Every weekend in the NFL, a few of the league's top players end up striking out, putting their fantasy owners in a bind. Some of these instances are predictable, while others are not.
Nobody predicted Jimmy Graham would get shut out by the New England Patriots. No matter how much work you put into researching matchups and trends, the human element always plays a big role in determining how things will play out from week to week.
But doing your due diligence is never a bad thing.
With that in mind, here's a closer look at a few stars who have tough matchups in Week 7. Though it's certainly not a guarantee they'll struggle, the odds aren't in their favor.
Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams
Sam Bradford has been pure fantasy gold the past two weekends, throwing three touchdowns in both of his last two games. Granted, one of the teams he scorched was the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the other was the Houston Texans—one of the best teams in the league against the pass.
Unfortunately for Bradford and the Rams, a trip to Carolina will doom this nice streak to a shallow grave.
Heading into Week 6, the Panthers featured the league's best fantasy defense against opposing quarterbacks, allowing just 8.5 points per game. Matt Cassel threw just one touchdown and two interceptions on Sunday, further demonstrating this team's ability to shut down the pass.
Bradford has proved this year that he's capable of being a top-10 fantasy quarterback, but he'll struggle on the road in Week 7 against this stingy Panthers defense.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Since opening the season with a monster game against the Green Bay Packers, Colin Kaepernick has struggled more often than not.
He had a decent game in Week 6 against the Arizona Cardinals, totaling 270 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. His interception came on a play that was almost a third touchdown pass, but a brilliant tip at the line of scrimmage by Karlos Dansby turned it into a negative play for the young signal-caller.
Kaepernick is still capable of breaking out with huge games, but he'll struggle to match his performance against the Cardinals in road test against the Tennessee Titans in Week 7.
The Titans entered Week 6 with the second-best fantasy defense against the pass, allowing just 10.4 points per game. This unit performed admirably in Seattle on Sunday, too, holding Russell Wilson without a single touchdown pass.
The 49ers will likely attempt to lean heavily on their potent rushing attack on the road in this upcoming contest, and Kaepernick is a player you should consider keeping on your bench.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Larry Fitzgerald had a big game against the 49ers in Week 6, catching six passes for 117 yards—including a 75-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter that put Arizona up for the first and only time of the game.
It was his most productive outing of the season since opening up the year with two touchdowns against the Rams. Rather than gear up for another big game, however, fantasy owners would be wise to consider benching Fitzgerald in Week 7.
The Cardinals will host the Seahawks on Thursday Night Football.
As has been the case for the past few years, Seattle features one of the league's best defensive secondaries, and cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner have a history of shutting him down.
Last year, in the two meetings between these two teams, Fitzgerald was held to just five total receptions for 65 yards and zero touchdowns.
And though Carson Palmer has shown himself to be an upgrade over last year's pathetic crew of Cardinals signal-callers, he isn't much better. He threw two more interceptions against he 49ers in Week 6, bringing his yearly total up to 11.
Seattle's defense will feast, and Fitzgerald will be held in check.
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