The 2016 Fantasy Football schedule enters Week 7, and Jake Ciely (@allinkid) of *RotoExperts.com *is providing exclusive expert Fantasy coverage for NewOrleanSsaints.com. Throughout the season, Jake will give you the expert deal on Saints players from Fantasy perspectives, while letting you know which performers will help you take home a championship.
The Saints came out of their bye and put up a big win at home. That makes it two straight wins for the Saints, and it pushes their division record back to .500. They will look to carry that momentum into Kansas City for Week 7.
Drew Brees led the way for all Fantasy quarterbacks with a terrific statline. Brees put up 465 yards and four touchdowns against the Panthers, good for 32.6 points on NFL.com. He now has 1,734 yards and 14 touchdowns in just five games and is on pace for more than 5,500 yards and 45 touchdowns. While the Chiefs limited the Raiders attack, the weather was poor and they had just let Ben Roethlisberger throw for 300 yards and five touchdowns before their bye. No matter the matchup, Brees is a mainstay in each and every Fantasy lineup.
Brandin Cooks was the main beneficiary of Brees' performance with seven catches for 173 yards and a touchdown. This was Cooks' second game with over 20 Fantasy points, and he has the speed to get behind the Chiefs defense for a big play and big day again in Week 7. Michael Thomas scored in his third straight game and had 78 receiving yards. Thomas is now in the WR3 conversation given his tremendous consistency and red zone presence as a rookie. Willie Snead finished with 47 yards, and Coby Fleener had 74 with a touchdown and chipped in a surprise rushing score. Every single one of them should start for your Fantasy team. As mentioned with Brees and the Chiefs matchup, it's not as worrisome as some might believe. The Chiefs are in the middle of the pack at stopping the pass, allowing more than 24 points per game to receivers.
The Chiefs also sit around the middle of the league for Fantasy points allowed to running backs. That is why Mark Ingram needs to be in your lineup as well. Ingram had 60 total yards against the Panthers, but that was more due to Brees' heavy passing day, and Ingram should see more success against the Chiefs. Look for him to return to the end zone after missing out for the first time in three games. In fact, the Chiefs let the Chargers and Steelers both top 145 yards on the ground and score at least one touchdown.
Kirk Cousins is usually better at home, but you can trust him as a QB1 this week, as he faces the Lions. No team allows more Fantasy Points Per Game (FPPG) to quarterbacks on NFL.com, and they lead the league with 17 quarterback touchdowns allowed. Philip Rivers has been a QB1 most weeks, and this week he's guaranteed to provide those kinds of numbers again in a matchup with the Falcons. Rivers makes for an interesting DFS play with the upside of playing indoors on turf as well. The Browns have allowed the second most touchdowns to quarterbacks and more yards than the Lions. That presents Andy Dalton with a high-upside matchup in Week 7. Carson Wentz will be tough to use after a down week and facing the Vikings this week. The Vikings are allowing just 13.0 FPPG on NFL.com and have allowed just four passing touchdowns.
It's a quick turnaround for the Bears and Packers on Thursday night, but Cameron Meredith has turned into a great option, especially in PPR leagues. The Packers allow the most FPPG to receivers on NFL.com (28.7), and this should be a high-scoring game. Of course, that means you start Alshon Jeffery as well, despite his slow start. Speaking of slow starts, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns aren't putting up the numbers they did last year, but this should be a rebound week for them… and Blake Bortles. The Raiders have allowed the most receiving yards in the league (1,230) to go with seven receiving touchdowns. Back to the Lions, if you are trusting Cousins in this matchup, you should look for DeSean Jackson to get on track. He and Jamison Crowder are both strong options with the Lions allowing 27.4 FPPG to receivers with 1,090 yards and nine touchdowns given up. The Broncos defense is dominating again, especially opposing receivers. They've allowed just one receiver touchdown on the year with 10.2 FPPG against them. It's tough to sit DeAndre Hopkins, but this is a risky matchup and one that makes all other Texans receivers not worthy of a start.
The Browns sold out to stop Delanie Walker last week but still lead the league in FPPG allowed to tight ends at 15.4. If Tyler Eifert returns, put him right back in your lineup. If he misses Week 7, C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Kroft are huge boom/bust options. As we all know, the Lions give up touchdowns to nearly every tight end. That makes Jordan Reed an amazing play if he's back, but if not Vernon Davis can certainly fill in well after posting a solid game in Week 6. He'd make it back-to-back good games if given the start. Hunter Henry is bucking the trend of rookie tight ends starting slow, and with a matchup against the Falcons, both he and Antonio Gates will be start-worthy in Week 7.
DeMarco Murray has been one of the best Fantasy running backs this year, and with a matchup against the Colts, he's primed for a big day. However, this is a week where Derrick Henry has deep-league value, especially if you have Ezekiel Elliott or Jonathan Stewart on a bye. Henry can do enough damage on just 10 touches to warrant flex value in this matchup. Doug Martin will likely return this week and is a must-start if so, especially against the 49ers run defense. Even if Martin is back, Jacquizz Rodgers is a nice PPR flex option with this matchup, and he would be a must-start if Martin misses Week 7. Chris Ivory worked his way back into the lead role for the Jaguars, and the Raiders run defense is allowing 23.5 FPPG to running backs. Ivory has his best value of the season this week. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman have been tough to predict with the shared backfield, but this could be another one of those weeks where both are start-worthy. They host the Chargers, a team allowing 23.3 FPPG to running backs with nine touchdowns given up (seven rushing). On the other hand, the Ravens run defense has been dominant, making Matt Forte and Bilal Powell riskier than usual with the shared backfield. Forte is the one of the two that is worth starting.
Wil Lutz is a strong play at kicker as usual, especially with the offense rolling. The Giants have allowed more FPPG to kickers than any other team, which gives Greg Zuerlein solid upside, and he's a perfect 9-for-9 on field goals so far. The Bears and Jaguars allow the second and third most points to kickers, making Mason Crosby and Sebastian Janikowski great options in Week 7. The Giants defense, despite allowing the most points to kickers, is a decent streaming option, as they've started to pressure the quarterback more and cause interceptions. The Bengals defense is less than 60 percent owned and are the best pickup this week, as they host the Browns. The Eagles DST had been great before last week and can rebound at home against a conservative Vikings offense. Don't drop them for Week 7.
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