Week 7 Sleepers

A look at the best under the radar starts for Week 7.


C.J. Beathard, SF (vs DAL) - The 49ers offense came alive with Beathard at the helm last week, and he faced a tougher defense than the one he’ll face this week. Beathard is also at home, and he’ll have a week to prepare properly as the starter. The Cowboys are vulnerable to the run and pass, so this could turn into a shootout that makes Beathard the streamer of the week at quarterback.

Brett Hundley, GB (vs NO) - Hundley’s numbers against an oppressive Vikings defense weren’t encouraging, but the Saints aren’t the same kind of defense. Hundley will be in the comfy confines of Lambeau Field, he’ll have a week to prepare as the starter, and he might get into a track meet with Drew Brees testing the Packers banged up secondary. Hundley is also a great athlete and runner (30 rushing touchdowns at UCLA), and his timing and ball placement on all important back shoulder throws was excellent. As long as the Packers offensive line can hold up, he’ll be a pleasant surprise in Week 7.

Jared Goff, LAR (vs ARI - London) - The Rams smartly never let Jared Goff take chances against the Jaguars ballhawks, but they will loosen the leash against the Cardinals in London. Patrick Peterson will blot out Sammy Watkins, but the Rams have plenty of other options to exploit matchups and pile up numbers in the passing game. You could do worse than Goff for a streamer this week.

Running Back

Chris Ivory, JAX (at IND) - Ivory made a huge impact in the passing game last week, and if Leonard Fournette isn’t himself (or quite possibly out after missing all three practices) against the Colts this week, he could get more work in the running game. He has been very effective on limited touches and could even end up being the centerpiece of the offense this week if Fournette aggravates his ankle injury or is a surprise inactive.

Marlon Mack/Frank Gore, IND (vs JAX) - The Colts inexplicably used Mack sparingly last week after a breakout performance against the 49ers in Week 5. They have no excuse this week after Robert Turbin was lost for the season. He’ll be playing on the fast track at home against a Jaguars defense that has been much softer against the run and dangerous against the pass. The Colts best game plan to win involves Mack and Frank Gore touching the ball 40 times. Gore might be better in non-PPR and has a higher floor than Mack this week.

Dion Lewis/James White NE (vs ATL) - The Patriots might have ushered in a changing of the guard in the backfield last week. Lewis got more work than Mike Gillislee and also got the call at the goal line - which he converted. He should be in your lineup in what should be a high-scoring game, and White is a compelling PPR flex play or desperation RB2 against the team he scored three touchdowns against in the Super Bowl. The Falcons have given up seven or more running back receptions in three of five games and two running backs have scored as receivers against them.

Jonathan Stewart, CAR (at CHI) - Stewart was actually a net negative for our teams last week, but he might be worth a look against the Bears. The Panthers will either be without Kelvin Benjamin or he will be limited, and the Bears pass defense has been very competitive at home this year. The Panthers could lean conservative and run-heavy. Opponents have amassed 25 or more running back attempts in three of the last five games, and the vast majority of those attempts will go to Stewart this week.

Wendell Smallwood, PHI (vs WAS) - Smallwood’s practice status should be monitored closely, but if he is available, he’ll be a sneaky PPR play. In the first matchup with Washington, Darren Sproles had five catches for 43 yards, and Washington has allowed at least seven running back receptions in three of the last four games, with running back touchdowns coming against them in the passing game twice, including one by LeGarrette Blount in Week 1.

Wide Receiver

Mohamed Sanu/Taylor Gabriel, ATL (at NE) - Sanu appears to be on track to play this week, but that doesn’t dim Gabriel’s sleeper prospects enough to take him out of consideration. The Patriots have given up 300+ passing yards in every game this year, which means there’s enough to go around unless Julio Jones gets 200+ to himself. Gabriel could have come through for us last week if he had gotten the deep route call instead of practice squad call up Marvin Hall. He has make your week upside on every play, where Sanu has a higher PPR floor.

Robert Woods/Cooper Kupp, LAR (vs ARI - London) - Patrick Peterson will be locking up Sammy Watkins, so there will be one on one’s that tilt in the Rams favorite elsewhere on the field in London. The Cardinals have given up multiple touchdowns to wide receivers in four of six games, and if Watkins isn’t getting them, that leaves Woods and Kupp. Woods is coming off of two straight strong weeks, and Kupp has shown chemistry with Goff that can produce hot shooter streaks.

Allen Hurns, JAX (at IND) - Marqise Lee is banged up again, so the brunt of the Jaguars downfield passing game could fall on Hurns’ shoulders this week. The Colts are much stronger against the run, giving up at least two 60+ yard receiver games in each of the last three contests. Hurns is the only healthy viable downfield receiver the Jaguars have, and he has scored in each of the last three meetings with the Colts, including two 100-yard games.

Devin Funchess, CAR (at CHI) - Kelvin Benjamin’s Sunday status is genuinely in doubt, which could put Funchess back in Cam Newton’s crosshairs frequently against the Bears. Funchess was hot in Weeks 4 and 5, but Benjamin took a more prominent role against the pressure-heavy Eagles defense. Funchess has been one of Newton’s favorite red zone targets, and the Panthers should be there at least a few times on Sunday.

Jermaine Kearse/Jeremy Kerley, NYJ (at MIA) - Robby Anderson might not go against the Dolphins on Sunday, which sets up both Kearse and Kerley with a bump in targets that could move them into WR3/Flex starting range. Kearse is the higher floor option, while Kerley is coming off of a week with a long touchdown.

John Brown, ARI (vs LAR - London) - Brown has scored in each of the last two weeks and he is off of the injury report. He should be the clear #2 option in the Cardinals passing game, and Adrian Peterson’s presence will bring more defensive players into the box and open up the deep middle for Brown. The Cardinals vertical passing game should be back in effect with a real running game to set pu play action.

Eric Decker, TEN (at CLE) - Start your wide receivers against the Browns. Decker finally got on the same page with Marcus Mariota last week, and he’s facing a Browns secondary that gave up three scores to Texans wide receivers last week. Decker’s targets and snaps are trending up at just the right time.

Ted Ginn Jr, NO (vs GB) - Green Bay has had injuries in the secondary at cornerback and safety, which will leave the pass defense vulnerable to Drew Brees. Stud left tackle Terron Armstead is back, which should create more time for downfield passing plays to develop, and those plays are likely to target Ginn, especially with Willie Snead IV still not at full speed. Ginn has scored in two of the last three games, and the Saints went conservative to protect a lead against the Dolphins in the game he did not score in.

Tight End

Austin Hooper, ATL (at NE) - Hooper might not have the same bump in targets he enjoyed in Week 6 with Mohamed Sanu on track to play again, but he might not need it to be worth a streaming tight end start in Week 7. The Patriots have given up a tight end score in five of six games this year, and Ed Dickson had 3-62 in the scoreless game.

George Kittle, SF (vs DAL) - Kittle has been reunited with his college quarterback CJ Beathard, where he scored ten times in the last two years despite only catching 42 passes. The 49ers offense should be able to move the ball well on the ground and through the air against the Cowboys, who have given up at least 40 receiving yards or a touchdown to a tight end in every game.

Nick O’Leary, BUF (vs TB) - If you have to dig deep for a tight end this week, O’Leary could be the answer. He had five catches for 54 yards in limited action after Charles Clay went out in Week 5. Jordan Matthews could be back this week, but the Bills don’t have a #1 receiver, so targets could be funneled to O’Leary against a Bucs defense that gave up 6-62 to the only decent tight end they faced this year (Evan Engram).

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