Week 7 has a lot in store for us come Sunday. If you’re not an early riser then you could miss the entire Chargers vs. Titans game set to kick off in London at 9:30 AM ET. With other teams like the Packers, Raiders, Steelers, and Seahawks on bye, there’s a lot of big-name players out this week with the potential to leave your lineup in disarray. If you’re thinking about plugging in one of these guys to get you through the week, you may want to think twice as it could lead to you saying goodbye to a win.
(All Rankings/Projections are based off of ESPN PPR format scoring)
(QB Rank: 15 | Opponent: @Jax)
Watson put up a dud last week against an underrated Bills defense and now gets to play a Jaguars defense that has allowed an average of 35 pts/game over the past two weeks. The difference between those two games and this one for the Jags?? Location. The Jaguars are a MUCH different team at home in comparison to on the road where they only give up 13.6 pts/game. They have the leagues stingiest pass defense, only allowing 187.8 yds/game and should bounce back in a big way on Sunday. If you combine the Jaguars ability to defend the pass, the Texans highly inefficient run game, and the offensive line woes that have allowed Watson to get sacked 25 times this season already, you get the recipe for a perfect storm.
(RB Rank: 22 | Opponent: NO)
Collins finally put together a solid performance last week carrying the ball 19 times for 54 yards and 2 touchdowns. He’s seemingly back on the fantasy radar but gets a tough matchup against a Saints defense that ranks #1 against the run. The reality this season for Collins is that he just hasn’t been as effective as he was last season. He’s only had over 15 carriers twice and averaged over 4.0 yds/carry once. The Ravens have also continued to use Javorious Allen on 3rd down and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Allen have a decent game. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Collins has finally figured it out and is slowly becoming a key part of that offense but for the time being I’d leave him on your bench, especially this week.
(RB Rank: 23 | Opponent: NE)
The downfall of Jordan Howard has been evident over the past couple of weeks as we’ve seen Tarik Cohen break out for over 100 yards from scrimmage in back to back games. The matchup this week against the Patriots is a big cause for concern as they tend to give up big plays to pass-catching backs and tighten up between the lines. We just saw Kareem Hunt carve them up to the likings of 5 catches, 105 yards, and 1 touchdown and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if the Bears implemented a lot of plays to get their pass catching back Cohen the ball in open space. Although coach Matt Nagy has said that he wanted to get Howard more opportunities in the passing game, he’s only seen 1 target in each of the last two games. Things get worse when you consider that New England has only given up 1 rushing touchdown all year so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Howard struggle this week.
(WR Rank: 30 | Opponent: @Jax)
Fuller joins Watson on this week’s list for many of the same reasons. The Jaguars pass defense has been elite at home and they have the best cornerback duo in the league with Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. The fact of the matter is that the emergence of Keke Coutee hasn’t helped Fuller’s value at all and the hip injury which limited him in practice Wednesday doesn’t help his case. It’s also worth noting that Keke Coutee has seen more targets in each of the last two games than Fuller (Week 4: Fuller 3, Coutee 7 | Week 6: Fuller 3, Coutee 5). Hopkins is still going to get his fair share of the targets even with Ramsey on him, but there’s just no telling how healthy Fuller is and how big of an impact he is going to have in what could be a slow offensive day for the entire Texans offense.
(TE Rank: 6 | Opponent: @Phi)
Olsen returned last week and saw 7 targets hauling in 4 of them for 48 yards. It was a pleasant surprise as many believed that he would be eased back into the lineup after missing 5 games. Olsen’s long-term value still looks great but week 7 should be a tough matchup against an Eagles defense that is #1 in the league against the tight end allowing only 8.0 fantasy pts/game. If the Panthers decided to move Olsen around and use him outside the numbers, things would be different but Olsen plays 61 percent of his snaps in the slot where the Eagles are also hard to beat, allowing only 391 yards to slot receivers thus far. It’s understandable if you have to start him this week given that the position is extremely weak, especially with bye weeks. I’d temper expectations especially since Olsen is still recovering.
Other to consider:
Drew Brees: (QB Rank: 10 | Opponent: @Bal)
Corey Davis: (WB Rank: 31 | Opponent: @LAC) (Game being played in London)
Marvin Jones: (WR Rank: 15 | Opponent: @Mia)