The NFL’s wide receiver position continues to be one of the deepest groups when it comes to fantasy football.
There is no shortage of elite talent, with some of the best receivers in the game putting up even more explosive results.
DeAndre Hopkins is swallowing the target share in Arizona, making him one of the most valuable commodities in fantasy. Meanwhile, Buffalo Bills receivers are benefiting from a more concerted effort to commit to the passing game.
Even guys like Jamison Crowder have managed to have tremendous success despite playing for a woeful New York Jets team.
But while the quality depth at the receiver position is a boon, it also makes for tough roster decisions.
Might someone like Cole Beasley suddenly be more valuable than a Michael Gallup, especially in PPR leagues? What about the situation in Carolina, where Robby Anderson is consistently seeing more targets than DJ Moore?
Needless to say, fantasy football managers will run into consequential decisions when it comes to which receivers to run out for the remainder of the year.
Here are some of the top receivers to start or sit in Week 7.
WRs to Start in Week 7
Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers
Let’s start with one of the most explosive rookies in football.
Claypool has been on a tear in the last couple weeks. He had seven catches for 110 yards and three scores in a Week 5 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, while also rushing for another touchdown.
The former Notre Dame product then had four more catches for 74 yards against the Cleveland Browns last weekend, and once again rushed for another score.
Pittsburgh has a number of intriguing weapons out wide, with JuJu Smith-Schuster drawing attention and James Washington establishing himself as a burner. They spread opposing secondaries out, allowing for the big and physical Claypool to exploit one-on-one matchups wherever he lines up.
The Tennessee Titans are another friendly matchup for Claypool. Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson completed 28 out of 37 passes for 335 yards and four touchdowns last weekend, and hit Will Fuller for multiple big plays.
It seems likely the Steelers will go to the air quite often against the Titans, and Claypool could once again be the major beneficiary and be a boon for fantasy football owners.
Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions
Golladay has only gotten more comfortable since missing the first two games of the season with a hamstring injury, and he faces a juicy matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.
Atlanta’s secondary ranks 31st in both passing yards and touchdown passes allowed. The advanced metrics hardly paint Atlanta’s pass defense in a better light. The Falcons rank 30th in passing DVOA, per Football Outsiders.
Golladay is primed for a huge game against a weak Falcons secondary. The Chicago native is coming off a game where he had four receptions for 105 yards. Golladay has seen a steady target share, and his yards per catch number has risen in each of his last three games.
The Lions and Matthew Stafford are going to throw, and throw a lot. Stafford likes to look for T.J. Hockenson in the red zone, but Golladay’s big-play ability and big frame makes him a nightmare matchup for the Falcons.
Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team
It is always a good fantasy football bet to start a No. 1 wide receiver against the Cowboys.
Dallas has struggled to generate pressure all year, and the pass defense has struggled as a result. Kyler Murray only completed nine of his 24 pass attempts against the Cowboys on Monday, but he hit on multiple home-run balls to both Hopkins and Christian Kirk.
The Cowboys have a tendency to get beat, which is enticing for a speedy receiver like McLaurin.
McLaurin is in the top 10 in receptions (36) and receiving yards (487) despite Washington’s ongoing carousel at the quarterback position. He has 58 targets on the season. The next closes is tight end Logan Thomas with 36 targets.
Count on the Washington Football Team to go to McLaurin quite often as they hope to put up points against a weak Cowboys defense.
Christian Kirk vs. Seahawks
CeeDee Lamb vs. Washington Football Team
Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals
WRs to Sit in Week 7
Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys
Gallup seemed primed to build upon a 2019 campaign where he had over 1,110 yards receiving and six touchdowns.
But things have grown far more complicated in Dallas.
The most obvious change is at the quarterback position, where Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending injury and has been replaced by veteran Andy Dalton.
Although Dalton is a capable quarterback, he’s at a deficit due to injuries on the offensive line. Dallas is essentially down to its backups at every O-line spot, having lost Brandon Knight to knee surgery and Zack Martin currently in concussion protocol.
The struggles up front could make things tough for Dalton, and Gallup also has to fight with CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper for targets. Gallup saw six targets against Arizona, but he hauled in just two passes for 23 yards.
Gallup began the year as a pretty legitimate WR2, but he’s a definite sit against a Washington defense that has a tough front seven and actually ranks among the top teams in terms of passing DVOA.
Henry Ruggs III, Las Vegas Raiders
It could be tempting to start Ruggs after the speedster exploded for 118 yards and a touchdown in his return from injury against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5.
The Raiders are also coming off a bye week, giving Ruggs additional time to rest up and get healthier.
But a date with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is hardly the friendliest of matchups.
The Bucs unleashed a swarm of pressure on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers this past weekend, sacking Rodgers four times for 42 yards and holding the Packers to just 254 yards of total offense.
Moreover, Tampa Bay’s secondary has held up well this season, leading the league in passing DVOA thus far.
Ruggs’ big-play ability and emergence as one of Las Vegas’ top playmakers makes him an appealing fantasy football lex option, but avoid him at all costs in this one.
Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears
This is not meant as a knock on Allen Robinson.
The 27-year-old has been one of the best receivers in the game, and he’s certainly deserving of a contract extension.
Robinson ranks fourth in the NFL in receptions (40) and 10th in receiving yards (474). He also leads the NFL in targets and does not have a single drop this year.
Allen Robinson II this season:
🔸 Targets: 65 (1st)
🔸 Drops: 0 pic.twitter.com/w0qthlTiTn
— PFF (@PFF) October 20, 2020
But it is hard to envision Robinson having much success against the Los Angeles Rams.
For starters, Robinson is likely to be shadowed by Jalen Ramsey, who has been one of the toughest cover corners in football this season.
Moreover, the Bears’ offensive line has experienced a number of key injuries, and Nick Foles has struggled immensely with pressure in his face. That is bad news against a Rams defense that features Aaron Donald and also ranks fifth in the NFL in sacks.
Robinson still figures to get his targets against Los Angeles. But it could be hard to create separation against Ramsey, and Foles is unlikely to have much time to deliver clean balls with Donald and Co. causing havoc in the backfield.
More to Sit
Jerry Jeudy vs. Chiefs
Julian Edelman vs. 49ers
Deebo Samuel vs. Patriots