Posted: Wednesday, October 18, 2017
This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 7 of the 2017 NFL season. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.
Please Note: This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Drew Brees, Rob Gronkowski, or Antonio Brown. Instead, we take a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.
Start 'em Russell Wilson (SEA, QB)
Russell Wilson has been fairly quiet so far this year failing to top 200 yards passing in three out of five games. Fresh off a bye, that should change against the Giants who have let Siemian, Rivers, and Winston put up an average of 21 fantasy points against them the last three weeks.
Start 'em Tyrod Taylor (BUF, QB)
Ranked 10th this week is Tyrod Taylor facing Tampa Bay who has given up the second most yards through the air (301.6) and surrendered an average of 20 fantasy points per game to opposing signal callers. Even though Taylor has only managed six scores in his five games, he should put up a season-high effort in passing yards this week. If you're looking for a bye-week replacement or are streaming QBs, this may be the best time to throw Taylor in the mix.
Start 'em Adrian Peterson (ARI, RB)
Part of putting Adrian Peterson on the start list is to pay my penance
for recommending him as a sit last week. The other part is because the Cardinals gave him the volume of touches that he needed to produce a solid day, and finally, the matchup is great as the Rams have given up the most fantasy points to running backs this year.
Start 'em Jay Ajayi (MIA, RB)
Jay Ajayi comes into this week's rankings at #13. While he hasn't been as productive as fantasy owners would have liked this year, he's the ideal buy-low candidate right now. He's coming off a great game against Atlanta where he put up 130 yards, and he'll be facing a Jets defense that has given up double-digit fantasy production to six running backs this year. Ajayi put up just 5 points against them in Week 4, so look for a bounce-back game on Sunday afternoon.
Start 'em Pierre Garcon (SF, WR)
Did anyone notice just how often Beathard targeted Garcon in the 4th quarter of last week's game? Before Hoyer was benched, he targeted Garcon as well. He's actually the 6th-most targeted wide receiver in the NFL this year. We expect those targets to continue against Dallas this week who have given up huge days to Larry Fitzgerald, Davante Adams, and Emmanuel Sanders this season. We like a guy who gets the targets!
Start 'em Jarvis Landry (MIA, WR)
Like Garcon above, Jarvis Landry is getting the targets and the more targets a guy gets, the better his odds of having a solid fantasy day. Landry caught 8 of 14 targets last week for 62 yards and a score. He may not put up a lot of yards (78 is his best this year), but he has become the Dolphins' lone receiving threat recently. Keep him in your lineups this week. He's ranked 12th against a very middle-of-the-road Jets secondary.
Start 'em Austin Seferian-Jenkins (NYJ, TE)
We keep recommending Austin Seferian-Jenkins and he keeps paying off. He had another big day last week, and if the NFL could consistently determine when a catch is a catch, he would have had a bigger day. ASJ is ranked 8th this week in our rankings against the Dolphins who have been awfully generous to opposing tight ends this year.
Start 'em Cameron Brate (TB, TE)
Ranked 10th this week is Cameron Brate who has really started to come into his own this season. He has scored in his last four games. His matchup this week with the Bills will be his toughest challenge yet as the Bills have been brutal to tight ends allowing just Austin Hooper to reach 10 points (ppr), but Brate is on a roll, and it should be noted that the Bills haven't really faced many talented tight ends this year.
Start 'em New Orleans Saints (NO, DEF)
When was the last time you saw the Saints ranked inside the Top 10 in fantasy defenses? It's been a while, but here they are ranked 8th this week against a Packers team without Aaron Rodgers. If you need a streaming option at DEF, the Saints have been the best fantasy defense over the last three games and should fit that bill. Expect them to bring pressure to Brett Hundley and a banged-up offensive line in Green Bay on Sunday.
Start 'em Ryan Succop (TEN, K)
Ryan Succop has quietly become the 2nd-best fantasy kicker this year putting up a very nice 62 fantasy points. He's ranked 3rd this week against the Browns who have allowed teams to put up a whopping 26.2 points on the scoreboard. Succop is averaging just over 10 fantasy points every week. Keep him penciled into your lineup.
Sit 'em Jameis Winston (TB, QB)
Jameis Winston put up a stinker last week injuring his shoulder. He's been limited in practice this week and has the potential to sit. If he can't go, it will be Ryan Fitzpatrick again under center. If he can go, he'll face a Buffalo team that has not allowed any QB to score more than 13 fantasy points. In fact, QB's have averaged just 9.8 fantasy points. Sit him.
Sit 'em Philip Rivers (LAC, QB)
Trusting Philip Rivers in fantasy has become like trying to fill the stadium with paying customers for Chargers games - really, really difficult. Rivers and company will face a very tough Denver secondary that has given up just 10 fantasy points the last two games. The only hesitation to sitting him here is that he turned in a nice 17 point fantasy day in Week 1.
Sit 'em Matt Forte (NYJ, RB)
It doesn't really matter if Bilal Powell suits up this week. It also doesn't really matter if Forte had his best game of the season last week. He's ranked 40th this week (ppr) against a Miami line that has only given up big games to Alvin Kamara (Week 4) and Melvin Gordon (Week 2). The Dolphins are giving up the 4th-fewest yards on the ground and Forte isn't in top shape making him a difficult play even in the flex.
Sit 'em Tarik Cohen (CHI, RB)
Fantasy owners (like me) that rushed out to pick up Cohen after a great start to the season have been disappointed with his subsequent production. The Panthers give up the 5th-fewest yards on the ground and the 7th-fewest yards through the air. Complimentary players like Theo Riddick and Alvin Kamara turned in mediocre days against Carolina. It looks like our disappointment will have to continue.
Sit 'em Keenan Allen (LAC, WR)
Keenan Allen is ranked 17th this week making him a WR2 by ranking, but we're concerned that he won't live up to that billing. The Denver secondary is no joke. The best day from an opposing receiver came from Dez Bryant in Week 2. Since then, no receiver has managed double-digit fantasy production in either standard or ppr formats. It's tough to bench him, but at least scale back your expectations.
Sit 'em Alshon Jeffery (PHI, WR)
Alshon Jeffery was supposed to be the #1 receiving option in Philly this year, but it hasn't turned out that way. Zach Ertz leads the team in targets and Jeffery hasn't been as impactful as he should be. Now, some of that has to do with tough matchups and blanketed coverage from guys like Patrick Peterson, but if Josh Norman plays this week, he'll be all over Jeffery.
Sit 'em Martellus Bennett (GB, TE)
Martellus Bennett was the intended target for Aaron Rodgers on the hit that broke his collarbone last week. Sadly, he did what he has done for much of the season...dropped the ball. Bennet has been a major disappointment for fantasy owners which is why you'll find him ranked 18th this week putting him well outside TE1 territory. If Brett Hundley finds Bennett to be a worthwhile security blanket, perhaps he can bring Bennett back to fantasy relevance. We'll see...
Sit 'em Jack Doyle (IND, TE)
We no longer expect to see Andrew Luck this season, which means that it's the Jacoby Brissett show in Indy. Doyle is ranked 17th this week, and he always has the potential to be a TE1, but dropping passes and losing two fumbles this year is not a confidence-builder. His matchup this week against Jacksonville is tough. The Jaguars give up the 3rd-fewest yards per game and have only allowed one TE (Delanie Walker) to see double-digit production.
Sit 'em New York Giants (NYG, DEF)
Even though the run game is virtually non-existent in Seattle and the Seahawks have been quieter than normal offensively, it's tough to trust the Giants defense right now. Heck, it's tough to trust the Giants anything right now even after last week's surprise win. New York is giving up the 8th-most yards through the air AND on the ground. Combined they give up the 6th-most total yards per game along with 22 points per game.
Sit 'em Adam Vinatieri (IND, K)
Adam Vinatieri - Mr. Reliable - has his work cut out for him this week. Even though the Jaguars allow an average of 7 fantasy points to kickers, those were primarily dominated by a few big games. They give up the 7th-fewest points on the board.