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Weekly Matchups: Strong Plays, Weak Plays Week 7

Kyle Fisher

Kyle Fisher writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.


Matt Hasselbeck vs. BUF

While Hasselbeck has thrown just four touchdowns in his three starts and 200 yards or less in two of three starts, he has faced above average pass defenses in every matchup (Texans, Vikings and Steelers). This week, Hasselbeck gets his best matchup in his fourth start of the season, against the Bills. The Bills have surrendered the most fantasy points to quarterbacks and have given up multiple touchdowns in four of six games while allowing at least 237 yards passing in all but one game this season. Hasselbeck should be a nice one-week start, especially for owners whose starter is on a bye.

Josh Freeman vs. NO

Freeman has been fantastic in great matchups this year, averaging 313.5 yards and two touchdown passes per game in his two best matchups (Redskins and Chiefs). This week, Freeman again has a fantastic matchup against division rival New Orleans. The Saints have given up the sixth most points to fantasy quarterbacks, allowed six touchdowns and more than 330 yards passing in their last two games and are 31st in yards per attempt (8.2) for the season. Look for Freeman to be a solid starter in Week 7.

Felix Jones vs. CAR

DeMarco Murray (foot) is reportedly out for Week 7, giving Jones the opportunity to take advantage of a great matchup against the poor Panthers run defense. The Panthers rank 28th in fantasy points allowed to running backs and 23rd in rushing yards per attempt (4.4) and have allowed at least 85 yards to every No. 1 running back this season. Look for Jones to fill in nicely for Murray and give the type of production that should make fantasy owners happy in Week 7.

Hakeem Nicks vs. WAS

At press time, Nicks (knee) is expected to play this week against the Redskins. While Nicks won't reach his production of Week 2 against the Buccaneers when he had nearly 200 yards, this should be a week in which his production is more like the top-15 receiver he was drafted to be. The Redskins have given up the most fantasy points to wide receivers and more than 100 yards receiving to six receivers this season. Furthermore, the Redskins pass defense has allowed at least 299 yards passing in every game this season, so Eli Manning and the Giants should be throwing a lot, giving Nicks ample opportunity to be fantasy relevant this week.

Scott Chandler vs. TEN

Chandler has been boom or bust this season with three games scoring more than 10 fantasy points in standard scoring leagues and three games scoring four points or less. This week, Chandler has a good opportunity to have a boom games against the Titans. The Titans are the worst team in fantasy against tight ends and have allowed at least seven catches and 60 yards to the position in each game this season. Especially in PPR leagues, Chandler ranks almost as a must start unless you have one of the elite tight ends.


Matthew Stafford vs. CHI

Stafford has yet to consistently play like the top-5 quarterback he was drafted to be as he ranks 11th in average points per game in standard scoring leagues. While Stafford has thrown for 300 yards in each of his last two games, his yards per attempt has been less than 7.0 in each of those games, and he has thrown just four touchdowns this season. This week, Stafford has his toughest matchup to date, against the Bears. Chicago has given up the fewest points to fantasy quarterbacks this season and has allowed just four touchdowns compared to 13 interceptions. The Bears have allowed multiple touchdowns just once, and that was the five-interception Tony Romo game. In addition, Stafford was picked five times in two games against the Bears last season when he was playing well. Stafford might have to be in your lineup, especially this week with six teams on byes, but don't count on the quarterback position being a big point producer this week.

Cam Newton vs. DAL

Newton, like Stafford, has also yet to live up to his top-5 QB draft status. Newton ranks 10th in fantasy quarterback scoring in standard leagues, and he's only that high thanks to two games in which he had strong rushing numbers. This week, Newton faces a Cowboys pass defense that ranks sixth in the NFL in fewest points allowed to the quarterback position. More important, the Cowboys seem to contain quarterbacks and limit their running ability as they have allowed just 31 yards on the ground all season. Also, standout rookie cornerback Morris Claiborne (knee) is expected to play this week for Dallas. As such, it likely will be another frustrating week for the second-year signal caller.

Shonn Greene vs. NE

Greene outperformed some fantasy running backs' season last week with his 161-yard and three touchdown performance against the Colts. However, this week's matchup and Greene's overall abilities suggest nothing close to that output against the Patriots. Prior to last week's advantageous matchup against a leaky Colts run defense, Greene totaled 123 rushing yards in his previous four games. The Patriots, however, rank an impressive fifth in fewest points allowed to fantasy running backs and have given up just one touchdown on the ground all season. Look for Greene to come back to earth this week and struggle for fantasy relevance.

Frank Gore vs. SEA

Until last week against the Giants, Gore had been one of the most consistent fantasy producers this season, scoring touchdowns in four of his first five weeks and averaging 5.4 yards per carry. The matchup suggests Gore will have his second straight tough week against a nasty Seattle run defense. The Seahawks are the top fantasy run defense this season and have allowed little more than 50 yards a game to running backs this season. Their worst performance was last week against the Patriots when they gave up 87 yards on 26 carries. Unless you're deep and lucky with the bye Gore will have to be in the lineup with potentially six or seven fantasy starting running backs out with byes or injury, but he doesn't figure to be very productive.

Kyle Rudolph vs. ARI

Rudolph ranks just 17th in yards for tight ends but is tied for sixth in catches, and his league-leading five touchdowns have made him a fantasy star in the first six weeks of the season. This week, Rudolph faces by far his toughest matchup of the season against the Cardinals. The Cardinals rank fifth in fantasy scoring to tight ends, allowing just 4.8 points per game in standard scoring leagues. Furthermore, in their last four games, the Cardinals have given up a total of nine catches to the position for just 77 yards. If you have another good tight end on your roster, the matchup suggests Rudolph should be a one-week bench.

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