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Week 7 Rankings

By Cody Smith

Welcome back to the NFL Stefon Diggs!

Well not really, but kind of.

Diggs, who had been a relative no-show this season, exploded against a vulnerable Philadelphia defense and doubled his fantasy output from the first five weeks combined.

Through five weeks, Diggs had caught 16 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown (43.4 PPR fantasy points.) On Sunday, Diggs grabbed seven balls for 167 yards and three touchdowns (43.5 PPR fantasy points.)

The outburst made Diggs the top scoring fantasy player of the week and puts him back in the discussion as a weekly starter.

But can you trust him this week against a mid-tier Detroit defense? I think he makes a solid case for a WR3/flex option this week.

To see where he stacks up against fellow receivers, check out the wide receiver rankings below.

Injury Notes

Case Keenum is listed as questionable this week with both foot and shoulder injuries. You probably aren’t starting him anyway against an incredible San Francisco defense, but these injuries may drop Terry McLaurin a bit farther down the rankings.

It seems likely that Mitchell Trubisky will return from his shoulder injury this week against the Saints. This match-up is juicy, but you certainly haven’t forgotten how bad Trubisky looked just a few weeks ago, have you? I’m not starting Trubisky unless I’m in a two QB league, and even then I’m still holding my breath.

David Johnson is questionable early in the week with an ankle injury. It seems as though he might play, but expect a split workload with Chase Edmonds who has been steadily improving every week.

Alvin Kamara is dealing with what is being called an ankle/knee injury and did not practice on Wednesday. He’ll be ranked below as if he is playing, but there remains a possibility that he sits this one out. In that case, get your Latavius Murray shares ready against a vulnerable Bears defense. The Saints also signed Zach Zenner on Wednesday as a depth piece.

There is still a question mark over Todd Gurley this week after sitting last week out with a quad injury (unrelated to the arthritis in his knee.) Malcolm Brown is also questionable with an ankle injury, so keep an eye out. It may be time for Darrell Henderson to show what he can do. We saw flashes against the 49ers.

Chris Thompson (toe) is trending toward not playing and AP is dealing with a sore quad. Wendell Smallwood might get a chance in this one.

Amari Cooper (quad/ankle) seems to be trending toward not playing this week against the Eagles. This gives Michael Gallup a significant boost in the rankings.

Julio Jones has been limited in practice this week with a hip injury. He may also draw a tough match-up with the Rams’ new DB, Jalen Ramsey. You have to start him if he plays, but it could be a long day for Julio.

John Brown has been limited with a groin injury. Get your Cole Beasley shares ready.

Hollywood Brown also has been slowed with an ankle injury. Through Thursday, he has not practiced.

Others to keep an eye on: Chris Thompson (toe)/Adrian Peterson (quad), Julian Edelman (chest), Sterling Shepard (concussion), Davante Adams (toe), Tyrell Williams (heel).

Teams on a bye this week include the Browns, Buccaneers, Panthers and Steelers.


Quarterbacks I like

Don’t look now, but Kyler Murray found the end zone not once, not twice, but three times through the air against Atlanta last week (a new career high.) Another nice match-up awaits against the Giants’ 26th ranked secondary that has let four of six quarterbacks they’ve faced this season throw for over 300 yards. I’m locking in a top-5 performance from Murray weekend.

My Rank: QB4

ESPN Rank: QB7

Minshew Mania is not over yet! Gardner Minshew II gets a great match-up against the Bengals porous defense this week that has allowed teams to score frequently through the air. Minshew is coming off of a tough game, but I expect a bounce back showing from the young QB. Stream Minshew with confidence this weekend.

My Rank: QB8

ESPN Rank: QB13

Deshaun Watson tops my list as QB1 this week in a game against the Colts. Watson has found his stride, accounting for eight touchdowns over the past two weeks, making him the QB1 over that span by a wide margin. Last year in Indy, Watson threw for 375 yards and a pair of scores while rushing for 41 yards and an additional touchdown. I like his chances to repeat this weekend.

My Rank: QB1

ESPN Rank: QB5

Quarterbacks to avoid

Matt Ryan is getting a lot of love this week for a guy that is going to have Jalen Ramsey to deal with. Ramsey’s “back issue” more than likely healed itself Tuesday when the stud DB was shipped across the country to the LA Rams. I expect Ramsey to play and lock down Julio Jones, forcing Ryan to explore other options. The Rams should also be playing with a bit of a spark as they look to recover from a three-game losing streak. Side note: This may be a big game for Austin Hooper.

My Rank: QB13

ESPN Rank: QB4

Andy Dalton is struggling at football right now. A rushing score saved his day last weekend which would have otherwise been a single-digit fantasy day. This week Dalton faces the Jags who have held their own defensively this season. The Jags limited Teddy Bridgewater to 240 yards and a score through the air last week. Look for similar numbers at best for Dalton.

My Rank: QB23

ESPN Rank: QB19

Matthew Stafford is on this list for the second week in a row after a touchdown-less performance against Green Bay on Monday night. Stafford has a short week to prepare for a Minnesota defense that is 14th best against the pass. Stafford is currently QB15 on the season, and I believe that may be his ceiling this week.

My Rank: QB20

ESPN Rank: QB16

Quarterbacks Rankings

1. Deshaun Watson @Ind

2. Lamar Jackson @Sea

3. Russell Wilson vs. Bal

4. Kyler Murray @NYG

5. Patrick Mahomes @Den

6. Dak Prescott vs. Phi

7. Josh Allen vs. Mia

8. Gardner Minshew II @Cin

9. Aaron Rodgers vs. Oak

10. Tom Brady @NYJ

11. Carson Wentz @Dal

12. Jared Goff @Atl

13. Matt Ryan vs. LAR

14. Jimmy Garoppolo @Wsh

15. Jacoby Brissett vs. Hou

16. Daniel Jones vs. Ari

17. Philip Rivers @Ten

18. Kirk Cousins @Det

19. Mitchell Trubisky vs. NO

20. Matthew Stafford vs. Min

21. Joe Flacco vs. KC

22. Sam Darnold vs. NE

23. Andy Dalton vs. Jax

24. Ryan Tannehill vs. LAC

25. Teddy Bridgewater @Chi

26. Case Keenum vs. SF

27. Derek Carr @GB

28. Ryan Fitzpatrick @Buf

Running Backs I Like

Devonta Freeman faces the Rams this week and Freeman has been playing well lately. Though the Rams have been about average against the run, Freeman has been getting more involved in the passing game in the past few weeks. In Week 4 against the Titans, Freeman caught eight passes for 72 yards. Freeman also had a pair of receiving touchdowns against the Cardinals last week. I’m riding the hot hand this weekend with Freeman as an RB1

My Rank: RB7

ESPN Rank: RB12

Mark Ingram II also faces a mid-tier run defense this weekend with Seattle. Ingram hasn’t had a 100-yard rushing game since Week 3, but he has had a nose for the end zone. The veteran has scored seven touchdowns in six weeks, and the Seattle defense has allowed multiple rushing touchdowns in each of the last two games. I believe Ingram posts borderline RB1 numbers this week.

My Rank: RB9

ESPN Rank: RB16

Josh Jacobs somehow found a way to run all over the Bears’ defense two weeks ago before the Raiders bye week. Jacobs should come fresh off the bye against the 29th ranked run defense of Green Bay. The Raiders will also likely be without Tyrell Williams and maybe even Darren Waller who popped up on the injury report late in the week. This would certainly mean more work for the rookie play maker.

My Rank: RB8

ESPN Rank: RB18

Running Backs to Avoid

Chris Carson has a tough match-up this week against Baltimore. The Ravens allowed just 14 rushing yards to the Bengals last week and will now look to shut down the run-first Seahawks. Seattle also has not allowed a rushing touchdown in the last two games. Carson has rushed for over 100 yards in each of the last three weeks, and may get enough volume to produce numbers, but i think it will take 20-25 touches for Carson to have a huge impact against this highly rated defense.

My Rank: RB10

ESPN Rank: RB6

Phillip Lindsay is in a timeshare with Royce Freeman which already caps his numbers. Pair that with the fact he will be playing from behind against KC, and its a recipe for disaster.

My Rank: RB16

ESPN Rank: RB10

Aaron Jones will not be an RB1 as long as Jamaal Williams is healthy. It’s just as simple as that. Williams takes far too many touches away from Jones. This week Jones faces a tough Oakland defense that has allowed just one 100-yard rusher this season (Dalvin Cook.) Jones is ranked as a mid-tier RB2 this week for me.

My Rank: RB17

ESPN Rank: RB11

Runningback Rankings

1. Dalvin Cook @Det

2. Leonard Fournette @Cin

3. David Johnson @NYG

4. Saquon Barkley vs. Ari

5. Alvin Kamara @Chi

6. Ezekiel Elliott vs. Phi

7. Devonta Freeeman vs. LAR

8. Josh Jacobs @GB

9. Mark Ingram II @Sea

10. Chris Carson vs. Bal

11. Le’Veon Bell vs. NE

12. Todd Gurley @Atl

13. Marlon Mack vs. Hou

14. Derrick Henry vs. LAC

15. Melvin Gordon @Ten

16. Phillip Lindsay vs. KC

17. Aaron Jones vs. Oak

18. Kerryon Johnson vs. Min

19. James White @NYJ

20. Tevin Coleman @Wsh

21. Damein Williams @Den

22. Joe Mixon vs. Jax

23. Royce Freeman vs. KC

24. David Montgomery vs. NO

25. Jordan Howard @Dal

26. Matt Brieda @Wsh

27. Kenyan Drake @Buf

28. Frank Gore vs. Mia

29. Tarik Cohen vs. NO

30. Carlos Hyde @Ind

31. Austin Ekeler @Ten

32. Miles Sanders @Dal

33. Rex Burkhead @NYJ

34. Sony Michel @NYJ

35. Jamaal Williams vs. Oak

36. Chris Thompson vs. SF

37. LeSean McCoy @Den

38. Adrian Peterson vs. SF

39. Devin Singletary vs. Mia

40. Duke Johnson @Ind

41. Chase Edmonds @NYG

42. Wendell Smallwood vs. SF

43. Ito Smith vs. LAR

44. Latavius Murray @Chi

45. Nyheim Hines vs. Hou

46. Dion Lewis vs. LAC

47. Giovani Bernard vs. Jax

48. Mark Walton @Buf

49. J.D. McKissic vs. Min

50. Jalen Richard @GB

Wide Receivers I Like

Obviously the ESPN ranking posted below for Amari Cooper takes into account that the receiver may not play on Sunday, but I believe if he is a go, that he posts WR1 numbers. The current WR4 takes on the worst pass defense in the league on prime time Sunday night. Watch for Cooper to absolutely explode if he plays.

My Rank: WR1

ESPN Rank: WR43

Tyler Lockett has caught every one of his targets over the last three weeks. The problem is those targets only add up to 13. For perspective, Lockett had 14 targets in Week 3 alone. Lockett faces the Ravens this week who have recently brought in Marcus Peters. I expect Lockett’s targets to spike back up this week in a productive, high-scoring game. Lock in Lockett as a WR1.

My Rank: WR7

ESPN Rank: WR11

Christian Kirk has been limited in practice this week, but things are looking up for the young receiver. The Cardinals offense is clicking and gets a crack at the lowly Giants pass defense this weekend. If Kirk plays I believe he is a must start in flex spots. Kirk has seen double digit targets in two of four games played this season.

My Rank: WR28


Wide Receivers to Avoid

T.Y. Hilton has a juicy match-up with the Texans this week, but I’m expecting limited production. Last season’s home game against Houston saw Hilton catch just four passes. Hilton also saw just four targets in his last game in a match-up with Kansas City. I’m fading Hilton this week, but he remains a mid-tier WR2. Play him, but lower your expectations.

My Rank: WR15

ESPN Rank: WR6

Kenny Golladay has seen his fair share of targets this week. In five games, Golladay has not been targeted less than eight times. Thanks to some early game trickery last week, Golladay hauled in five passes for 121 yards against Green Bay. Minnesota is the 19th ranked pass defense, though a lot of that has to do with the Vikings allowing 20 catches, 206 yards and two touchdowns to Atlanta in Week 1. Golladay may be slowed down by this defense on Sunday.

My Rank: WR19

ESPN Rank: WR8

Tyler Boyd faces Jacksoville this week and may draw attention from A.J. Bouye with A.J. Green still out of the picture. Boyd has struggled a bit recently with three catches for 10 yards against Baltimore last week and three catches for 33 yards against Pittsburgh in Week 4. Boyd may get shut down for the third time in four weeks Sunday.

My Rank: WR18

ESPN Rank: WR10

Wide Receiver Rankings

1. Amari Cooper vs. Phi

2. Michael Thomas @Chi

3. Cooper Kupp @Atl

4. Julio Jones vs. LAR

5. DeAndre Hopkins @Ind

6. Keenan Allen @Ten

7. Tyler Lockett vs. Bal

8. Julian Edelman @NYJ

9. Adam Thielen @Det

10. DJ Chark Jr. @Cin

11. Courtland Sutton vs. KC

12. Larry Fitzgerald @NYG

13. Robert Woods @Atl

14. Tyreek Hill @Den

15. T.Y. Hilton vs. Hou

16. Allen Robinson vs. NO

17. Alshon Jeffery @Dal

18. Tyler Boyd vs. Jax

19. Kenny Golladay vs. Min

20. Michael Gallup vs. Phi

21. Calvin Ridley vs. LAR

22. Brandin Cooks @Atl

23. Emmanuel Sanders vs. KC

24. Will Filler V @Ind

25. John Brown vs. Mia

26. Terry McLaurin vs. SF

27. Jamison Crowder vs. NE

28. Christian Kirk @NYG

29. Stefon Diggs @Det

30. Marvin Jones Jr. vs. Min

31. Mohammed Sanu vs. LAR

32. Dede Westbrook @Cin

33. Cole Beasley vs. Mia

34. Golden Tate vs. Ari

35. DK Metcalf vs. Bal

36. Phillip Dorsett II @NYJ

37. Auden Tate vs. Jax

38. Mike Williams @Ten

39. Allen Lazard vs. Oak

40. Nelson Agholor @Dal

41. Willie Snead IV @Sea

42. Demarcus Robinson @Den

43. Mecole Hardman @Den

44. Darius Slayton vs. Ari

45. DeVante Parker @Buf

46. Preston Williams @Buf

47. Corey Davis vs. LAC

48. Adam Humphries vs. LAC

49. Robby Anderson vs. NE

50. Demaryius Thomas vs. NE

Tight Ends I Like

Zach Ertz has been somewhat pedestrian this season. The record-setting tight end of last year has just 33 catches for 366 yards and a lone touchdown this season. Ertz has caught more than five passes in a game just twice this season. I think a match-up with the Cowboys may be just what Ertz needs. Last season, Ertz went 14-145-2 in a match-up with the Cowboys. Dallas has the 28th ranked defense against the tight end this season. I believe things open up for Ertz Sunday night.

My Rank: TE2

ESPN Rank: TE6

This will be the first time you see T.J. Hockenson’s name in the likes. It may also be the only time this season. Hockeson has dropped more touchdowns this season than he has caught, but Stafford keeps going back to the well. I think Hockenson scores this weekend against the 25th ranked Vikings defense who have allowed a pair of 100 yard games to tight ends this season.

My Rank: TE9

ESPN Rank: TE13

Tight Ends To Avoid

Gerald Everett will be in a shootout Sunday, but I expect Jared Goff to be looking for his stud wide receivers over Everett. Atlanta is better at covering the tight end than the wide receivers which should limit Everett’s targets even more.

My Rank: TE14

ESPN Rank: TE8

Tight end Rankings

1. Evan Engram vs. Ari

2. Zach Ertz @Dal

3. Mark Andrews @Sea

4. Austin Hooper vs. LAR

5. Travis Kelce @Den

6. George Kittle @Wsh

7. Hunter Henry @Ten

8. Darren Waller @GB

9. T.J. Hockenson vs. Min

10. Jason Witten vs. Phi

11. Jimmy Graham vs. Oak

12. Delanie Walker vs. LAC

13. Jared Cook @Chi

14. Gerald Everett @Atl

15. Darren Fells @Ind

16. Dawson Knox vs. Mia

17. Jack Doyle vs. Hou

18. Vernon Davis vs. SF

19. Eric Ebron vs. Hou

20. Dallas Goedert @Dal

21. Noah Fant vs. KC

22. Tyler Higbee @Atl

23. Jordan Akins @Ind

24. Trey Burton vs. NO

25. Rhett Ellison vs. Ari

Week 6 likes/dislikes

Quarterback likes

Andy Dalton: My Rank - QB16; ESPN Rank - QB21; Actual finish - QB18

Phillip Rivers: My Rank - QB12; ESPN Rank - QB15; Actual finish - QB16

Kyle Allen: My Rank - QB13; ESPN Rank - QB16; Actual finish - QB14

Quarterback dislikes

Aaron Rodgers: My Rank - QB14; ESPN Rank - QB9; Actual finish - QB12

Jared Goff: My Rank - QB19; ESPN Rank - QB12; Actual finish - QB30

Matthew Stafford: My Rank - QB18; ESPN Rank - QB14; Actual finish - QB21

Running Back likes

Mark Ingram II: My Rank - RB16; ESPN Rank - RB21; Actual finish - RB14

James Connor: My Rank - RB18; ESPN Rank - RB27; Actual finish - RB1

Rex Burkhead: My Rank - RB21; ESPN Rank - RB29; Actual finish - N/A

Running Back dislikes

David Johnson: My Rank - RB14; ESPN Rank - RB8; Actual finish - RB3

Melvin Gordon: My Rank - RB20; ESPN Rank - RB12; Actual finish - RB34

Tevin Coleman: My Rank - RB25; ESPN Rank - RB14; Actual finish - RB16

Wide Receiver likes

Amari Cooper: My Rank - WR2; ESPN Rank - WR8; Actual finish - WR94

Mike Evans: My Rank - WR5; ESPN Rank - WR16; Actual finish - WR9

Courtland Sutton: My Rank - WR15; ESPN Rank - WR23; Actual finish - WR27

Wide Receiver dislikes

Odell Beckham Jr.: My Rank - WR16; ESPN Rank - WR7; Actual finish - WR18

Kenny Golladay: My Rank - WR20; ESPN Rank - WR11; Actual finish - WR14

Golden Tate: My Rank - NR; ESPN Rank - WR37; Actual Finish - WR8

Tight End likes

Austin Hooper: My Rank - TE1; ESPN Rank - TE5; Actual finish - TE2

Tight End dislikes

Delanie Walker: My Rank - TE10; ESPN Rank - TE8; Actual finish - TE17

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