There is nothing easy about making lineup decisions in fantasy football. It is a necessary part of the game. Getting these decisions correct is key to your success as a fantasy manager. Here to help you make those decisions are our positional start ’em and sit ’em picks.
Fantasy decisions will only get more difficult from here on out, so let’s take a look at our Week 7 start/sit plays for the WR position.
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Which WRs Should You Start in Fantasy This Week?
Rashee Rice, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. LAC)
Did you know Rashee Rice has posted double-digit fantasy points in four of six games this season? I’ve liked Rice for a couple of weeks now but didn’t realize he’s actually been pretty useful already.
The Chiefs are still rotating their WRs at a nauseating rate, so proceed with caution as it pertains to Rice. Regardless, Rice is the only Chiefs’ non-Travis Kelce pass catcher that even belongs on fantasy rosters, let alone in lineups.
MORE: Week 7 Start/Sit Options — QB | RB | TE
Over the past few weeks, Chiefs coaches have talked up Rice’s progression. He’s still a rookie, so there is a natural learning curve. But as we push toward the second half of the season, historical trends suggest his usage will increase. And we already see signs of that.
Last week, Rice saw his snap share tick up from 30% the week prior to 49%. He also ran a season-high 22 routes, just one fewer than Skyy Moore. While he was still 11 behind Marquez Valdes-Scantling, we don’t concern ourselves with MVS, whose sole job is to run wind sprints and occupy a defender.
Rice is so clearly the best receiver on this team, and it so clearly isn’t close. He’s improving every week and now is in a great spot to have a true breakout game in a potential shootout against a Los Angeles Chargers defense allowing the most fantasy PPG to WRs. Rice is a viable WR3 this week.
Joshua Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers (at KC)
Sticking with the same game, let’s go to the other side of the field and talk up Josh Palmer. With Mike Williams done for the season, Palmer once again finds himself in an every-down role. He played 97% of the snaps last Monday night.
Palmer’s final line was a pedestrian four catches for 60 yards. That probably doesn’t excite you. But aside from Palmer’s excellent role, he actually should’ve smashed last week against the Dallas Cowboys.
Palmer had an early long touchdown erased due to a penalty. Later in the game, he had another pair of receptions wiped out for the same reason. Palmer could have easily collected seven catches for over 100 yards and a touchdown. If he did, there wouldn’t even be a thought as to whether fantasy managers should start him.
The Chiefs have been quite good against the WR position, allowing the eighth-fewest PPG to the position. However, half their games have been against the Chicago Bears, New York Jets, and Denver Broncos. Justin Herbert and the Chargers are good enough to compete with the Chiefs, and Palmer should be plenty involved. He’s a strong WR3 this week and likely every week.
Which WRs Should You Sit in Fantasy This Week?
Calvin Ridley, Jacksonville Jaguars (at NO)
Two weeks ago, I faded Calvin Ridley in London. I talked about how overrated he is and how Christian Kirk is clearly the better player. Ridley responded with a 7-122 line.
Last week, I said nothing about Ridley. He caught four passes for 30 yards. Thanks, Calvin!
I am sticking with my post-Week 3 evaluation from here on out — Ridley is just not that good. He’s not bad by any stretch — he’s just not an alpha WR1 or even a WR1 at all.
The Jaguars have played six games this season. Ridley has gone over 100 yards in two of them and had 40 yards or fewer in four.
The Saints are a below-average matchup for WRs, allowing the 13th-fewest PPG to the position. Most concerning, Trevor Lawrence seems poised to miss this game with a knee injury.
Given the state of fantasy with bye weeks and injuries, you probably can’t afford to bench Ridley. I get it. But Ridley on a short week against a good defense with C.J. Beathard under center is not a recipe for success.
Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos (vs. GB)
The award for the most smoke and mirrors performance this season has to go to Courtland Sutton. Somehow, Sutton hasn’t even posted WR3 numbers despite scoring four touchdowns. If that doesn’t put into perspective how poorly the Broncos have played, I don’t know what does.
MORE: Fantasy News Tracker
Sutton has posted double-digit fantasy points in all but one game this season. He’s also topped 46 receiving yards just twice and topped seven targets just once.
The Packers allow the seventh-fewest PPG to WRs. Specifically, they shut down outside WRs.
Teams have been beating the Packers by throwing to running backs and tight ends. Just 58.4% of their total receiving yards allowed have gone to WRs.
Coming off their bye, the Packers will likely have Jaire Alexander on Sutton. Unless Sutton finds his way into the end zone once again, he is bound to disappoint fantasy managers.
Trending Searches for WR Start/Sit
Did you know that we have a Start/Sit Optimizer here at Pro Football Network?! It’s completely free to use, allowing you to enter up to six players to find the best option to plug into your starting lineup!
It also allows us to see the most popular trending searches, which we’ve jotted some of them down here to help provide some clarity on!
Should You Start DJ Moore or Zay Flowers?
Just two short weeks ago, DJ Moore was the talk of the town. In front of a national audience in primetime, Moore caught eight passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns. Of course, he was featured in my buy low/sell high column that week. I will leave it to you to guess which side he was listed on.
Now, we are deciding whether to start a guy who looked like an elite WR1 over a rookie who has still yet to top his Week 1 performance.
The Start/Sit Optimizer doesn’t even think this is close, though. It has this firmly in favor of Zay Flowers. And I agree!
Moore certainly hasn’t been bad outside of his two smash games. The issue is more his team’s offensive situation this week with UDFA Tyson Bagent starting over an injured Justin Fields.
MORE: PFN Consensus Rankings
Meanwhile, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens get a Lions pass funnel defense. To be fair, the Lions aren’t bad against the pass. It’s more that they completely stifle the run.
Flowers is an every-week WR2 for me. Start him.
Should You Start Christian Watson or Michael Pittman Jr?
Here, we have two young, ascending talents in very different circumstances. Michael Pittman Jr. has been the far superior player, largely because he’s actually been on the field to command targets. However, his team is facing the Browns, who are allowing the fewest fantasy points to WRs.
Christian Watson’s team is facing the Broncos, who are allowing the second most fantasy points to QBs. I specifically used QBs instead of WRs because teams have been throwing on the Broncos using tight ends and running backs as well. The point is to highlight their inability to stop the pass, which bodes well for Watson.
The Packers struggled mightily in their last game before the bye. Had it not been for a 77-yard reception on broken coverage, Watson might have finished with something like three catches for 40 yards. While Watson should be much better this week, and he’s a very strong start, I cannot turn my back on Pittman and what he’s done this season.
Pittman is commanding elite volume. He’s seen at least 11 targets in four of six games this season. Even if he’s inefficient, he is capable of producing WR2 numbers without a touchdown. Watson is not. The Start/Sit Optimizer says Pittman. I do as well.
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