With six teams playing golf or watching football from home this week due to byes, along with a ridiculous amount of injuries, we need all the help we can get in Week 7.
The following players are boom-or-bust types, guys who have the ability to have fantasy-relevant performances — or they may not.
We call this column wild card starts for a reason, and here is this week’s batch of hopefuls.
Allen Lazard WR, Packers
It’s still unclear if Marquez Valdes-Scantling will be back from IR this week but Lazard has done a nice job filling that downfield role in his absence. Lazard saw five targets last week which tied with Davante Adams as tops in the Green Bay offense and also found the end zone on a shovel pass early in the game.
The Packers get a home tilt this week against a Washington defense that has allowed the second-highest yards to opposing WRs (212.5 per game), the most receptions (16.5 per game), and nine total touchdowns this season, which is the second-most. Aaron Rodgers has the potential to torch this secondary with Lazard — or MVS if he’s back — as an overlooked beneficiary.
Rhamondre Stevenson RB, Patriots
The rookie may be a waiver wire add this week for some and he’s only currently rostered by 11 percent of Yahoo managers. This is a great week to plug Stevenson in as he gets a pretty juicy matchup against a Jets defense that’s yielding the second-most fantasy points to backfields so far in 2021.
With James White on the shelf, Stevenson’s path to fantasy relevancy will be through the air, and New York has allowed the third-most receiving yards to RBs (59.3 per game) and also the third-most receptions to the position with 6.8 per contest. Considering six teams’ worth of RBs are out this week, plus plenty of others are sidelined with injury, Stevenson is in a great spot to get you through Week 7.
Matt Ryan, QB - Falcons
Ryan has been pretty average thus far, putting up 18.0 fantasy points per contest as QB18 on the season. In his last two outings, however, the Atlanta QB showed signs of fantasy prowess, throwing for 625 combined yards and six touchdowns.
After a week of rest, Ryan gets a plus matchup against a Miami team that has surrendered the third-highest passing yards through six games (1,845) and the fourth-most passing touchdowns (14). With several of the top QBs not in play this week, Ryan could be a sneaky start — and he’s still on the waiver wire in 53% of Yahoo leagues.
C.J. Uzomah, TE - Bengals
Without Jared Cook, Dalton Schultz, and Dawson Knox this week, you may be scrambling to replace your TE, which is rarely an easy task.
Enter C.J. Uzomah, who has quietly put together a fantasy TE14 season through the first six weeks.
He’s facing a Ravens’ defensive unit that let Darren Waller and Travis Kelce burn them for 21.5 and 20.4 half-PPR points, respectively, this season, and they’ve given up the most receptions in the league to TEs through six games (43). Uzomah has found the end zone three times in 2021, so this week could be another productive one for the 28-year-old in this favorable matchup.
Rashaad Penny, RB - Seahawks
Who’s ready to jump back onto the Rashaad Penny train? I know he’s not the sexiest of picks, but the 25-year-old may be in the right spot to add to your rosters this week. He will be fresh off of a three-week IR stint, with both Chris Carson and Alex Collins banged up in front of him. Penny could be the default lead back in a decent matchup this week at home.
He’ll line up opposite a Saints defense that allowed Christian McCaffrey to post 189 all-purpose yards in Week 2, Saquon Barkley to find the end zone twice with 126 combined yards in Week 4, and Antonio Gibson to drop 20.2 half-PPR points in their last game before the bye week. While Penny is not nearly the kind of RB those three are, he could have himself a day as an RB2 this week for teams that need the help.