Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate weekly look at the NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Fantasy superstars such as Patrick Mahomes and Alvin Kamara will not be featured in this column. All player matchups are based on a PPR scoring system.
Be sure to check out my Week 7 rankings before finalizing any lineup decisions or if your league has special scoring rules, sign up for SI Fantasy+ for customized rankings. Members also get access to myself and our team of high-stakes winners all week long to answer your specific fantasy questions.
Week 7 Start ‘Em: Quarterbacks
Byes: Colts, Dolphins, Ravens, Vikings
Start of the Week
Matt Ryan vs. Lions
Welcome back to the good graces of fantasy fans, Matt! After a few stinkers, he went bananas last week with four touchdown passes and nearly 32 points against the Vikings. I’d stick with Ryan this week too, as the Lions will come to Atlanta for a visit. Their defense has allowed 10 touchdown passes and an average of just over 20 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. What’s more, just one opposing quarterback has failed to score at least 18 points against them after six weeks.
Matthew Stafford at Falcons
Stafford was a disappointment last week, scoring just 12.3 points in Jacksonville. Still, it’s tough to look past a sweetheart of a matchup against the Falcons. Their defense has been an absolute mess, giving up an average of 345.2 passing yards, a league-high 18 touchdown passes, and the most fantasy points to quarterbacks (29.1 PPG) this season. What’s more, every signal-caller to play a full game against them has scored at least 20 fantasy points. Start Stafford this week.
Ben Roethlisberger at Titans
Big Ben has been solid for fantasy fans, scoring 18-plus points in all but one of his first five starts. He should continue that trend this week, as the Steelers travel to Tennessee to face the Titans in what could be a real scoreboard scorcher. Their defense has struggled against quarterbacks, allowing an average of 285.2 passing yards and 21.1 fantasy points per game. That includes three games with 19-plus points and one (Deshaun Watson, Week 6), who scored over 30 fantasy points.
Teddy Bridgewater at Saints
Bridgewater is coming off a stinker against the Bears, but that was expected based on the matchup. If you’re streaming the position this week, I'd get the veteran back into your lineup in a “revenge” game against the Saints. Here’s a stat you might enjoy about their defense, at least if you’re playing Bridgewater: Every single quarterback to face New Orleans this season has scored at least 20.5 fantasy points. In what could be a high-scoring affair, Bridgewater should be in your lineup.
Justin Herbert vs. Jaguars
Herbert has been a pleasant surprise in fantasy leagues, throwing nine touchdown passes while averaging more than 20 fantasy points in his first four games as an NFL starter. He’s certainly in the starting mix this week too, as the Chargers host the Jaguars at SoFi Stadium. In three road games this season, Jacksonville’s defense has allowed an average of 22.2 fantasy points to quarterbacks, including two games where enemy signal-callers have scored more than 24 points.
- Aaron Rodgers at Texans
- Tom Brady at Raiders
- Ryan Tannehill vs. Steelers
- Ryan Tannehill vs. Steelers (DraftKings: $6,200)
- Teddy Bridgewater at Saints (DraftKings: $5,800)
- Kyle Allen vs. Cowboys (DraftKings: $5,200)
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Week 7 Sit ‘Em: Quarterbacks
Sit of the Week
Jared Goff vs. Bears (MNF)
Goff failed to produce a good stat line in last week’s loss to the 49ers, and an upcoming matchup against the Bears is anything but favorable. Their defense has been formidable against enemy signal-callers, allowing the fewest touchdown passes (4) and fantasy points (11.7 PPG) to the position. What’s more, just one quarterback has scored 16 points against them this season. That list includes Tom Brady, who was held to 14.1 points in Week 5. I’d keep Goff on the fantasy sidelines.
Drew Brees vs. Panthers
Brees will be without Michael Thomas again, and Emmanuel Sanders (COVID-19) has also been ruled out. Brees has failed to score 16 fantasy points three times this season and ranks just 20th in points per game at quarterback. He has also scored fewer than 15 points in 42 percent of his career home games against the Panthers. What’s more, Carolina has allowed the third-fewest points to the position in 2020, and just one signal-caller has scored more than 16.5 points against them.
Derek Carr vs. Buccaneers
Carr has been pretty solid for the Raiders and fans alike, scoring 20-plus fantasy points in three of his last four games. I’d fade him this week though, as Las Vegas hosts a Buccaneers defense that’s been tough on enemy quarterbacks. The position has just seven touchdown passes against them, and it’s put up an average of a mere 12.0 fantasy points a game. That includes last week's contest against the Packers, where Aaron Rodgers was held to a dreadful 3.8 fantasy points.
Jimmy Garoppolo at Patriots
Wait, sit Garoppolo in the proverbial "revenge" game? Well, let's look at the numbers. Jimmy G has been up-and-down in the stat sheets, and a matchup across the country against the Patriots is anything but favorable. Opposing quarterbacks have struggled against them, averaging just 15.6 fantasy points a game. Aside from Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson, who will smash every defense, the P-Men have allowed 8.1 fantasy points to the other three opposing quarterbacks.
Baker Mayfield at Bengals
Mayfield went bad last week, completing 10 of 18 passes for 119 yards and two interceptions before he was benched. He’ll be back on the field this week in a neutral matchup against the Bengals, and I’d fade him. He’s all banged up, dealing with injured ribs, and Cincinnati has allowed the 10th-fewest points to quarterbacks. That includes a 15.3-point performance from Mayfield back in Week 2. Unless you're in a superflex league, he needs to be on the fantasy football sidelines.
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- Gardner Minshew II at Chargers
- Andy Dalton at Football Team
- Nick Foles at Rams (MNF)
- Cam Newton vs. 49ers (DraftKings: $6,300)
- Drew Brees vs. Panthers (DraftKings: $6,100)
- Gardner Minshew II at Chargers (DraftKings: $5,900)
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for the latest news and analysis!
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