FANTASY PLAYS: Players to start and sit for Week 7
Fantasy football in 2018 has been defined by a revival at quarterback. Entering Week 7, the position is 12 to 15 players deep with quality starters along with a handful of others who can deliver above-average numbers, depending on the matchup.
There are also those who came into the season expecting to put up monster numbers but haven't.
There will be more of the same at the position this week, as well as some under-the-radar backs who need to be in most lineups and a receiver who has worked his way into WR2 status.
START: Sony Michel, RB, Patriots: He's arrived to borderline RB1 status. In his past three games, Michel is averaging 105.1 yards on a solid 4.7 yards per carry average while scoring four touchdowns. By averaging 22.1 carries a game, Michel has shattered the longtime fear of fantasy owners committing to Patriots running backs. Even against a Bears defense that is second only to the Ravens in fantasy points allowed per game to opposing running backs, Michel belongs in most lineups.
SIT: Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans: Watson looks like a quarterback with only 13 games of experience under his belt. In his past two starts, Watson has thrown three interceptions and has led the offense to only two drives that resulted in touchdowns. A lot of his issues come from the fact Houston's running game averages just 3.9 yards per carry and has only one rushing touchdown from its backs (Watson has the only other rushing TD), a problem that will not be resolved on the road against a Jaguars D that is fourth in fewest fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks. Better days lie ahead for Watson, but Sunday won't be one of them.
START: John Brown, WR, Ravens: Nothing says "rebound" like facing the Saints pass defense that is the most fantasy-friendly unit against opposing receivers. Brown had only three targets last week against the Titans but should easily return to the nearly nine targets per game he had before that. New Orleans has given up 21 passes of at least 20 yards, which plays well for Brown, who had at least one catch for better than 20 yards in each game prior last week. Expect at least 2-3 shots up top to Brown, who'll make the most of the opportunities.
SIT: Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings: Although Cook practiced Wednesday without a hitch, the weekly saga continues for owners of Cook. He has only 10 touches over the last four games and even if he does get on the field, there's no guarantee how many touches he'll see. Cook could miss out on a Jets defense that is a modest 17th against the run, which means Latavius Murray owners should be ready to plug him in as either an RB2 or flex if Cook is either limited or completely unavailable.
START: Marquise Goodwin, WR, 49ers: Finally healthy, Goodwin torched the Packers for 126 yards and a pair of touchdowns on just four catches. The Rams secondary has struggled without injured All-Pro corner Aqib Talib, having allowed nine touchdown passes in the last four games. Expect Goodwin — who has just 14 targets all season — to approach double digits in a game where the 49ers will likely be playing catch-up. Niners quarterback C.J. Beathard has thrown two touchdown passes in three straight games and is likely to keep that streak if he gets Goodwin involved from the outset.
SIT: Jordan Howard, RB, Bears: Howard has just one touchdown thus far and has become almost nonexistent in the Chicago passing game. Tarik Cohen continues to eat away into his snaps and Howard's 3.5 yards per carry only makes using him tougher. Even though the Patriots are a middle of the road run defense (18th overall), Howard probably deserves to be benched, especially in PPR formats.
START: C.J. Uzomah, TE, Bengals: Uzomah is a big, athletic target who has caught eight of the nine passes thrown in his direction the past two games and gets a chance to make his fantasy mark against a Chiefs defense that is 30th in fantasy points allowed per game to opposing tight ends. Kansas City last in passing yards allowed, and if they become too focused on stopping receivers A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd, Uzomah will have the middle of the field to himself for much of Sunday night. He's likely available in most leagues.
SIT: Evan Engram, TE, Giants: Everything is pointing in the direction of Engram returning to the lineup but he's not a lock and with the G-Men playing on Monday night, fantasy owners will be taking a high risk in assuming the potential TE1 will be on the field. Engram has an impressive 77 percent catch rate and should develop into a must-start performer; however, that development might be best served until next week for fantasy owners.
START: Josh Gordon, WR, Patriots: The Bears secondary gives up catches to opposing receivers at a 71 percent rate. Gordon's workload has increased with each game, and it's not a stretch to envision him getting double-digit targets on Sunday. This has a good chance of being Gordon's best fantasy game since arriving to New England.
SIT: Lamar Miller, RB, Texans: Even if it wasn't against the Jaguars, Miller merits time on the bench, managing 105 yards on 39 carries in the last three games, a 2.7 yards per carry average. D'Onta Foreman is one to two weeks away, so Miller's owners should consider stashing Foreman if possible.
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