Fantasy Football Sleepers Week 7
Fantasy football is a funny game, isn’t it? After five games of absolutely nothing, Stefon Diggs had his break out game of 2019 dropping a 7/167/3 line on 11 targets on the vaunted Philadelphia Eagles secondary and wound up leading all fantasy players in overall scoring with 36.5 points. Now, Diggs will get a much tougher matchup with the Lions in Week 7. While the Lions secondary is a bit more frugal, momentum could begin to sway in Diggs’ favor.
And how about some props for Matt Ryan? Not only has he thrown for at least 304 yards in each of the first six games of the season, but he’s also tossed at least three touchdowns in four of the six. While some believed Ryan would regress from 2018, it is clearly not happening thanks to the over-rated Dan Quinn defense.
One more mention to my guy Hunter Henry, who played phenomenal on Sunday night in his first game since the season opener. While some left him on the fantasy benches thinking he would be limited, Henry went off, securing 8-of-9 targets for 100 yards and a pair of scores. He will be a much-needed boost to a Chargers offense in search of a spark.
The following is a recap of the players from my Week 6 Fantasy Football Sleepers article. You can read that here.
Most-Productive Players from Week 6
On the top 15 overall fantasy scoring leaderboard, there is one player being started in fewer than 40 percent of leagues at ESPN that finished amongst the best fantasy performers last week (Kirk Cousins). Kirk Cousins was the sleeper of the week for Week 6, lighting up the Eagles’ secondary with a 333/4/1 QB stat line including a 75.1 percent completion percentage. Cousins’ yards and touchdowns passing were both season-highs in those categories.
*Note that while I had Terry McLaurin in my sleepers column last week, he no longer qualifies for my article as I use a barometer of fewer than 40 percent start-percentage at ESPN. McLaurin is currently being started in 44.5 percent of leagues at ESPN entering Week 7.
Fantasy Sleepers Week 6: Full-Disclosure
|Player||Position||PPR Rank||PPR Points|
- While Gardner Minshew was a flop at home in a tough matchup facing a white-hot Saints’ defense, Kyle Allen played his best game since his first start of 2019 back in Week 3. Allen threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns last Sunday and finished Week 6 as the QB14.
- I recommended starting both Redskins’ running backs. However, Chris Thompson would up succumbing to injury — shocker — while Adrian Peterson had one of his best games of the year facing the Dolphins, who are the NFL’s lead dumpster fire — the Redskins aren’t far behind, however.
- Kenyan Drake had one of his best games of the year against the Redskins. While Kalen Ballage vultured a touchdown despite his vast regression in playing time. Plus, Mark Walton drawing the start, Drake still managed to finish as the RB23 with 13 PPR points.
- Terry McLaurin was by-far my best hit from Week 6. With Case Keenum back under center and a terrific matchup, McLaurin dropped a 4/100/2 line on the Dolphins on seven targets and finished as the WR2 with 22 fantasy points.
Have some tough start/ sit decisions for Week 7? Don’t sweat! My co-host at the FF Faceoff Podcast, Mike Hauff, has you covered with his weekly Start’em/ Sit’em column featured exclusively at Gridiron Experts. You can read that here.
Week 7 QB Fantasy Sleepers
ESPN Start-Percentage: 14.9
Coming off of his bye, Jacoby Brissett could be a fantasy QB no one is talking about. In fact, despite looking good early in the year — Brissett has put up at least 17.3 fantasy points in 3-of-5 games this season including two games with at least 20.8 points — he is flying under the radar in most circles and could be found on the waiver wire. While he is coming off of a season-low 151 yards passing with one rushing touchdown and an interception in his last game heading into his Week 6 bye against the Chiefs, Brissett has thrown for at least two TDs in 4-of-5 games played in 2019. No, he isn’t putting up eye-popping numbers in the yards passing category — he only has one game with over 300 yards through the air — but his TD upside can’t be ignored, especially for a player lingering on most waiver wires.
Entering his upcoming matchup against the Texans, Brissett should have a quality outing. Not only are the Texans allowing the 10th most fantasy points to QBs at a 20.2 FPPG rate, but they have yielded at least 18.3 fantasy points to five of the six starting QBs they have faced this season. What’s more, the Houston defense has been especially generous in the past two games, giving up at least 273 yards passing and three TDs to Matt Ryan and Patrick Mahomes. While Brissett may not throw for a ton of yards, I am all over his TD upside on Sunday. Brissett is a high-end QB2 with back-end QB1 upside for Week 7 is he throws for north of 300 yards.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 14.7
In the first two starts of Daniel Jones’ career back in Week 3 and Week 4 against Tampa Bay and Washington, the rookie signal-caller played well, accumulating at least 18.6 fantasy points in each matchup including a monster 39.6 game against the Buccaneers. However, Jones plummetted back down to earth, finishing with fewer than 14.6 points in his past two games. But while Jones has looked Jeckyl and Hyde through the first four starts of his career, we must keep in mind the fact that he’s been competing without a full cast of weapons. In fact, not only has he yet to play a game in which Saquon Barkley has finished, but he’s been missing combinations of Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram as well.
In his upcoming home matchup with the Cardinals, all of the aforementioned absences could be on the field. With the exception of Shepard, who could be on the field on Sunday — he remains limited in practice with a concussion — Barkley, Tate, and Engram remain to track to play, which means it is time to fire up Jones in a prime bounce-back spot facing an Arizona defense surrendering the third-most fantasy points to enemy QBs at a 24.3 FPPG pace. And although the Cardinals secondary will get a boost — the elite Patrick Peterson, who completely changes a defense, will make his 2019 debut after missing the first six games with a PED ban — I’m pumping the brakes on his immediate impact. Yes, Peterson will help Arizona’s cause, but considering all of the time he missed, I doubt he will have his football legs and instincts under him — see Melvin Gordon.
Getting a Cardinals defense that has allowed at least 19.0 fantasy points to the challenging QB in 5-of-6 games including at least 24.3 in 4-of-6, Jones could have the second-best outing of his career because let’s face it, I can’t see him putting up the same line he did against Tampa Bay in which he threw for 326 yards and accounted for a combined four TDs. Even is Shepard sits, Jones has fringe QB1 upside or better for Week 7.
Week 7 RB Fantasy Sleepers
ESPN Start-Percentage: 11.7
Although Frank Gore has been vastly out-playing his age as well as expectations while Devin Singletary has been sidelined since Week 2 with his hamstring injury, the rookie back is expected to return for Sunday’s matchup against the Dolphins and should be immediately inserted into your fantasy lineups. Yes, Gore will see his touches, but Singletary will also have a role in a dream matchup for a player returning from a four-week injury absence.
Facing a Dolphins defense surrendering the second-most fantasy points to enemy RBs at a 28.8 FPPG pace, Miami yields enough production for both Gore and Singetay to return quality fantasy points this week. In fact, the Dolphins have allowed eight different running backs to score at least 11.4 fantasy points against them in five games played this season, allowing at least 136 total yards or a TD to those aforementioned rushers.
In his first two games of the season prior to the injury, Singletary has returned at least 98 total yards or a TD with an 11.7 PPR point floor. Getting a Dolphins defense yielding 39.3 percent more fantasy points to the RB position than the 24.6 NFL average in the past five weeks, Singletary is a middling Flex option with RB2 upside if he receives a respectable workload in his first game back.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 5.0
With Alvin Kamara yet to practice this week with a high-ankle injury, there is an excellent chance that he will draw an inactive designation for Sunday’s matchup at the Bears. However, even if Kamara is active, I don’t expect him to receive a full workload due to the before-mentioned ailment, which means it is Latavius Murray time.
In his past two games, Murray received at least nine touches and is coming off of a Week 6 outing in which he drew a season-high 11 touches (three receptions) for 79 total yards (35 receiving), finishing with 10.9 PPR points, his most since the season opener. And while Kamara out-touched Murray 18-to-11, which is expected, Murray out-gained him 79-to-66, which suggests that Kamara isn’t quite himself.
While Murray will draw a tough matchup at Chicago on Sunday, the Bears’ defense hasn’t been playing up to its 2018 standards, especially against the running back position. Currently, the Bears are allowing the 19th most fantasy points to enemy backs at an 18.5 FPPG rate. While that is still good for most of the NFL, the Bears are normally a top-five run-stuffing unit. Losing Akeem Hicks to the injured reserve list with an elbow injury won’t help their cause either.
Facing a Bears defense that has given up at least 10.6 fantasy points to six different backs in their past four games — they have given up at least five receptions combined to the RB position in that same time period — Murray could return hi biggest fantasy outing of the year. If Kamara is out, fire up Murray as a top-end RB2 with RB1 upside, but if Kamara plays, Murray should still be utilized in the Flex spot but with tempered expectations.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 4.1
While David Johnson has been dealing with a back injury in the past few weeks, he has yet to miss a game. And now that he is dealing with an ankle, I don’t see him missing Sunday’s matchup with the Giants either. However, due to his minor ailments, Johnson has been ceding touches to Chase Edmonds, and the second-year rusher has yet to disappoint. In his past two games, Edmonds has combined for 102 yards and a TD rushing on 13 carries and 5/51/1 line as a receiver on six targets. Edmonds has not only scored a touchdown in back-to-back games, but he also had at least seven touches and at least 14.7 fantasy points. I expect his uptick in usage as well as his scoring upside to continue in his upcoming road matchup with the Giants.
The Giants’ defense has given up the 11-most fantasy points to enemy RBs at a 20.8 FPPG pace. What’s more, they have also allowed nine different backs to accumulate at least 10.0 fantasy points against them in six games played this season and at least five receptions to opposing backs combined in each of the past four. Edmonds’ pass-catching upside raises his overall floor. While Johnson is the defacto RB1 for the Cardinals, Edmonds should see enough opportunity to cash in on Sunday. And if awarded the opportunity, Edmonds has proven that he could do something with it as he is the No. 1 back in true yards per carry (6.3) and in yards per touch (7.4), albeit it on limited touches, in 2019. Edmonds is an upside Flex option for Week 7 with back-end RB2 upside if he scores for the third consecutive game.
Week 7 WR Fantasy Sleepers
ESPN Start-Percentage: 15.9
With A.J. Green poised to miss yet another game, Auden Tate should be fired up in your fantasy lineup. In his past four games, Tate has returned at least nine fantasy points with at least 11.6 points in three of them. What’s more, he’s drawn at least six targets and caught at least four passes for 50 yards or scored in that same time period. While Tyler Boyd is acting as the WR1 without Green in the lineup, Tate has climbed the ranks to the WR2 spot, especially after the John Ross injury.
Now, coming off of a Week 6 outing against the Ravens in which he saw a season-best 12 targets, securing five of them for a season-high 91 yards — he finished with 14.1 fantasy points last week — Tate will look to build off of his second-best fantasy outing of the year in a promising matchup at home against the Jaguars, who are now officially without the elite Jalen Ramsey for good — unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d know that the Jags dealt Ramsey to the Rams for a king’s ransom of draft stock.
While the Jacksonville defense is still tough, we’ve seen what we can expect from them sans Ramsey as he has missed half of the early portion of the year with a back injury. Ramsey is the type of player who can change the course of your defense and your season. In the past three games without the elite corner, the Jaguars have allowed four different wideouts to produce at least 15.1 fantasy points against them whereas, in the first three games with him, they have surrendered at least 15.3 points to only two wideouts. Facing a Jags defense allowing the 13th most fantasy points to the WR position, Tate is a target-needy Flex option for Week 7 with back-end WR2 upside if he scores.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 6.2
Cole Beasley has been quietly productive in his first year with the Bills, scoring at least 12.3 PPR points in 3-of-5 games. And while he has yet to score the football, he has seen at least nine targets in 3-of-5 as well while securing at least four receptions for 40 yards in 4-of-5. With Zay Jones shipped to Oakland and John Brown the deep outside threat in the offense, Beasley has the slot position on lockdown and should maintain his high-floor fantasy production moving forward, especially in his Sunday matchup with the Dolphins.
The Miami defense is as bad as it gets, giving up the seventh-most fantasy points to WRs at a 27.0 FPPG rate. And with Xavien Howard’s playing status unclear — he missed last week’s game with a knee injury — their secondary could be even worse on Sunday if he is out or limited. The Dolphins have already allowed six different wideouts to score in the double digits against them along with nine TDs allowed. This could be the week Beasley finally finds the end zone for the first time as a member of the Bills. Beasley is a high-floor Flex option for Week 7 with fringe WR2 upside if he scores.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 2.4
With Deebo Samuel sidelined with a groin injury — he has yet to practice this week and is trending in the wrong direction to play on Sunday — Dante Pettis should be scooped up off waivers and placed into your fantasy lineup. Pettis was one of my offseason darlings who I have clearly missed on thus far. However, after only running one route and playing in only 3.4 percent of snaps in the season opener, Pettis’ snap share and routes run have been trending in the right direction. Since Week 1, Pettis snap share has been 47.1, 37.5, 65.2 and 74.3 percent consecutively in the five games since. What’s more, his routes run have progressed from 11, 13, 18, 23 in that same time frame. Seeing 5, 3 and six targets in each of the past three games, plus, the fact the Samuel may not play, Pettis could finally get the opportunity to break out on Sunday at the Redskins.
Not only are the Redskins one of the league’s top three dumpster fires, but they are also yielding the sixth-most fantasy points to WRs at a 27.7 FPPG pace. And while they managed to bottle up Dolphins wideouts last week — their top fantasy producing receiver finished with 11.8 points (Devante Parker) — the Redskins have allowed at least 10.9 fantasy points to 10 different wideouts in the five previous games. With snap share and routes run trending in the right direction, a pus matchup albeit is on the road and the talent, Pettis should be used as an upside Flex option for Week 7. He could finally live up to the 2019 hype.
Week 7 TE Fantasy Sleepers
ESPN Start-Percentage: 32.9
With the uncertainty surrounding both Randall Cobb (back) and Amari Cooper’s (quad) playing status on Sunday night, Jason Witten could be busier than usual. Despite playing that the age of 37 in his 15th NFL season and sitting in the ESPN Monday Night Football booth last season, Witten has been playing better than advertised. In fact, while he has drawn four targets in 5-of-6 games this season, he is coming off of a seven target outing last week against the Jets sans Cooper for most of the game and Cobb. What’s more, Witten has accumulated five receptions for 57 yards or a touchdown in 3-of-6 games with a 10.5-point PPR floor in those matchups.
Getting an Eagles defense allowing the 17th most fantasy points to enemy TEs at a 6.9 FPPG pace, Witten should have another double-digit fantasy point outing. Not only have both of his TDs come against NFC East rivals earlier in the year, but the Eagles have allowed at least 15.9 fantasy points to two of the three tight ends they’ve faced who’ve drawn at least six targets against them. If Witten gets the opportunity, he should return fringe TE1 production in Week 7.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 7.0
After a sluggish start to the year, Darren Fells is beginning to emerge as the TE1 on the Texans. Yes, Jordan Akins is also in the conversation, but outside of a 3/73/2 line against the Chargers back in Week 3, it has been Fells putting up the points in fantasy. In the past two games, Fells has out-targeted Akins 9-to-4. He has also out-produced him with an 8/89/2 line versus Akins’ 4/60/0 line in that time span. Putting up at least 12.9 fantasy points in each of the past two outings as well, Fells is the tight end I am targeting in fantasy for Sunday’s plus matchup against the Colts, who are yielding the third-most fantasy points to TEs at a 10.3 FPPG rate.
In five games played this season, the Colts have given up at least four receptions for 60 yards or a TD to five different tight ends with a 10.0 PPR point floor to those players, including three TDs in their past three games. Considering the fact that Fells is the hot hand in Houston, plus, the fact that the Texans are heavily featuring the tight end in their passing attack seemingly for the first time since C.J. Fiedorowicz, Fells should return high-end TE2 upside for Week 7 with a back-end TE1 ceiling if he scores.