Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 7: How to Handle Top Sleepers This Weekend

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IJanuary 20, 2017

Sep 29, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) carries the ball against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports
Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

A handful of breakout performers around the NFL took advantage of Week 6's grand stage to showcase their talents, and fantasy owners have taken notice. 

For the second straight week, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon lit it up, racking up 190 yards on 14 receptions against the Denver Broncos. In Week 7, Blackmon kicks off the list of top sleepers worthy of a starting slot.

But beware, some sleepers are better suited for the bench this weekend.

Here, I'll break down some of the top sleepers in fantasy football heading into Week 7, pointing out the best move for each.

*All availability and standard-league scoring stats according to ESPN Fantasy.



Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles, QB

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 13: Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles passes during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 13, 2013 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Eagles backup quarterback Nick Foles has been torching defenses since taking over for Michael Vick in Week 5. The former Arizona star lit up the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' talented secondary this past weekend to the tune of 29 fantasy points.

Surprisingly, Foles is still available in over 97 percent of all ESPN fantasy leagues.

With one of the worst pass defenses in all of football on tap for Foles and the Eagles in Week 7 in the Dallas Cowboys, the second-year signal-caller is a must-start for fantasy owners everywhere. 

Dallas is one of only three teams to have given up at least 14 touchdown passes in 2013.

Fantasy Play: Start



Bilal Powell, New York Jets, RB

Oct 13, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) is tackled by Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor (24) and safety Ryan Clark (25) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODA
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets will be on the road in Cincinnati in Week 7, which doesn't bode well for running back Bilal Powell, who was shut down by the Pittsburgh Steelers this past weekend. 

The Bengals are allowing just 3.9 yards per carry this season and have surrendered just three rushing touchdowns through six games. With Powell coming off one of his worst fantasy performances of the year in Week 6 and dealing with a banged-up shoulder, you'd be wise to shy away from him on Sunday.

Fantasy Play: Sit



Harry Douglas, Atlanta Falcons, WR

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 08:   Harry Douglas #83 of the Atlanta Falcons runs for a first down against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 8, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Following a strong performance in Week 1 against New Orleans, Falcons receiver Harry Douglas hasn't delivered for fantasy owners, averaging just two fantasy points per week since. 

But with Julio Jones out for the season with a foot injury and veteran Roddy White banged up heading into Week 7, Douglas is a must-start for fantasy owners. 

Although Tampa Bay's secondary has been stout to start 2013, quarterback Matt Ryan will have few other options in the passing game and will be forced to look Douglas' way from the start. 

Fantasy Play: Start



Garrett Graham, Houston Texans, TE

HOUSTON, TX- SEPTEMBER 29: Garrett Graham #88 of the Houston Texans catches a touchdown pass while Malcolm Smith #53 of the Seattle Seahawks gives chase on September 29, 2013 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

After back-to-back letdowns against San Francisco and St. Louis, it's time for fantasy owners to bench Garrett Graham. As if his three combined fantasy points over the past two games weren't enough to turn you away, the injury to Matt Schaub's lower leg certainly will.

It's still unclear as to who will be throwing the ball for Houston in Week 7 at Kansas City.

The Chiefs' dominant defense is another major concern for Graham owners. Kansas City is only allowing 190 yards through the air per game this season and boasts 10 interceptions to just five passing touchdowns allowed through six games.

Fantasy Play: Sit


Below, Bleacher Report's Josh Zerkle highlights a few sleeper tight ends worth adding to your roster this week:



Baltimore Ravens, D/ST

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 13: Cornerback Jimmy Smith #22 of the Baltimore Ravens intercepts a pass intended for wide receiver Jordy Nelson #87 of the Green Bay Packers in the third quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on October 13, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Pho
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Many fantasy owners are likely still wary of the Baltimore Ravens' defense and special teams following Week 1's disastrous performance in Denver. 

But Baltimore hasn't allowed more than 23 points in a game since its season-opening loss and will be up against one of the worst offenses in the league in Week 7 in the Pittsburgh Steelers, who rank 27th in the NFL in points per game this year.

Pittsburgh has also turned the ball over 11 times thus far, which means the Ravens will have a great shot at generating turnovers and points for fantasy owners on Sunday.

Fantasy Play: Start


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