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Bye Week Blues: Week 7 Options

The Bills, Cowboys, Chargers, Jaguars, Vikings and Steelers are off this week, so plan your fantasy lineups accordingly

Dealing with the bye weeks is always a headache for fantasy managers, but Week 7 takes the cake. Eight of the nine bye weeks feature two or four teams off. Week 7 features six teams on a bye -- and to make matters worse, these six teams boast a plethora of fantasy studs. Six of the top 25 fantasy scorers (prior to Week 6) are off in Week 7.

Here’s what you need to be considering this week:

Week 7 byes: Bills, Cowboys, Chargers, Jaguars, Vikings, Steelers

What you’re missing

Bills: Josh Allen has been money for fantasy managers all season -- ranked fifth among QBs in fantasy points. Stefon Diggs hasn’t been as productive as he was in 2020, but he’s still been a weekly must-start. With few options at tight end, Dawson Knox has had a breakout season.

Cowboys: Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are top 10 fantasy producers at their respective positions, while receivers Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb will also be missed. Dalton Schultz is fourth in the league among tight ends in fantasy points, so he’s a big loss as well.

Chargers: Despite Sunday's shutdown loss in Baltimore, this team is loaded with fantasy stars. In QB Justin Herbert, RB Austin Ekeler and WR Mike Williams, the Chargers feature three of the top 11 players in fantasy points. Only Derrick Henry has better fantasy production than Ekeler among running backs. Receiver Keenan Allen and tight end Jared Cook will be missed, too.

Jaguars: Probably the least impactful of the Week 7 byes, but James Robinson has been productive. Receivers Marvin Jones Jr. and Laviska Shenault may have been flex options for some.

Vikings: Dalvin Cook owners always have to pay attention to his injury status, but they won’t even be able to consider him this week. Likewise, Justin Jefferson will be missed. Kirk Cousins and Adam Thielen are also fantasy regulars on the sideline this week.

Steelers: Rookie Najee Harris is fifth in fantasy points among running backs. Especially with JuJu Smith-Schuster out for the season, Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool are popular flex options who will be missed.

Week 7 waiver options

When it comes to bye week replacements, some teams might be deep enough to have a satisfactory fill-in on their bench. If not, you'll need a short-term waiver add -- and it’s not about fighting for the hottest waiver wire candidates. You just want a stand-in who happens to have a favorable matchup in your week of need.

Here are some Week 7 options:

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Jameis Winston has blown hot and cold so far this season, but a Monday night matchup against Seattle’s shaky pass defense makes him an attractive Week 7 option. … Teams that play in London usually have a bye the following week. That’s not the case with the Dolphins -- and that’s good news for Tua Tagovailoa, who passed for 329 yards and two TDs against the Jaguars Sunday. This week he gets a Falcons defense that allows over 22 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs. … The Chiefs remain a favorable matchup for opposing quarterbacks, and Ryan Tannehill has thrown a pair of TD passes in each of his last two games vs. Kansas City.

MORE: Early Week 7 waiver wire pickups

Running backs

No team has allowed more fantasy points to running backs than the Jets this season. Unless you’re in a really small league, chances are Damien Harris isn’t available, but it might be worth taking a chance that rookie Rhamondre Stevenson will make a splash. … Mike Davis has averaged just 40 rushing yards per game and one touchdown this season, but he’s still getting a bulk of the carries for the Falcons. Davis could break out against the Dolphins, who have allowed the second-most FPPG. … Panthers rookie Chuba Hubbard was a fashionable waiver add when Christian McCaffrey first got hurt. Some may have given up on Hubbard after a slow start, but he scored his first  touchdown Sunday and has a favorable Week 7 matchup against the Giants.

Wide receivers

The Titans allow the most fantasy points to wide receivers. Taking on the Chiefs, of course, means it could be a big day for Tyreek Hill. But given Tennessee’s issues, there could also be plenty of love for Mecole Hardman, who is rostered in less than 33% of leagues. … If we think Jameis Winston is going to post big numbers against Seattle Monday night, who will be on the receiving end? Michael Thomas is expected to come off the PUP list and make his 2021 debut this week, and believe it or not he’s still available in about 20% of leagues. If Thomas is not available, Marquez Callaway (two TDs last week) is a viable option. … The Washington Football Team allows the third-most fantasy points to receivers and they face the Packers. Davante Adams has been targeted nearly four times more than any other Green Bay wideout, but Randall Cobb should be in the mix this week.

Tight ends

Timing is good for Zach Ertz, who will make his Cardinals debut in Week 7 against a Texans defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Ertz, who scored a touchdown in his final game for the Eagles last Thursday, is still available in more than half of leagues. … Aside from his 95-yard, two-TD game against Jacksonville two weeks ago, the Bengals’ C.J. Ozumah has done very little. But the Ravens have allowed the third-most fantasy points to tight ends, so Ozumah might be a factor for Cincinnati. … The Colts, who give up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, are at the 49ers. With George Kittle on IR, Ross Dwelley has a chance to make an impact. Dwelley caught two passes for 25 yards in San Francisco’s last game, and he should be more involved this week. 

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