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IDP Start em, Sit em – Week 7 (2021 Fantasy Football)

by Raju Byfield | @FantasyContext | Featured Writer
Oct 22, 2021

Week 7 is underway. Okay, so maybe we were all spoiled by the tremendous prime time showings we got for the first quarter of the season. Now with two snoozefests in less than six days, we seem to be reverting back to the hit-or-miss versions of Thursday Night, Sunday Night, and Monday Night Football. With that said, there was still some IDP production to go along with D’Ernest Johnson‘s ‘get that bag’ breakout performance. Myles Garrett continued his dominance, adding 1.5 sacks to his ledger. Anthony Walker and Mack Wilson got it going in time for the byes. Jadeveon Clowney combined with Garrett on a sack, and Kareem Jackson had a strong showing with six solos and three assists. Let’s look ahead to this weekend at five names IDP managers will want to start, and five others who may be best left on the bench. 

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Start em

Jevon Holland (S – MIA)
Holland is finally seeing starters’ snaps for the Miami Dolphins and has now seen at least 97 percent of the snaps for two straight weeks. He has not been exceptional from an IDP perspective in his two starts but has been solid enough to consider a DB2 option during the byes. Holland has a fantastic Week 7 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons and should be locked into lineups during the heavy bye. Atlanta has allowed the most fantasy points to the safety position, giving Holland sneaky DB1 upside for the home game against the Falcons. After appearing in this column as a recommended sit after his slow start and bit role to start the season, Holland is now looking like an every-week starter who should make more appearances in the start portion of this column. 

Jonathan Greenard (DE – HOU)
Greenard showed up again in Week 6 and has played well enough that Houston released veteran Whitney Mercilus to free up more snaps for the emerging edge rusher. An impressive prospect coming out of Florida, Greenard is now up to four sacks in four games. He has recorded a sack in three of his four contests this year and has been a DL1 based on fantasy points per game. Week 7 gives him a plus matchup against an Arizona Cardinals team that should provide plenty of opportunities for production. With more snaps and a strong showing in the tackle department in Week 6, Greenard is someone to lock into lineups for Week 7. Still available in your league? He is worth an add and a start. 

Trey Hendrickson (DE – CIN)
It almost feels like cheating to be able to suggest starting someone who had 13.5 sacks just last season. However, Hendrickson remains on the waiver wire in far too many leagues, which also means he is not being started in enough leagues. He is up to 5.5 sacks on the season and is the DL19/DE11 through six weeks of action. Henrickson was banged up in Week 6 but has been able to log limited practice sessions all week and should be good to go for a plus matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to the defensive end position, making Hendrickson a must-start with DL1 upside. 

Ja’Whaun Bentley (LB – NE)
Ja’Whauan Bentley. Remember him? Bentley stepped up during the second half of the 2020 season but was largely an afterthought this offseason, and frankly, for most of the season. He started the season slowly but has been a solid producer when he has been healthy. He reached what could be the apex in Week 6 with 12 solos, one assist, two tackles for loss, and one forced fumble against Dallas and now has six or more solos in three of his last four games. Bentley was banged up again in Week 6 but has been logging limited practices and will play this weekend in a plus matchup against the New York Jets. Count Bentley as a start-worthy LB2 option for Week 7. 

Kyle Dugger (S/LB – NE)
Dugger was excellent again in Week 6 and has finally reached the LB1 discussion we pegged him for when he started playing more snaps at linebacker. He racked up eight solos, an interception, and one pass defended against Dallas and appears to be hitting his stride. He is the DB14/S9 on the season and needs to be started in Week 7 against the lowly New York Jets. The Jets are a plus matchup for players at every position until further notice. Dugger is by no means matchup proof, but his upside is going to make him a DB1 option most weeks. Dugger has now recorded five or more solos in three straight weeks and is displaying the type of consistency we hoped to see all season. Lock Dugger in as a DB1 option for Week 7.

Sit em

Zach Cunningham (LB – HOU)
At this point, fantasy managers are trying to figure out exactly what is going on with Zack Cunningham. Drafted as an LB1 and even an IDP1, Cunningham has arguably been the most disappointing IDP player through six weeks of action. Cunningham saw a season-low 29 percent of the snaps in Week 6 and is starting to look like a drop candidate. The suggestion here is to hold onto him during the byes on the off chance that he turns it around, but the recent signs do not look good. Cunningham is not listed on the injury report with any sort of ailment. He just has not been producing and is losing snaps in Houston. It probably does not help that Christian Kirksey is soaking up tackles at the position, but Cunningham was able to produce alongside Benardrick McKinney and Tyrell Adams last season.

Cunningham appears to have fallen behind Kamu Grugier-Hill and is no longer a startable option at all. KGH has seen his snaps increase every week that he has been healthy and, after playing 100 percent of the snaps for two straight weeks, appears locked into the nickel role beside Kirksey. As hard as it may be to do with someone you spent significant draft capital on, Cunningham needs to be benched in all formats. Forget the fact that the Texans have a plus matchup against the Cardinals on tap. Cunningham is not playing enough to warrant a starting spot. 

Deion Jones (LB – ATL)
Let me preface this by saying that I have been a big Deion Jones fan for years. However, the Falcons veteran linebacker has been inconsistent enough to drop out of the LB1 conversation all the way to the LB3 discussion. He has had some strong games in which he put up double-digit combined tackles but has recorded more than four solos just once all season. It has not been a matchup-based issue either. His best game of the season came against a New York Giants team, limiting the position to the fewest fantasy points per game. Jones is still a near every snap player too, so this is not a role issue. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what is going on with Jones, but the fact remains that he can no longer be trusted as an LB1 or LB2. He has a tough on-paper matchup against the Miami Dolphins this weekend and should be left on benches for Week 7. Jones is too talented not to get it going eventually, but it is best to keep him glued to fantasy benches until he does. 

Jamin Davis (LB – WAS)
Jamin Davis showed signs of life again in Week 6, tallying five solos and six assists on a season high tying 56 percent of the snaps. He is still losing snaps at linebacker to Landon Collins, who recently told head coach Ron Rivera that he thinks he is a downhill linebacker and is going to be hard to trust until he sees a consistent role. If Jamin gets 56 percent of the snaps or more in Week 7, he would be a startable fantasy option. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee as far as his snap count is concerned, making him more of an LB4 play than an LB3 option. The season has been a disappointment to Jamin, Washington fans, and fantasy managers alike, as the young linebacker is an obvious talent who has the skill set to thrive behind Washington’s vaunted front four. He has a plus matchup in Week 7 and could be a busy man if he sees a large enough role, but at this point, there is no trusting his usage. Keep him benched for Week 7, monitor his snaps, and decide on whether he warrants a start in future weeks based on that. 

Azeez Al-Shaair (LB – SF)
Azeez has been a terrible disappointment since grabbing hold of a starting role due to the injury to Dre Greenlaw. He has had double-digit combined tackles twice this season but has managed more than four solos just once. Fantasy managers who find themselves in a pinch during the heavy bye may be thinking about turning to Al-Shaair, but you shouldn’t. He is playing a near every snap role but has not produced at a consistent enough level to trust as anything more than an LB4 option. Keep him benched for Week 7 and evaluate the opportunity cost of keeping him on your roster based on his performance. 

Willie Gay Jr. (LB – KC)
Yes, all the sit suggestions this week are linebackers. The byes are here, and fantasy managers may find themselves in a pinch at the defensive line and defensive back positions. However, the linebacker position still has enough compelling options to warrant sitting someone you drafted or added with high expectations. Willie Gay Jr. is one of them. He has barely moved the needle since returning to the lineup and has yet to unseat Ben Niemann to play alongside impressive rookie Nick Bolton. Willie actually saw his snaps reduced in Week 6, making him a risky play at best despite the plus matchup against Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans. Keep him benched until he earns a more consistent role. 

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Raju Byfield is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Raju, check out his profile and follow him @FantasyContext.

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