Thursday Night Football starts off Week 7 with another NFC West rivalry as the Seahawks take on the Cardinals in Arizona. The last time the two teams played one another, it was a 58-0 Seattle shutout on the road. John Skelton was under center throwing for a grand total of 74 yards and four interceptions. Of course, the Cardinals did have a victory the last time the two teams played one another in the University of Phoenix Stadium. Regardless, Carson Palmer will look to crack a .500 record as Russell Wilson and the Seahawks try to get to a 6-1 record before an extended rest leading to Monday Night Football in Week 8.
For many fantasy leagues, this is right in the middle of the season. As usual, we're here to discuss what fantasy owners should expect as they shuffle their rosters to start off Week 7.
Russell Wilson: He'll continue to be a low-end QB1 regardless of the fact that his team seems to struggle on the road. Arizona's defense won't make things easy for Wilson, but he's averaging around 50 rushing yards per game. Even if his rushing totals fall short, Wilson should rebound from zero touchdowns in Week 6.
Wide receivers: Arizona has given up the 3rd fewest points to fantasy wide receivers this season. Tough defenses don't exactly bode well for Seattle wide receivers. The Seahawks are a run-first team, first and foremost. Of course Wilson will get the ball to his receivers when the opportunity presents itself, but there simply isn't enough reason to recommend starting Sidney Rice or Golden Tate when you look at the match up.
Running backs: Marshawn Lynch seems to get more work against tougher defenses. He'll likely continue putting up RB1 numbers against the Cardinals this week. They've been good against fantasy running backs, but Lynch will likely give them a challenge. He's a must-start as usual, and owners shouldn't sweat any risk to his production in Week 7.
Tight ends: Zach Miller is looking likely to return after a three week absence. Regardless, he'll remain a TE2. The Cardinals have given up the most points to fantasy tight ends, but they've faced Jimmy Graham, Owen Daniels, and Vernon Davis this season. The team will likely contain Miller well enough.
Defense/ Special teams: Arizona has given up a lot to fantasy defenses this season. Seattle is the second best fantasy defense at the moment. Seattle should be started in every league, as Palmer will likely find ways to turn the ball over even at home.
Carson Palmer: It's difficult to recommend starting Palmer on a short week against a defense that has allowed the 3rd fewest points to fantasy quarterbacks this season. Seattle held Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick to less than 120 passing yards early in the season, and Palmer doesn't have the ability to move the ball with his legs. While Palmer should crack 200 yards in the air, his knack for turning the ball over will hinder any glimmer of fantasy hope anyone can conjure up. He's barely a QB2 for Week 7.
Wide receivers: Larry Fitzgerald will likely be started in most leagues even though he's facing Seattle's secondary for Week 7. It's difficult to recommend benching Fitzgerald now that he has a quarterback that can get the ball downfield. It's still safe to expect WR2 numbers from Fitzgerald on Thursday. Palmer's erratic play can't be completely overlooked. His inconsistency as of late makes Michael Floyd a riskier start as Richard Sherman likely shadows Fitzgerald most of the evening. Consider Floyd a WR4 with some upside as Palmer is averaging 36 attempts a game. Andre Roberts isn't seeing many of those targets these days, making Fitzgerald and Floyd the only receivers worth considering in Arizona.
Running backs: Andre Ellington continues to trend toward being a solid option at running back in fantasy leagues. He's certainly a flex option even against a tough Seattle run defense. Ellington will likely prove to be a RB2 option within a matter of weeks at most. Rashard Mendenhall is starting to prove that his better days are behind him. Even if Mendenhall were the true starter in Arizona, he's still not worth starting against Seattle. Mendy may be nothing more than a handcuff within a matter of weeks.
Tight ends: Rob Housler was a great sleeper candidate for 2013 that never woke up. Many saw visions of Brandon Myers' 2012 chemistry flashing through their minds when Palmer moved to Arizona, but Housler hasn't made any fantasy impact in 2013. The Cardinals offense simply hasn't utilized him much. He's almost not worth keeping on a watch list, let alone your roster.
Defense/ Special teams: Seattle has been solid in limiting points to fantasy defenses this season. Arizona has showed flashes over the past six weeks, particularly at home. There are much better match ups than Arizona in Week 7, but they're worth a gamble in deeper leagues with limited options on the waiver wire. The Seahawks don't commit enough turnovers to excite any owners of Arizona, but they've been decent at limiting opponents on the scoreboard at home.