It’s almost time for the Week 7 Sunday NFL games, so you may have some questions about your fantasy football team. Who to start? Who to sit? What matchups to avoid? Here are some players at each position who I like and dislike this week. I try to limit this to players who aren’t guaranteed starters every week.
Quarterbacks I like:
Matthew Stafford (at ATL)
All six teams to play Atlanta this year have surpassed 300 pass yards, and three of them have had four passing touchdowns. Pretty much any QB playing Atlanta is a must-start, and Stafford is no exception. You can safely expect 300+ yards and 2+ passing TDs, so start him where you have him.
Gardner Minshew (at LAC)
The Chargers have allowed 300+ yards passing in three of their first five games this season, and I expect this to be a game where the Jaguars are trailing for a majority of it. Minshew could be a good streaming option this week if you’re in need of a QB. He’s only owned in 49.5 percent of ESPN leagues, so pick him up if you need someone.
Aaron Rodgers (at HOU)
Some might be wary of starting Rodgers now after the dud he had in Week 6. However, the Texans defense is on the opposite end of the spectrum compared to the Bucs defense he faced last week. Houston has allowed over 650 passing yards and six passing TD in their last two weeks. The Packers also might be without Aaron Jones this week, which could lead to even more passing volume.
Quarterbacks I don’t like:
Deshaun Watson (vs GB)
The Packers are allowing the 9th fewest fantasy points per game to opposing QBs this season. A lot of that has to do with the fact that teams are running the ball 46.7 percent of the time against them, which is the second highest mark in the league. The way to beat Green Bay is with the run. Watson will not have many passing options with Will Fuller likely shadowed by Jaire Alexander. I think he will struggle, and the only way he puts up a really good fantasy day would be through garbage time.
Drew Brees (vs CAR)
Michael Thomas is expected to miss this game again along with Emmanuel Sanders. On top of that, Carolina is another team where you run to beat them. They allow the fourth fewest fantasy points per game to QBs, and I’m projecting this to be a run-heavy attack from the Saints. Carolina has only allowed over 240 passing yards once this season, and only once have they allowed more than one passing TD. They also allow the fewest yards per pass attempt in the league this season. Brees will only be throwing short passes, so I can’t expect much to change in this matchup.
Running Backs I like:
David Johnson (vs GB)
As I mentioned when talking about Watson, teams like to run against the Packers. I think he’s a guaranteed 15-20 touches against a defense that allows close to five yards per carry and the second most fantasy points per game to RBs. This should be a matchup where Johnson has a safe floor, and if he scores a touchdown it becomes a great performance.
Justin Jackson (vs JAC)
Speaking of teams that are bad against the run, the Jaguars also allow upwards of 4.5 yards per carry and the fifth most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. With Ekeler out, Jackson has looked like the much better back compared to Joshua Kelley. This could be a game where the Chargers are in a positive game script, so Jackson could be in for a huge day.
Latavius Murray (vs CAR)
Murray is only owned in 56.3 percent of ESPN leagues, but if you’re in need of a running back he is a great play this week. The Panthers are bad against the run, and the Saints will likely be ahead in this one. Alvin Kamara will obviously receive the passing workload, but Murray will get a lot of work on the ground. He already splits carries with Kamara and could see an even larger percentage of carries if the Saints get a nice lead. Murray is another high floor play this week, who could become a great play if he scores. The Panthers also have given up nine rushing TDs this season (T-2nd most in the league), so that’s a pretty good bet he does find the end zone.
Running Backs I don’t like:
Josh Jacobs (vs TB)
Tampa’s run defense has been fantastic, and this game could go south for the Raiders and cause them to pass more. Jacobs has only scored in two games this season, and if he can’t find the end zone this week, it could end up being a bust performance.
Kenyan Drake (vs SEA)
People might look at Drake’s matchup with Seattle and think it’s a good one, but it really isn’t. Seattle’s pass defense may be awful, but their run defense has been really good this year. They allow the fifth fewest yards per carry, and teams only run 35.6 percent of the time against them. The volume might not be there this week, and the efficiency almost certainly won’t be there, so I would be looking to sit Drake if you can.
Melvin Gordon (vs KC)
This one is mainly for game script reasons. I think the Chiefs win this game big, so Gordon probably won’t get his usual 20ish touches. The only game this year where he had fewer than 15 touches was in week 3, when he ended up with only 5.8 fantasy points. He’s another guy who I would sit if you have other options.
Wide Receivers I like:
Terry McLaurin (vs DAL)
There are obvious questions about the Washington QB situation, but it won’t matter in this matchup. McLaurin is the only player who should be seeing a lot of targets in this offense, and against Dallas he could have a massive game. It actually helps McLaurin that he plays on a bad team, since they shouldn’t be up big at any point and should continue to throw. I’m expecting him to see double digit targets with over 100 yards. Play him wherever you have him this week.
Kenny Golladay (at ATL)
You’re probably already starting him, but if you have any doubts, get rid of them. He hasn’t seen a ton of volume since returning from injury, but it won’t matter against Atlanta’s defense. He could potentially be a top 3 WR this week in what will be a high scoring game.
Wide Receivers I don’t like:
Allen Robinson (at LAR)
Robinson has the most targets in the league this season, but it is a lot of bad volume. In this matchup, it won’t get any better, as the Rams allow the fewest fantasy points per game to WRs and the second fewest yards per target. This will probably be a low scoring, ugly game, and I would avoid Robinson if you have the flexibility to do so.
Will Fuller (vs GB)
Fuller has been fantastic recently, and on the surface this looks like a good matchup. The Texans might trail throughout and need to throw a lot, and Fuller has been Watson’s go-to target. However, he will likely be shadowed by Jaire Alexander, who has been fantastic this season. He held Calvin Ridley to 0 catches in Week 4 and Chris Godwin to just five catches for 48 yards in Week 6. Fuller might get lucky and receive some garbage time points, but it’s not something I would bet on. Sit him if you have other options.
Robert Woods (vs CHI)
Once again, avoid this game. Chicago, like the Rams, has been fantastic defensively this season, especially against the pass. Woods already has three games this season with under 40 receiving yards, and this could very well become his fourth.
Tight End I like:
TJ Hockenson (at ATL)
It’s becoming pretty apparent which matchups I want to target and which I don’t. START. PASS CATCHERS. AGAINST. THE. FALCONS. If this is a huge day for the Lions offense like I think it will be, Hockenson should benefit. The options at Tight End right now are not appealing, so don’t hesitate to play Hockenson.