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Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em

Week 7 Start 'Em or Sit 'Em

by Nick Mensio
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em is geared toward redraft leagues but can also be used for setting DFS lineups, as these are the players I’ll likely have exposure to on Sunday. As always, the Thursday night game is ignored in this piece due to short shelf life.

QUARTERBACK

Start of the Week: Blake Bortles vs. Raiders: Bortles has just one top-12 finish a third of the way through the season. Was last season an outlier when he finished as overall QB5 in fantasy points per game? Possibly. But if he’s going to break out of the slump, it’s now or never. The Raiders have been shredded through the air, and this figures to be one of the pass-happiest games of the weekend. Both offenses are top-eight in pass percentage (OAK 8th, JAX 3rd) and this one sports a healthy over-under of 49 with a one-point spread. It’s basically a pick ‘em that could easily turn into a shootout. We want pieces of these aerial attacks. Starting with Week 1, Oakland has allowed the QB2 (Drew Brees), QB2 (Matt Ryan), QB30 (Marcus Mariota), QB6 (Joe Flacco), QB4 (Philip Rivers), and QB28 (Alex Smith). Tennessee and Kansas City are two of the most run-heavy offenses in football. Bortles is attempting 38.6 pass attempts per game. The Raiders are surrendering 0.72 fantasy points per pass attempt and the fourth-most fantasy points overall to quarterbacks. No team has allowed more passing yards. This is a dream spot for Bortles with the Raiders traveling cross-country.

Starts

Kirk Cousins at Lions: Cousins appears to finally be finding some form after a rough start to the season. He was able to coax a top-15 finish out of last week’s game against an Eagles team that plays at a snail’s pace. Cousins now gets the sexiest spot a quarterback could ever dream up. The only way it could be better for Cousins is if it was in D.C. The Lions are getting straight-up eviscerated by the pass, yielding the most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Case Keenum just had the game of his life in Detroit last week, finishing as the overall QB2 and at one time completed 19-straight passes. CASE KEENUM, people. I mean, come on. This isn’t hard. Prior to allowing the QB2 finish to Keenum, the Lions surrendered the QB13 (Carson Wentz), QB7 (Brian Hoyer), QB3 (Aaron Rodgers), QB18 (Marcus Mariota), and QB1 (Andrew Luck). And much like the Raiders-Jaguars game mentioned above, Redskins-Lions figures to be pass-heavy. Both offenses are top-15 (WSH 9th, DET 15th) in pass percentage. It’s hard to get worse than the Raiders’ 0.72 fantasy points allowed per pass attempt, but the Lions are giving up 0.81 per attempt. Cousins averages 37.7 pass attempts per game. Rotoworld’s Rich Hribar laid out some incredibly-bad Lions pass-defense stats in his Week 7 Worksheet, including quarterbacks completing 79.2 percent of their passes against Detroit the past three weeks and Detroit allowing a passing touchdown every 12.1 attempts. The Lions are 31st in Football Outsiders’ pass-defense DVOA. Cousins has sky-high upside.

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Andy Dalton vs. Browns: The touchdowns haven’t been there for Dalton through six starts. He’s thrown one or zero touchdowns in five games. But Dalton’s completion percentage (67.4) would be a career-high and his YPA (8.1) would be his second-highest mark. The only concern with Dalton this week would be the Bengals blowing the doors off the Browns. Good news, though. Cincinnati has shown zero ability to run the ball, checking in at No. 22 in </>Football Outsiders’ rush offense DVOA. The Bengals are 24th in rushing yards per game (89.8) and sixth in pass yards (275.0). Only the Lions have allowed more fantasy points and passing touchdowns to quarterbacks than the Browns. Cleveland is 30th in Football Outsiders’ pass-defense DVOA. And opposing offenses are throwing the ball against Cleveland 55.6 percent of the time, the fifth-highest mark in the league. Dalton’s touchdown numbers are bound to progress to the mean. He may also have Tyler Eifert (back, ankle) at his disposal for the first time this season. Eifert practiced Wednesday. Dalton is averaging 36.3 pass attempts per game. The Browns yield 0.75 fantasy points per attempt. Factoring in price and matchup, Dalton, Bortles, and Cousins may be my favorite DFS passers this week.

Jameis Winston at 49ers: Winston has been downright dreadful since dissecting the Falcons in the season opener. That MVP talk heading into Week 2 sure was hilarious. Winston’s eight interceptions are tied with Brock Osweiler for the second-most, only better than recently-benched Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 11. A road date with the hapless 49ers may be what gets Winston moving in a positive direction. The only reason this spot is interesting for Winston is the pace it figures to play. The 49ers (1st) and Bucs (5th) are two of the fastest-paced offenses in the league. Tampa Bay is No. 2 in offensive plays per game, while San Francisco is No. 13. The Bucs are sixth in plays per game on the road, and the 49ers are fifth in plays per game at home. Any way we slice it, this game has plenty of volume potential. Since shutting out the Rams in Week 1, the 49ers have allowed 37 points per game. Laughably and unimaginably bad. San Francisco is 15th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, but 3-of-6 games were against Case Keenum, Drew Stanton, and Tyrod Taylor. With injuries to Doug Martin (hamstring), Charles Sims (knee, I.R.), and Vincent Jackson (knee, I.R.), this Bucs offense figures to be incredibly concentrated. We know Winston, Mike Evans, and Jacquizz Rodgers are going to do the majority of the heavy lifting on offense.

 

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Sits

Carson Palmer vs. Seahawks: Palmer hasn’t been right for a while now. He’s QB27 in fantasy points per game six weeks into the season, sandwiched between Blaine Gabbert (QB26) and Trevor Siemian (QB28). All Palmer has is name recognition. Coach Bruce Arians has handed over the reins of the offense to the most dynamic running back in football, David Johnson. Palmer was unable to pick apart the Jets’ 32nd-ranked pass defense (in Football Outsiders’ DVOA) last week, failing to throw a touchdown for 3.5 quarters. Seattle isn’t exactly what we would call a get-right spot for quarterbacks. The Seahawks are No. 3 in pass-defense DVOA, No. 2 in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, and No. 5 in pass yards allowed per game (209.0). Palmer has thrown zero or one touchdowns in six of his past ten games. Seattle has allowed the QB11 (Matt Ryan), QB26 (Ryan Fitzpatrick), QB29 (Blaine Gabbert), QB28 (Case Keenum), and QB17 (Ryan Tannehill) finishes. Palmer is better than all but Ryan, but a top-12 finish seems more unlikely than likely.

Carson Wentz vs. Vikings: Fade the Carsons. Since the Week 4 bye, Wentz has averaged 208.5 passing yards per game with a 2:1 TD:INT count. And one of those games came against the Lions’ league-worst pass defense. It’s hard to draw up a less appetizing fantasy matchup than Vikings-Eagles. Minnesota (30th) and Philadelphia (32nd) are two of the three slowest-paced offenses, and this game sports the week’s lowest over-under at a minuscule 40 points. The Eagles’ implied team total of 18.5 points screams “fade!” The Vikings are No. 2 in Football Outsiders’ pass-defense DVOA, No. 6 in passing yards against, and 10th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. Wentz has also been sacked eight times over his past two games, and the Vikings are No. 2 in adjusted sack rate with 19 quarterback takedowns. Wentz is barely a two-QB league option.

Sam Bradford at Eagles: Wentz’s opposite number, Bradford is also one of the least-intriguing fantasy quarterbacks of Week 7. He’s playing at a high level for what he’s asked to do, but what he’s asked to do isn’t very much. Bradford is averaging 247.5 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game on 31.25 attempts. Both Minnesota and Philadelphia are bottom-nine in offensive plays per game and bottom-three in pace. The 40-point over-under is the lowest of Week 7. The Eagles are fifth in Football Outsiders’ pass-defense DVOA and No. 1 in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. They have given up five passing scores over the past two games, but that’s the only five pass touchdowns they’ve surrendered all season. This game is a full-on fantasy fade.

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RUNNING BACK

Start of the Week: Jacquizz Rodgers at 49ers: Rodgers’ 35 touches in Week 5 is the single-game high among all running backs this season. He carried the ball on the Bucs’ first six plays against the Panthers and touched the rock 11 times on the opening drive. That was the most touches on an opening series since Corey Dillon in 2001. Expecting Rodgers to get 35 touches again this week would be foolish, but it’s certainly not out of the question. Doug Martin (hamstring) suffered a setback in his recovery last week and has already been ruled out for Sunday. That again leaves Rodgers as the clear-cut No. 1 back with only “Peyton Barber” and free-agent signed Antone Smith behind him. It’s essentially the same setup as Week 5 when Barber and “Russell Hansbrough” were the backups. San Francisco is 28th in Football Outsiders’ run-defense DVOA and has allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs on the season. Over the past three weeks, however, the 49ers have been thoroughly destroyed on the ground, yielding 191.7 rushing yards and SEVEN touchdowns. Running backs are averaging 5.87(!) YPC and 35.3 touches per game in that span. LeSean McCoy was the overall RB2 against the 49ers in Week 6, David Johnson was RB1 in Week 5, and Ezekiel Elliott was RB2 in Week 4. Those are obviously three of the best backs the league has to offer, but there’s no reason Rodgers can’t be a top-15 running back this week. Christine Michael was RB6 in Week 3, and Fozzy Whittaker RB17 in Week 2. The Bucs and 49ers are both top-five in offensive pace and near the top of the league in plays per game. Rodgers and Mike Evans handled 74.5 percent of the Bucs’ offensive touches in Week 5, and with Vincent Jackson (knee, I.R.) now out of the picture, it solidifies those two as the focal points of the offense. Fire Rodgers up with confidence.

Starts

Tevin Coleman vs. Chargers: Coleman saw his lowest touch total (six) of the season last week at Seattle, but it’s notable that his snap rate (46.3 percent) fell right in line with his season average of 44.2 percent. The Seahawks simply presented Coleman and Devonta Freeman with their toughest matchup to date. Back home on the Georgia Dome turf, Coleman and Freeman are both back in play in a glorious situation. No team has allowed more catches (54) to running backs than the Chargers. Running backs are averaging nine catches for 69.3 yards and 0.33 touchdowns per game through the air against San Diego. The Bolts have also allowed seven scores on the ground and the sixth-most fantasy points overall to running backs. The Freeman-Coleman duo is arguably the best run-catch backfield duo in football. And Matt Ryan loves to feature them in the flats and out in space. Coleman (23) and Freeman (20) are 2-of-18 running backs to see at least 20 targets. Chargers-Falcons has a massive 54-point over-under, and it’s been on the rise the past two days after opening at 51.5. I wouldn’t be opposed to using both Freeman and Coleman together in DFS lineups.

Spencer Ware vs. Saints: Jamaal Charles declared himself 100 percent healthy last week, but Ware out-snapped him 40-15 and out-touched him 26-11. Ware’s 24 carries and 131 rushing yards were both season-highs. The wet, sloppy field conditions in Oakland may have played a part in Charles’ limited work coming off a torn ACL, but Ware was simply too impressive not to have a major role in this offense going forward. Ware’s play gives coach Andy Reid a reason not to rush Charles, and Reid said on Monday that he doesn’t think Charles is ready to carry a full workload. Both running backs will be in play as season-long starts against the Saints’ 30th-ranked run-defense in Football Outsiders’ DVOA. New Orleans is allowing 109.4 rushing yards per game at 4.52 YPC. It’s also yielding 5.8 catches for 49.8 receiving yards per week to running backs. No team has given up more fantasy points or rushing touchdowns to the position. The run game is the foundation of Kansas City’s offense, and it accounted for all three touchdowns last week at the Raiders. When game script is in the Chiefs’ favor, they’ll run it down the defense’s throat at will. Kansas City is healthy 6.5-point favorites in a game that features a 50.5-point over-under, the second-highest of the week. The Chiefs have an implied team total of 28.5 points, also the second-highest of Week 7. Per Rotoworld’s Rich Hribar’s Worksheet, Ware has accounted for 35.1 percent of the Chiefs’ offensive yards. That’s the second-highest rate in the league behind David Johnson (36.6 percent).

James White at Steelers: Since Tom Brady made his season debut two weeks ago, White has out-snapped LeGarrette Blount 77-56. White has been in on 53.5 percent of the plays compared to 38.9 percent for Blount. It’s confirmation that White’s floor and ceiling have received a boost with Brady back under center and the Patriots throwing the ball at a much higher clip. White saw touch totals of nine and 15 in Weeks 5 and 6, respectively. Over the past two weeks, White’s 15 targets are third on the team behind Julian Edelman (17) and Rob Gronkowski (16). The Steelers are struggling to contain running backs out of the backfield, as only the Chargers (54) and Falcons (52) have allowed more catches to the position than the Steelers (37). New England has shown no problem running up the score and playing full-throttle offense the past two games. The Patriots’ implied team total of 26.75 points is one of the highest on the board. White is a solid RB2 in all formats.

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Sits

Frank Gore at Titans: Gore is coming off his first 100-yard game as a member of the Colts. He’s seen at least 14 carries and rushed for 68 yards or more in each of the past four outings. Gore’s workload has proven steady, if not spectacular, but Tennessee presents a less-than-ideal matchup. The Titans play ball-control offense and are 31st in pace. Opponents are only averaging 59.2 offensive plays per game against them, the third-lowest mark in the league. The Titans are 10th in Football Outsiders’ run-defense DVOA and sixth in fantasy points allowed to running backs. They allow just 3.85 YPC and 88.5 rushing yards per game. The best way to attack this defense is through the air, picking on CB Perrish Cox. All four of the Titans’ safeties have negative coverage grades at Pro Football Focus. This sets up as a T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle game.

Ryan Mathews vs. Vikings: Mathews has become impossible to trust. His snaps are all over the place. Mathews’ weekly snap rates, starting with Week 1, are 48.1% > 29.2% > 12.3% > 41% > 21.2%. The Eagles seem to have zero plan in the backfield outside of Darren Sproles. Mathews lost a critical fumble in the fourth quarter of the Week 5 loss to the Lions and played just 11 snaps last week at the Redskins. He still carried the ball nine times for 60 yards (6.7 YPC), out-producing Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner, who combined to rush six times for 12 yards on 18 snaps. Mathews could just as easily take back over lead-dog duties against Minnesota. However, the matchup is just too ugly. The Vikings are No. 4 in Football Outsiders’ run-defense DVOA and fourth in rushing yards allowed per game (77.8). As previously mentioned, Vikings-Eagles has the lowest total of Week 7 at 40 points and features two of the three slowest-paced offenses in the league.

Matt Forte vs. Ravens: Since his 100-yard, three-touchdown Week 2 against the Bills, Forte has been fantasy’s RB44 in the four games since. He’s averaging 4.7 fantasy points per game in that span. Guys like Bobby Rainey, Chris Thompson, Fozzy Whittaker, and Damien Williams have outscored Forte since Week 2. With the Jets in the gutter and getting blown out every week, Forte has been losing serious snaps to Bilal Powell. Forte has played 133 snaps to Powell’s 132 the past four weeks. Forte is still dominating the ground work, but he has no pass-game role. Powell has seen 25 targets to Forte’s 11 since that Bills game. Now the Jets run into a Ravens run defense that is permitting just 3.57 YPC to running backs and a league-low 69.7 rushing yards per game. The Ravens are No. 1 in Football Outsiders’ run-defense DVOA, while the Jets’ offensive line is 20th in run-blocking DVOA. Forte has had nowhere to run, and that won’t change Sunday.

WIDE RECEIVER

Start of the Week: Julian Edelman at Steelers: Since Tom Brady’s return from suspension, Edelman has actually led the team in targets with 17. Unfortunately, he’s only been able to turn them into nine catches for 65 scoreless yards. It’s possible Edelman is playing at less than 100 percent after undergoing offseason foot surgeries. He’s been limited in practice for the past three weeks, but his playing time hasn’t taken a hit. Week 7 presents a breakout spot for the Patriots’ slot man. Second-round rookie Sean Davis covers the slot for the Steelers and is Pro Football Focus’ No. 99 cover corner out of 112 qualifiers. LCB William Gay checks in at No. 28, and RCB Ross Cockrell is No. 52. Edelman has the best individual matchup among the Patriots’ receivers, and with Steelers ILB Ryan Shazier (knee) expected to return this week, the Patriots’ tight-end duo also takes a bit of a hit. The Patriots are going to put up points Sunday. Trying to predict who’s going to score the touchdowns is the difficult part. But everything points in Edelman’s favor this time around.

Starts

Allen Hurns vs. Raiders: Hurns was limited in Wednesday’s practice with a shoulder issue but remains on track to play Sunday. The big difference for Hurns from last year to this year is he’s not scoring touchdowns. He’s averaging the exact same number of targets per game (6.6) as 2015, while the weekly yardage average of 60 this season is comparable to last season’s (68.7). But after scoring 10 times as a sophomore, he has just one end-zone visit through five games in 2016. Week 7 presents a chance for Hurns to break out. The Raiders have allowed the most receiving yards and fifth-most fantasy points to receivers. They allow over 312 yards per game through the air. Running over 64 percent of his routes from the slot, Hurns also draws the best individual matchup in this one. Raiders slot CB D.J. Hayden is Pro Football Focus’ No. 67 cover corner out of 112 qualifiers and has allowed 72.4 percent of the passes thrown at him to be completed. Raiders-Chargers features a 49-point over-under and one-point spread. Both offenses are top-eight (OAK 8th, JAX 3rd) is pass percentage, so this has definite shootout potential. Hurns is a respectable WR3.

Michael Thomas at Chiefs: Over the Saints’ last three games, Thomas leads the team in targets with 25 and has also seen a whopping seven red-zone targets in that frame. No other New Orleans pass catcher has drawn more than three targets in the red zone during that time. Touchdowns are obviously king, and Thomas has scored one in three-straight games. The Saints like to move him close to the line when nearing the end zone, and Drew Breese feeds him quick slants, allowing Thomas to use his size to break tackles on his way to the end zone. New Orleans’ offense is much worse away from the Superdome, but it would be expected that it’ll at least visit the red zone a couple times Sunday. Thomas is the only part of this passing offense that really sticks out as a solid play this week. Brandin Cooks, Coby Fleener, and Willie Snead all have drastic home-road splits.

Jeremy Maclin vs. Saints: Maclin has wasted numerous prime matchups this season, particularly against the Jets in Week 3 and the Raiders in Week 6. He managed receiving lines of 4-35 and 3-49 in those two contests. But it’s impossible to bench him in a home spot against a Saints pass defense that is 26th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA and 31st in yards allowed. The Chiefs get them at Arrowhead in a game with a massive 50.5-point total. As 6.5-point favorites, Kansas City sports a gigantic implied team total of 28.5. Prior to last week when the Chiefs ran the ball down the Raiders’ throat in a rain-soaked game, Maclin had been averaging 8.75 targets per game. Saints CBs Ken Crawley and Sterling Moore will likely take turns covering Maclin depending on if he’s in the slot or outside. Crawley is Pro Football Focus’ No. 96 cover corner out of 112 qualifiers, and Moore is No. 65. It’s now or never for Maclin. He’s been one of fantasy’s bigger disappointments.

Sits

Stefon Diggs at Eagles: After sitting out the Week 5 game with a groin injury, Diggs returned to practice Wednesday following the Week 6 bye. He should be ready to return. Diggs’ groin issue first popped up in Week 3, and he’s been mostly a non-factor in two games since, turning 14 targets into nine catches for 87 scoreless yards. You’ll notice a common theme throughout this piece. We’re staying far away from this Vikings-Eagles game. Its 40-point over-under is the lowest of the week, and both teams are bottom-three in offensive pace. The Eagles are No. 5 in Football Outsiders’ pass-defense DVOA and surrender the fifth-fewest fantasy points to receivers. Running a good chunk of his routes out of the slot, there’s a chance Diggs finds himself in safeties Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod’s coverage. The Eagles field arguably the league’s top safety duo.

John Brown vs. Seahawks: Over Carson Palmer’s last three starts, Brown has seen a team-high 32 targets. But he’s yet to find the end zone this season and runs into a buzzsaw that is the Legion of Boom this Sunday. Seattle is No. 3 in Football Outsiders’ pass-defense DVOA and fourth in fantasy points allowed to receivers. Brown moves around the formation enough to avoid LCB Richard Sherman for parts of the day, but the Seahawks’ other two cornerbacks, DeShawn Shead and Jeremy Lane, are also playing at a high level. RCB Shead is Pro Football Focus’ No. 7 cover corner out of 112 qualifiers, and slot CB Lane is No. 33. On top of squaring off with the league’s No. 1 or 2 secondary, Carson Palmer hasn’t looked like his early-2015 form since, well, early 2015. He’s not challenging defenses deep, and Sunday isn’t a spot that will present him a time to start.

Jordan Matthews vs. Vikings: What do ya know, another player from the dreaded Vikings-Eagles matchup. After seeing 23 targets across Weeks 1 and 2, Matthews has drawn just 14 total in the three games since. Carson Wentz is spreading the ball around so much, and this low-volume offense isn’t able to support any pass catchers on a weekly basis. Matthews saw three red-zone targets in the season opener, but has seen just one in the past four games. The Vikings are second in Football Outsiders’ pass-defense DVOA and second in fantasy points allowed to receivers. Minnesota has allowed just two touchdowns to the position. Matthews will run most of his routes at slot CB Captain Munnerlyn, one of the best inside cover men in the league.

TIGHT END

Start of the Week: Jack Doyle at Titans: After Dwayne Allen (ankle) went down early in last Sunday night’s game against the Texans, Doyle played virtually every snap. He was in on 90.1 percent of the plays after playing just 56.8 percent of the snaps Weeks 1-5. Allen is week to week, and No. 2 WR Phillip Dorsett (foot, hamstring) is also in danger of not playing after missing practice Wednesday. Doyle has solidified himself as the Colts’ No. 2 pass-game option behind alpha dog T.Y. Hilton. In a really tough matchup last week against the Texans’ No. 7-ranked tight end defense, Doyle was still able to hang a respectable 4-53-1 line, finishing as TE6. The Titans are 13th in fantasy points allowed to tight ends, but Doyle is Indianapolis’ best red-zone option with Allen out of the picture. At such a thin position, Doyle is an elite TE1 streamer and a good bet for a touchdown.

Starts

Travis Kelce vs. Saints: Like teammate Jeremy Maclin, Kelce was a mega-disappointment in Week 6 against the Raiders. With it pouring rain, the Chiefs barely threw the ball, and Kelce saw just three targets. He reeled in all three for 32 scoreless yards. Prior to last week, Kelce had seen seven targets in each of the Chiefs’ first four games and leads the team with eight red-zone targets. Kelce is back in a great spot. The Saints allow a league-worst 33.6 points and the second-most yards (419.4) per game. The Chiefs are going to score Sunday, and they have the second-highest implied team total of the week at 28.5 points. We just have to hope Alex Smith throws a touchdown or two. If Kansas City gets in the red zone, odds are it’ll be Spencer Ware of Kelce scoring.

Julius Thomas vs. Raiders: Tight end is a super shallow position on a per-week basis. All we really have is the matchups to play. Thomas’ targets have left a lot to be desired, as he’s seen an average of just five per game, but he couldn’t ask for a much better Week 7 draw. The Raiders allow a league-high 444.8 yards per game and have surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points and third-most yards per game to tight ends. FS Reggie Nelson is Pro Football Focus’ No. 84 cover safety out of 86 qualifiers. WLB Malcolm Smith is 25th in coverage among 27 qualifying 4-3 outside ’backers.

Hunter Henry at Falcons: Since Antonio Gates (hamstring) returned in Week 5, Henry has still out-snapped him 88-49 over the past two games. The rookie has also out-targeted Gates 12-11 in that span, while each has seen three red-zone targets. In Week 6, Henry led the Chargers in targets, catches, receiving yards, and caught Philip Rivers’ lone touchdown. Even with Gates back, Henry remains a large part of the offense. Only the Browns have allowed more receiving yards to tight ends than the Falcons, and only the Lions, Browns, and Panthers have given up more touchdown catches to the position. Henry is a good way to gain access to this 54-point over-under.

Sits

Coby Fleener at Chiefs: Much like the rest of his teammates, Fleener has massive home-road splits. In two games on the road this season, Fleener is averaging 2.5 catches for 24 yards and no scores. At home, he’s averaged a weekly line of 4.7 catches for 63 yards and three total touchdowns. Playing at Arrowhead against a Chiefs defense that has swallowed up tight ends to this point, there are better options than Fleener for owners looking to stream the position.

Kyle Rudolph at Eagles: Rudolph has become Sam Bradford’s go-to guy in scoring position. However, Week 7 serves up maybe the toughest matchup a tight end can expect. The Eagles have erased tight ends all season, allowing just two catches and 20.4 yards per game to the position. Those using Rudolph are simply praying for a touchdown. All three of SS Malcolm Jenkings, FS Rodney McLeod, and ILB Jordan Hicks are elite in coverage.

Jacob Tamme vs. Chargers: Tamme has tumbled all the way down to the No. 4 or 5 option in the Falcons’ high-powered passing attack. Mohamed Sanu is emerging as the preferred over-the-middle, chain-moving target, while RBs Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman are the pass-game threats in the flats. Tamme has seen just six targets total over the past three weeks. And since the Chargers lost slow-footed ILBs Manti Te’o and Denzel Perryman to injuries, they’ve defended tight ends well, allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to the position over the past three weeks.

Nick Mensio

Nick Mensio has been covering the NFL for Rotoworld since 2012. He can be found on Twitter at @NickMensio.