The Week 7 NFL main slate begins Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EDT and features 13 games, while the Broncos and injury-riddled Browns are set to kick off the week Thursday at 8:20 p.m., and the week concludes with prime time Colts-49ers (Sunday night) and Saints-Seahawks (Monday night) matchups. A lot of star power will be on the sidelines this week, with the Bills, Cowboys, Vikings, Chargers, Steelers and Jaguars all on bye. Nevertheless, Week 7 features a number of elite players in favorable matchups to build around, but you’ll consequently need to balance those guys out with affordable value plays. Among the recommended options are a future Hall of Famer under center, a couple heavily targeted wide receivers and an elite avian defense that’s flying under the radar.
TOURNAMENTS (GPP – GUARANTEED PRIZE POOL)
QB: Justin Fields, CHI at TB ($22): Fields has struggled thus far, but the rookie first-round pick will have a few factors working in his favor here. His dual-threat ability should be on full display given the expected negative game script that comes with facing the high-scoring Buccaneers, and the Bears will likely have to alter their usual run-heavy approach due to the stout Tampa Bay front’s success at stopping running backs in their tracks. Fields has set a new career high in fantasy points each of the last three weeks, and he’s making incremental improvements, having thrown a touchdown in each of the past two games and rushed for a career-high 43 yards last week. With a distinct possibility of ample garbage time, Fields could break out here and significantly outperform his valuation.
RB: Miles Sanders, PHI at LV ($16): Sanders is averaging a robust 4.7 yards per carry, not far from his career mark of 4.9, and he has caught at least three passes in four of Philadelphia’s first six games, but a lack of consistent opportunities on the ground and a grand total of zero touchdowns this season have limited his output thus far. Given his per-touch productivity, Sanders — who scored six touchdowns in each of his first two seasons — has nowhere to go but up moving forward. The third-year running back is a nice buy-low option against a Raiders defense that’s been among the top 10 most generous in terms of both rushing yards (619) and scrimmage touchdowns (seven) allowed to running backs thus far.
WR: Henry Ruggs, LV vs. PHI ($15): Ruggs is a downfield threat in the mold of Tyreek Hill, who burned the Eagles for 186 yards and three touchdowns three weeks ago. The 12th overall selection in the 2020 draft has mustered at least 97 yards and a touchdown twice this season while notching at least 46 yards in every game, so Ruggs has developed into a consistent contributor with a high ceiling in his second season, and the Raiders will almost certainly take note of the Eagles’ struggles against Hill and dial up a number of deep shots for him.
DST: New York Giants (vs. CAR, $10), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. CHI, $19)
CASH GAMES (H2H, 50/50s and DOUBLE UPS)
Aaron Rodgers, GB vs. WAS ($34): Rodgers took a week to get back in the swing of things after a contentious offseason, but he’s been his usual dominant self since, posting a 12:1 TD:INT in his last five contests while throwing multiple touchdowns in each of those games and adding a pair of rushing scores to boot. He’s primed for another strong performance at home against a Washington defense that’s struggled mightily despite lofty preseason expectations. Not only has Washington allowed league highs in both passing yards (1,904) and passing touchdowns (16) to quarterbacks, it’s also surrendering a league-high 31.0 points per game.
Derrick Henry, TEN vs. KC ($40): Those who have paid up for Henry in previous weeks have rarely come away disappointed, as he’s mustered at least 130 scrimmage yards in each of his last five games while scoring three touchdowns on three separate occasions over that stretch. The Titans intend to play keep-away from the high-powered Kansas City offense, which should mean another hefty workload for Henry. The sky’s the limit for the star running back against a vulnerable defense that’s allowing 133.2 yards per game on the ground, and this salary won’t seem that steep if Henry’s able to top 30 fantasy points for a third consecutive week and fourth time this season.
Darrell Henderson, LAR vs. DET ($27): Teammate Matthew Stafford will get most of the headlines in this visit from the quarterback’s former team, but Henderson’s likely to lead the Rams’ offense against a Lions defense that’s been ravaged by running backs. In addition to allowing the sixth-most rushing yards to the position (687), Detroit has surrendered six rushing touchdowns to running backs and six more through the air for a league-high 12 scrimmage touchdowns. Henderson has topped 80 scrimmage yards in all five of his games played this season and is averaging a touchdown per game, so he’s seeing more than enough volume to capitalize on this highly favorable matchup.
Tyreek Hill, KC at TEN ($35): With by far the highest over/under of any game in Week 7 (57.5 points), K.C.-Titans should produce plenty of strong fantasy performances on both sides. Given his elite big-play ability and the matchup, Hill has as high a ceiling here as you’ll see from any wide receiver all season. He already has games this season with 197 yards and a touchdown as well as 186 yards and three touchdowns, and another performance of that ilk could be upcoming for Hill against a Titans secondary that’s been roasted for league-high totals in both yards (1,418) and touchdowns (10) by wide receivers.
Calvin Ridley, ATL at MIA ($23): We haven’t heard Ridley’s name for a while since he missed Week 5 due to a personal matter and the Falcons had a bye in Week 6, but he’s ready to return with a vengeance after a busy yet unremarkable start to the season. The Dolphins have allowed 1,260 yards to wide receivers — third most in the league — and there’s a good chance they’ll remain without top cornerback Xavien Howard, who missed last week’s game due to shoulder and groin injuries. Ridley has racked up 42 targets through four games but totaled just 27 catches for 255 yards and one touchdown. Those numbers are respectable, but we’ve come to expect more from a guy who’s coming off a 1,374-yard, nine-touchdown season, and Ridley seems primed for a breakout game here.
Sterling Shepard, NYG vs. CAR ($19): Shepard should see all the volume he can handle for a Giants team that will be without not only Kadarius Toney (ankle), but likely Kenny Golladay (knee) and Darius Slayton (hamstring) as well, not to mention running back Saquon Barkley (ankle). The injury bug hasn’t spared Shepard, who left early in Week 3 against Atlanta with a hamstring issue of his own and didn’t return until Week 6, but he’s been targeted 33 times in his three healthy games, coming away with 26 catches for 283 yards and a touchdown. That’s WR1 production, and Shepard’s volume should make him a strong choice, even against a tough Panthers defense.
Zach Ertz, ARI vs. HOU ($17): Ertz couldn’t ask for a better matchup to kick off his tenure in Arizona after being acquired from Philadelphia via trade last week. He’ll immediately occupy the top spot on the tight end depth chart with Maxx Williams (knee) on IR for a visit from a Texans defense that’s tied with the Chargers and Eagles for the most touchdowns allowed to tight ends (five), while having also given up 35 catches and 397 yards to the position. Look for Arizona to give Ertz — who scored in his final game with the Eagles — a warm welcome with a featured role in his debut.
Baltimore Ravens, BAL vs. CIN ($15): The Ravens took a few weeks to adjust to some untimely preseason injuries, but they’ve regained their customary spot among the league’s elite defenses over the past three games, even if they aren’t yet priced like it. Two of Baltimore’s last three opponents failed to break double-digit points, including the high-powered Chargers last week, and the Ravens have complemented that stinginess with nine sacks, two interceptions, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick. Joe Burrow has already thrown seven interceptions, which is tied with Davis Mills for fourth most league-wide, so the Ravens should force some turnovers while limiting Cincinnati’s offensive production.
DST: Los Angeles Rams (vs. DET, $15), Arizona Cardinals (vs. HOU, $22)