NFL fantasy football: Week 7 matchups

  • By Marcas Grant NFL.com
More Columns >

Week 7 -- the midway point of the fantasy football regular season. The point at which some teams start turning their attention toward a late season playoff push and others just start thinking about next season. Nonetheless, there are plenty of games to be played this week -- even with six teams on byes -- and as always, we're breaking down the matchups.

Byes: Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers

Sunday, Oct. 21
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Titans fantasy points scored
13.97
8.72
20.13
10.65
7.00
4.50
Bills fantasy points allowed
22.08
24.20
28.43
7.13
8.33
8.50
Bills fantasy points scored
14.25
21.37
19.98
7.40
4.50
6.00
Titans fantasy points allowed
20.67
22.80
22.38
16.60
11.33
10.00

Analysis: Fantasy points should abound in this one. Chris Johnson has been relegated to a matchup-based start ... and this is a good matchup. Things are also looking up this week for Matt Hasselbeck, Kenny Britt and Nate Washington. Similarly, this is a good week to start any Bills in your lineup. With so many top RBs on byes, Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are attractive options this week. Look for Scott Chandler to have a quality outing as well.

Sunday, Oct. 21
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Cowboys fantasy points scored
12.17
13.53
23.10
6.45
5.33
3.67
Panthers fantasy points allowed
16.16
23.72
18.72
8.14
12.20
9.60
Panthers fantasy points scored
14.82
11.37
14.43
5.88
3.00
6.17
Cowboys fantasy points allowed
12.48
16.80
16.24
7.56
7.00
12.40

Analysis: Fresh off a great outing against the Ravens last week, Felix Jones is poised to do it again versus a lackluster Panthers defense -- even if he has to share carries with Phillip Tanner. It's not often that I recommend a kicker, but Dan Bailey deserves a look this week, as well. It could be another frustrating week for Cam Newton and the Carolina offense, but the Panthers defense should pick up a couple of sacks and force a couple of Tony Romo interceptions.

Sunday, Oct. 21
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Ravens fantasy points scored
16.62
21.93
23.90
7.20
9.50
10.67
Texans fantasy points allowed
14.97
11.97
21.97
8.58
5.17
5.00
Texans fantasy points scored
13.00
24.97
14.88
13.97
9.17
11.00
Ravens fantasy points allowed
11.98
20.87
21.27
6.95
9.67
4.17

Analysis: It could be a tough slog for Joe Flacco this week against the Texans. Look for him to throw at least one interception, although Anquan Boldin could make some plays, especially for owners in PPR leagues. You're not going to sit Ray Rice, but this may not be one of his better weeks. You're also not going to sit Arian Foster and with Baltimore's run defense struggling, he should have a particularly big day. The injury to Lardarius Webb means good things for Andre Johnson, although Owen Daniels could be slowed this week.

Sunday, Oct. 21
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Browns fantasy points scored
12.06
18.62
20.03
5.38
9.67
8.67
Colts fantasy points allowed
16.92
26.52
26.70
3.26
7.80
8.00
Colts fantasy points scored
14.30
9.22
21.82
6.83
7.33
3.00
Browns fantasy points allowed
20.16
19.40
33.53
6.28
7.17
9.00

Analysis: Trent Richardson is becoming a weekly must-start and this week is no different. There are good things in store for the rookie this week. Josh Gordon is a great flex play this week after posting quality numbers in back-to-back weeks. Andrew Luck should return to his 300-yard passing ways this week, boosting Reggie Wayne's value this week. Look for Vick Ballard to run for 80-90 yards and possibly find his way into the end zone.

Sunday, Oct. 21
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Cardinals fantasy points scored
14.84
8.60
23.62
4.72
7.67
11.00
Vikings fantasy points allowed
19.40
9.18
17.42
9.20
7.83
6.33
Vikings fantasy points scored
15.38
14.70
20.98
10.07
11.00
9.67
Cardinals fantasy points allowed
10.72
15.43
20.57
5.20
8.50
9.50

Analysis: This is a fairly good matchup for John Skelton, although you'd be wise to look for other options before giving him the start this week. It could be tough going for the Cardinals offense as a whole, meaning to avoid William Powell and tempering expectations for Larry Fitzgerald. Christian Ponder could hit a speed bump against the Cardinals defense. Percy Harvin is now a must-start, but he might have a tough time getting loose against Arizona's secondary.

Sunday, Oct. 21
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Redskins fantasy points scored
24.53
16.72
22.40
5.58
6.33
9.67
Giants fantasy points allowed
15.01
14.90
25.93
4.75
7.33
2.50
Giants fantasy points scored
17.51
21.67
30.02
8.08
11.33
8.83
Redskins fantasy points allowed
20.34
13.93
34.25
12.67
9.83
4.83

Analysis: There's no way you're sitting Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris, even if this matchup isn't in their favor. The good news is that it is a good matchup for Washington's receivers -- if you can figure out which one RG3 will target. Historically, Eli Manning has never fared well against the Redskins. He could throw a pick or two, but he'll balance it out with a couple of touchdown passes -- at least one to Victor Cruz. Look for Martellus Bennett to get back on track.

Sunday, Oct. 21
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Packers fantasy points scored
22.33
11.52
37.60
8.63
5.67
7.67
Rams fantasy points allowed
13.10
16.72
16.28
6.03
6.83
9.33
Rams fantasy points scored
13.55
12.18
21.70
4.82
10.00
9.33
Packers fantasy points allowed
16.60
16.60
23.05
8.80
8.17
6.67

Analysis: Ride the hot hand of Aaron Rodgers this week, just don't expect a repeat of his Sunday night explosion. Consider Alex Green as a RB2 in deeper leagues, but dampen your expectations for Jordy Nelson and James Jones. It's slim pickings for quality Rams offensive starters this week. If you're looking for WR help, consider Brandon Gibson.

Sunday, Oct. 21
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Saints fantasy points scored
19.75
17.17
25.43
7.38
6.50
4.83
Buccaneers fantasy points allowed
14.17
12.38
28.08
5.68
7.80
6.20
Buccaneers fantasy points scored
11.57
13.00
21.13
2.45
8.00
7.83
Saints fantasy points allowed
20.11
28.08
30.06
3.80
10.00
6.40

Analysis: The Bucs have been pretty good against the run, making Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles risky starts. Expect at least a pair of touchdown passes from Drew Brees, including one to Lance Moore. If you're in need of a spot start quarterback, Josh Freeman is a good option. In deeper leagues, LeGarrette Blount can be a flex option against a porous Saints run defense. Look for Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams to both put up quality stats.

Sunday, Oct. 21
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Jets fantasy points scored
11.85
15.13
20.87
3.88
6.17
9.67
Patriots fantasy points allowed
20.73
11.72
29.07
9.58
5.83
3.17
Patriots fantasy points scored
20.12
26.78
22.73
13.32
11.00
8.50
Jets fantasy points allowed
12.19
21.17
16.55
9.37
8.83
7.50

Analysis: It's another quality matchup for Mark Sanchez. He shouldn't be your first choice, but you could do worse this week. Meanwhile, Shonn Greene should go back to the bench if you have any other options. Stevan Ridley should bounce back after a tough Week 7 and Aaron Hernandez should be an even bigger part of the Patriots offense this week.

Sunday, Oct. 21
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Jaguars fantasy points scored
7.83
12.10
10.62
4.00
4.50
2.17
Raiders fantasy points allowed
19.88
20.94
23.96
9.18
11.20
8.00
Raiders fantasy points scored
12.76
14.88
17.17
5.85
6.83
1.33
Jaguars fantasy points allowed
16.41
27.36
22.42
5.30
10.00
11.20

Analysis: If you're desperate for a QB starter this week, there may be no better matchup for Blaine Gabbert. Still it will be the Maurice Jones-Drew show for the Jaguars. Marcedes Lewis should see several targets, especially in the red zone. Darren McFadden should run wild against Jacksonville's defense while Denarius Moore continues his recent streak of quality fantasy performances. This may also be the week Sebastian Janikowski regains his "Sea Bass" form.

Sunday, Oct. 21
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Steelers fantasy points scored
16.58
12.77
19.88
8.33
7.67
4.50
Bengals fantasy points allowed
17.33
22.28
18.35
8.77
8.50
11.00
Bengals fantasy points scored
17.87
13.48
32.69
7.88
7.83
6.83
Steelers fantasy points allowed
15.48
14.92
20.96
7.96
7.00
5.00

Analysis: Without Rashard Mendenhall or Isaac Redman, this is Jonathan Dwyer's chance to shine, although he should be a last resort option for fantasy owners. Heath Miller is a quality tight end play this week. Look for the Bengals defense to force multiple turnovers this week. However, Cincinnati could struggle offensively. You should know better than to sit A.J. Green, but he could be held in check somewhat this week.

Monday, Oct. 22
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Lions fantasy points scored
16.52
15.72
20.48
7.78
10.00
3.67
Bears fantasy points allowed
7.70
10.02
19.26
8.14
6.20
7.20
Bears fantasy points scored
10.86
17.25
20.67
3.62
8.17
16.33
Lions fantasy points allowed
16.35
11.54
19.64
9.30
10.60
12.00

Analysis: This is a poor matchup for Matthew Stafford, although there could be a chance for him to produce numbers late in the contest. Avoid anyone in Detroit's backfield, although this matchup shakes out well for Brandon Pettigrew. The Jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall connection should stay hot this week. Chicago's rush attack could have a hard time finding room, but the Bears defense will once again show why they're the top unit in fantasy football.

Follow Marcas Grant on Twitter @MarcasG

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15