Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2018
This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 7 of the 2018 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 Aaron Rodgers, 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 Jared Goff (LAR, QB)
If you have Jared Goff on your team, you waited on QB's during your draft...and were handsomely rewarded for it. Goff is ranked 3rd this week facing the 8th-worst pass defense in the NFL. He put up 292/3 against the Niners last year and they have given up a promising 24.4 FPG to QBs the last 4 weeks.
Start 'em Andy Dalton (CIN, QB)
The Vegas line has this game as the highest scoring affair of the week putting Dalton in QB1 territory. Should attempt 40+ passes in a higher scoring game and they're still giving up numbers at 24.3 FPG to QBs the last 4 weeks.
Start 'em Jameis Winston (TB, QB)
We liked Jameis Winston last week and we like him again this week. He was a Top 5 QB last week, but this will be a tougher spot here as the Browns give up a stingy 21.5 FPG to QBs the last 4 weeks. Rivers and Flacco averaged 12.5 points but Derek Carr put up 30.
Start 'em Tevin Coleman (ATL, RB)
With Devonta Freeman on IR, it's the Tevin Coleman show in Atlanta now. He may have had an underwhelming game last week, but at least he scored and should get at least 50% of snaps and touches with Freeman out. Plus - the Giants have given up 6 TDs to RBs the last 4 weeks.
Start 'em James White (NE, RB)
White's seven targets were behind only Josh Gordon (9). He benefited from a run-heavy approach and had a larger role in the run game than normal. White was held out of the end-zone for the first time since Week 3, but he continues to have a bankable floor. He's an RB2/FLEX for Week 7 against Chicago.
Start 'em Tarik Cohen (CHI, RB)
Cohen saw only two fewer touches than Jordan Howard last week. In fact, after playing second fiddle early in the year, Cohen has pulled even with Howard in Chicago's backfield pecking order. Look for their timeshare to continue next week against New England who just gave up 30 fantasy points (PPR) to Kareem Hunt last week.
Start 'em Robert Woods (LAR, WR)
Robert Woods is the unsung hero in fantasy this year. He doesn't have the brand name that Todd Gurley has, but he has the production that fantasy owners want. He's averaging 87 yards per game and has surpassed the 100-yard mark in half of his games. He caught 7 of 10 targets last week and there is nothing scary about the matchup with the Niners as he put up 6/108 against them last year. Bonus - Cooper Kupp is out and those targets have to go somewhere.
Start 'em Michael Crabtree (BAL, WR)
Crabtree caught 6 of his 9 targets last week and had a big game. There's nothing particularly scary about the matchup with the Saints as they have given up 45.9 FPG to WRs the last 4 weeks. Depending on who the Saints stick Marshon Lattimore on, both Crabtree and John Brown have the potential to put up solid numbers here.
Start 'em Tyler Boyd (CIN, WR)
Boyd had a huge game last week, catching 7 of 9 targets with 2 TDs. He's certainly worth using as the 2nd option in the passing game against a Chiefs offense giving up 340 yards per game through the air.
Start 'em Eric Ebron (IND, TE)
Jack Doyle is out of practice yet again this week so the targets should keep coming Ebron's way, but the Bills have been stingy to tight ends giving up just 7.9 FPG to them the last 4 weeks. The volume keeps him in TE1 territory.
Start 'em David Njoku (CLE, TE)
David Njoku finally put it all together last week, catching 7 of 12 targets with a score. He's got a beautiful matchup against Tampa Bay as the Bucs have given up 20.5 FPG to TEs the last 4 weeks.
Start 'em Indianapolis Colts (IND, DEF)
It's not often that you'll see the Colts in the Top 10 among fantasy defenses, but when you're facing the hapless Buffalo Bills, you can make for a fantastic streaming option...
Start 'em Greg Zuerlein (LAR, K)
It looks like Greg Zuerlein is ready to return to action this week. If he's ready to play, be ready to plug Greg 'the leg' back into your lineup.
Sit 'em Drew Brees (NO, QB)
Nobody wants to sit Drew Brees, but lower your expectations for this week. Baltimore's defense is no joke. They give up the 2nd-fewest yards through the air - as tough a matchup as you'll find on the road and they give up just 14.7 FPG to QBs the last 4 weeks and have excellent depth at CB.
Sit 'em Deshaun Watson (HOU, QB)
There's only so much that Deshaun Watson can do by himself. His offensive line is awful and he's coming off his worst fantasy week with just 25 attempts and 177/1. History isn't much better here as he put up only 10.7 FPG against Jacksonville's tough D last year.
Sit 'em Dak Prescott (DAL, QB)
Coming off his best game of the year, Dak rushed 11 times and put up solid fantasy numbers, but the Cowboys haven't been good on the road this year even in a decent matchup with the Redskins. Washington gives up the 9th-fewest yards per game through the air.
Sit 'em Dalvin Cook (MIN, RB)Update: Dalvin Cook will be INACTIVE for Week 7.
Cook was a surprise inactive last week but appears to have a chance to play Sunday's game against the Jets. He's tough to sit given his potential, so lower your expectations. He's already experienced one setback with his hamstring this year and Latavius Murray looked solid in his absence. The Vikings have not run the ball very well this year. In fact, only four teams have averaged fewer rushing yards per game than Minnesota this year.
Sit 'em Royce Freeman (DEN, RB)
Freeman has failed to reach double-digit carries in 3 straight games and been held without a catch in 2 of those. He's a low-floor, moderate-ceiling fantasy play on Thursday night vs. a Cardinals defense allowing 4.55 yards per carry to RBs.
Sit 'em Derrick Henry (TEN, RB)
If you haven't put Henry back on the shelf, it's time. Pay no attention to where you drafted him. If this were a local Wal-mart store, he'd be on the clearance rack and with good reason. He's averaging an embarrassing 3.3 YPC, has become a touchdown-dependent running back, and has yet to score a touchdown.
Sit 'em Corey Davis (TEN, WR)
Fantasy owners were significantly disappointed last week with a pathetic 1 catch on 4 targets. Unfortunately for Davis, his luck is not likely to change because he should see a lot of stud CB Hayward. There will be weeks ahead where Davis is a good play - this isn't one of those weeks.
Sit 'em Larry Fitzgerald (ARI, WR)
Larry Fitzgerald is ranked 39th this week among receivers on FFN. The Cardinals limited Fitzgerald on a short week, but he was always expected to play. Fitzgerald's targets have been up, but Christian Kirk is Josh Rosen's go-to option. He always has the potential to find the endzone, but Fitzgerald's potential is limited by his matchup with Broncos slot CB Chris Harris.
Sit 'em Will Fuller (HOU, WR)
Will Fuller looked like a decoy out there with 82% of snaps last week, but only saw 3 targets. Nobody gives up fewer yards through the air than Jacksonville, and Fuller did not score against them last year, putting up just 5 catches for 44 yards.
Sit 'em Geoff Swaim (DAL, TE)
Geoff Swaim delivered two catches for 21 yards last week. He's been the Cowboys' most productive tight end this year, though that's not exactly a high bar to clear. Swaim won't be an appealing streamer against the Redskins this week.
Sit 'em Cameron Brate (TB, TE)
Cameron Brate saw only 30% of the snaps last week and just 1 target. He found the endzone, but the TE that we want to own in Tampa Bay is O.J. Howard. There's simply not enough work to consider Brate startable right now.
Sit 'em New York Jets (NYJ, DEF)
The Jets defense has been stellar this year finding themselves among the top DST's to own, but the Vikings offense has been powerful. It will be difficult to stop Thielen, Diggs, and the run game. The Jets are ranked 21st this week on FFN.
Sit 'em Ka'imi Fairbairn (HOU, K)
Ka'imi Fairbairn had 9 field goals in the last three games, but the offense is struggling and the matchup with Jacksonville is a tough one.