Week 7. The eye of the hurricane. Again, we get another week with just two teams on bye – Oakland, and New Orleans. With the exceptions of Jimmy Graham and Drew Brees, we won’t be missing very many relevant fantasy parts this week. Don’t let yourself get lulled into a false sense of security though, because a combined 12 teams will have their BYE over the course of weeks 8 and 9.
Here are the recommendations for players you either want to catch now, don’t bother picking up, or keep on your radar for the upcoming weeks.
Andre Ellington (RB – Ari): The speedy, diminutive back continues to outplay the aging, injury prone Rashard Mendenhall. While it is looking unlikely that Ellington becomes the feature back this season, Mendenhall breaking down at some point this season isn’t exactly the longest shot you could take. Regardless, Ellington should be in line for 10-15 touches a week, and his hands and speed make him a scary pass-catching option. Right now, I would take him over guys like Joseph Randle or Zac Stacy, and he has the potential to turn into an all-around producer should anything happen to Mendenhall. Gets a big boost in PPR formats.
Keenan Allen (WR – SD): Forget DeAndre Hopkins and Cordarrelle Patterson. Keenan Allen, the 3rd round pick from Cal, is the rookie WR making waves this year. With atleast 6 catches, 100 yards, and a TD in each of his last two games, Allen should be owned (and most likely started) in all formats.
Andre Brown (RB – NYG): Got runningback troubles? This could potentially be your answer. Brown is eligible to play week 10, and David Wilson will be out at least 4 more weeks with his neck problems. Brandon Jacobs is already banged up, which may lead the Giants to look for a free agent runner, but Brown should be in for a very nice workload upon his return.
Harry Douglas (WR – Atl): This Falcons team, once thought of as contenders, is now in shambles. Roddy White continues to try to play at 50%, and continues to suffer setbacks. Rumors of Gonzo being traded to the Chiefs are swirling. Julio Jones out for the season. What can fantasy owners take away? Harry Douglas. By process of elimination, Harry Douglas is now the Falcons #1 WR. Expectations should be tempered, but the targets will certainly be there. You could do a lot worse on the waiver wire, and Douglas should see continued looks from a top QB for the remainder of the season.
Joseph Randle (RB – Dal): Take this one lightly; Joseph Randle will be the Cowboys starting runningback this week. DeMarco Murray is sidelined with a sprained knee and his status for this weekend is doubtful. Randle will pickup the workload by default with Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar injured and ineffective. If you are in desperate need of a starting runningback for THIS WEEK ONLY, Randle has a shot to put some decent points up on the board. He looked decidedly average filling in for the injured Murray against the Redskins, however, and shouldn’t be counted on for anything spectacular.
Jarrett Boykin (WR – GB): Greenbay’s receiving corps. was thrashed against Baltimore, losing Randall Cobb for 6-8 weeks with a broken leg, and James Jones suffering a shin injury that leaves him questionable for the upcoming week. Boykin was literally the last remaining receiver on their roster, and turned his 6 targets on the day into 1 catch for 43 yards. In any case, he will now be catching balls from a premier QB, and could quickly turn some heads, and is worth a speculative add.
Willis McGahee (RB – Cle): McGahee continues to look old and slow with the ball in his hands. He was outplayed again this week by Chris Ogbonnaya, and continued to show that is he incapable of being a 4.0 YPC runningback anymore. McGahee is still the starter for the time being (the only justification for using a roster spot on him), but if he continues to make the absolute least out of his carries, I would expect Ogbonnaya to continue to see more work.
Joseph Fauria (TE – Det): This one might end up coming back to bite me, but I would stay away from Joseph Fauria, despite his 3 TD effort last week. This guy is like a poor-man’s Kyle Rudolph with a better quarterback. If he doesn’t score, you’re not going to get any points from him. His fantasy production literally rests entirely on his ability to catch touchdowns, and with Calvin Johnson recovering – that window would seem to be closing.
Chris Ogbonnaya (RB – Cle): Ogbonnaya continues to be the bright spot in the Cleveland backfield. Outplaying McGahee again, Ogbonnaya showcased his pass catching abilities, grabbing 7 balls for 61 yards and a TD. Expect a bigger workload from the shify back if McGahee continues to struggle.
Riley Cooper (WR – Phi): Cooper could enter into the world of fantasy relevance if Nick Foles lands the starting job in Philadelphia. It would be a rash decision to pick him up based solely on his 4 catch, 120 yard, 1 TD effort against the Cowboys – but if he explodes again, you risk missing out.