by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
For the first time this season owners will have to maneuver around four teams being on bye. While it doesn’t erase all of the significant talent, being without Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger and Russell Wilson will obviously have an impact. Who steps up and is ready to deliver? Who are the options that fantasy owners should avoid? Let’s take a look:
- Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Cincinnati
- Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – vs. New York Giants
- Jared Goff – Los Angeles Rams – at San Francisco
- Tom Brady – New England Patriots – at Chicago
- Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Carolina
- Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – at Kansas City
- Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings – at New York Jets
- Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – at Baltimore
- Mitchell Trubisky – Chicago Bears – vs. New England
- Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Buffalo
- Philip Rivers – San Diego Chargers – vs. Tennessee
- Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Cleveland
- Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – at Philadelphia
- Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – vs. New Orleans
- Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns – at Tampa Bay
- Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – at Miami
- Deshaun Watson – Houston Texans – at Jacksonville
- Eli Manning – New York Giants – at Atlanta
- Sam Darnold – New York Jets – vs. Minnesota
- Brock Osweiler – Miami Dolphins – vs. Detroit
- Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Houston
- Marcus Mariota – Tennessee Titans – at Los Angeles Chargers
- Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys – at Washington
- Alex Smith – Washington Redskins – vs. Dallas
- C.J. Beathard – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Los Angeles Rams
- Both Drew Brees (Baltimore) and Tom Brady (Chicago) will have difficult road matchups in Week 7. Does that mean that they are quarterbacks we are going to avoid? Absolutely not, and despite the numbers their opponents have posted does anyone believe that they are going to be completely shut down? There is some added risk, but obviously they aren’t going to be quarterbacks we’re looking to sit (unless you have the perfect alternative).
- Obviously we want to see Andrew Luck cut down on the interceptions, but he’s now thrown for 11 TD over his past three games and has 2 TD or more in five of six games. If his supporting cast was better the numbers would be even more impressive, plus Buffalo is also going to be a tougher matchup for him. It’ll be a good test, but playing at home he remains a good bet.
- Mitchell Trubisky threw 6 TD in Week 4, and after getting a Week 5 bye he returned to once again post gaudy numbers (316 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT). Now comes a date with the Patriots, and the likely need to throw early and often in order to keep up with Brady and company. He’s totaled 670 yards, 9 TD and 1 INT over his past two games, showing why the Bears targeted him a year ago, and it’s hard to not consider him a QB1 given the matchup.
- Will this finally be the week that Eli Manning “explodes” and produces the type of numbers we’ve been expecting considering his supporting cast? He has the matchup for it, against an Atlanta defense that has been shredded for the second most points per week to opposing quarterbacks (behind only Tampa Bay). Of course part of that has been due to some quarterback’s ability to scramble (144 yards and 2 rushing TD), something Manning won’t contribute. He’s going to be an intriguing QB2, but it’s impossible to push him any higher than that.
- Speaking of Atlanta, Jameis Winston torched them for 396 yards, 4 TD and 2 INT in his first start of the season. How much of it was due to Winston’s talent and how much of it was due to exposing a weak defense? We’ll get a much better read of that this week when he takes on the Browns, who have allowed the fourth fewest points per week to opposing quarterbacks. While we’d be cautious for another week, another big day could entrench him as one of the better options in the league moving forward.
- Just when we are ready to buy into Deshaun Watson being “back” he implodes against Buffalo, mustering just 177 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT. Another tough matchup, this time against Jacksonville, could make it hard to take a significant step forward in his production. His ability to make plays with his legs will keep him on radars, but he’s more QB2 than QB1 this week.
- Andy Dalton’s numbers in Week 6 against Pittsburgh were fairly pedestrian (229 yards, 2 TD), but overall he’s been solid (14 TD vs. 7 INT) and draws a matchup against a Kansas City defense that has routinely been torched by opposing quarterbacks. Part of that has been the high octane offense of the Chiefs, forcing opponents to throw early and often in an attempt to keep up, and also a secondary that has been banged up. Regardless of the reason Dalton is primed to be a strong play this week.
Sources – NFL.com, ESPN
Make sure to check out all of our Week 7 rankings: