikings defense that are 2nd in the league against opposing running backs in fantasy. Running backs are scoring nearly eight points less per week against Minnesota than the league average. I’m staying away from the Ravens running backs.
- Carolina Panthers Defense & Special Teams – Star linebacker Luke Kuechly is currently not practicing due to a concussion and the status of safety Kurt Coleman is still up in the air. The Bears were able to move the ball against the Ravens. They needed all of their young backfield and a little trickery from their rookie QB, but they beat the Ravens. I don’t see Carolina’s defense having a spectacular day against Chicago.
- Every New England Patriots Running Back – Listen, I do enough gambling in my life, so I don’t want to deal with any Patriots running back. It’s usually crapshoot on which back will have a good fantasy game. RBs Mike Gillislee, James White, Dion Lewis and even Rex Burkhead have had good fantasy weeks. I’m sure there will even be another Pats RB with a legit fantasy game or two by the end of the season. White is probably the most consistent, but I don’t want any of it.
- WR Sammy Watkins (Los Angeles Rams) – Watkins has had a weird season. He was really only heavily-involved in one game this season. He had 106 receiving yards on six catches and two touchdowns. He’s only had 2 catches for 28 yards TOTAL over the last three games. He’s still owed in 89% of fantasy leagues. There are more consistent guys out there. The Rams have a nice shiny toy, but they don’t know what to do with it…so it sits pretty on a shelf.
- QB Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints) – The Saints no longer have a pass-first offense. Brees have been taking it easy and only passing when necessary. He only has ten touchdowns and 1,321 yards in five games. He’s relying on RBs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara more and more. Brees only had 186 passing yards last week against Detroit. Brees will still have very good fantasy games, but the Packers can be ran on. The Saints would be better off running the ball more against their front-seven than throwing it 40+ times against the ball hawks in their secondary.
- WR T.Y. Hilton (Indianapolis Colts) – Hilton has been boom or bust this season. He’s had two 150+ yard games and two games he combined to catch four passes for 49 yards. His fantasy value was already hurting since he’s only scored one touchdown this year. Hilton has always scored his touchdowns on long gains. He hasn’t been able to do that this year. The Colts face Jacksonville’s young talented secondary this week. Hilton will be paired up with CB Jalen Ramsey. Pro Football Focus has him ranked as the third-best cover corner in the NFL. It could be a rough fantasy week for Hilton.
- RB Matt Breida (San Francisco 49ers) DEEP LEAGUE ALERT – A lot of teams in deeper leagues picked up Breida after Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan used him over RB Carlos Hyde in their loss to the Colts. Breida fell back to his usual backup role against the Redskins last weekend. He only had four carries for 21 yards and two catches for 15 yards. The Niners switched QBs last week, but I doubt we’ll see Breida ever takeover the starting job from Hyde.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.