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Week Seven matchups to exploit or avoid

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Recent posts by William Del Pilar

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Posted Oct. 18, 2011 @ 11:03 p.m. ET
By William Del Pilar

Exploit

QB Matt Cassel, Chiefs (at Raiders)
Cassel is facing a Raiders' team that is allowing 306.5 yards and two TDs per game over their last four games to the position. That's excellent for a quarterback starting to find his way. In Week Five Cassel posted 257 yards and four touchdowns. If you're stuck looking for a quarterback because of a bye or injury, he makes a low-end acceptable starter this week.

RB Ryan Mathews, Chargers (at Jets)
Mathews has been playing outstanding football with a three-week average of 23.7 touches for 143.3 offensive yards and 0.67 TDs per game. The Jets are allowing 182.8 offensive yards per game, over their last four to opposing backs. This is a matchup Mathews can exploit.

RB Roy Helu, Redskins (at Panthers)
Helu hasn't done much this season, averaging 7.2 utilizations for 39.6 offensive yards and no TDs, but he's facing a Panthers' team that can't stop the run. Ryan Torain will probably start, but Tim Hightower is only the emergency back until he can show he's 100 percent. That means Helu should share time as the team will probably focus on the rushing attack. The Panthers are allowing 204.5 offensive yards and two TDs per game over the last four to opposing backs. In larger leagues facing byes and injuries, he has value and should be able to exploit this matchup.

WR Lance Moore, Saints (vs. Colts)
This is a good week to get Moore in your lineups. He's disappointed so far this year, with only one TD, and he has a three-game average of five targets for 3.3 receptions, 42 yards and no touchdowns. However the Colts are allowing 209.5 yards and 1.75 TDs per game over the last four to the position. This is a matchup he can exploit.

WR Jordy Nelson, Packers (at Vikings)
Nelson is always a question mark for fantasy owners because of his low reception count. Despite being one of the better fantasy receivers in the league (top 20), owners are reluctant to make him an every week start. He's averaging 5.17 targets for 3.3 receptions for 68.8 yards and 0.67 TDs, starter numbers despite the low reception count. He's facing a Vikings defense that is allowing opposing receivers 197.8 yards and 1.25 TDs per game over the last four. He can exploit this matchup.

WR Kevin Walter, Texans (vs. Titans)
If you're looking for a flier to exploit, you may want to consider Walter. He has a two-game average of seven targets for 5.5 receptions, 66.5 yards and 0.5 TDs. Last season against the Titans in Week 15, he went 7-79-1. The Titans are allowing 152.7 yards and 1.3 TDs per game over the last three to the position. Andre Johnson (hamstring) will probably miss this week, and that means Walter could see an extra target or two. While I only recommend this in larger leagues, Walter can exploit this matchup.

TE Tony Gonzalez, Falcons (at Lions)
Gonzo is second on the team in targets with 44 and has a three-game average of 6.7 targets for 5.3 receptions, 48 yards and 0.3 TDs. Nothing outstanding, but he's facing a Lions team allowing 55.8 yards and one TD per game over their last four to the position. It's a good matchup he can exploit.

Avoid

QB Philip Rivers, Chargers (at Jets)
Rivers is struggling after four TDs his first two games. Since then,he's averaging 274.3 yards and only 0.67 TDs with one interception per game. Horrible numbers, and now he faces a Jets team that is holding quarterbacks to 211 yards and 0.25 TDs per game over their last four, outstanding numbers. If you can, avoid this matchup.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars (vs. Ravens)
Jones-Drew has been playing solid football, but he's nowhere near elite with a three-game average of 17.3 carries for 88.3 rushing yards and 0.3 TDs. This week, he's facing the Ravens, who are shutting backs down, holding them to only 74.3 rushing yards for no touchdowns in their last three. This is a matchup to avoid.

RB Steven Jackson, Rams (at Cowboys)
Jackson will enter his second healthy game after a 125-yard offensive performance against the Packers. He'll carry the load once again, but he's not the back he was and he faces a Cowboys defense allowing 67 yards and no touchdowns to opposing backs over its last three games. QB Sam Bradford has a high ankle sprain and could miss the game. Look for the Cowboys to focus on shutting Jackson down as they stack the line until the passing game shows it can keep them honest. 

WR Vincent Jackson, Chargers (at Jets)
Jackson has had two explosive games over 100 yards (in Week Two and Week Four) against two soft secondaries. He has a three-game average of six targets for 3.7 catches and 68.3 yards and 0.3 TDs — not what you expect from someone with his expectations, but not bad either. The Jets will probably have Darrelle Revis on him as much as possible and are only allowing 125.3 yards and 0.25 TDs per game over their last four. It might be hard to bench him, but if possible, avoid this matchup. 

WR Anquan Boldin, Ravens (at Jaguars)
The Jaguars are losing football games and struggling on offense, but defensively, they're one of the league's best. They're only allowing 116.3 yards and 0.5 TDs per game over the last four to receivers. Boldin finally came out of a three-game slump to go 8-132-0, but I don't see him doing that against the Jaguars. Before Week Six, his three-game average was 3.67 receptions for 49.3 yards and no TDs. Avoid this if possible.

TE Fred Davis, Redskins (at Panthers)
Davis has been inconsistent but can post great numbers when used. However, with the team changing quarterbacks, combined with a Panthers' team that can't stop the run, the Redskins will focus on pounding the ball. Partially because of their inability to stop any rushers, they're allowing only 59.5 yards and 0.17 touchdowns to tight ends this season. This isn't horrible, but if you can avoid it, do so.  

 

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