Week 7 - Players to Start and Sit

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2023 at 9:44 pm ET

This is the Fantasy Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 7 of the 2023 NFL season. Analysis is aggregated from multiple sources including FN. Rankings are based upon PPR (point per reception) scoring. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.

Please Note: 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 Justin Jefferson, Patrick Mahomes, or Christian McCaffrey. 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.

Welcome to Bye-mageddon I!
This is the first of the bye weeks with six teams on bye.

Start 'em Jordan Love (GB, QB)
After a disappointing game last week against the Raiders (182 yards and 3 picks), we anticipate Jordan Love bouncing back nicely against the Broncos. Nobody has given up more fantasy points to opposing QB's than Denver this year including 28 points to Tua Tagovailoa, 21 points to Sam Howell, and 27 points to Justin Fields. The Green and Gold should deliver some cheese this weekend.
Most pts to QB
Start 'em Geno Smith (SEA, QB)
With six teams on bye and multiple QB injuries to deal with, Geno Smith may be one of the better streaming options in Week 7. This is a great matchup as the Cardinals rank near inside the Top 10 in most points allowed to QBs on the season. Remember that Arizona was the one good game for Daniel Jones this year (30.7 points). Geno Smith makes for a great DFS play with the fourth-best Bang For Your Buck score!
6th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Jerome Ford (CLE, RB)
It was nice to see Jerome Ford with twice as many carries last week as he had the week prior. Kareem Hunt managed to get the trip to the endzone, but it was encouraging to see Ford's usage go up. The Colts can be a mixed bag against the run. They locked Derrick Henry down but allowed Travis Etienne to score at least 21 fantasy points against them...twice...this year. Ford should finish this one as a solid RB2.
11th Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Javonte Williams (DEN, RB)
Injury concerns. Offensive line concerns. Competition concerns from Jaleel McLaughlin. All of these question marks surround Javonte Williams, but he looked quick and shifty with his ten carries last week. He has yet to break double digits, but that could change against the Packers who have been very generous to opposing RBs including multiple 20+ point games this year.
5th Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Jakobi Meyers (LV, WR)
When healthy, Jakobi Meyers is the unsung hero in that Raiders offense. He doesn't have the name or pedigree of an elite receiver like teammate Davante Adams, but Meyers is very efficient and has been producing high-end WR2 numbers this year. We expect that to continue against a Bears defense that has been very middle of the road at stopping receivers. Only two other teams in the NFL have given up more receiving touchdowns this year.
14th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Zay Flowers (BAL, WR)
Zay Flowers found the endzone last week for the first time this season which helped him deliver 17 fantasy points. We've given Flowers an "A" consistency grade as he's regularly delivered for fantasy owners this year. He has 19 targets over his last two games, and as long as the volume is there, Flowers remains a low-end WR2 for fantasy. He's an easy start here.
13th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Pat Freiermuth (PIT, TE)
We're expecting Pat Freiermuth to return this week, and while we think he's a risky play given his injury status and relative lack of inclusion (no games with more than four targets), he's certainly a playable option with six teams on bye. If he can get into the endzone against the Rams, he should have a nice day. Keep in mind that Dallas Goedert has been relatively quiet this season except for the game against the Rams in Week 5 where he delivered 25 points. Freiermuth won't come close to that, but high single-digits is expected.
UPDATE: Since publication, Pat Freiermuth aggravated his hamstring injury and could potentially miss several weeks.
5th Most Pts to TE
Start 'em Kyle Pitts (ATL, TE)
Kyle Pitts is alive! We've been waiting to see him get into the endzone, and he finally made the trip last week. That 14-point performance followed a 15 point performance the week prior. He'll have a tougher matchup this week against the Bucs who have yet to allow a touchdown to any tight end this season, but his usage right now warrants low-end TE1 consideration.
13th Fewest Pts to TE
Start 'em Washington Commanders (WAS, DEF)
The last time we recommended Washington as a start, they were absolutely decimated by...the Bears. They bounced back the following week so we're trying not to let recency bias impact our recommendation. We're much more confident in this one as nobody has given up more fantasy points to D/STs this year than the Giants.
Most pts to DEF
Start 'em Brett Maher (LAR, K)
The second-best fantasy kicker on the season will have a decent matchup this week against the Steelers. Brett Maher has made at least three field goals in all but one game this year. Double digits can be had here. Ka'imi Fairbairn did it in Week 4 and Jake Moody did it in Week 1. Maher can do it in Week 7.
15th Fewest Pts to K
Sit 'em Gardner Minshew (IND, QB)
With Anthony Richardson officially done for the year (shoulder surgery), it's going to be Gardner Minshew under center for the Colts the remainder of the season. After four turnovers last week, it's tough to place much trust in him right now. Minshew Mania will have an opportunity to shine, but it's not likely to happen against the Browns who are giving up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to the position.
4th Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Baker Mayfield (TB, QB)
We all fondly recall the Baker Mayfield television commercials. They were entertaining and fun. His 6.8 points last week against Detroit was neither. He'll have an opportunity to redeem himself this week against a mediocre Atlanta secondary, but control your expectations on the bounce. If you have a better option this week, use it.
11th Most Pts to QB
Sit 'em Najee Harris (PIT, RB)
Is this the week that Najee Harris finally finds the endzone? We're not so sure about that. Harris has plenty of opportunity (avg 12.6 carries per game), but he has yet to capitalize on it. His best game of the year resulted in 11 fantasy points (PPR). It's been single digits everywhere else. The emergence of Jaylen Warren doesn't help his situation nor does his inefficiency on the ground. You may not have another option to play here, but don't be surprised if Harris lets you down even in the flex spot.
8th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em AJ Dillon (GB, RB)
The matchup is beautiful, but AJ Dillon's stats this year have been anything but. With Aaron Jones out in Week 5, Dillon put up his first double digit game of the year. When Aaron Jones has been on the field, Dillon has averaged just 4.3 fantasy points. We're expecting Aaron Jones back after the Packers' bye leaving Dillon as a very risky, deep-league flex option only.
Most pts to RB
Sit 'em Diontae Johnson (PIT, WR)
We are expecting Diontae Johnson to return to action this week after missing the past four games with a hamstring injury. Kenny Pickett hasn't exactly lit the world on fire this season, and while we would like to assume that Johnson will step right back into his alpha role, the Steelers would be wise to be a bit cautious in his first game back. Fantasy owners should do the same.
4th Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Kadarius Toney (KC, WR)
The Kadarius Toney supporters on social media relished Toney's touchdown last week, but smart fantasy owners see it for what it was - a boom from a boom-or-bust player. Even with that touchdown, Toney still only delivered single digits. In fact, he has not had a single double-digit game all year. While this matchup looks great on paper, Toney continues to be a gadget-type player who will be passed over repeatedly by Travis Kelce and the rest of the KC receiving corp.
2nd Most Pts to WR
Sit 'em Dawson Knox (BUF, TE)
Even with teammate Dalton Kincaid out last week, Knox turned in an identical performance from the week prior (4.7 fantasy points). It would seem reasonable that the Bills won't have to depend upon the run like they did last week, but the Patriots have been solid at shutting down opposing tight ends ranking in the Top 10 in fewest points allowed.
10th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Zach Ertz (ARI, TE)
The fantasy lord giveth and the fantasy lord taketh away. Ertz has been a serviceable fantasy TE this season, but we're starting to see his usage slip. Add to that the fact that Seattle has been very tough on tight ends this season surrendering the 7th-fewest fantasy points. Only Sam LaPorta has managed to deliver double digits against them, and that was just 11.3 points. Everyone else has been seven points or less.
7th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Baltimore Ravens (BAL, DEF)
The Ravens defense did a nice job in London last week forcing two turnovers and chalking up six QB sacks. We're looking elsewhere in Week 7 though as the Lions offense has been on fire surrendering the second-fewest fantasy points on the season.
2nd Fewest Pts to DEF
Sit 'em Greg Joseph (MIN, K)
Greg Joseph has been quite efficient this season missing only one field goal and one extra point all year. It's best to stream someone else though as the Niners have done a nice job on defense surrendering the 8th-fewest fantasy points to kickers.
8th Fewest Pts to K

Join the Discussion

If asking a sit/start question, be sure to provide your scoring format and contribute to answering questions from other FN members as well.

Ed Chan CommentedOct 19, 2023 2:01 pm

In this 1/2 PPR league, I currently have Pittman to start against a tough Browns D. Should I keep him there or possibly start TNF with Thomas or even Osborn instead? Moss is my flex but could replace with one of those 2 guys?

mrock CommentedOct 20, 2023 7:36 pm

I would still start Pittman

OldGeezer CommentedOct 20, 2023 7:32 am

Struggling with the flex position. Half ppr, AJ Dillon or E Moore. Or should I go get KJ Osborn or C Samuel

Nerd CommentedOct 20, 2023 2:40 pm

I might go get Samuel or Osborn in place of Dillon. Good luck!

Ed Chan CommentedOct 20, 2023 6:28 pm

Agree with Nerd, Osborn or Samuel might have better upside. Particularly Samuel, who has had the hot hand lately.

mrock CommentedOct 20, 2023 7:36 pm

Agree as well

mrock CommentedOct 20, 2023 7:37 pm

Full PPR: Christian Watson or Jakobi Meyers in my flex? Torn because Meyers has been great but Watson is supposed to be the #1 in Green Bay.

Ed Chan CommentedOct 21, 2023 12:42 pm

Tough call. I have Meyers and he has been reliable for sure. But Watson is coming on, now that he looks fully healthy from injury. Maybe the slight nod to Wilson only because he is the #1.

Wallstreet Skeeter CommentedOct 22, 2023 9:30 am

Watson will light it up this weekend

JessDee CommentedOct 21, 2023 11:23 am

Meyers even with Jimmy G out? Over Gabe Davis?

Taco's Last Stand CommentedOct 21, 2023 11:51 am

You are dead wrong about Diontae Johnson. He is the Steelers most reliable WR because he gets open. Pickett always looks for him. He is 100% healthy.

Nerd CommentedOct 21, 2023 1:06 pm

I hope you're right. When this was published, Pat Freiermuth was healthy and playing. Perhaps DJ will see some of those vacated targets this week.

Couple of things to keep in mind. He may have a good day, but Diontae Johnson hasn't had a trip to the endzone in 656 days (Jan 3, 2022). That is a major drought.

ESPN highlighted that he's the only player in NFL history to go a full season without a single touchdown despite catching at least 85 passes. High volume, but his efficiency (6.5 YPT) is the absolute worst among all wide receivers with 200 targets over the past three seasons.

I'm not tearing Diontae Johnson down - I have plenty of shares of him and look forward to being able to plug him back into my lineups. I'm just trying to keep a realistic outlook on what to expect. Will he have a big bounce back week? Maybe...it could happen...but he's ranked 36th among all WRs this week putting him in as a low-end WR3. I'm hoping for a nice game, but I'm also controlling my expectations. That's all.

Nerd CommentedOct 21, 2023 5:45 pm

LOL - as fate would have it - with Deebo Samuel out this week, I'm playing Diontae Johnson in the flex in Fantasy Nerds User League II. Fingers crossed.

Wallstreet Skeeter CommentedOct 22, 2023 9:33 am

I have both Diontae Johnson and George Pickens and I am going with Pickens today. I like Johnson but I think they are going to go easy on him in his first game back.

Nerd CommentedOct 24, 2023 7:58 pm

Replying to this for posterity. I was wrong on Diontae Johnson. He was more involved in the offense that I originally considered - not more than Pickens, but easily second on the team.

He also finished the week as a low-end WR2 (https://www.fantasynerds.com/nfl/leaders?position=WR

Eric Perl CommentedOct 21, 2023 2:35 pm

Because of bye week and injuries I only have Diontae Johnson, R Rice and L Thomas available for Flex role. Advice?

Nerd CommentedOct 21, 2023 5:45 pm

Diontae Johnson

Eric Perl CommentedOct 21, 2023 3:07 pm

For my above question I’m in PRP league. I do have a fair amount of hope in Johnson, he is an excellent route runner which Kenny Pickett has been missing. He may or may not get TD but he should rack up catches and yardage. He’s well overdue for TD!

T-Jugg CommentedOct 21, 2023 7:58 pm

Standard (non-PPR) scoring, need two WRs:
D.J.Moore (QB issue)
Gabe Davis

Wallstreet Skeeter CommentedOct 22, 2023 9:33 am

Moore and Godwin

Wallstreet Skeeter CommentedOct 22, 2023 9:34 am

Standard scoring question at tight end. Do I go with Kyle Pitts against a tough Tampa Bay or Cole Kmet with a rookie QB?

Nerd CommentedOct 22, 2023 11:45 am

I put this one on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ffnerd/status/1716097045654597976

So far, the Twitterverse is calling for Kyle Pitts. I'm going to agree with them. Good luck!

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