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RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: Week 7

Welcome back for the Week 7 edition of “Red Light, Green Light”, your matchup guide for all of this weekend’s (and Monday’s) NFL contests. While this piece is not intended to be solely a start/bench list, it can be used for some of those decisions as well.

In each NFL Week 7 game profile below, players mentioned in the green light sections have a great matchup, and can be counted on as rock solid options for the week. Players mentioned in the yellow light sections have just an okay matchup and/or usage concerns, meaning they are passable fantasy options but don’t expect them to set the world on fire. Players in the red light sections have serious concerns, and need to have expectations lowered for the week, and/or should be avoided if possible. Remember, seeing your stud listed in the yellow or red light section isn’t necessarily grounds to bench them, but more of an indication they may not be the guy(s) carrying your team to victory this week.

Note: Fantasy points allowed statistics are based off of the Fantasy Sharks default PPR scoring system.

Bye Week Teams: Green Bay, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Seattle

Tennessee Titans at Los Angeles Chargers (Wembley Stadium, London)

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Titans Chargers
Quarterback 28th 12th
Running Back 28th 20th
Wide Receiver 17th 15th
Tight End 29th 17th
Defense/Special Teams 3rd 30th
Vegas Line: Chargers -6.5
Vegas Over/Under: 45.5
green-light
  • Melvin Gordon – Has been completely immune to matchups all season. The Titans allow the 9th-most rushing yards per game, and finally gave up their first two rushing touchdowns to Baltimore last Sunday.
  • Chargers D/ST – The Titans have now given up the fifth-most sacks in the NFL after Baltimore dragged their QB down 11 times in Week 6, and the team as a whole has scored 20 points or less in five of six contests this season.
yellow-light
  • Philip Rivers – Hasn’t thrown fewer than two pass touchdowns in any contest this season, and his 15:3 touchdown/interception ratio is by far a career high. The main concern here is the Chargers jump to a large lead early (as they did a week ago), and allow the ground game to take over.
  • Keenan Allen – Has just one weekly performance with over 70 receiving yards since Week 1. though he remains the Chargers’ highest targeted receiver over that same span.
  • Corey Davis – Has accumulated just 4-73-0 on 10 targets in two contests since his big 161-yard effort in Week 4, though he’s faced some tough opposition in those matchups. The Chargers have allowed some big games to opposing wideouts earlier this season, and Tennessee figures to be throwing frequently as near-touchdown underdogs.
red-light
  • Marcus Mariota – His 344 yard performance is starting to look more and more like an outlier, as Mariota has failed to even clear 129 passing yards in any of his other 2018 starts.
  • Derrick Henry/Dion Lewis – The Titans rank 22nd in rushing yards per game, a number that would likely be even lower if you excluded Mariota’s contributions on the ground. Even Lewis’ pass catching prowess isn’t being put to good use, as he’s caught more than three balls just once over the Titans’ past five contests.
  • Mike Williams – Paging Mr. Williams….with another 1-4-0 effort on four targets last week, the second-year wideout continues to do little since what appeared to be his coming out party in Week 3.
  • Tyrell Williams – Despite last week’s 118 yards and two scores, Williams hasn’t caught more than three balls in any game this season.
  • Titans D/ST – This group continues to be victimized by the offense’s inability to sustain drives, and the Chargers have been putting up points at will this season (29.2 per game, fifth in the NFL).

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Bengals Chiefs
Quarterback 7th 5th
Running Back 9th 1st
Wide Receiver 12th 10th
Tight End 3rd 4th
Defense/Special Teams 26th 32nd
Vegas Line: Chiefs -6
Vegas Over/Under: 
58
green-light
  • Patrick Mahomes – Fantasy’s highest scoring quarterback playing in the contest with the highest weekly over/under should be a recipe for success.
  • Kareem Hunt – There’s that pass game usage we’ve been looking for, as Hunt put up a 5-105-1 line on a season-high six targets last Sunday night to go along with 80 rushing yards. The Bengals are allowing 153 total yards per contest to opposing backfields.
  • Tyreek Hill – Due for a boom week, Hill didn’t disappoint in Week 6 with a 7-146-3 line on 12 targets against the Patriots. Another big outing could be in store for Hill here, as the Bengals have allowed four wideouts to go over 100 receiving yards in the past three weeks.
  • Travis Kelce – Held in check by the Patriots last Sunday night (which for Kelce is 5-61-0), and should fare much better against a Bengals defense allowing the 9th-most receiving yardage per game to opposing tight ends.
  • Andy Dalton – Not putting up big weekly yardage totals, but has at least two touchdown passes in all but one game this season. Dalton’s arm should be getting worked out plenty as the Bengals trade offensive blows with the Chiefs.
  • Joe Mixon – Hasn’t missed a beat since returning from a knee injury, as Mixon has amassed 199 total yards and two touchdowns over his past two contests. The Chiefs have allowed the most all-purpose yardage to opposing backfields this season.
  • A.J. Green – The Chiefs give up 180 receiving yards per game to opposing wideouts, though it’s been more of an aggregated effort as they actually haven’t allowed an individual receiver to top 100 yards since Week 2. Nevertheless, Green is in a great spot against an overmatched secondary.
  • Tyler Boyd – Has really come into his own as a third-year breakout. Boyd has at least 100 receiving yards or a touchdown in four of six contests.
yellow-light
  • Sammy Watkins – Not counting Week 4 where Watkins departed early due to injury, he’s put up at least 78 receiving yards or scored in three games, while posting 21 yards or less in two. In a contest that projects as high scoring as this one, Watkins should be more involved than he was last Sunday night (2-18-0 on 4 targets).
  • C.J. Uzomah – Put up a respectable 6-54-0 on 7 targets as the Bengals’ every-down tight end last Sunday. With no imminent return expected for Tyler Kroft, Uzomah is squarely in the streaming conversation against the NFL’s second-worst defense in terms of receiving yards allowed per game to opposing tight ends.
  • Giovani Bernard – Has a chance to return to game action after reportedly being close last week. If he does suit up, Bernard’s touches figure to remain in the low single digits with Mixon running well.

Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Browns Buccaneers
Quarterback 26th 1st
Running Back 7th 8th
Wide Receiver 9th 2nd
Tight End 19th 1st
Defense/Special Teams 6th 21st
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay -3.5
Vegas Over/Under: 
49.5
  • Jarvis Landry – The Baker Mayfield experience hasn’t exactly been kind to Landry, who has just 11-114-1 total over three Mayfield starts. Nevertheless, Landry has 29 targets over that same span, so look for a significant production spike against a
  • David Njoku – Targeted 23 times the past two weeks. Tampa Bay allows 97 receiving yards per game to opposing tight ends, which is the worst in the NFL.
  • Jameis Winston – His first 2018 start last Sunday against Atlanta was a mix of good (four touchdown passes) and bad (two boneheaded turnovers). Cleveland has intercepted the same number of passes as they’ve allowed touchdowns to opposing QBs (9).
  • Mike Evans – With Winston back at center, Evans saw his target market share drop to just 12.5 percent. While it would be surprising to see that figure remain that low for a second week in a row, it’s been apparent going back to last season that Winston spreads the ball around.
  • DeSean Jackson/Chris Godwin – Each co-lead the Bucs last Sunday with 9 targets apiece. Godwin has scored in four of five contests this season, while Jackson has at least 77 receiving yards all but one game over that same span.
  • Peyton Barber – Rumors of Barber losing his stranglehold on the Bucs backfield over the bye week appeared unfounded, as he finished Week 6 with 106 total yards and a score on 17 touches. Opposing running backs have been a sore spot for the Browns defense all season long.
  • O.J. Howard – Showed no ill effects from the knee injury suffered in Week 4, as Howard went 4-62-1 on four targets last Sunday. The Browns aren’t the tight end sieve they were a season ago though.
  • Baker Mayfield – Was reportedly slowed by an ankle injury in Week 6, though Mayfield’s status shouldn’t be affected going forward. The Bucs are the NFL’s current leader in passing yards allowed per contest, and are tied with Atlanta for most passing touchdowns allowed (16) despite having played one fewer game.
  • Antonio Callaway – As with teammate Landry, this is a perfect spot for the rookie wideout to capitalize on the smattering of targets he’s been seeing (24 over the past three weeks).
  • Ronald Jones – While remaining active on game days is a step in the right direction for Jones, he touched the ball just four times last Sunday, and still appears squarely behind Peyton Barber on the Bucs’ depth chart.
  • Carlos Hyde – Saw a season-low 14 touches last weekend that he turned into just 34 rushing yards last Sunday. With just six receptions on the the season, Hyde may not fit into this week’s game plan as the Bucs’ allow just 66.2 yards per game on the ground to opposing rushers.
  • Nick Chubb – Has yet to carry the ball more than three times in a game this season despite weekly promises from the Browns coaching staff to get Chubb more involved.
  • Browns D/ST – Have given up some high point totals to the opposition in recent weeks (45 to Oakland, 38 to the L.A. Chargers). Tampa Bay averages 28.2 points per game.

Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Panthers Eagles
Quarterback 17th 14th
Running Back 24th 25th
Wide Receiver 18th 6th
Tight End 7th 31st
Defense/Special Teams 24th 17th
Vegas Line: Eagles -5
Vegas Over/Under: 
45.5
  • Zach Ertz – His nine Week 6 targets were actually a season low, which is a testament to how dominant Ertz has been this season.
  • Cam Newton – Has accounted for at least two touchdowns in every game since Week 1. Philadelphia ranks 10th in the NFL with 273 passing yards allowed per contest.
  • Devin Funchess – Retained a 21.1 percent market share of targets in Week 6 despite TE Olsen’s return to health. The Eagles are allowing 110.2 receiving yards per contest to no. 1 wideouts per Football Outsiders.
  • Christian McCaffrey – Faces the NFL’s second-best rush defense in terms of yards allowed on the ground. McCaffrey typically makes up for any lack of success running the ball via the air.
  • Panthers D/ST – The Eagles allow the 10th-most quarterback sacks per game, while linemen Jason Peters (bicep) and Lane Johnson (ankle) are operating at less than 100 percent.
  • Carson Wentz – Continues to improve each and every week, and is averaging 298 passing yards per contest on the season. The Panthers aren’t an imposing pass defense, but aren’t a pushover either.
  • Alshon Jeffery – Has seen is target market share increase each week since returning in Week 4. The Panthers have allowed just two wideouts to go over 100 yards against them this season, while the rest have put up just 75 or less.
  • Corey Clement/Wendell Smallwood – Expected to share the load against a Panthers defense allowing the 9th-fewest rushing yards to opposing backfields.
  • Nelson Agholor – Has seen five or fewer targets in three of the past four games. The Panthers aren’t generous enough to opposing wideouts for Agholor to have a good shot at a breakout.
  • Eagles D/ST – Carolina’s offensive line may have some difficulty with the Eagles’ pass rush, though QB Newton’s willingness to tuck the ball an run aids him in being one of the least-sacked signal callers in the NFL this season.
  • Greg Olsen – Went 4-48-0 on seven targets last week in his first game back after exiting Week 1 with a foot injury. Olsen has a tough matcup against an Eagles defense allowing just 38 yards per game to opposing tight ends.
  • D.J. Moore – Recorded 77 total yards last Sunday, but also last two fumbles. We’ll see if there are any repercussions for the turnovers.

About Will Weiler

An NFL Red Zone addict and all-around data nerd, I've been obsessed with the NFL and stats ever since I started playing the virtual pigskin game in 2005.