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Sleeper Starts for Week 7

Sleeper Starts for Week 7
Matt Jones is healthy again and could see decent number of carries in Week 7

Matt Jones is healthy again and could see decent number of carries in Week 7

Hopefully you didn’t play any 49ers players in your lineups Thursday night as the team and its fantasy relevant players were a colossal disappointment. Unlike that game, where most expected a Seahawks victory, there may actually be some surprises in store for the weekend games. With bye weeks fully in play and injuries hampering teams, it’s worth looking at some alternatives who have upside heading into Sunday.

On the flip side, there are signs that point to certain guys disappointing. Look at Carlos Hyde… he went into the game with a stress fracture and openly couldn’t cut very well. Couple that with a terrible matchup and he was someone who was set up perfectly to sabotage a fantasy lineup. The bottom line is we’ve asked our featured experts to name players they expect to carry sleeper potential as well as those they’d avoid playing this week if possible.

If you don’t see any of your players listed below, be sure to check out our Who Should I Start? tool. You can also import your team into My Playbook for instant suggestions specific to your players.

Q1. Give us a player outside of our top 85 Flex that represents a deep sleeper start and tell us why you think he has upside this week.

Matt Jones – RB, WAS vs TB
“I believe Matt Jones has an excellent opportunity to erase the memory of his poor performances from weeks 4 and 5. He missed last week due to injury, but has been practicing in full with no apparent setback. With Chris Thompson dealing with his own injury and very much in doubt to miss the game, Jones should have enough touches to warrant flex consideration against a beatable Bucs defense.”
Tom Schriner (FFLockerRoom)

Jordan Cameron – TE, MIA vs HOU
“This will be the week that Jordan Cameron of the Miami Dolphins breaks out. In the last three games, Cameron is averaging eight targets per game and he hauled in a touchdown last week. The Texans secondary is banged up and Julius Thomas lit them up last week for 78 yards and a score. Cameron is a great sleeper flex play in week 7.”
Walton Spurlin (Fantasy Sharks)

Kamar Aiken – WR, BAL at ARI
“This far deep in the flex rankings essentially means we’re looking outside of the top 30 running backs and the top 55 wide receivers. So when you look for a sleeper that deep, it almost always has to be a wide receiver (or a tight end) because they usually have better chances at a big play based on their limited opportunities than a backup running back. Let’s roll with Kamar Aiken against the Cardinals. We know Arizona has a tough pass defense, but I can also see this turning into a game where Baltimore has to throw a lot in the second half. With Patrick Peterson on Steve Smith Sr., Aiken could see more targets than usual, and he has two touchdown catches in his past three games.”
David Gonos (FanDuel)

Riley Cooper – WR, PHI at CAR
“Obviously, there’s a health caveat here and I’ll admit that ‘pre-season Jon’ would hate me for saying this… but, I’m excited about Riley Cooper this week. He’s been drawing a lot of targets from Sam Bradford in recent weeks – to the tune of 13 targets in his last two games, with an aDot of 18.8. Meanwhile, Jordan Matthews had been struggling and could draw coverage from Josh Norman, leaving lots of opportunity for secondary targets. There is an obvious bust risk here, but if he sees a few deep balls from Bradford again, the boom side is appealing to owners needing a big game from their WR3.”
Jon Collins (Fantasy Sports LR)

Jordan Reed – TE, WAS vs TB
“Reed is expected to return to action this week after finally clearing the concussion protocol. He ranks second among tight ends in targets per game, 3rd in yards per game and he will return to a lineup still missing DeSean Jackson. The matchup against the Bucs isn’t great, but Blake Bortles just tossed 4 TDs against them and Reed is expected to jump right back in as Kirk Cousins’ co-favorite receiving option. Delanie Walker, whose usage is similar to Reed, put up 43 yards and a TD against the Bucs in a little over 2 quarters of Week 1 play. Reed presents even more upside.”
Sean Morris (Bruno Boys)

Q2. On the flip side, what player inside the top 40 Flex is likely to disappoint fantasy owners this week?

DeMarco Murray – RB, PHI at CAR
“The player that stands out to me is DeMarco Murray. He’s finally seeing the touches, 27 and 25 over the past 2 weeks, but he’ll be facing a stingy Panthers defense. Carolina does a better job stopping the run up the middle, but starts to falter when backs play pass catcher. It’s just a hunch, but I think this game could feature more Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles.”
Tom Schriner (FFLockerRoom)

Steve Smith – WR, BAL vs. ARI
“Who can disappoint? Steve Smith Sr., who is dealing with microfractures in his back. He had a big game against the 49ers last week (7-137-1), and it’s a foregone conclusion that he’s healthy. Add that to a matchup with stud cornerback Patrick Peterson, and I can see Smith finishing outside the top 40 flex players in Week 7.”
David Gonos (FanDuel)

Dion Lewis – RB, NE at NYJ
“New England running back Dion Lewis is a risky start this week against a stout New York Jets defense. The Jets are allowing less than 60 rushing yards per game to running backs and have allowed only two touchdowns to the position all season. Thoughts that Lewis will excel in the passing game need to be tempered as well with New York allowing only four receptions and 27 receiving yards per game to running backs. Lewis is also dealing with an abdomen injury that may limit his effectiveness.”
Walton Spurlin (Fantasy Sharks)

Antonio Brown – WR, PIT at KC
“I’m still not ready to start Antonio Brown if I have other trustworthy options on the roster. As we know, this has nothing to do with talent, and even with the change to Landry Jones, the QB situation is less than desirable. Even against the league’s most generous WR defense, Jones could be in trouble in his first career start. Most owners won’t have a better option than Brown, so he’ll be in more lineups than he’s not this week, but expectations need to be tempered. He had just two catches in the second half with Jones last week while Martavis Bryant and his young QB showed instant chemistry.”
Jon Collins (Fantasy Sports LR)

Antonio Gates – TE, SD vs. OAK
“The obvious player to avoid in the top 40 flex rankings this week is Antonio Gates. He’s currently listed on the wrong side of questionable for Sunday after missing 3 straight practices with a sprained MCL. The matchup against Oakland is as good as it gets, but this is the first knee injury Gates has ever dealt with and playing through it will be trickier than his past injuries. Even if he plays, it won’t be a full compliment of snaps. If he can’t go Ladarius Green will immediately become one of the top sleepers in fantasy this week.”
Sean Morris (Bruno Boys)

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