Fantasy Football Rankings: Week 7 Matchups to Consider
It may not seem like it, but there are just eight weeks left until the fantasy playoffs begin, which means we are at the point of the season where every single lineup decision can be the difference in securing that seat at the table when it all comes down to it. Don’t worry though, I’m here again to walk through a handful of matchup decisions for your fantasy roster in Week 7!
Kirk Cousins (MIN) vs San Francisco
It may seem odd to even be mentioning the QB8 on the season in a debate about whether or not you’re starting him, but Kirk Cousins has cooled off a bit from the way he started the season. Cousins finished inside the top-10 QBs in four of his first five games but fell off considerably last week in a very favorable matchup against Chicago as the QB25 with only 8.7 fantasy points. Possibly the most troubling stat for fantasy managers over the last three weeks has to be the decline in passing attempts that Cousins is seeing. After averaging 46 attempts in Weeks 1-3, Cousins has only met that mark once over the last three games which is considerably limiting his ceiling for fantasy purposes.
Any hopes of another strong matchup getting Cousins back on track won’t be coming this week against San Francisco. The 49ers have only allowed five total passing TDs on the season and have only allowed more than 12 fantasy points to opposing QBs twice this season. If Cousins is going to have success this week, he’ll have to find a way to get Minnesota into the end zone and score more than the 14 points San Francisco is allowing on average over their last four games. Fantasy managers should proceed with caution regarding Cousins this week and pivot to another option if possible.
Kurt would rather play: QB13 – Russell Wilson vs Green Bay
Jared Goff (DET) at Baltimore
It’s been as hot of a start as we could have imagined for Jared Goff and the Lions’ offense so far in 2023. Through his first six games, Goff has finished inside the top-six three different weeks, but he’s also been outside the top-12 QBs the other three. Luckily, the narrative that Goff is only a real fantasy option when playing in Detroit is potentially gone after his QB4 finish last week in Tampa Bay. As with any pocket QB, Goff’s fantasy success is extremely reliant on getting into the end zone with the passing game since he hasn’t finished inside the top 12 without at least two passing TDs.
What is traditionally a matchup to avoid for fantasy QBs has been the same song and dance with the Baltimore defense. The Ravens haven’t just been good against opposing fantasy QBs, they’ve been dominant. In their first six games, Baltimore’s defense hasn’t allowed a QB to finish higher than the QB18 on the week. They’ve also allowed the fewest passing TDs and yards-per-attempt in the league. Fantasy managers should avoid Goff in their lineups this week if possible.
Kurt would prefer to play: QB11 – Jordan Love at Denver
Latavius Murray (BUF) at New England
While it may be kind of a gross lineup decision to consider, Latavius Murray has worked his way back into the fantasy conversation yet again this season. After losing Damien Harris to injury last week, Murray found himself with a bigger role in the Bills’ offense which could carry into Week 7. On the season, Murray has had some strong fantasy weeks with two top-24 finishes already this season, just one less than James Cook. What’s more intriguing about Murray is his usage in the red zone for Buffalo. Murray has seven rushing attempts inside the five-yard line compared to Cook’s three. That’s even more than Josh Allen has on the year, so they’re definitely interested in using Murray for those high-value attempts.
The 2023 Patriots’ defense isn’t the one we’re used to seeing on the field for Bill Belichick but they’ve still been strong against the run. Through six games, New England is allowing the third-fewest yards per rushing attempt in the league. For fantasy purposes, they’re still giving up plenty of strong finishes though. Over the last two weeks, they’ve allowed a top-24 RB finish each week after only allowing one in their first four games. With the large amount of injuries to fantasy RBs, Murray could be a flex play this week in a pinch.
Kurt would play Murray over: RB31 – Gus Edwards vs Detroit
Keaontay Ingram (ARI) at Seattle
While it wasn’t the RB that everyone may have expected, the Cardinals did go with a lead back approach behind Keaontay Ingram. With James Conner out for at least three more weeks, Ingram may be a longer-than-usual rental that fantasy managers can invest in. Ingram led the Cardinals’ RBs in carries and even saw targets in the passing game. What’s encouraging about Ingram’s Week 6 performance is he finished as the RB34 on just 37% of snaps. If there’s any real increase in Ingram’s usage, he should be considered as a solid play this week.
Getting into the range to be a flex option is very possible with Seattle’s defense ahead for the Cardinals this week. The Seahawks have actually been solid against the run this season, only allowing 396 rushing yards on the year. Still, fantasy RBs have had solid weeks against them, with three top-24 RB finishes over their last four games. With depth at RB pretty shallow at this point of the season, Ingram is worth having in your roster this week.
Kurt would play Ingram over: RB34 – Justice Hill vs Detroit
Jaylen Warren (PIT) at Los Angeles Rams
The offseason hype may be coming to reality for Jaylen Warren with the Steelers running game. Warren has turned Pittsburgh’s RB splits into a 50-50 timeshare with Najee Harris and has been better for fantasy consistently than Harris with four finishes inside the top-36 RBs this season. Probably the biggest difference in the two RBs has been Warren’s involvement in the passing game where he’s seen 16 more targets than Harris so far this season for 129 more receiving yards. Coming off their bye week, there’s a chance that Warren could fully take over the lead back role for the Steelers.
While the Rams’ defense hasn’t been the juicy matchup for fantasy options that it was in 2022, there’s still value for fantasy managers with RBs taking them on. L.A.’s defense has allowed the ninth-most rushing yards and TDs on the season all while allowing 14.4 fantasy points to opposing RBs. In their last five games, the Rams have allowed a top-24 RB four times including two top-12 finishes. If Warren sees any increase in opportunity this week, he should be a good flex option with RB2 upside.
Kurt would play Warren over: RB24 – Zack Moss vs Cleveland
Christian Watson (GB) at Denver
It’s been a slow start to the season for what many expected to be a reprise of the huge end of the year for Christian Watson. Similar to last season, Watson’s availability has been spotty to start 2023, but when he’s been on the field, he’s been solid for fantasy managers. In the two games Watson has appeared in, he’s ramped up his involvement turning seven targets into 91 yards in their last game against the Raiders. While we haven’t gotten to see much of the Love-Watson connection, it is encouraging that their small sample size has already returned a top-24 finish in its first full week of action.
If there’s a week to try and get their offense back on track, taking on the Broncos seems like a great chance for the Packers. Denver’s defense has allowed the second-most receiving yards in the league and the most passing TDs so far this season. While the Broncos have been easy to pick on, for fantasy purposes they aren’t the best WR matchup, only allowing three top-24 WR finishes on the year. Granted, all three of those finishes were huge fantasy weeks allowing the WR7, WR3, and WR3. I’d consider Watson a solid flex play since all it takes is one big play to make the fantasy week, but if this game gets into the wrong game script for the Packers to continue throwing the ball, it may leave fantasy managers disappointed.
Kurt would play Watson over: WR20 – Christian Kirk at New Orleans
Jakobi Meyers (LV) at Chicago
Probably one of the biggest surprises so far this fantasy season has been Jakobi Meyers’ WR14 start to the year. Meyers has been the most consistent receiving option in a Raiders offense that features Davante Adams. In all but one game that he’s appeared in this season, Meyers has seen seven targets and 61 receiving yards. To top it off, Meyers appears to be Jimmy Garoppolo’s favorite red zone target where he’s caught three of his four TDs.
Continuing his hot start to the year should be expected this week with the Raiders getting to take on Chicago’s defense. The Bears are allowing the second-highest yards per attempt in the league and have given up 13 passing TDs already this year. While Chicago is giving up plenty of yards in the passing game, they aren’t giving it up to WRs. Over the last four weeks, the Bears have only allowed one top-24 WR finish. The meager expected points of 37.5 isn’t ideal, but Meyers is so involved in the Raiders’ offense that I’m willing to put him into lineups this week until something changes.
Curtis Samuel (WASH) at New York Giants
After a pretty slow start, it seems that Curtis Samuel has found his groove in the Commanders’ new-look offense. Over the last three weeks, Samuel has been the most consistent fantasy asset in the Washington passing attack, averaging five receptions for 52 yards in that span for 9.3 yards per catch. To top it off, Samuel has seen red zone targets in each of the Commanders’ last three games, resulting in two visits to TD City. Samuel hasn’t finished lower than WR25 over his hot streak, including two finishes as WR15 or higher.
Continuing his hot fantasy streak seems doable against the Giants in Week 7. In their last four games, the Giants have allowed at least a WR25 finish from an opposing WR including three top-12 WR finishes. With just 39 expected points in this game, if Samuel is going to continue being a solid flex option for fantasy managers, it’s likely he’ll need to find the end zone again this week.
Kurt would play Samuel over: WR37 – Jerry Jeudy vs Green Bay
Gerald Everett (LAC) at Kansas City
What has been a slow start to the season for Gerald Everett turned around in Week 6 with a TE7 finish. Everett’s involvement in the Chargers’ offense has been consistent when it comes to being on the field, but he hasn’t seen the receiving work that made him a consistent TE stream in 2022. However, with Donald Parham Jr.’s status up in the air for this week, Everett could see more opportunity in the passing game.
The Chiefs’ defense has been one of the better units across the board this season in terms of yardage and when it comes to fantasy output. For what it’s worth, the one position that the Chiefs don’t rank in the top eight against is the TE spot, where they’re allowing the 17th most fantasy points. While it may be chasing the TD from last week, Everett may be a decent dart throw play at TE, especially if Parham isn’t able to go.