As we all know, fantasy football is as much about strategy as it is about luck.. well maybe a little more luck. But a fantasy football player should always be taking a look ahead, and we’re gonna do that here by looking at who you may need to stream in Week 7 if the injury bug or bye weeks hit hard.
All Players are under 50% owned in ESPN Leagues.
Teams On Bye Week 7: Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Quarterback – Jimmy Garroppolo (35.2% Rostered)
Returning from the ACL tear, Jimmy Garroppolo has been anything from spectacular but has his team at a 4-0 record. The former Tom Brady heir in waiting has seen his healthiest and best run of his career in the regular season. Garroppolo has had an issue with turnovers to start the season but turned in a turnover-free performance with two touchdowns against the Cleveland Browns on Monday night. The Niners are using him more in the short passing game, as he hasn’t passed for over 300 yards, but came close against the Bengals week 2 with 296. They do trust him around the goal line, and he is completing 69.0% percent of his passes so far this season. He will face a Washington defense that is 28th against the Quarterback position through five weeks, averaging 21.4 points per game. If Garroppolo can control the turnovers, he looks like a very viable streaming option for week 7.
Running Back – Malcolm Brown (RB, LAR) (25.4% Rostered)
Malcolm Brown will be the ultimate dart throw against a lowly Falcons defense but could pay off well. Once again, injury concerns have popped up for Todd Gurley, who now has a bruised quad. Sean McVay may lean to give Malcolm Brown a bigger workload to keep their star healthy against a team which they should be able to put up a lot of points on. If Gurley is hindered at all, Brown is the next man up going against a defense that has already given up four rushing touchdowns and does not seem to be able to stop much. The Rams offense seemed to click a lot more against the Seahawks, with Goff only turning the ball over once, with his lone interception coming on a great defensive play on a deflected pass that should have been hauled in. With the Rams offense clicking and the potential Gurley injury, keep an eye on Malcolm Brown for Week 7 and potentially beyond.
WR – Auden Tate (WR, CIN) (18.8% Rostered)
Auden Tate seems to have taken a decent step in his second year, playing over 90% of snaps since John Ross III went onto IR with a shoulder injury for the Bengals. Tate has averaged six targets per game for the past three games, and scored a touchdown last week against the Cardinals. He easily could have had two when a ball bounced off his fingertips. The coaches like Tate around the goal line and the Jacksonville Jaguars have not been great against wide receivers since Jalen Ramsey went down with a back injury (or trade request.. whatever you believe). Allowing 24.2 points per game to WRs in standard-scoring formats. With Gardner Minshew II having the Jaguars offense playing well and the defense of the Bengals giving away points at this point, it should set up the Bengals to be in a position to throw the ball, giving Tate an opportunity to get a decent amount of targets and he should see at least one end zone target.
TE – Noah Fant (TE, DEN) (10.1% Rostered)
One thing people always say in fantasy is to stay away from first-year tight ends, but they also say play the matchups, and this is one for Fant to have an opportunity in. The Chiefs currently give up the 21st most points to tight ends on the year. Tight Ends are averaging 5.82 points per game in standard, which is not bad for a streamer if you need a spot start. Fant has seen at least four targets in four of five games and has scored on touchdown. With the expectation that the Chiefs go up, it could force Flacco to throw the ball. Fant could be utilized in the short passing game to help move the Chains for the Broncos. He is always a threat for a touchdown with the draft pedigree, expect 4-6 targets and an opportunity at a touchdown for the first year Bronco.
D/ST – Packers vs Oakland (37.0% Rostered)
The Raiders just put up their best game of the year across the pond against the Bears. Oakland put up 24 points on the league’s best defense. Even with their best game of the season, the Bears D/ST still finished with a positive point total with 3. London games are always flukey, so I’m not sure you can count this as a season-changing game for the Raiders. They have had at least one turnover in four of five games and have had two turnovers in two of those games. The Packers defense started hot but has cooled off in recent weeks. Expect this to be a get-right game for a defense that needs a big performance and will be returning to Lambeau Field. The Packers should be able to force Derek Carr into tough throws and hopefully capitalize on the potential mistakes.