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Fantasy Football: Week 7 NFL Matchups & Sit/Start Advice (Part 1)

Week seven is underway after the Seattle Seahawks took care of the Arizona Cardinals. This is probably right around the halfway point of your fantasy season, so hopefully you got off to a fast start this week. If not, no worries, there are still plenty of matchups to sort through.

Week 7 NFL Matchups: Fantasy Football Analysis & Sit/Start Advice


San Diego Chargers @ Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday 10/20, 1PM

Matchup We Love: Chargers DEF

This will probably be the only time I ever pick the Chargers defense. It's not good, but the Jacksonville offense is worse. Much worse. If you are streaming defenses and just playing the match-up from week to week, this is a perfect one to use. The Chargers defense is almost certainly available in your league, and even if the Jags score some, they are always prone to plenty of turnovers. That can mean big points for fantasy owners.

Analysis: Defenses average 15 fantasy points per week against the Jags. That's a huge total that makes the Chargers a must start this week.

Matchup We Hate: Maurice Jones-Drew, RB

I think this is a make-or-break match-up for MJD. Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon have proven to be good enough to keep defenses honest, and the Chargers defense hasn't been good this year, and if he can put up numbers here, it's time to start wondering if he's done. I happen to think he is.

Analysis: I'm not touching MJD. The risk isn't worth the reward, and I think he's on the downside of his career. Sit him.

Key Injuries: Eddie Royal WR, SD (questionable), Ronnie Brown RB, SD (probable), Marcedes Lewis TE, JAX (questionable), Justin Blackmon WR, JAX (questionable), Cecil Shorts WR, JAX (questionable)

Start 'Em: Philip Rivers, Danny Woodhead, Eddie Royal, Vincent Brown, Antonio Gates, Chargers DEF, Cecil Shorts, Justin Blackmon, MArcedes Lewis


Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons, Sunday 10/20, 1PM

Matchup We Love: Bucs DEF

This is a no brainer to me. The Tampa defense is very good, and especially tough against the pass. The Atlanta offense will be without their starting running back in Stephen Jackson, and their top receiver in Julio Jones. Roddy White may be out as well, and even if he plays, it's hard to see a gimpy Roddy White having much success against Darrelle Revis and company. The offense is going to have to be run through Tony Gonzalez, Harry Douglas, and the running combo of Jaquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling. Yuck.

Analysis: The Tampa DEF is a must start this week.

Matt Ryan training camp 2013 02Matchup We Hate: Matt Ryan, QB

Read above. Unless you're in a two QB league, you can probably find a QB on waivers with a better match-up this week.

Analysis: With a tough defensive match-up and missing his top three weapons, Matt Ryan becomes a match-up play, and this isn't the match-up to play him.

Key Injuries: Julio Jones WR, ATL (out, IR), Steven Jackson RB, ATL (out), Roddy White WR, ATL (questionable), Jason Snelling RB, ATL (probable)

Start 'Em: Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams, Doug mArtin, Bucs DEF, Jaquizz Rodgers, Tony Gonzalez, Harry Douglas


St. Louis Rams @ Carolina Panthers, Sunday 10/20, 1PM

Matchup We Love: DeAngelo Williams, RB

Williams hasn't been the terrific this year, but he's a top 25 ranked fantasy running back, and been a solid RB2/Flex option every week. Jonathan Stewart is still not back, meaning DeAngelo still has plenty of value as the Panthers' featured back. COmbine that with the interception issues of Cam Newton, and a match-up against a Rams defense that can be run on, and it could be a very good day for Williams.

Analysis: Williams makes a very nice flex play or lower level, but solid RB2 this week. This is a good match-up to use him.

Matchup We Hate: Sam Bradford, QB

Sam Bradford has been a very productive fantasy quarterback, and in fact is ranked in the top ten at the position in terms of fantasy points scored. He's been very good the past two weeks, and is showing signs that he may have been worth that number one overall pick a few years back. If you own Bradford, chances are you drafted him late or picked him up as a back-up, and if that's the case, you may want to sit him this week against an incredibly tough Panthers defense that has given up fewer fantasy points to opposing QB's this year than any one else.

Analysis: Bradford is becoming an elite fantasy QB, but I'm not sure I'd trust him against Carolina's defense. Only use him if you can't find a better match-up elsewhere.

Key Injuries: Jonathan Stewart RB, CAR (out), Greg Olsen TE, CAR (questionable), Chris Long DE, STL (probable), Zac Stacy RB, STL (probable)

Start 'Em: Cam Newton, DeAngelo Williams, Steve Smith, Greg Olsen, Panther DEF, Zac Stacy, Jared Cook, Tavon Austin, Austin Pettis, Rams DEF


Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday 10/20, 1PM

Matchup We Love: Nick Foles, QB

Now that Foles has been named the starter, I think he is a must add this week for anyone with a QB who's injured or on a bye. In fact, if I owned Matt Ryan, I'd grab him for this week as well. I really think this kid can play, and there is so much working in his favor this week. He has a ton of weapons, plays in a high scoring offense, and is at home against a defense that has had trouble stopping opposing QB's. He will be every bit as good as Michael Vick, and while he'll never be the runner Vick is, Foles proved last week that he can run when he has to.

Analysis: Foles makes for a terrific start this week, and I wouldn't be surprised if he holds on to the starting job going forward.

Matchup We Hate: Tony Romo, QB

I grew up watching these NFC match-ups, and even lived in Philly for five years, and nothing gets the Eagles or their fans going more than a match-up against the much hated Cowboys. I think the Eagles defense is terrible. I also think that Tony Romo is on his way to a Pro Bowl season. I also know that all that goes out the window this week, as these divisional match-ups are always tough. I don't really hate Romo this week, but I'm not that fond of this match-up. Romo has never performed well on the road in Philly, and while I don't think the Eagles D is good enough to make Romo throw up a stinker, I do think he'll be average at best this week, contrary to popular opinion.

Analysis: Star Romo if you feel confident that he'll play well in Philly this week, but I'd look for a better match-up elsewhere.

Key Injuries: Michael Vick QB, PHI (out), DeMarco Murray RB, DAL (doubtful), DeMarcus Ware DE, DAL (doubtful), Miles Austin WR, DAL (probable)

Start 'Em: Nick Foles, Desean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Brent Celek, Riley Cooper, Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Miles Austin


Cleveland Browns @ Green Bay Packers, Sunday 10/20, 4:25PM

Matchup We Love: Jordan Cameron, TE

After a super hot start, Jordan Cameron has had a quiet couple of weeks. I think that changes against the Packer on Sunday. I'm not in love with the Packers defense to begin with, and think without Clay Matthews, they're going to have a tough time containing a guy who has put himself in the "elite" TE conversation. The Green Bay defense has allowed the fifth most fantasy points to opposing tight ends so far this year, meaning a big game for Cameron could be in the works.

Analysis: Jordan Cameron is a must start this week.

Matchup We Hate: Browns DEF

I love the Browns defense, and would start them against most teams, but I'm not ready to use them against Aaron rodgers and the Packers in Green Bay. The offense is banged up, and Randall Cobb will surely be missed, but there are still plenty of weapons on offense for Green Bay. Even when a defense seems to be getting the better of Aaron Rodgers, he makes two big plays, and he gets right back on track. Honestly, I'd be hesitant to start any defense against him.

Analysis: Sit the Browns DEF this week and look for a better match-up on waivers.

Key Injuries: Randall Cobb WR, GB (out), James Jones WR, GB (questionable), Mike Neal DE, GB (questionable), Willis McGahee RB, CLE (questionable)

Start 'Em: Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley, James Jones, Willis McGahee, Josh Gordon, Greg Little, Jordan Cameron


Cincinnati Bengals @ Detroit Lions, Sunday 10/20, 1PM

Matchup We Love: Giovanni Bernard & BenJarvus Green-Ellis

Giovanni Bernard is quickly replacing BenJarvus Green-Ellis as the main man in the Bengals backfield, but he's not quite there yet. Still, the Detroit Lions have had plenty of trouble stopping the run this year, meaning both guys should be plenty valuable in Detroit this week. I like Bernard slightly better, but I would be surprised to see Green-Ellis reach the end zone at least once this week. Opposing rushers are averaging over 20 fantasy points per week against the Lions, and I wouldn't be shocked if both guys reach the low double figures this week.

Analysis: I like Bernard slightly more, especially in a PPR format, but both guys will be worth starting this week.

Matchup We Hate: Joseph Fauria, TE

I have gotten more questions about Joseph Fauria this week than almost any other fantasy football player. It's amazing what one three touchdown performance can do for a guy. I think the Bengals defense will have their hands full this week, but let me make this perfectly clear, it WILL NOT BE BECAUSE OF JOSEPH FAURIA. AFter last week's breakout game, Fauria was definitely worth an add in your league, but I need to see more, especially since the guy totaled only five receiving yards more than the staff over the previous four games (in other words, he's produced only five yards in four games prior to last week). Maybe Fauria's game last week is a sign of things to come, but I'd be willing to bet he does nothing once again this week.

Analysis: I have no problem with you adding Fauria, but I'm not starting him based on one game.

Key Injuries: Terrence Newman CB, CIN (questionable), BenJarvis Green-Ellis RB, CIN (probable), Calvin Johnson WR, DET (questionable), Joique Bell RB, DET (questionable), Rashean Mathis DB, DET (questionable)

Start 'Em: Matthew Stafford, Reggie Bush, Calvin Johnson, Joique Bell, Brandon Pettigrew, Andy Dalton, AJ Green, Giovanni Bernard, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Tyler Eifert


New England Patriots @ New York Jets, Sunday 10/20, 1PM

Matchup We Love: Patriots DEF

Geno Smith is showing he can play in this league, but he's a rookie QB, and like any rookie QB, he's been mistake prone. No coach takes advantage of mistakes better than Bill Belichick, and that could mean Geno and company could be in for a long day. The New England defense is carrying this team right now, and this is going to be a low scoring, defensive struggle just like the first game between these two teams was. Opposing defenses have put up plenty of fantasy points against the Jets this year, and I expect that trend to continue when the Pats visit the meadowlands this Sunday.

Matchup We Hate: Jets DEF

I've been a huge supporter of the Jets defense, and they are proving week in and week out that they are an elite defense. I think they'll play well again this week, but in terms of fantasy, I think there are better match-ups out there. First, the Patriots helped the Jets out in the first meeting by dropping a ton of passes, including two that would have been touchdowns. I think that evens out this time, and while I don't expect to see a huge offensive output from New England this week, I don't expect as many wide open guys to drop balls either. Another thing that bothers me about this match-up is the fact that even when defenses play well against the pats, they don't put up big fantasy point totals because the Pats simply never make that huge mistake. I think the game is low scoring, but I don't expect a bunch of fantasy points from the Jets defense.

Analysis: I'm not testing the Pats. Look for a better match-up elsewhere.

Key Injuries: Danny Amendola WR, NE (questionable), Rob Gronkowski TE, NE (questionable), Santonio Holmes WR, NYJ (doubtful), Bilal Powell RB, NYJ (probable)

Start 'Em: Tom Brady, Kenbrell Thompkins, Stevan Ridley, Brandon Bolden, Julian Edelman, Pats DEF, Bilal Powell, Jeremy Kerley, Jets 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 chat room. Good luck in Week Seven!


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