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October 17, 2019

Fantasy football: Start Josh Allen, sit Sam Darnold and other Week 7 start/sit advice

Fantasy football NFL
Josh-Allen_101719_usat Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen.

With so many injury concerns on so many fantasy football rosters, it's becoming pivotal that team owners pull the right levers each week when choosing who to sit and start. 

We've already provided a few names to watch on the waiver wire. Now, as we do every week, we take a look at one player at each position we recommend starting or sitting in Week 7.

(We're not including guys like Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, or others who are obvious starts, week in and week out.)

Quarterback

Start: Josh Allen, Bills (vs. MIA) — We're starting right off the bat with a matchup pick here, as Josh Allen has been nothing more than an average fantasy quarterback this season, averaging just 16.5 points per game, good for 13th among NFL QBs. This week, however, he's not only coming off a bye at home, but he's also facing the Miami Dolphins, who are allowing more points to opposing quarterbacks (25.02) than any other team in the league. If you've been riding with guys like Jameis Winston or Baker Mayfield so far this season, you should definitely pick up Allen as a streaming option for this week with both those players on their byes.

Sit: Sam Darnold, Jets (vs. NE) — Darnold looked sharp in his return from an extended absence due to kissing too many girls in college mono. Unfortunately, he's about to run into the brick wall that is the Patriots' defense. Earlier in the week, we recommended picking up Darnold off the waiver wire, and if you were smart enough to do that, you might be rewarded, just not this week. Following his matchup against a Pats D that has allowed just one passing touchdown all season, Darnold will face the Jags (16th vs. QBs), Dolphins (32nd), Giants (27th), Washington (29th), Raiders (24th), Bengals (26th), and then Miami again. If you can, hold off starting him for at least one more week.

Running back

Start: Tevin Coleman, 49ers (at WAS) — Sure, Coleman is part of a running-back-by-committee in San Francisco with Matt Breida, but against Washington, that might not matter all that much. They've allowed a running touchdown in four of their last five games, and Coleman has looked sharp in his two outings following his return from an ankle injury, scoring in both. The 49ers are obviously the better team in this one, and if they can get out to a big lead and turn the game over to their backfield in the second half, it could be a big day for Coleman.

Sit: Kenyan Drake, MIA (at BUF) — The Dolphins stink. Let's get that out of the way right up front. And because of their overall ineptitude, Drake is still looking for his first touchdown of the season. Add to that the fact that he's only received double-digit carries in two games this season, and you can see why it's best to avoid him on Sunday. Further complicating things is recent reports that the Dolphins are shopping Drake ahead of the NFL trade deadline:

With Miami in full sell mode, they could ease back on how much they use Drake the next two weeks (prior to the deadline). Sure, you want to show him off to potential trade partners, but allowing him to suffer an injury before trading him would be malpractice. Then again, this is the Dolphins we're talking about...

Wide receiver

Start: Michael Gallup, DAL (vs. PHI) — It's looking like Amari Cooper will be out for Dallas on Sunday, and while that's good news for the Eagles' secondary, it's even better news for those who own Gallup. Not only will Gallup figure more prominently into the Cowboys' gameplan, but he'll also be going up against an Eagles secondary that can't seem to stop anyone. In fact, they're allowing more points per game to opposing wideouts than any team in the NFL. On Sunday night, those points will have to go somewhere, and there's a good chance they go to Gallup. Yes, we're aware that Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby could return against Dallas. But given what we've seen from the Eagles secondary to this point, how much of a difference are you expecting them to make?

Sit: Emmanuel Sanders, DEN (vs. KC) — What the hell has happened to Emmanuel Sanders? After averaging 24.2 points per game over his first two games, Sanders has scored just 20.3 points TOTAL over his last four (5.1 points per game)  and that's in full PPR leagues. For a volume guy like Sanders, that's almost impossible to do. But when you see that he only got four targets total over his last two games, and is still dealing with a knee injury, it starts to make a little more sense. On Thursday night, he'll face a Chiefs team that's allowed the 10th fewest points to opposing WRs this season.

Tight end

Start: Hunter Henry, LAC (at TEN) — In his first game back after suffering a knee injury in the season opener, Hunter Henry had himself a day, posting 30 PPR points against the Steelers (8 receptions, 100 yards and a pair of TDs). If you held on to Henry throughout his injury, or if you were lucky enough to pick him up off waivers, reward yourself by playing him this week against a Titans team that is allowing the ninth-most points to opposing tight ends.

Sit: Delanie Walker, TEN (vs. LAC) — We don't even have to leave this Chargers-Titans matchup to find a tight end you might want to leave on your bench this week. Unlike many of our above players, this has less to do with the team he'll be facing and more to do with his monstrous drop-off from the beginning of the season until now. After posting 22.5 points in PPR formats in Week 1 thanks to a pair of touchdowns, Walker is averaging just 6.4 PPG over his last five and has failed to find the end zone. Walker is also listed as questionable this week while dealing with an ankle injury, and while he's still expected to play, that only bolsters the case for keeping him on the bench in Week 7.


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