Fantasy Football Week 7: Biggest Sleepers at Every Position

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2021

Fantasy Football Week 7: Biggest Sleepers at Every Position

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    Ed Zurga/Associated Press

    In Week 7, many fantasy football managers are feeling desperate. Six teams are on a bye, four of which have top-12 scoring offenses. 

    If you're without stars such as Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson or James Robinson, you might have to go digging deeper into your bench or on the waiver wire.  

    We're here to help with some sleeper picks, all of whom are rostered in fewer than 60 percent of Yahoo leagues.

    You may have no choice but to give second chances to players who you dropped early in the season or familiar faces who have underperformed this year. That isn't a death knell to your Week 7 chances, though.

    Young players develop over time, and some veterans land in fantasy-friendly situations that allow them to become featured contributors at their respective positions. Once you combine those factors with an opponent that has a vulnerable defense, plenty of overlooked names can become high-end sleeper options.  

QB Jameis Winston at Seattle Seahawks (49 Percent Rostered)

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    Terrance Williams/Associated Press

    DK DFS Price: $5,900

    Fresh off a bye week, New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston still won't have star wideout Michael Thomas, who remains on injured reserve as he recovers from ankle surgery. However, he does have a promising Week 7 fantasy outlook in a matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.

    The Seahawks have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Seattle has surrendered at least 313 yards through the air in four out of six games and 10 touchdowns for the season.

    In Week 5, Winston picked up some momentum, throwing for a season-high 279 yards and four touchdowns against the Washington Football Team, who have allowed the most passing yards and touchdowns this season. Since the Seahawks' pass defense isn't much better, Winston could post another impressive fantasy stat line Monday.

    Winston's big arm can make up for the lack of weapons around him. Against the Football Team, he threw 49- and 72-yard touchdown passes. With an extra week to prepare for the Seahawks' 28th-ranked pass defense, Winston is a top sleeper pick at quarterback. 

QB Tua Tagovailoa vs. Atlanta Falcons (45 Percent Rostered)

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    Michael Reaves/Getty Images

    DK DFS Price: $5,500

    Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa made his return from a rib injury last Sunday after a three-game absence and threw for 329 yards, two touchdowns and an interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    Though the Dolphins lost the game, Tagovailoa had one of his best passing performances as a pro. Now healthy, he has a chance to build some momentum in Week 7 against the Atlanta Falcons. 

    Head coach Brian Flores wants to balance the offense with a stronger commitment to the run, but it remains to be seen whether he'll follow through with it. The Dolphins rank seventh in pass attempts but have the fewest total carries this season, which means Tagovailoa may have a lot on his shoulders against Atlanta.

    In five games, the Falcons have surrendered 11 touchdowns through the air. Even if wideouts DeVante Parker (hamstring) and Preston Williams (groin) sit out with injuries, Tagovailoa should have enough firepower to post gaudy numbers with rookie wideout Jaylen Waddle and tight end Mike Gesicki, just as he did last week. 

RB Mark Ingram II at Arizona Cardinals (34 Percent Rostered)

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    Zach Bolinger/Associated Press

    DK DFS Price: $4,400

    Are you in a state of panic with running backs Najee Harris, Ezekiel Elliott, Dalvin Cook, Austin Ekeler and James Robinson all on a bye week? Put some faith in 31-year-old Mark Ingram II, who's the clear-cut lead ball-carrier for the Houston Texans.

    Ingram has recorded 34 carries over the last two games. He's logged fewer than 14 rushing attempts only twice this season. With that volume, the 11th-year veteran can fill in as a streamer or hold a flex spot in starting lineups. 

    Despite Ingram's touch volume, he hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 1, but that might change in a matchup against the Arizona Cardinals' 23rd-ranked run defense.

    Though the Cardinals have surrendered only three scores on the ground this season, their porous run defense allows 5.2 yards per carry, which ranks 31st leaguewide. Ingram could reach paydirt if the Texans offense makes a few trips into the red zone.

    Ingram isn't the most appealing sleeper option, but managers should consider him while he's the Texans' primary running back over David Johnson and Phillip Lindsay.

RB Rhamondre Stevenson vs. New York Jets (18 Percent Rostered)

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    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    DK DFS Price: $4,700

    Rhamondre Stevenson temporarily lost his spot in the New England Patriots' running back rotation after he lost a fumble in the season opener against the Miami Dolphins. The Patriots listed him as a healthy scratch from Weeks 2 through 4. 

    Because of running back James White's season-ending hip injury, J.J. Taylor's fumble in Week 4 and Brandon Bolden's modest receiving numbers over the past two outings (five catches for nine yards), Stevenson will likely have a chance to redeem himself. 

    Since Week 5, Stevenson has recorded 16 carries for 46 yards and a touchdown, so he's back in the mix. More importantly, the rookie fourth-rounder caught three passes for 39 yards against the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday, which means he might have a chance to fill the primary pass-catching role out of the backfield.

    In Week 7, Stevenson could gain some steam against the New York Jets' 21st-ranked run defense. If he takes care of the ball, he should have enough touches to make a decent fantasy contribution.

WR Mecole Hardman at Tennessee Titans (50 Percent Rostered)

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    Matt Rourke/Associated Press

    DK DFS Price: $4,300

    Mecole Hardman can maintain fantasy relevancy while fellow wide receiver Josh Gordon acclimates himself to the Kansas City Chiefs offense.

    While on the field for 20 offensive snaps, Gordon has been targeted once in two games. In that same stretch, Hardman has hauled in 13 of 17 targets for 138 yards.

    Even if Gordon is more involved this week, Hardman should still have a role in the aerial attack, which will go against a vulnerable Tennessee Titans pass defense that's allowed the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers.

    Furthermore, the Titans have a banged-up secondary with cornerbacks Kristian Fulton (hamstring) and Caleb Farley (ACL) on injured reserve. On a quick turnaround from Monday night, the shorthanded unit may struggle to keep pace with Kansas City's second-ranked passing offense.

    Keep in mind Chiefs wideout Tyreek Hill has a quad injury, so Hardman could have plenty of opportunities to rack up yards and a score. He's a high-end sleeper option.

WR Darnell Mooney at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (46 Percent Rostered)

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    David Becker/Associated Press

    DK DFS Price: $4,600

    While Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields isn't quite ready for the fantasy spotlight, he's built a rapport with Darnell Mooney, who leads the team in targets (39), receptions (25) and yards (306). 

    In Fields' second start back in Week 4 against the Detroit Lions, Mooney hauled in five passes for 125 yards. This week, they're facing a Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass defense that ranks 27th in yards allowed and has surrendered 14 touchdowns in six games. 

    The Buccaneers' cornerback group is banged up, too. Carlton Davis III is on injured reserve with a quad injury. Richard Sherman suffered a hamstring last Thursday against the Philadelphia Eagles, and he'll probably miss "a couple weeks," per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

    But if Tampa Bay's high-powered offense runs circles around Chicago's defense, Fields will have to push the ball downfield in catch-up mode. That will increase the likelihood of Mooney having another 100-plus-yard receiving game.

WR Rashod Bateman vs. Cincinnati Bengals (28 Percent Rostered)

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    DK DFS Price: $3,400

    After spending the first five weeks on injured reserve (core-muscle surgery), Rashod Bateman made his NFL debut last Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers and stepped into a decent role right away.

    Bateman tied tight end Mark Andrews for the most targets among the Baltimore Ravens pass-catchers. He also played 65 percent of the offensive snaps.

    The coaching staff seemingly isn't going to slowly ease him into the game plan. The rookie first-rounder should have an opportunity to establish himself right away. 

    Wide receiver Sammy Watkins didn't suit up against the Chargers because of a hamstring injury, so Bateman may have a small window of opportunity to complement fellow wideout Marquise Brown. Although Devin Duvernay started in Week 6, he saw only three targets. 

    Bateman's draft pedigree makes him an intriguing pickup for the Ravens' upcoming matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, who field a middling pass defense in terms of yards allowed (13th). If Watkins doesn't play, move the rookie up a few spots on your sleeper list.

TE Cole Kmet at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19 Percent Rostered)

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    Chris Unger/Getty Images

    DK DFS Price: $3,000

    In three of his first six games this season, Chicago Bears tight end Cole Kmet caught only one pass. The second-year Notre Dame product could turn the corner soon, though.

    In Week 6 against the Green Bay Packers, Kmet caught four passes for 49 yards, which included chunk plays for 10, 15 and 21 yards. 

    At best, Kmet is the third receiving option in the Chicago Bears' passing game behind wideouts Darnell Mooney (see above) and Allen Robinson II. Nevertheless, his spot in the pecking order may be good enough to help managers in desperate need of production at the tight end position this week. 

    As the case with Mooney, Kmet could benefit from the game script if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take a commanding lead over the Bears. If these two teams battle in a close contest, he still has a favorable matchup against a defense that's tied for fourth in fantasy points allowed to tight ends.


    Fantasy scoring and points allowed are provided by FantasyPros.

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    Maurice Moton is an NFL and fantasy football columnist for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @MoeMoton.


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