Welcome to Week 7 of the 2018 NFL regular season, folks! We’re halfway to when most of you will hopefully be competing in your league’s fantasy football playoffs, so the games are getting more and more important both on the field and off.
Here’s hoping you did better than I did in fantasy football last week. I went 2-2 in my leagues, but still have a hold on third place in my money league, so that’s good. Although, in one league I already witnessed Emmanuel Sanders throw and catch his way to 24.32 points against me already this week.
Kudos to you if you had him and started him, and especially if you went in with the Broncos defense!
Before we get into this weekend’s festivities, let’s recap how last weekend went for the players in this very column.
QUARTERBACKS (1/3): A rough start to our weekend as we missed on our starter (Jared Goff) and our sit (Mitch Trubisky). In the process, Goff dropped to fantasy football’s QB8 for the season after coming in as QB5. Jameis Winston saved the weekend though and we came away with a QB1 out of the sleeper slot.
RUNNING BACKS (2/3): James Conner came through as the starter and turned in 29 points in Week 6. Ezekiel Elliott did enough to make his league owners happy, but you daily fantasy players who ignored our advice are wishing you hadn’t right about now. Our miss came as Marshawn Lynch failed to find success in his overseas business trip.
RECEIVERS (3/3): Austin Hooper came through with TE1 points as our starter last week, and Jimmy Graham turned our sleeper projection into TE8 production. Not bad. Kelvin Benjamin made good on our sit projection as well. Maybe just sit him for the rest of the year.
DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS (3/3): The Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens both turned in Top-4 D/ST performances last weekend, and the New England Patriots unit got predictably worked by the very young and very real Kansas City Chiefs offense.
OVERALL (9/12): Not a bad rebound from our terrible Week 5 projections. Quarterback was the sore spot while we shot 100% on receivers and defenses this past weekend. Let’s try and replicate that late success to the earlier picks as well, shall we?
WEEK 7 FANTASY FOOTBALL PROJECTIONS
START: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (vs Cincinnati Bengals)
If Mahomes was going to have a bad week this season, it likely would have been last week. Alas, the sights and sounds of Gillette Stadium didn't derail his amazing season, so why should a home game against the seventh friendliest fantasy football defense to quarterbacks this year?
Two weeks ago, Anderson was out of football. Now, he’s the starting quarterback of the worst franchise in the NFL. There’s a reason they need a quarterback was just as involved with an NFL game plan as your mailman was three weeks ago. There won’t be any Ander-Magic here.
SLEEPER: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (@ Kansas City Chiefs)
Do you play in one of those atrocious fantasy football leagues where you have two starting quarterbacks every week? Gross.
If you do though, having Mahomes and Dalton would mean you could probably just play quarterbacks and still be competitive. The Chiefs defense has shown no reason to believe they’ll stop anyone, so Dalton should have a good game too.
Peyton Barber of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hadn’t had a relevant fantasy football performance all year long. Then he played against the Falcons. In Atlanta.
Barber ripped off 82-yards on thirteen carries and added another 24-yards and a touchdown on four catches. Barkley will do even better.
SIT: Duke Johnson and Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns (@Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
I know, it sounds crazy, if you have either one of these guys you’re sure he’ll be the one to benefit from the Browns trading Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars right before they head in against the top defense to have a running back play against.
Here’s the problem. Chubb owners and Johnson owners are equally confident in their guy becoming the main eater here.
Honestly, in my opinion, volume is going to go to Chubb but the bigger stat line will belong to Johnson. Sit both until you figure out what the Browns are thinking.
Drake had almost as many carries as Frank Gore did last week and actually played more snaps. Gore is older, and the Dolphins have to split the work to keep him active during the remainder of the season. While Drake almost - and should have - lost the game for his team last weekend, he’ll redeem himself here. This one is a bit bolder than most, as PFF has Drake projected as their RB23 this weekend.
START: Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns (@Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Landry is one of the best receivers in the NFL, but comin in to Week 7 he’s WR28 in fantasy football this season.
He’ll climb the ranks a bit against a young and inexperienced secondary in Tampa Bay. He’ll see some of Brent Grimes, sure. But he’ll also see plenty of Carlton Davis, M.J. Stewart and Ryan Smith.
This one was hard. Honestly, I think it’s going to be a big weekend for tight ends and most of your household names should do pretty well. But, there has to be someone on the outside looking in, right?
Reed has had some good games against the Cowboys in the past, but I just don’t feel like Washington has enough to keep Dallas from ensuring Reed doesn’t beat them this weekend.
SLEEPER: Josh Gordon, New England Patriots (vs Chicago Bears)
From a Cleveland Browns receiver at the starting block to a former one in the sleeper. Josh Gordon was targeted nine times against Kansas City and brought in five of those for 42-yards. Not great fantasy football numbers, but you like those targets.
He and Tom Brady should get a little more in synch this weekend, and with Khalil Mack suffering from an ankle injury, it should lead to something fruitful.
The 49ers offense did some amazing things last weekend, and lost. Because they aren’t good. Missing their star quarterback isn’t helping, but those issues aren’t going to suddenly disappear. Rams defense should dominate this divisional game.
SIT: Atlanta Falcons (vs New York Giants)
Before you hit the ‘duh’ button and leave, hear me out. Not only am I saying you need to sit the Falcons defense against New York - because, obviously - but I’m saying this as well: If you only have Atlanta available because your main defense is on a bye and you don’t stream well. Go with no defense. You’ll score more points with an empty D/ST slot than you will if you put this Falcons unit in.
SLEEPER: Indianapolis Colts (vs Buffalo Bills)
The Buffalo Bills are allowing the most points to opposing D/ST units in fantasy football this year. The last time I projected a big game against them, they stomped the Vikings and Josh Allen somehow didn’t get tested for performance enhancing substances. I joke.
Buffalo is a dumpster fire because they are in a rebuild one-year after making it to the playoffs for the first time since I started shaving.
Tyrod Taylor may be on the bench in Cleveland, but he’s having a better year than Buffalo is, and Andrew Luck is going to prove it.
Which ‘Sleeper’ is the best fantasy football option in Week 7?
This poll is closed
Andy Dalton (@ Kansas City)
Kenyan Drake (vs Detroit Lions)
Josh Gordon (vs Chicago Bears)
Colts D/ST (vs Buffalo Bills)