Everything about fantasy football has felt just a little bit “off” this year, hasn’t it? It started with later-than-usual drafts for many people, then we saw a barrage of big-name injuries in the season’s first couple weeks. From there, we had schedule changes, surprise bye weeks, Monday night doubleheaders, and even Tuesday night football. It’s unclear if we’ll return to normalcy anytime soon, but one thing that has — and will — remain the same is the need for bounce start-sit ideas off people about 15 times before settling on your starters. Guys like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Antonio Gibson, Rob Gronkowski, Cam Newton, and more are dominating Weeek 7 fantasy start ’em, sit ’em questions, and we’re here to help with lineup advice and NFL DFS tips.
Keep in mind that four more teams — the Ravens, the Colts, the Dolphins and the Vikings — all have byes. That means no Lamar Jackson, Jonathan Taylor, Myles Gaskin, Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook, among others. The big injuries to watch this week are Melvin Gordon (illness), Leonard Fournette (ankle), Sterling Shepard (toe), Keenan Allen (back), Michael Thomas (knee), Diontae Johnson (back), Noah Fant (knee), Dallas Goedert (ankle), and Sam Darnold (shoulder).
Based on matchups, situations, talent and usage, here are the players to either avoid or deploy this week.
Fantasy Football Week 7 Who To Start: Quarterbacks
Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs (at DEN), Russell Wilson, Seahawks (at ARI), Josh Allen, Bills (at NYJ), Kyler Murray, Cardinals (vs. SEA), Deshaun Watson, Texans (vs. GB), Aaron Rodgers, Packers (at HOU)
Matt Ryan, Falcons (vs. DET). Matty Ice became white-hot with Julio Jones back in his schoolyard, and there’s nothing scary about this Lions’ defense at home back in the dome.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers (at TEN). This looks like a nutty game, and the Titans’ weak secondary won’t be able to handle all of Pittsburgh’s weapons.
Tom Brady, Buccaneers (at LV). The Bucs will have success running it, but Brady is getting in a groove with his weapons, too, and will make sure to light it up to keep the Raiders’ potent offense at bay.
Drew Brees, Saints (vs. CAR). The Saints will run all over the Panthers, and that also means they will score often. Brees has been itching to get big things from Michael Thomas again.
Carson Wentz, Eagles (vs. NYG). Wentz is dealing again, producing in two tough spots against the Steelers and Ravens. He deserves QB1 consideration vs. the Giants, who have James Bradberry and not much else.
Joe Burrow, Bengals (vs. CLE). He grinded to put up big numbers on the Browns in Week 2 so 300 and multiple scores seem in order again.
Andy Dalton, Cowboys (at WAS). He’s back in his favorite 1 p.m. ET window, so look for him and the entire offense to rebound against a team that barely contained the limited Giants last week.
Justin Herbert, Chargers (vs. JAX, $6,400 on DraftKings, $7,500 on FanDuel). Herbert returns from a bye with all of his top weapons healthy, save for Austin Ekeler (hamstring), and the rookie can smash an undermanned Jacksonville defense at home.
Matthew Stafford, Lions (at ATL, $6,500 on DraftKings, $7,300 on FanDuel). Stafford was a letdown last week because of the anomaly of the Lions scoring three rushing TDs vs. only one in the air. Game script against his good buddy Ryan and the Falcons back in Georgia calls for higher volume, more yards, and more scores.
Kyle Allen, Washington (vs. DAL). The Cowboys’ defense stinks, and Allen looked solid against the Giants despite two turnovers.
Fantasy Football Week 7 Who To Sit: Quarterbacks
Cam Newton, Patriots (vs. SF). You can’t take a slumping Cam vs. a rapidly improving, healing 49ers defense, even at home.
Ryan Tannehill, Titans (vs. PIT). The Steelers gave up some numbers to Carson Wentz, but Tannehill’s success is predicated on Tennessee having running success and being able to use play-action. Pittsburgh can contain Derrick Henry and cover well on the back end on top of the pressure on the edges vs. no Taylor Lewan.
Gardner Minshew, Jaguars (at LAC). The mania might be ending as zone defenses keep giving him trouble, and this is a middling matchup on the road.
Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers (at NO). The numbers say yes, but this is an absolute trap against a team that knows him well and will scheme defensively accordingly.
Jared Goff, Rams (vs. CHI). Not against Khalil Mack and this red-hot pass defense.
Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers (at NE). The revenge game won’t be served up well, even if San Francisco wins what figures to be a lower-scoring game.
Derek Carr, Raiders (vs. TB). Carr has been putting up the numbers and getting it done, but the poor man’s Aaron Rodgers will struggle against the Bucs’ defense built to contain his weapons.
Baker Mayfield, Browns (at CIN), Nick Foles, Bears (at LAR)
Fantasy Football Week 7 Who To Start: Running backs
Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys (at WAS), Derrick Henry, Titans (vs. PIT), Aaron Jones, Packers (at HOU), Alvin Kamara, Saints (vs. CAR), Kareem Hunt, Browns (at CIN), Joe Mixon, Bengals (vs. CLE), Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs (at DEN), Todd Gurley, Falcons (vs. DET), James Conner, Steelers (at TEN), James Robinson, Jaguars (at LAC), Mike Davis, Panthers (at NO), Chris Carson, Seahawks (at ARI), Josh Jacobs, Raiders (vs. TB). Ronald Jones, Buccaneers (at LV)
David Montgomery, Bears (at LAR). He needs to score more, but he’s getting the volume and this matchup is solid on the road.
Devin Singletary, Bills (at NYJ). The matchup is great, and he should rebound even with a little more of Zack Moss.
Darrell Henderson, Rams (vs. CHI). He keeps getting it done and they’re rolling with him with no Cam Akers in sight. The Bears also are more vulnerable against the run.
Melvin Gordon or Philip Lindsay, Broncos (vs. KC). If Gordon comes back he should step in and produce in a good spot, but Denver could sit Gordon with his illness again and trust Lindsay.
D’Andre Swift and Adrian Peterson, Lions (at ATL). They are having success running and the team is using both well and the matchup is fine.
Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley, Chargers (vs. JAX). The Jaguars cannot stop the run and the game script helps a lot here.
Boston Scott, Eagles (vs. NYG). You gotta use him to replace Miles Sanders (knee) with Corey Clement not being a real factor. The matchup is good enough for his volume.
David Johnson, Texans (vs. GB, $5,300 on DraftKings, $6,300 on FanDuel). He looked fine against the Titans and should be involved heavily in a high-scoring affair as a red-zone runner and receiver.
Latavius Murray, Saints (vs. CAR, $4,800 on DraftKings, $5,300 on FanDuel). The Saints want to be run-heavy to help Drew Brees, and the Panthers’ cannot stop New Orleans’ 1-2 punch.
Fantasy Football Week 7 Who To Sit: Running backs
Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds, Cardinals (at SEA). The game script could mess with Drake, and the Seahawks, with the exception of the Vikings’ game, have contained backs and been more vulnerable to the downfield passing game.
Le’Veon Bell, Chiefs (at DEN). They won’t unleash him quite yet in his first game, especially with Edwards-Helaire balling.
Devonta Freeman, Giants (vs. PHI). He won’t be free to run well on this brutal run defense.
Jerick McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty, 49ers (at NE). The Patriots are bound to key in and stop the run first.
Damien Harris and James White, Patriots (vs. SF). The 49ers can limit their work with their front seven.
Frank Gore and La’Mical Perine, Jets (vs. BUF). Perine is supposed to get more work, and while the Bills did just give up a big rushing game, but we need to see more from these guys before trusting them.
Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic, Washington (vs. DAL). Their usage is hurting each other even though the matchup against the Cowboys is stellar.
Fantasy Football Week 7 Who To Start: Wide receivers
Davante Adams, Packers (at HOU), Michael Thomas, Saints (vs. CAR), Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, Falcons (vs. DET), DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, Seahawks (at ARI). Tyreek Hill Chiefs (at DEN), Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, Buccaneers (at LV), DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals (vs. SEA), Allen Robinson, Bears (at LAR), A.J. Brown, Titans (vs. GB), D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, Panthers (at NO), Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys (at WAS), Odell Beckham Jr, (at CIN), Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, Rams (vs. CHI), Terry McLaurin, Washington (vs. DAL), Stefon Diggs, Bills (at NYJ), Kenny Golladay, Lions (at ATL), Will Fuller, Texans (vs. GB), Keenan Allen, Chargers (vs. JAX)
JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool, Steelers (at TEN). This should be a week for JuJu to do some damage, and Claypool keeps the beat going on against the Titans’ slow and overmatched cornerbacks.
Jamison Crowder, Jets (vs. BUF). He is seeing less come his way with Breshad Perriman back, but he’s still the go-to guy in the slot.
Darius Slayton, Giants (at PHI). He might get the unrelated Darius Slay, but he’s getting nice volume and attention from Daniel Jones.
Tee Higgins, Bengals (vs. CLE). Higgins is the best outside receiver they have, and the rookie keeps it going on the Browns.
Brandin Cooks, Texans (vs. GB). Cooks will keep on cooking from Jaire Alexander.
Deebo Samuel, 49ers (at SF). Jalen Ramsey wasn’t a threat to his work, and neither is Stephon Gilmore.
Travis Fulgham, Eagles (vs. NYG). Full speed ahead with the legitimate new No. 1 receiver for Carson Wentz.
Christian Kirk, Cardinals (vs. SEA). Set phasers to full blast for another chance to make more big plays.
Tyler Boyd, Bengals (vs. JAX, $4,700 on DraftKings, $5,900 on FanDuel). Boyd has been silenced by tough matchups of late, but he gets it going against the Browns, who cannot cover the slot well.
Mike Williams, Chargers (vs. JAX, $4,700 on DraftKings, $5,900 on FanDuel). Look for him to keep making big plays and scoring in a post-bye smash spot after his bomb on the Saints.
Michael Gallup, Cowboys (at WAS, $4,600 on DraftKings, $5,600 on FanDuel). A big breakout game has been teased with his chemistry with Andy Dalton, and he has a good track record burning Washington.
A.J. Green, Bengals (vs. CLE), Cole Beasley, Bills (at NYJ), Demarcus Robinson, Chiefs (at DEN).
Fantasy Football Week 7 Who To Sit: Wide receivers
DJ Chark, Laviska Shenault Jr., and Keelan Cole, Jaguars (at LAC). The Chargers’ secondary is tough even without Chris Harris Jr., and it’s been hard to trust a banged-up Chark.
Mecole Hardman, Chiefs (at DEN). The idea of his big plays has been much better the execution, especially when he’s not being used much.
Tim Patrick and Jerry Jeudy, Broncos (vs. KC). If you’re desperate enough to trust one against the Chiefs, it would be Patrick.
Jarvis Landry, Browns (at CIN). He’s droppable in most leagues at this point.
John Brown, Bills (at NYJ). His health has been an issue, and the team doesn’t need to extend to use him much to beat the Jets.
Juiian Edelman, Patriots (vs. SF). Remember when he was good at fantasy? This sit advice applies to their other receivers, too.
Marvin Jones Jr., Lions (at ATL). Don’t expect this matchup to suddenly make him relevant again, either.
All Raiders (vs. TB). You don’t know who will do anything here, and the Bucs just shut down the Packers.
Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers (at NE). The rookie cools off without a score against the Patriots.
Fantasy Football Week 7 Who To Start: Tight ends
Travis Kelce, Chiefs (at DEN), George Kittle, 49ers (at NE), Darren Waller, Raiders (vs. TB)
T.J. Hockenson, Lions (at ATL). He will score again as the Falcons cannot cover him anywhere downfield.
Hunter Henry, Chargers (vs. JAX). He got revved up with Justin Herbert before the bye, and this matchup rocks.
Evan Engram, Giants (at PHI). He needs to be used more against a team with linebacker issues.
Tyler Higbee, Rams (vs. CHI). He came back a little to life last week and will have his best game in weeks here.
Robert Tonyan, Packers (at HOU). Tonyan is too big and too tough of a matchup to be covered by a team that just got destroyed by Anthony Firkser.
Darren Fells, Texans (vs. GB). He’s a solid play should Jordan Akins miss another game.
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys (vs. WAS). There’s a decent connection with him and the other Dalton, and Washington is giving more up to the position of late.
Logan Thomas, Washington (vs. DAL, $3,500 on DraftKings, $5,000 on FanDuel). Thomas has a good connection with Kyle Allen, and the Cowboys cannot cover big, athletic targets from his position.
Fantasy Football Week 7 Who To Sit: Tight ends
Rob Gronkowski, Buccaneers (at LV). He’s not totally back despite the digits on the Packers, and the Raiders have been OK against the tight end.
Jimmy Graham, Bears (at LAR). The Rams’ linebackers are weak, but Cole Kmet being a thing hurts his value.
Eric Ebron, Steelers (at TEN). They will have too much success with others in the passing game to need him much again.
Austin Hooper, Browns (at CIN). He’s doing more, but you can’t trust him even in a middle-of-the-road matchup.
Hayden Hurst, Falcons (vs. DET). He delivered again against the Vikings, but the Lions have actually been good against the position this season.
Jared Cook, Saints (vs. CAR). You can’t go here with Michael Thomas set to return.
Fantasy Football Week 7 Who To Start: Defenses
Bills (at NYJ), Rams (vs. CHI), Eagles (vs. NYG), 49ers (at NE), Patriots (vs. SF), Chiefs (at DEN), Steelers (at TEN), Buccaneers (at LV), Chargers (vs. JAX), Giants (at NYG)
Saints (vs. CAR, $3,200 on DraftKings, $4,000 on FanDuel). The Saints will be improved against the pass coming out of the bye, and the game script should allow them to get some sacks and picks on Teddy Bridgewater.
Fantasy Football Week 7 Who To Sit: Defenses
Bears (at LAR), Browns (at CIN), Cowboys (at WAS), Washington (vs. DAL), Packers (at HOU), Broncos (vs. KC), Seahawks (at ARI), Cardinals (vs. SEA), Titans (vs. PIT)