Fantasy Football Week 7 Cheat Sheet: Deep Sleepers to Target

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistOctober 17, 2018

Mitchell Trubisky is becoming a productive leader for the Bears and has thrown 11 TD passes.
Mitchell Trubisky is becoming a productive leader for the Bears and has thrown 11 TD passes.Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

We are heavy into the NFL bye season, and fantasy players have to make alterations to their roster.

Obviously, moves have to be made after injuries, and slumps cause fantasy owners to bring in new talent every week. But if players had any doubts about making changes, they have almost certainly come to an end with the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders off this week.

Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Davante Adams, Jimmy Graham, Russell Wilson, and Juju Smith-Schuster are not in play, and fantasy owners have to make moves.

We can't offer any superstars to add to your roster and put in your lineup, but we will offer deep sleepers that you can use this week and for the foreseeable future.

For our purposes, our deep sleepers are currently on 35 percent of Yahoo rosters or less.


Deep sleepers

QB Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears, 29 percent

QB Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens, 27 percent

RB Ito Smith, Atlanta Falcons, 13 percent

RB Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts, 29 percent

RB LeGarrette Blount, Detroit Lions, 12 percent

WR Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals, 15 percent

WR Taylor Gabriel, Chicago Bears, 26 percent

WR Jermaine Kearse, N.Y. Jets, 2 percent

TE C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals, 33 percent

TE Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills, 13 percent


QB Mitchell Trubisky

The Bears saw their three-game winning streak come to an end in Week 6, but Trubisky had a solid game against the Miami Dolphins as he completed 22-of-31 passes for 316 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

While that game did not compare to his 354-yard, six touchdown effort against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4, Trubisky demonstrated that he could throw the ball consistently.

Trubisky has quite a few critics in the Windy City, but he is making progress in his second year and his first under quarterback-friendly head coach Matt Nagy.

The Bears have more than enough weapons on offense to allow Trubisky to continue to grow, and he should be inspired to have a great game this week as the Bears host the New England Patriots and Tom Brady.

The Patriots allowed 40 points to the Kansas City Chiefs in their Week 6 meeting, and Trubisky should be able to find open receivers against the New England secondary.

While the Bears don't have the same talent level as the Chiefs, Nagy has installed the same system that Andy Reid and Kansas City uses. If Trubisky can hit a couple of medium-to-long-range passes early in the game, the New England defense is likely to be on its heels throughout.

RB Ito Smith

The Atlanta Falcons have one of the strongest running back rotations with Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, so it doesn't seem likely that this is the spot where a third running back would emerge.

However, Freeman (groin/foot) is on injured reserve, and that has allowed Smith to become a fantasy factor. While Smith has just 102 rushing yards in six games, he has three rushing touchdowns.

Smith may also factor in as a receiver for the Falcons, as he has been targeted 11 times by quarterback Matt Ryan and caught 10 passes.

While he has been largely a safety-valve receiver, he is not going to drop the ball. That could lead to more opportunities as Ryan and head coach Dan Quinn believe that he can make the Atlanta offense more dangerous. 

While the Falcons are struggling at 2-4, the offense ranks eighth overall and the Ryan-led passing game is averaging 311.2 yards per game and ranks fifth overall.

WR Taylor Gabriel

Speed is a huge factor in any NFL offense, and when a receiver has shown he can run away from defenders after making the catch, he is going to get quite a bit of attention from his quarterback.

That's the situation with Gabriel, who leads the Bears with 27 receptions for 303 yards and two touchdowns. Allen Robinson is the Bears' best receiver by reputation, Tarik Cohen is dangerous coming out of the backfield and tight end Trey Burton has shown he can make plays around the end zone and has caught three TD passes.

However, Gabriel has the speed to beat defenders off the jam and then avoid tacklers in the secondary. Gabriel, in his first year with the Bears, is developing a good rapport with Trubisky, and it should only get better from this point.

The Bears and Patriots could engage in a shootout this week, and that could lead to a big game from the Bears' leading receiver.


TE C.J. Uzomah

The Bengals lost No. 1 tight end Tyler Eifert to a fractured ankle, and that means they need Uzomah to step up and deliver as the fill-in.

While Tyler Kroft served as the primary tight end when Eifert suffered a season-ending back injury, Uzomah is fitting into that role this year. 

The 6'6", 265-pound Uzomah has caught 15 passes for 171 yards and has caught one TD pass, and he has shown quarterback Andy Dalton that he is dependable. He has been targeted 17 times so far this season, and he has shown he can get open off the line of scrimmage and make the catch over the middle.

Uzomah is not a star, but opponents are going to concentrate on stopping A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd, so Uzomah should have a fairly easy time of getting open.


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