If you play fantasy football, you probably know what’s in store for us in Week 7: the “bye-pocalypse,” as some are calling it.
Six teams are on bye this week: the Bills, Cowboys, Steelers, Jaguars, Chargers and Vikings. That’s already a big number, and then you realize the fantasy stars that are on those teams. No Austin Ekeler, Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard, James Robinson, Dalvin Cook and Najee Harris in an already-thin running back season? Yikes.
If you need a replacement, you might have to plug your nose. James Conner and Mark Ingram are far from sexy names at this point in their careers, but both got 16+ carries in Week 6. Rashaad Penny could take the lead in Seattle’s backfield if Alex Collins’ injury forces him out. If you’re really desperate, Latavius Murray could miss the Ravens’ game against the Bengals, making Devonta Freeman, Le’Veon Bell and even Ty’Son Williams viable. Keep an eye on those situations.
For more, here is your fantasy four-pack: starts, sits, DFS plays and bets of the week:
Start: Ryan Tannehill, Titans (vs. Chiefs)
What do you do when a game has a Vegas over/under of 57.5? You fire up everyone from that game in your fantasy lineup. (Even the waterboy.) Tannehill has largely disappointed in 2021, but he’s set to explode against the Chiefs’ 31st-ranked pass defense (in terms of DVOA). Kansas City is still scoring points in bunches, which will put pressure on Tennessee to follow suit, and there’s no reason to expect the offense – with a non-food poisoned A.J. Brown – to struggle. I like Tannehill more than Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers this week.
Other starts: Damien Harris and Jakobi Meyers (NE), Allen Robinson (CHI), Jaylen Waddle (MIA)
Sit: Khalil Herbert, Bears (vs. Buccaneers)
You cannot run against the Bucs. I repeat – you cannot run against the Bucs. Will the Bears still try to? Probably, because most teams do, and Chicago is not particularly adept at adjusting their gameplan to strengths and weaknesses. But Tampa allows 54.8 rush yards per game, and it’s unlikely Chicago will build on that number. Herbert was excellent last week in relief of David Montgomery and Damien Williams and could fall into the end zone, but even amid a brutal week of byes, you might want to see what your other options are.
Other sits: Elijah Mitchell and Trey Sermon (SF), Odell Beckham (CLE), Corey Davis (NYJ)
DFS play: Darnell Mooney, Bears ($4,600)
This is probably too much Chicago Bears for a fantasy football article, but the strategy behind daily fantasy is to find value, and Mooney could end up being exactly that against the Bucs. He has been the top receiver for the Bears since Justin Fields took over at quarterback – his 39 targets lead the team – and as we already explained, the Bears will have to shift from a run-heavy approach against Tampa Bay. He’s the premier deep threat on the team, and even caught a red zone touchdown last week against the Packers. Plenty of upside, and a decent floor, make him a worthy DraftKings play.
Bet: Eagles +3.5 at Raiders
Last week was the Raiders’ “dead cat bounce” week. They flushed themselves of the Jon Gruden saga, rallied behind interim head coach Rich Bisaccia and played inspired football for four quarters against the Broncos. It was an emotional win, but it seems like Vegas is giving them a tad too much credit for it. These two teams are very even – the Eagles have a slightly better offense and the Raiders have a slightly better defense, per DVOA and points per drive – and Philadelphia’s rabid fan base should pack Allegiant Stadium in Vegas, possibly limiting Vegas’ home-field advantage. As long as you’re getting more than three, Philadelphia is a valuable bet.
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