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 rankings 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: 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.
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. In fact, 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.
Robby Anderson at Saints
Anderson is coming off a modest 77-yard effort against the Bears, but he should bounce back this week when the Panthers travel to New Orleans. Outside receivers have had some success against CB Marshon Lattimore and the Saints defense, as the likes of Allen Lazard, Kenny Golladay and Mike Williams have all posted solid totals over their last three games. In what should be a high-scoring affair with Teddy Bridgewater in a smash spot, Anderson should settle into your lineup as a No. 2 wideout.
Christian Kirk vs. Seahawks (SNF)
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 host 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 in most leagues.
- CeeDee Lamb at Football Team
- Brandin Cooks vs. Packers
- Tee Higgins vs. Browns
- D.J. Moore at Saints (DraftKings: $5,600)
- Tyler Boyd vs. Browns (DraftKings: $5,400)
- Tre'Quan Smith vs. Panthers (DraftKings: $4,000)
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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.
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
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 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.
Jarvis Landry at Bengals
Landry had offseason hip surgery, then he suffered a broken rib in Week 5, so he's clearly not healthy. He hasn't scored a single touchdown this season, and he's posted just one game with more than 65 yards, and his 10.2-point per game average leaves a lot to be desired. Next up is a date with the Bengals, who held Landry to just three catches and 46 yards back in Week 2. Unless you're desperate, Landry needs to be sidelined.
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- JuJu Smith-Schuster at Titans
- Jerry Jeudy vs. Chiefs
- Keelan Cole at Chargers
- 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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