Fantasy Football Week 7: Under-the-Radar Players Who Will Explode

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 15, 2013

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 29:  Chad Henne #7 of the Jacksonville Jaguars warms up before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at EverBank Field on September 29, 2013 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

There is no question that early-round picks need to be productive in order to have fantasy football success, but players who are picked up off the waiver wire or buried on your bench are often the ones who determine whether you win or lose in any given week.

That promises to be the case once again in Week 7.

Starting a player who isn't normally viewed as a fantasy starter can be risky business as the chances of a low score are quite high, but sometimes the matchups dictate that it's a good idea to take a chance.

With a couple of teams on the bye this week and a number of big injuries occurring as of late, Week 7 is as good of a time as any to roll the dice.

Here are three under-the-radar players who may not be highly touted but are most definitely in line for big performances this week.


Chad Henne

It is no secret that the Jacksonville Jaguars are arguably the NFL's worst team, but that doesn't mean that they are devoid of fantasy talent.

Wide receivers Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon have proven to be valuable commodities, and running back Maurice Jones-Drew can be productive against the right competition as well.

The quarterback position has been a huge issue for Jacksonville in recent years; however, the team has been better off with Chad Henne rather than Blaine Gabbert. 

Henne will start against the San Diego Chargers in Week 7, according to the Jags' official Twitter account.

Henne didn't throw for any touchdowns last week against the Denver Broncos, but he did break the 300-yard mark and make some plays down the field.

There should be some opportunities to rack up some yardage against the Bolts, too, as they are surrendering almost 273 passing yards per game.

They were able to hold Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in check on Monday night, but a lot of that was due to Luck's receivers dropping easy passes.

Henne isn't a long-term fantasy starter by any means, but he's definitely an option for Drew Brees or Terrelle Pryor owners while they are on the bye.

San Diego is a much better team than Jacksonville, which means Henne will be throwing plenty as the Jags attempt to come from behind. That should allow him to go over 300 yards once again in Week 7.

Week 7 Projection: 328 passing yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions.


BenJarvus Green-Ellis

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 08:  BenJarvus Green-Ellis #42 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 8, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Bengals 24-21.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Although he isn't the most explosive back in football, Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been a productive player in the league for the past few years.

"The Law Firm" broke the 1,000-yard mark last season, and he is very strong in short-yardage situations, including around the goal line.

Green-Ellis is coming off his best yardage game of the season as he racked up 86 against the Buffalo Bills, and he has three touchdowns on the year as well. On top of all that, he has a great matchup on the horizon.

Cincinnati will face the Detroit Lions in Week 7, so he is in prime position to have his best performance of 2013.

The Lions are allowing nearly 125 yards per game, and the Bengals will unquestionably want to establish the run in order to keep Matthew Stafford, Reggie Bush, Calvin Johnson and the explosive Lions offense off the field as much as possible.

That bodes well for Green-Ellis, but the one concern is Gio Bernard's heavy workload, as pointed out by John Paulsen of Fantasy Pros.

There is no doubt that Bernard's big-play ability will keep him on the field, but Green-Ellis brings something different to the table, which ensures he will still see his fair share of carries.

Bernard was stuffed on a short-yardage play that could have iced the game for Cincinnati against Buffalo in Week 6, so look for "The Law Firm" to be in those situations moving forward.

Green-Ellis is a great flex play or even an RB2 in Week 7.

Week 7 Projection: 104 rushing yards and two touchdowns.


Riley Cooper

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 20:  Riley Cooper #14 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after he scored an 8-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 20, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jers
Al Bello/Getty Images

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper was viewed as a potential sleeper heading into the season due to the absence of Jeremy Maclin and the implementation of Chip Kelly's high-octane offense.

However, Cooper reeled in just two catches per game in each of Philly's first four contests, and he never broke 29 receiving yards in a game either.

With Nick Foles under center on Sunday, Cooper came from out of nowhere to post big numbers as he caught four balls for 120 yards and a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Cooper is a big receiver with leaping ability, so he is the perfect complement to a guy like DeSean Jackson. That is why it's somewhat surprising that it took Cooper this long to break out.

It probably has something to do with the fact that Foles has more success going down the field, whereas Michael Vick is often content to dump the ball off.

It is unclear which quarterback will start on Sunday, but ESPN's Mike Greenberg would give Foles another look.

Even though Vick should be a better fit for Kelly's offense on the surface, Foles has run it more effectively over the past two weeks.

Because of that, conventional wisdom suggests that Foles will start for at least one more week. If that is the case, it bodes well for Cooper.

The Eagles will face a Dallas Cowboys secondary in Week 7 that surrenders 308 passing yards per game, and Cooper could be the main beneficiary with single coverage almost guaranteed.

Week 7 Projection: Six receptions for 117 yards and one touchdown.


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter


    2018 Franchise Tag Primer

    NFL logo

    2018 Franchise Tag Primer

    Brent Sobleski
    via Bleacher Report

    Baker Reportedly Will Not Attend NFL Draft

    NFL logo

    Baker Reportedly Will Not Attend NFL Draft

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Cowboys Plan to Franchise Tag DE Lawrence

    NFL logo

    Report: Cowboys Plan to Franchise Tag DE Lawrence

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    Why Spending on AJ McCarron Is a Terrible Idea

    NFL logo

    Why Spending on AJ McCarron Is a Terrible Idea

    Sean Tomlinson
    via Bleacher Report