Jay Ajayi ran wild (204 yards, 2 TDs) on the Steelers on Sunday
With two teams on a bye again for Week 7, fantasy owners will be looking for bench depth more than bye week fill-ins. The Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers are off, and those two teams feature plenty of fantasy-relevant players.
Knock on wood, it doesn't appear that there are many injuries that will send fantasy owners looking to replace their regular starters from Week 7. Ben Roethlisberger owners will likely need a replacement quarterback for the next two weeks, but other positions should be ok, especially with some previously injured players coming back from injury. However, here are some players worth adding that are owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Teams on bye: Carolina, Dallas
Brian Hoyer, Chicago Bears (20 percent owned)
In the four starts he's had this season, Hoyer has thrown for more than 300 yards in each game along with six touchdowns and no interceptions. He's taken the starting job and run with it, finding a connection with Zach Miller and Cameron Meredith this season. While Alshon Jeffery's fantasy value is dropping, Hoyer is still keeping the Bears in the game, and keeping fantasy owners happy with his performance. The Bears face the Packers, who just gave up 247 yards and three touchdowns to Dak Prescott in Week 6.
Chris Ivory, Jacksonville Jaguars (43 percent owned)
After the Jaguars announced that T.J. Yeldon would be their featured back, Ivory stepped in for his best game of the season and had more touches than Yeldon. Ivory did get the goal-line carry, which was to be expected, but he ended with 11 carries compared to Yeldon's six. This situation can easily change from week to week, and the Jaguars' running game isn't exactly strong. Neither back has more than RB3 value, but both will be on the field each week, and Ivory is a better bet for a touchdown.
Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins (31 percent owned)
Many people thought that Ajayi was just filling in until Arian Foster was able to return. However, Foster was active this week, and he had five touches. Perhaps he wasn't 100 percent, but the Dolphins have no reason to rush him back when Ajayi is performing the way he is. On Sunday, Ajayi had 25 carries for 204 yards, two touchdowns, and he added one reception for three yards. He did score a touchdown in Week 5 as well, but didn't show nearly the ability to move the ball as he did in the surprising win over Pittsburgh. The Dolphins are likely going to take a long look at him as their bell-cow back, which means fantasy owners should add Ajayi to their starting lineups as well.
Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos (27 percent owned)
Booker was in this column last week when he was nine percent owned. The advice was that he should absolutely be picked up as a C.J. Anderson handcuff. After Week 6, he should be picked up in all leagues. Booker and Anderson are splitting carries and both backs are going to have value, and also cut into each other's value. In the last game, Booker finished with fewer snaps and carries than Anderson, but ended up with more rushing yards (46 to 37). Anderson had more total yards and also had a few big plays called back because of penalties, but Booker is going to have a role in the Broncos' offense and should be picked up.
Zach Zenner, Detroit Lions (one percent owned)
This is a pickup for deep leagues or desperate fantasy owners. Detroit is struggling with its running game because of injuries. Newly-signed Justin Forsett hasn’t picked up enough of the offense yet. Dwayne Washington and Theo Riddick are banged up and their Week 7 status is unknown. If both are out again, look for Zenner to carry the load. In Week 6, he had 14 carries for 58 yards and two receptions for 19 yards. These numbers aren't going to win a fantasy week, but for owners desperate for a player, he's worth a look.
Torrey Smith, San Francisco 49ers (25 percent owned)
Colin Kaepernick has been announced as the Week 7 starting quarterback, and Smith does seem to have some chemistry with Kaepernick. Smith is a deep threat, and Kaepernick has the arm strength to get him the ball (it's just the accuracy that he struggled with in Week 6). Smith had his best game of the season with Kaepernick, but it was only for 76 yards on three receptions and a touchdown. His day could have been better, but some of his targets were off the mark. Smith is a WR3 in a good matchup against Tampa Bay.
Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills (22 percent owned)
Woods was thought to have a bigger role once Sammy Watkins was ruled out for the season. However, he hasn't been performing like a No. 1 wide receiver. In Week 6, he did have five receptions for 44 yards and a touchdown. He has more value in PPR formats than standard, but he's still a WR3 in an offense that is literally running through LeSean McCoy.
Kenny Britt, Los Angeles Rams (11 percent owned)
After Week 2, when Britt had a 6-94-0 stat line, it was chalked up to a fluke. In Week 4, he had four receptions for 82 yards. In Week 5, he had five receptions for 75 yards. In Week 6, he had seven receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns. It may be safe to say that he's not a fluke in the Rams' offense, even if you're not a fan of Case Keenum. Britt has made highlight-reel catches and has looked good on the field. It's hard to recommend Britt as a trustworthy fantasy option, but he certainly has WR3 value with a high ceiling each week.
Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers (one percent owned)
Montgomery is listed as a wide receiver, but he did get three carries (six yards) in Week 6 with James Starks out and Eddie Lacy banged up. Montgomery has not had a catch so far this season, and in Week 6, he had 10 receptions for 98 yards. This may have been more of a game flow issue, with Davante Adams out with a concussion and Jordy Nelson held to 68 yards. Fantasy owners in standard leagues don't need to rush out and pick up Montgomery, but he is someone to keep an eye on in deep leagues.
Hunter Henry, San Diego Chargers (35 percent owned)
Even with Antonio Gates back on the field, Henry proved that he has TE1 value. In Week 6, Henry had the most targets on the team. He converted those eight targets into six receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown. This Sunday, the Chargers face the Falcons, who allow the second-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. He should be picked up in all leagues and is a legit option for Greg Olsen owners needing a fill-in for Week 7.
Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19 percent owned)
Fantasy owners with a short-term memory may have forgotten about Brate, as he was on a bye in Week 6 and his Week 5 performance was forgettable. However, prior to that, in Weeks 3 and 4, he had 10 receptions for 113 yards and two touchdowns. The Bucs face the 49ers in Week 7, whose defense is struggling. They allowed five receptions and 52 yards to Charles Clay in Week 6. Brate is a TE2, but may be available for fantasy owners looking for a tight end for Week 7.
Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Baltimore (33 percent owned)
In Week 7, Baltimore faces the Jets, in New York. Typically when looking at a DST streamer, the home team is a better option, but Week 7 is tough. The Giants (vs. the Rams in London) is another option, as are the Bengals (home, vs. Cleveland), but none fit the description of being a great defense. What these DSTs have going for them is simply matchup. The Jets have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing DSTs, thanks mostly to Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing interceptions (league-worst 11). The Jets also don't typically put up a lot of points, which is helpful for DSTs (depending on scoring). Baltimore isn't a great option, but fantasy owners of Carolina or Dallas might need a bye week fill-in.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.
(Jay Ajayi photo courtesy of www.miamidolphins.com)