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Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers - Week 7

Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement. The same goes for fantasy football, and managing rosters effectively is key to winning that championship.

Throughout the season, players get hot and see an increased role while others struggle and fight to stay relevant. Experienced fantasy players know this happens every year. In this weekly column, we’ll showcase those who have taken important steps forward and those who have taken steps back.

These are the key risers and fallers heading into Week 7 of the NFL season. Dynasty owners, check out our separate Dynasty Risers/Fallers segment as well.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!


Week 7 Risers

Mitch Trubisky (QB, CHI)

The training wheels are officially off. Mitch Trubisky has back to back 300-yard passing games and has thrown nine touchdowns in that span. The Bears are becoming a passing offense, phasing out Jordan Howard and focusing more on Tarik Cohen and that has benefited Trubisky immensely. He has a tough test this week against Bill Belichick's defense.  Even though the Patriots have struggled defensively, it's never easy for a young QB. Pat Mahomes was up to the task last week. Let's see how legit Trubisky really is.

Tyreek Hill (WR, KC)

It is admittedly difficult for an obvious locked in WR1 to rise even more, but Tyreek Hill reminded everyone last week that no player has a higher weekly ceiling. Many of you know by now that I have been fervently endorsing Hill since before the 2017 season. At this point, I just have one question: Where are all the analysts that said Hill's seven touchdowns from 30+ yards out in 2017 was unsustainable? We are six weeks into the season and Hill already has seven touchdowns. He should be treated like Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, and Davante Adams. The schedule only gets easier from here on out.

Marquise Goodwin (WR, SF)

What is dead may never die. Marquise Goodwin has dealt with a medley of turmoil to start the season from the loss of his QB to multiple injuries. Goodwin was written off, including by me featuring him on the cut list. He is finally healthy and showcased his Tyreek-like ability with two deep touchdowns on Monday night. He had a WR2 valuation preseason and while I don't think his ceiling is where it was, he may very well be a usable asset going forward on a team that should be throwing a lot.

Christian Kirk (WR, ARI)

The kid is a future star. Christian Kirk is going to be Arizona's WR1 for the next decade. The breakout has already started, but not many have noticed just yet. It is coming. Kirk has posted receiving totals of 77 and 85 yards over his past two games respectively. His rapport with Josh Rosen continues to grow and Larry Fitzgerald may finally be slowing down. Kirk may finish the season as the Cardinals' leading receiver. Once Steve Wilks and Mike McCoy are fired, which, unfortunately, may not come until 2019, Kirk can truly ascend. But given how seldom owned he is across fantasy leagues, the bar is low for him to be a value in the second half of this season.

Sony Michel (RB, NE)

Over his last three games, Sony Michel has carried the ball 24, 18, and 25 times. The Patriots are using him as a true workhorse. His receiving numbers will always be capped by James White's presence, but Michel is the early down grinder and he is getting the goal line carries. While he certainly won't be scoring a touchdown in every game this season, he does have one in each of his last three and on the Patriots, the goal line back is immensely valuable. Michel is an RB1.

Marlon Mack (RB, IND)

Finally healthy, Marlon Mack returned to play 35% of the snaps, which may seem discouraging, until you realize he led the team with 13 touches. Mack is the best RB the Colts have and after he was able to make it through a full game with no setbacks, the Colts are set to increase his workload. This is going to be about an even split between Mack and Nyheim Hines. Mack will be the one in on early downs and likely at the goal line. He's also not too shabby of a pass catcher. If he was dropped in your league, go get him.


Week 7 Fallers

Will Fuller (WR, HOU)

I was reluctant to put him here last week because Will Fuller has defied efficiency expectations his entire career. We are now three weeks into the Keke Coutee era and it has taken its toll on Fuller's upside. Fuller saw 20 targets over his first two games. He has just 11 targets over his last three and fewer than 100 yards combined. Fuller looked like a legit WR2. Now he looks like Amari Cooper.

Sammy Watkins (WR, KC)

I promise I won't spend any more time gloating about Tyreek Hill. The reality is Sammy Watkins is not a crucial part of this passing attack. It's Hill, Travis Kelce, and then everyone else. In a game where the Chiefs scored 40 points, Watkins caught two passes on four targets for 18 yards. He's still a weekly WR3, but he's a volatile one, at best.

Cooper Kupp (WR, LAR)

I give the man credit for returning to the field after what appeared to be a season-ending knee injury, but Cooper Kupp is not going to be able to play through a sprained MCL. That is typically a 2-4 week injury and the undefeated Rams have every reason to be cautious with Kupp. Josh Reynolds is a capable fill in. Kupp will return, but it will likely be on the back end of that window.

Jordan Howard (RB, CHI)

The Bears' backup (yes, backup) running back is one week away from finding himself on the cut list. After fumbling away a touchdown in a game where he managed just 35 yards on 12 carries before two big overtime rushes, Jordan Howard is looking like a relic of an antiquated offense that no longer exists. There is no place for Howard in the Bears new air raid attack and, soon, there may be no place for Howard on fantasy teams.

Carlos Hyde (RB, CLE)

The clock is ticking on Carlos Hyde. I like Hyde. He's a good football player. The problem is the Browns are not going anywhere this year. They are constantly trailing, which leads to fewer snaps for Hyde and, eventually, it will make sense to give Nick Chubb more burn just to see what happens. Hyde will not be with the Browns next season so they have no reason not to turn this backfield into more of a timeshare as the season slips away. Hyde's strong start has been a bit of a mirage anyway as it was bolstered by a touchdown in each of his first four games. That is not sustainable on the Browns.

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