Whether you’re a seasoned fantasy football veteran or got roped in at the last minute to your first-ever league, you’re now well-aware that championships are not won on draft day. The draft is where you set the foundation for success (or disappointment), but it’s all about the adjustments you make when bye weeks and injuries throw a wrench in your plans that separate the good teams from the championship contenders. Making those decisions is not always an easy process, but that’s when the real fun starts (at least for me).
There will be weeks when setting your lineup is a breeze. Your whole team is active, healthy, and projected to dominate your opponent, but you still come up short in the end. Those weeks are frustrating and not fun. Then there are weeks where your best players are unavailable and it seems like there’s no chance to overcome your team’s gloomy projection, but you somehow find a way to scrap out a victory with replacements in your lineup. Those weeks are satisfying and awesome. If you are one of the many teams in need of some not-so-obvious players to fill holes in your lineup this week, here are a few that I feel can help you grind out a victory in Week 7.
Jamaal Williams (RB, Green Bay Packers)
I wouldn’t normally recommend chasing the points of a second-string running back coming off his best game of the season (14 carries for 104 yards, four catches for 32 yards and a touchdown in Week 6), but Williams appears to have carved out a role in Matt LaFleur’s offense, even with Aaron Jones keeping him at arm’s length as the starter. It remains to be seen what this offense will look like with a healthy group of receivers, but Williams should continue to see double-digit touches each week as a runner and pass-catcher until we see otherwise. Williams’ 4.8 yards per carry places him 11th in the league among players with 40+ rushing attempts so he has proven to be capable of registering efficient RB3/ FLEX totals despite not having a starter’s workload. I’m not convinced that the Raiders’ streak of stinginess vs RBs will continue in Week 7 so make sure to stash Williams at the very least if you’re not sold on starting him just yet.
Devin Singletary/ Frank Gore (RB, Buffalo Bills)
Buffalo’s Week 7 matchup against the Dolphins is simply too good not to mention both of these running backs who just might be available in your league coming off a bye week. Singletary (hamstring) is likely to take the field for the first time since Week 2 and is a must-add for teams with both short-term and season-long needs at RB. His utility as a multi-talented runner and receiver will put him in weekly RB2/ FLEX consideration as long as he’s provided the 15+ touches that he’s expected to get on a consistent basis. Gore is the more traditional grinder of the two and should continue to see double-digit touches each week even with Singletary returning. The Bills rushing attack will face stiffer competition next week against the Eagles, but after that they get a series of average-to-bad defenses against the run, making both RBs solid pickups for this week and beyond.
Phillip Dorsett (WR, New England Patriots)
When it comes to making roster decisions, fantasy sports often turn into a game of “what have you done for me lately?” For Dorsett owners, the answer these last two weeks is “not much,” as evidenced by his large drop in ownership percentage. Dorsett missed last week’s game with a hamstring ailment but is now optimistic to return in Week 7 against the Jets on Monday night. While I understand the hesitance to buy in right away coming off the injury, Dorsett will be needed in a Patriots receiving corps that is a little banged-up across the board. With all due respect for New England’s dominant defense, the Jets’ resurgent offense will be looking to make a statement at home on national TV, so I think this could be a more competitive game than expected. In games where he was active and didn’t have Antonio Brown to contend with, Dorsett has averaged nearly seven targets per game. Bottom line: Dorsett is a legit burner with a consistent role in a high-powered offense that will afford several scoring opportunities per game.
Anthony Miller (WR, Chicago Bears)
Much of the second-year breakout hype that Miller generated coming into 2019 has quieted to a whisper after a slow start. He battled injuries in the preseason that delayed his involvement with the first-team offense and caught just four passes on eight targets through the first four weeks of the season. The Bears offense has looked “meh” compared to what fantasy owners expected to see from the innovative Matt Nagy and his young, developing nucleus of offensive playmakers. Whether Mitchell Trubisky is in the lineup or not, I think it’s finally time to pick up Miller as a stash and potentially as a play this week at home vs New Orleans. We speculated that Miller might get off to a slow start but he is already showing signs of heavier involvement. He saw an uptick in targets in Week 5 (four catches on seven targets for 52 yards) and was able to further rest any lingering injuries during the Week 6 bye. Outside of Marshon Lattimore, the Saints have been beatable through the air (bottom 10 in the league vs WRs) but stout against the run. I expect the short passing attack to be at the forefront of the Bears’ game plan and Miller should have a big enough slice of the pie to produce fantasy points worthy of WR3/ FLEX consideration.
Hunter Henry (TE, Los Angeles Chargers)
I said that I would be recommending some “not-so-obvious” players so I won’t take up a lot of time with this one— if Hunter Henry is somehow available in your league, you need to pick him up immediately. Yes, even if you already have an elite, set-and-forget tight end on your roster. Henry’s ownership percentage dropped steeply when he suffered a knee injury before Week 2 so there’s a chance he slipped through the cracks in your league. After a stellar performance in his Week 6 return (eight catches on nine targets for 100 yards and two touchdowns), the window to pick him up is slamming shut. The tight end landscape is extremely thin at the top and I see Henry as a top-6 option the rest of the way. Even if your team doesn’t “need” him, it’s worth scooping him up as a high-value trade piece for a team that desperately does. He’s not a streamer as much as he is a legitimate every-week starter.
Noah Fant (TE, Denver Broncos)
Even though Hunter Henry’s surprisingly-low ownership initially qualified him for this article, using him as a recommendation still felt obvious and cheap so let’s now journey into the land of “which tight end might not be terrible and could maybe even get me a touchdown this week?” Noah Fant, the Broncos’ uber-athletic rookie tight end and 20th overall pick, has a better chance than it may seem at being that guy in Week 7. Detractors will note that his season-long numbers aren’t exciting, he plays on a run-first offense, and his quarterback is still the uninspiring Joe Flacco. My optimism stems from a combination of his athletic profile, matchup (Chiefs are 25th vs TEs), and potential for increased opportunities on a short week where some of Denver’s pass-catchers (namely Emmanuel Sanders) are less than 100%.
Accountability is everything so here’s a quick look back at last week’s recommendations
Chase Edmonds (RB, Arizona Cardinals): Edmonds did not see the expanded workload that he would have if David Johnson had stayed out to rest his back, but he still turned in an efficient and productive effort for the second-straight week (five carries for 34 yards, two catches on two targets for 33 yards and a touchdown). If nothing else, Edmonds showed that he is one of the top RB handcuffs out there and has decent standalone value in deep leagues as long as he continues to get seven to ten touches consistently. The Cardinals’ young offense is starting to click and their below-average defense will make it necessary to stay in attack mode most weeks—good news for Edmonds and his growing role.
Jonathan Hilliman (RB, New York Giants): Hilliman was a volume-driven desperation FLEX play in Week 6 and could not get anything going against the stout Patriots defense. He disappointed teams that took a shot on him last week with 11 carries for 38 yards, two catches for minus-three yards, and lost a fumble at a crucial point in the fourth quarter that sealed the New England victory. With Barkley and Gallman returning, you can safely drop Hilliman from your roster and try to forget this ever happened.
Mohamed Sanu (WR, Atlanta Falcons): It was an underwhelming final line for Sanu (three catches on four targets for 29 yards) in a game where Matt Ryan threw four TDs as the Week 6 QB1 overall. This was a display of Sanu’s downside as part of a Falcons offense with a lot of mouths to feed in the passing game. On the other hand, Atlanta’s defense isn’t getting any better which should lead to plenty of shootouts and passing volume for the offense. He’s not a must-hold, but Sanu can still help you out if you need a bye week or injury replacement.
Jamison Crowder/ Robby Anderson (WR, New York Jets): The Jets offense was expected to get a significant boost with the return of QB Sam Darnold but I’m not sure many thought it would click right away after a five-week slumber. Crowder showed that he can once again be trusted as a high-volume slot WR that collects high-percentage targets on short-to-intermediate throws (six catches on nine targets for 98 yards). Anderson displayed good rapport with Darnold last year and hit on a 92-yard bomb in Darnold’s first game back in the lineup. Both Crowder and Anderson were true to form and proved that they are both worth adding in leagues of any size.
Chris Herndon (TE, New York Jets): Herndon was ruled out of the Jets’ Week 6 contest late in the week with a hamstring strain, but the ailment is believed to be mild so he may only miss one more game. Tight end-needy owners should stash him if possible or keep him on your watch list at the very least while we await his return.
Happy streaming and good luck in Week 7!
(Photo by Scott W. Grau/ Icon Sportswire)