Week 7 Where to Put em

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2015 at 12:00 pm ET

This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 7 of the 2015 NFL season. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.

This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Aaron Rodgers, Rob Gronkowski, or Antonio Brown. Instead, we take a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.

Start 'em Ryan Tannehill (MIA, QB)
Many fantasy owners have given up on Ryan Tannehill after a disappointing start to the season, but hold out hope this week when he faces a Houston defense that just gave up 23 points to Blake Bortles last week, 27 to Newton in Week 2 and 23 points to Alex Smith in Week 1. Tannehill has an opportunity to redeem himself.
Start 'em Eli Manning (NYG, QB)
That noise you heard on Monday night was the collective sounds of fantasy owners screaming at Eli Manning. After starting out 5-5 with a score to OBJ on the first drive, Manning turned to mush. As pathetic as he was on Monday, he has a great opportunity to redeem himself against the Giants - a team that he has owned at home over the past few years. His Week 1 crapper in Dallas is in the mirror.
Start 'em Todd Gurley (STL, RB)
Coming in at #4 in this week's rankings is rookie Todd Gurley who faces a Cleveland rush defense that has given up more yards than any other defense in the league. Justin Forsett, Latavius Murray, and Chris Ivory all put up 20+ points. Gurley can do the same.
Start 'em LeSean McCoy (BUF, RB)
Fantasy owners had some questions about Shady's hamstring last week, but his 17 carries for 90 yards and a score last week should instill confidence in his ability to play. Doug Martin and LeGarrette Blount torched Jacksonville for 33 and 27 points respectively. Let Shady loose.
Start 'em Martavis Bryant (PIT, WR)
Looking at the Top 15 wide receivers this week, one name sticks out because he hasn't been on there all season. Martavis Bryant returned to the NFL in a big way last week racking up 137 yards and 2 scores. Kansas City is giving up the 7th-most receiving yards this season in what should be a great matchup.
Start 'em Mike Evans (TB, WR)
Two spots ahead of Bryant this week is Mike Evans. After a disappointing start to the season, there's no better way to rebound for fantasy owners than a matchup with the Redskins. Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall put up double digits as did Odell Beckham Jr and Rueben Randle. Don't be surprised when Evans and VJax do the same.
Start 'em Julius Thomas (JAC, TE)
Last week we got to see the Julius Thomas we remembered. Keep him in your lineup as he comes into the FFN rankings this week at #8 against a Buffalo defense that gives up 268 yards through the air. The Bills have only faced two decent TE's this year (Eifert and Gronk) and both put up double digits.
Start 'em Charles Clay (BUF, TE)
Lining up across from Thomas this week will be Charles Clay who has been a pleasant surprise at TE this year. Jacksonville gives up the 3rd-most points on the board this season so look for Clay in the endzone on Sunday.
Start 'em St. Louis Rams (STL, DEF)
Fresh off their bye, the Rams come into the FFN Week 7 ranks as the #1 defense. The Browns have struggled to protect their QB and you can be sure that St Louis is going to bring the heat.
Start 'em Josh Lambo (SD, K)
The top waiver wire option this week at kicker is likely to be Josh Lambo who has every opportunity to continue putting up double digit numbers. If you have Mason Crosby or Brandon McManus on bye, Lambo should be a great fill-in for you.
Sit 'em Matthew Stafford (DET, QB)
Matthew Stafford's second best game of the season was against the Vikings in Week 2 so why would we recommend a sit? Since then, the Vikes has shut down Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning, and Alex Smith giving up an average of just 11 points to the trio. Minnesota gives up the 14th-fewest yards per game.
Sit 'em Joe Flacco (BAL, QB)
12 points. That's the average number of fantasy points given up to opposing QB's by Arizona. Flacco has struggled on the road this year putting up 12 points on average in his four road games. Notice a trend here? 12 points should be your expectation on Flacco this week.
Sit 'em Chris Johnson (ARI, RB)
Other than Le'Veon Bell and Latavius Murray, the Ravens have done a nice job shutting down opposing running backs. Baltimore gives up the 9th-fewest yards per game on the ground and we're expecting them to shut Johnson and the Cardinal backfield down on Monday night.
Sit 'em Carlos Hyde (SF, RB)
The Seahawks give up just over 7 points a game to opposing running backs this year, and with pain still in his left foot, it's going to be a tough matchup for the 2nd-year starter from Ohio State.
Sit 'em Pierre Garcon (WAS, WR)
Coming into this week's rankings at #26 is Pierre Garcon who faces a Tampa Bay defense that gives up the 4th-fewest passing yards per game and an average of 11 points to wide receivers this year thanks to a few big games. If Garcon can get to 11 points, consider this a monster game.
Sit 'em Golden Tate (DET, WR)
One spot below Garcon this week is Golden Tate who faces a Vikings defense that has been stingy on points allowed giving up the second fewest. Tate pulled in 8 points when they faced each other in Week 2, and if he can do the same this week, consider that a monster game as well.
Sit 'em Larry Donnell (NYG, TE)
Yes, he's big and talented but his consistency and ability to hold onto the ball remain question marks. Against a Dallas defense that has been stingy against tight ends this year giving up an average of 2 points to them, Donnell may struggle. In fact, he put up just 2 points in Week 1 against them.
Sit 'em Zach Ertz (PHI, TE)
With the exception of Jimmy Graham's resurgence last week, the Panthers have been brutal on tight ends this year giving up an average of just 3 points to them. Lower your expectations on Ertz this week.
Sit 'em New York Jets (NYJ, DEF)
We're not sure if the rankings this week really bear out reality when we see the Jets ranked at the bottom. Perhaps that has something to do with their matchup against Tom Brady and the Patriots' high-powered offense.
Sit 'em Matt Bryant (ATL, K)
One of the more disappointing fantasy kickers this season has been Matt Bryant primarily because he's on such a potent offense that puts up a chunk of points on the board. The problem is that putting 1 XP at a time requires a lot of extra points to make it worthwhile.

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