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Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 7: Wide receivers

We break down the top recommended starts at receiver, along with players who should be avoided.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

We're in the middle of the bye weeks, but with the NFL choosing to spread them out over a longer period, that means less teams are on bye than normal.

This week, the Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers are the only teams on bye. So fantasy owners have to account for the absence of Kelvin Benjamin, but Dez Bryant should be closer to healthy after struggling with a knee injury. For now, though, it's time to sort out which receivers are worth plugging into your lineups, along with picking a few that should probably be avoided.


Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. New Orleans Saints)

Maclin's been a big disappointment this year, catching just 23 passes in five games and not scoring a touchdown since Week 1. However, if there's ever a friendly spot to get back on track, it has to be against the Saints' porous defense at home. This is a prime opportunity for Maclin to start returning WR2 value again.

Julian Edelman, New England Patriots (@ Pittsburgh Steelers)

Speaking of normally consistent WRs stuck in slumps ... Edelman's production has somehow gone down since Tom Brady came back, recording only 65 yards on nine catches the past two games. But fantasy owners shouldn't lose hope, yet -- he's still a reliable asset in PPR leagues and the Steelers' defense is a good matchup for New England. Keep Edelman in your lineups for the time being.

Tyrell Williams, San Diego Chargers (@ Atlanta Falcons)

In an expected shootout at the Georgia Dome, nearly every skill position player from this game should be in fantasy consideration. Williams was held quiet by the Denver Broncos last week, but this is a good bounce-back opportunity, especially with Travis Benjamin battling a knee injury. Williams burned the Oakland Raiders with five catches for 117 yards and a touchdown, which is about his fantasy ceiling against Atlanta's 26th-ranked pass defense.


Sammie Coates, Steelers (vs. Patriots)

Antonio Brown's fantasy ceiling likely takes a hit with Ben Roethlisberger out, but the real victims of his absence should be supporting cast types like Coates, Eli Rogers, and Jesse James. Coates was developing into a nifty WR3 player, but he should be considered hands-off as long as Landry Jones is under center.

Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings (@ Philadelphia Eagles)

Diggs still got some limited practices and is questionable on the injury report, but he's mostly expected to make his return from a hamstring injury that kept him out in Week 5. That said, he's returning in a rough spot against Philly's fourth-ranked pass defense and is still less than 100 percent. Fantasy owners should wait at least another week before putting him back in their lineups. Diggs will have a more favorable draw against the Chicago Bears in Week 8.

Jordan Matthews, Eagles (vs. Vikings)

On the other side of the field, Xavier Rhodes Island is for real this season. Even if he doesn't shadow Matthews, the Vikings' secondary is a murderous matchup for any receiver. This is the week to sit Matthews and wait for a better matchup (Philly gets the Dallas Cowboys in Week 8).