Fantasy Football Preview, Week 7: Rankings and Sleepers

Fantasy Football Preview, Week 7: Rankings and Sleepers

With the first six weeks of the NFL season in the books, smart fantasy team owners are looking toward the playoffs.

Week 7 is set to kick off tonight when the New England Patriots host the New York Jets at 8:25 ET.

In this week’s injury news, Carolina wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin was added to the injury report Wednesday with a concussion. Benjamin was hit hard on the last play of overtime in last week’s game at Cincinnati. Calvin Johnson is likely to sit again this week with his ankle injury, while Knowshon Moreno and Stevan Ridley are done for the season. In other, sadder news, Antrel Rolle can’t get Victor Cruz’s screams out of his head.

Week 6 saw some historic games. Cam Newton threw for 284 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 107 yards and an extra score in what turned out to be the highest-scoring tie in NFL history. Newly-crowned AFC Player of the Week Joe Flacco completed 21 of 29 passes for 306 yards and a career-high 5 touchdowns, all of them in the first 17 minutes of the game.

Matt Forte and Arian Foster finished as the top two rushers in Week 6. Forte simply did what Forte does, rushing 17 times for 80 yards and two touchdowns while also catching 10 balls for another 77 yards in Chicago’s drubbing of Atlanta, while Foster went off for 109 yards and two scores on 20 rushing attempts against the Colts. Branden Oliver, a featured sleeper in last week’s Fantasy Football Preview, delivered as promised with 101 yards and a touchdown in his first career start against the Raiders.

As for wide receivers, long overdue T.Y. Hilton busted out with 223 yards and a score in Indianapolis’s tight win over the Texans, while Oakland receiver Andre Holmes had an impressive 121 yards and two touchdowns on just four catches in a heartbreaking loss to the Chargers.

Below are this week’s fantasy rankings for all offensive positions except kicker, plus some extra sleepers for the bye-anxious owners.

Player Rankings, Week 7

QB

1. Aaron Rodgers, GB (vs. CAR)

2. Andrew Luck, IND (vs. CIN)

3. Peyton Manning, DEN (vs. SF)

4. Philip Rivers, SD (vs. KC)

5. Jay Cutler, CHI (vs. MIA)

6. Russell Wilson, SEA (@STL)

7. Tom Brady, NE (vs. NYJ)

8. Drew Brees, NO (@DET)

9. Cam NewtonCAR (@GB)

10. Colin Kaepernick, SF (@DEN)

RB

1. DeMarco Murray, DAL (vs. NYG)

2. Matt Forte, CHI (vs. MIA)

3. Le’Veon Bell, PIT (vs. HOU)

4. Marshawn Lynch, SEA (@STL)

5. Arian Foster, HOU (@PIT)

6. Jamaal Charles, KC (@SD)

7. Giovani Bernard, CIN (@IND)

8. Andre Ellington, ARI (@OAK)

9. Ben Tate, CLE (@JAX)

10. Branden Oliver, SD (vs. KC)

WR

1. Jordy Nelson, GB (vs. CAR)

2. Antonio Brown, PIT (vs. HOU)

3. Demaryius Thomas, DEN (vs. SF)

4. Julio Jones, ATL (@BAL)

5. Dez Bryant, DAL (vs. NYG)

6. Brandon Marshall, CHI (vs. MIA)

7. Alshon Jeffery, CHI (vs. MIA)

8. Steve Smith, BAL (vs. ATL)

9. Randall Cobb, GB (vs. CAR)

10. Mike Wallace, MIA (@CHI)

TE

1. Julius Thomas, DEN (vs. SF)

2. Rob Gronkowski, NE (vs. NYJ)

3. Greg Olsen, CAR (@GB)

4. Martellus Bennett, CHI (vs. MIA)

5. Jordan Cameron, CLE (@JAX)

6. Antonio Gates, SD (vs. KC)

7. Delanie Walker, TEN (@WAS)

8. Jason Witten, DAL (vs. NYG)

9. Jordan Reed, WAS (vs. TEN)

10. Travis Kelce, KC (@SD)

Breakout Alert, Week 7:

1. Justin Forsett, RB, BAL (vs. ATL) – While he still shares rushing duties with Bernard Pierce and Lorenzo Taliaferro, Forsett has been the Ravens’s most effective running back by far. Last week, he made the most of 14 touches by rushing for 111 yards in Baltimore’s annihilation of Tampa Bay. The Falcons have surrendered the most fantasy points per game to running backs this season, giving up an average of 190.7 total yards per game.

2. Derek Carr, QB, OAK (vs. ARI) – Carr gets a look this week because of last week’s impressive performance. The rookie managed to keep the Raiders competitive in a tough game against the Chargers, ultimately finishing with 284 yards, four touchdowns, and a pick. Carr has great arm strength and a promising receiver in Andre Holmes, and Arizona has given up the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. Keep him on your radar.

3. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, NYG (@DAL) – Victor Cruz is done for the season after tearing his patellar tendon last week. Eli Manning is going to have to throw the ball to someone, and it looks like Beckham will start in Cruz’s place. He has been somewhat quiet since his debut in Week 5, but that could change quickly with his increased role. Manning throws the ball a lot, so if you’re thin at wide receiver, give Beckham a look.

For any last-minute lineup questions, contact me on Twitter @NussBB.

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