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Weekly Matchups: Strong Plays, Weak Plays Week 7

Kyle Fisher

Kyle Fisher writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.


Ben Roethlisberger vs. ARI

Roethlisberger has been somewhat of a fantasy disappointment so far this season, scoring fewer fantasy points than Mark Sanchez in standard scoring leagues. He has had only one big fantasy game, in which he threw five touchdowns, but otherwise he has been held to just four touchdowns against five interceptions. This week should be one of his better weeks as he faces a Cardinals unit that has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, by far Roethlisberger's best matchup to date. Look for Big Ben to get it going this week and be a solid fantasy starter in Week 7.

Pierre Garcon vs. NO

Garcon has benefited the most from Peyton Manning's injury, as he, and not Reggie Wayne, has developed chemistry with Colts quarterback Curtis Painter. Even in a bad week against the Bengals, Garcon still caught eight passes. Garcon figures to be more productive fantasy wise this week against a Saints secondary that has allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to wide receivers and has given up the second-most touchdowns. Look for Garcon to continue to be a valuable asset to fantasy lineup this week.

Tim Tebow vs. MIA

The most hyped third-string quarterback perhaps in the history of the NFL makes his first start of the season this week in what could be considered almost a home game, as the Dolphins are celebrating the 2009 national champion Florida Gators prior to the game. As if that wasn't good enough, Tebow gets a great matchup as the Dolphins have allowed the second-most fantasy points to the quarterback position this season. While trading Brandon Lloyd doesn't help Tebow, he should be good enough to finish in the top 10-12 in fantasy points for quarterbacks this week.

Ryan Torain vs. CAR

Torain wasn't great against the Eagles, but neither was anybody else in last weeks' loss. This week, he gets another crack at being fantasy gold in one of the week's best matchup. The Panthers rank last in fantasy points allowed to running backs, giving up both the most yards and touchdowns to the position. Torain was very good against the Rams, and he has the matchup to be good again this week.

Kellen Winslow vs. CHI

In standard scoring leagues, Winslow has been a disaster, as he has failed to get into the end zone and has just 257 yards, 15th most in the league. The good news is that in a PPR format, Winslow is seventh in the league in catches and gets a nice matchup this week against the Bears. The Bears have allowed the most catches, yards and touchdowns to the position, so if Winslow is ever going to do anything, especially in standard scoring leagues, this is the week.


Matt Hasselbeck vs. HOU

Hasselbeck doesn't have a terrible matchup, but he has the worst matchup among quarterbacks that fantasy owners would consider starting. Hasselbeck ranks eight in average fantasy points per game in standard scoring leagues but struggled a bit against the Steelers and faces a Texans defense giving up the ninth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. Hasselbeck will be decent but probably won't be the reason you win this week.

Maurice Jones-Drew vs. BAL

For all the preseason hype about Jones-Drew and where to draft him due to injury concerns, he ranks third in the league in total rushing yards and hasn't had a game with less than 84 yards all season. Despite this, he still ranks just 14th in averaging scoring for running backs in standard scoring leagues, primarily because he has only two touchdowns and has not been his usual receiving threat. The Ravens will challenge Jones-Drew as they rank third in the league in fewest fantasy points allowed to running backs. Unless you are really deep with quality backs, you can't bench Jones-Drew, but it should be a tough afternoon for America's running back.

Larry Fitzgerald vs. PIT

Fitzgerald was supposed to get a huge benefit from the signing of Kevin Kolb. Up to this point, that hasn't been the case, as Fitzgerald ranks just 14th in average fantasy scoring for wide receivers in standard scoring leagues. Fitzgerald has just two touchdowns despite having relatively good matchups in each of his first five games. The matchup is certainly not good this week as he faces a Steelers defense giving up the fewest fantasy points to wide receivers in the league. Again, unless you are ridiculously deep at wide receiver, Fitzgerald has to be in your lineup, but expect pedestrian numbers in this matchup.

Anquan Boldin vs. JAC

Boldin is coming off a season-high 132 yards receiving in a win against the Texans but faces a surprisingly tough matchup against the Jaguars. The Jaguars give up the seventh-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers, and the Ravens may be in a position early in the game where they don't need to pass. Ray Rice should be one of the top scorers this week, while Boldin will have to wait for another big outing.

Jermichael Finley vs. MIN

As dominant as the Packers have been, Finley has been quiet expect for a three-touchdown outing against the Bears. In the five other games, Finley has no touchdowns and just 16 catches. While it is likely that Finley will break out in a big way sometime this year, the Vikings have been very good against tight ends all season. They have surrendered the eighth-fewest points to tight ends in the league and have yet to allow a passing touchdown to a tight end. Finley is too good to sit, but it may be another week of waiting for Finley owners before his expected breakout begins.