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Why You Must Sit DeAndre Hopkins and Other WR/TE Start/Sit Fantasy Advice for Week 7

DeAndre Hopkins

DeAndre Hopkins

Several wide receivers and tight ends put together monster performances for their fantasy owners last week, while some high-profile players didn’t fare as well. What does Week 7 hold? Before we get to that let’s see, how my start/sit advice for Week 6 turned out.

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Good Calls...

Start Michael Thomas (13.8 fantasy points) – Even with Willie Snead back, Thomas is an integral part of the Saints' offense.

Sit DeSean Jackson (5.5 FP) – When Pierre Garcon outscores you in fantasy you know things aren't working out.

I warned you about starting Julian Edelman (3.8 FP), who just isn’t 100 percent healthy and is no longer Tom Brady’s No. 1 option.

Bad Calls...

Start Doug Baldwin (3.1 FP) – Seattle’s passing offense struggled for some reason against the Falcons.

Start John Brown (5.4 FP) – Brown was coming off back-to-back big games, but it was the David Johnson show on Monday night.

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

Teams on bye: Carolina, Dallas

Wide Receivers

START THESE WRs...

Allen Robinson, JAC (vs. OAK)

It seems like Blake Bortles and Robinson haven’t been on the same page in forever, but they should be able to get back on track against an Oakland pass defense that’s giving up 312 yards per game. We saw the Bears, led by Cameron Meredith (???) carve up the Jacksonville secondary, so you can surely picture Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper doing damage. This will force Bortles to chuck the ball and chuck it good. Robinson saw 21 targets in Weeks 4 and 5 before seeing only six against the Bears, but this should be a get-right game.

Michael Crabtree, OAK (at JAC)

Crabtree scored a single fantasy point in last week's loss to the Chiefs, as Amari Cooper dominated the targets (13 to Crabtree's four). Regardless, both wideouts need to be in starting lineups ahead of a Week 7 matchup in Jacksonville. The Jaguars’ defense has allowed an average of more than 26 fantasy points per game to wide receivers.

Mike Wallace, BAL (at NYJ)

Steve Smith Sr. has not practiced all week because of the ankle injury that caused him to miss the Ravens’ Week 6 loss to the Giants. It’s likely he’ll be inactive again on Sunday, opening the door for Wallace atop the depth chart. He caught four balls for 97 yards last week and is a matchup nightmare for a Jets team that has struggled covering the deep ball this season. The Jets have allowed the second-most points to WRs on the year, helping make Wallace a top-30 receiver in Week 7.

MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...

Jamison Crowder and Pierre Garcon, WAS (at DET)

Garcon was the steadiest and most targeted Redskin WR in Philly last week while Crowder made the most (17.3 ypr, TD) of his three catches. It’s possible that TE Jordan Reed (concussion) misses another game, meaning these guys will be very active all over the field as DeSean Jackson gets shadowed Darius Slay. Garcon has the higher floor, and Crowder has a fine ceiling with Detroit’s struggles in the slot.

SIT THESE WRs...

Jordan Matthews, PHI (vs. MIN)

Matthews has been solid, either scoring a touchdown or totaling 65 receiving yards in every game. But he's only seen 14 targets over the past three games. Another problem is Minnesota's suffocating secondary, which has already shut down Odell Beckham Jr., Kelvin Benjamin and DeAndre Hopkins. With Carson Wentz beginning to level off, Matthews projects as a WR3/flex in Week 7.

Michael Floyd, ARI (vs SEA)

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I'm not really sure what to make of Floyd these days. He's caught just 14 of 37 targets (which is horrendous), but has gotten into the end zone three times. And every single one of his catches has gone for either a TD or first down. But he's clearly third in the pecking order for Carson Palmer. Add in the fact that the Seahawks are bringing one of the stingiest pass defenses to town and you can afford to leave Floyd on the pine.

Stefon Diggs, MIN (at PHI)

Diggs has missed some time due to an injured groin, but he is expected to return to action this week for a matchup in Philadelphia. With that said, his owners should temper expectations against an Eagles defense that has allowed just two touchdowns and the fourth-fewest fantasy points (19.56 ppg) to WRs this season.

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YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...

DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (at DEN, Mon.)

Hopkins is difficult to sit because of where you drafted him, but keep this in mind ahead of Week 7. This week's opponent, the Broncos, have held T.Y. Hilton (4.1), A.J. Green (7.1), Mike Evans (5.9), and Julio Jones (2.9) to fewer than eight fantasy points this season. This stat also is bad news for the value of rookie Will Fuller.

Tight Ends

START THESE TEs...

Jimmy Graham, SEA (at ARI)

It’s time. For the third week in a row, Graham has dominated targets on the team, so now you must play him if you haven’t been already. Graham had six catches for 89 yards on nine targets (25 percent target share) last week against Atlanta. Arizona is one of the best in the league against the TE, and one of the best defenses in general, but the position is scarce, and full of nightmares. Position scarcity alone dictates this play.

Delanie Walker, TEN (vs. IND)

Walker was a bust for fantasy owners last week, but sitting him against the Colts would be a (wait for it…) Titanic mistake. He has posted at least seven catches in three straight games against them, and is averaging 6.5 catches in the last six meetings overall. And the Colts have allowed more than 24 fantasy points to tight ends in their last two contests, so there’s that too.

Hunter Henry, SD (at ATL)

Henry has done what few tight ends do in their rookie season, make a real fantasy impact. He's seeing a far bigger snap percentage (74) than Antonio Gates (42) over the last two weeks, and he's averaged six targets per game during that span. With a favorable matchup in Atlanta next on the slate, I'd keep Henry in your lineups.

MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...

Charles Clay, BUF (at MIA)

With Sammy Watkins out, Tyrod Taylor is utilizing his big man all over the field. Clay was solid for stretches last season, and now he’s seen 19 targets in his last three games and is back on the radar for the jilted Gary Barnidge or Coby Fleener owner. He posted a 5-52-0 line last Sunday, and is locked in for a TD against Miami.

SIT THESE TEs...

Coby Fleener, NO (at KC)
He went off for 6-74-1 last week and even had a rushing TD (group hug, Mark Ingram owners), which means the fantasy football gods will shy away from him Sunday. You can depend on Fleener being undependable. In Week 4, before the bye, he had three catches for 19 yards. In Week 3 he exploded for 7-109-1. But that was preceded by a measly two-catch, 29-yard showing in Week 2. See the pattern?

Antonio Gates, SD (at ATL)

This is the Hunter Henry show now. The changing of the guard we expected to happen with Ladarius Green around has begun with Hunter, who finished as the Chargers’ top receiver in the win over Denver, catching six balls for 83 yards and a TD. Gates had two grabs for just 19 yards and doesn’t appear to be completely healthy. Gates was second in targets from Philip Rivers, but the wear and tear of a long career may be catching up to him.

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Zach Ertz, PHI (vs. MIN)

What a disappointment. Seemingly healthy, Ertz simply hasn’t gotten a lot of targets from Carson Wentz. He had one catch for 22 yards against Washington on Sunday, on just three total targets. Ertz is droppable. He proved that when he didn’t score a TD against Detroit last week. He has Minnesota and Dallas next and you don’t want a piece of that.

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...

Kyle Rudolph, MIN (at PHI)

Rudolph has found the end zone three times in his last four games, so fantasy fans might find it difficult to put him on the pine this week. Just keep in mind that he's got a tough matchup ahead, as the Eagles have surrendered one touchdown and an average of just 3.1 fantasy points per game to tight ends. Temper expectations.

— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.