The Week 7 bye week is brutal, with so many every-week starters unavailable in this crucial slate. Attacking the waiver wire and looking for value in unheralded players is as important as it has ever been.
Here are some under-the-radar sleepers to target for Week 7 of the 2021 fantasy football season.
Tua Tagovialoa (QB) Miami Dolphins
Tua found himself on this list last week and delivered with 329 yards and two touchdowns while adding 22 yards on the ground against the Jacksonville Jaguars. This week he has an even better matchup against the Atlanta Falcons who are bottom five when it comes to slowing down fantasy quarterbacks. Another 300-yard, multi-touchdown game is very much in the realm of possibilities. Especially if the defense continues to struggle to slow down opposing offenses.
He is catching a lot of heat for the loss to the Jags and bad interception last week, but Tua played well and is not the problem with this team. Look for him to light it up this week and could be getting one of his top weapons, DeVante Parker, back. If you picked him up last week and plugged him in, don’t be afraid to do it again this week and if he’s on the waiver wire it’s safe to scoop him up and start him if you’re in need of a quarterback.
Jarrett Patterson (RB) Washington Football Team
We have to wait for full confirmation regarding Antonio Gibson’s availability for Week 7, however, it’s looking like his shin injury is going to cost him some time. The assumption is that J.D. McKissic is going to step in and be the lead back so he’s the guy to own. What if he’s not? There’s a real chance McKissic will retain his role and Patterson will step in and see the bulk of the early-down work. Similar to what we saw in Las Vegas when the assumption was Kenyan Drake would be the man, but Peyton Barber slid into Josh Jacobs’ role.
This move will not come without great risk, nevertheless, with the state of the running landscape this week it may be necessary for some owners. While this could backfire on you, odds are at worst Patterson will slide into a role similar to what McKissic has been playing so he should just get you a goose egg. It’s not the safest play, but he could be a sneaky good start.
DeeJay Dallas (RB) Seattle Seahawks
This is a tough one because the Seahawks play on Monday Night Football and have a tough matchup for running backs against the New Orleans Saints. Chris Carson is currently on injured reserve and Alex Collins is trending towards not playing. It’s also possible Rashaad Penny swoops in and gets the bulk of the touches as well, so there are a lot of factors to consider here.
I believe Dallas is the back to start if Collins is sidelined and I believe he will be. We don’t know if Penny is going to play, and even if he does who’s to say he’s able to handle close to a full workload without getting injured. The Seahawks would be crazy to plug him in and just give him the reigns. You will need a Monday night pivot due to all the uncertainty surrounding the situation, but if you need to choose one of the Seahawks running backs, Dallas is the one I’d roll with.
Robby Anderson (WR) Carolina Panthers
It’s weird seeing Anderson here and particularly painful for owners who drafted him to be their WR2. This is where we are with him though. This could be the ideal situation for the struggling wideout. Terrace Marshall is currently sidelined with a concussion, Brandon Zylstra was sent to IR and Dan Arnold has been shipped off to Jacksonville a few weeks back. This leaves D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson as the last men standing.
The biggest issue for Anderson this year has been the target funnel to D.J. Moore. You may see a bit less of that this week against the Giants. With James Bradberry likely shadowing Moore, Anderson should become a much more attractive target for Sam Darnold. I am one of those disappointed Anderson managers and he’s been on my bench since after Week 2 and my team’s been better for it. This may be the week I plug him back into a WR3 role and you should consider it too.
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (WR) Tennessee Titans
Julio Jones made his triumphant return last week and promptly left with a hamstring injury right after halftime after seeing five targets. It looks like Jones will be out again this week and the beneficiary of his absence in the second half last week was once again Westbrook-Ikhine.
He saw three targets in the second half and was the clear second option behind A.J. Brown. This week the Titans take on the Chiefs who have been getting torched through the air all year. If you play the Chiefs it’s more than likely going to be a shootout and as the second target in Tennessee, he has a chance of being a solid plug-n-play. If you’re hurting for a flex this week, he is likely on your waivers and should be a nice start. Just be sure to monitor Jones’s status before game time. If Jones does end up playing you don’t want to start Westbrook-Ikhine.
Mack Hollins (WR) Miami Dolphins
Hollins is a deeper play but has flashed in Miami given the opportunity he’s been given. If Parker is out I like him a lot this week, but even if he’s back Hollins should slide in as the WR3 in Miami. With Tua back, there are a lot more yards and big-play opportunities to go around. He has surpassed Albert Wilson in the pecking order and is seeing longer passes and red zone looks. He’s a desperation play if Parker is in and an intriguing flex option if Parker is out.
Cameron Brate (TE) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It was always a coin toss between Brate and O.J. Howard once Rob Gronkowski went down with an injury. Last week the coin landed on Howard, however, that’s not assured to happen every week and Brate still saw four targets. More importantly, this week both Gronk and Howard are yet to practice so Brate could be a slam dunk option if both are ruled out.
Tom Brady loves to use his tight ends, especially in the end zone. Brate isn’t a bad start as long as Gronk is out. If Howard is out or even limited then Brate becomes a fringe TE1 start this week. He’s worth adding and stashing while you monitor this situation during the week.