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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 7: The Curious Case of Mike Davis and Other RB/WR Fantasy Advice

Mike Davis, Atlanta Falcons

Mike Davis hasn't put up great numbers this season but with six teams on bye in Week 7 you may not have a choice

With Week 7 being "Mega Bye Week" or whatever other stupid and unoriginal name people are calling it, things will get a little wacky for fantasy managers this week. So we are gonna mix it up a little bit for my Week 7 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em recommendations for running backs and wide receivers. I usually give you two sits and two starts each for both positions.

However, this week instead of just naming the start/sit options, I'm actually going to discuss actual start/sits from my very own teams.

This is not the first time I've done this, but it will be the first time I've done it this season. Let me know what you think. Maybe I'll do it again later this season, but this is the only week with SIX teams on bye. And the fact that it includes some high-powered offenses like the Bills, Chargers, and Cowboys surely doesn't help.

So maybe I can help a little. If nothing else, seeing some of the decisions I have to make in my leagues might make you feel better!

Let's get to it.

Week 7 Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

Teams on bye: Buffalo, Dallas, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota, Pittsburgh

Start/Sit for RBs

SIT Alex Collins, Seattle Seahawks vs. New Orleans Saints (MNF) and START Mike Davis, Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins

Collins has been doing well while Chris Carson is out. He had a nice little game last week, rushing for 101 yards and a touchdown. I think most of us would take that any week from possibly an RB1 let alone an RB2. But I'm a little nervous about this week.

For one, the Saints are allowing the sixth-fewest fantasy points to RBs this season. Furthermore, DeeJay Dallas is carving out a nice little role for himself on third down, taking that away from Collins. Additionally, Rashaad Penny is being activated from injured reserve this week. Finally, Collins has glute and hip issues which could impact his availability or effectiveness. All of that adds up to me leaving Collins on the bench and starting Davis.

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I'm not wild about that either as Davis has been underwhelming. He's rushed for just a little over 200 yards through five games and has one measly touchdown. But my options are limited this week and I like the matchup. Miami is not a bad defense, but its strong secondary hides a lot of their issues up front. The Dolphins are giving up nearly 30 PPR points to opposing RBs (which is what this particular league is), which is the fourth worst. I'm willing to bet on the matchup and hope Davis can get at least 15 fantasy points. 

START Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers vs. Indianapolis Colts (SNF) and SIT all Dolphins and Falcons RBs

I know, I just said I'm starting Mike Davis. But what makes sense for one team in one league does not make sense for another team in another league. And this was not an easy decision.

This decision was for my dynasty league and I had to weigh additional factors. Due to some serious RB depth on this team, I have Mitchell still on my taxi squad, but starting him would not just be starting him, but would also "start" his salary clock. But I am playing the top team this week, so I need every weapon I can get. And due to bye weeks and injuries, I'm looking at either Mitchell or some of the cruddy options from the Miami/Atlanta game. I can't afford to get just 15 fantasy points.

I know Mitchell has a tough matchup. But with tons of questions at QB for the 49ers this week, I think they will rely heavily on their running game this week, even more so than usual. Also, Mitchell is currently atop the Niners' RB depth chart, so maybe just maybe he can get 25 carries and hopefully score. 

Start/Sit for WRs

START Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals vs.  Houston Texans over Bryan Edwards, Las Vegas Raiders vs. Philadelphia Eagles

So this is what a tough bye week is often all about  having to start a WR that seems to be currently the team's WR3. And both of these players are extremely explosive and can score at any moment. However, each has a floor close to zero. Furthermore, neither has a particularly good matchup as Houston is allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to WRs and Philadelphia the sixth. And I'm really tempted to go with Edwards, as the Eagles have allowed 12 receiving touchdowns while Houston has allowed only nine. 

But here's the thing... Moore has scored already this year and Edwards has not. Furthermore, Moore is out-targeting Edwards. Finally, the Cardinals love to use Moore in the running game, usually giving him a carry or two per contest, which he has turned into 60 rushing yards. That little extra put Moore over the top here in what was an extremely close coin-flip.

START Sterling Shepard, New York Giants vs. Carolina Panthers over Marquez Callaway and Rashod Bateman

Please do not let matchup be your only determiner in making start/sit decisions. I bring to you this example. The Panthers have given up 1,296 receiving yards, the fourth-lowest total in the league. That's far less than the 1,546 the Bengals have allowed or the whopping 1,837 the Seahawks allowed.

However, when healthy, Shepard has been an absolute target hog. He is averaging nine targets a game, and that includes the three he had in Week 3 where he exited due to an injury. But he returned last week and promptly received, wait for it... 14 targets! Callaway and Bateman both play for coaches who favor a running game. My fantasy compass is pointing toward Shepard this week. The only caveat is he may have reaggravated his hamstring injury as he's back on the injury report following limited practices on both Thursday and Friday. He's listed as questionable for the game, so he could be a game-time decision. Be sure he's active on Sunday before putting him in your lineup.  

— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.