Just hours before the start of Week 7’s Sunday action I know many people have questions running through their heads. Who should I start? Who should I sit? Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:
David Johnson – Running Back – Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals’ RB David Johnson, listed as questionable for today’s game against the Giants due to an ankle injury, is expected to play, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 20, 2019
Last week Johnson was in a similar situation, and if it wasn’t for his role in the passing game (6 receptions, 68 yards, 1 TD) it would’ve been a mediocre day while Chase Edmonds was far more effective on the ground:
- David Johnson – 12 carries for 34 yards and 1 TD
- Chase Edmonds – 5 carries for 34 yards
That type of usage is a good expectation for the touches this week, though you have to wonder if it is more of an even split given the results. It is a favorable matchup against the Giants (ninth most points per week to opposing RB), though the potential for lost touches may cap Johnson as more of a high-end RB2 while Edmonds is left as a FLEX.
Verdict – Johnson is a must start; Edmonds is a high-risk, but usable FLEX as touches could be limited
Latavius Murray – Running Back – New Orleans Saints
With Alvin Kamara ruled out on Friday it will be the Murray show against Chicago. The Bears are thought of as a difficult defense, and they’ve done a good job limiting opposing running backs allowing 685 total yards and 4 TD. That said 3 of those touchdown came the last time they took the field (Week 5), as the Oakland Raiders ran for 3 TD. The Bears will also be without Akiem Hicks, their 352 lb. defensive tackle who was placed on IR with an elbow injury.
Over the past two weeks Murray has taken 15 carries for 72 yards while adding 5 catches and 41 yards. He should be given ample opportunities to produce, and with the questions on Chicago’s defensive line he’s worth using as a RB2 in all formats.
Verdict – Viable RB2
Todd Gurley – Running Back – Los Angeles Rams
Gurley missed Week 6 but was removed from the injury report on Friday and is lined up for a big workload with Malcolm Brown listed as doubtful (and not expected to play). The Falcons have been middle of the pack overall against opposing running backs, though they are coming off a week where they were beaten up badly:
- Rushing – 68 yards and 1 TD
- Receiving – 101 yards and 2 TD
Gurley has always had a presence in the passing game, having caught as many as 64 passes in a season (2017) and racking up 10 receiving TD between ’17 & ’18. He has 14 receptions in 5 games this season, so look for him to get a heavy workload and is a must start option.
Verdict – Must start RB2 (RB1 potential)
Larry Fitzgerald – Wide Receiver – Arizona Cardinals
It’s a shame that Kirk will be missing what would’ve been a great matchup. Instead Fitzgerald should be the go to option against a team that’s allowed the fourth most points per week to opposing wide receivers. Fitzgerald hasn’t produced much since Week 2 (69 yards or fewer in four straight games), but the opportunities have been there and he should be able to make the most of them. Fire him up in all formats.
Verdict – Must start WR2 (with WR1 upside)
Devin Singletary – Running Back – Buffalo Bills
Singletary hasn’t played since Week 2 due to a hamstring injury, but he’s set to return in an ideal matchup with the lowly Miami Dolphins. Miami is allowing the second most points per week to opposing running backs, including 749 rushing yards and 9 total TD (5 rushing, 4 receiving).
The question is going to be what type of role Singletary plays initially, after averaging 7.5 touches per game over the first two weeks. Frank Gore has been solid running the football, averaging 4.4 YPC and 16 carries per week over the past four games. He hasn’t been much of a receiver, however, and that should be the role Singletary immediately returns to.
Long-term Singletary should be able to carve out a large role, but he could be eased back in until Gore proves incapable.
Verdict – Low-End FLEX
Marquez Valdes-Scantling/Geronimo Allison – Wide Receiver – Green Bay Packers
There is optimism the Packers could have at least one of their injured WRs – Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle, knee), Geronimo Allison (concussion, chest) – for today’s game against Raiders, per sources. Packers’ medical staff wants to make a decision in pre-game warmups on both.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 20, 2019
For a wide receiving corps that appeared to be devastated by injuries, it could ultimately be just Davante Adams who misses the game. That said do you trust Valdes-Scantling or Allison will get a full workload, even if they are on the field? There’s simply too much uncertainty, especially given the production of the pair:
- Valdes-Scantling – 50 yards or less in three straight weeks; 6 total targets over past two weeks
- Allison – Turned 7 targets into just 3 receptions and 40 yards in Week 6
Allen Lazard exploded last week when given the opportunity and could easily be “the man”. That leaves the others as extremely risky desperation plays, depending on your alternatives.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em (unless you are desperate for WR3/FLEX)
Amari Cooper/Michael Gallup – Wide Receiver – Dallas Cowboys
Despite early pessimism this week, the #Cowboys are expected to have these key weapons tonight: WR Amari Cooper (ankle, quad), WR Randall Cobb (back), OT La’el Collins (knee), OT Tyron Smith (ankle) and CB Byron Jones (hamstring), sources say.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 20, 2019
Obviously it’s Cooper who could have the biggest impact, though will he be more than a decoy? Even if he’s full steam ahead, taking on an Eagles defense that has allowed the most points per game to opposing wide receivers, includding 255 yards and 4 TD in Week 6, there should be more than enough opportunities for both players to make an impact.
Verdict – Start them both
Dede Westbrook – Wide Receiver – Jacksonville Jaguars
Jaguars’ WR Dede Westbrook, listed as questionable for today’s game against the Bengals, is likely to play but team first wants to check him out in warmups to make sure, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 20, 2019
There were high expectations for Westbrook entering the season, though it’s been D.J. Chark who has emerged as the go to receiver. Westbrook hasn’t found the end zone since Week 1, has been inefficient with his opportunities (26 catches on 45 targets) and has topped 66 yards once. The Bengals have allowed the third fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers, proving to be much more susceptible to opposing running backs, further limiting the potential.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 7 rankings: