Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ
Ryan Fitzpatrick has quietly produced a very solid season so far. The 11th-year quarterback has thrown for at least 200 yards or multiple touchdowns in all but one game. In addition to his consistent play through the air, the Harvard grad has added 65 yards and a touchdown on the ground over the last two weeks. With the top two scoring quarterbacks on bye in Week 7, Fitzpatrick’s matchup with the Patriots, allowing the 7th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, is an intriguing one. The Jets’ gunslinger is coming off his best game of the year and the Patriots just got torched for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns. Fitzpatrick provides a low-risk, high-reward option for those in need of a Week 7 filler.
Brian Hoyer, HOU
Owners who took my advice on Brian Hoyer last week, were rewarded with a 23-point, top-five performance from their quarterback. This week, I urge you to do the same. In his last three starts, Hoyer has compiled 837 yards, seven touchdowns and only one interception – generating 19.7 fantasy points per game. At first glance, a matchup against the Dolphins, allowing the seventh-fewest points to opposing quarterbacks, seems like a red light. But aside from lackluster performances from Washington and Tennessee, the Dolphins have surrendered 19 fantasy points per game to opposing signal callers. Hoyer should get the best of this matchup.
Landry Jones, PIT (If named Week 7 starter)
Filling in for injured Michael Vick in Week 6, Jones turned 12 attempts into 168 yards and two touchdowns. In an offense built around a high number of passing attempts, Jones fills the void left by Ben Roethlisberger much better than Vick can. Jones’ 14 fantasy points in only one half of action backs that up. If Big Ben can’t go, and Vick remains sidelined, Jones could be not only a sneaky play, but an elite one. The Chiefs have given up the fifth-most points to opposing quarterbacks, giving up no fewer than 249 passing yards and allowing multiple touchdowns in four of six games. This offense, now revitalized with the return of Martavis Bryant, is due for a huge offensive showing. If Jones is leading the charge, he’s well worth a start.
Christine Michael, DAL
With reports out that Christine Michael has received the majority of first-team reps in Dallas’ most-recent practice, he gains instant fantasy attention. Behind an offensive line that allowed Joseph Randle to find success on a limited basis, Michael should be able to produce instantly. Listed at 5’10”, 220 lbs, the third-year back out of Texas A&M has the prototypical NFL running back build. Michael found success in his limited role in Seattle, gaining 254 yards while averaging 4.9 yards-per-carry. A very favorable matchup against the Giants, should prove beneficial to Michael, and those who pick him up.
Theo Riddick, DET
While his overall upside will remain limited due to his lack of activity as a runner, Theo Riddick will remain fantasy relevant all year solely because of his ability to catch passes. Averaging more than five catches per game, his value is at its highest in PPR leagues, but still provides decent value as a potential flex play in standard formats. With Joique Bell and Ameer Abdullah banged up, Riddick may even see his carries go up. Last week he received seven, which is five more than he saw all season. He probably won’t ever win you a game, but with a solid floor, he can help fill voids left by injuries and byes.
James Starks, GB
James Starks is the James Jones of Packers’ running backs. He’s just always around and finds a way to produce. With Eddie Lacy remaining relatively ineffective, Starks may end up seeing a stronger portion of this timeshare. In his two best games this year, Starks combined for 223 yards and two total touchdowns on 35 touches, showing he can play an effective role in this offense. While the Packers are on a bye this week, if Lacy continues to struggle, expect Starks to carve out a bigger role.
Stefon Diggs, MIN
Stefon Diggs has quietly become the Vikings’ go-to receiver over the last two weeks. Injuries to Charles Johnson and Mike Wallace allowed Diggs more playing time, in which he produced 13 catches for 216 yards over a two game span. While the Vikings may have a hard time benching Johnson, who showed great potential as a rookie, Diggs appears to be more readily available to perform today. Currently owned in just 3.2 percent of ESPN leagues, Diggs may just be a fantasy hero for the remaining two-thirds of the season. Just remember what happened last year with a certain rookie who didn’t play in his team’s first few games.
In two games since Antonio Gates’ return, Ladarius Green has caught eight passes for 85 yards and a touchdown. While these numbers surely aren’t going to blow anyone away, they’re solid enough to warrant a start at a shallow position. Green has caught at least 50 yards or a touchdown in all but one game, ensuring his worth for at least five fantasy points per game. Owned in just 15.5 percent of leagues, while ranking as the 7th overall tight end, Green’s value should see immediate growth.
Consecutive games with a touchdown have to leave owners with at least a little thought about the 12th-year tight end. His ineffective play through the first four weeks of the season has to be a warning flag, but it’s hard to ignore his recent success. As this Saints’ offense starts to play better, Drew Brees is going to need a consistent red zone threat, and a lack of production from Marques Colston and Brandon Coleman could mean more looks for Watson.