This article isn’t just about making it past Week Seven, it’s about preparing for Week Eight where six teams (nearly a fifth of the league) are on bye. That’s when depth and proper planning ahead really make an impact.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Carolina Panthers (@ New Orleans Saints) – 31.6 Percent Owned
As someone who personally lost money on the Panthers failing to cover last week, I didn’t anticipate myself writing about the merits of Bridgewater for Week Seven. However, the Saints defense hasn’t been able to contain any of their opponents thus far this season, with their last four opponents averaging 32 points a game. The Panthers just faced a stifling Bears defense, and actually had a few missed opportunities at touchdowns that would’ve significantly turned the tide of that game (and Bridgewater’s Week Six fantasy output). He should have a much easier path to fantasy points this week against the Saints. Further, Bridgewater’s Week Eight opponents are the Falcons. While they’ve played better post Dan Quinn’s firing, they are still an excellent fantasy matchup given the condition of their defense (and the short week for the Falcons defense won’t hurt either). Even if you don’t need Bridgewater this week, he’s a good stash for future weeks where you may have your starter on bye
Derek Carr, QB, Las Vegas Raiders (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – 25.5 Percent Owned
From a matchup perspective, this one may be a bit puzzling. You may be asking ,”Isn’t this the Bucs team that held Aaron Rodgers to less than four fantasy points last week?”, and yes, yes it is. However, Carr is coming off a week of rest with what is a much healthier receiver corps. than in past weeks. As wild as it sounds, I actually think the Raiders have superior options at receiver compared to the Packers who the Bucs demolished last week. Coming off of that emotional, nationally televised romp of the Packers and traveling all the way to Las Vegas makes for a better fantasy opportunity for Carr than the matchup on paper would suggest. The game will be in Las Vegas, and I find Carr to be a tantalizing gamble this week. Looking forward to Week Eight, the Raiders face the Browns who’ve given up more than their fair share of points this year.
Washington Football Team D/ST (vs. Dallas Cowboys) – 35.1 Percent Owned
Andy Dalton looked mostly terrible last week filling in for Dak Prescott, and the absolutely battered Dallas offensive line is a huge reason for that. Outside of the matchup, Washington has allowed the third-fewest yards per game in the NFL this season. I foresee sacks-a-plenty for the Washington defense, helping fuel your fantasy team to a victory. Depending on your situation, this may be a multi-week starter as after Week Seven Washington plays the Lions, the Bungles, and the Cowboys again. All fairly appealing matchups.
Los Angeles Chargers D/ST (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars) – 30.7 Percent Owned
Tanksonville has averaged 17 points per game in their last four outings, and that’s been against average defenses at best. The Chargers return Melvin Ingram, are well-rested after a bye, and are actually looking to get Justin Herbert his first win of the season after several close losses. Knowing the cursed history of these two franchises, this may end up becoming a contest of who wants to lose the least, but my confidence lies with the well-rested defense over a tanking team led by a mistake-prone quarterback.
Darren Fells, TE, Houston Texans (vs. Green Bay Packers) – 7.5 Percent Owned
Call me a homer, but I’ll always root for fellow UCI alum Darren Fells (where he played basketball! How unique for a tight end, we should talk about that more!) as long as he’s playing. In this case, there’s objective reason to believe he’ll have an excellent week. First and foremost, the tight end Fells splits time with, Jordan Akins, will most likely be out (or at least limited) this week as he recovers from a concussion and lingering high ankle sprain. This should give Fells’ floor a boost as he’ll be on the field more in general. Secondly, the Packers defense hasn’t been particularly consistent or stout thus far in 2020. I believe this game will be a shootout, and foresee Fells receiving plenty of attention in the red zone. Even if you have a tight end starter in place, I’d still consider streaming Fells this week as I see him to have top-five positional value playing the Packers. If Akins continues to sit, Fells could be a valuable start in future weeks as well.
As for some potential dart throws if you’re in a pinch – Logan Thomas and Greg Olsen both have fairly appealing matchups this week. However, their usage has been wildly inconsistent. For either to truly help your team, you’ll be hoping for a touchdown, with a fairly low floor for both otherwise.