Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 7 Wide Receivers – Fades, Matchups, Sleepers & DFS Bargains – Sports Illustrated

Week 7 start ’em and sit ’em recommendations for the wide receiver position from senior fantasy football expert Michael Fabiano.

Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em is the ultimate weekly look at the NFL matchups and how they’ll affect your fantasy football team. Fantasy superstars such as Patrick Mahomes and Alvin Kamara will not be featured in this column. All player matchups are based on a PPR scoring system.

Be sure to check out my Week 7 PPR rankings (ETA Thursday morning publish) before finalizing any lineup decisions or if your league has special scoring rules, sign up for SI Fantasy+ for customized rankings. Members also get access to myself and our team of high-stakes winners all week long to answer your specific fantasy questions.

Week 7 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em

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Week 7 Start ‘Em: Wide Receivers

Byes: Colts, Dolphins, Ravens, Vikings

Start of the Week

Terry McLaurin vs. Cowboys

McLaurin occupied this exact space last week and put up nearly 15 fantasy points against the Giants. I think he could find even more success in his next matchup, as the Football Team hosts the Cowboys and their brutal defense. Dallas has been awful against receivers lined out wide, allowing nine touchdowns and the second-most fantasy points to the position. A total of seven receivers have scored at least 13.8 points against them while lined out wide, including four with at least 19.

Start ‘Em

Tyler Boyd vs. Browns

Boyd was a sit ‘em for me last week, and he finished with the third-most points among Bengals wideouts behind Tee Higgins and A.J. Green. I like him to rebound this week though, as a matchup against the Browns is very favorable. Their defense has allowed the second-most fantasy points to slot receivers, including a 20.2-point performance from Boyd in Week 2. The Pittsburgh product has also put up an average of 16.5 fantasy points in his last four games against the AFC North rival.

Chase Claypool at Titans

Claypool has been an absolute fantasy dream come true for those lucky enough to land him. No wideout has scored more points (60.7) over the last two weeks. Claypool has also produced 17-plus fantasy points in three of his last four games, and he’s more than gained the trust of his veteran quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. The Titans have also allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers, and DK Sportsbook has this contest listed with an over/under of 52.5.

Jamison Crowder vs. Bills

Crowder is coming off his worst stat line of the season, and he still caught seven passes and scored 11.8 points in a loss to the Dolphins. He’s also the most targeted wide receiver in the league on a targets-per-game basis, averaging 11.5 after six weeks. I’d keep him in your lineups this week, as Crowder will face a Bills defense that’s struggled against slot receivers this season. In fact, the position has averaged 6.4 catches, 76 yards, and the 10th-most fantasy points to the position.

Christian Kirk at Seahawks

Kirk, one of my Fabs’ Five sleepers last week, went off for 86 yards and two touchdowns against the putrid Cowboys defense. He has another nice matchup this week as the Cardinals head to Seattle. Their defense has allowed a league-high 165 yards and the most fantasy points to receivers lined out wide, which is where Kirk has run about 84 percent of his routes. While his 4.8 targets per contest average make him a bit of a volatile play, Kirk is worth a look as a flex option.

More Starts

  • Travis Fulgham vs. Giants (TNF)
  • CeeDee Lamb at Football Team
  • Tee Higgins vs. Browns

DFS Bargains

  • Tyreek Hill at Broncos (DraftKings: $6.400)
  • D.J. Moore at Saints (DraftKings: $5,600)
  • Tyler Boyd vs. Browns (DraftKings: $5,400)

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Week 7 Sit ‘Em: Wide Receivers

Sit of the Week

Julian Edelman vs. 49ers

Edelman has been on a milk carton during his last three games, as he’s hauled in a combined seven catches for 66 yards with no touchdowns in that time. That’s no surprise, as only the Browns (49.9%) and Ravens (49.9%) are throwing the football at a lower rate than the Patriots (50.2%). Edelman also has a tough matchup this week against the 49ers, who held Cooper Kupp to three catches and 11 yards in their last game. At best, Edelman is a risk-reward PPR flex option.

Sit ‘Em

Deebo Samuel at Patriots

Samuel busted out of his statistical funk last week, as he caught six passes for 66 yards and a touchdown against the Rams. While that’s good to see on the surface, I wouldn’t rush to get him into your starting lineups when the Niners face the Patriots. Their defense hasn’t allowed a single receiver to score even 12 fantasy points in a game on out-wide routes. That’s the Stephon Gilmore effect. So, unless you’re in need at wideout or a flex spot, Samuel is better left to the bench.

Henry Ruggs II vs. Buccaneers (SNF)

The last time we saw Ruggs, he put up 118 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Chiefs. He did it on just three targets though, and the talented rookie has averaged a mere 3.7 targets per game on the season. So, Ruggs has to hit on something big in the vertical attack to make a fantasy impact. I’d fade him against the Buccaneers, who have allowed the ninth-fewest points to wideouts and haven’t allowed a catch of more than 47 yards to the position in 2020.

Michael Gallup at Football Team

Gallup continues to play third fiddle in the Dallas pass attack behind Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, making it tough to start him in fantasy leagues. That continues to be the case this week, and a matchup against the Football Team is anything but favorable. No team in the league has allowed fewer fantasy points to receivers lined out wide, and only DeAndre Hopkins and Robert Woods have scored more than 12.6 points against them. Gallup is a fade for me.

Emmanuel Sanders vs. Panthers

Sanders had a huge game before the Saints’ bye week, amassing 12 catches for 122 yards in a win over the Chargers. But with the expected return of Michael Thomas and a matchup against the Panthers next on the slate, Sanders is a fade for me. Carolina has been tough on wideouts, allowing just four touchdowns and the fourth-fewest fantasy points (29.1 PPG) to the position. Coupled with a projected decrease in target share, Sanders is a real risk.

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More Sits

  • Jarvis Landry at Bengals
  • Jerry Jeudy vs. Chiefs
  • Keelan Cole at Chargers

DFS Fades

  • Will Fuller vs. Packers (DraftKings: $6,800)
  • Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Bengals (DraftKings: $6,100)
  • D.J. Chark at Chargers (DraftKings: $5,800)

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for the latest news and analysis!

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