With six teams on a bye in Week 7, finding a reliable starting wide receiver for your fantasy football lineup can be challenging. Who is the better play this week, Rashee Rice or Curtis Samuel? Let’s find out.

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Rashee Rice’s Fantasy Outlook This Week

The fantasy community has been waiting for a Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver to emerge next to Travis “Don’t call me Mr. Swift” Kelce since Tyreek Hill was traded to the Miami Dolphins. We may finally have our answer in Rice.

It took a little longer than expected, but Rice has had four consecutive games with at least four catches and has earned more trust from Patrick Mahomes. Just as importantly, Rice faces the dead-last defense against fantasy wide receivers this week in the Los Angeles Chargers.

I think Rice is the go-to long threat, sorry, Mecole Hardman, and should see room to run after the catch. We have Rice ranked as the 37th-best wide receiver this week, and I see that as a very conservative and low ranking.

Curtis Samuel’s Fantasy Outlook This Week

Samuel is coming on strong as a tool for Eric Bienemy’s Washington Commanders offense. He has unexpectedly established himself as a top-two receiving option in Washington — over Jahan Dotson and alongside Terry McLaurin. Samuel is also solid for a few rushing attempts per game, which keeps him on the field in all game scripts.

MORE: 2023 WR Fantasy Football Rankings

The Commanders will likely employ a more ground-and-pound philosophy against the floundering New York Giants, so I do not see a lot of opportunity for performance this week from Samuel. We have Samuel ranked as the 33rd wide receiver this week, which feels appropriate.

Which Wide Receiver Should You Start?

In the Pro Football Network Start/Sit Optimizer, PFN’s Consensus Rankings say that Samuel is the player to start. His projected 10.6 points include a projection of 40.1 receiving yards, 3.9 receptions, 9.1 rushing yards, and 0.2 touchdowns. That doesn’t seem like a big stat line; it outperforms the consensus projection for Rashee Rice (9.6 points), although his projected stats are incredibly similar, with 3.4 catches, 44.9 yards, and 0.2 touchdowns. The rushing yards projection is the difference.

However, when you isolate my rankings, I see Rice outperforming Samuel, as I see him ascending in the Chiefs’ offense and having much more upside in the perfect game environment vs. the Chargers.

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