Spooky season is here and the ghostly trade deadline is ready to haunt Le’Veon Bell and James Conner owners from now untimid-November. The four teams on a bye are also ready to reap the souls of many unsuspecting auto drafters. But fear not, as your favorite fantasy column is back to full strength this week and ready to pull a Baker Mayfield-type of ghostbusting job with your lineup as Mayfield did with the Browns.
Here are the players you should start and the ones who should stick to carving pumpkins on the sideline during week 7.
Editor’s note: Eddie Velazquez is a football fan with very little to do other than consistently check the waiver wire. There is a high chance he survived midterm season and is ready to answer your fantasy football questions on Twitter @ezvelazquez.
Quarterback start of the week: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (vs New York Giants).
No need to get cute with this one. Matt Ryan has been a statistical juggernaut when playing at home. He averages a 74.98 completion percentage over the last five games (four at home, one outdoors and on the road), holds a 14-1 TD-Int ratio and averages 340.8 yards-per-game over that same sample size of games.
On the other hand, the Giants defense has also allowed over 33 points in three of six games this season (per ESPN.com).
Other QB starts: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (at Kansas City Chiefs). Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (vs Buffalo Bills). Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (at Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
Quarterback sit of the week: Alex Smith, Washington Redskins (vs Dallas Cowboys)
This is as much a bad matchup situation as it is a low fantasy ceiling one for Smith. He started the season in a promising way, throwing for 255 yards and two touchdowns on his first game with the Redskins. However, in five games this season he hasn’t thrown for 300 yards or scored more than twice. In fact, he has not yet amounted for more than 17 fantasy points this season.
When it comes to the Dallas defense, they have been stingy against fantasy quarterbacks all year. According to NFL.com, they have only allowed 16.5 fantasy points-per-game this season.
Other QB sits: Josh Rosen, Arizona Cardinals (vs Denver Broncos). Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (vs Los Angeles Chargers) Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (at Jacksonville Jaguars).
Running back start of the week: LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills (at Indianapolis Colts)
A name that could be somewhat off the radar for fantasy owners is McCoy, who could very well be shipped out of Buffalo very soon. Whether they are trying to showcase him for a trade or legitimately utilize him as an offensive asset, the Bills offensive staff has given McCoy more touches as the weeks go on. McCoy has touched the ball on offense 19 times in each of his last two games.
With the Bills starting Derek Anderson, whom they picked up off the streets 11 days ago, don’t be surprised if Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll relies on McCoy to lead the offense this week. He could get a lot of carries early and provide some easy completions for Anderson in the passing game.
Other RB starts: Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos (at Arizona Cardinals). Joe Mixon (at Kansas City Chiefs). Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions (at Miami Dolphins).
Running back sit of the week: Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears (vs New England Patriots)
The game log for Howard in his last two games in terms of carries reads as follows: 14 carries against Miami, where he needed overtime to hit so he could get going, and 11 carries the week before the bye week. That amounts to 94 yards over two games and no touchdowns.
The game script could get a little out of hand in New England if the Bears find themselves down by a significant deficit early on in the game.
Other RB sits: Isaiah Crowell, New York Jets (vs Minnesota Vikings). Alex Collins, Baltimore Ravens (vs New Orleans Saints). Dion Lewis, Tennessee Titans (at Los Angeles Chargers).
Wide receiver start of the week: Josh Gordon, New England Patriots (at Chicago Bears)
It could be a week too early to diagnose Gordon’s coming out party as a fantasy superstar, but the opportunities have been there for the former Cleveland Brown. It is clear that he is the number one receiver in New England as he saw nine targets from Tom Brady in the thrilling win against Kansas City last Sunday. According to CBS Sports, the Bears have seen seven opposing wideouts gain 90+ yards in five games this season. This makes Gordon the ideal boom-or-bust candidate for this week.
Other WR starts: Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions (at Miami Dolphins). Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns(at Tampa Bay Buccaneers). Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (at Kansas City Chiefs).
Wide receiver sit of the week: Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys (at Washington Redskins)
Let me be just another dissenter aboard this “Cole Beasley is the new Cowboys player to own in fantasy” hype train. Beasley’s inability to be a consistent matchup winner on the perimeter makes him a one-dimensional player that can only win in the slot.
The Cowboys happen to face one of the stingiest defenses against slot receivers in the league. According to NFL.com, Washington has allowed the fewest yards over the middle of the field, only one touchdown and the fewest points per reception (PPR) points to the position.
Other WR sits: Will Fuller, Houston Texans (at Jacksonville Jaguars). Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans (vs Los Angeles Chargers). Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (at Arizona Cardinals).
Tight end of start of the week: Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (at New York Jets)
The favorable matchup here should be just what the doctor ordered for Rudolph to get his season back on track (from a statistical standpoint).
According to NFL.com, the Jets have allowed 799 yards and six touchdowns to players out of the slot this year. Rudolph runs most of his routes out of the slot.
Other TE starts: CJ Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals (at Kansas City Chiefs). George Kittle, 49ers (vs Los Angeles Rams). David Njoku, Cleveland Browns (at Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
Tight end sit of the week: Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (at Philadelphia Eagles).
Olsen might just be too banged up to be a viable tight end in this matchup. According to CBS Sports, Philly has only allowed one touchdown to tight ends and is a top-five defense in fantasy points surrendered to tight ends.
Other TE sits: Antonio Gates, Los Angeles Chargers (vs Tennessee Titans). Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins (vs Dallas Cowboys). Ben Watson, New Orleans Saints (vs Baltimore Ravens).
Defense and special teams starts of the week: Los Angeles Chargers (vs Tennessee Titans). Houston Texans (at Jacksonville Jaguars). Detroit Lions (at Miami Dolphins).
Defense and special team busts of the week: Chicago Bears (vs New England Patriots). New Orleans Saints (vs Baltimore Ravens). Baltimore Ravens (at New Orleans Saints).
Kicker starts of the week: Jason Mayers, New York Jets (vs Minnesota Vikings). Cody Parkey Chicago Bears (vs New England Patriots). Jason Sanders, Miami Dolphins (vs Detroit Lions).
Kicker busts of the week: Dan Bailey, Minnesota Vikings (at New York Jets). Ryan Succop, Tennessee Titans (at Los Angeles Chargers). Brandon McManus, Denver Broncos (at Arizona Cardinals).