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NFL Fantasy Football: Start 'Em/Sit 'Em - Week Seven

Week seven NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Remember earlier in the year when I had what I said was the best week in fantasy football of my life?  Well this past week was the exact opposite.  It's hard to have a worse fantasy football week than I did in week six and my telling you all about it will undoubtedly make you feel even better about your fantasy football acumen and probably make you trust me less.  Oh, well.  Here goes.  For starters, I went 0-3 this past week.  That takes my teams to 4-2, 3-3, and 4-2 (a combined 11-7 overall).

In one league, I was sure I'd get one win because I had a good lead throughout the games on Sunday.  I was up by over 30 points heading into Monday night and feeling very confident.  My team had a well-rounded week with eight of my 10 starters scoring double digits led by DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy.  My opponent start Colin Kaepernick and he absolutely destroyed the Rams on MNF and won the fantasy matchup for my opponent.  Waking up on Tuesday morning to see that loss and know I went 0-3 sucked.

In another league, the Hogs Haven league actually, I put on the most pathetic fantasy football performance of my life.  My team had the lowest score of anyone in the league this week and I lost... by .1 points.  You think that's brutal?  It gets worse.  My opponent started A.J. Green, Drew Brees, and C.J. Spiller.  Spiller managed a whopping -.1 points.  Green was hurt and didn't play.  And Brees is on a bye!!  And I lost!  By .1 points!  It was absolutely brutal.

In my third league I lost by 3 points.  Another close, heart-breaking defeat.  Aaron Rodgers and Steve Smith both went off for me, but I was let down (in a couple leagues by these same culprits unfortunately) by Kendall Wright, Larry Donnell, and the Steelers D.  My opponent had a nice, well-rounded effort led by Jay Cutler and Torrey Smith.

So there you have it.  The fantasy week from Hell.  Yours was better.  It had to be.

Though my personal teams were terrible, let's see if my advice was as bad:

  • I believe I mentioned that starting Philip Rivers was a really good idea.  Hopefully you continued to ride that hot hand because he went off in a win against Oakland.  It's really not that uncommon to see 300+ yards and 3 TD's from a guy of his caliber against a defense of Oakland's.
  • However, I am sorry about telling you to sit Tom Brady.  Those Patriots are so hard to predict.  Show me someone who thought he'd have 361 yards and 4 TD's...
  • Kirk Cousins didn't do too shabby from a fantasy perspective.  If you started him on my advice you're probably not upset about it.
  • I didn't mention him, but DeMarco Murray is officially matchup-proof.  Just wanted to throw that out there.  So glad I drafted him.
  • As far as some of the WR's I recommended go, Tate disappointed in what should have been his matchup of the year with Johnson and Bush out and going against the Vikings.  I was spot on with Steve Smith, though.  He's for real this year... if you didn't already know.
  • You ignored what I said about Andre Williams... right?
  • I'm not sure what the deal is with Cordarelle Patterson.  Hopefully you didn't start him (as advised).  The Vikings offense is just a mess right now and until he proves otherwise, Patterson is one of the bigger fantasy busts this year.
  • Good thing I told you to sit Stacy.
  • Greg Olsen was money this week and is always money.  Keep starting him.  He is such a perfect fit with Cam Newton.
  • Guess I was wrong about Ertz this time.  He finally had a decent day.  I wouldn't start counting on him just yet.

Week seven!  The week I turn around my fantasy teams and the Redskins turn around their season!


Start 'Em

Philip Rivers, SD (vs Kansas City Chiefs) - I probably don't have to put him on here anymore, but just in case...  He's on fire right now and the Chiefs present no good reason as to why he should cool off, especially in SD.  Rivers is always good against the Chiefs.  250+ yards, 2+ TD's, and 0 INT's.

Colin Kaepernick, SF (@ Denver Broncos) - Kaepernick and the entire '9er offense really came out of their shell last Monday against the Rams.  Kaep looked like a seasoned pro who could win through the air or on the ground and did both at will.  I'm not sure if it'll keep up this week, but he'll have plenty of opportunities trying to keep up with Peyton and co. in Denver.  The Broncos have been favorable to opposing QB's all year.  Roll with Kaep if you have him.  250+ passing yards, 2+ TD's, 40 rushing yards.

Russell Wilson, SEA (@ St. Louis Rams) - We all saw what Kaep just did to them, why can't Wilson do the same thing?  He's been good, and more importantly, consistent all year (except last week).  Does anyone really think the Seahawks will go two games in a row without looking outstanding?  Me neither.  225+ passing yards, 2+ TD's, and 30-40 rushing yards.

Jay Cutler, CHI (vs Miami Dolphins) - He throws a lot.  He has perhaps the best weapons in the NFL.  The Dolphins aren't great and opposing QB's have found success against them.  The game is in Chicago.  He's coming off of a day when he torched Atlanta and Jeffery and Marshall each caught bombs all afternoon.  Why not?  275+ yards, 2+ TD's, and 10-20 rushing yards.

Sit 'Em

Drew Brees, NO (@ Detroit Lions) - The Lions have the #1 overall defense and the #1 passing defense in the league so far this year.  Yeah, surprised me, too.  Additionally, the Saints are notoriously worse on the road and this game is in Detroit.  Finally, the Saints as a whole have been worse than expected this year and Brees hasn't been quite as elite as most people expected before the season.  Oh, and no Jimmy Graham.  275 yards, 1 TD, 1+ INT's.

Matt Ryan, ATL (@ Baltimore Ravens) - This is more about the Ravens than Matt Ryan for me.  The Ravens have been tough on opposing QB's in fantasy all year, especially in Baltimore.  They've allowed 0 or 1 TD pass in each of their last four at home.  Another factor, Atlanta's OL isn't very good.  It's causing Ryan to be very inconsistent and inconsistency is the enemy when playing fantasy football.  Sub-300 yards, 1 TD, 1+ INT.

Running Backs

Start 'Em

Justin Forsett, BAL (vs Atlanta Falcons) - Picking up Forsett off of waivers is one of the best decisions I've made so far this fantasy season.  He's been on fire and has taken over the Baltimore backfield.  This matchup also features the very worst run defense against opposing RB's in fantasy this year in the Atlanta Falcons.  It's even better that the game is in Baltimore.  This matchup has a huge day for Forsett written all over it.  80+ rushing yards, 1 TD, and 20-30 receiving yards.

Alfred Morris, WAS (vs Tennessee Titans) - It's getting harder and harder to tell if I'm putting him here to will him to a good week or because I actually think and believe he'll have a good week.  We know he's a great RB.  We know the game is in Washington.  We know the Titans are poor against the runs.  We know Jay Gruden has said he needs to run more for multiple weeks in a row now and yet he hasn't.  But we've been losing.  So maybe he'll actually try running more this week?  I'd start him.  100 yards and 1 TD.

Ben Tate, CLE (@ Jacksonville Jaguars) - Because Jaguars.  Actually, the Cleveland offense (led my younger Shanny) has been pretty good and the Jags are truly a sieve.  Tate has been on the past couple weeks, too.  90+ rush yards and 1 TD.

Sit 'Em

Zac Stacy, STL (vs Seattle Seahawks) - The Seahawks are great against the run (and just against offenses in general) and they're bound to come out pissed after losing to the Cowboys how they did (running).  Add on to that fact that Stacy hasn't been all that spectacular lately and the Ram offense isn't great as a whole, and you have a matchup to stay away from.  40-50 total yards.

Ronnie Hillman, DEN (vs San Francisco 49ers) - The 49ers are very stingy against the run and much less stingy against the pass.  I expect a heaping helping of Peyton Manning, leaving Hillman, and his touches, out in the cold.  It shouldn't take the Broncos long to figure out that Peyton is the way to go this week, not Hillman.  60 total yards.

Wide Receivers

Start 'Em

Sammy Watkins, BUF (vs Minnesota Vikings) - I don't think Watkins' talent has ever been in question, but Buffalo's QB situation has.  Well, as sad for them as it is to say this, Orton is much better for Watkins fantasy-wise than E.J. Manuel.  It helps a lot that the game is in Buffalo and that the Vikings defense has been very kind to WR's in fantasy through six games.  80+ yards and possibly a TD.

Golden Tate, DET (vs New Orleans Saints) - Yep, I'm going there again.  Tate disappointed me last week but he has another stellar matchup this week and I expect better results.  Calvin Johnson is still hurt and the Saints defense is pretty bad, especially to opposing WR's in fantasy football.  This will probably be a high scoring affair and I expect to see high-volume Stafford out on the field slinging it.  Tate's bound to bring in a few of those.  100 yards and 1 TD.

The Packers Big Two and the Bears Big Two - That's right.  Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Brandon Marshall, and Alshon Jeffery are all going to go off this week.  I'll only take credit for this if all four go big.  Both matchups are incredibly favorable, both have stellar QB's, and all four are dynamite WR's that have been hot lately.  Play all four.

Steve Smith, BAL (vs Atlanta Falcons) - Why would you not?  How many times does he have to prove it to you?  Don't question Steve Smith.  He's their #1 and the Falcons defense is bad.  He'll make you regret sitting him.  70+ yards and 1 TD.

Sit 'Em

Cordarelle Patterson, MIN (@ Buffalo Bills) - Make him prove it first.  I don't think it's happening this week.  Their offense is too terrible and they're having a lot of trouble getting Patterson involved with no AP or Rudolph to take some pressure off of him.  40 total yards.

Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (@ Oakland Raiders) - Everyone is going to be excited about the return of elite Fitzgerald after last week, but what most people won't realize is that he got to abuse a depleted secondary and had a fourth-round rookie on him much of the afternoon.  While the Raiders are garbage, they've played very respectably against opposing WR's in fantasy and I think Fitz will come back down to Earth.  Everyone looks better playing against the Redskins!  40 yards.

Tight Ends

Start 'Em

Travis Kelce, KC (@ San Diego Chargers) - The matchup's not great and many haven't even heard of Travis Kelce.  Well if you haven't, it's time to take notice.  He's in on a majority of the Chiefs' snaps and has been pretty consistent for them (and fantasy users) all season.  He's caught a TD in three straight and has already had a 93-yard and an 81-yard performance in only five games.  They're coming off of a bye and hopefully they worked on figuring out how to use this guy even more.  60 yards and 1 TD.

Martellus Bennett, CHI (vs Miami Dolphins) - What can I say?  I like the Bears passing attack this week.  Start 'em all.  60 yards and 1 TD.

Jordan Reed, WAS (vs Tennessee Titans) - He was absolutely amazingly incredible last week in only his first game back from injury.  Jay Gruden is in love.  His usage and targets are going to go up even further this week and the Titans are very bad... especially against TE's.  If he's available in your league, pick him up right now.  60+ yards and possibly a TD.

Sit 'Em

Greg Olsen, CAR (@ Green Bay Packers) - There.  Now I've told you to always start him and yet sit him this week.  So I'm covered no matter what.  Seriously though, Green Bay's good against TE's and he's bound to have an off game at some point.  50 yards.

Please leave any fantasy related questions you might have in the comments section and I'll try to answer as many and as quickly as I can.  It's fun to get everyone's perspectives on this week's matchups floating around down there and I'm always interested to see what kind of decisions different fantasy players have to make.  These are just general ideas for standard leagues, but we can all give and receive advice for unique situations as they come up.  Good luck!