4 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups to Exploit in Week 7

When playing daily fantasy football, we should be matchup sensitive when rostering players. One star player can go from a great play to a horrible one based on his opponents and the specific individual matchup might play a huge role in that. Since we can play any player we want on a given slate, it makes sense to pick players in the best matchups. This will raise both their floor and their ceiling and should lead to us having some winning lineups.

Week 7 has some clear mismatches that we can take advantage of, so let's look at four of them.

Cincinnati's Passing Offense vs. Atlanta's Pass Defense

The Cincinnati Bengals rode their young, talented passing attack all the way to the last game of the season last year. We haven't seen a ton of big performances from them yet, but the offense is coming off one of its better games of the season. This might be the week we see them break a slate.

Joe Burrow ($8,300) hasn't had many huge games until last week when he threw three touchdowns and ran for one while also hitting the 300-yard mark for the first time since Week 1.

Ja'Marr Chase ($8,500) was the beneficiary of that, as he had 132 yards and two scores. Tee Higgins ($7,100) saw nine targets and turned them into 47 yards, but he was back to a full practice schedule this week after being a bit hampered by an ankle injury. These two have combined for a 44.4% target share, which includes a game in which Higgins was only able to play 10 snaps, so playing this double stack is a great way to utilize the Bengals this week.

Cincinnati is at home against the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are 26th in numberFire's pass defense metric and 32nd in passing success rate allowed. They are dead last in pressure rate, as well, so Burrow should have plenty of time to pick them apart.

The Bengals have an implied team total of 27.0 points, and this could be the week we really see this double stack explode.

Austin Ekeler vs. Seattle's Running Back Defense

After a slow start to the season, Austin Ekeler ($9,500) has been the back we want him to be over the last three weeks. His role as a pass catcher who also gets work near the goal line is a fantastic one for fantasy. This week should see him continue to make his fantasy managers happy.

Ekeler has seen 52 targets, 8 more than any other running back. He is currently on pace for 116 catches, which would tie the record for a running back in a season. He has also seen 10 red-zone carries in the last three games after only seeing 2 in the first three games. Ekeler should be in a great spot on Sunday given his matchup.

The Los Angeles Chargers are facing a Seattle Seahawks that has struggled in most aspects of defense this season. They rank 30th by numberFire's metrics and 26th against the run.

Specifically against running backs in the passing game, they are 29th in adjusted fantasy points allowed per target, which means if Ekeler continues to see huge volume in the passing game, he can do lots of damage.

The Chargers are five-point favorites at home this week against Seattle. Ekeler is the type of back we love because he isn't dependent on game script for fantasy points. If the Chargers fall behind, he can see targets, and if they go ahead, he likely will have already scored at least one touchdown. He's in play for all formats this week.

Dallas' Running Game vs. Detroit's Run Defense

This is one that many people will not want to play, and that's not unreasonable. However, the spot is very good for both Dallas Cowboys running backs this week, and we could see one of them have a big game.

No one wants to roster Ezekiel Elliott ($6,900) anymore, as the back has cleared double-digit FanDuel points just twice in six games. He does have over 15 touches in four of six games this season, though, and has reached a new season-high in rush yards in each of the past two weeks. He is a bit touchdown-dependent to have a true ceiling game, but Dallas should be able to move the ball, and those touchdowns could come.

There is also merit to playing Tony Pollard ($6,500) in large-field tournaments. Pollard looks like the more explosive runner for the Cowboys this season and is the only back to top 100 yards on the team this season. In the game last week where Dallas was trailing for the majority of the time, Pollard saw 11 carries and 3 targets. If Dallas is trying to salt the game away, it might not just be Elliott, as Pollard could easily mix in with some carries.

The Cowboys get a very soft matchup at home against the Detroit Lions. Our metrics have Detroit as the worst defense against both the run and the pass. They are 31st in adjusted fantasy points allowed per carry and 25th on a per target basis.

With Dak Prescott just coming back from injury, the Cowboys' game plan might be to just run it down their throats. Teams run on Detroit at the fifth-highest rate in the league and have had lots of success doing so.

Dallas has the highest implied team total on the week. It may not feel comfortable clicking on either of these guys, but making an uncomfortable play can be a key strategy in taking down tournaments with hundreds of thousands of entries.

Tampa Bay's Defense vs. Carolina's Offense

Well, this was a big mismatch on paper even a few weeks ago. Things have gotten even worse for the Carolina Panthers since then. They are in for a very rough afternoon on Sunday.

P.J. Walker has had to take over as the starting quarterback for the Panthers after Baker Mayfield got injured. Walker has a career 5.6% interception rate and has taken 4 sacks on 26 drop backs this season.

His main target last week was Christian McCaffrey, who saw 8 of 21 passes thrown his direction. With McCaffrey now gone via trade, it remains to be seen where Walker will deliver the ball -- if he is able to get passes off at all.

This sets up great for the Tampa Bay D/ST ($5,000). They are second in the league in adjusted sack rate and have forced nine turnovers in six games. They are facing a Carolina offensive line that is 29th in adjusted sack rate allowed and will massively struggle to move the ball.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 13.0-point road favorites in this game. It's tough to imagine a defense this good failing in this situation. FanDuel likes to cap the salary for a defense at $5,000, but this is a situation where they could be even higher. The Bucs' D offers some great upside for tournament lineups, especially if people are looking for value at the position.

Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.