The fantasy matchup stats you need to know for Week 7
Jeff Ratcliffe identifies the top fantasy stat to know for each of the weekend's games.
The fantasy matchup stats you need to know for Week 7
Play the matchups in fantasy football, and you’ll win more often than you lose. Now that we’re in the thick of the bye weeks, knowing the matchups to avoid and exploit becomes even more important. Bellow you’ll find the key matchup stats to know from each of the 14 remaining games this week.
Don’t forget to also take a look at the best and worst wide receiver matchups for the week. Also, new this week, we have our fantasy positional matchups chart, which allows you to quickly identify all of the best matchups each week for all offensive and IDP positions.
Just a quick note about the recommendations. Downgrading a player is not the same as sitting a player. If an RB1 is downgraded, that means he moves to an RB2 for the week, and vice versa for upgrades. These matchup recommendations and others are reflected in our weekly rankings, which are an invaluable tool in lineup decision making each week.
NY Giants @ Los Angeles
Odell Beckham rides again this week.
He was mentioned in Thursday’s WR/CB article, but this matchup is so good that it warrants mention again. Through the first six weeks of the season, no team gives up more fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers than the Rams. Los Angeles yields a league-high average of 15.7 receptions per game to the position. Beckham should have no problem picking up where he left off last week.
New Orleans @ Kansas City
Upgrade the Chiefs’ running game.
We saw last week that Kansas City is going to ease Jamaal Charles back in the mix, as they leaned heavily on Spencer Ware. Expect a similar touch distribution this week, with Ware getting the bulk of the work and Charles seeing about 10-12 touches. That means Ware remains on the RB1 radar in this fantastic matchup. New Orleans has surrendered 11 total touchdowns to opposing running backs this season. Fire up Ware as an RB1 with Charles being more of an RB2 option this week.
Indianapolis @ Tennessee
DeMarco Murray keeps in rolling.
Here’s another contest with a fantastic running back matchup. The Colts have given up at least 100 rushing yards to opposing running backs in 5-of-6 games this season. Only the Saints and Chargers currently yield more PPR points per game to the position. Murray is seeing heavy volume in the Titans’ run-friendly system and should be considered an elite RB1 play.
Minnesota @ Philadelphia
Downgrade … well, pretty much everyone.
With one of the lowest implied point totals of the week, this game doesn’t figure to offer much fantasy value outside of possibly Stefon Diggs. However, the Eagles rank as the No. 30 matchup for quarterbacks and the worst fantasy matchup for tight ends. It’s wise to avoid Sam Bradford and Kyle Rudolph if you can. Likewise, you want no piece of the Philly offense. Minnesota has shut down opposing quarterbacks, allowing just four passing scores in five games. They’ve also allowed opposing running backs to score just one rushing touchdown. Fade Carson Wentz, Jordan Matthews and Ryan Mathews in this one.
Cleveland @ Cincinnati
Andy Dalton is a very good streamer this week …
It doesn’t get much better than this for Dalton. He faces a Browns defense that has surrendered three passing scores in each of their last four games. Cleveland is trying to get Joe Haden back on the field for this contest, but the veteran corner has yet to practice this week. Even with Haden, the matchup is still extremely advantageous for Dalton. He’s in the QB1 conversation for Week 7.
Washington @ Detroit
… But Kirk Cousins is an even better streamer.
Dalton’s matchup is pretty juicy, but Cousins is the top streamer play of the week. Detroit has a habit of making opposing quarterbacks look very good. Last week, Case Keenum posted top-five fantasy numbers against the Lions. Case Keenum. Jordan Reed is trending toward being out again this week, but it won’t matter for Cousins. He’s a rock-solid QB1 option.
Oakland @ Jacksonville
Great matchups across the board for the Jags.
One of the most hyped units in the preseason, the Raiders defense has not lived up to expectations. Oakland currently ranks last in yards per game, surrendering a whopping 444.8 yards to opposing offenses. That means good things if you have any piece of the Jacksonville offense. Blake Bortles was a disappointment last week, but he’ll get things back on track in this one. The Raiders have twice yielded four-score days to opposing signal callers. Chris Ivory is also a sneaky play after he looked good last week. Oakland has given up 100-plus rushing yards in 4-of-6 games and yielded a huge fantasy day to Spencer Ware in Week 6.
Buffalo @ Miami
Ryan Tannehill will continue to struggle.
The Dolphins signal-caller appeared to be off to a decent start this season, ranking eighth among quarterbacks in fantasy points through three weeks. However, since then he’s 31st at the position and has been outscored by several quarterbacks who had a bye over that span, including Sam Bradford, Alex Smith and Carson Wentz. Even Blaine Gabbert has more fantasy points than Tannehill. Things won’t get any better for Tannehill this week, as the Bills are currently the worst fantasy matchup for opposing quarterbacks. Buffalo has given up just three passing scores so far this season.
Baltimore @ NY Jets
It’s a strong matchup for Joe Flacco (if he plays).
Flacco is dealing with a shoulder injury that he suffered in last week’s loss to the Giants and hasn’t practiced this week. The team remains optimistic that he’ll suit up, but keep a close eye on this situation. If he’s able to play, Flacco is a streaming option against a Jets defense. Todd Bowles’ squad gives up an average of 290 yards through the air and has surrendered three or more touchdown passes three times this season.
Tampa Bay @ San Francisco
Mike Davis? Mike Davis!
With Carlos Hyde out due to a shoulder injury, second-year man Mike Davis will get the start for the 49ers. Davis is a between-the-tackles runner out of South Carolina who drew comparisons to Alfred Morris entering the league. He flashed in the first week of the preseason, and recently moved past Shaun Draughn on the San Francisco depth chart. Like Hyde, Davis may not have an efficient performance, but he’s likely to see plenty of volume. The Bucs are one of just five teams to give up more than one rushing touchdown per game to opposing running backs. Fire up Davis in season-long and DFS this week. Likewise, fire up Jacquizz Rodgers on the other side of this contest.
San Diego @ Atlanta
Devonta Freeman, Melvin Gordon and the Chargers tight ends should all go nuts.
There are a ton of strong matchups in this contest, but the running backs on both sides of the ball really stick out. The Chargers are currently the No. 1 PPR matchup for running backs and the Falcons are the second-best matchup. While Tevin Coleman is intriguing for Atlanta, this really is shaping up to be a big Freeman game. Over the last three weeks, Freeman has out-touched Coleman 56-27. Freeman is an RB1 play, and Coleman should still be considered a flex option. Likewise, Gordon is a top-12 fantasy option this week. Fantasy owners are also going to want to fire up both Chargers tight ends. Antonio Gates figures to see more targets than Hunter Henry, but both are TE1 options against a Falcons defense that surrenders the second-most PPR points per game to the position.
New England @ Pittsburgh
This feels like a LeGarrette Blount day.
The Patriots have leaned less on the run game since Tom Brady returned, but fantasy owners may want to go back to the well with Blount this week. He faces a Steelers defense that just gave up a 200-yard day, and the game script should be incredibly favorable with Landry Jones under center for Pittsburgh. Don’t overthink it. Just start Blount.
Seattle @ Arizona
Tough matchups for both run games.
The Seahawks and Cardinals are both bottom-five fantasy matchups for running backs this season. That obviously doesn’t bode well for David Johnson, but there really isn’t a scenario where you’re going to sit a healthy Johnson. However, those relying on Christine Michael may want to pursue other options this week. The Cardinals have held opposing backs in check, especially at home where they’ve given up an average of 54 rushing yards per game to running backs.
Houston @ Denver
This isn’t the week to stream Trevor Siemian.
Just in case you were thinking about it. The Texans have been a brutal matchup for opposing quarterbacks this season, with only the Bills giving up fewer fantasy points per game to the position. Houston is without J.J. Watt, but Jadeveon Clowney is playing like the No. 1 pick he was and John Simon has wreaked havoc off the edge.
Jeff Ratcliffe | Director of Fantasy
Jeff Ratcliffe is the Director of Fantasy at Pro Football Focus. He produces all of our projections and is one of the most accurate rankers in the fantasy industry. Jeff also is the host of our show on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio and is one of the main hosts of our Fantasy Slant podcast.