It's Week 7 and we are officially halfway through the fantasy regular season. With fingers crossed that the season continues to operate with minimal disruption, we can allow football to the forefront of our minds as it appears all games will be played as scheduled this week.
Assuming that's the case, fantasy GMs rostering Ravens, Colts, Vikings, and Dolphins will have to make alternate arrangements. That means prominent names such as Lamar Jackson, Jonathan Taylor, Dalvin Cook, and Ryan Fitz... err, I mean, Tua Tagovailoa, will not be available.
Luckily, our RotoBaller team is here to help fantasy managers navigate through issues such as bye weeks and waiver wire pickups while providing insight on every fantasy football matchup. As you prepare to set your lineups for a victorious Week 7, make sure to move potential fantasy landmines to your bench. Below are my top ten fantasy football busts for Week 7. Good luck!Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Exclusive access to our Premium articles, rankings, projections, 15 lineup tools and daily Premium DFS research/tools including our Lineup Optimizer, Research Station and so much more! Sign Up Now!
Jared Goff vs. Chicago Bears
Jared Goff takes on a menacing Bears Defense in Week 7 that he has seriously struggled against in recent times. The past two matchups with the Bears have produced five interceptions and zero touchdown passes from Goff, the current QB16 on the season. Goff has been hit or miss, with three QB1 performances mixed in amongst three bust weeks.
The Bears have allowed the lowest completion percentage in the NFL at 57.1% and Goff lacks the mobility to extend plays and escape Khalil Mack and company. Expect the Rams to lean on the run in a projected low-scoring affair, affording minimal fantasy upside to the former number one pick.
Josh Jacobs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The entire Las Vegas Raiders’ starting offensive line currently resides on the reserve/COVID-19 list. That is troublesome, to say the least, for a starting running back. Fortunately, there is hope that they can be cleared prior to kickoff, but the NFL has changed the schedule in anticipation of a potential outbreak. Fantasy managers, therefore, must pay close attention to the status of this game, as well as its participants, as the fantasy fate of Jacobs could swing wildly depending on the outcome of test results.
Beyond that, the Buccaneers rank eighth against fantasy running backs, meaning Jacobs will have his work cut out for him even if his top blockers are available. The Buccaneers completely shut down the red-hot Packers last week and are an imposing matchup for offenses in general, as they rank third against quarterbacks to go along with their stifling run defense. Jacobs is a talented workhorse and simply cannot be benched, but managers rostering strong alternatives may be forced to consider such a drastic move if his offensive line is inactive.
Michael Gallup vs. Washington Football Team
Michael Gallup is fifth in targets for Dallas, behind Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Ezekiel Elliott, and Dalton Schultz. He has lost his starting quarterback and the division-rival Football Team poses a challenging test in Week 7, as Washington has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Andy Dalton looked much worse than many expected in his first start as a Cowboy and his injury-riddled offensive line could pose serious problems.
Dalton should have better days than he had versus Arizona, as Ezekiel Elliott’s costly fumbles put the team in a difficult position, but this offense is going to take a bigger hit than fantasy managers hoped following Dak Prescott’s injury. Gallup is best left on the fantasy sidelines this week.
Tyler Higbee vs. Chicago Bears
Over the past four games, Tyler Higbee has run 67 routes to Gerald Everett’s 52 routes, has out-targeted Everett only 12-11, and has been outscored by Everett 25.3 to 19.8 in terms of fantasy points. This has become a full-blown timeshare, a fact not demonstrated by Higbee’s TE8 standing. Higbee was the TE1 overall during his Week 2 explosion but has not finished above TE16 in any other week. With only two games above 40 receiving yards, Higbee is touchdown-dependent. Considering he has scored in only one game this season and Goff has failed to throw a single touchdown pass in his last two matchups with the Bears, GMs can find more viable options elsewhere.
Jimmy Garoppolo vs. New England Patriots
Jimmy Garoppolo is fresh off a three-touchdown performance against a strong Rams’ defense. Unfortunately, he gets another tough opponent this week. Although he finally has both George Kittle and Deebo Samuel in the lineup at the same time, the Patriots have been downright dominant against opposing quarterbacks who aren’t named Russell Wilson.
Last week was the first time Garoppolo has finished inside the top eighteen quarterbacks and a road trip to Foxborough is not the recipe for streaming success. Even Patrick Mahomes was held to a QB17 finish against the Patriots. Garoppolo has yet to throw more than 33 times in a game this season and will require either increased volume or top-notch efficiency to justify a spot in fantasy lineups. Don’t bet on either of those things occurring and leave Garoppolo on benches this time around.
Henry Ruggs III vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Henry Ruggs is coming off the first fantasy-relevant performance of his career but faces the sixth-toughest matchup for wide receivers this week in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Even in last week’s 118-yard performance, Ruggs accumulated only three targets. The volume is clearly not there for Ruggs yet. Fortunately, he possesses the type of skill set that does not require heavy volume. On any given play, Ruggs can produce a week’s worth of fantasy points.
While that makes him somewhat matchup proof, at least to an extent, the Buccaneers have not been prone to allowing big plays this season. Receivers average the second-fewest yards per reception against Tampa Bay. Further, with the entire Raiders’ offensive line in question, quarterback Derek Carr may be forced to get the ball out of his hands quickly. As such, the time for longer routes to develop may not be there. Ruggs is an upside play for managers needing a home run but be aware of his basement-level floor.
John Brown vs. New York Jets
John Brown went for 70 yards and a score in his first outing against the Jets this year. Since following that up with a second score in Week 2, Brown has done practically nothing. Injuries have played a big role in that, but the injury bug has not yet abandoned him. Brown missed practice on both Wednesday and Thursday and appears nowhere near 100% health. Even if he suits up, Brown is likely to be extremely hobbled, as was evident in his zero-catch performance last week.
The Jets are middle of the road against fantasy receivers, mostly due to teams running out the clock in blowout wins against them and present a beatable matchup for Brown if healthy. Thus, it remains pertinent that managers monitor practice reports to see whether Brown returns to a limited session prior to gameday. Otherwise, Brown’s risk outweighs his potential reward.
Hayden Hurst vs. Detroit Lions
Hayden Hurst has not approached the breakout level that many fantasy enthusiasts dreamed of when he arrived in Atlanta to replace Austin Hooper. Although his involvement has not garnered every-week TE1 treatment, the state of the position has forced managers to treat him as such. While that remains the case, the Lions have been a surprisingly daunting matchup for opposing tight ends this season. That point remains to be truly tested, as the Lions have yet to face a top-tier tight end, but one could argue that trend is continuing this week.
The entire offense has functioned at a higher level whenever Julio Jones is in the lineup, for obvious reasons, so managers rostering Hurst can look to that fact for positive reinforcement. Otherwise, one could shutter at the notion that the Lions have allowed the lowest completion rate to tight ends in the NFL and that they allow only 5.3 fantasy points per game to the position, which is second in the league. Pivot where possible.
Jerry Jeudy vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Jerry Jeudy has taken a back seat lately as Tim Patrick has broken out with back-to-back games over 100 receiving yards. Patrick has out-targeted Jeudy fifteen to nine over that span. Jeudy had been averaging 8.33 targets per game prior to this slide and we will have to see him move back towards that number before getting excited about starting the rookie in tough matchups.
The Chiefs rank fifth against fantasy receivers, giving up an average of only 25.5 points to the position. Stefon Diggs was held to a meager 46 receiving yards against Kansas City last week, and although Diggs saved his day with a touchdown, Jeudy has scored only once thus far. Noah Fant is expected back this week, as is Melvin Gordon. The offense should operate more efficiently at full strength, but there is also more competition for targets. Jeudy is a promising stash but not one to be started until he reclaims a more prominent role in the offense.
Jared Cook vs. Carolina Panthers
There was a point this season that it appeared Emmanuel Sanders was done. In his last three games, Sanders has commanded 28 targets and turned that opportunity into 22 receptions for 271 yards and a touchdown. Comparatively, Jared Cook has been targeted only 4.5 times per game. That is notable, as last year Cook did not have to compete with Sanders for targets behind Michael Thomas.
Thomas has missed basically the entire season and is questionable for this week after picking up a hamstring injury to go along with his ankle issue. If Thomas suits up, it would mean considerably fewer targets available for options such as Cook, Sanders, and Tre’Quan Smith. Even if Thomas misses this week, the matchup is not ideal for a low-volume pass-catcher such as Cook. The Panthers are eighth against fantasy tight ends and have managed that success despite facing names like Darren Waller, Rob Gronkowski, Hunter Henry, Hayden Hurst, and Jimmy Graham. The common theme amongst brand name tight ends is that managers are forced to play them due to a lack of capable alternatives, and that remains true here. GMs should not kick Cook to the curb for a desperation streaming candidate but should plug in a more attractive option wherever possible.
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