I’ve rebranded the classic fantasy football start sit column into “Roasts & Ghosts”. A roast is a player who is not only a clear start, but is in for a monster game. A ghost meanwhile is a player who could just be a typical sit, but also might be a star player who gives you less than you were expecting. I have a roast and a ghost for each position to help you set your best lineups for Week 7.
I’d like to quickly take a moment to remember what was by far my best roast & ghost week of the season. The only position I missed was tight end and even then, Mo Alie-Cox was a borderline TE1 and Dalton Schultz, while not an unusable start, certainly underperformed to his TE3 status. I’ll take that as a win.
Let’s get into Week 7.
Roast: Aaron Rodgers vs Washington Football Team
2021 Aaron Rodgers hasn’t quite been the man on fire that he was last year. He’s the QB13 in points per game, tied with Sam Darnold, averaging 19.0. Still, he’s thrown for at least two touchdowns in every game since Week 2 and has scored on the ground in two of the last three weeks. And lucky him, he gets to play the Washington defense Sunday.
If you want to talk about players who aren’t playing like they did last year, Washington’s defense has to be atop that list. After being one of the stingiest defenses last year, the 2021 Washington D is giving up fantasy points hand over fist. No team has surrendered more fantasy points (27.03 per game) or touchdowns (16) to opposing QBs this season. They’ve even given up the second-most rushing yards to the position. My loins are telling me this is going to be a vintage Rodgers and Davante Adams week when the former throws for four touchdown and the latter catches two of them.
Ghost: Joe Burrow vs Baltimore Ravens
Burrow is coming off his best fantasy game of the season against the lowly Lions. He threw for 271 yards and 3 touchdowns while also adding 20 yards on the ground. Had the Ravens just come off their narrow Week 5 victory over the Colts—in which Carson Wentz torched their defense for 400+ yards—I would feel differently about this matchup.
Instead, the Ravens are coming off a Week 6 matchup in which they looked like an entirely different squad. They shut down an explosive Chargers offense, leading to the highest NEFF rating of the week (-5.0%). Over the last four weeks, the Ravens have allowed just four passing touchdowns, tied for third-fewest during that span.
With the Ravens coming off a dominate performance and playing at home, I think this could be a tough outing for Burrow and this Bengals’ offense.
Roast: Damien Harris vs New York Jets
The Jets rank dead last in fantasy points allowed to opposing backs this season. They have been torched by every manner of running back in every game this season. Look no further than the last time these two teams played this season. Back in Week 2, Harris ran for 62 yards on 16 carries, including this absurd touchdown run:
DAMIEN GROWN-ASS MAN HARRIS YOU LOVE TO SEE IT pic.twitter.com/lOMVItHTBB
— pete astronaut aboard the pitts-8 rocket rogers (@petemrogers) September 19, 2021
James White also joined in on the fun with 45 yards on 6 catches and 20 yards and a touchdown on 5 carries.
Even with the emergence of Rhamondre Stevenson, Harris is the unquestioned No. 1 back in New England. He’s seen at least 14 touches in each of the last 2 games, scoring in each. Against the Cowboys last week, he posted his best game of the season, rushing for 101 yards and a score on 18 carries. This Jets defense is so bad I bet both Harris and Stevenson can put up solid fantasy outings. Mark my words.
Ghost: Khalil Herbert vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Herbert managers last week enjoyed a terrific game from the rookie back. He carried the ball 19 times for 97 yards and a score against the Packers. With Damien Williams sidelined, Herbert clearly is seeing a top-end RB workload and that’s leading to RB1 fantasy production.
Unfortunately for myself and other Herbert managers, this week the Bears face off against the Buccaneers’ top-rated run defense. Over the last four weeks, the Bucs have allowed just 155 total rushing yards, and 67 of that came from Sony Michel in Week 3. This run defense is not to be messed with and likely will force the Bears to resort to throwing the ball just to keep the offense at least sort of moving. Even in the Byepocalypse, amidst the Running Back Plague, I’m still benching Herbert this week.
Roast: Calvin Ridley vs Miami Dolphins
I’m going all in on Calvin Ridley this week. I ranked him the WR4, made him my DFS pick of the week, and am now making him my roast. I’m speaking it into existence. Yes Ridley is underperforming from a fantasy perspective, he’s still averaging 10.5 targets, 6.8 catches and 63.8 yards this season. Ridley feels due for a big, top-5 fantasy performance.
And there’s no better opponent for it to come against than the Dolphins.
Over the last four weeks, no team is giving up more points to wide receivers. The Dolphins’ secondary has surrendered 982 yards and 6 touchdowns in that time. The next closest team? The Seahawks, who’ve given up 855 yards to wideouts. That’s a 127 yard difference. That’s not good.
With Ridley still Matt Ryan’s go-to target, I’m fully expecting him to return to the top-end WR1 everyone drafted him to be this week.
Ghost: A.J. Green vs Houston Texans
I thought about going super bold here and picking DeAndre Hopkins as my ghost but then I thought, what actual action can Hopkins managers take from that? You’re never going to outright bench Hopkins so it doesn’t do much good me saying he could have a bad game. (He could, don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t be starting him in DFS.)
Green on the other hand you can and probably should bench. The veteran receiver has been surprisingly productive in Arizona, currently WR33 in .5PPR scoring. However, it’ll be a tough matchup for him likely going against starting corner Terrance Mitchell who’s allowing a 47.6% completion percentage this year.
The Texans as a team are terrible but their secondary has been pretty good at limiting opposing wide receivers. So far this year, they are giving up the fifth-fewest fantasy points to wideouts, just over 30 points total per game. They’re also one of the best teams at limiting touchdowns to receivers, just three this year. I’d look to get out from under Green this week.
Roast: Dallas Goedert vs Las Vegas Raiders
With Zach Ertz now joining the Cardinals—who should be started everywhere as while they can cover receivers, the Texans can NOT cover tight ends—it’s officially Goedert SZN in Philly. The Eagles this season are targeting their tight ends 25.6% of the time, which is tied for eighth-most. With no other tight end to challenge him for targets, Goedert is about to see a sizable increase in workload.
Over the last four weeks, the Raiders have given up a cool 23.3 fantasy points per game to tight ends. That dear readers, is the worst in the league. This feels like the perfect spot for a coming out party for Goedert.
Ghost: Rob Gronkowski/O.J. Howard/Bucs’ Starting TE vs Chicago Bears
Whoever the Buccaneers’ roll out with as their starting tight end, you shouldn’t be starting them vs. the Bears. Chicago is giving up the fifth-fewest points to tight ends and have surrendered just one touchdown this year. Only the Cardinals, Saints, Vikings, and Broncos have allowed fewer. I know both Gronk and Howard have put together big fantasy performances this season, but I don’t trust them repeating themselves this week.