If it isn’t injuries, it’s a bye week. If it isn’t a bye week, it’s your top draft pick that hasn’t performed like one. This fantasy season has been a strange one, but fear not – we’re here to help.
Now, you're not going to find "start Drew Brees" here. If you drafted a player in the first five rounds, chances are those are your go-to players, so we'll try to give you some less-than-obvious choices to bolster your lineup every week.
On that note, here we go for week 7:
Jonathan Stewart, Carolina running back at Green Bay
At press time, Stewart is expected to play coming off a knee injury. The Packers still have trouble stopping the run, and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will likely lead Carolina in rushing. But, Lamar Miller gave his fantasy owners 53 rush yards, a rush TD, and caught another 3 passes for 27 yards. Those weren’t mind-blowing numbers, but it was a highly productive fantasy day. Should he be good to go, now’s a good matchup play for Stewart.
Seattle defense at St. Louis
No doubt you’re feeling bad about yourself if you drafted the defending Super Bowl champs higher than the second-to-last round, as this big-talking unit hasn’t produced in three of the five weeks they’ve played. With just seven sacks on the year (Philadelphia had eight last week alone) and just five turnovers forced, they’ve been a mediocre unit. But, they respond well after losses and they’ll be on a fast surface against a rookie quarterback in St. Louis, a squad that gives up the second-most fantasy points to defenses.
Last week: Branden Oliver (101 rush yards, TD, 4 catches, 23 yards); Odell Beckham, Jr. (4 targets, 2 catches, 28 yards)
Andre Holmes, Oakland wide receiver vs. Arizona
No doubt he jumped on your radar after last week’s 121-yard, 2-TD effort – and the smart fantasy player sees that Holmes has 20 targets in the last two weeks. Clearly he’s emerging as Derek Carr’s top guy and you’ll see that Arizona has given up four, 100-yard games and seven touchdowns to wideouts this year. But look closely – the quarterbacks they faced were Philip Rivers, Eli Manning, Colin Kaepernick, Peyton Manning and Kirk Cousins. Cousins isn’t in that league, but DeSean Jackson is better than Holmes. Better to wait on Holmes.
Andre Williams, New York Giants running back at Dallas
Talk about a bust. In a secondary role with Rashad Jennings in weeks four and five, Williams rushed for 131 yards and two scores. Then, as the No. 1 options against an Eagles defense that was allowing over 130 rush yards a game, he managed just 58 yards. Now, the Giants head to Dallas against the 5-1 Cowboys who have allowed just one 100-yard rusher this year (Arian Foster) and held Marshawn Lynch to 61 yards. This won’t be a bounceback game for an unproven starter.
Last week: Tim Wright (1 target, 1 catch, 1 yard, TD); Philadelphia defense (0 points, 8 sacks, 1 fumble recovery)
Allen Robinson, Jacksonville wide receiver vs. Cleveland
What? A Jaguars player? Yes, a Jaguars player. Robinson has averaged 8.6 targets per week since week 2. That’s the good. The bad is that he’s averaging just 5.8 catches and 62.2 yards with no scores. But that’s the definition of a sleeper, no? Cleveland is a mediocre pass defense, and Jacksonsville is usually playing from behind. Five receivers have topped 90 yards against the Browns, and you may see a bit of a let down after a big divisional win against Pittsburgh.
Last week: Owen Daniels (3 targets, 2 catches, 34 yards)
Jim Owczarski is an award-winning sports journalist and comes to Milwaukee by way of the Chicago Sun-Times Media Network.
A three-year Wisconsin resident who has considered Milwaukee a second home for the better part of seven years, he brings to the market experience covering nearly all major and college sports.
To this point in his career, he has been awarded six national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, breaking news and projects. He is also a four-time nominee for the prestigious Peter J. Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, presented by the Chicago Headline Club, and is a two-time winner for Best Sports Story. He has also won numerous other Illinois Press Association, Illinois Associated Press and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association awards.
Jim's career started in earnest as a North Central College (Naperville, Ill.) senior in 2002 when he received a Richter Fellowship to cover the Chicago White Sox in spring training. He was hired by the Naperville Sun in 2003 and moved on to the Aurora Beacon News in 2007 before joining OnMilwaukee.com.
In that time, he has covered the events, news and personalities that make up the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, NCAA football, baseball and men's and women's basketball as well as boxing, mixed martial arts and various U.S. Olympic teams.
Golf aficionados who venture into Illinois have also read Jim in GOLF Chicago Magazine as well as the Chicago District Golfer and Illinois Golfer magazines.