With six teams on a bye this week (Baltimore, Los Angeles, Miami, New York Giants, Pittsburgh, San Francisco), fantasy owners will likely be digging a little deeper to fill out their lineups. Trying to figure out who to start and who to sit sometimes gets easier as the available player pool shrinks.
However, 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: Baltimore, Los Angeles, Miami, New York Giants, Pittsburgh, San Francisco
Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Averaging just under 250 passing yards per game, Prescott has been consistent this season, regardless of opponent. He's been given at least two more weeks before the Tony Romo debate begins again, and he faces the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night football this week. While the Eagles have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, in the past three weeks, they have given up six TD passes. Prescott gets Dez Bryant back, which should help his numbers. It's not going to be a huge game, but 250 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions is reasonable, which should vault him higher than his No. 14 ranking.
LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
Blount has eight touchdowns so far this season: at least one in every game except when the Patriots played the Bills in Week 4. He has three 100-yard games, and the Bills just allowed Jay Ajayi to run for 214 yards. They also gave up 100 yards and three touchdowns to Matt Forte in Week 2. Blount is ranked No. 13, but should find the end zone, and should finish in the top 10. Now that Tom Brady is back, defenses have to spread out as he is such a threat to air the ball out at any time. That opens the door for Blount to run wild. He's also been given the goal-line carries, which always helps fantasy owners.
Matt Asiata, RB, Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (Mon.)
Asiata finishing higher than his No. 26 ranking hinges on the fact that Jerick McKinnon is banged up and he may be the primary running back on Monday night. On paper, the matchup against Chicago isn't a great one, but the Bears haven't faced many solid running backs. They did allow Lamar Miller and Ezekiel Elliot to post more than 100 yards rushing. While Asiata hasn't topped 55 yards yet this season, he has found the end zone in two of the past three games. He should get the goal-line carries and Chicago has allowed five rushing touchdowns to running backs so far this season.
Quincy Enunwa, WR, New York Jets at Cleveland Browns
Enunwa has two touchdowns this season: Week 1 and Week 7. He started to show promise after Week 2, but it hasn't materialized as Ryan Fitzpatrick has struggled. Even with Eric Decker out, the Jets haven't been able to find a way to successfully utilize Enunwa. He's ranked No. 34 for Week 8, and he's a player who has the potential to have a good week. The Cleveland Browns have allowed four touchdowns to four different wide receivers over the past two weeks. Fitzpatrick just might find Enunwa in the end zone in Week 8.
Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos
While the matchup against the Denver Broncos seems scary, when these two teams faced each other in Week 6, Hunter Henry led the team in targets with eight, followed by Gates with six. Henry was the leading receiver with 83 yards and a touchdown. The Broncos have great defense against wide receivers, but they do have a weakness against opposing tight ends. Henry was placed in the concussion protocol, but he looks to be on track to play, which may hurt Gates' value a bit, but both tight ends are going to be the key to the Chargers' success this week. Both should lead the team in targets and receptions and one should find the end zone. With Gates ranked at No. 19, if it's him, he'll finish as a high TE2.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins vs. Cincinnati Bengals (London)
This game is in London, and the Bengals do give up the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, but the London games are usually low-scoring. If this game was in Ohio or Washington, Cousins might make the five up list, especially with the likelihood of getting Jordan Reed back. However, the Bengals have limited some quarterbacks this season and this game just doesn't have the makings of a shootout. Cousins will be fine for fantasy owners, but he isn't someone to target in daily leagues.
Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It sounds strange, but Murray is touchdown-dependent at this point. The Raiders say that he'll have more carries in Week 8, but with DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard stealing work, Murray is still in a timeshare. His fantasy numbers look good because he's scored a touchdown in four of the five games he's played. Without the touchdowns, he hasn't had more than 59 rushing yards in a game, and he had 18 carries in Week 7. He hasn't been part of the passing game, and he still is coming back from turf toe. The Raiders will likely still split carries among the three backs, and while Murray may get the most, he should finish outside the top 20 (he's ranked No. 18).
Jordan Howard and Ka'Deem Carey, RBs, Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings (Mon.)
The Minnesota Vikings have not allowed a 100-yard rusher this year. They have only allowed one rushing touchdown by a running back (Orleans Darkwa in Week 4). With Carey back in the mix and having more touches in Week 7, the Chicago backfield is a mess. Jeremy Langford is getting healthier and while he might not play in Week 7, he'll likely be back after the Bears bye. Between the matchup and the split, neither Chicago back should be started this week, unless fantasy owners are desperate. Howard is ranked No. 23 and Carey is ranked No. 31. Both should finish outside the top 30.
Tyrell Williams, WR, San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos shut down opposing wide receivers. While Travis Benjamin is ranked lower than Williams (40 vs. 35), both receivers should be on fantasy benches. Williams has a slightly better chance at some success, as he's the No. 2 receiver and is bigger than Benjamin. However, the Broncos haven't allowed eight receptions to an opposing wide receiver since Week 3. They haven't allowed a touchdown to a wide receiver since Week 1. In Week 6, Williams caught all three of his targets for 28 yards (Benjamin had three receptions for 17 yards on five targets). Expect more of the same in Week 8.
Martellus Bennett, TE, New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
Bennett's targets over the last three games: 8, 5, 2. Rob Gronkowski's targets over the past three games: 7, 9, 4. The pattern seems to be as Gronk has gotten healthier, Bennett's value has slowly decreased. While he'll still have good games and possibly some end zone targets, Gronk is the primary tight end, and the Patriots aren't looking to repeat the Aaron Hernandez/Rob Gronkowski days with two tight ends that both are TE1s. Bennett is a low TE2. He's ranked No. 12 for Week 8, but he should finish below that.
Full Disclosure (Week 7):
Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins at Detroit Lions, Ranked: 7, Finished: 5
Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons vs. San Diego Chargers, Ranked: 26, Finished: 18
Devontae Booker, RB, Denver Broncos vs. Houston Texans, Ranked: 37, Finished: 14
Mike Wallace, WR, Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets, Ranked: 28, Finished: 19
Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers, Ranked: 11, Finished: 18
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals, Ranked: 15, Finished: 23
Christine Michael, RB, Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals, Ranked: 9, Finished: 36
Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers, Ranked: 4, Finished: 3
Terrelle Pryor, WR, Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals, Ranked: 22, Finished: outside the top 50
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles, Ranked: 8, Finished: 9
— 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.