Week 7 of the 2020 NFL season is right around the corner. All games are on schedule as, for the second straight week, it appears as though COVID-19 will not cause any delays *knocks on wood*. Bye weeks are officially up and running, which means that fantasy football owners are once again looking to their benches for the best wide receiver start/sit options. Tee Higgins is a must-play in all formats, while Michael Thomas might not be worth the risk.
Tee Higgins, Michael Thomas Highlight Fantasy Football Week 7 Wide Receiver Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em
Start: Tee Higgins
Cincinnati Bengals rookie wide receiver Tee Higgins is the real deal. The second-round pick has quickly climbed the depth chart and has established himself as arguably the top option of the NFL’s highest volume passing offense.
Higgins has established himself as a major part of the passing attack over the past four weeks. During that time, the rookie is on a 16-game pace of 76 receptions for 1,216 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s seeing tons of targets deep downfield and near the endzone. Until further notice, he’s a locked-and-loaded WR2 with legitimate WR1 upside if he and rookie quarterback Joe Burrow continue to develop.
Sit: Michael Thomas
Update: Michael Thomas has been downgraded to OUT. This decision has been made for you.
Michael Thomas is an incredibly talented wide receiver with one of the most dependable target shares in the league. However, even if he plays in Week 7, you’re probably better off leaving him on the bench. The stud wide receiver has been out since Week 2 with a high ankle sprain and reportedly suffered a hamstring injury in practice this past week.
Historically speaking, even the star wide receivers need a few weeks to recover from these types of injuries before they’re back to their old selves. Even if Thomas sees the field, he isn’t going to look like his old self for a week or two. This, combined with Drew Brees’ regressed performance this season, makes him too risky to start as anything more than a WR3.
Start: Brandin Cooks
Brandin Cooks looks like a new man now that Bill O’Brien is gone. Since the team parted ways with the former coach, Cooks has come alive and looked like one of the most reliable players in fantasy. Over the past two weeks, Cooks has recorded 17 receptions for 229 yards and two touchdowns on 21 targets. This type of a target share is fantastic, especially for a guy that does most of his damage in the deep part of the field. Cooks and the Texans face off against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in what should be a complete shootout. Look for Cooks to have yet another big game with good odds of a touchdown or two.
Sit: Juju Smith-Schuster
After looking like an absolute stud through the first two years of his career, Juju Smith-Schuster is officially the odd-man out in Pittsburgh. The 2020 iteration of the Pittsburgh Steelers rely more on the run than in years past, which means there can only be one or two fantasy-relevant receivers per week. Right now, those two are Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson. Smith-Schuster has one of the lowest average depth of targets in the league and hasn’t eclipsed 70 receiving yards since Week 8 of the 2019 season. Barring multiple injuries, it’s hard to imagine Smith-Schuster doing much of anything for fantasy this year.
Start: Jamison Crowder
Update: Jamison Crowder is listed as doubtful and probably isn’t worth the risk for fantasy this week.
Jamison Crowder shouldn’t even be on this list, as he should be a weekly start at this point in the season. However, people are still worried about trusting anything associated with New York’s passing offense. Crowder had a relatively underwhelming game last week, recording just seven receptions for 48 yards. However, he still saw 13 targets with Breshad Perriman in the lineup and actually increased his expected fantasy points in my opportunity model. With Sam Darnold coming back, Crowder should be a locked-and-loaded start for the foreseeable future.
Sit: Michael Gallup
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup is clearly the third or fourth option in his own offense. The talented wide receiver is clearly behind Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, and possibly even tight end Dalton Schultz. When Dak Prescott was the quarterback, Gallup still had an outside shot at fantasy relevance thanks to Prescott’s talent and ability to keep up in a shootout. However, that upside is completely gone with Andy Dalton running the offense. Dalton is a fine starter, but he’s simply not good enough to support four fantasy-relevant players on a weekly basis.
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