Fantasy football leagues normally have a 13 or 14-week regular season compared to the 17-week National Football League season. Week seven’s crucial matchups mark the halfway point of a bizarre stretch of games in an even more unusual reality.

Let’s recap the season so far:

With no end to the pandemic in sight, fantasy owners must remain glued to the latest headlines so they know when to change their lineups in case of a sudden positive case in their roster or a team schedule change.

This will be a fantasy season for the books. Here’s week seven of the Gazette's fantasy football picks.

Start ‘em

Joe Burrow was able to score 16.72 fantasy points after throwing for 313 yards on 25 completions against the Indianapolis Colts — the second best defence against quarterbacks this season. Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals are set to play the Cleveland Browns for the second time this year, only this time on their home turf. The Browns are 16th in the NFL against quarterbacks and Burrow put up 24.54 fantasy points last time he played Cleveland in a strong week two performance.

D’Andre Swift looks more like he’s taking the starting running back position for the Detroit Lions. In week six, Swift ran for 116 yards on 14 carries and earned two touchdowns against the Jacksonville Jaguars in his 27.30 fantasy point performance. Swift and the Lions are visiting the Atlanta Falcons this weekend, whose defence ranks 23rd against running backs so Swift has a chance at a repeat performance.

Darius Slayton scored 11.80 fantasy points on the best defence against wide receivers this past week — the Washington Football Team. Slayton and the New York Giants won't be facing much of a challenge in the run game in week seven as they will play the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday, whose defence is 23rd in the NFL.

Sit ‘em

Jarvis Landry peaked in week four when he scored 15.28 fantasy points against the Dallas Cowboys, whose defence is 27th in the league against wide receivers. He has been in decline since and will likely continue that trend this week when the Cleveland Browns play the Cincinnati Bengals, whose defence ranks 13th against Landry’s position group.

Ryan Tannehill has played well so far, however, the Tennessee Titans passing game has not yet faced a top 10 defence. They will this week as Tannehill will have to play without his Pro Bowl left tackle, Taylor Lewan, against the fifth best defence against quarterbacks — the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Jerick McKinnon has been in a slump lately, averaging just 3.65 fantasy points per game since week five. We’re not saying he’ll never get out of it, but McKinnon and the San Francisco 49ers matchup in week seven against the fourth best defence against the run — the New England Patriots — isn’t favourable.

Waiver wire pickups

Tua Tagovailoa — it’s Tua time. Tagovailoa was named the new starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday, effectively replacing Ryan “FitzMagic” Fitzpatrick. The rookie quarterback is touted by many in the organization but has a lot to prove. Look for Tagovailoa to make an impact this season.

J.K. Dobbins and the Baltimore Ravens have a bye this weekend, but, that shouldn’t mean owners should wait until next Tuesday to see if he’s worth it. With Ravens starting running back Mark Ingram out with an ankle sprain, Dobbins will likely get more touches heading into week eight and has the potential to make big plays early and often.

Boston Scott hasn’t seen many yards this season due to the success of Eagles starting running back Miles Sanders. However, with Sanders out with a knee injury for at least a week or two, that will change in week seven as Philadelphia hosts the Giants, whose defence ranks 24th in the league against the run.

Last week’s column proved our picks wouldn’t fail us two weeks in a row. However, Melvin Gordon, one of our “Sit ‘em” picks, was listed as inactive before the game in week six which affected the total number of fantasy points for our bench players.

Starting this week, the Gazette will be facing off against the Queen’s Journal, Queen’s University’s student newspaper, in a weekly fantasy football competition.

The one-on-one competition will be separate from this fantasy football series and will include the following rules:

  • Teams must select no more and no less than one quarterback, one running back, one wide receiver, one tight end and one defence for each of their starting lineups and benches
  • Each NFL player and defence has been given a certain value, depending on their skill level, by FantasyPros.com
  • Each team will have a weekly budget to spend on players
     
  • Teams must not spend more than $100 on their starting lineup and must spend at least $90 on their bench squad

The Gazette Sports Twitter account will feature weekly updates from the competition using #QJvsWG. The next fantasy football columns will also provide brief updates.

Information can also be found in the sports section of the Queen’s Journal.

Bring on week seven.

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