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Week 7 Rankings

By Cody Smith

Things have been shaken up a bit this week in the rankings, as Le’Veon Bell should officially join the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend for their matchup with the Denver Broncos.

What will this do to Clyde Edwards-Helaire? Can both Bell and CEH be started? These questions will be answered this coming weekend when we get an idea of how the new duo will be utilized in one of the most effective offenses in the NFL.

I would play both but be a bit reserved on my expectations. If you have players with a higher upside that you can slide into lineups, I wouldn’t be afraid to do so for at least this week.

This wasn’t the only shake up this week, as the Miami Dolphins have announced that Ryan Fitzpatrick is headed to the bench in favor of rookie Tua Tagovailoa.

This move makes no sense to me, as the Dolphins were rolling along – probably overachieving at 3-3 on the season – and decided to bench a veteran QB that had the team playing well.

Suddenly, savvy fantasy owners are looking for a replacement for their top-12 quarterback on the season headed into a Dolphins bye week. I don’t think it’s Tua Time yet regarding adding him to your fantasy rosters, but you have to look somewhere for a replacement, especially in two quarterback or Superflex leagues

So, let’s look ahead to the week right in from of us. Here are your week seven rankings!

Teams on bye this week: Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins.

Injury Notes

The Browns threw Baker Mayfield to the wolves Sunday after nursing him through practice all week with sore ribs. He faced a ton of pressure against a stout Pittsburgh defense and took another beating. He is still being limited at practice this week, but I would imagine if the Browns played him last week, they would probably trot him out there again this week despite his poor fantasy performance.

Sam Darnold took first team reps in practice on Wednesday and looks to be returning under center this weekend. If he is back, I still would shy away playing him in fantasy.

An update on Christian McCaffrey came out this week, as head coach Matt Rhule stated that he will not return this week, but there is hope for week eight. Keep a watchful eye on McCaffrey as he may be returning soon.

Miles Sanders is missing Thursday’s game against the Giants with a knee injury suffered during a 9-118 week against the Ravens. Boston Scott will see a huge jump up the rankings due to this, with Corey Clement cracking the top-50 as well.

Joe Mixon is listed as questionable this week after suffering a foot injury last week. He hasn’t practiced yet this week, but I’m sure it is just precautionary. I expect him to suit up this weekend against the Browns. In the same game Kareem Hunt is listed as questionable with a rib injury. He played banged up last week, so I expect him to be a go again this week.

Raheem Mostert is listed as doubtful this week with a high ankle sprain. He will likely miss multiple weeks here, so Jerick McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty look to take most of the backfield work.

DeAndre Hopkins missed practice Wednesday with an ankle injury. This is something to keep an eye on with Hopkins coming off just a two-catch game where Kyler Murray completed a total on nine passes on the night. He should be fine this week and should take advantage of a weak Seattle secondary.

Julio Jones is still questionable with a hamstring injury. He played through it last week to the tune of eight receptions for 137 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He should be a go this weekend. Teammate Calvin Ridley is also questionable with an elbow injury. He also should be fine coming off a 6-61-1 performance where he was banged up.

Mike Evans did not practice Wednesday, but he didn’t last week either and still played through his ankle injury. He’ll be good to go this week.

Keenan Allen went down with a back injury two weeks ago against New Orleans. Coming off a bye week, Coach Anthony Lynn says he will be “fine” though he was limited in Wednesday’s practice. Allen clearly isn’t 100 percent just yet which makes me nervous, but he should end up playing and should be in fantasy lineups this weekend.

Jamison Crowder popped up on the injury report after a seven-catch performance last week. He was limited Wednesday with a groin injury that seemed to pop up out of nowhere, so keep an eye on practice reports this week.

Jonnu Smith played through a quad injury last week but suffered a new ankle injury while catching just one pass for 13 yards on two targets. Smith may play through this week, as he was limited in practice Wednesday, but Anthony Firkser would be the guy if he can’t go against Pittsburgh this weekend.

Robert Tonyan suffered an ankle injury against the Buccaneers last weekend. He did not return to the game after suffering the injury and did not practice Wednesday. Keep an eye on Tonyan this week as he may miss due to this injury.

Zach Ertz will miss 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain. He can probably be dropped for fantasy purposes. With Dallas Goedert still on the mend as well, Richard Rodgers will be the Eagles’ starting tight end this week.

Noah Fant looks to return from an ankle injury this week that occurred before the team’s week five bye and kept him out against the Patriots in week six. He was limited in practice Wednesday, so I’m expecting him to play. Hopefully, he can make an impact like he had in the first four games of the season.

Others to keep an eye on: Justin Jackson (knee), Sony Michel (quad), Jeff Wilson Jr. (calf), Carlos Hyde (shoulder), D.J. Chark (ankle), Laviska Shenault Jr. (hamstring), Jarvis Landry (hip/ribs), Juju Smith-Schuster (knee), Julian Edelman (knee), Sammy Watkins (hamstring), Scotty Miller (hip/groin), John Brown (knee), Curtis Samuel (knee), Chris Godwin (hamstring), Marvin Jones Jr. (knee), Danny Ameldola (foot), Rob Gronkowski (shoulder), Logan Thomas (neck), Jordan Akins (concussion), Tyler Eifert (neck), Will Dissly (Achilles), David Njoku (shoulder).

Quarterbacks I Like

Kyler Murray made this list last week and finished QB5, so I’m keeping him here this week. Surprisingly, Murray completed just nine passes against Dallas, but those nine passes were effective, accounting for a pair of passing touchdowns. He also ran for a TD in the game. This week Murray faces another weak defense and I’m expecting a bounce back from his 9-24 passing performance last week. Expect another top-five week from Murray here.

Aaron Rodgers is set up for a big game this week. The Packers need a bounce back after an embarrassing loss to Tampa Bay in “America’s Game of the Week” last week. Rodgers threw a pair of picks in the game and had no touchdowns in a performance that saw him record just 3.8 fantasy points. He’ll bounce back against Houston this week who allowed four passing touchdowns to Ryan Tannehill last week. They’ve also allowed at least 300 passing yards in two straight games to Tannehill and Gardner Minshew. Aaron Rodgers should make that three in a row.

Quarterbacks to Avoid

Jared Goff looked like hot trash last week against San Francisco when he opened the game by missing on nearly every throw before finally settling down after it was too late to come back from a big deficit. This week he plays the Bears who have been relentless against opposing quarterbacks. Sean McVay is going to have to design plays to get the ball out of Goff’s hands quickly, because the Chicago defensive front will be coming for him early and often. I’m expecting a rough week from Goff as he tries to manage a game to get the Rams back in the win column.

Derek Carr could also struggle a ton this week facing a Tampa Bay defensive front that limited the great Aaron Rodgers to less than five fantasy points last week. Carr has thrown for multiple touchdowns in four straight games and is coming off extra preparation due to a bye week, but I’m still concerned he will not be able to find a way to out-play the Tampa Bay defense.

Quarterback Rankings

1. Patrick Mahomes @Den

2. Kyler Murray vs. Sea

3. Josh Allen @NYJ

4. Deshaun Watson vs. GB

5. Russell Wilson @Ari

6. Ben Roethlisberger @Ten

7. Aaron Rodgers @Hou

8. Justin Herbert vs. Jax

9. Matt Ryan vs. Det

10. Tom Brady @LV

11. Ryan Tannehill vs. Pit

12. Matthew Stafford @Atl

13. Teddy Bridgewater @NO

14. Gardner Minshew @LAC

15. Joe Burrow vs. Cle

16. Cam Newton vs. SF

17. Baker Mayfield @Cin

18. Carson Wentz vs. NYG

19. Drew Brees vs. Car

20. Derek Carr vs. TB

21. Jared Goff vs. Chi

22. Sam Darnold vs. Buf

23. Kyle Allen vs. Dal

24. Andy Dalton @Wsh

25. Daniel Jones @Phi

26. Nick Foles @LAR

27. Drew Lock vs. KC

28. Jimmy Garoppolo @NE

Runningbacks I Like

Ronald Jones has the hot hand right now as he’s run for over 100 yards in three straight games. This week things should come just as easily, as he takes on the Las Vegas Raiders, a team that has allowed seven rushing touchdowns in five games. Jones rushed for a pair of scores last week and I’m expecting more this week. Play the hot hand and make sure to get RoJo in your lineup.

Todd Gurley has value this week running against the Detroit Lions who have allowed a rushing touchdown-per-game this season. The Lions have also allowed over 100 rushing yards in three of five games and over 200 rushing yards in week two against the Green Bay Packers. Gurley has run for five touchdowns on the year and is using these scores to stay fantasy relevant. Gurley got 20 carries last week and has seven receptions in the past two games. Give him a look as an RB2 this week.

Runningbacks to Avoid

Clyde Edwards-Helaire gets to begin splitting work this week with Le’Veon Bell. CEH is coming off a big week but will certainly see less touches than last week when Andy Reid chose to run the ball more times than ever in his tenure at Kansas City. He’ll also be facing the third best ranked run defense in the Denver Broncos. I’m tempering my expectations on Clyde this weekend.

Jerick McKinnon looks to earn most of the carries for San Francisco while Raheem Mostert recovers from an injury. McKinnon doesn’t face a great matchup this week as the 49ers travel to New England. The Patriots have allowed just one rushing touchdown to running backs this season, and that came all the way back in Week 1 when Jordan Howard fell into the endzone from a yard away. McKinnon will likely share some work with JaMycal Hasty which would lower his potential even more.

Runningback Rankings

1. Alvin Kamara vs. Car

2. Aaron Jones @Hou

3. Chris Carson @Ari

4. Kareem Hunt @Cin

5. Joe Mixon vs. Cle

6. Mike Davis @NO

7. James Robinson @LAC

8. Josh Jacobs vs. TB

9. Zeke Elliott @Wsh

10. Derek Henry vs. Pit

11. David Johnson vs. GB

12. Ronald Jones @LV

13. Todd Gurley vs. Det

14. James Conner @Ten

15. David Montgomery @LAR

16. Kenyan Drake vs. Sea

17. Clyde Edwards-Helaire @Den

18. Devonta Freeman @Phi

19. Justin Jackson vs. Jax

20. Devin Singletary @NYJ

21. Boston Scott vs. NYG

22. D’Andre Swift @Atl

23. Antonio Gibson vs. Dal

24. Melvin Gordon vs. KC

25. Darrell Henderson Jr. vs. Chi

26. Jerick McKinnon @NE

27. Joshua Kelley vs. Jax

28. J.D. McKissic vs. Dal

29. Chase Edmonds vs. Sea

30. James White vs. SF

31. Leonard Fournette @LV

32. La’Mical Perine vs. Buf

33. Jamaal Williams @Hou

34. Latavius Murray vs. Car

35. Le’Veon Bell @Den

36. Brian Hill vs. Det

37. Adrian Peterson @Atl

38. Frank Gore vs. Buf

39. Phillip Lindsay vs. KC

40. Damien Harris vs. SF

41. Malcolm Brown vs. Chi

42. Jeff Wilson Jr. @NE

43. Zack Moss @NYJ

44. D’Ernest Johnson @Cin

45. Duke Johnson vs. GB

46. Corey Clement vs. NYG

47. Cordarrelle Patterson @LAR

48. Rex Burkhead vs. SF

49. Giovani Bernard vs. Cle

50. Chris Thompson @LAC

Wide Receivers I Like

DeAndre Hopkins didn’t quite live up to the hype last week, but I’d blame that on Kyler Murray completing just 9-of-24 pass attempts. This week he faces a weak Seattle secondary that has allowed a ton of yardage to opposing wide receivers this season. This should be a big week for the star receiver.

Tyler Boyd is intriguing to me this week as he faces the Cleveland Browns secondary for the second time this season. In the last meeting between the two teams, Boyd caught seven balls for 72 yards and a score. This week he’s coming off a 5-54 line against a tough Colts secondary. Boyd is the WR17 on the season despite just one touchdown, which came against the Browns in Week 2. Boyd hasn't had less than six targets in any of the last five games and is becoming more and more comfortable with Joe Burrow under center. I like Boyd this week and going forward.

Wide Receivers to Avoid

Amari Cooper faces the toughest defense against opposing wide receivers this week, the Washington Football Team. Cooper was good last week in Andy Dalton’s first full game running the offense, but most of his points came in garbage time as he finished with a 7-79-1 line. Washington has allowed less than 10 receptions in a game to opposing wide receivers in four-of-six games. This could be a tough one for all the Dallas wideouts.

Allen Robinson is likely to be shadowed by Jalen Ramsey this weekend, giving him a quite unfavorable matchup. Robinson’s situation is even more unfortunate because of his lack of a competent quarterback. I can’t trust Nick Foles enough this weekend to get the ball to Robinson regularly enough for him to post huge numbers. Tread lightly when using A-Rob this weekend.

Wide Receiver Rankings

1. DeAndre Hopkins vs. Sea

2. Kenny Golladay @Atl

3. Julio Jones vs. Det

4. Davante Adams @Hou

5. A.J. Brown vs. Pit

6. Tyreek Hill @Den

7. Stefon Diggs @NYJ

8. DK Metcalf @Ari

9. Tyler Boyd vs. Cle

10. Terry McLaurin vs. Dal

11. Keenan Allen vs. Jax

12. Mike Evans @LV

13. Travis Fulgham vs. NYG

14. Odell Beckham Jr. @Cin

15. Deebo Samuel @NE

16. Jamison Crowder vs. Buf

17. Robby Anderson @NO

18. Darius Slayton @Phi

19. Chris Godwin @LV

20. DJ Chark Jr. @LAC

21. Will Fuller V vs. GB

22. Allen Robinson @LAR

23. Amari Cooper @Wsh

24. Juju Smith-Schuster @Ten

25. Calvin Ridley vs. Det

26. Chase Claypool @Ten

27. Tyler Lockett @Ari

28. Tee Higgins vs. Cle

29. DJ Moore @NO

30. Brandin Cooks vs. GB

31. Robert Woods vs. Chi

32. Mike Williams vs. Jax

33. Cooper Kupp vs. Chi

34. CeeDee Lamb @Wsh

35. A.J. Green vs. Cle

36. Diontae Johnson @Ten

37. Marvin Jones Jr. @Atl

38. Keelan Cole @LAC

39. Cole Beasley @NYJ

40. Laviska Shenault @LAC

41. John Brown @NYJ

42. Julian Edelman vs. SF

43. Jerry Jeudy vs. KC

44. Demarcus Robinson @Den

45. Jarvis Landry @Cin

46. Tim Patrick vs. KC

47. Michael Gallup @Wsh

48. Emmanuel Sanders vs. Car

49. Marquez Valdes-Scantling @Hou

50. Curtis Samuel @NO

Tight-Ends I Like

Jimmy Graham has had a bit of a resurgence in Chicago this season and has worked his way up to TE6 on the season. He’s been targeted at least five times in five-of-six games this season. He also has four touchdowns on the season. This week he faces the Rams who have been tough against opposing wide receivers, but vulnerable to tight ends this season. Graham likely needs a touchdown to return optimum value, but I believe a nice game is in the works for the big tight end.

T.J. Hockenson used a score last week to salvage a decent fantasy showing, catching two balls for 17 yards and a score. I’m going back to the well this weekend as Hockenson faces Atlanta, a team that has allowed over 100 receiving yards to the position in two games this season as well as seven touchdowns to the position in six games.

Tight-Ends to Avoid

Hayden Hurst used a long touchdown to save his day last weekend, and prior to that had only reached double-digit fantasy points on one other occasion this season. Hurst is inconsistent and faces a tough defense this weekend. The Detroit Lions are third best against the tight end having not allowed more than three receptions in a game to the position, even shutting out the Jaguars last week. I’d stay far away from Hurst this weekend.

Noah Fant makes the list this week because of the fact he is coming off injury. He also faces a tough matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. I’m taking my time on Fant, as he may need some time to get back into the swing on things in the Denver offense. Perhaps he’ll even be on a snap count this week.

Tight-End Rankings

1. Travis Kelce @Den

2. Darren Waller vs. TB

3. George Kittle @NE

4. T.J. Hockenson @Atl

5. Evan Engram @Phi

6. Dalton Schultz @Wsh

7. Austin Hooper @Cin

8. Eric Ebron @Ten

9. Robert Tonyan @Hou

10. Hunter Henry vs. Jax

11. Jimmy Graham @LAR

12. Tyler Higbee vs. Chi

13. Jared Cook vs. Car

14. Noah Fant vs. KC

15. Rob Gronkowski @LV

16. Jonnu Smith vs. Pit

17. Hayden Hurst vs. Det

18. Greg Olsen @Ari

19. Tyler Eifert @LAC

20. Logan Thomas vs. Dal

21. Richard Rodgers vs. NYG

22. Jordan Akins vs. GB

23. Darren Fells vs. GB

24. Anthony Firkser vs. Pit

25. Gerald Everett vs. Chi

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