Heads up fantasy owners, this is the last week with only two teams on bye (Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers) before the bigger weeks start. It's hard to believe it's already Week 7, which marks the halfway point of the regular season for most fantasy owners (assuming playoffs start in Week 14). With plenty of injuries already hurting real-life players and fantasy teams this year, finding enough guys to just fill a starting lineup is sometimes a struggle.
The five up/five down column is a guide on players that should exceed or fall below their rank this week. This is based on past performance, injury status and matchup. Five up/five down is not a start/sit column, but rather a guide.
Teams on bye: Carolina, Dallas
Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins at Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions just allowed Case Keenum to throw for 321 yards and three touchdowns. Every quarterback they've faced this year has thrown for multiple touchdowns. Cousins has been up-and-down this season, but he should fare well against the Lions. He's the seventh-ranked quarterback this week, and may be at a good value in daily leagues. He may be without tight end Jordan Reed again this week, which opens the door for Vernon Davis.
Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons vs. San Diego Chargers
This game has the makings of being a high-scoring shootout. If that's the case, Coleman should be part of that, as he has been averaging a few receptions per game. He will be playing behind Devonta Freeman, which is the reason for his No. 26 ranking, but Coleman should see enough work in both the running game and the passing game to push him into the top 20.
Devontae Booker, RB, Denver Broncos vs. Houston Texans (Mon.)
This is a gamble for fantasy owners, but the coach-speak out of Denver is that they want to get Booker more involved. C.J. Anderson is still the lead back and will see more snaps, but if Booker gets more touches, he has shown he is talented enough to reward fantasy owners assuming the Broncos follow through. Booker is worth adding in all leagues as an Anderson handcuff (and a bye week fill-in), and has the potential to finish higher than his No. 37 ranking this week.
Mike Wallace, WR, Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets
With Steve Smith Sr. still not practicing, more targets will be available for Kamar Aiken and Wallace. In Week 6, Wallace had nine targets, and caught four of them for 97 yards. The New York Jets allow the third-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, after being torched by Pittsburgh's receivers in Week 5. They've allowed three wide receivers to post more than 100 yards and have surrendered a total of eight touchdowns to the position. Wallace should fare better than his No. 28 ranking.
Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers
After a rough Week 5, fantasy owners may have dropped Brate, as the Buccaneers headed into their bye. However, in Weeks 3 and 4, he had 10 receptions for 113 yards and two touchdowns. He's the 11th-ranked tight end for Week 7, but he could easily finish in the top 10. The 49ers gave up 100-yard games and a touchdown to both Greg Olsen and Jimmy Graham. San Francisco has done a surprisingly good job against the pass (see Mike Evans, below), but they do allow points to tight ends.
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals have yet to face one of the league's top quarterbacks and it shows, as they have given up the eighth-fewest fantasy points to the position. They have allowed only five touchdown passes on the year. Wilson is banged up, dealing with an injured ankle and knee issues. He has been healing, but without the rushing yards, Wilson is merely a QB2. He's the 15th-ranked quarterback for Week 7, but against a tough defense and minimal rushing yards, he could finish outside of the top 20.
Christine Michael, RB, Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals' defense is legit, although the Jets didn't exactly test it in Week 6. Arizona was gashed by LeSean McCoy in Week 3, but otherwise has held its ground and then some. Michael, meanwhile, has done well in matchups against softer run defenses, and has struggled against tougher units. While he has been seeing more carries in recent weeks (20, 18, 18 in the past three weeks), he is only a RB2 for Week 7, despite his No. 9 ranking.
Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers
Even though San Francisco has allowed 10 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers, the 49ers don't give up a lot of yards. They actually are among the top 10 teams in terms of fewest fantasy points scored by opposing wide receivers, despite those touchdowns. Evans is a target hog and should see plenty, but unless he makes it into the end zone, he may be in for a rough fantasy day. He's ranked as the No. 4 wide receiver this week, but could easily finish outside of the top 10.
Terrelle Pryor, WR, Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
After missing practice this week with a hamstring injury, Pryor may be a game-time decision on Sunday. Obviously, assuming he plays, he is only in the flex conversation. He may end up being limited in the game, or just used in a few packages. Cincinnati's secondary is solid, holding opposing wide receivers to the sixth-fewest fantasy points. Between the matchup and the hamstring, Pryor should finish below his No. 22 ranking.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles
After scoring touchdowns in three straight, Rudolph had two receptions for 15 yards in Week 5 (prior to the Week 6 bye). This week, he faces the Eagles, who have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Just one tight end has scored a touchdown and none have recorded more than 50 receiving yards. It's a tough matchup, and even though Rudolph has played well, he's a low TE1 for Week 7.
Full Disclosure (Week 6):
Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders (Ranked: 6, Finished: 26)
Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (Ranked: 25, Finished: 24)
Kamar Aiken, WR, Baltimore Ravens (Ranked: 69, Finished: 54)
Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington Redskins (Ranked: 59, Finished: 18)
Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans (Ranked: 6, Finished: 28)
Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants (Ranked:15, Finished: 2)
Matt Jones, RB, Washington Redskins (Ranked: 23, Finished: 8)
Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins (Ranked: 21, Finished: 24)
Jeremy Kerley, WR, San Francisco 49ers (Ranked: 45, Finished: 73)
Zach Miller, TE, Chicago Bears (Ranked: 11, Finished: 21)
— 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.