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Start or Sit? NFL fantasy football tips for Week 7

What players make the cut in this week’s start/sit list?

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

With six weeks of the 2020 NFL season in the books, the fantasy football season keeps rolling along, and we’re here to help you set your lineup. Between bye weeks and injuries, fantasy owners may have to get a little creative, so it’s important to maximize your lineup by plugging in the right players. With that in mind, here are this week’s start/sit suggestions.

QUARTERBACK

Start’Em

Justin Herbert (Chargers) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (Week 7 position rank: 9th)

Since stepping on the field in Week 2, the former Oregon Ducks quarterback has performed well, never finishing outside the top 20 for quarterbacks. He’s either had 300+ yards passing or three touchdowns in every game this season. In fact, his last outing against the Saints on Monday night featured a four touchdown/no interception performance where he finished as the fourth best fantasy quarterback for the week. Herbert is riding hot, and now he faces a favorable Jaguars defense who are among the top 10 in most fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks this season.

Sit’Em

Derek Carr (Raiders) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Week 7 position rank: 21st)

The Raiders quarterback has been surprisingly consistent this year, and is coming off his best performance where he threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns in a win over the Chiefs. It was good enough to crack a top 10 fantasy QB finishes. While Carr is a guy worthy of consideration down the stretch as he has several favorable matchups, this week isn’t one of them. The Bucs have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. That includes games where they held both Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers to 160 yards passing, and twice this season, they haven’t allowed a passing touchdown. Carr’s been playing well, but it would be wise to look for a better option this week.

RUNNING BACK

Start’Em

Justin Jackson (Chargers) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (Week 7 position rank: 22nd)

We are going to double up on Chargers starts this week as it’s hard to resist an inviting Jaguars defense that allows the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs this season. Last game, it wasn’t clear how the Chargers would divvy up their touches in the backfield, but after the Saints game, it looks as if Jackson will receive enough volume to slide him in your starting lineup. He put up 94 total scrimmage yards from 15 carries and five catches. If he can sustain this type of workload, his fantasy outlook this weekend looks very favorable.

Sit’Em

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Chiefs) vs. Denver Broncos (Week 7 position rank: 13th)

If you’re a CEH owner, there is no way you’re benching him this week or any week for that matter, so we want to be clear - we’re not actually advocating doing that. However, the reason he makes the “sit’em” list is more for daily fantasy leagues as there are reasons to be apprehensive about this week’s fantasy production. For starters, he’s facing a Broncos defense that allows the third-fewest fantasy points to running backs. Not only is the matchup not favorable, but we should now start seeing a little bit of Le’Veon Bell sprinkled into the mix. It’s unclear how the work will be managed, but there will come a time where Bell’s touches will pull down Edwards-Helaire’s ceiling, and that could start as early as this weekend.

WIDE RECEIVER

Start’Em

Tee Higgins (Bengals) vs. Cleveland Browns (Week 7 position rank: 28th)

The second-round pick from Clemson is having himself a very nice rookie season. With each new game, he’s showing improvement and has carved out a solid role in an offense that has the second-most passing attempts in the league this season. Higgins has had five straight games now with at least six targets, and is coming off a career-high six-catch, 125-yard performance. This week, the Bengals face a Browns defense who has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this year. It might be a wise move to keep rolling with the rookie.

Sit’Em

Cooper Kupp (Rams) vs. Chicago Bears (Week 7 position rank: 21st)

Kupp hasn’t had the year fantasy owners were hoping for as he’s only finished inside the top 15 WR’s twice so far this season. While he’s still shown himself as viable with double-digit finishes (half-PPR format) four times, there are times he completely vanishes from the offense. Last week was one of those times as he only had three catches for 11 yards. On Monday night, he’ll face a Bears defense that has given up the second fewest fantasy points to wide receivers.

TIGHT END

Start’Em

Dalton Schultz (Cowboys) vs. Washington (Week 7 position rank: 10th)

After the Cowboys lost Blake Jarwin to a season-ending knee injury, Schultz stepped into the lead tight end role. He was fast out of the gate, hauling in nine catches for 88 yards and a touchdown in his debut as a starter. Schultz’s production as been erratic as he’s only had one other fantasy relevant game and that was against the Browns in Week 4 when he finished as the fourth-best TE for week. It’s really a gamble whether he’ll be a part of the offense or not, but this week he faces a Washington team that has given up the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. If Schultz’s fantasy season is going to be hills and valleys, then this week could be one of those times he’s nearing the top.

Sit’Em

Hayden Hurst (Falcons) vs. Detroit Lions (Week 7 position rank: 12th)

Hurst hasn’t lived up to expectations in this Falcons offense after taking over for the departed Austin Hooper as he’s only finished in the top 10 for TE’s twice this season. Like most tight ends, his value is very touchdown dependent, and he’s had a couple dud games where he finished with less than 10 yards receiving. This week he faces a very stingy defense that has surrendered the second-fewest fantasy points to tight ends this year. No tight end has had more than 25 yards receiving against them, and they are coming off of three straight games where the top scoring tight end has been held to less than four points in the game. Hurst owners are already cringing when they start him, but this week is extra cringe-worthy.

DEFENSE

Start’Em

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos (Week 7 position rank: 4th)

Outside of their shootout with the Las Vegas Raiders, the Chiefs defense has actually been reliable this season. They’ve had three top 10 finishes this year, including a Week 4 performance where they finished as the no. 1 defense for the week thanks to a defensive touchdown against the Patriots. They draw the Broncos this week, who just so happen to allow the fourth-most points to fantasy defenses.

Sit’Em

Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington (Week 7 position rank: 15th)

The Washington Football Team has a terrible offense as not a single team in the league with fewer total yards. Next to the New York Jets, no team has surrendered more fantasy points to the opposing defense than Washington. If you’ve been following them around playing matchups, that’s good as they’ve opened the door for some mediocre defenses to have big fantasy weeks. Of course, this Cowboys group is far from mediocre as they have just been terrible this season. They don’t create turnovers (worst in the league), and they don’t stop opponents from scoring (also worst in the league). Don’t get cute by playing this matchup as it’s way too risky!