Fantasy Sleepers Week7
With a significant portion of our all-too-brief fantasy football season behind us, it’s time to enter the playoff push. These mid-season games are amongst the most important for securing a critical win or re-establishing your squad as a championship contender after a slow start.
To give your team the best chance at winning, you’ll need to take advantage of every possible edge that you can give yourself. One of the major ways you can do that is to pay attention to some potential sleepers out there that are in favorable positions to post some solid stats this week.
Remembering that the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on bye, here are some players who might make some decent sleeper or value plays for Week 7.
Charlie Whitehurst (QB) @WAS-
Although we’re not sure which QB the Titans will trot out Sunday, it looks fairly certain that Jake Locker
will miss at least one more week, meaning “Clipboard Jesus” will likely be called on to start this game. Whitehurst hasn’t been spectacular in relief, but the Titans have a fairly talented group of pass catchers and the match-up with Washington’s 32nd ranked fantasy QB-defense is as good as it gets. Through six games, Washington has already surrendered 15 total touchdowns to opposing signal-callers, and 25.6 fantasy points-per-game.
Carson Palmer (QB) @OAK-
Statistically the Raiders secondary isn’t terrible- ranking 12th defending the pass. But those are hollow numbers when you consider that Oakland hasn’t exactly faced a strong crop of opposing qb’s- Geno Smith
, Ryan Fitzpatrick
, Ryan Tannehill
and Tom Brady
failed to make a huge impact. The one good signal-caller they faced, Philip Rivers, lit them up for 313 yards and 3 touchdowns. Palmer did a good job getting the ball into Larry Fitzgerald
and Michael Floyd
‘s hands upon last week’s return, and this is also a “revenge” game for the former Raider. Maybe he brings a little extra chip on his shoulder…hopefully not the injured one, though.
Jonathan Stewart (RB) @ GB-
Returning to the lineup after his annual
stint on the injured list, Stewart is set to start and be the primary ball carrier for a Panthers team that has been devastated in the backfield by a myriad of injuries. With teammates Deangelo Williams, Darrin Reaves and Fozzy Whittaker also hurt, Stewart should be a safe bet for 15+ touches this week against the NFL’s 32nd ranked run defense. Solid fantasy sleeper week 7!
Fred Jackson (RB) vs. MIN-
Clearly Buffalo’s coaching staff isn’t enamored with CJ Spiller
, and Fred Jackson
stands to benefit the most. Spiller hasn’t scored since Week 1, and has seen his touches decline in each of the past three weeks- from 18, to 13 to a mere 6 last week. Meanwhile, old, trusty Jackson has two scores on the year, and has seen his playing time increase while making a huge impact as a pass-catcher. In PPR leagues, Jackson is the 9th rated RB for the season, and his 30 receptions trail only Matt Forte
(46) amongst runners. For Week 7, Buffalo hosts a Minnesota Vikings defense that gives up 29.5 PPR points-per-game to opposing running backs- 4th worst in the league.
Bernard Pierce (RB) vs. ATL-
At this point, we’ll assume everyone knows that they should be starting Justin Forsett
, but there may be enough rushing production in this game for two Ravens runners to make a fantasy impact. Baltimore’s facing an Atlanta Falcons squad that has already surrendered 11 touchdowns to running backs- 4 more than any other team. Pierce has clearly moved ahead of Lorenzo Taliaferro
as Baltimore’s “big back” and could get the ball in and around the goal line, or in “mop up” duty during the second half if the Ravens have a large lead. Either way, fantasy owners with an open flex spot should consider Pierce for the primo matchup.
Golden Tate (WR) vs. NO-
After two consecutive 100+ yard games in Weeks 4 and 5, Tate disappointed his fantasy owners with a dud performance last week. But with Calvin Johnson
out yet again, and Detroit returning home to face the NFL’s 30th ranked fantasy receiver defense, we have confidence that Tate will be a solid WR2 this week.
Justin Hunter (WR) @WAS-
Hunter is the classic boom-or-bust big play threat. Since Charlie Whitehurst
‘s ascension to the starting lineup, Hunter has enjoyed a fantasy resurgence. In last two weeks, Hunter has only caught six passes, but they’ve gone for 176 yards and a touchdown, while another score was narrowly avoided when Hunter was tackled at the one yard line. Washington ranks only 22nd in the league against opposing fantasy wide receivers, so there should be ample opportunity for the Titans to challenge this secondary.
Davante Adams (WR) vs. CAR-
Since moving ahead of the injured Jarrett Boykin
, Adams is now Green Bay’s clear WR3 and has rattled off consecutive 11+ point fantasy efforts. After scoring in Week 5, Adams hauled in six grabs for 77 yards last week and seems to be building a nice rapport with QB Aaron Rodgers
. As for Week 7, Green Bay hosts a beleaguered Carolina secondary that surrenders 39.7 PPR points-per-contest- 9th worst in the league.
Jordan Reed (TE) vs. TEN-
Quick, run to your waiver wire and see if you can still grab Reed, who should be a big contributor for the rest of the season. Even playing a limited role last week in his first action since missing a month with a hamstring injury, Reed made a big impact, catching 8 passes for 92 yards. As long as Washington continues to chuck the ball up as this rate, Reed stands to be a weekly TE1. This week, Washington faces a Titans’ secondary that ranks 24th in the league in terms of defending fantasy tight ends, but they’re really struggled lately. Dating back to Week 4, Tennessee has allowed 15 catches for 240 yards and 4 touchdowns to opposing tight ends. Ch-Ching!
Jared Cook (TE) vs. SEA-
Cook has very quietly been a solid fantasy contributor to this point in the season. Cook’s 42 receptions ranks 6th in the league for tight ends, and he’s also been consistent- catching at least four balls in every St. Louis game this season. Cook has failed to get into the endzone, but Week 7 brings a favorable matchup as the Rams host a Seattle Seahawks defense that has, surprisingly, allowed an NFL-high 7 touchdowns to opposing tight ends.
Senior Writer Gridiron Experts. 2012 FantasyPros Most Accurate Fantasy Expert. Member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. 26-year fantasy football veteran. Featured on NFL.com, Fantasypros, Football Diehards annual magazine, local AM sports radio, podcasts everywhere and SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Once scored 4 touchdowns in a single game for Polk High School.