Week Seven includes byes for Dallas and Carolina, leaving some pretty big holes in fantasy rosters across the board. Injuries continue to roll in at an already depleted RB position, along with news that both Eddie Lacy and Ben Roethlisberger require surgery. Let’s take a look at this week’s match-ups and talk about the top options to start or keep on the bench.
Wow, Lamar Miller finally broke loose Sunday night and he did it in a big way. With 149 rushing yards and a rushing TD alongside 29 receiving yards and a receiving TD, Miller ran all over the Colts’ defense (and made his fantasy owners oh so happy). This week Houston travels to Denver to face the fourth-ranked overall defense. While the Broncos are stout against the pass, they are actually 22nd against the run. Miller should capitalize on this and have a solid game, making him the safest Texan to start on your fantasy roster.
As for the rest, Brock Osweiler is a boom or bust option this weekend. I’m skeptical of his performance against his old teammates. It’s hard to talk about benching DeAndre Hopkins, or even Will Fuller at this point, but the looming threat of the Broncos’ number one pass defense makes me nervous for both of them. If you’ve got safer options at those positions, I’d roll with them.
Start em’ - Sit em’ Around the League:
Melvin Gordon (RB - SD) vs Falcons: Not that you were planning on benching Gordon since RBs are arguably the most valuable commodity in fantasy football right now, but he has a great match-up this week. Following a low-scoring game against Denver, Gordon should rebound against the Falcons’ defense and put up big points on Sunday.
Hunter Henry (TE - SD) vs Falcons: Henry made our waiver wire recommendation list each of the past two weeks, and this week he makes the start column. The rookie has a TD in each of his last three games, is getting way more targets than veteran Antonio Gates, and has a cushy match-up against the Falcons this week. He has great potential for a big game on Sunday.
Andy Dalton (QB - CIN) vs Browns: Cleveland has been generous to QB opponents this year, and Dalton should be no exception. Expect big points from him as he takes on a divisional opponent that currently sits at 0-6.
DeMarco Murray (RB - TEN) vs Colts: Murray gets to face off against the Colts’ defense that allowed Lamar Miller to have his best game of the year a few days ago. Murray should manage a bunch of points this weekend with a favorable matchup, making him an even better start than usual at the RB position.
Matt Ryan (QB - ATL) and Philip Rivers (QB - SD) vs each other: These two QBs will face one another in a Week Seven game that will likely turn into a shootout. Both QBs should take advantage of the sub-par defense that they are facing, and this offensive battle should mean a lot of passing for both sides. Ryan and Rivers are both solid bets at QB this week.
Zach Ertz (TE - PHI) vs Vikings: Before the season started, Ertz was hyped as a great late-round selection for fantasy owners, but he’s been largely ineffectual since returning from injury. Over the past two weeks, he has scored less than five points per outing (and that’s in PPR). Now he faces the daunting Vikings’ defense. There are better options than Ertz this week, and he should be benched if at all possible.
John Brown (WR - ARI) vs Seahawks: Brown has been disappointing for much of the season, with only two games that were truly helpful to fantasy owners. This week, he faces a Seahawks’ defense that is fifth overall against the pass, meaning Brown should stay on your bench until he has a more favorable opponent.
Carson Wentz (QB - PHI) vs Vikings: For the same reason that his TE is listed in the "sit" column, Wentz is as well. He has to take on the formidable Vikings’ defense this week, and he had a down game last weekend as well. Wentz has some easier games coming up, but should be benched against Minnesota if you have a safer option.
Stefon Diggs (WR - MIN) vs Eagles: Diggs could return this week from injury, but he is facing a terrifying Eagles’ defense and will likely be at less than 100%. I’ve got Diggs in a handful of leagues and would love to get him back in my lineup, but it’s probably best to wait another week before counting on him as a starter again.
** Vital Fantasy News: Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy requires ankle surgery and is being placed on IR. James Starks is also sidelined with an injury, potentially leaving newly acquired Knile Davis as the Packers’ RB1 this weekend. It might be tempting to throw Davis into your lineup given his new workload (and the lack of reliable talent at the RB position), but don’t forget that he is coming into a new team on a short week. Davis has interesting upside moving forward, but he is one of the riskiest plays you could make at RB this week.
Texans vs Broncos coverage