Our Week 7 sleepers features under-the-radar players that are currently being started in less than 50% of fantasy football leagues. These players could produce good fantasy numbers this week due to a favorable matchup, injury, or other circumstances. For your final lineup decisions, check out our Week 7 player rankings and if you have any fantasy football questions, feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
I’m not solely basing this on Flacco throwing five TDs against a pretty useless Tampa Bay defense. I really don’t think he’ll ever do that again, especially on only just over 300 yards passing. I do think that a dominating performance like that helps his confidence, however, and therefore he should be in line for another excellent start this week at home against the hapless Falcons defense. Flacco has shown excellent chemistry with Steve Smith, Sr. and the Ravens general lack of steady RB play has lead to him passing more (and with more success) than ever. I like him to put up top-10 QB numbers this Sunday.
Hillman produced 116 yards rushing in 27 total touches against the Jets on Sunday. There are several encouraging factors to consider, one being the Broncos gave him 27 touches while not giving more than eight to any other back. Another is that this game represents the most productive game by a Denver back this season. A final point is that Hillman didn’t get Peyton Manning killed in pass protection and didn’t fumble away the ball. He’s definitely the lead dog this weekend for a home showdown with the 49ers, and should be in line for another solid workload. I like him a lot as a strong RB2 play with RB1 upside. Snatch him up if he’s still on waivers in your league.
While it was Ben Tate who broke out with two TDs against the Steelers, the contributions from backup Crowell should not be ignored in fantasy circles. He clearly has surpassed Terrance West as the #2 RB in Cleveland, and showed off his skills in a rare garbage time performance against Pittsburgh. Crowell averaged seven YPC and scored a TD while losing a fumble. He’s not yet a threat for the #1 job, but Ben Tate has been nothing if not injured throughout his brief NFL tenure. With respect to this week, I think that Crowell gets plenty of garbage time carries against the Jags and should be considered a RB2 for fantasy purposes – not bad for a guy who is owned in about 20% of leagues.
The scene on Sunday was pretty much the nightmare scenario for Williams owners, myself included. The Giants got down big early, had to abandon the run for the most part, and lost Victor Cruz to a season-ending injury. Williams actually looked good when he got work, and most importantly didn’t allow any of the eight sacks of Eli Manning. Rashad Jennings looks to be out at least one more week, and I’d roll with Williams again at Dallas if I was needy at RB.
The news of Victor Cruz’s horrible knee injury, while awful, catapults one of my favorite under-appreciated WR3s into the spotlight. Randle and Odell Beckham, Jr. will now start at WR for the Giants, who are rolling into Dallas this coming weekend anticipating a shootout. Randle has always been a big-play kind of guy, but now he’s going to get the volume to go with his ability. I think he’s a solid WR2 play this week and for the rest of the season.
For an old guy still on his way back, Floyd has been pretty damn consistent through six weeks. He’s had one stinker versus Seattle, but otherwise he’s never scored less than 7.20 points in a week. He’s definitely the WR2 on the Chargers, and with Keenan Allen stinking up the joint, he’s acted much more like a fantasy WR2 than anything else. Floyd gets the Chiefs at home this week, a team whose defense is much less imposing away from Arrowhead. If you’re searching for a bye week WR or are in a deeper league, Malcolm could be your guy.
Hunter didn’t exactly go off against the Jaguars, but he didn’t disappoint either, catching three balls for 77 yards. I like him again this coming week against the atrocious Redskins pass defense, regardless of who starts at QB. Hunter still hasn’t exactly justified his preseason draft hype yet, but I think another cushy matchup will see his stock rising further. I like him for about 70 yards receiving and a TD this week.
Due to the dramatics of a 37-37 tie game, I feel like Gresham was lost in the fantasy shuffle. He ended up catching six balls for 68 yards with A.J. Green absent from the playing field, which qualifies as high highest usage yet. Gresham has a great opportunity with Tyler Eifert injured since he’s the undisputed TE in Cincinnati ad his upcoming matchup is worth noting. Indianapolis is giving up monster games to enemy TEs, and it seems likely that the Bengals will have to throw to keep up with the Colts. If you’re in a deeper format or just casting about for a TE option for Week 7, Gresham could pay handsome dividends if Green misses another week.
That’s now two games, and two TD scored for Wright. He’s not playing a full complement of snaps just yet, but it looks like the Patriots believe that he can do Aaron Hernandez-type things (hopefully not all of them). I believe that if the Patriots were not running out a 37-22 win, Wright would have gotten a lot more targets than the one he did. The Jets are giving up atrocious yardage and points to TEs, and you know they’ll be paying special attention to Gronk in the red zone. I like Wright to sneak a short score at least here with potential for a much bigger game.
The Redskins have actually been pretty effective at stopping the run; The problem is them getting destroyed by the pass. The Titans haven’t really been able to do either with great efficiency yet. Jake Locker is in and out of the starting lineup, and his backups don’t really scare anyone. Tennessee just squeaked out a win against lowly Jacksonville in Week 6, and I think the Redskins pass rush will hit home many times in Week 7. I like their D/ST at home as a secondary option if you miss out on Cleveland and are streaming defenses.
Cleveland is actually a pretty good real-life D, and this week they get a significant upgrade by virtue of facing the Jaguars. The Browns have already had solid D/ST days against New Orleans and Pittsburgh, and should generally be considered the top plug-and-play defense for Week 7.