Last weekend Aaron Rodgers and Jameis Winston owners had to overcome injuries if they were to win their fantasy match-ups. Unfortunately for Rodgers’ owners they will have to look for a replacement, while Winston expects to be back soon. The news wasn’t all bad though, Adrian Peterson, early in his game against Tampa, and his first for the Arizona Cardinals, had a 27 yard TD run, which was just part of an impressive day on his way to 134 yards and 2 TD’s. Several running backs had similar days for their teams: Leonard Fournette, Melvin Gordon, etc. and even a couple of receivers: Antonio Brown and Larry Fitzgerald.
This week we start off with the news that Ezekiel Elliot has been granted a temporary restraining order and will play in Week 7. So owners will again have to judge whether or not they should save space to carry Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden. C.J. Prosise possibly returns to Seattle’s lineup after being out with an injury, but without knowing his usage I can’t recommend anything more than a stash in PPR leagues. Below are my picks for Start ‘Em for Week 7, and hopefully there will be no more thinning of the pool…
Robert Woods – LA Rams vs Arizona – (Draft Kings $4,000 / Fan Duel $5,500) – Woods has been the most consistent Rams receiver of late, but I doubt he will attract the attention of Patrick Peterson in this match-up, assuming Peterson is able to play. Sammy Watkins would most likely still get Arizona’s best defender regardless of his recent performances. I wouldn’t expect a huge game from Woods, but he is easily capable of getting 12 – 15 points in PPR formats, and is priced at a bargain in DFS formats. Arizona, after Patrick Peterson, struggles against the pass.
Eric Decker – Tennessee @ Cleveland – (Draft Kings $4,300 / Fan Duel $5,100) – Eric Decker finally looked like the receiver I remembered. He was moving well and seems to be building a rapport with Marcus Mariota. His targets have been up of late and hopefully he will start finding the end-zone too for this offense. This week he faces Cleveland’s 17th ranked defense against the pass.
Pierre Garcon – San Francisco vs Dallas – (Draft Kings $5,800 / Fan Duel $6,700) – Dallas ranks 16th against the pass, but as we have seen over their last few games teams can move the ball against them. San Francisco has not won yet, but has been in nearly every game with a chance to win in the 4th Quarter, though they have been playing from behind. Garcon continued to get the most targets after the quarterback change in Week 6, and this trend should continue as he is the best receiver on the roster. I wouldn’t expect a huge game from Garcon, but 80 yards and a TD are certainly within reach.
Demaryius Thomas – Denver @ LA Chargers – (Draft Kings $5,800 / Fan Duel $7,100) – Thomas benefited from the injury to Emmanuel Sanders in their game against the Giants in Week 6, catching a season high 10 passes on 14 targets. This week he should benefit once again from extra targets with Sanders missing time. The Chargers are ranked 4th against the pass, but Thomas’ skill set should overcome the Chargers secondary in this contest as Thomas will be peppered with targets throughout.
Danny Amendola – New England vs Atlanta – (Draft Kings $5,600 / Fan Duel $6,200) – Atlanta is ranked 12th against the pass, but the slot receiver has had success against them. This week Danny Amendola fills that role and should have one of his better games. I expect Amendola to lead the Patriots receivers this week in receptions, 8-10, and possibly even in yards. I’m starting Amendola with confidence, and he is also priced nicely in DFS to fill that 3rd receiver role.
Adrian Peterson – Arizona @ LA Rams – (Draft Kings $5,800 / Fan Duel $6,300) – I look for Adrian Peterson to make it back to back 100 yard rushing games when he faces the Rams’ 29th ranked rushing defense. The Rams are coming off of a game where they allowed 130 yards rushing to Leonard Fournette and have allowed several big games to running backs this year. Peterson continues to shine this week.
Derrick Henry – Tennessee @ Cleveland – (Draft Kings $5,500 / Fan Duel $5,600) – Derrick Henry is coming off of a 131 yard rushing performance of his own on 19 carries. Coach Mike Mularkey says that he was happy with the ball distribution, DeMarco Murray is nursing a hamstring injury, but is expected to play, and all this points to continued carries for Henry. Cleveland is ranked 6th against the run, but if Henry gets near 20 carries he will find success again this Sunday.
Carlos Hyde – San Francisco vs Dallas – (Draft Kings $5,900 / Fan Duel $6,700) – In one week we have gone from talk of the 49’ers exploring trade options for Carlos Hyde to discussion of a three year contract extension. This doesn’t sound like a team this is unhappy with the play of their star running back. This week Hyde faces a Dallas team ranked 22nd against the run that hasn’t stopped anyone of late. Hyde should produce yards this week to go with potential touchdowns, and is also involved in the passing game, and Dallas has struggled covering backs out of the backfield.
Alvin Kamara – New Orleans @ Green Bay – (Draft Kings $5,600 / Fan Duel $6,100) – Last week Mark Ingram was the main beneficiary for the Saints after the Adrian Peterson trade, but this week they should find it harder to run the ball against Green Bay. I expect the Saints to make more of an effort to get Kamara involved this week, especially in the passing game. Last week the Saints really didn’t have a need to pass the ball after getting out to an early lead, but this week Green Bay should be able to keep the game within reach, even without Aaron Rodgers, and this will lead to more snaps for Kamara as the third down back and in relief of Ingram on drives.
Running Back Tandem
DeVonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman – Atlanta @ New England – (Draft Kings $7,300, $4,800 / Fan Duel $7,800, $6,400)
The Patriots rank 20th against the run, though they have played better of late and did shut down the NY Jets rushing attack in Week 6. Atlanta has not looked like the Super Bowl team of last year and have struggled. Despite the trends I’m picking DeVonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman as the best running back tandem for Week 7. I think Atlanta may have to get them involved early with short passes, but as the game moves along they should find success running the ball. This is not the same Patriots team either, and I don’t expect them have any big leads in this game, as they have also not played as well on offense of late. My prediction would be 100 yards receiving and 135 yards rushing for this tandem in Week 7!