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Week 7 Fantasy Football Primer: 49ers vs. Patriots

Thanks to a brilliant game plan by Kyle Shanahan that featured primarily quick releases, Jimmy Garoppolo bounced back with a three-touchdown performance last week, but he has a tough task playing through his high-ankle sprain and traveling Sunday to face an upset Patriots team coming off consecutive losses. The 49ers are down to their third-string center, left tackle Trent Williams is dealing with an injury, and New England enters with the NFL's fifth-best pressure rate, so expect another game plan filled with short passes from Jimmy G.

Deebo Samuel looked fully recovered from his foot surgery last week when he somehow racked up -30 air yards while catching all six of his targets behind the line of scrimmage. He should once again be a big (and creative) part of Sunday's game with Raheem Mostert out and Bill Belichick notorious for shutting down his opponent's best player (George Kittle obviously remains a must-start regardless). Brandon Aiyuk has a bright future, but the targets aren't there to reliably start him in fantasy leagues right now.

With Mostert suffering yet another injury, San Francisco will likely deploy a full-blown committee Sunday with Jeff Wilson Jr. (if healthy), Jerick McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty running behind the team's banged up offensive line. Hasty is the deep sleeper here for fantasy managers, as he looked noticeably quicker than McKinnon last week, but this timeshare situation is best avoided in shallower formats.

Damien Harris is New England's RB of the future, but he's ignored in the passing game, has to compete with a dominant goal-line runner as his quarterback and faces a San Francisco defense that's yielded the fewest fantasy points to running backs this season, so he belongs on benches in Week 7.

Cam Newton is a wild card after opening the year with two-straight impressive performances (albeit one against a Seattle defense that looks less impressive in hindsight) but struggled since then, although he should be healthier now and will benefit from an injury-riddled San Francisco defense. Especially in a game that projects to be one of the slowest paced of the week, no Patriots receiver is an exciting fantasy start in Week 7.


Dalton Del Don has been with Yahoo Sports since 2013, covering fantasy football, baseball and basketball. He appears on multiple podcasts each week and currently resides in the Bay Area, where he is an avid fan of the Golden State Warriors and 49ers.

For Del Don's Week 7 players to sit and start and other fantasy insight from around the league, visit here.

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