Week 7 NFL Matchup Preview Part Two
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2016
1:00 PM EST
Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets
QB Joe Flacco: Leading the league in passing attempts, Joe Flacco takes on a Jets team allowing the 4th most points to opposing QBs. Flacco also ranks 11th in passing yards (15th in yards per game) but has just 5 passing TDs. He has missed some practice time, so keep an eye on the news, but in a plus matchup, Flacco is a streaming option.
RB Terrance West: Over the past three weeks, Terrance West ranks 8th in PPR scoring. On paper, he faces a tough defense, but the Jets have allowed the 13th most points to opposing RBs this year. West quietly had 4 receptions last week. He’s great RB2 this week.
WR Mike Wallace, Kamar Aiken, Breshad Perriman: While Flacco leads the league in passing attempts and has nice yardage, the WRs haven’t been good fantasy players. The Jets have been burned by deep passes to speedy WRs, so Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman are good flex plays if you like to roll the dice on a big game. Kamar Aiken filled in for the injured Steve Smith last week and should do the same this week. He’s also a flex play.
TE Dennis Pitta: After a quiet Week 4, Dennis Pitta rebounded with back-to-back games of at least 8 targets and 6 receptions. He’s a solid TE start against a Jets defense allowing the 8th most points to TEs.
QB Geno Smith: There very little to say about Geno Smith. There is talent there, but can he harness it? He’s facing a decent but not great pass defense; he could be an interesting option in super-flex leagues.
RB Matt Forte, Bilal Powell: Matt Forte and Bilal Powell have given fantasy owners a headache the past few weeks and that won’t change this week. Neither is more than a flex play with Forte’s limited volume and Powell’s lack of TD upside.
WR Brandon Marshall, Quincy Enunwa: With Geno Smith at QB, the Jets WRs lose a bit of value, but not much. Brandon Marshall should remain a favorite target and mid-level WR2. Quincy Enunwa takes a slightly bigger hit, being nothing more than a flex play through the bye weeks.
Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles
QB Sam Bradford: While Bradford has been good for the Vikings, he’s not been a great fantasy option. He ranks 24th in QB scoring. Against a solid Eagles defense, he’s not a starter in fantasy leagues.
RB Jerick McKinnon, Matt Asiata: Eagles are allowing the 12th most points to opposing RBs and have been beaten by both rushing and receiving RBs. Both McKinnon and Asiata limit each other’s upside, making McKinnon a low RB2 and Asiata a TD-dependent flex play.
WR Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Cordarrelle Patterson: As of this writing, it’s unclear where Stefon Diggs stands for this week’s game. Check the injury reports throughout the weekend. If he doesn’t play, Adam Thielen should see an uptick in opportunity and become a flex play. Prior to the bye week, the Vikings have been creating plays forcing the ball into Cordarrelle Patterson’s hands. He’s always a threat to return a kick, making him an interesting flex play with the added receiving work.
TE Kyle Rudolph: Kyle Rudolph posted a dud in Week 5 prior to his bye week, but was a locked-in TE1 and still ranks 7th in TE PPG. Meanwhile, the Eagles have allowed the 2nd least points to opposing TEs. However, that might be a bit misleading, having faced a few teams missing their primary TE and a team that does not highly utilize a TE in the passing game. Philadelphia should still be considered a tough matchup, making Rudolph a borderline starter at TE.
QB Carson Wentz: The rookie QB has been great for the Eagles, but is not a good fantasy football QB, especially this week against the Vikings lockdown defense.
RB Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles: The Vikings Defense has absolutely shut down opposing RBs on the ground. They have, however, allowed some points to RBs in the passing game. This game projects to be a very slow paced, low scoring game. Neither RB is a good start. Mathews is a low-end RB2, Sproles is a flex option in PPR leagues.
WR Jordan Matthews, Dorial Green-Beckham: The Eagles have been spreading the ball around, so the Vikings matchup makes Jordan Matthews a low-end starter at WR. Dorial Green-Beckham played 81% of the snaps last week for the Eagles and may be the second WR option, but that’s not a great option for fantasy players. He probably should not be started outside of the deepest leagues.
TE Zach Ertz: You can’t call it a “weakness”, but the Vikings have allowed a couple “decent” PPR games to TEs this season. They have not allowed any blow-up games, making Zach Ertz is solid floor, low ceiling TE play.
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
QB Andrew Luck: In terms of points allowed, the Titans secondary has allowed the 8th least ppg to opposing QBs, however, they have really only faced two good fantasy QBs. With the Titans offense clicking and the Colts playing terrible defense, Luck should be forced to the air early and often. He’s a solid QB start.
RB Frank Gore: Frank Gore registered the Colts first 100 rushing performance since 2012, and his first since Week 17 of the 2014 season as a 49er. The Titans are allowing the 7th least yards per game to opposing RBs while giving up just 3 rushing TDs thus far. Gore is a low-upside play this week, making him a low-end RB2 at best, and better as a flex play.
WR T.Y. Hilton: The last man standing at WR for the Colts, he’s been heavily targeted by Andrew Luck. while the matchup is not great, he should be the main focus of the offense and a high-end WR2 starter.
TE Jack Doyle: Assuming that Dwayne Allen misses the game due to his ankle injury, Jack Doyle should see a nice target volume and is a great streaming option , even in a tough matchup.
QB Marcus Mariota: Marcus Mariota has exploited two great matchups and is in line for another great week. He’s a must-start QB this week.
RB DeMarco Murray: While the Colts are a great matchup for opposing QBs, they are a DREAM matchup for RBs. The Colts are allowing the 8th most yards per game and the 5th most TDs per game to opposing RBs. With Murray’s involvement in the passing game, he’s a top 5 RB play for Week 7.
WR Kendall Wright, Rishard Matthews: While Marcus Mariota has had two great games at QB, the passing game has been completely unpredictable. Rishard Matthews led the way in Week 5 and Kendall Wright led the team last week. In a plus matchup, both players are good flex options, but nothing more.
TE Delanie Walker: The Colts have been very friendly to opposing TEs. While Delanie Walker has not been a bit of a disappointment thus far, he should have a solid game this week and good starter at TE.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2016
4:05 PM EST
San Diego Chargers at Atlanta Falcons
QB Philip Rivers: All signs are pointing to this game being a high-scoring shootout. Rivers ranks 11th in yards per game and 5th in passing TDs. He’s a must-start QB this week.
RB Melvin Gordon: Melvin Gordon continues to be the primary RB. While his 3.4 ypc is uninspiring, ranking 2nd in the league in both rushing TDs (6) and total TDs (7). He’s become a must-start RB1, ranking 7th in average PPR ppg.
WR Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams, Dontrelle Inman: Another week, another team leader. There may be a pattern here, but I’m not going to pretend I can figure it out. None of the WRs are more that flex plays, even though one of them will probably finish as a WR2. Flip a coin if you’re forced to start one of them.
TE Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry: Antonio Gates is not fully healthy and the rookie TE has been one of the only consistent pass catchers for the Chargers. The Falcons are terrible at defending the TEs and have allowed the 4th most points per game to opposing TEs. Henry is a must-start TE, while Gates is a TD-dependent option, but with a good chance to score.
QB Matt Ryan: Coming off two very tough matchups, Ryan proved to be a weekly must-start QB. He’s an elite option in this shootout.
RB Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman: The Falcons are still incorporating both RBs, but Freeman has dominated the carries the past three weeks. He’s a must-start RB1 facing a Chargers team allowing the 3rd most points to opposing RBs. Coleman should have a better game after disappearing in Seattle, making him a low-end RB2 and preferably a flex option.
WR Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu: Julio is a stud and must-start. Sanu had a nice game, but is nothing more than a flex option in the bye weeks.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers
QB Jameis Winston: Coming off the bye week and facing a poor 49ers secondary, Winston is an interesting streaming option.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers: Doug Martin suffered a setback with his injury, pushing Jacquizz Rodgers back into the starting role for the next few weeks. Facing a 49ers defense allowing the 4th most points per game to opposing RBs, a league high 5 ypc and 174 yards per game and the 2nd most rushing TDs, Rodgers should be a locked-in starter with RB1 upside based on his workload in Week 5.
WR Mike Evans: Mike Evans becomes the #1 and #2 option in the passing game with Vincent Jackson being placed on the IR. He’s a must-start stud WR every week.
TE Cameron Brate: Brate should become even more involved in the passing game for the Buccaneers, making him a must-start TE. His upcoming schedule is juicy, making him a great addition to your team.
QB Colin Kaepernick: At the end of the day, the stats were the same. Kaepernick has more upside than Gabbert, but it’s limited by the lack of talent at the skill positions. The matchup against one of the worst pass defenses in the league makes him a streaming option.
RB Mike Davis, Shaun Draughn: Filling in for the injured Carlos Hyde, neither Mike Davis or Shaun Draughn project be more than a flex option.
WR Torrey Smith, Jeremy Kerley: Torrey Smith caught a bomb TD last week, but that was it. The switch to Kaepernick may have limited Kerley’s PPR appeal as well. This is an offense to avoid, with Smith being a boom/bust flex play in a nice matchup.
TE Vance McDonald: Back from his injury, McDonald will return to being a boom/bust TE. It’s a decent matchup, but he shouldn’t be started outside the deepest leagues.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2016
4:25 PM EST
New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers
QB Tom Brady: Must. Start. Every. Week.
RB LeGarrette Blount, James White: The Steelers defense will be on the field a lot Sunday with Landry Jones at QB. They will be worn-out by the 3rd quarter of the game, giving Blount good upside to score. Meanwhile, James White has been heavily involved since the return of Tom Brady. He’s a great RB2 play in PPR leagues and a flex in standard scoring.
WR Julian Edelman: Perhaps this is the week Edelman returns to his expected role. The Patriots don’t let up in a win and may look to “keep their foot on the gas” against a potential playoff opponent. Edelman is a decent WR2.
TE Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett: The Steelers are mid-pack in points allowed to opposing TEs, however, 3 games against teams who don’t include the TE in the passing game and another against a team without their starter makes that figure a little misleading. Gronk is obviously a must-start, but Martellus Bennett is a fine option as well, given his upside potential to score a TD.
RB Le’Veon Bell: With Landry Jones at QB, expect the Steelers to focus on the running game. You can also expect the Patriots to focus on it as well. Bell is a must-start but temper your expectations.
WR Antonio Brown: Just like Bell, Brown is a must-start. The Patriots should do their best to put pressure on the QB to beat them, giving Brown more upside than some may expect. He did secure 6 receptions on 8 targets for 124 yards in Landy Jones start last year.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2016
8:30 PM EST
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
QB Russell Wilson: Russell Wilson has been a huge disappointment thus far, ranking 23rd in weekly average QB ppg. In a tough matchup, Wilson is a low-end starter.
RB Christine Michael: Christine Michael has become a weekly must-start RB1, even in a tough matchup.
WR Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett: The passing game has been struggling in Seattle and is in a tough matchup on the road. Doug Baldwin is nothing more than a low-end WR2, Lockett is probably best left on the bench unless you don’t have any other options.
TE Jimmy Graham: While Jimmy Graham appeared to be returning to the must-start stud he was before, ranking in the top 5 in TE ppg. However, he missed Thursday’s practice and suddenly needs to be monitored to make sure he’s a playing Sunday. With the late start, he’s a very risky play if he ends up as a game-time-decision, considering that two of the other teams in the SNF/MNF slate do not/are not featuring TEs for you to late-swap.
QB Carson Palmer: Something has been amiss with Carson Palmer and the Cardinals passing game. He’s not a starting option against the elite Seahawks pass defense.
RB David Johnson: The matchup is tough, but David Johnson is a must-start stud RB1.
WR Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown, Michael Floyd: The problems in the passing game have made the WRs less attractive as starting options. Larry Fitzgerald is still a WR2 option, while Brown might not even play, and Michael Floyd is unstartable, even with his TD potential.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2016
8:30 PM EST
Houston Texans at Denver Broncos
QB Brock Osweiler: In his return to Denver, the narrative would lead you to think he might have a “told-ya-so” type of game. I wouldn’t suggest betting your fantasy team’s success on that. Keep him on the bench this week. (*Osweiler a very interesting stash for the rest of the season, with his upcoming schedule being a cake walk. Pick him up after this week and trade for DeAndre Hopkins. Weeks 8-16: DET, JAX, OAK, SD, GB, IND, JAX, CIN)
RB Lamar Miller: The Broncos can be beaten up the middle on the ground and through the air to RBs. In name, it’s a bad matchup, but Miller actually has a great chance to be an RB1. Don’t get cute.
WR DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller: Hopkins has been a disappointment and it won’t get any better this week. But as noted above, he’s a great trade target for the rest of the season. Fuller was active last week but did not see a snap. He’s not startable this week.
TE C.J. Fiedorowicz: C.J. Fiedorowicz ranks 8th in TE ppg over the past three weeks, with at least 4 receptions in each game and a TD in 2 of 3 games. He’s an interesting streaming option in a game where he could become a primary target in the passing game.
QB Trevor Siemian: The Texans are very good against the pass, keeping Trevor Siemian off the starter radar.
RB C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker: The coaches continue to increase the workload of Devontae Booker, making C.J. Anderson an RB2 in a bad matchup. Booker is not yet a flex option, but must be rostered in all formats.
WR Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders: The tough matchup and limited upside from the QB, both WRs are held down. Sanders is actually the better play, but both are low-end WR2s.