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

2T25431 Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Marquise Brown (2) runs with the ball during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

• Start Geno Smith: The Seattle Seahawks quarterback hasn’t been a fantasy starter in most weeks, but he’s still playing well. This week is his best matchup of the season.

• Sit Gus Edwards: The Ravens' lead running back isn’t seeing enough volume to overcome the Detroit Lions run defense.

• Start Kyle Pitts: Pitts has finished as a top-10 fantasy tight end in back-to-back weeks, making him worthy of being a fantasy starter once again.

Estimated Reading Time: 14 minutes

Deciding who to start or sit in fantasy football can be as easy as looking at the PFF rankings and going with the higher-ranked player. 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.

WR:CB Matchup Chart



Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks
  • Smith is off to a slow start in 2023, averaging 13.9 points per game — which ranks 23rd among quarterbacks.
  • Smith has generally graded out well this season, earning a 77.6 overall grade, which is only a slight decrease from his mark last season.
  • His biggest problem from a fantasy perspective is he hasn’t been throwing touchdowns, averaging one per game compared to nearly two per game last year.
  • The Seahawks' schedule also hasn’t been very favorable yet. All five teams they’ve faced are anywhere from average to good at limiting passing yards.
  • The Seahawks have the second-best matchup for quarterbacks this week against the Arizona Cardinals, according to PFF's strength of schedule tool.
  • The Cardinals have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season and are surrendering 8.0 yards per passing attempt, which is tied for the third most among defenses.
  • Smith should gain plenty of yards in this favorable matchup, enough to make him a borderline fantasy starter. If he throws a touchdown or two, he will have one of the best games by a quarterback this week.

Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers
  • Purdy was off to an excellent start until last week’s game against the Cleveland Browns.
  • He posted a 75.0-plus PFF passing grade in Weeks 4 and 5 but put up a career-low 41.4 grade last week.
  • Purdy has a great chance to bounce back this week against the Minnesota Vikings.
  • The Vikings have allowed a catch on 75.2% of targets, the second-highest rate among defenses.
  • The 49ers’ offensive line has the fourth-largest advantage over the Vikings' defensive line, according to PFF's offensive line/defensive line matchup chart.
  • Purdy was under pressure on nearly half of his dropbacks last week, averaged 3.8 yards per attempt and was sacked twice while under pressure.
  • Over the season, he has averaged 9.8 yards per attempt without pressure and 6.1 with pressure.
  • Even if Purdy is down a skill player or two, he should still take advantage of the Vikings’ weaknesses.


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