Antonio Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, and Demaryius Thomas added a veteran presence to the Week 6 leaderboard by being the only receivers to gain over 100 yards. They are all no-brainers to be start ‘ems in Week 7. Here are a few more that I had to think a bit more about:
Start this guy: Amari Cooper, OAK vs KC
Amari Cooper caught five passes off six targets last week against the Chargers. He gained only 28 yards, but that is not important. He received the second-most targets on the team after Michael Crabtree (also a start ‘em, by the way) and he caught all but one. Baby steps, people. In the national spotlight of Thursday Night Football, Derek Carr will throw a little deeper to Cooper and he will have his bounce-back game for the masses to see. Both Cooper and Crabtree score and finish with close to 100 yards against the Chiefs’ generous pass defense.
Sit this guy: Doug Baldwin, SEA at NYG
Now, I know what you are thinking. Demaryius Thomas was one of the three guys who caught 100 yards worth of passes last week and he did it against the Giants. That was a fluke. The Giants still give up the sixth-fewest NFL fantasy points to wide receivers. Janoris Jenkins will rebound from a rare bad game and force Russell Wilson to throw to his tight ends like everyone else does against the Giants.
Start this guy: Taylor Gabriel, ATL at NE
Speaking of rebound games, this one involves Taylor Gabriel’s quarterback, Matt Ryan. Ryan direly needs a big passing day and New England has been willing to permit such things so far this season. Gabriel caught only half of his eight targets against Miami, but New England plays looser than the Dolphins. Not only does Gabriel have a chance to catch a higher percentage of targets, but yards after the catch should be there to create a good fantasy day as Mohamed Sanu’s continued absence makes Gabriel the second wide receiver for the Falcons.
Sit this guy: TY Hilton, IND vs JAC
TY Hilton caught only one of four targets in Monday night’s loss to the Tennessee Titans. Hopes for a rebound game could be dashed as the top pass defense in the league comes to Indianapolis this week. The Jaguars defense is for real. They will challenge the young quarterback Jacoby Brissett all game and it probably will be ugly. Avoid any Indianapolis receiver and Brissett this week.
Start this guy: Willie Snead, NO vs GB
One of the most startling aspects of New Orleans’ 52-point performance last week was how much of it was not because of the offense. Drew Brees had a subpar day with only 186 yards passing and two interceptions. Willie Snead, in his 2017 debut, and Michael Thomas were each held to 11 yards receiving. Brees will get everybody back on track against the suspect secondary of the Green Bay Packers. Snead will see twice as many targets this week and convert them to 80 yards and a score. Bonus start ‘em: Michael Thomas will have a bigger day than Snead.
Sit this guy: Nelson Agholor, PHI vs WAS
Washington’s defense prompted the San Francisco 49ers to change quarterbacks before halftime last week. While they did not exactly shut down the San Francisco offense, they accumulated nine passes defended along with ten quarterback hits, three sacks, and six tackles for a loss. Philly’s Carson Wentz is young, but he is not a rookie like CJ Beathard. However, the Redskins will come in with the fourth-stingiest NFL fantasy defense against wide receivers and, they are looking to pull even in the loss column with their division rival. Agholor will be hard-pressed to score this week.
Week 7 flash in the pan prediction
Cody Latimer, starting for Emmanuel Sanders, goes over 100 yards and scores for Denver. But Dexter Fowler will be the leading Bronco receiver on the day as a hobbled Demaryius Thomas provides decoy patterns and little else.
Full disclosure: about last week
Adam Thielen collected 97 yards but still hasn’t scored a touchdown. His yardage barely made him a WR-2 for the week. Adam Humphries’ selection was based on Mike Evans being taken out of Tampa’s offense by Patrick Peterson, but Peterson got hurt and Evans went on to have a big game, while Humphries had his usual 50 yards. He and Rishard Matthews (69 yards) did not get the touchdown they needed to make the cut. Kenny Stills got a late touchdown which killed my sit ‘em prediction. Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders were buried on the leaderboard, making me only 3-for-6, my worst week of the year.
I’ll bounce back in Week 7. In the meantime, if you have any NFL fantasy football questions, you can send them to [email protected] The answers will appear each Wednesday in our weekly NFL Fantasy Mailbag.
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