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NFL Week 7 fantasy football start ’em, sit ’em

Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Romeo Doubs (87) is unable to make a catch while defended by New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) during the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY NETWORK

Start Trevor Lawrence: He is slowly but surely becoming a fantasy starting quarterback and has a great matchup to take advantage of.

Bench Melvin Gordon III: He might be starting for the Broncos, but his quality of play mixed with a three-man rotation won’t be enough for him to be starting for your fantasy team.

Start Romeo Doubs: Doubs has been worthy of fantasy starting lineups since becoming a clear starter in Green Bay, and he has a solid matchup to sweeten the deal.

Estimated Reading Time: X mins

Deciding who to start or sit can be as easy as looking at the PFF rankings and starting the player ranked higher. This start ’em, sit ’em column digs a step deeper, looking into why someone you might typically start might not have a good week, or why someone overlooked might have a good week. In many cases, it’s the usual starters who should star, but we want to explore the borderline players, too.

QUARTERBACKS

START

Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders
  • Carr has finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in three of his past four games.
  • He’s thrown 20 passes into the end zone — the most among quarterbacks.
  • All eight of Carr’s touchdowns have occurred this season when he wasn’t under pressure.
  • He has an 86.6 PFF grade without pressure and a 46.6 mark with pressure over the past two seasons.
  • The Raiders' offensive line has the ninth-best matchup against the Texans' pass rush, according to PFF's offensive line/defensive line matchup chart.
  • Houston has a 61.3 team pass-rush grade, which ranks fourth-worst, and 71 total pressures, which ranks fifth-fewest.
Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Lawrence finished as QB4 last week, which was his second top-four finish of the season and third game as a top-12 quarterback in the past five weeks.
  • His 0.49 fantasy points per dropback are 11th-most among quarterbacks.
  • The Jaguars have the seventh-best matchup for quarterbacks, according to PFF's strength of schedule tool.
  • The Jaguars face the Giants, who have the 10th-worst secondary so far this season.
  • Lawrence has a 5.6% big-time throw rate against man defenses compared to 2.5% against zone in his career.
  • Similarly, Lawrence has thrown a touchdown on 4.2% of his passes against man defenses compared to 0.7% against zone.
  • The Giants are one of three teams to run man defense on over 47% of pass plays.

SIT

Daniel Jones, New York Giants
  • Jones has finished as a top-12 quarterback only once in his six games this season despite currently sitting at QB16 on the season.
  • His 0.6% big-time throw rate is the lowest among quarterbacks this season.
  • The Giants will likely still be without their top two outside wide receivers.
  • Their game against the Jaguars is expected to be one of the lowest-scoring contests of the week.
Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos
  • Wilson has finished as a top-12 quarterback only once in his six games this season despite currently sitting at QB17 on the season.
  • His 58.7 PFF pass grade is the lowest for a quarterback with over 200 dropbacks, in part thanks to his 70.5% adjusted completion percentage, which is also the lowest.
  • The Broncos face the Jets, who have the eighth-best secondary so far this season.
  • Denver is a slight favorite, so they can employ a good run-pass balance that might not accumulate many passing yards.

RUNNING BACKS

START

Ken Walker, Seattle Seahawks
  • Walker was RB8 in his first game as a starter after finishing RB19 the week before.
  • He received a clear majority of snaps on early downs and saw encouraging usage on third downs.
  • His 0.39 fantasy points per snap is the 12th-highest mark among running backs this season.
  • He’s averaged an avoided tackle every other carry, which is the best rate among running backs this season.
  • The rookie is running behind an offensive line that used to be a liability but has slowly but surely climbed to an average unit.
  • The Seahawks face the Chargers, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs this season, including the fourth-most rushing yards (694).

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