7 Deep Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 7
Week 7 is the calm before the bye week storm.
That gives us plenty of options to target in Week 7, but we might need to keep an eye out for multi-week options given the impending bye week frenzy. Here are seven guys to consider for this week and possibly beyond.
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers (Owned in 12.0% of ESPN Leagues | Started in 4.9% of ESPN Leagues)
Colin Kaepernick is a fine option in shallower leagues this week, but at just 12.0% ownership, he's a solution to deep-league quarterback problems. His San Francisco 49ers host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the game that should feature the most plays of Week 7. The 49ers are first in the league in seconds per play, and the Buccaneers are fifth. Tampa Bay also ranks 21st against fantasy quarterbacks, per our DFS tools, and 25th against the pass, per our schedule-adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play metric.
The implied team total of 22.75 points isn't where you want it to be, but just about everything else is pointing to a usable game from Kaepernick in Week 7.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (32.5% | 4.3%)
Similarly, Jacquizz Rodgers is a viable option in shallower leagues. Doug Martin has had a setback with his hamstring injury, and Charles Sims is on injured reserve. Last game, Rodgers played 93% of Tampa Bay's offensive snaps and garnered 35 touches. The 49ers rank 26th against the run, per our advanced metrics, and they are 28th against running backs, per our DFS tools. There isn't much else to say when you can get a starting running back in this situation at roughly 30% owned.
Mike Gillislee, Buffalo Bills (5.1% | 0.5%)
LeSean McCoy is facing a possible multi-week absence with a hamstring injury, so his Week 7 status isn't looking great. That's a green light for Mike Gillislee. The Buffalo Bills should win this game about 66% of the time, per our algorithm, as three-point road favorites against the Miami Dolphins. Miami ranks 27th against the rush according to NEP, but they are 13th against running backs in terms of fantasy production. Still, Gillislee would lead the backfield in McCoy's absence, and he's got an elite Rushing NEP per carry of 0.42, albeit on just 17 carries. Gillislee is a must-play for running back needy teams.
Pierre Garcon, Washington (32.7% | 14.8%)
This week, Washington gets to travel to face the Detroit Lions. The Lions are on par to be the worst pass defense, by our metrics, since 2000. Kirk Cousins' road splits have been a bit overstated, as his Passing NEP per drop back on the road since the start of 2015 has been 0.14. The NFL average last year was 0.11, and it's at 0.13 this year. Against such a struggling secondary, we need to take a look. DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed missed practice on Thursday, so we can look to Pierre Garcon if they sit. Garcon has led the Washington receivers in target market share over the past three games, so he's certainly an option given this matchup.
Anquan Boldin, Detroit Lions (22.0% | 7.6%)
Right below Garcon in target market share over his team's past three games is Anquan Boldin. Lions tight end Eric Ebron missed practice on Thursday and isn't looking likely to play at all in Week 7. That makes Boldin worth a look, as he's been a pseudo tight end for the Lions without Ebron in the lineup. Boldin has managed four or more catches in his past five games and a touchdown in three of those five and has played at least 78% of Detroit's snaps in each game since Week 2, per Fantasy Data. Nobody can get excited about playing him, but if you need a steady flex option, he certainly fits the bill.
Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (29.3% | 10.9%)
We can't really go wrong by targeting this 49ers-Buccaneers game. The extra plays should give value to fringe options, and Brate might be even more than that moving forward. The Bucs draw the 26th-ranked defense against starting tight ends in Week 7, according to our DFS tools. Up next are the Oakland Raiders (24th) and Atlanta Falcons (30th) at home. Brate's 17.21% market share over the past three games is on par with Travis Kelce's, so plugging and playing Brate for Week 7 could land you a useful outing and a tight end for Weeks 8 and 9, too.
Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (13.6% | 6.8%)
Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen is week to week with a sprained ankle, paving the way for Jack Doyle to find fantasy production. Last week, Doyle played 89% of the team's offensive snaps, per Fantasy Data. He did draw just four targets, and this matchup against the Tennessee Titans isn't stellar -- they're 13th against starting tight ends in fantasy points against -- but Doyle, if you can't snag Brate, could be a multi-week solution to your tight end problem while giving you a usable floor considering his snap rate in Week 7.