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Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 7


Welcome to our Week 7 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other important information.

Chris O'Reilly will start off by covering the first set of games that begin at 1:00 PM ET on Sunday, and Spencer Aguiar will take you home with his analysis of the late afternoon and evening games.

If you have any additional lineup questions, follow us on Twitter @Teeoffsports and @cjoreillyCLE and feel free to ask away! Without further ado, let's get started.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!

 

Matchups Analysis - 1:00 PM ET Games

Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills

Matchups We Love:

Devin Singletary / Frank Gore (RB, BUF)

The Dolphins have played one fewer game than a majority of the teams in the NFL, yet they have given up the third-most total rushing yards to running backs (749). That averages out to 149.8 yards per game on the ground, and 4.8 yards per carry. We haven't seen Devin Singletary in action since a Week 2 hamstring injury, but he has returned to full practice participation this week. He looked poised to start doing some serious fantasy damage in his first two games, and a matchup with Miami is the perfect comeback game for any owner who was patient enough to hold onto him while he was out. While he's still likely to cede most of the rushing work to Frank Gore, there is opportunity for the rookie to return start-worthy fantasy value on 10 or so touches. With notable running backs like Christian McCaffrey, Nick Chubb, and James Conner on bye, both Singletary and Gore profile as flex plays against a Dolphins Defense that just resurrected Adrian Peterson.

***UPDATE: Devin Singletary is active for Sunday's game.

Josh Allen (QB, BUF)

The Dolphins have allowed all five of their opponents to beat them for multiple touchdowns through the air. Their overall numbers against the pass would look much worse than they are if not for the fact that every team they've faced has held at least a two-touchdown lead at some point in the second half. The Bills are a better team when Josh Allen doesn't have to be "the guy," but against a defense this bad and with the added bonus of his running ability, I like Allen to provide a high-floor fantasy outing in Week 7. If I'm looking for a one-week replacement for Jameis Winston, Allen is my first stop.

Matchups We Hate:

Miami Dolphins (All Positions)

The Dolphins had a golden opportunity to at least pretend to be a competent offense in a home game against the lowly Redskins last Sunday, and it wasn't until Ryan Fitzpatrick entered the game in the fourth quarter that they began to take advantage. That chance passed them by, and now they head on the road to take on a Bills team with one of the league's better defenses coming off a bye week. With Fitzpatrick set to resume his starting role, maybe there is a glimmer of hope for someone like wide receiver Preston Williams, who has been targeted at least six times in each of Miami's last four games. Is that a gamble you're willing to take?

Other Matchups:

John Brown / Cole Beasley (WR, BUF)

Regarding John Brown: he is on the Bills injury report with a groin issue, so monitor that if he's on your radar for Week 7. Brown and Cole Beasley have combined for a ridiculous 44.1% target share in what is admittedly a low-volume pass offense. They are separated by one target (Brown's 40 to Beasley's 39), so it's not as though one is accounting for a significantly larger portion than the other. No other player on the team has an individual target share of more than 10%. Adding more intrigue to their fantasy profiles, Zay Jones was traded to Oakland. Miami is allowing an even 10 receptions per game to opposing WRs, which is among the league's lowest, but again: nobody has really had to air it out against this team yet. Not that the Bills will suddenly go Big 12 on them, but how can you not like the volume these guys are seeing in PPR formats? There are at least a half-dozen fantasy-relevant WRs on bye this week, so I'm not feeling too down on myself if I have to start Brown or Beasley as a flex.

***UPDATE: John Brown is no longer on Buffalo's injury report, and will be active for Sunday's game.

Dawson Knox (TE, BUF)

I'm waiting until I see it to truly buy in, but I believe Dawson Knox is the biggest beneficiary of the Zay Jones trade. The Bills throw the ball just enough to entertain the idea of three (somewhat) fantasy-relevant pass-catchers, and with Jones gone, Knox is in line to become that third guy. Miami is allowing five receptions and 67.5 yards per game to opposing tight ends, so we might find out sooner than later whether this theory pans out.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals

Matchups We Love:

Gardner Minshew (QB, JAX)

Twice this season has Gardner Minshew attempted at least six rushes, once in Week 2 and again in Week 5. In those two games, he has run the ball 13 combined times for 98 total yards. I'll give you one guess which NFL team has allowed the most rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks. You'd be dead wrong if you guessed anybody other than the Bengals, whose 304 yards allowed on the ground are nearly twice as many as the second-worst team (Arizona at 160). Exactly half of this rushing production is the doing of Lamar Jackson, but the Bengals are giving up 5.06 yards per rushing attempt to all QBs that don't play for the Ravens as well. Cincinnati also owns the fourth-lowest pressure rate in the NFL at 16.8%, and their overall numbers against the pass are deceptively average due to how easy it is to run against them, which we'll get to in a minute. I feel good about my chances if I have to turn to Minshew this week.

Leonard Fournette (RB, JAX)

In addition to being susceptible to damage on the ground from QBs, Cincinnati is permitting 5.06 yards per carry to opposing running backs as well. The Bengals have allowed the fourth-most receptions (39) and the second-most receiving yards (396) to running backs, and have altogether given up 10 touchdowns to the position. Leonard Fournette has at least 20 carries in each of his last three games, and has caught at least four passes in every game this season but one. Lock him in for another high-volume, RB1-caliber fantasy day in the best matchup of the week.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

D.J. Chark / Dede Westbrook (WR, JAX)

Dede Westbrook has seen one more target this season than D.J. Chark, but Chark has four more catches and nearly twice as many total yards. Not to mention Chark's five touchdowns to Westbrook's one. There's decent PPR appeal in Westbrook's profile as he's caught at least five passes in four of six games, seen at least six targets in his last four, and collected more than 50 receiving yards in each of his last three. As for Chark, he's been as much of a breakout as any player in the NFL, and can be started confidently. The Bengals look like a tough matchup on paper for WRs, but keep in mind what we discussed above: teams have demoralized Cincinnati on the ground, minimizing the need to take to the air. Receivers have been targeted just 80 times against Cincy, the third-lowest total in the league. On their 55 receptions, they're averaging 13.2 yards.

Geoff Swaim / Seth DeValve / Josh Oliver (TE, JAX)

Geoff Swaim took one of the more vicious hits in recent memory last Sunday, and is questionable with a concussion for this week as a result. If he's part of your plan at tight end in the near future, you'll definitely want to keep up with news on that front. Josh Oliver is also questionable with a hamstring, and hasn't played this season. Seth DeValve is healthy, but saw his first targets and caught his first pass of the season just last week. What I'm really trying to say here is that I wouldn't feel comfortable with any Jacksonville tight end this week, even against a Bengals team giving up 14.56 yards per reception to the position.

***UPDATE: Geoff Swaim has been ruled out for Sunday's game, while Josh Oliver will make his debut.

Andy Dalton (QB, CIN)

The Jaguars have been neither great nor terrible against the pass overall, but they have held four of their six opponents to one or zero touchdowns through the air. Two of those games have taken place since Jalen Ramsey quit on them, so I'm not overly worried about his now-permanent absence from the Jags secondary. Jacksonville's 30% pressure rate on opposing QBs is the fifth-best in the league, and the Bengals O-Line has hung Andy Dalton out to dry with an 8.3% sack rate (also fifth-highest). There should be plenty of opportunity here from a volume perspective, as Cincinnati has struggled to run the ball and has thus attempted the third-most passes in the league. I'm not opposed to streaming Dalton this week if I have to, but I'm turning other stones before arriving at that decision.

Joe Mixon / Giovani Bernard (RB, CIN)

Joe Mixon's owners are likely cursing him to high heaven for torpedoing the first half of their fantasy seasons, but please understand: it's not his fault. The Bengals' 1.5 yards before contact per carry is the second-lowest average in the league. When Cincinnati's offensive line isn't selling Dalton up the river on passing downs, they're folding like a lawn chair in run protection. Luckily for Mixon, he's about to face a Jags defense that has been pretty friendly to running backs. Jacksonville is giving up 5.4 yards per carry to the position, as well as an average of 5.5 receptions per game. Have faith in the volume and start Mixon with flex-pectations. Giovani Bernard is another story. Bernard is a volume-dependent pass-catching back for fantasy purposes, and has only seen more than three targets in a game once this season. I'm rolling with Mixon or no one in this backfield.

Tyler Boyd / Auden Tate (WR, CIN)

Auden Tate worked his way into the fantasy conversation before John Ross went down with an injury, but in two games without Ross, Tate has caught eight passes for 117 yards and a touchdown. He's coming off his best game of the year, in which he was targeted 11 times. Tyler Boyd has seen double-digit targets in four games, and has produced double-digit PPR totals in all four of those. Dalton's favorite receiver is averaging 10 targets and 6.7 catches per contest. As for the matchup, here are some of the stat lines from the top receiving options the Jaguars have faced over the last three weeks without Jalen Ramsey:

Ramsey's departure from the starting lineup hasn't crippled Jacksonville's all-around pass defense, but they have been torched by WRs. Boyd is a borderline WR1 this week, while Tate factors in as a PPR flex option.

A.J. Green (WR, CIN)

I'm listing A.J. Green here only because he returned to practice this week on a limited basis. I'd be shocked if he plays, and as inviting as the matchup is for his position, I still like Boyd as the top option.

***UPDATE: A.J. Green has been ruled out for Sunday's game.

Tyler Eifert (TE, CIN)

Not that Tyler Eifert has earned himself much faith from the fantasy community this season, but this probably isn't the week to roll the dice on him anyway. Jacksonville is allowing fewer than four catches per game to tight ends, and Eifert has averaged fewer than three catches.

 

San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins

Matchups We Love:

Jimmy Garoppolo (QB, SF)

Jimmy Garoppolo hasn't been asked to do much this year, as the 49ers are the run-heaviest team in the league. But he's been pretty efficient, completing 70.1% of his pass attempts, and now he gets a Washington defense that is averaging multiple touchdowns allowed to opposing QBs. I'm in on Garoppolo as a low-end streaming option this week despite the relative lack of opportunity for big-time production.

Tevin Coleman / Matt Breida (RB, SF)

Trying to guess which of San Francisco's running backs will produce the more lucrative stat line is going to be a weekly dilemma any time both Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida are active. Coleman has 10 more carries in the 49ers' last two games, but the efficiency levels have been about the same. Breida has been utilized more in the pass-catching department in this same span, with seven receptions to Coleman's two. This is especially worth knowing with the Redskins on the docket, as they've allowed the second-most catches in the league to running backs. Washington is also giving up 4.27 yards per carry, so consider both Coleman and Breida flex options with a slight nod to the latter in PPR formats.

George Kittle (TE, SF)

Monitor George Kittle's participation in practice to end the week, as he was held out of Wednesday's session with a groin injury. The Redskins are allowing just over five catches and 56 yards per game to opposing tight ends. Kittle has caught at least six passes and been targeted at least eight times in four of five games. He has yet to finish any week with fewer than 54 receiving yards. The volume should be enough to keep Kittle in the high-end TE1 discussion in a matchup that doesn't qualify as tough.

Matchups We Hate:

Washington Redskins (All Positions)

Below I will discuss Terry McLaurin and Chris Thompson as potential fantasy starters, but I'm steering clear of everyone else in the Redskins offense. The 49ers haven't allowed a single running back to score against them in five games. They're giving up 171.4 yards through the air to quarterbacks, and have more interceptions than passing touchdowns allowed. Their 33.9% pressure rate on the pass rush ranks second in the league. No thanks.

Other Matchups:

Terry McLaurin (WR, WAS)

Terry McLaurin is one of two Redskins players I'd be comfortable starting in fantasy if I had to, but let's acknowledge that he's got an incredibly difficult matchup on his hands before getting carried away with expectations that he'll produce as he has in previous games. The 49ers have allowed nine receptions per game to opposing wideouts on a catch rate below 50%. We last saw San Francisco holding Jared Goff to 78 (!) yards passing, while the Rams' lethal triumvirate of receivers combined for seven receptions and 35 total yards. Robert Woods didn't even have a catch. McLaurin has seen a healthy share of volume in every game both he and Case Keenum have played this season, regardless of game flow. That said, his target share is the only reason I'd consider starting him given the matchup.

Chris Thompson (RB, WAS)

Chris Thompson's highest levels of involvement in Washington's offense have come in the five games his team was forced to throw the ball due to a nonexistent rushing attack. He disappeared in Week 6, as the Redskins (finally) controlled the tempo on the ground and played just well enough defensively to win against the pitiful Dolphins. I'm expecting them to revert back to the norm this week against San Francisco. The Niners have been so effective against the ground game (3.9 yards per carry, 69.2 yards per game) that opposing teams barely even try to run against them (17.4 RB rushing attempts against per game). Look for Thompson to once again see PPR-friendly levels of opportunity in the passing game as Adrian Peterson is likely to go back to being a non-factor.

***UPDATE: Chris Thompson has been ruled out for Sunday's game.

49ers Wide Receivers (WR, SF)

Kittle is the only 49er averaging more than 36.2 receiving yards per game. Deebo Samuel is the second-most involved pass-catcher in the offense, and he's averaging 4.4 targets per game. He's also questionable with a groin injury. If Samuel is a go on Sunday, he's a high-risk, high-reward flex option against a Washington pass defense that has given up 10 touchdowns to WRs. If he's inactive, Dante Pettis and Marquise Goodwin would theoretically be in line for more work. The question is, how much more? If I'm rocking anyone from this WR corps in my fantasy lineup on Sunday, I'm shooting for the stars.

***UPDATE: Deebo Samuel has been ruled out for Sunday's game.

 

Los Angeles Rams at Atlanta Falcons

Matchups We Love:

Cooper Kupp / Brandin Cooks / Robert Woods (WR, LAR)

Only the Eagles, Buccaneers, and Giants have given up more receiving yards to WRs than the Falcons. They trail only Philly in touchdowns given up to the position (10). Whatever we saw from the Rams' passing game last week, I'm banking on the opposite of a repeat against an Atlanta secondary permitting wideouts to catch 76% of balls thrown their way. Cooper Kupp is an obvious WR1 based on his involvement and production against all teams not from San Francisco, while Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods are both in a position to bounce back as flex plays in a WR-heavy bye week.

Jared Goff (QB, LAR)

If you haven't given up on Jared Goff as a fantasy starter yet, you might as well trot him out there for one more week against a Falcons team giving up the third-highest completion rate in the NFL. There are virtually no redeemable qualities in Atlanta's pass defense; the Falcons have given up 15 passing touchdowns (second-most), have forced the third-fewest turnovers, and have sacked opposing QBs on a league-low 2.5% of drop-backs. If Goff can't produce start-worthy numbers in this matchup, let's put it this way: the Rams have bigger problems than your fantasy team does.

Julio Jones (WR, ATL)

Julio Jones is on Atlanta's injury report with a hip issue, but he dealt with the same concern heading into last Sunday and was active for Week 6. Keep an eye on him as we go into the weekend. Adding a wrinkle to his outlook for Week 7 is the potential for some one-on-one time with Jalen Ramsey. Assuming he plays, I'm curious to see what Ramsey's initial assignment is in a Rams uniform. With minimal time to integrate him into their defensive scheme, I can see him being asked to go up against Jones in man coverage more often than not. If Ramsey doesn't play, well then this is a Rams Defense that was already struggling against the pass before trading Marcus Peters and placing Aqib Talib on IR. Jones has been targeted at least seven times in every game this year, and it's easy to envision the pass-happy Falcons airing it out once again in this matchup.

***UPDATE: Julio Jones is no longer on Atlanta's injury report, and will be active for Sunday's game.

Matt Ryan (QB, ATL)

The Falcons have passed more than any team in the league, and Matt Ryan's completion rate hasn't suffered because of it (72.1%). He's the perfect blend of opportunity and efficiency, and he's got a lethal arsenal of weapons around him. I'll allow for some concern here based on L.A.'s 32.2% pressure rate on opposing QB drop-backs, but Atlanta's line has done a well enough job protecting Ryan that it's not worth getting bent out of shape over. The Rams have given up touchdowns on 60.9% of opposing red zone possessions, and Ryan has attempted the seventh-most passes in such field position.

Austin Hooper (TE, ATL)

Austin Hooper is as much of a TE1 lock as there is. He leads the Falcons in receptions, has seen at least six targets in every game, and owns an excellent 84% catch rate. Only once this season has he failed to catch six or more passes or total 56-plus yards receiving. He also has a team-high 23.1% red zone target share, where the Falcons very much like to throw. The Rams are giving up 4.6 catches and 58 yards per game to tight ends; I'll take the over on receptions at least, putting Hooper in line for another double-digit PPR day.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Todd Gurley (RB, LAR)

Todd Gurley remains questionable for Week 7 after missing last week's game against the 49ers. If he plays, he gets a Falcons run defense permitting 3.97 yards per carry and under 100 yards per game to RBs. Gurley's fantasy output has been mostly the product of touchdowns, as he's only averaged above four yards per carry in one game this season, and has failed to reach double-digit receiving yards in four of five. You'll be hoping for a few red zone touches, as the Falcons are permitting touchdowns on 66.7% of opponents' opportunities there--the second-worst mark in the league.

***UPDATE: Todd Gurley is no longer on the Rams' injury report. He will play on Sunday.

Malcolm Brown / Darrell Henderson (RB, LAR)

If Gurley is inactive, Malcolm Brown figures to once again be the Rams' lead back. Inefficiency plagued him in his first audition as the starter; he averaged just 3.6 yards per carry on 11 attempts last Sunday against San Francisco. Darrell Henderson was much more effective, but on a limited basis. He totaled 39 yards on six carries. Considering how exploitable Atlanta is through the air, I'm not sure the Rams have much use for their second or third-string RB in Gurley's potential absence. If I'm starting either, I'm praying for a big play or a touchdown.

***UPDATE: Malcolm Brown is doubtful to play Sunday; if he is downgraded to inactive, backup RB duties fall to Darrell Henderson.

Gerald Everett (TE, LAR)

Fantasy football sure is fun, isn't it? Gerald Everett has two pretty good games in a row, earning himself just enough confidence from fantasy owners to be picked up and started. Naturally, that week you've finally started to believe his recent production isn't a fluke, he disappears. After hauling in 12 catches for 180 yards and a touchdown in Weeks 4 and 5, Everett produced an uncanny two-catch, nine-yard line in Week 6. Atlanta hasn't been particularly exposed by tight ends, allowing 4.5 catches and 47 yards per game. They have given up three touchdowns to tight ends, however. I'm willing to chalk up Everett's Week 6 dud to the 49ers being a great defense, but I'm hoping for his 21.7% red zone target share (second on team) to yield a touchdown if he's in my fantasy lineup this Sunday.

Calvin Ridley / Mohamed Sanu (WR, ATL)

Mohamed Sanu saw the end of a streak of at least five targets in every game to begin the season last Sunday, disappointingly ending Week 6 with three catches on four opportunities. With the Rams permitting 12 catches and 153.7 yards per game to WRs, there's hope for a bounce-back provided his target share goes back to normal. Calvin Ridley has reestablished himself as a fantasy starter in his last two games, catching nine passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Discounting the run-heavy 49ers in last week's game, the last two capable passing attacks (Buccaneers, Seahawks) that have squared up with L.A. have totaled 638 passing yards and eight touchdowns. I like the Falcons to be in that neighborhood this week in what figures to be a high-scoring game. I'll take Ridley as a low-end WR2 and Sanu as a PPR flex.

Devonta Freeman (RB, ATL)

Devonta Freeman finally turned in a huge fantasy day against the Cardinals last week, thanks in large part to two receiving touchdowns. It was his second straight game with a touchdown through the air, and he has now caught 16 passes for 142 yards in his last three. Further helping his cause was that he averaged above four yards per carry for the second time this year on a season-high 19 rushing attempts. If not for the matchup against a Rams team holding opposing RBs to 3.77 yards per tote, I'd be higher on Freeman. That said, the volume is there and he's carved out a fine role for himself in the passing game. Start him with confidence.

 

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts

Matchups We Love:

Carlos Hyde (RB, HOU)

Carlos Hyde has seen at least 20 carries in two straight games, with a touchdown in each. Hyde's efficiency has fluctuated, but he's by-and-large been a pleasantly surprising fantasy RB in terms of both production and volume. Up next for the Texans' lead back is a Colts Defense giving up 4.7 yards per carry. Strangely enough, opposing teams haven't run the ball frequently against them (18.6 RB attempts per game) despite this. I like Houston to break that trend with another high-volume outing for Hyde. For what it's worth, he's one of nine players with six or more carries inside the five. Two-thirds of red zone opportunities have resulted in touchdowns against the Colts defense.

Jacoby Brissett (QB, IND)

Jacoby Brissett has thrown for multiple scores in four of five games, and he scored a rushing touchdown in the one game he didn't record a passing TD. He's only gone over the 300-yard mark once, but the Texans present him with a decent shot at doing it again. Houston is giving up 289.3 yards to QBs, and have surrendered 11 passing touchdowns. If Brissett is on your radar as a streaming option, I wouldn't try to talk you out of it.

T.Y. Hilton (WR, IND)

T.Y. Hilton hasn't even played in all five of Indy's games, and he still has eight more targets than anyone else on the team. Week 5 was the only time this season that Hilton didn't see at least six targets or score a touchdown. His next opponent is a disastrous Texans secondary that has allowed the third-most receptions and seventh-most yards to receivers, along with eight touchdowns. Hilton is your boy for Week 7.

Matchups We Hate:

Jack Doyle / Eric Ebron (TE, IND)

The Texans are allowing under four catches for 34.83 yards per game to tight ends. They have not allowed any tight end to score a touchdown. Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle have been utilized sparingly in the Colts offense to begin with, and then you factor in this matchup? Can't do it.

Other Matchups:

Deshaun Watson (QB, HOU)

The last time we saw the Colts, they held Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to 13 points at Arrowhead Stadium. Now they're coming off a bye, and they get Deshaun Watson and the Texans at home. Despite that being the lasting image in our heads, it's worth noting that the Colts haven't exactly been unbeatable through the air. They're allowing an average of 260.2 yards and two touchdowns per game to QBs. Watson's rushing ability gives him a reasonably high floor, especially in the red zone: Watson already has five rushing TDs, and has scored on all four of his attempts inside the 10. Indy has given up a score on 66.7% of opponents' opportunities in the red zone.

Duke Johnson (RB, HOU)

Duke Johnson's impressive efficiency on the ground hasn't resulted in more touches. In his five games with at least five carries, he's averaged at least 5.2 yards per attempt (and as many as 9.3). Alas, he has yet to see double-digit carries in any contest, and has seen three or fewer targets in four of six games. He's a fine bench stash if you can afford the roster space, but you're putting a lot of eggs in the touchdown or big play basket if you start him in fantasy this week.

DeAndre Hopkins (WR, HOU)

Considering where he was drafted, you're definitely disappointed with the production you've gotten from DeAndre Hopkins to start the season. But consider this: his season-low for targets in a single game is seven. He has caught at least five passes in all six of Houston's games. What's hampered him has been some relatively low yardage totals and the fact that he hasn't visited the endzone since Week 1. The Colts are giving up 11.4 receptions per game to opposing wideouts, which is among the league's lower averages. Hopkins' volume keeps him in the WR1 conversation, though he'll have to work for his production.

Will Fuller / Kenny Stills (WR, HOU)

Kenny Stills will return to the field after missing Houston's last two games, but he's not a reliable fantasy starter against an Indy team that has been stingy to opposing WRs. Will Fuller has seen 25 targets in his last two games, but he failed to follow up his three-touchdown Week 5 performance by... dropping three touchdowns in Week 6. Fuller is a fine fantasy starter even in an unfavorable matchup based on his rapidly increasing involvement in the Texans' passing game.

Darren Fells / Jordan Akins (TE, HOU)

There's promise in the fantasy profiles of Houston's tight ends this week against a Colts team allowing 6.4 receptions and 66.8 yards per game to the position. The problem is that there's been a pretty even split between Darren Fells and Jordan Akins. I'll lean toward Fells for the following reasons. Fells has seen a slightly higher target share, and is the only one of the two to have at least one game with six or more targets (he has two). He's also tied for the team lead with a 20% target share inside the 20. I'd be nervous about starting either one, but I can understand if you're tempted to roll with Fells considering the matchup.

Marlon Mack (RB, IND)

Only Christian McCaffrey has attempted more rushes per game than Marlon Mack, but I'd like his outlook better this week if he was even remotely involved in Indy's passing attack. No team has allowed more catches or receiving yards to running backs than Houston. As a consolation prize, the Texans are giving up 4.35 yards per carry to RBs, so another heavy rushing workload should work out just fine for Mack. That said, if he's ever going to catch more than three passes in a game for a big-time PPR outing, this would be the week to do it.

Nyheim Hines (RB, IND)

Otherwise, allow me to interest you in Nyheim Hines. Hines has caught 10 total passes for 85 yards in Indy's last two games, and has been targeted at least four times in four of five. None of this is enough to consider him a shoe-in fantasy breakout for Week 7, but the involvement has been there to lend credence to the idea of starting him as a PPR flex in this matchup. He's the odds-on favorite in Indy's backfield to be the third RB to score a receiving touchdown against Houston.

 

Oakland Raiders at Green Bay Packers

Matchups We Love:

Josh Jacobs (RB, OAK)

Josh Jacobs' majority ownership of the rushing workload in Oakland is enough to keep him in weekly RB2 territory, but his matchup this week could propel him higher. The Packers are allowing just under five yards per carry to backs, and they're one of four teams to have allowed seven rushing touchdowns as well. Jacobs has no passing-game role, which limits his ceiling, but I'm fine rolling him out there with faith off a bye in Green Bay.

Darren Waller (TE, OAK)

He's not going to face the same matchups personnel-wise that have allowed wide receivers to run amok on the Packers, but Darren Waller could be the Oakland pass-catcher in line to go off against a Green Bay defense allowing 12.9 yards per completion (fourth-highest). He's Derek Carr's favorite target by a long shot, with a 26% target share and an exceptional 88% catch rate. If you own him, you don't need me to sell you on him as a TE1.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Aaron Jones / Jamaal Williams (RB, GB)

As someone who is riding or dying with Aaron Jones in my primary home league, I could not possibly be more enraged over the way things went for him last Monday. Maybe Jamaal Williams was going to be heavily involved anyway, but Jones' early fumble didn't do him any favors. He was finally the guy. And then he fumbled. And then Williams went for 136 yards and a touchdown on 18 touches, while Jones picked up 60 yards on 15. Jones will have a chance to regain some momentum against a Raiders Defense giving up exactly four yards per carry to RBs, and it helps that Oakland has also surrendered six receptions per game to the position. But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about this backfield devolving back into an even timeshare. I'm fine rocking Jones as a low-end RB1 based on what he proved he's capable of when Williams was out, and I'll take Williams as a low-end flex.

Aaron Rodgers (QB, GB)

The Raiders' 13.3% pressure rate on opponents' drop-backs is dead-last in the league. Do you know what happens when you give Aaron Rodgers time to throw the ball? Rodgers hasn't been his normal MVP-caliber self this year, but he has thrown at least one touchdown in five of six games and multiple scores in three. Oakland's half-decent numbers against the pass are strengthened by the fact that the Chiefs are the only legitimate pass offense they've faced. Rodgers will cut them back down to size, and should return start-worthy fantasy value even with a depleted WR corps.

Packers Pass-Catchers (WR/TE, GB)

It's easier at this point to list the players on Green Bay's offense who aren't dealing with injuries. Allen Lazard is the attractive name on said list after hauling in four of five targets for 65 yards and a touchdown in Monday night's "win" over Detroit. Also healthy for the Pack is Jake Kumerow, who has seen six total targets in the four games he's suited up. In the event that some combination of Davante Adams, Geronimo Allison, or Marquez Valdes-Scantling don't play this week, Lazard and Kumerow are the guys to look to. As far as tight ends go, if Jimmy Graham doesn't play I wouldn't even bother. In any case, monitor this injury report closely if you own any of the players in question. An active designation for any of the injured WRs would directly and negatively impact the Week 7 value of Lazard and/or Kumerow.

***UPDATE: Davante Adams has been ruled out for Sunday's game, while Geronimo Allison is listed as doubtful.

Zay Jones / Tyrell Williams / Hunter Renfrow (WR, OAK)

This is due in large part to the performances of Michael Gallup, Amari Cooper, and Kenny Golladay the last two weeks, but the Packers are giving up over 18 yards per catch to wide receivers. Green Bay has surrendered the fourth-fewest receptions (59), on a 51.3% catch rate no less, but the eighth-most total yards (1,069) to receivers. Believe at your own risk that someone in this Raiders group is in line to keep that trend going. Zay Jones will be playing his first game as a Raider, Tyrell Williams is unlikely to play due to injury, and Hunter Renfrow is an unknown quantity without an analyzable sample of work.

***UPDATE: Tyrell Williams is officially listed as inactive for Week 7.

Derek Carr (QB, OAK)

Only Dak Prescott has thrown for 300-plus yards and multiple touchdowns in a game against Green Bay this year. All told, the Pack has given up six passing touchdowns. I'm a fan of Derek Carr, particularly from an efficiency standpoint--he leads the NFL with a 73.3% completion rate--but this isn't the matchup to get brave. He throws the ball 32.2 times a game, his team has lost the two games in which he exceeded that average, and he's only tossed six touchdowns. Save Carr for a rainy day.

 

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions

Matchups We Love:

Stefon Diggs / Adam Thielen (WR, MIN)

Kirk Cousins evidently got the message his receivers were sending, however passive-aggressive that message may have been. Adam Thielen has scored in back-to-back weeks, and Stefon Diggs racked up about a half a season's worth of fantasy points in one game last Sunday. Up next is a Lions Defense with the highest average depth of target against in the NFL. You know who's likely to see another couple of deep shots in an attempt to take advantage of that? Diggs. You know whose target share is likely to yield positive PPR output against a team giving up 13.6 catches per game to WRs? Thielen.

Kirk Cousins (QB, MIN)

If Kirk Cousins was a character in a movie, he'd be the retired special forces guy who was totally content to live out the rest of his days in seclusion and peace until the government or some murderous organized crime syndicate forced his hand into going on a rampage. "I was just trying to play winning football with a solid defense and excellent running game, but you guys had to go ahead and push me. Fine. Now I'm going to throw a hundred touchdowns." Cousins was averaging fewer than a touchdown per game and hadn't thrown for more than 233 yards as of Week 4. He's eclipsed 300 yards and thrown multiple touchdowns in his last two. Now he gets a Lions defense with a middling pass rush and a tendency to give up big plays through the air. I like him as a streaming option with plenty of potential for another big day.

Dalvin Cook (RB, MIN)

Minnesota's run protection has allowed Dalvin Cook to average 2.5 yards before contact per carry, 10th-best in the league. Once he's on his own, he's averaging 2.9 yards after first contact, which is tied for fourth. What seems to go relatively overlooked regarding his fantasy profile is the fact that he's been pretty heavily utilized in the passing game. In his last three games, Cook has caught 14 of 16 targets for 134 yards. The Lions haven't been especially difficult to run against, allowing 4.65 yards per attempt to RBs. Count on Cook for another high-floor day with obvious potential for big-time upside.

Matchups We Hate:

Kerryon Johnson (RB, DET)

In four of five games, Kerryon Johnson has averaged below four yards per rushing attempt. He hasn't frequently offset his inefficiency with touchdowns, having scored just two on the ground. Johnson is also looking at fewer than three targets per game, and is about to face a Minnesota defense holding opposing runners to 3.8 yards per carry. Volume alone keeps Johnson in RB2 proximity this week, while the matchup renders him more of a flex play.

Other Matchups:

T.J. Hockenson (TE, DET)

I own T.J. Hockenson in both of my most cherished leagues, and I'd love to love him this week. Minnesota has given up the second-most receptions to tight ends (44), albeit not much else: 8.97 yards per catch, zero touchdowns. Where Hockenson loses me as a must-start is his inconsistency. I've been waiting four games for him to repeat his Week 1 performance, and to no avail. He has just nine catches for 56 yards since his breakout debut. Volume could be his saving grace in Week 7 if he sees enough of it, as the Vikings aren't a fantasy-friendly run defense. Still, he'll need Matthew Stafford to look his way more than four times, which is what he's averaged in his last four outings.

Matthew Stafford (QB, DET)

The Vikings don't stand out one way or the other against the pass. They're allowing a relatively high 68% completion rate, but are otherwise holding opposing QBs to 241 yards per game with 10 total touchdowns. I like Matthew Stafford to throw it quite often, considering Minnesota's effectiveness against the run, but he'll need to shore up his own completion percentage (61.3%; 26th in the league) and account for a score or two to bring back start-worthy value. Consider him a low-end streaming option.

Kenny Golladay / Marvin Jones / Danny Amendola (WR, DET)

Danny Amendola has been a straight-up non-factor since his impressive Week 1 outing, but I'm listing him here since it's a WR-heavy bye week and you might be thin. I wouldn't be confident rolling with him based on his disappearance from the offense in recent weeks. Kenny Golladay is a lock-and-load WR2 with WR1 upside based on an average of nine targets and 72.8 yards per game with four total touchdowns. Marvin Jones fits the PPR flex profile against a Vikings team that has allowed the fourth-most receptions to WRs.

Alexander Mattison (RB, MIN)

Like Cook, Alexander Mattison has benefited greatly from an offensive line that gives him room to move. Mattison ranks fifth in yards before first contact per carry with 3.4. Unlike his backfield mate, his level of participation on a weekly basis is sporadic. He's seen double-digit touches twice, but is averaging 5.5 carries in his other four games. He has no role whatsoever on passing downs, making him more of a handcuff bench stash than a fantasy starter.

Kyle Rudolph (TE, MIN)

Kyle Rudolph gets included here on a name recognition basis. He hasn't caught more than three passes in any game this season. Detroit has allowed just four receptions per game to TEs. I don't even like Rudolph as a darkhorse streaming option.

 

Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants

Matchups We Love:

Evan Engram (TE, NYG)

The Cardinals have allowed seven touchdowns to tight ends. No other team has allowed more than four. They're one yard shy of 600 surrendered to tight ends. No other team has given up 500. Evan Engram has seen 9.6 targets per game in the five he's played, and hasn't dipped below 42 receiving yards in any. He's a high-end TE1, as always.

Saquon Barkley (RB, NYG)

Well that didn't take very long. Less than a full calendar month after suffering what looked at the time like a pretty serious ankle injury, Saquon Barkley is in line to return in Week 7. His opponent is a Cardinals Defense permitting 4.4 yards per carry to opposing backs. There's reason to believe the Giants won't put too much on him in his first game back, but his O-Line has allowed their running backs to achieve 3.2 yards before contact per carry, coincidentally tied with Arizona atop the league in that regard. Barkley might not turn in the week-winning numbers we're accustomed to, but he should still be considered a low-end RB1.

***UPDATE: Saquon Barkley has been removed from the Giants' injury report, and is expected to make his return to the field on Sunday.

Daniel Jones (QB, NYG)

We'll have to wait and see what impact Patrick Peterson's return to Arizona's defensive backfield makes, but do we really expect him to shore up a pass defense that has permitted 296 yards per game and 16 total touchdowns through the air all by himself? Daniel Jones struggled against a solid all-around defense in Minnesota and arguably the best defense in the league in New England the last two weeks, but start-worthy fantasy numbers return to his spectrum of outcomes against a woefully inept Cardinals unit.

Larry Fitzgerald (WR, ARI)

If Alex Trebek said to you, "This NFL team has given up the most total yards to receivers after six weeks of the 2019 season," you would reply, "Who are the New York Giants?" Or, I suppose you could answer with a different team, in which case you'd be wrong and lose money. Your choice. Larry Fitzgerald has caught at least five passes in every game this season, and Kyler Murray has steadily improved at getting the ball to him. Trust the matchup and the volume here, and lock Fitzgerald in as a WR2.

Kyler Murray (QB, ARI)

Quarterbacks have torched the Giants for just over 300 yards per game and 10 total touchdowns. Only four QBs have attempted more passes than Kyler Murray this season. He's coming off his first game with a completion rate above 70%, and his career-high three touchdowns have him trending in the right direction with another pathetic pass defense on the docket. The rookie has also averaged more than six yards per rushing attempt in three games, giving him a high floor.

David Johnson (RB, ARI)

David Johnson has seen at least 17 touches in each of his last four games, and is averaging over eight targets per in the same span. He's been held back in practice this week due to an ankle injury, but he's an obvious go in fantasy lineups if he suits up for his real team this weekend. The Giants have given up the third-most receiving yards to running backs, along with a palatable 4.67 yards per carry.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Sterling Shepard (WR, NYG)

Sterling Shepard remains in concussion protocol, so keep up with news on his status heading into the weekend. If he plays, it will be interesting to see if he inherits a one-on-one matchup with Peterson, or if the latter sticks to one side of the field. As bad as the Cardinals have been against the pass, it would stand to reason that they'd lock their top corner on one guy for most of the game and plead with the rest of their defensive backs to do their jobs on the other two-thirds of the field. You have to like Shepard's potential for solid PPR production if he's active, as he saw 27 total targets in his last three contests before missing Week 6 due to injury. One of those was Golden Tate's first game back from a suspension, so it's worth noting Shepard's workload wasn't adversely affected by another mouth to feed.

Golden Tate / Darius Slayton (WR, NYG)

In Shepard's absence last Thursday, Golden Tate saw nine targets. He converted them into six catches for 102 yards and a touchdown, and that was against the Patriots on a short week. With Barkley and Engram set to return and the potential for Shepard to as well, I wonder if Tate doesn't become the odd man out. Both he and Darius Slayton get a boost if Shepard sits again, but I wouldn't play either if he comes back. Consider Tate a PPR flex option until we get a verdict on Shepard.


Christian Kirk (WR, ARI)

Christian Kirk remains questionable due to an ankle injury that has kept him out of two straight games, but he's got an inviting matchup if he plays. As was mentioned in the Fitzgerald segment above, no one has allowed more receiving yards to wideouts than the Giants. New York also owns the fifth-highest average depth of target against at 9.6 yards. Kirk had seen at least eight targets in three of four games before getting hurt, so look for him to take advantage of the Giants secondary if he's active.

Chase Edmonds (RB, ARI)

Chase Edmonds is averaging more than seven yards per rushing attempt in his last three games. The issue is volume, as he's had only 19 opportunities on the ground. Edmonds is a solid flex play if Johnson doesn't play, but proceed as if he's merely a bench stash until we get word on the latter's Sunday status.

 

Matchups Analysis - 4:00 PM ET Games

Los Angeles Chargers at Tennessee Titans 

Matchups We Love:

Derrick Henry (RB, TEN)

I am going to give every member of the Tennessee Titans a pass for their dud performance against the Denver Broncos last weekend. Ironically, that will probably be the first pass Derrick Henry has received in five years, but a matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers isn't as daunting as it might appear. Yes, the former Bama back has had to deal with stacked boxes all season, which is evident by him ranking last in the league in yards before contact, but the 25-year-old has still managed to be productive, grading out sixth in the league in yards after contact. What that means is defenders are getting to him almost immediately because of poor offensive line play, but Henry is still finding a way to remain prolific with his attempts. The Chargers are ranked 22nd in the NFL, allowing 52% of rushes to grade out successfully, and while it does seem likely that Henry will once again face a stacked box with Tennessee's QB play up in the air, he has upside in any game that the Titans remain competitive. Tennessee is currently two-point favorites at home - which is good enough for me to see the big man's value on Sunday.

Hunter Henry (TE, LAC)

With as desolate as the TE position is for talent, it doesn't take much for a player at the position to enter the love category. However, Hunter Henry is one of the premier options in the league to own. The eight catches, 100 yards and two touchdowns that he produced in Week 6 won't be replicated, but Henry is a TE1 every week he is active and healthy.

Matchups We Hate:

Marcus Mariota (QB, TEN)

At the time of writing this article, the Tennessee Titans have yet to name who will be starting the teams' Week 7 game against the Los Angeles Chargers. The correct answer should be Ryan Tannehill, but I am not so sure that will be the route that head coach Mike Vrabel decides to go. If they do elect to start Tannehill, I would imagine that we won't see any more of Mariota in Tennessee during his career, who only had six successful plays in Week 6 on the opening 10 drives - yielding a 17% success rate for the entire offense. A change of scenery is what the former Oregon QB needs at this point, and I would feel safe dropping him in all settings.

*** UPDATE: Marcus Mariota has been benched in favor of Ryan Tannehill

Philip Rivers (QB, LAC)

Phillip Rivers completed 26 of 44 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns in Week 6. Not bad, right? Unfortunately, anyone who watched that game will realize that the majority of those yards and all of the touchdowns came during garbage time during the fourth quarter. Numbers are numbers in fantasy, so we can't hold it against him entirely, but something is not right for the Chargers at this point. A matchup against the Tennessee Titans won't be an easy one, as the game features a current total that is currently under 40 points. I have no interest in Rivers in one-QB leagues and am not overly excited about him this weekend.

Austin Ekeler (RB, LAC)

End the Austin Ekeler air-guitar solo. The show now appears to be over. I still believe Ekeler can produce RB2 numbers in his new role, but we are going to have to deal with some letdown showing here and there. A clash against the Tennessee Titans feels like it will be a grind it out battle of rushing attacks, which does not bode well for Ekeler's usage percentage. There will be better days ahead, but you might want to consider benching the 24-year-old in Week 7.

Adam Humphries / A.J. Brown (WR, TEN)

I don't necessarily hate Adam Humphries, but his ceiling lacks much intrigue unless you wanted to grab a player that could guarantee you at least five points. He has produced multiple catches in five straight games and is likely to do so again on Sunday, but there are better waiver options available that will present more boom potential. A.J. Brown, on the other hand, appears to have dropped below Corey Davis, Adam Humphries and Delanie Walker for passing down work. While Brown's role appears to be growing as his rookie season wears on, there are too many options prioritized above him for an offense that doesn't have volume to go around.

Other Matchups:

Ryan Tannehill (QB, TEN)

A move to Ryan Tannehill should signal the end of Marcus Mariota's tenure in Tennessee. The team has shown no interest in re-signing him, and it looks as if he will walk during the offseason. For that reason, I would feel remotely comfortable that we would see Tannehill given a full leash to start and finish the game if he is given the ball to begin festivities. The 31-year-old had a completion percentage 14 points higher than expected likelihood against the Denver Broncos - the second-highest mark of any QB on the week. With all that being said, Tannehill brings low volume QB2 value to the table, so he isn't someone you want to be playing in single QB leagues. However, two-QB participants that are desperate for help might want open up a spot on their bench.

*** Update: Ryan Tannehill has been named the starting QB for the Tennessee Titans

Melvin Gordon (RB, LAC)

Anyone who owns Melvin Gordon in fantasy needs to be patient. You waited multiple weeks for him to return to the Los Angeles Chargers, so don't sell him off cheaply after a few disappointing performances in a row. As someone who doesn't own him anywhere as of this moment, I view him as one of the best buy-low options on the market. The Chargers sputtered on offense in Week 6 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but Gordon was the man next to Rivers for most of the night, making Austin Ekeler's value highly questionable going forward. Gordon draws a difficult matchup in Week 7 against the Tennessee Titans but should be able to return RB2 value.

Corey Davis (WR, TEN)

Would a switch to Ryan Tannehill be what Corey Davis needed to get his career back on track? I'm not sure if the answer to that is yes, but Davis was utilized much better in the second half once Tannehill entered the contest. There is a decent chance that the 24-year-old might be rolling around on your waiver wire, and it wouldn't hurt to scoop him up and stash him on your bench. If you already own him, he remains a desperation flex play, but there is potential for some progression to take place.

Keenan Allen (WR, LAC)

After a blistering start to the season, Keenan Allen has now been held under 50 yards in three consecutive games. Unfortunately, it won't get much easier for Allen next week as the Chargers face a Titans' secondary that has yet to allow any wide receiver to crack over 100 receiving yards in 2019. You are stuck playing him as a WR2 because of his upside, but the Chargers could have their hands full in Week 7.

Mike Williams (WR, LAC)

Touchdowns aside, Mike Williams is having a better season this year than last. Williams is on pace to surpass his career-high in receiving yards, receptions and targets but has failed in the touchdown department with zero on the season. That is a far cry from his 10 that he produced in 2018 but stay patient with the big wideout. Some positive touchdown progression should be on its way eventually, although it might not come to fruition in Week 7 against a difficult Titans secondary.

Delanie Walker (TE, TEN)

Delanie Walker experienced a bit of a bounce-back in Week 6 after disappearing from the offense for two weeks. Walker only managed to produce three catches for 43 yards, but it was a huge improvement from his two catches for 14 yards combined in the prior two weeks. The veteran should be able to produce under either Marcus Mariota or Ryan Tannehill, but it seems obvious to me at this point that Tannehill would provide every Titans playmaker with more upside than they currently have.

 

New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears

Matchups We Love:

None

Matchups We Hate:

Teddy Bridgewater QB, NO)

The Chicago Bears' defense has been interesting from a statistical standpoint. Ranked 25th in the NFL in success rate against the pass, the Bears enter the week as the fifth-ranked defense in the league when it comes to fantasy points given up. The question becomes: Why is there a disparity between those two numbers? For starters, the team has allowed a 69.5% completion rate to quarterbacks this year, which should bode well for Teddy Bridgewater's dink-and-dunk nature, but only one QB has managed to exceed 300 yards in a game. This means that the Bears are allowing teams to complete short passes but are quickly getting to the pass-catchers and bringing them down for short gains. All of this is evident by the team ranking sixth in the league in explosive passes allowed, making the picture a little murky on how Bridgewater is going to be able to attack this defense for more than a few yards at a time. Alvin Kamara is hurt and questionable, presenting even more of a reason why Bridgewater's ceiling appears to be non-existent against a stout Bears unit.

David Montgomery (RB, CHI)

Make that 28 straight games that the New Orleans defense has not allowed a 100-yard rusher after stifling Leonard Fournette to 72 yards on 20 carries. David Montgomery will have a chance to salvage his day with a touchdown in what should be a hard-fought battle, but the rookie isn't getting enough passing down work to make him anything more than a flex play against a rock-solid defense against the rush. If that touchdown doesn't come, he could be in store for a complete letdown.

Trey Burton (TE, CHI)

It has reached the point that Trey Burton has to show me something before I even consider allowing him back into my starting lineup. He hasn't exceeded 20 yards in any game this year and has failed to score over six PPR fantasy points. Is it possible he gets more usage after the teams' bye week? Sure. But I have to see it to believe it.

Other Matchups: 

Mitchell Trubisky / Chase Daniels (QB, CHI)

The Saints have been all or nothing on defense this year. They allowed no touchdowns to Dak Prescott and Gardner Minshew II but were torched for 674 yards and five passing touchdowns to Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson. In fairness, those two matchups would cause angst to just about any team in the league, but there is a slight opening for Trubisky or Daniels to attack a secondary that has been better at home than on the road in recent years. Trubisky appears as if he is inching towards being healthy enough to play, but both men are nothing more than QB2 options in a game that Vegas has pegged at an over/under of 38 points.

Alvin Kamara (RB, NO)

This feels like one of those classic spots where you just have to bite the bullet and accept the fact that Alvin Kamara could put a total of 10 points or less. Kamara's floor is way too high with his pass-catching ability to advocate not treating him as an RB1, but an ankle injury has put his availability for Week 7 in doubt. As noted for Teddy Bridgewater, the Bears do like to give up short dump-offs to opponents, so there is an opening for Kamara to earn a plethora of points that way, but I wouldn't necessarily feel gutted if he did decide to give himself a week to heal up. Consider him a low-end RB1 against Chicago.

***UPDATE: Alvin Kamara has officially been ruled out for Week 7.

Latavius Murray (RB, NO)

If Alvin Kamara plays, I have no interest in starting Latavius Murray. However, if he doesn't suit up on Sunday, Murray does become an interesting fill-in for teams suffering from bye week issues. In Week 6, Murray notched season-highs with 11 touches and 79 scrimmage yards, making the RB an intriguing plug-and-play option against a team that is willing to concede passes to backs.

Tarik Cohen (RB, CHI)

If you can't beat a team on the ground, why not try through the air? As mentioned for David Montgomery, the Saints are not some great matchup against running backs, but Tarik Cohen should be viewed more as a wideout as it is. His six-catch performance in Week 5 might be a sign of things to come, and I believe the 24-year-old does have some back-end RB2 value on Sunday.

Allen Robinson (WR, CHI)

Whether it has been Mitchell Trubisky or Chase Daniels under center, Allen Robinson has provided steady production this season. With at least seven targets in every game this year, Robinson will remain in the WR2 conversation against a New Orleans defense that has been leaky at times on the road.

Taylor GabrielAnthony Miller (WR, CHI)

I'd be careful going too far down the totem pole for a game that isn't expected to exceed 40 points, but Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller do provide some longshot flex potential in deeper leagues. The Saints have struggled to defend slot receivers, making Miller an interesting contrarian play in DFS contests, and Gabriel's boom-or-bust nature helps his case for fantasy teams that find themselves in a bind.

Michael Thomas (WR, NO)

The Chicago Bears on the road without your starting QB is about as bad as it gets matchup wise, but Michael Thomas has reached the point of being matchup-proof. The 26-year-old has received 25 targets in his previous two games, and while this is far from a contest that should make you jump for joy, Thomas should be able to overcome his difficult test based on his sheer number of targets. If you want to downgrade him slightly, fine. But it is nearly impossible to find enough options on your squad to ever justify not playing him.

Jared Cook (TE, NO)

Jared Cook has turned his season around slightly in the past three weeks, putting up 10 catches, 99 yards and two touchdowns during those games. Yes, I know that is nothing to write home about, but the TE position can be a dumpster fire if you don't have one of the few weekly starting options available to you. Cook should remain involved on Sunday against a defense that has been susceptible to the position this year and is a possible streaming option.

 

Baltimore Ravens at Seattle Seahawks 

Matchups We Love:

Lamar Jackson (QB, BAL)

I love the potential game script for Baltimore in this contest. There is always a chance that when you put two teams together that want to play slow that both offenses fall asleep at the wheel, but Lamar Jackson is in a slightly better spot than Russell Wilson for a few reasons. For starters, Jackson's legs are the ultimate game-changer that can enhance any scoring output, and perhaps more importantly, Baltimore has a few things going against them when it comes to flow. A road test usually causes an offense to play a little quicker, and it shouldn't hurt that Baltimore is currently 3.5-point underdogs on the spread. I believe there is a legit case to be made that Jackson is the top QB option this weekend.

Chris Carson (RB, SEA)

Rashaad Penny returning to the lineup might ever so slightly reduce Chris Carson's role, but unless Carson starts uncontrollably coughing up the ball again, I wouldn't worry too much about Penny cutting into his workload. The loss of TE Will Dissly might show some effects in the passing game for a week or two, so look for Pete Carroll and company to do what they do best, which is run the football between the tackles.

Mark Andrews (TE, BAL)

Mark Andrews has dealt with nagging injuries throughout the year, but it hasn't slowed him down any during actual gameplay. Andrews has received at least seven targets in every contest this year and looks to be one of the best options on the board again against a defense that has struggled to maintain TEs. Keep Andrews locked-and-loaded as a TE1.

Matchups We Hate:

Gus Edwards (RB, BAL)

Gus Edwards doesn't have any standalone value without an injury to Mark Ingram. I think we have reached the point where he is droppable in most settings and could be in line to have his role reduced further if Justice Hill can manage to pilfer a few touches here and there from him. Edwards is at best an RB5 and might be fading even further from there.

Other Matchups:

Russell Wilson (QB, SEA)

Russell Wilson's level of efficiency continues to blow my mind. He has thrown a touchdown on over seven percent of his passes, has yet to have a game with a completion percentage under 69%, is ranked first in the NFL in passer rating and total TDs, not to mention that he has thrown zero interceptions on the year. Move over Patrick Mahomes, it looks as if Wilson might be gunning for your MVP award. Although I am a firm believer that everything eventually settles into where it should be from a statistical perspective, Wilson has maintained a touchdown rate of nearly six percent throughout his entire career. His pace is a little on the high side right now, but it is not as if this is unforeseen territory by any means. A matchup against Baltimore might test just how superhuman the 30-year-old actually is, but I see no reason to expect the roof to cave in overnight. Roll Wilson out as a QB1 once again, but don't be shocked if Seattle's conservative nature does limit his ceiling to around 20 points.

Rashaad Penny (RB, SEA)

It doesn't seem logical to keep up Chris Carson's current pace of 27.3 touches per game over the past three contests when you have Rashaad Penny to help with the load. I wouldn't expect Penny to take too many touches but somewhere between six to 10 does sound logical. That isn't necessarily enough to start him, but it does put him in a spot where he should be owned in 12-man and up leagues. Sit Penny in Week 7, but do keep a close eye on where his workload goes in the next few weeks.

Mark Ingram (RB, BAL)

These have always been the matchups that worry me with Mark Ingram. He has avoided any real disastrous outings so far this season, but I always find it troublesome when the Ravens are projected to lose and even scarier when they are facing a team that would prefer to slow down the game against them. Ingram's nose for the end-zone will keep him in RB2 consideration, but there is a lower floor than people might realize if he doesn't manage to find paydirt.

Justice Hill (RB, BAL)

Could we be beginning to see Justice Hill utilized properly for the Baltimore Ravens? His five touches last weekend matched his previous three weeks combined, and while I am not so sure we are there yet for him to have a role that warrants employing him in lineups, he is a name to keep a close eye on when it comes to adding him as a bench stash in deeper leagues.

Tyler Lockett (WR, SEA)

Tyler Lockett and Russell Wilson defy all logic. It has taken me a while to come to grips that some things can't be broken down mathematically, but sometimes you have to admit when you are wrong. I was a big proponent that Lockett could not possibly maintain his efficiency rate, but here we are in Week 7 with the Seattle wideout even better in some areas than he was last season. Lockett has caught an astonishing 85.3% of his targets, including every single one thrown to him in the past three games. I still think the 27-year-old is vulnerable to disappointing performances because of his lack of volume, but I am done questioning how it is possible. Consider Lockett a WR2 against a stingy Ravens secondary.

DK Metcalf (WR, SEA)

Will Dissly being lost for the season will open up targets for this offense, but it might not come in Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens. As mentioned for other players on this team, the game flow might be at a screeching halt throughout, making all Seattle wideouts slightly less valuable. Metcalf is still in the WR3/flex range, but the matchup does have some issues with it.

Marquise Brown (WR, BAL)

Marquise Brown remained sidelined during Thursday's practice with an ankle issue and looks iffy for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks after sitting out Week 6 with the same injury. Willie Snead, Miles Boykin, Seth Roberts and Chris Moore would once again head the team's wideout corps in Week 7 if he can't go, but I don't believe we see a massive boost to anyone with the way the Ravens spread the ball around to their wideouts. Perhaps Boykins becomes a little more intriguing as a desperation longshot option, but there isn't too much there outside of fliers.

Luke Wilson (TE, SEA)

Luke Wilson is more of a stash-and-see than an actual start for teams in 12-man leagues. If you are playing deeper than that, Wilson might be your best option on the waiver, but a matchup against the Ravens is far from ideal. I'd prefer to wait to insert him into my lineups, but not everyone has that luxury. Consider him a high-end TE2 for now.

 

Matchups Analysis - Sunday Night Football - 8:20 PM ET

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

Matchups We Love:

Carson Wentz (QB, PHI)

Carson Wentz is one of just four QBs in the NFL that has thrown 12+ TDs and three or fewer INTs. The other three are Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson. Part of his success this season has gone under-the-radar because of the fact that the Eagles have struggled to keep their playmakers healthy, but a matchup against the Cowboys might allow everyone to shine on primetime television. The Eagles are ranked sixth in offensive efficiency and will look to keep that momentum rolling against a Cowboys Defense that enters the week ranked 25th in defensive efficiency - this against the second easiest strength of offenses in the league.

Alshon Jeffery (WR, PHI)

Let's add CBs Byron Jones and Anthony Brown to the list of Cowboys that might be inactive for the Week 7 clash. Jeffery is riding momentum with 16 catches in his previous two games and will look to continue that trend against an injury-riddled Dallas squad.

Zach Ertz (TE, PHI)

Zach Ertz recorded a season-low of just 54 yards last weekend against the Minnesota Vikings. That makes it every game this season that Ertz has failed to surpass 75 yards through the air, but a matchup against the Dallas Cowboys does bode well for that to change. On the season, Dallas has allowed 5.8 receptions to the position for 58.5 yards, but Ertz is a different animal for a secondary that finds itself depleted with injuries.

Matchups We Hate:

Amari Cooper / Randall Cobb (WR, DAL)

Both Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb have failed to practice this week. It seems likely that both are on the wrong side of questionable, and I would be making other plans with this game being played as one of the last contests of the week.

Other Matchups:

Dak Prescott (QB, DAL)

The wheels have fallen off for the Cowboys and may not be found quite yet. Dallas has failed to score a first-half touchdown during their 0-3 stretch and at least some of the recent blame can be put on Amari Cooper's health. We have seen this story before... the Cowboys were ranked 29th last year in passing success before they traded for Cooper but jumped into a top-eight team once they acquired the former Bama product - which includes games in the playoffs against stronger competition. Only 38 percent of Dak's passes were successful before having Cooper, and with it looking more and more likely that they will be without their star wideout, it is hard to trust Prescott's production.

Miles Sanders / Jordan Howard (RB, PHI)

It hasn't helped either Miles Sanders or Jordan Howard that the Philadelphia Eagles have trailed in 58% of their minutes this year. Fortunately for both, a matchup against the Cowboys presents an opportunity to allow both to be unleashed simultaneously. Dallas' defense is ranked 24th in rushing success rate against the third easiest schedule in the league. That puts both men on the flex radar this week, and it really wouldn't shock me to see both find the endzone.

Ezekiel Elliott (RB, DAL)

I've noted how Dak Prescott failed to produce without Amari Cooper last season, so what does this mean for Ezekiel Elliott? Let's start with the positives. The Cowboys featured the number one offense in rushing efficiency without Cooper, making you believe that the team will lean heavily on their back Sunday night. And while that most likely will remain the case, key injuries to tackles Tyron Smith and La'el Collins, as well as right guard Zach Martin have placed the team in a bind when it comes to how to handle the proceedings in Week 7. Elliott will get a lot of carries, but it remains to be seen just how effective he will be with them against the second-most efficient rushing defense.

Michael Gallup (WR, DAL)

Michael Gallup looks to be the last man standing for Dallas this weekend at the wideout position. Gallup has yet to receive less than seven targets in any game he has been active and will most likely be Dak Prescott's go-to option. That is good enough for WR2 consideration.

DeSean Jackson / Nelson Agholor (WR, PHI)

DeSean Jackson has finally gotten himself to be a day-to-day label after missing each of the teams' past five games. Jackson's boom-or-bust nature is intriguing against a dismantled Cowboys squad, but it is nearly impossible to take that gamble unless you have someone else that you can fill in for him since this is the late game on Sunday. Nelson Agholor would see his role further diminish if Jackson does play, but there is WR3 upside available if he doesn't.

***UPDATE: DeSean Jackson has officially been ruled out for Sunday night.

Jason Witten (TE, DAL)

Seven targets for five receptions and 57 yards without Amari Cooper last week, Jason Witten might be asked to step up his workload again for the Cowboys on Sunday. Witten's fantasy ceiling remains limited, but he is a TE1 in Week 7.

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