Must Starts and Sits | NFL Week 7

by Aditya Fuldeore · Matchups Start/Sit
Start Sit Week 7

Week 7 Bye-mageddon

Every week of the NFL season, fantasy gamers juggle players to insert into lineups at each position. Are you questioning which players face easy matchups and which players face tougher paths to production? You are in the right place. Week 7 has six (!) teams on bye: the Panthers, Bengals, Cowboys, Texans, Jets, and Titans. Outside of the obvious weekly starts, it can get tough to decide who to insert in lineups for stars that are out. For seasonal leagues, DFS, and more, this week’s must start and sit picks will give you some guidance on setting your lineups. Good luck!


Start: Geno Smith

The Seahawks have a strong receiving corps for Geno Smith to target, and Smith has finished as a top-18 QB three times this season. He threw two interceptions last week against the Bengals, but had one interception to five touchdowns in four games prior to that. Week 6 showcased some QB stinkers, and now quarterbacks like Dak Prescott, C.J. Stroud, and Joe Burrow are on bye. Throw in the injured Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields, and Smith is suddenly a nice fill-in for a plus matchup against the Cardinals.

The Cardinals defense has allowed nine passing touchdowns and nabbed four interceptions this season. They’ve also allowed three rushing touchdowns to QBs. Opposing QBs are averaging around 20 fantasy points per game against Arizona, with four out of six opponents throwing over 30 passes. With Jaxon Smith-Njigba finally getting targets over 10 yards, the Seahawks passing offense can hum and Smith will produce a viable fantasy week during bye-mageddon.

Sit: Jared Goff

The Lions offense has been surging, and with Jameson Williams back, Jared Goff can now stretch the field vertically. However the Lions will be tested this week against a wall of a Ravens defense. Baltimore has yielded just four passing touchdowns and had five interceptions. Opposing QBs average less than 200 yards passing against them, with no opponent reaching over 250 passing yards.

Even if a potential David Montgomery absence leads to a higher pass volume, the Ravens defense has had Roquan Smith, Marlon Humphrey, and company locking down opposing pass-catchers. Goff has been a solid fantasy option with his weapons, but the Ravens are allowing the 31st-most fantasy points to QBs through the air. This game will be an unstoppable force (Lions offense) meeting an immovable object (Ravens defense). Expect it to be not-so-pretty for Goff.

Running Back

Start: Brian Robinson

Let’s try this again with Brian Robinson, who I recommended as a Week 5 start in a Commanders stinker against the Bears. This time around, Robinson plays a bottom-tier defense in the Giants. Most importantly, New York’s QB and offensive line situation makes the chances of a blowout in favor of the Giants unlikely. Only in blowout losses against the Bills and Bears has Robinson seen a Snap Share under 50-percent. In four games with a Snap Share over 50-percent, Robinson scored at least 13 fantasy points in each.

The Giants have allowed at least 100 rushing yards to opposing RBs every game this season. They have also yielded seven rushing touchdowns to RBs. Robinson has been a good fantasy option in games where the Commanders are not getting blown out. Fire him up against a stumbling Giants team.

Sit: Rachaad White

The Buccaneers offense continues to produce a disappointing rushing output. Rachaad White has just two games of double-digit fantasy points this season, despite a 69.0-percent (No. 12) Opportunity Share. The Tampa offensive line has produced an 18.2 (No. 47), and White is averaging 3.3 (No. 52) True Yards Per Carry. In Week 7, he faces a Falcons defense that is allowing less than four yards per carry to opposing RBs this season. White’s fantasy output can be inflated by his pass-catching upside, but the Atlanta defense is too staunch for that. The Falcons are allowing less than three RB receptions per game, giving up just one reception in half of their games. White sees enough volume to consider him for starting lineups other weeks, but his low efficiency and tough matchup make him a sit this week.

Wide Receiver

Start: Rashee Rice

The Chiefs desperately need a wide receiver to step up. While Rashee Rice may not be the definitive answer, he is the next receiver in line for Kansas City to mold into Patrick Mahomes’ WR1. Rice has four games of at least five targets this season, and three games with at least four receptions. He has been mostly a part-time player, but Justin Watson‘s elbow injury will give him more opportunities.

Despite a 34.4-percent (No. 99) Route Participation, Rice has a 36.9-percent (No. 1) Target Rate. This means that he isn’t always on the field but gets the ball when he is. Rice now gets a middling Chargers defense to feast on in Week 7. The Chargers have allowed seven receiving touchdowns to WRs this season. They have also allowed a 75-yard game to an opposing WR in all five of their games, including three 100-yard receivers. Rice has the opportunity and matchup to step up this week.

Sit: George Pickens

The Steelers offense has looked stale this season, with the defense carrying the load. George Pickens has had a couple of bright weeks of 100 yards receiving this season. He finished as a WR1 those two weeks but finished outside the top-36 the other three weeks of the season. This week, Diontae Johnson is expected to return. Johnson’s been the Steelers’ top target-getter, seeing a 27.0-percent (No. 13) Target Share last season. His return and the Rams’ low scoring rate allowed to receivers hurt Pickens’ value a bit.

The Rams have allowed one touchdown to a WR this season, and only the Bengals receivers caught more than 11 passes against them (Ja’Marr Chase himself caught 12). With Johnson’s and his target-funneling abilities returning, Pickens will have a smaller slice of an already small pie.

Tight End

Start: Luke Musgrave

Rookie Luke Musgrave has experienced bumpy usage in his young career. He’s gotten seven or more targets twice, but four or less in his other three games. Musgrave averages 6.8 (No. 20) Fantasy Points Per Game, which is a decent tight end floor in a week missing three top-18 TEs to byes. Add in that his opponent is the Broncos, and Musgrave’s range of outcomes projects higher. The Broncos have allowed over seven targets per game to opposing TEs, yielding over 80 TE yards in four out of six games this season. The Packers are utilizing Musgrave as one of the offense’s top four options. Facing a porous Broncos defense pushes his range of outcomes into the top-8 TEs, making him a good start for Week 7.

Sit: Zach Ertz

Once the lead tight end in Arizona, Zach Ertz is starting to give way to Trey McBride. McBride outsnapped Ertz and tied him for targets last week. For Week 7, the Cardinals face the Seahawks, who have not allowed more than 70 receiving yards to tight ends this season. Seattle has allowed fewer TE yards each successive week of the season, down to nine yards last week. They’ve also not allowed a TE touchdown. Ertz is a trade candidate and McBride is the younger guy, more likely to be a piece to develop for the future beyond a non-playoff 2023 season for the Cardinals. With McBride cutting into the workload and the Cardinals facing a good Seattle defense, Ertz is a sit this week.

Surviving Bye-mageddon

With six teams on bye, managing rosters can get tough in Week 7. Keeping an eye out for players on waivers, players returning from injury, and changing team situations can help pinpoint replacements for those bye-week guys before the rest of your league catches wind. Major injuries combined with the byes have depleted rosters, but nevertheless, we move on with the fantasy season – onto Week 7!

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