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What to do with Dede Westbrook, D.J. Chark in Week 7 fantasy football

Coming off an underwhelming six-point performance versus the Saints, can Dede Westbrook and D.J. Chark take advantage of a beat-up Bengals secondary?

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook pitches the ball to running back Leonard Fournette as he is being tackled by Carolina Panthers cornerback Javien Elliott in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

If there was ever a week where you should be incredibly excited to utilize the Jaguars’ receiving corps, it’s this coming Sunday against the Bengals. Oddly enough - for a winless team in mid-October - Cincinnati’s actually held its own versus WRs through the opening six games of 2019, surrendering the second-fewest DKFP to the position of any secondary in football. Now, obviously, part of that is circumstance. The Bengals have allowed the most rushing yards (184.5) and second-most rushing attempts (34.8) per game, meaning opponents are less inclined to pass the ball when they know how much success they can have on the ground. However, Cincinnati’s corners also deserve some of the credit, with William Jackson specifically having a very solid season.

Jackson won’t be on the field in Week 7, though. In fact, neither will Dre Kirkpatrick, as the latter is nursing a knee issue and the former is dealing with a shoulder injury. That leaves only B.W. Webb active among the Bengals usual starting CBs, a man not only giving up a massive 76% catch rate on the routes he’s covered, but one that’s additionally been suiting up with a fractured forearm the past few contests. I understand that the hype surrounding Gardner Minshew is currently at its lowest point following an underwhelming performance versus the Saints, but secondaries this banged up don’t come around too often.

Fantasy Football Analysis, Jacksonville Jaguars WRs Dede Westbrook and D.J. Chark

We’re pretty much at the point where D.J. Chark is a must-play even without an obviously positive matchup. Among receivers with more that 125 routes run, Chark’s 0.55 fantasy points gained per route sit only behind the likes of Michael Thomas, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. It’s Dede Westbrook who’s a little bit more borderline in his week-to-week viability. He is expected to play, according to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport, in spite of a shoulder injury that has him list as questionable.

Quietly, Westbrook’s racked up the targets his past four games, with his 32 reception opportunities ranking as the 10th-most for a wideout within that span of time. Eventually, with that level of volume, you’re going to produce. I’d wager that prophecy comes to fruition this weekend.

Start/Sit Recommendation

Start Westbrook. Start Chark.