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The Week 7 byes are brutal, chase the matchups and upside

AJ Dillon

AJ Dillon

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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The first week of NFL teams on a bye in Week 6 meant bad news for our fantasy teams. In Week 7 the byes are downright brutal! The Bills, Cowboys, Jaguars, Chargers, Vikings, and Steelers will all be on a bye in Week 7. This will leave us without many of the fantasy studs that have carried us this far. Players like Najee Harris, Ezekiel Elliott, and Austin Ekeler will get the week (that they all deserve) off, we will suffer in their absence. There is no cure, but there are players who can put a band-aid on your situation in Week 7. As we move toward midseason, who you play in your flex spot becomes of the utmost importance.

AJ Dillon

We know what Aaron Jones represents, but the man behind him can bring you some stability in Week 7 as well. Dillon carried the ball 11 times for 59 yards in Week 6 against the Bears. Despite playing second fiddle to Jones, Dillon was able to get a decent number of touches while being equally efficient. He can comfortably be slotted into your flex or even RB2 spot against Washington. Playing against the Football Team in 2021 has been a dream matchup for opponents, they are the eighth-worst team against running backs in fantasy. Take advantage of this in Week 7 and benefit from Dillon’s Lambeau Leap.

Latavius Murray

I know. I get it. We should NOT trust Ravens running backs! I’ve said this myself on this great NBC Sports Edge platform. There’s always going to be “however” moments, and this is one of those. Here’s a reminder, just scroll to the top of this article and read again which teams are on a bye in Week 7. When you mix that with all the injuries going on, Murray may not be as bad as you think. The Ravens do not have a “lead” running back, but if they did, Murray would come the closest to fitting that description. Murray leads all Ravens backs in carries (59) by a large margin and also leads the team in rushing touchdowns. The Bengals’ defense is much improved in 2021, but they aren’t close to being elite. Take the touchdown upside with Murray as we know Lamar Jackson will have the Ravens hovering around the goal-line often.

James Conner and/or Chase Edmonds

I can’t leave the Texans’ defense alone, can’t stop, won’t stop. Both Conner and Edmonds could reach the end zone and/or have nice days regardless. I almost feel like picking these two against the Texans is cheating, but I would be selfish not to put this information in the air. The only thing that would hurt their value this week is Kyler Murray and the passing game stealing touchdowns. I could make the case for Rondale Moore and A.J. Green being nice flex plays in Week 7 as well. Someone (if not everyone) is going to eat in this Cardinals offense. Just hope it’s your guy.[[ad:athena]]

Tee Higgins

I had Higgins in this column last week. The results weren’t great, but not the absolute worst. He and Ja’Marr Chase tied for a team-leading six targets in a game where they easily handled the Lions. Higgins brought in a pedestrian three receptions for 44 yards off of those targets, but there is hope. The Ravens’ pass defense has been bad this season, but they mustered up the fortitude to play inspired football against Justin Herbert and the Chargers. No matter how they play in Week 7, we could be in for some points with these two high-powered offenses. Joe Burrow is currently QB12 in fantasy, showing he’s letting it fly. Why wouldn’t he? Take another shot on Higgins in Week 7. This is a big game for the Bengals.

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T.Y. Hilton

Hilton revealed last week he contemplated retirement. In his return back from injury, he looked like anything but a man who was ready to retire, catching four passes for 80 yards. With teammate Parris Campbell suffering a potentially season-ending injury, Hilton will be even more involved. Following a career-high 402-yard passing performance in Week 5, Carson Wentz didn’t need to air it out much against the Texans. In Week 7, against a middle-of-the-road team against receivers (49ers), Hilton should see more than the four targets he saw last week. If you’re in a bind, throw the vet into the mix at your flex spot.

Rashod Bateman

This kid is going to turn into something special. The Ravens planned to “ease” him into the game against the Chargers. He didn’t start the game, so maybe you can say they did just that. What Bateman did accomplish in his NFL debut is tie Mark Andrews with six targets to lead the team. From this point on there is nowhere for Bateman to go but up. After getting his feet wet, look for him to be more of a factor in Week 7.