Welcome to the second part of our weekly matchup and sit/start analysis. Check out Part 1 here.
UPDATE: It looks like CJ SPiller and James Jones will not be playing on Sunday.
Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots, Sunday 10/27, 1PM
Rob Gronkowski made his long-awaited 2013 debut last week against the Jets, and Tom Brady wasted no time getting him involved in the offense, targeting him 17 times. Gronk responded by grabbing eight of those targets for 114 yards. If you've read these matchup articles regularly, you know I am big on starting tight ends that play the Dolphins, as they have struggled defending that position over the past few seasons. Last week proved that Tom Brady is going to trust Gronk more than anyone else in the passing game, so there will be plenty of opportunities for Gronk to put up huge numbers.
Analysis: Rob Gronkowski is a must-start this week, and going forward.
Matchup We Hate: Kenbrell Thompkins, WR
I'm not in love with any of the Patriots' wideouts to be honest, but I think Kenbrell Thompkins is the most talented of the group. Still, he's had a tough couple of weeks in terms of fantasy scoring, and after last week it's obvious that Rob Gronkowski is going to be the guy the Patriots lean heavily on in the passing game going forward. The Dolphins have been tough on opposing receivers, and I think that Thompkins has another uninspiring game Sunday.
Analysis: Sit Kenbrell Thompkins this week.
Key Injuries: Cameron Wake DE, MIA (probable), Ryan Tannehill QB, MIA (probable), Leon Washington RB, NE (out), Julian Edelman WR, NE (questionable), Danny Amendola WR, NE (questionable)
Start 'Em: Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Stevan Ridley, Brandon Bolden, Julian Edelman, Patriots DEF, Lamar Miller, Brian Hartline, Mike Wallace, Dolphins DEF
San Francisco 49ers @ Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday 10/27, 1PM
Matchup We Love: Frank Gore, RB
We've loved Frank Gore recently-- he's made us look good every time we've picked him here, and last week was no different. The guy is rolling right now, as four of his five touchdowns this season have come in the last four weeks. He has the best matchup possible this week, going against the Jacksonville Jaguars, so there is no reason to think that Gore's string of productive fantasy outputs won't continue.
Analysis: Almost any running back is a must-start against Jacksonville. Frank Gore needs to be in all lineups this week.
Matchup We Hate: Maurice Jones-Drew, RB
MJD is having a rough year, and it certainly should continue against a tough Niners defense. It seems like every week I'm putting Jones-Drew in this space, and I think it speaks volumes for just how bad things have gotten for him. Playing in Jacksonville has to be tough, but the longer MJD's struggles go on, the more I think that it has more to do with eroding skills than playing for a terrible team.
Analysis: Sit MJD. He's no longer an every week starter, especially against a tough defense like San Francisco.
Key Injuries: Justin Blackmon WR, JAX (probable), Blaine Gabbert QB, JAX (probable), Michael Crabtree WR, SF (out)
Start 'Em: Collin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Anquan Boldin, 49ers DEF, Justin Blackmon
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings, Sunday 10/27 8:30PM
Matchup We Love: Andrew Quarless, TE
The Minnesota Vikings are terrible defensively, and despite the Packers offensive unit being severely banged up, I'm predicting a big day from Aaron Rodgers and company. It looks like James Jones is not going to play, and with Jermichael Finley out due to the neck injury he suffered last week, the Packers are going to need options in the passing game. Andrew Quarless is much more of a blocking tight end, but I see his number getting called this week. Maybe he won't put up huge numbers, but I think he'll be solid on Sunday, and makes for a nice replacement for Jermichael Finley owners.
Analysis: Andrew Quarless is worth taking a chance on this weak against a poor Minnesota D.
Matchup We Hate: Vikings DEF
Just in case your starting defense is on a bye and you thought about using the Vikings defense because the Packers are so banged up, you should probably think again. This defense was barely able to put up 10 fantasy points against the Giants turnover prone offense last week, so there is no way I'm trusting them against Aaron Rodgers.
Analysis: If you need a defense, you're better off looking elsewhere.
Key Injuries: Jermichael Finley TE, GB (out), James Jones WR, GB (doubtful), James Starks RB, GB (probable), Josh Freeman QB, MIN (out)
Start 'Em: Adrian Peterson, Kyle Rudolph, Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson, Andrew Quarless, Packers DEF
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Oakland Raiders, Sunday 10/27, 4PM
Matchup We Love: Ben Roethlisberger, QB
I'm not a fan of Big Ben when it comes to being a fantasy starter, but I love him every so often as a streaming matchup or bye-week guy. This week is a great week to grab the Steelers QB as he has a favorable matchup against the Raiders defense. I'm not in love with his offense, but with the lack of a rushing attack in Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger has shown that he's going to throw a lot. He's put up some solid lines of late, a trend that should continue this Sunday.
Analysis: Start Big Ben with confidence.
Matchup We Hate: Denarius Moore, WR
Denarius Moore has been a nice fantasy option this year, but he faces a tough matchup against the Steelers defense. This season, opposing wide receivers much better than Moore have put up subpar fantasy days against Pittsburgh. This could be a long a long day for the Raiders receiving unit, and even in a week full of byes, Moore is little more than a low-end flex option.
Analysis: Start Denarius Moore at your own risk Sunday.
Key Injuries: Richard Gordon TE, OAK (out), Jarvis Jones LB, OAK (probable)
Start 'Em: Terrelle Pryor, Denarius Moore, Darren McFadden, Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers DEF
Need Rankings? Check out our Week 7 Rankings to see how we value all players for Week 7.
Be sure to check back for our remaining Sunday matchups. And as always, for advice on demand, check out the RotoBaller.com chat room. Good luck in Week Seven!