Every week there are top fantasy players who perform below expectations and potentially spoil your fantasy fortunes.
This column is here to prevent that letdown from happening. The “No-Start Team” is meant to warn you of some typical fantasy studs who might be duds in their respective matchups.
The decision is up to you. But, you can’t say you weren’t warned. Here’s the Week 7 “No-Start Team.”
Quarterback: Russell Wilson
Injuries have played a major role, but it’s tough to argue that Wilson is worth starting on a weekly basis. Wilson has the Seahawks at 4-1, but he personally hasn’t played like a top-10 fantasy quarterback. He’s thrown for only 5 touchdowns and has rushed for just 35 yards all season. Part of Wilson’s fantasy charm is what he adds in the running department, but Seattle’s porous offensive line has limited Wilson’s upside. This week, Seattle faces a daunting showdown with the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday Night Football. Arizona is tied for third in the NFL with 19 sacks and is allowing only 191 passing yards per game. Find a better option than Wilson for this week.
Running back: Lamar Miller
Miller’s Week 6 outburst was encouraging for owners waiting for that type of performance. But, he probably won’t replicate it against a fierce Broncos defense looking to end a two-game losing streak. Denver’s run defense actually isn’t great, allowing an average of 112.7 rushing yards per game and 6 scores. However, the Broncos boast the league’s best passing defense and will likely dare Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler to beat them. Denver’s defense will be awfully motivated Monday night against Osweiler, who snubbed Denver to take more money in Houston this offseason. Don’t be surprised if Houston gets behind early, forcing Osweiler into too many passing situations. The matchup doesn’t feel right for Miller.
Running back: Terrance West
The Baltimore Ravens have apparently tabbed West as their starting running back and that decision has paid off. West actually ranks 13th in the NFL with 414 rushing yards, but faces a brutal matchup against a stout New York Jets run defense. New York is coming off of its worst performance of the season and allowed Arizona’s David Johnson to run for 111 yards and 3 touchdowns. However, this game was more of a blip than a trend, as the Jets still rank sixth in the NFL in rush defense. The potential absence of quarterback Joe Flacco makes matters even better for New York’s front seven. Don’t expect much from West in what should be a low-scoring game.
Wide receiver: DeAndre Hopkins
Yes, I’m going there and don’t spit out your drink on your computer. Don’t start DeAndre Hopkins this week. We already know Brock Osweiler isn’t great. We know Denver’s pass defense is the strongest in the league. Here are some more stats from No. 1 receivers who have gone up against Denver’s pass defense:
- Kelvin Benjamin: 6 receptions, 91 yards, TD
- T.Y. Hilton: 4 receptions, 41 yards
- A.J. Green: 8 receptions, 77 yards
- Mike Evans: 5 receptions, 59 yards
- Julio Jones: 2 receptions, 29 yards
Those are five of the top 20 receivers in the NFL. Only Benjamin has caught a touchdown and only he and Green caught more than 5 passes when going up against Denver’s secondary. Hopkins will be the next top receiver limited, or maybe even shut down, by Denver’s defense.
Wide receiver: Doug Baldwin
Notice a trend? Don’t hitch your wagon to any part of the Seahawks passing game this week. The same issues that Wilson has been dealing with can be attached to Baldwin as well. Baldwin has had only two games with more than four receptions, only one game with 100 yards receiving and has only 2 touchdowns on the season. Aside from two big games against the Dolphins and 49ers, Baldwin hasn’t been the game-changer he was a year ago. He isn’t worth much consideration on the road against a Cardinals defense that hasn’t been kind to No. 1 receivers.
Wide receiver: Brandin Cooks
There are a couple of reasons why Cooks isn’t a great play this weekend. First of all, New Orleans’ offense performs differently outside of the Mercedes Benz Superdome and that has a trickle-down effect on Cooks. Cooks has only 99 yards in two road games this season. This week’s trip to Kansas City proves to be even more uninspiring. Kansas City enters Sunday’s game ranked 12th in the NFL with an average of 237 passing yards allowed per game. Cooks will also draw at least some attention from Marcus Peters. This isn’t the best week to rely on Cooks as a top fantasy option.
Tight end: Kyle Rudolph
The Philadelphia Eagles have been stingy against tight ends, allowing only 8 receptions for 93 yards and 1 touchdown to opposing tight ends this season. Rudolph was productive during the first quarter of the season, but caught only 2 passes for 15 yards against the Houston Texans two weeks ago. The matchup doesn’t add up and there should be more upside elsewhere this week.