Reminder: Before we get into the Week 7 matchup rankings – Fantasy Points Adjusted for Defense (FPAD) is a calculation that can be the difference between celebrating a win or cursing a high-scoring option on your bench. I developed it years ago, and it accounts for defensive quality of play by position, adjusts for game situations and strength of offenses and spits out an adjusted Fantasy Points allowed. Using Fantasy Football Points allowed is valuable in itself to help make lineup decisions, but it’s imperfect, as a team facing Aaron Rodgers and the Packers should give up more points and passing yards than one facing Jared Goff and the Rams. This isn’t a tool to argue benching Mike Evans for Robert Woods, but it helps you decide which RB3 is a better play or which WR4 could put up a WR2 type week.
Fantasy Football Week 7 Matchup Rankings
QB Matchup Rankings[table “2231” not found /]
Marcus Mariota vs. Jameis Winston… or Ryan Fitzpatrick
The Browns have given up multiple passing touchdowns to every quarterback outside of Jacoby Brissett, and Brissett simply ran for two in his matchup. There have been 14 passing touchdowns and just four interceptions against the Browns so far, despite no quarterback throwing for more than 286 yards. Mariota is one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the NFL, and he should provide Top 10 value in Week 7.
As for Winston, even if he plays, it’s a risky start. The Bills had allowed just two passing touchdowns while registering eight interceptions, despite facing Cam Newton, Matt Ryan and Andy Dalton. In fact, only Dalton threw for more than 259 yards, and the Bills are coming out of their bye to host the Buccaneers. If Winston sits, Fitzpatrick is too risky in this start with the potential for multiple turnovers.
Also Good: Matt Ryan – no more excuses
Also Bad: Andy Dalton – only the Jaguars have been tougher against the pass
Other Matchup Boosted QBs: Blake Bortles, Tyrod Taylor, Dak Prescott, Jared Goff
RB Matchup Rankings[table “2232” not found /]
Adrian Peterson vs. Javorius Allen and Alex Collins
Apparently, Peterson does have a bit left for us. While Andre Ellington will see better days, as he remains the pass-catcher with Peterson never the biggest pass-catcher himself, this week’s matchup points to an easy time running the ball again. No team is giving up more to running backs than the Rams, even with Aaron Donald. Peterson should see a solid workload again, pushing him near 20 touches and another big game.
Not only is the Ravens backfield impossible to predict, the shared use makes both Allen and Collins risky each week. On top of that, the Vikings are second only to the Broncos when it comes to tough running back matchups. Despite Orleans Darkwa showing us that anything can happen any week against the Broncos, the Ravens won’t feed one of their backs that much, and the Vikings shouldn’t have an off week like that, defensively.
Also Good: Carlos Hyde – the Matt Breida usage talk looks to be nonsense… for now
Also Bad: Rob Kelley or Samaje Perine – Chris Thompson is a strong play, but the between-the-tackles rushers have been shut down by the Eagles
Other Matchup Boosted RBs: Leonard Fournette, Ezekiel Elliott, Mark Ingram, Kareem Hunt, Jerick McKinnon, Joe Mixon
WR Matchup Rankings[table “2233” not found /]
Pierre Garcon vs. Tyrell Williams
Last week, it was better to avoid Garcon if possible. This week, it’s start him if you can. The Cowboys have already given up eight wide receiver touchdowns in just five games. Additionally, slot receivers are doing most of the damage, and Garcon can move around and line up in the slot occasionally. Even if he stayed outside the entire game, the Cowboys corners won’t have much success stopping Garcon. It will simply come down to C.J. Beathard’s effectiveness, but even having only half of his passes catchable, a dozen targets makes Garcon a great play.
With Mike Williams back, this is a true case of buy the cake (Philip Rivers) and not the icing (receivers). It’s going to be continually difficult predicting the Chargers receivers outside of Keenan Allen, and a matchup with the Broncos make it even worse. The only area of weakness for the Broncos secondary is the slot, and Chris Harris still rates as a poor matchup. Plus, Allen spends more time there than the other Chargers’ receivers.
Also Good: Mohamed Sanu – if healthy, this is the game for the Falcons offense to wake up
Also Bad: T.Y. Hilton – it’s very hard to bench him, but the Jaguars are fearsome and Hilton has struggled on the road
Other Matchup Boosted WRs: Julio Jones, Robert Woods, Michael Crabtree, Amari Cooper, Allen Hurns, Dez Bryant
TE Matchup Rankings[table “2234” not found /]
Kyle Rudolph vs. Coby Fleener
Just as with Garcon, Rudolph goes from “bench him if you can” last week to “start him where possible” this week. The Ravens have allowed six touchdowns to tight ends, just one less than the league-leading Giants. This is the defense that allowed Marcedes Lewis to haul in three touchdowns in London and both Dion Sims and Zach Miller to find the end zone last week. Rudolph has fallen off a good deal from last year, but this is a matchup that warrants his use.
As for Fleener, Willie Snead is back. That has killed Fleener’s value, even with Snead only playing a low number of snaps in his first game of the season. On top of that, only Jason Witten has put up a decent game against the Packers with 8-for-61 in Week 5. Rudolph was okay last week with 47 yards, but a tight end has not scored against the Packers all year, and Fleener isn’t going to be the one to change that.
Also Good: Jimmy Graham – do I need to tell you to start your tight ends against the Giants?
Also Bad: Jason Witten – As mentioned, Witten had an okay game against the Packers but in the previous two games, he had two catches for 12 yards
Other Matchup Boosted TEs: Delanie Walker, Hunter Henry, Austin Hooper, Zach Ertz, Jack Doyle