If you’re like me, you’re staring week seven in the face and saying
I’ve skipped over the chalk plays and have lined up some questionable start/sit options and laid out the logic for why I feel the way I do. I’ll try not to beat around the bush and lay it all out there for you.
Jared Goff @ ATL - The Falcons defense is terrible. In terms of what they’ve allowed, they’re dead last in the league for total points, fifth-worst in passing yards, second-worst in passing TD’s, and they’re giving up 8.3 net yards per pass attempt this season, second only to the Miami Dolphins (per Pro Football Reference). Jared Goff is coming off one of the worst fantasy QB performances against the Niners in week 6, but he’s walking into a get-right matchup that will have the entire Rams’ offense looking like their Super-Bowl caliber form of old.
Jacoby Brissett vs HOU - The Texans are in the bottom ten against opposing QB’s and WR’s. With the Colts coming off a hot win on the road in Kansas City before their bye, Jacoby at home poses a tasty divisional matchup. Through five games, Jacoby has a top-five touchdown percentage (ten passing, one rushing) and top-half interception percentage (only three) through five games. He looks the part of a game manager but stands to have big upside in what could be a big divisional showdown. He’s a safe floor play and good gamble to perform above expectations.
Daniel Jones vs ARI - The Giants could stomp on the high-flying Cardinals. AZ’s defense has given up the most points to TE’s this year, so we can expect Engram to look in top form, and we know Barkley will produce whenever he’s on the field, and though Sterling Shepard is set to miss the matchup we have a hungry veteran in Golden Tate ready to go. If you love the options at each skill position this week, you’ve got to love the guy under center throwing the ball. Start Daniel Jones with confidence and enjoy the fireworks.
Philip Rivers @ TEN - Los Angeles needs a recharge. The return of Hunter Henry last week was reminiscent of the Rivers-Gates connection of yesteryear, but is that enough to overcome a defense that ranks top-eight against QB, RB, and WR? Rivers is top five among QB’s in passing attempts, completions, and yards, but Tennessee at home is currently ranked top 10 in opposing passing yards, first downs, and interceptions. Having lost back-to-back matchups against the Devlin Hodges-led-Steelers and Joe Flacco-led-Broncos, I’m not excited about Rivers and would rather look for another streaming quarterback candidate.
Mitchell Trubisky vs NO - Let him hibernate on your bench. Not that you were ever excited about starting Mitch, but this matchup looks to be a potentially low-scoring affair as Trubisky comes off a shoulder injury and the Saints struggle to stay afloat. Teddy Bridgewater has performed well as a game manager in the absence of Drew Brees, but ranks bottom half among quarterbacks in pass attempts, completions, yards, TDs and lost Alvin Kamara from his arsenal. I’m telling you this so you understand that the Bears’ defense could feast at home and the game overall could be an offensive snore, even though the Saints’ are bottom-ten against fantasy QB’s and WR’s.
Matthew Stafford vs MIN - The matchup at home feels like a good one because the Vikings haven’t actually looked like the defense we used to fear for our fantasy QBs, but looking back at Stafford’s results this year I have to lean away. He’s performed well against Arizona in week one and Kansas City in week four. The other three matchups against the Chargers, Eagles, and Green Bay, Stafford finished as fantasy’s QB13, 27, and 21 in standard four-point scoring formats. Those three teams don’t have spectacular defenses yet limited Stafford’s upside significantly, and I believe an above-average defense like Minnesota won’t have a problem containing him.
Devin Singletary vs MIA- The Bills host their hapless divisional rivals in what should be a fairly dominant display. The Bills’ defense has held all opposing NFL teams to 17 points or less (including the Patriots), so in a strong positive game script, we can expect the run game to be featured heavily. Singletary is coming off an injury but has been given a fair amount of rest and could continue his big-play potential, having stacked over 150 yards on fifteen touches, he’s a valuable flex play against the league’s second-worst run defense.
Matt Breida & Tevin Coleman - This seems like an obvious play but I want to reassure that both are great flex plays with RB2 upside. They’re being featured on one of the most run-heavy offenses against the league’s 8th most favorable defense for fantasy RB’s. Washington has also given up the second-most receptions and fifth-most receiving yards to the position. San Francisco projects to shut down Washington’s offense and provide a positive game script absolutely oozing with opportunity for this pass-catching committee.
James White @ NYJ - The Jets are middle of the road against quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers, and near the top of the league against tight ends. This divisional matchup could be fairly low scoring as these two defenses should show off and remind us a bit of New England’s game against the Bills in week four. The Pats are without Josh Gordon and Sony Michel has yet to get going on the ground in a meaningful way, save for what looks like an outlier performance two weeks ago. James White has been averaging 9 targets, 7 receptions for about 50 yards over the past three games, and I don’t see any reason for that stopping now. He’s a good flex play if not a solid RB2 in PPR formats.
Gordon & Ekeler vs TEN - I’m down on this game for the Chargers overall. I don’t think this is the get-right matchup that Rivers & Co. needs. Ekeler has ceded short-yardage opportunity to the likes of Hunter Henry, Melvin Gordon has inefficiently taken carries away, and overall the offense is underwhelming. Tennessee ranks an unfavorable 26th for the position for fantasy purposes.
Latavius Murray vs CHI - Just because Alvin Kamara bit the dust doesn’t make Murray a perfect replacement. Albeit finding a starting running back on the waiver wire is rare and a good grab for anyone with bye week issues- but temper expectations. The Bears are going to lay the hammer down at home against the Saints. They rank second in the league in rushing yards allowed, not to mention they’re the third-worst matchup for fantasy QBs and second-worst for fantasy WRs. The volume may be there, but it’s going to be ugly for Murray.
Carlos Hyde @ IND - The volume will be there as it has been all year, but the Colts are top ten when it comes to limiting opposing fantasy RB’s and they rank highly in terms of rushing and receiving yards allowed to the position. In a fairly high scoring game, I would imagine most points are being scored through the air, and Hyde’s ceiling will come down to goal-line touches.
Allen Lazard vs OAK - Aaron Rodgers has to throw to somebody and the QB has actually been vocal about this undrafted WR. He had an impressive touchdown catch last week and could stand to be a favored large-bodied target over the middle of the field against an Oakland defense that ranks 5th worst against fantasy WR’s.
Michael Gallup vs PHI - The Eagles give up the most fantasy points to receivers among all NFL teams. Both Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb are questionable to play in the primetime matchup and even if they suit up we can expect Gallup to log 7-14 targets and hit that beautiful WR1 fantasy ceiling he reached in weeks 1 and 5. This play is a no brainer, don’t sleep on him after his poor performance last week against the Jets.
Calvin Ridley vs LAR- The Rams defense was fairly average until they felt the need to trade for one of the league’s best cornerbacks in Jalen Ramsey this week. Should Julio Jones get smothered by the Rams’ defensive backs, Ridley will get a superfluous amount of targets from Matt Ryan, a QB throwing for a league-leading average of 335 yards per game. Volume is king and opportunity is the throne.
Terry McLaurin vs SF - Similar to New England’s defense in week 5, San Francisco ranks 31st against fantasy QB’s and 25th against WR’s. With the Niners’ top-tier pass rush, McLaurin will have very little time to get open before Keenum has to get rid of the ball. He’s the only reliable offensive weapon on the Redskins, but if you’ve got receivers going up against softer defenses, you’d better stick with them.
Robby Anderson vs NEP - The downfield threat looks to be a viable fantasy asset with Sam Darnold back under center, but the Patriots are ranked 31st against fantasy WR’s and likely won’t be giving Anderson much room to breath (again) with an elite corps of defensive backs breathing down his neck. In week three Robby was held to three receptions for eleven yards, not much has changed in the Patriots defensive personnel, and outside of a broken play, I can’t see Anderson doing much better than that.
Adam Humphries vs LAC - Ryan Tannehill is not an upgrade. It’s more of a lateral. Maybe a lateral that gains a few yards, but let’s not get cute. The last time we loved this quarterback he was force-feeding the ball to a slot receiver by the name of Jarvis Landry- and that connection was fantasy gold. Before we get any bright ideas, Humphries is not of the same talent as Landry, and the Chargers defense rank pretty stingy against fantasy QB’s and WR’s: 25th and 28th respectively. The targets might be there, but the productivity will be lacking in this low scoring Derrick Henry-featurette.
Gerald Everett @ ATL - The Falcons rank 10th against fantasy TEs. Last week was awful for the Rams, and I don’t want you to forget they were against one of the NFL’s best defenses. The week prior to said crumbling performance against the 49ers, Gerald Everett had 11 targets, 7 receptions, and 136 yards. Before that was 8 for 5, 44 yards and a touchdown. I’m firmly in the corner that believes Everett is ascending, and the Falcons are going to allow all sorts of fantasy points this week. Jared Goff threw the ball 117 times in those two contests I just mentioned. This game in Atlanta should bring us back to a stat line similar to that which made Gerald Everett a talking point for two weeks straight.
Jimmy Graham vs OAK - The Raiders rank 6th against fantasy TE’s and Aaron Rodgers is lacking Devante Adams, Geronimo Allison, and probably MVS. Allen Lazard is a fun play at WR, but outside of the running backs, Jimmy Graham is the only other pass-catcher with legitimate rapport with the quarterback. It’s an ugly start, but aren’t most TE’s? Stream Graham with confidence knowing Aaron Rodgers will be staring at him at least once every drop back.
Eric Ebron vs HOU- The man has a poor catch rate but he gets open downfield periodically, and when he catches the ball he has a nose for the end zone. This contest is one of my favorites for the weekend and though the Texans rank pretty highly against the position, they rank 8th against fantasy WR’s. We should view Ebron as the occasional outside route runner that can take advantage of his large size and smaller Texan defensive backs, and cross our fingers that he doesn’t drop too many TD passes.
Darren Waller @ GB - I don’t like writing this! Waller has been great all season except for his last matchup against Chicago (which was still a fine performance given the state of the TE landscape). Green Bay ranks 28th against fantasy TE’s and overall I think the Packers defense has been playing better than expected. With Tyrell Williams out of the picture for Derek Carr and the Raiders, Waller becomes the immediate receiving threat that the Packers need to lockdown.
Jason Witten vs PHI - The Eagles are fairly good against the TE position, or maybe they just offer too much down the field for opposing quarterbacks to care about dumping the ball off for short yardage. Jason Witten has TD upside every week, but Dak Prescott will have plenty of targets deeper down the field to take advantage of. Jason Witten has seen 4 targets every game except for 7 last week but hasn’t scored since week two. He remains a ho-hum play but is likely to disappoint this week.
Follow me on Twitter @doublefdoubleg
Also follow the show @TheHateful8FF
Don't forget to checkout the show via Apple Podcast, Google Podcasts, Stitcher Podcast and Youtube.