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Draft Masters - FFL: Week 7 | NFL: Week 7

From The Godfather: Week 1

Sat Sep 11 10:36am ET
By CHARLIE WIEGERT
Contributing Writer

Here we go!  I hope all your drafts went well and you didn’t use up to much of your FAAB on Gus Edwards. The news right now is he’ll miss the season, so the Ravens are now two running backs down.  Ty’Son Williams is the next man standing, an unproven rookie.  Can you really trust him as one of your running backs?  If there is ever a week to take a chance on him, this is it.  He’s the only running back that knows the Baltimore wishbone system and he gets one of the worst NFL defenses against the run last year, the Raiders.  He could be a sneaky DFS play in Week 1.  But even if he has a big first week, you can’t necessarily count on him to be the bell cow running back that J.K. Dobbins or Edwards would have been.  Baltimore will be bringing in every running back available, already Le’Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman are getting up to speed.  When Latavius Murray is signed, it could mean limited action for Williams, so tread lightly in you FAAB bids on him.

There’s no way of telling right now which team defenses will be bad this year so you have a good idea of who to exploit.  But a good place to start is with the bad team defenses last year until they prove to be better.  Using that strategy, here’s some matchups that can be exploitable in Week 1.

Of the worst defenses against the run last year, Houston had the destination of giving up the most rushing yards and second most fantasy points to running backs.  Jaguars running back James Robinson should have a huge day, helping rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence to his first NFL win. Going back the other way, the Jaguars defense was not very good last year, either, giving up the fourth most rushing touchdowns, fifth most rushing yards per attempt and the third most rushing yards.  So Houston should be able to run on the Jags, but the question is who will get the carries.  They have three capable running backs in David Johnson, Mark Ingram and Phillip Lindsay.  Your guess is as good as mine if one of them gets the lead role.

Cincinnati ranked next to last in yards per attempt last year with opposing running backs, averaging 24.2 points per game.  Dalvin Cook and the Vikings will test the Bengals defense.

On the other end of the rushing defenses, some teams were hard to run against, making it a tougher call to play a running back against them.  The Buccaneers were the toughest against the run, leading them to the NFL Championship.  They started with Dallas Thursday night, so it could be tough going for Ezekiel Elliott.  By the time you read this, you’ll know how he did.

The Colts gave up the second fewest rushing yards, so Chris Carson and the Seahawks might find it tough going.  Going the other direction in that game, the Seahawks defense gave up the third fewest yards per carry last year, making it a possible long day for the Jonathan Taylor.  Next were the Los Angeles Rams, making the Bears Sunday night battle difficult.  David Montgomery will have a tough time. The Saints are usually one of the better rush defenses, making Packers back Aaron Jones season debut in Jacksonville’s stadium an interesting one.  At least the Packers won’t have the noisy crowd to contend.

Passing defenses that you’d like to make sure you have a quarterback, wide receiver and tight ends going against this week are Atlanta, Detroit, Las Vegas, Seattle, New York Jets and Dallas.  And by the time you read this, you’ll know how Tom Brady and the Bucs receivers did against Dallas.

The Falcons were incredibly bad last year, especially their secondary, setting up a chance for big days from Eagle receivers.  Jalen Reagor, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert are all worthy of DFS play, along with quarterback Jalen Hurts.  Perhaps it’s a good thing for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens that the Raiders pass defense is abysmal, making the loss of their running backs not as crucial this week.  If they can’t run, they’ll be able to pass, and Jackson should have ample time to find receivers as the Raiders will put little pressure on him.  Expect a big day from tight end Mark Andrews, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Sammy Watkins. All good DFS plays.

San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garappolo gets a great chance to show why he should be their starting quarterback going against a Lions pass defense that gave up the most passing touchdowns last year.  Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, if healthy, should both see double digit pass targets, but the guy that should get the most receptions is tight end George Kittle.

The other quarterback that should have a good day starting the first time for his new team is Carson Wentz.  He gets a weak Seahawks pass defense that allowed nine different receivers to top 100 yards last year.  With TY Hilton out, look for Michael Pittman Jr. to be Wentz’s favorite target, and the guy to top the century mark.

The teams that made it hard getting yards through the air last year were the Los Angeles Rams, Washington, Denver, New England and Baltimore. Perhaps the Bears are starting Andy Dalton because they don’t want to expose rookie Justin Fields to the Rams defense in his first NFL game.  Whatever the reason, expect a tough night for the Bears offense.

A lot is expected from Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert this year, but he gets a tough matchup going into the nation’s capital against the second best team against the pass last year.  The New York Giants and quarterback Daniel Jones open against a Broncos secondary that could be among the best this year, and the Giants top receiver Kenny Golladay hurting.  The Ravens defense is a nightmare waiting to happen, making opening day for the Raiders and David Carr a tough assignment.  The Patriots are always tough, and coach Bill Belichick will have a game plan to shut down the Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa, Stay away!

Have a great first week!

Charlie Wiegert was the sixth person to be inducted in the Fantasy Sports Hall Of Fame in 2001. He is a founder of CDM Fantasy Sports and Fantasy Sports Trade Association. He has been playing and winning fantasy baseball leagues since 1984. If you have any questions for Charlie, email them to cwiegert@cdmsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.

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Player Notes
Curtis Samuel Oct 22 1:00pm ET
Curtis Samuel

Washington Football Team wide receivers Curtis Samuel (groin) and Cam Sims (hamstring) have been ruled out for Week 7 against the Green Bay Packers. Right guard Brandon Scherff (knee) will also miss another game. Samuel has been dealing with the same groin issue since June. He made his season debut in Week 4 but aggravated the injury in Week 5 and will now miss his second straight game. Fantasy managers were expecting Samuel to have a big role in Washington's offense in his first year in D.C., but he just hasn't been able to stay healthy. Terry McLaurin and Adam Humphries should continue to serve as the team's top two receivers, with rookie Dyami Brown and DeAndre Carter battling for targets as the No. 3 against Green Bay.

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Hunter Henry Oct 22 1:00pm ET
Hunter Henry

New England Patriots tight end Hunter Henry is finally coming around and putting together some successful games. He has found the end zone in three straight games heading into this favorable matchup against the New York Jets. A defense that has allowed the tenth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Henry isn't the most reliable option, but is certainly trending in the right direction. Fantasy managers should consider Henry on the low-end TE1 radar for this Week 7 matchup.

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Jakobi Meyers Oct 22 12:50pm ET
Jakobi Meyers

New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers has seen 52 targets over the first six games of the season. Rookie quarterback Mac Jones appears to have found a favorite target in Meyers. Thus far, Meyers has hauled in at least four receptions in every game this season. He'll head into a plus matchup against the New York Jets defense in Week 7. A defense that ranks 23rd in pass DVOA so far in 2021. The targets should be there, so Meyers should be a high-end WR3 for this game.

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Antonio Gibson Oct 22 12:50pm ET
Antonio Gibson

Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (shin) is listed as questionable for Week 7 against the Green Bay Packers on the final injury report. Gibson missed Wednesday's practice but has gotten in work the last two days, making it likely that he suits up as Washington's primary running back this Sunday. However, it's understandable to be skeptical about his workload after he carried the ball a season-low 10 times for 44 yards in the Week 6 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The 23-year-old should be considered more of an RB2 this weekend, with pass-catching back J.D. McKissic potentially seeing a healthy amount of touches to spell Gibson in a game where Washington could be forced to play catch-up.

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Kendrick Bourne Oct 22 12:50pm ET
Kendrick Bourne

New England Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne salvaged his fantasy value last week with a 75-yard touchdown. Sadly, fantasy managers cannot expect Bourne to do this on weekly basis. His fantasy value has been inconsistent this season and that's unlikely to change. Luckily for him, Bourne heads into a favorable matchup against the New York Jets in Week 7. A defense that has struggled to contain anyone this season. Fantasy managers shouldn't get too excited as Bourne is a boom-or-bust deep league option for this contest.

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Sammy Watkins Oct 22 12:40pm ET
Sammy Watkins

Baltimore Ravens running back Latavius Murray (ankle) and wide receiver Sammy Watkins (thigh) didn't practice again on Friday and are unlikely to be available in Week 7 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Watkins is set to miss his second straight game. With Murray likely sidelined, the Ravens will likely split the running back touches between veterans Devonta Freeman and Le'Veon Bell, with Ty'Son Williams serving as the No. 3. Freeman and Bell both found the end zone last week, but they will be low-ceiling RB3/flex options in deeper leagues against Cincy. First-round rookie receiver Rashod Bateman caught four of six targets for 29 yards in his season debut in Week 6 and should slowly see his role increase behind Marquise Brown, especially now that Watkins is injured.

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Nelson Agholor Oct 22 12:30pm ET
Nelson Agholor

New England Patriots wide receiver Nelson Agholor has struggled to do much damage since the season opener. In fact, Agholor has three receptions or less in every game since Week 1. He'll get a Jets defense that ranks 23rd in pass DVOA so far in 2021. Despite a favorable matchup, it's unlikely that Agholor succeeds here. He was expected to be the deep threat for this offense, but quarterback Mac Jones rarely takes deep shots. Agholor should be on the bench for this game even with a plus matchup.

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Khalil Herbert Oct 22 12:30pm ET
Khalil Herbert

The Athletic's Kevin Fishbain expects Chicago Bears rookie running back Khalil Herbert, not Damien Williams, to be the first one off the bench to spell David Montgomery (knee) when he returns from his injury. Herbert has been great in the last two games and has shown plenty of versatility in the backfield. Williams, who remains on the COVID-19 list, could play more of a niche role as a pass-catcher on third downs once this backfield is completely healthy. With both Montgomery and Williams out in Week 6 against the Green Bay Packers, Herbert had 19 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown and added two catches for 15 yards. There's a chance Williams won't be cleared by Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which would make Herbert at least an RB3/flex option for fantasy managers again.

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Antonio Brown Oct 22 12:30pm ET
Antonio Brown

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said that wide receiver Antonio Brown (ankle) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (lung, ribs) are out for the Week 7 game against the Chicago Bears. Neither player has practiced all week. The Bucs will also be without linebacker Lavonte David (ankle) and cornerback Richard Sherman (hamstring). With Brown out, Mike Davis and Chris Godwin will have higher ceilings against Chicago, with Tyler Johnson likely stepping into the No. 3 receiver role for quarterback Tom Brady. Gronk will miss his fourth straight game. O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate will continue to split the tight end snaps in his absence. Howard had six catches for 49 yards and his first touchdown in Week 6 and is the better touchdown-dependent TE2 bye-week filler this weekend.

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Evan Engram Oct 22 12:20pm ET
Evan Engram

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (calf), who missed practice on Thursday, will return to practice on Friday, according to head coach Joe Judge. Engram apparently suffered a setback on Thursday, but it doesn't appear to be too serious, and he should have a decent chance at playing on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. The 27-year-old has only 14 catches on 21 targets for 127 yards and no touchdowns through four games this year, but he could be one of the top targets against Carolina with wide receivers Kenny Golladay (knee) and Kadarius Toney (ankle) likely out and with Sterling Shepard (hamstring) suffering a setback on Thursday. With bye weeks hitting fantasy managers hard in Week 8, Engram has low-end TE1 appeal as a streamer if he's active.

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Rhamondre Stevenson Oct 22 12:20pm ET
Rhamondre Stevenson

New England Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson has seen an increased role in the offense over the last two weeks. The loss of James White (hip) has opened up more chances for Stevenson. Sadly, he hasn't seen much success on the ground with only 23 yards in each of the last two games. Luckily for Stevenson, he'll get a favorable matchup against the New York Jets in Week 7. A defense that has struggled to stop any back all season long. There isn't much upside here because Damien Harris is healthy and should get a bulk of the carries. Stevenson should be viewed as a deep league desperation option here.

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Mac Jones Oct 22 12:10pm ET
Mac Jones

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones has only produced two multi-touchdown games through the first six games of the season. The rookie quarterback has not exceeded 275 passing yards in a single game since the season opener. Despite that, Jones will get an excellent matchup against the New York Jets in Week 7. A defense that ranks 23rd in pass DVOA so far in 2021. There isn't a ton of fantasy value here, but Jones could have some streaming appeal for QB needy fantasy managers in Week 7.

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A.J. Brown Oct 22 12:10pm ET
A.J. Brown

Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (illness) said on his Twitter account that his body continues to reject any food he eats as he tries to get past a bout of food poisoning that had him questionable to play last Monday night in Week 6. Brown didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday and could draw another questionable tag in Week 7 against the Kansas City Chiefs. It's been a rough week for the 24-year-old, and he looked to be under the weather in the first half of Monday's game before exploding for seven catches on nine targets for 91 yards in the second half. We ultimately expect him to play this Sunday in an excellent matchup against the Chiefs. As long as Brown is active, he needs to remain in all fantasy lineups.

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Damien Harris Oct 22 12:10pm ET
Damien Harris

New England Patriots running back Damien Harris is coming off his best rushing performance of the season. Last week, Harris rushed for 101 yards on 18 carries and found the end zone for the second straight week. The hope is that he'll be able to carry that momentum into the Week 7 matchup with the New York Jets. A defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to running backs this season. Fantasy managers should feel comfortable with Harris as a RB2 for this week.

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Antonio Brown Oct 22 12:00pm ET
Antonio Brown

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (ankle) didn't appear to be practicing Friday during the portion open to the media. Brown, who has been dealing with a sprained ankle, wasn't able to practice Wednesday and Thursday- and appears to be trending towards another absence to close out the week. Brown should be considered doubtful for Sunday's game against the Bears at this point. If officially ruled out, fellow wideouts Chris Godwin and Mike Evans could see more targets headed their way.

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Sterling Shepard Oct 22 11:50am ET
Sterling Shepard

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (hamstring) was downgraded from a full to limited participant Thursday, and he has reportedly endured a setback with his hamstring issue. Giants beat writer Ralph Vacchiano noted that head coach Joe Judge didn't seem so sure about Shepard's practice status for Friday's session after expressing optimism about fellow pass-catchers Evan Engram (calf) and Darius Slayton (hamstring). Of course, nothing is official until the Giants release their practice report later, but it sure sounds like Shepard could find himself on the wrong side of questionable heading into the game against the Panthers. With Saquon Barkley (ankle), Kenny Golladay (knee), and Kadarius Toney (ankle) all heading towards absences, the Giants' entire offense could be an easy fade for fantasy purposes. However, Engram and Slayton could both see increased volume in Week 7.

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Dallas Goedert Oct 22 11:50am ET
Dallas Goedert

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert (illness) appeared to be practicing during the portion available to media viewing at Friday's session. Goedert didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday but was activated off of the reserve/COVID-19 list, suggesting that he would be on track for Sunday if he could return to practice in some capacity. That appears to be the case regardless of the designation heading into a favorable matchup against a Raiders defense that has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends. Goedert could be headed for elite-level usage sans Zach Ertz and look like a strong play in Week 7.

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DeeJay Dallas Oct 22 11:40am ET
DeeJay Dallas

Seattle Seahawks running back DeeJay Dallas has been playing sparingly through his first season and a half, but he could see some major snaps in Week 7 against the New Orleans Saints. Chris Carson (neck) and Alex Collins (groin) are both dealing with injuries. Carson was placed on Injured Reserve, and Collins failed to practice on Thursday. Dallas played 34 percent of the snaps in the team's Week 6 game, and his nine total touches, including five receptions, were second only to Collins. The matchup against the Saints isn't the best, as they've allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this year, but he could still see solid value in PPR formats due to his work in the receiving game if Collins is unable to play.

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Tyler Lockett Oct 22 11:40am ET
Tyler Lockett

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett has been a volatile asset in fantasy with an extremely high ceiling thanks to his connection with quarterback Russell Wilson, but he doesn't have that same outlook in Week 7 against the New Orleans Saints. With Geno Smith under center in Week 6, Lockett caught two of his seven targets for 21 yards, and he just wasn't getting those deep shots that he would often get with Russ. The offense is going to be funnelled to teammate D.K. Metcalf and the running backs, which will leave Lockett's fantasy managers hoping that he breaks one big play down the field. He has flex value with the rest of the stars that are on bye weeks or the injured list, but don't count on a big week out of him.

From RotoBaller

D.K. Metcalf Oct 22 11:40am ET
D.K. Metcalf

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf was the team's top target last week, and he figures to maintain that spot in Week 7 against the New Orleans Saints. Metcalf caught six of his seven targets a week ago, and he was turned into somewhat of a possession receiver rather than a downfield threat with Geno Smith at quarterback. With his size and athleticism, he can fill that role, and he'll have a size advantage over all of the Saints defensive backs. With the Seattle running backs dealing with injuries, we could see a heavier emphasis on passing the ball, which would lead to more opportunities for Metcalf. He's not quite in the WR1 category this week, but he's still a solid WR2 or flex option for your fantasy lineups.

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