Fantasy Football Week 7: Emergency Plug-and-Play Options for Your Week 7 Lineup

John ZaktanskyCorrespondent IOctober 23, 2011

DeMarco Murray will be starting for the Cowboys this week in place of injured Felix Jones and should run wild against a Rams defense that is struggling to get itself in gear.
DeMarco Murray will be starting for the Cowboys this week in place of injured Felix Jones and should run wild against a Rams defense that is struggling to get itself in gear.Elsa/Getty Images

Week 7 means we’ve hit the halfway point of our fantasy football regular season in most league formats. It also means that we face yet another glut of byes that can leave our starting lineups looking like Swiss cheese at a hungry mouse convention.

But there’s no need to fear, waiver-wire dog is here—with some last-minute plug-and-play options you should check out heading into game time.




Matt Cassel, KC

Just two short weeks ago, Cassel was on fantasy fire. Four TDs helped him eclipse every other signal-caller in fantasy land. One short bye week later, and we’re ready to see what Cassel can do for an encore.

Playing against a Raiders team that will likely score early and often and against a defense that should be beatable, Cassel’s greatest pluses come in the stud Dwayne Bowe, the resurgent Steve Breaston and the uber-talented rookie who is making his NFL debut—Jonathan Baldwin.

The recipe is right for another big day for Cassel, and he’s available in more than 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues.


Colt McCoy, CLE

I’ve written about him recently as a guy who’s flying under the radar and should be owned in all leagues. However, he’s available in more than 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues.


This week, McCoy takes on a Seattle team that can stop up the run without problem but struggles against the pass.

Peyton Hillis is unlikely to play this week, and Montario Hardesty hasn’t exactly been electrifying in his limited time of play so far this season.

Expect a lot of McCoy today and for his stats to look very solid.


Curtis Painter, IND

Want a deeper sleeper for this week? Painter is owned in just 17 percent of leagues right now, but he has shown in his starts so far that he can make some plays happen through the air, with Pierre Garcon the prime recipient.

The Colts play the Saints today, meaning they’ll be playing from behind most of the game and will need to air it out early and often.


Running Backs


DeMarco Murray, DAL

The rookie halfback is starting this game in place of the injured Felix Jones and should get ample carries in a game where the Cowboys should be able to spot a large lead and then turn to the running game for a game of clock control.

In fact, some experts suggest that this is the week that Murray overtakes Felix on the depth chart for good—at the very least, against a pathetic Rams squad, the Cowboys should look good regardless. Murray is available in more than 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues.



Maurice Morris, DET

The concussion to Jahvid Best has opened the door for a sleeper back for this week. The issue is that the Lions' backfield is littered with options and hard to determine which one is the best.

Morris is the most familiar with the Lions situation, however, and stands to see the biggest increase in value. Against the Falcons, the Lions will need all aspects of their offense to get the win.

Morris will get enough carries to provide fantasy value today.


Wide Receivers


Torrey Smith, BAL

A regular player on this list, Smith has produced well in all games he’s started where Darrelle Revis wasn’t involved.

Last time I checked, Revis didn’t play for Jacksonville, and Torrey is officially starting once again in place of Lee Evans.

Torrey is very similar to DeSean Jackson in that he’s a speed threat who can be boom or bust any given week. Expect boom this week.



Greg Little, CLE

Available in more than 70 percent of Yahoo! leagues, Little will the prime beneficiary of Colt McCoy’s big day (see above). Against the Seahawks, Little should be used fairly regularly to make up for a bottled-up running game.


Tight Ends


Jared Cook, TEN

The Titans will be looking to the air a lot today vs. a Houston team that is still potent despite the missing Andre Johnson.

The receiving corps has been struggling since Kenny Britt’s season-ending injury, and it is only a matter of time before the squad realized the talent potential that Cook brings to the table. Expect one of his better games of the season this week.


Benjamin Watson, CLE

In PPR leagues, it is surprising more people aren’t as high on Watson, who is owned in just 22 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

For all the same reasons that Greg Little and Colt McCoy find their way to this list, expect the same benefits for Mr. Watson.


Ed Dickson, BAL

Emerging as a favorite target for Joe Flacco, Dickson is still available in nearly 80 percent of Yahoo! leagues. He should fare well against Jacksonville this week, especially in PPR formats.


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