Did you have a good Week 7? If you can believe it, by Sunday we'll already be in November, and half of the NFL season will have passed (or there about). In this weird season of top heaviness, debilitating injuries and shaky fantasy play all around, winning has become tougher and tougher to do. Weeks like this one could end up being the difference between winning leagues or being in that NFL commercial for second chance fantasy with the crying Steelers fan in the shower. And you don't want to be a crying Steelers fan in a shower.
Byes: BUF, PHI, JAX, WSH
Who to Start:
QB Cam Newton (CAR) vs. IND MON: He's still prone to turnovers, but he could be in line for a big Monday Night show against the Colts. Their secondary has been torn apart by almost everyone this season, which means even as Newton isn't the best of fantasy options normally, this week he most certainly is.
RB Todd Gurley (STL) vs. SF: His fantasy stock has soared in recent weeks, and for good reason. He's been consistent and getting better every time he takes the field. The 49ers defense is by no means the 49ers defense of old, so Gurley is as close to a must start as it gets this week.
WR Alshon Jeffery (CHI) vs. MIN: Jeffery's best games have often come against division opponents, and here is his stat line for his last three games against the Vikings: 25 receptions for 418 yards and three TD's. Jeffery had a great game against the Lions before the bye, and there's no reason to think he won't replicate that performance against Minnesota.
WR Keenan Allen (SD) vs. BAL: While the Chargers are pretty pitiful away from home, Philip Rivers puts up gaudy numbers no matter where he is playing (and for the Chargers every game feels like a road game right now). The Ravens secondary is a sieve, so Allen, who has been one of the best fantasy wideouts this season, could have another big day.
TE Tyler Eifert (CIN) vs. PIT: He's not really a secret anymore, is he? He's been one of the best fantasy TE's all season, and that means he's really a must-start almost every week. The Steelers have been dinged by decent TE's this year, so another big day could be in the offing for Eifert.
DEF Arizona vs. CLE: They are as opportunistic as it comes, which means for fantasy owners they can put up boatloads of points. The Browns have QB issues to deal with, which makes this even more of a tantalizing matchup. (Bonus: Rams against SF is a gimme, but since I already recommended a Ram to start I wanted to do something a bit different).
Who to Sit:
QB Derek Carr (OAK) vs. NYJ: He's improving dramatically week by week, and it helps when you have Amari Cooper to throw passes to. But he's going up against the incredibly scary Jets defense, which means he's a fantasy must-sit (as most players going up against the Jets are now).
RB Jeremy Hill (CIN) vs. PIT: He's hard to sit with four teams on a bye, but the Steelers have been incredibly stingy defending the run at home. They haven't allowed a rushing TD at home this season.
WR Randall Cobb (GB) vs. DEN: His numbers are sliding consistently, which was already worrying. On Sunday Night, he gets to go up against Aqib Talib and that fearsome Broncos secondary which has already held Calvin Johnson, Steve Smith and Amari Cooper in check.
WR T.Y Hilton (IND) vs. CAR: Josh. Norman. Enough said.
TE Kyle Rudolph (MIN) vs. CHI: Tom Jackson used to say on NFL Primetime that all former Viking Cris Carter did was "catch touchdowns". That phrase could be re-appropriated for use when talking about Rudolph, who has 19 yards receiving in his last two weeks but two TD's. That's not start worthy.
DEF Miami vs. NE THU: The Dolphins have racked up fantasy points the last two weeks against an injured Marcus Mariota, Zach Mettenberger and Brian Hoyer. Tom Brady is up next, therefore reality will set in fast.
Three Super Sleepers:
QB Matt Stafford (DET) vs. KC LONDON: He's still a bit of a fantasy double-edged sword, but the Chiefs have been a favorable matchup for opposing QB's in fantasy this season. He's also been on fire the last two weeks after his benching against Arizona too.
RB Mark Ingram (NO) vs. NYG: This matchup is a bit weird considering even when the Saints have good defenses to run on they never seem to do so. But I have a feeling that will change on Sunday. When the Saints run the ball well, they seem to look more complete as a team, and the Giants are susceptible to being run on (as DeMarco Murray showed two weeks ago).
WR Stefon Diggs (MIN) vs. CHI: HE. A. TERP. But college biases aside, Diggs has become the Vikings number one receiver and for good reason (see his TD catch last week against Detroit as evidence). The Bears secondary is still pretty woeful, so the 5th round pick could put up another huge stat line.
DEF New York Jets vs. OAK: Even though they're usually a must start here, it's hard not to be a bit squeamish when talking about the matchup against the high-powered (!!!!!!!!) Raiders offense. Even when the Jets defense has exerted its will, they give up points. 30 against New England in a good performance should be worrisome. You'll probably start them anyway, but the Raiders can look good, even throwing out their Cincy and Denver performances.
(BONUS) QB Peyton Manning (DEN) vs. GB: His fantasy star has been falling fast, but it seems like he may be finding a little bit of consistency. Even though the matchup isn't that terrible, especially after the Packers gave up over 500 yards passing to Philip Rivers two weeks ago, it's hard to start Manning anymore, even as a bye week replacement.
Good Luck in Week 8!