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Week 7 Matchups - Fantasy Football Game Breakdowns (Part 2)

Welcome to the second part of our Week 7 matchups analysis and starts/sits column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every matchup from every Sunday game to help you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. We'll also be updating this as injury reports come in so check back often.

This article will cover the late slate of games, beginning at 4 PM ET on Sunday as well as the Sunday night game. Click here to see our early game matchups analysis and our MNF matchups analysis as well.

Check back here each week to get advice for your toughest start/sit decisions and take a look at our consensus rankings each week. Find me on Twitter @Pfunk00 for more insight and help to your start/sit questions.

Editor's Note: All you early birds can get a full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our Draft Kit, In-Season tools and over 150 days of Premium DFS. Sign Up Now!


4:05 PM ET Games

We are down to just three games again this week, with Saints-Ravens appearing to be the most interesting for fantasy owners. The Chiefs have been flexed to Sunday Night yet again, this time to battle the 4-2 Bengals. It may not be possible for this game to match last week's classic showdown between the Pats and Chiefs but it should be entertaining nonetheless.


Saints at Ravens

Matchups We Love:

Alvin Kamara (RB, NO)
First of all, we hope Kamara owners took our advice not to "sell-high" on him now that Ingram is back. This backfield will return to its 2017 form, which is actually not a bad thing. Kamara won't average six yards per carry again (one must assume) but he'll get enough work to be an every-week start even in tough matchups like this. From Week 6 on, Kamara caught at least five passes in nine of 11 games last season, with Ingram working alongside him. Don't question one of the top running backs in football regardless of matchup.

Michael Crabtree (WR, BAL)
He is the leading target-getter on the team that is second in the league in passing plays this season. Volume alone makes him hard to bench in PPR leagues but in a matchup against one of the worst pass defenses around, he is a must-start. Crabtree supposedly faced a tough matchup against Malcolm Butler last week, but instead, beat him near the sideline of the end zone for a first-quarter touchdown and ended up posting his best game as a Raven in Week 6 with nine catches for 93 yards. Crabtree should be fine against Marshon Lattimore, who has had an underwhelming follow-up to his tremendous rookie season.

John Brown (WR, BAL)
For all the reasons to like Crabtree this week, there are even more for Brown. He will square off against Ken Crawley, one of the worst-rated corners in the league. Brown is second in aDOT among all receivers who've seen at least 10 targets this season at 19.7 yards per target. When he and Flacco connect, it generates huge yardage and rewards owners. Unlike his counterpart, Brown holds slightly more appeal in standard leagues but is still a strong WR3 all over with WR2 upside.

Willie Snead (WR, BAL)
Finally, the Snead revenge game. We may not see Snead targeted more than usual but that doesn't matter. He saw 10 targets last week alone and is tied for 23rd among all WR, along with Mike Evans, Allen Robinson, and Cooper Kupp. Per Michael Florio of, "the Saints have allowed the ninth-most PPR PPG (16.0), to go with four receiving touchdowns to slot receivers." Snead continues to be an underrated PPR asset that could pay off in Week 7.

Michael Thomas (WR, NO)
Like Kamara, some nervous owners are panicking about Michael Thomas dropping to four receptions in consecutive weeks before the bye, as well as the return of Ingram and emergence of secondary receivers. Calm down. Thomas was simply drawing more attention from opponents. He did struggle at times against top-flight corners last year, like Josh Norman in Week 5. The Ravens are strong up front but not so much in the secondary, so Thomas should have enough room to do his thing. If anything, a stronger rushing attack and multiple threats at WR should help free Thomas up even more.

Matchups We Hate:

Alex Collins / Javorius Allen (RB, BAL)
Allen began the year with all the red zone dap, scoring four times in the first three games. Collins has taken over, scoring three TD in the last three games while Allen has been shut out of the end zone. The snap count remains even, as does the general usage. Collins sees more carries while Allen sees more targets. It still works out to an undesirable situation, with both being somewhat TD-dependent for anything more than a modest floor play in standard or PPR leagues, depending on the back. The Saints defense has allowed the fewest rushing yards in the league, believe it or not, with a receiving yardage to RB nearly matching it (245-225). This could mean that Allen has a slight edge this week, especially if the Ravens are forced to play at an even faster pace than usual. Both have minimal upside, however.

Mark Ingram (RB, NO)
But start him anyway. Just needed to make that clear first, since Ingram faces the top-ranked fantasy defense against RBs that has allowed less than four yards per carry and two rushing touchdowns this year. That said, he's always a threat to score and it's unlikely you have two or three better running backs on your squad this week.

Baltimore TEs
Same song as last week. Too many mouths, not enough targets to make any individual stand out. Mark Andrews has seen between 2-4 targets every week, only passing 50 yards once and scoring once. Nick Boyle leads the way with 12 receptions on 22 targets but has zero touchdowns and has finished under 30 yards in four games. Hayden Hurst may be the future but he's caught one of three targets for seven yards in the last two weeks since being activated. Maxx Williams is... there. Avoid.

Other Matchups:

Joe Flacco (QB, BAL)
It may seem counterintuitive to put the Ravens' receivers as Loves but not the QB. Flacco has promise to throw for 300 yards in this game, so it's not as if he should be avoided. It's simply a matter of relativity, in which Flacco's potential for 300 yards and a pair of touchdowns might not even make him a top-12 QB this week. In today's NFL, a QB streamer must have more upside. The thinking may be that the Ravens will have to pass a ton to keep up with the Saints but their strong defense should negate much of that need. Flacco can be used as needed to fill in for Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson owners but his matchup draw isn't as strong as it may seem, especially if the Saints channel some of last year's magic where they were at least a mid-tier pass defense most of the year.

Drew Brees (QB, NO)
Immovable object, meet unstoppable force. Brees and the Saints offense have been rolling all year, scoring at least 40 points in three games and at least 30 in all but one. Brees leads the league with a 122.3 passer rating and is fourth in passing yards per game at 331.6. The Ravens are two-tenths of a point behind Seattle as the toughest defense against the QB. Which way will this game tilt? Regardless of projected point totals, Brees is a weekly must-start unless you happen to have Pat Mahomes or Matt Ryan as your backup QB, in which case maybe you should be making some trade offers.

Cameron Meredith (WR, NO)
Meredith is the first receiver that should benefit from Ted Ginn's absence. He should see more targets as a slot receiver but will do less with them than speed burners like Ginn and Smith. His 9.2 aDOT ranks right there with Adam Thielen, Jamison Crowder, Nelson Agholor and other similar slot receivers so you can expect a decent floor in PPR leagues with a chance to score as well. If you're looking to stream a Saints receiver this weekend, Meredith can be considered the safer pick.

Tre'Quan Smith (WR, NO)
Smith lept onto the fantasy radar with two long touchdowns in New Orleans' last game in Week 5. He caught all three of his targets for 111 yards. This certainly makes him noteworthy but perhaps not startable just yet. Coming into that game, he had just one catch on four targets in the first four games combined. Like many secondary and tertiary receivers for the Saints throughout the Brees era, he will always have a chance to make a splash play but could just as easily be shutout. With Ginn out for several weeks, Smith could be a consideration as a flex play in deep leagues of 14-16 teams or as a GPP flex but doesn't get a huge bump yet based on the matchup.


Cowboys at Redskins

Matchups We Love:

Ezekiel Elliott (RB, DAL)
On paper, the Redskins may appear to be a tough foe against opposing runners, allowing the third-fewest rushing yards to RBs. Factor in the bye week and a league-low 82 rush attempts against them, the numbers are a bit different. Defense didn't matter much last week when Zeke shredded the top-ranked Jaguars for 106 yards and a touchdown did it? He will continue to see a ton of carries and remains a firm RB1 every week.

Jordan Reed (TE, WAS)
Reed owners have been disappointed with low yardage output the last couple of games since the bye (21, 36) but Reed did see nine targets last week and should be utilized just as much if Jamison Crowder is out again. He has the eighth-highest target share among tight ends and therefore must be trusted as a TE1. Vernon Davis got the glory with a 22-yard TD in Week 6, but is not a realistic threat to steal targets from Reed.

Matchups We Hate:

Dak Prescott (QB, DAL)
Last week's outcome took everyone by surprise, except maybe Connor McGregor. It may look as if the Boys figured something out on offense but it seemed to be more a matter of the Jags collapsing on defense. Prescott's final passing numbers weren't as good as you'd expect given the final score, having completed 17 of 27 pass attempts for 183 yards. He finally utilized his legs, running 11 times for 82 yards and a TD in addition to two passing scores. Even if the offense itself is more efficient, his numbers just aren't up to par with today's NFL quarterbacks in the statistical columns that matter to us in the fantasy world. He will need to put up big rushing numbers again to be an option in superflex or two-QB leagues.

Alex Smith (QB, WAS)
It certainly appears as if last year's version of Alex Smith was an anomaly created by Andy Reid's offense. Smith is back to his old ways, dinking and dunking to a bevy of mediocre receivers. Last year's league-leading 8.6 Adjusted Yards per Attempt is down to 7.2 AY/A. As usual, he's not turning the ball over (two INT) but not throwing many touchdowns either (six TD). With a banged-up receiving corps and decent defensive opponent on the schedule, Smith will put up another forgettable fantasy performance with one or two TD, zero interceptions and somewhere in the neighborhood of 220 yards.

Adrian Peterson (RB, WAS)
Much of Peterson's value is predicated on the Thompson situation. If Peterson has the backfield to himself, he could see enough volume to warrant a spot on standard league rosters. His lack of receiving prowess (seven receptions in five games) makes him far riskier in PPR. Peterson faces a Cowboy DL that is holding opposing running backs to 3.3 yards per carry and 65 rushing yards per game. He's proving to be an all-or-nothing fantasy commodity each week, much like last year; this is shaping up to be a potential zero.

Allen Hurns / Michael Gallup (WR, DAL)
Hurns has a total of eight receptions for 84 yards on the season and was blanked against his former team on five targets last week. Gallup nearly scored his first NFL touchdown but was ultimately ruled out of bounds in the end zone. Hurns has no business being owned in any fantasy league and Gallup would be a deep desperation play at this juncture, seeing as how he's caught exactly one pass in five of six games his rookie year.

Redskins WRs
Jamison Crowder will miss extended time, Paul Richardson may have to face Byron Jones, and Josh Doctson has a total of 68 yards all season. None of these receivers should draw interest in an offense that has been anything but wide open since the arrival of the old Alex Smith. Richardson has the most appeal of the bunch but that's not saying much. This game should be dominated by Chris Thompson, if he even plays, and the tight ends when Washington has the ball. Dallas has allowed the smallest percentage of receptions to wide receivers this year, reinforcing the need to avoid this situation.

Other Matchups:

Chris Thompson (RB, WAS)
If health weren't an issue, Thompson would be a player to fire up in all PPR leagues. Unfortunately, he is questionable with a combination of sore ribs and knees, having already missed Week 6. Monitor his status over the weekend and insert him as a flex play if he is deemed well enough to play. The Cowboys have allowed the fourth-most receptions to RBs this year. If Sean Lee is still out, Thompson figures to be a high-floor play.

Cole Beasley (WR, DAL)
Beasley looked like a great option two weeks ago against Houston and instead delivered one catch for eight yards. Going up against the top-ranked defense in the league last week, he torched the Jags for nine catches, 101 yards, and two TD. What to expect this week? Likely more of his typical stat line, which is around four catches for 50 yards. Neither time runs a fast-paced offense and there is no reason to think it will get out of hand on either side with divisional opponents that know each other so well.


Rams at 49ers

Matchups We Love:

Jared Goff (QB, LAR)
While it's often unwise to project touchdown totals, let's try it out for a sec. The 49ers defense has allowed 14 passing TD (2.3 per game) and have just one INT on the season. Goff, after being held out of the end zone last week, has 12 passing touchdowns (2.0 per game). It seems likely that Goff will toss at least two scores in Week 7. Additionally, he could fall right around the 300-yard mark, slightly below his 321 Y/G average and just above the Niners' 279 Y/G allowed. He is a solid top-10 QB, especially so because many of the elite quarterbacks face tougher matchups this week.

Todd Gurley (RB, LAR)
There's no need to expound on the idea that Gurley should be started this week, especially against the Niners. He's leading the league in rush attempts, touches, rushing yards, total yards, touchdowns, and overall magnificence as an NFL player.

Matt Breida (RB, SF)
Wait for it..... Breida is on the injury report this week! Listed as Questionable heading into Week 7, his status is up in the air but as usual, he should tough through it. At least he isn't tagged as Doubtful, fooling us all into benching him only to see him start and play a full game on Monday Night. Breida was effective with limited touches, registering 61 yards on 14 carries and a TD. He brings his league-leading 6.8 Y/A average into a contest with the Rams, who are allowing a robust 4.8 Y/A to opponents which is fifth-highest in the league. Breida is firmly on the RB2 radar.

Brandin Cooks / Robert Woods (WR, LAR)
No Cooper Kupp means more Cooks and Woods. Cooks has the tastier matchup, facing the extremely-beatable Jimmie Ward. Woods has gone five straight games with at least five catches and 80 yards in each. Both are locked-in WR2 plays this week.

Marquise Goodwin (WR, SF)
Goodwin had been discarded by some fantasy owners before last week. His inability to stay on the field combined with Jimmy Garoppolo's injury left little hope. Then Week 6 happened. Goodwin showcased his explosive track-star speed with a 67-yard touchdown and another from 30 yards out. When healthy, he is always a homerun threat. Marcus Peters is akin to a pitcher with a great fastball that often likes to leave a hanging curve out for hitters to smash. Goodwin could have another big play in store.

George Kittle (TE, SF)
He continues to be a weekly start at tight end, regardless of matchup. Kittle is fifth in targets and sixth in red zone targets among all tight ends. He's only scored once on the year and holds more appeal in PPR leagues, however. The Rams have allowed plenty of yardage but no scores to a TE this season, so that trend may continue.

Matchups We Hate:

Alfred Morris / Raheem Mostert (RB, SF)
If you follow Matthew Berry, you know about his epic rant against Alf getting shut out last week. He didn't register an official touch and therefore secured zero points for his owners. Mostert, meanwhile, was shredding the Packers for 87 yards on 12 carries. It might seem obvious how this is going to go, but don't be surprised if Morris gets a few more carries while Mostert sees less action. Mostert is not some tantalizing rookie with untapped potential - he is a four-year vet who is on his fifth team and entered last week with seven career carries. Coaches are notoriously loyal to certain players, so expect neither to offer fantasy value this week if there's a timeshare for the RB2 job in a game where the team will likely be behind the eight-ball often.

Josh Reynolds (WR, LAR)
This isn't so much about Richard Sherman as it is Reynolds himself. He will get some action but not enough to be even mildly considered in fantasy circles. His career catch rate under 50% doesn't do much to inspire confidence.

Other Matchups:

C.J. Beathard (QB, SF)
It must have been a revelation for Coach Kyle Shanahan to see his backup QB put up points early on the Packers and keep his team in the game up until the very end. Beathard's first half was tremendous (189 yards, two TD) but he failed to lead the team to a touchdown in the second half, throwing for 56 yards in the process. Can he put together a complete game against the Rams? Not likely, as this defense is very similar statistically versus the QB and has a far tougher group of pass rushers. Beathard can be dropped out of streaming consideration.


Sunday Night Football - Bengals at Chiefs

Matchups We Love:

Andy Dalton (QB, CIN)
As discussed on the Fantasy Bomb QB Start/Sit podcast, Dalton could approach a top-10 QB finish this week but don't go overboard based on the matchup. He shouldn't necessarily be streamed over solid options like Brees or Brady simply because of the schedule. The Bengals haven't faced the Chiefs since 2015, so we don't have any current matchup data to analyze there. We do know that Dalton's two 300+ yard passing games this year came when Joe Mixon was out. He dropped to 248 and 229 yards the last two weeks, even against the Steelers' struggling pass defense. While the Chiefs have been just as terrible defensively, they've only allowed 10 passing TD in six games. Dalton will have to sling it quite a bit, so there's enough potential to make him a solid streamer in lieu of Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson but don't expect him to replicate their numbers.

Patrick Mahomes (QB, KC)
Yeah, he's going to be OK. Mahomes broke his one-game scoreless streak with four TD last week and has gone over 300 passing yards every game since the opener. At home, against a Bengals team that has given up the fifth-most passing yards so far, I guess he could be a decent start.

Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)
The Chiefs are great on offense, bad on defense. No surprise there if you've watched any of their games. They are especially bad against pass-catching running backs, allowing almost eight receptions and 85 yards per game through the air to RBs. Giovani Bernard is still out, which means a huge game could be in store for Mixon on the ground and through the air, where he's been more involved this year. Mixon is a no-brain RB1 in this contest.

Kareem Hunt (RB, KC)
The Chiefs finally got Hunt involved in the passing game, which was reassuring for his owners expecting elite value not predicating on touchdowns alone. Hunt still has only one 100-yard rushing game to his credit in 2018 but has piled up 627 yards from scrimmage along with six TD and remains a must-start each week. The Bengals are in the bottom-10 against running backs for fantasy purposes; if the Bengals turn the ball over or struggle for any reason offensively, Hunt could be more involved than we expect.

A.J. Green (WR, CIN)
Maybe he isn't the top receiver in Cincinnati anymore... but who cares? He's still elite and putting up numbers good enough to make him the overall WR14 in PPR scoring leagues (Boyd is WR15). As mentioned already, the Chiefs are among the worst at stopping opposing passers. Even if Dalton doesn't put up huge numbers, Green will be the beneficiary of much of his production.

Tyler Boyd (WR, CIN)
It's about time we view Boyd as an every-week starter, regardless of matchup. In this one, it's a no-brainer. Dismiss the notion that he's a possession receiver too - Boyd is averaging 12.3 yards per reception and his 8.9 aDOT, while not high, is more than Juju Smith-Schuster and the same as Stefon Diggs. Start Boyd in all formats.

Tyreek Hill (WR, KC)
And this is why you always keep Hill in your lineup. He exploded for 142 yards and three scores last week, putting to bed any doubts that he is a fantasy WR1. There is simply nobody in Cincy's secondary that can contain his speed. We saw them give up big plays to Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster last week, much like Julio Jones, John Brown, TY Hilton and others in past weeks. Keep Hill plugged in as always.

C.J. Uzomah (TE, CIN)
A tight end not named Tyler Eifert wouldn't seem to have much appeal in Cincy. Uzomah did see a surprising seven targets last week with Tyler Kroft out as well. Much of that was due to Pittsburgh's leaky defense against the tight end in particular. This week, it gets better. The Chiefs are the worst in the league defending tight ends, allowing 550 total yards or 92 yards per game. You won't want to start him over an established player in your weekly lineup like Geroge Kittle, David Njoku or Eric Ebron, but those looking for a bye-week replacement for Jimmy Graham or Jared Cook should look here first.

Travis Kelce (TE, KC)
The top tight end in fantasy in terms of reliability, Kelce hasn't caught fewer than five passes since Week 1 and has seen at least six targets in every game. Cincinnati is one of the worst defending the tight end so expect him to keep rolling.

Matchups We Hate:

John Ross (WR, CIN)
He's missed the last two games with a groin injury but appears on track to play this Sunday. A receiver who relies on speed is hard to trust when groin or hamstring injuries pop up, especially when he's never caught more than three passes in an NFL game. The Chiefs are more of a bend and then break defense anyway, not giving up huge chunk plays as often as you'd think. Consider him a deep sleeper for DFS tournaments that is too risky to trust in seasonal leagues.

Other Matchups:

Sammy Watkins (WR, KC)
Watkins didn't get involved in last week's scorefest, ending up with 18 yards on two catches. That makes three games under 25 yards and two of the last three for the former fourth overall pick. The Bengals don't present a huge threat, but while he may make a play here and there, he isn't high on Pat Mahomes' priority list among the slew of other weapons. He can be flexed if necessary but the floor is nearly non-existent so start at your own risk.

More Week 7 Lineup Prep