With six teams on bye and numerous injuries, the Week 7 fantasy football rankings will look the strangest it has this year. Finding sleepers and Hail Mary plays will be as interesting as this week’s Halloween (ish) themed fun ranks. Are Zach Evans, Craig Reynolds and Diontae Johnson worth starting? Find out below.
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WEEK 7 FANTASY FOOTBALL PREVIEWS
** BYES: CAR, CIN, DAL, HOU, NYJ, TEN **
Jaguars at Saints, TNF
- Calvin Ridley has just 5.6 FPPG with 18.8 TmTGT% when Zay Jones is out, compared to 8.3 and 25.6 for Christian Kirk. When Jones is on the field, Ridley is 9.6 and 25.3, Jones is 7.9 and 24.0 and Kirk is 6.0 and 20.0.
- The Saints are the only team with a game not hitting the Vegas over with the lowest combined PPG (34.2 — CLE 34.4 and TB 35.6 next two).
- Travis Etienne is RB1 in FPPG (28.1), third in rush yards (191), first in rush TDs (4), sixth in receptions (7) and fifth in receiving yards (76) the past two weeks, while Alvin Kamara is seventh in FPPG (15.6), seventh in rush yards (148), second in receptions (10) and 13th in receiving yards (53).
Raiders at Bears, 1 p.m.
- If Aidan O’Connell starts, he’s a boom/bust streamer (see below). If it’s Brian Hoyer, he’s bottom of the barrel with low upside.
- The Bears are the only team with five games hitting the Vegas over (83.3% of their games) — second closest are DEN, IND, MIA (four games, 66.7%).
- The Raiders converted just 9.1% of third downs (MIN 12.5% and CIN 22.2% were the next two) in Week 4 with Aidan O’Connell.
Browns at Colts, 1 p.m.
- Despite ceding 41% of the touches in Week 6, Jerome Ford still has 11.7 FPPG (16th) and 54.2 RBTouch% (24th) since taking over in Week 3.
- Jonathan Taylor jumped from 16.4 Snap% to 42.7, and 21.9 RBTouch% to 50.0, in Week 6. I’d expect Taylor to lead in Week 7.
- The Colts run man the least (10.3%) with 82.3% zone coverage, and Amari Cooper drops from 2.71 YPRR versus man to 2.00 versus zone.
- The Browns force a 3-and-Out more than any team (59.4% of the time), with the Saints second at 47.2%. The Colts had the 11th-highest 3nO% last week with Gardner Minshew (38.5).
Bills at Patriots, 1 p.m.
- James Cook’s nice rushing matchup (14-for-71) was a double-edged sword, as he hit a season-low RBTouch% (51.9) with zero targets.
- Rhamondre Stevenson was back in a comfortable lead over Ezekiel Elliott with most of Elliott’s damage coming when Stevenson was briefly out.
- Latavius Murray has the fifth-most goal-line rush attempts (seven) but just two rushing touchdowns.
- The Patriots lead the league, tied with the Browns, with a 55.6 Stuff% on runs.
Commanders at Giants, 1 p.m.
- Jalin Hyatt had 83.3 Route% with a 16.5 AirYD/TGT in Week 6 — worthy Hail Mary play.
- The Commanders allow the most receiving yards per game (159.8) to receivers out wide — Browns allow the least (63.0).
- The Giants were the last team to cover their spread this year and are now tied with ATL, CAR, DEN and NE as failing to cover in five of six games.
- The Giants run man coverage second-most (33.9%, CLE first at 42.0%), and Curtis Samuel jumps from 1.37 YPRR to 1.92 when facing man.
Falcons at Buccaneers, 1 p.m.
- Of running backs with 67.0+ RBTouch% since Week 3, only two running backs have fewer than 10.0 FPPG — Dameon Pierce (9.2) and Rachaad White (6.8).
- The Falcons have the lowest 11-set% (three-wide) per dropback at 15.3%. The next lowest is 47.9% by the Bills. Not surprisingly, they have the highest 12-set with two tight ends at 41.1%.
- Kyle Pitts and Jonnu Smith are TE5 and TE8 the last two weeks (total and FPPG).
Lions at Ravens, 1 p.m.
- If Jahmyr Gibbs plays, he’s a strong RB2, as he saw 69.2 RBTouch% in Week 3, while Craig Reynolds was 15.4. I’d expect more for Reynolds this time, putting him as a touchdown-hope RB3. If Gibbs is out, Reynolds is a mediocre RB2 like D’Onta Foreman last week.
- The Lions are one of three teams (MIA, SF) that have covered the spread in all but one game.
- The Ravens are the stingiest in drives resulting in a touchdown at 7.1% — Browns are second-lowest at 10.9%.
Steelers at Rams, 4 p.m.
- If Kyren Williams plays, he’s an injury-risk RB1, making Zach Evans an RB3. If Williams is out, Evans is like Reynolds (if Gibbs is out) with a bit more upside. Royce Freeman could be a thorn in his side like Damien Williams was to the Cardinals.
- Only PJ Walker and Dorian Thompson-Robinson have lower Comp% Over Expectation marks than Kenny Pickett (-9.2%), and Pickett is fourth-worst in OffTGT% (24.5) — those two and Aidan O’Connell are worse.
- The Rams have the fourth-lowest CPOE% allowed (-5.1%)
Cardinals at Seahawks, 4 p.m.
- Speaking of Williams, he was second in fantasy points and touches, but Emari Demercado led in snaps but was last in points and touches while Keaontay Ingram had the most points and touches while second in snaps. Avoid where possible.
- Since Week 3, Geno Smith is 28th in TD/INT (2.1) and 27th in FPPG (11.7), while the Cardinals jumped to the most favorable PassEPA for defenses. It’s a make-or-break week for Smith.
- Michael Wilson has just one target and zero receptions when facing man coverage with all his numbers coming versus zone, and the Seahawks run the most zone (83.7%).
- The Cardinals have allowed the second-most end zone targets (17), with Tyler Lockett tied for the league lead (Courtland Sutton, Jordan Addison) in EZ targets (seven).
Packers at Broncos, 4 p.m.
- The matchup isn’t as enticing as it was (Broncos had the best PassEPA allowed through Week 4, and the past two weeks they are just 19th best), but Jordan Love is worth using given injuries and byes, and I wouldn’t cast aside Romeo Doubs… yet.
- Love leads qualified quarterbacks in first-read percentage (75.8%), and Christian Watson had 28.6% in Week 5 (22nd overall) with Luke Musgrave at 28.5% and Romeo Doubs 19.0% (45th).
- The Broncos lead the league with 34.4% of the opponent’s drives resulting in a touchdown.
Chargers at Chiefs, 4 p.m.
- Rashee Rice saw a massive usage uptick once Justin Watson exited. If Watson plays, Rice would get dinged a bit.
- The Chargers allow the most YPR (12.7) and Rashee Rice leads the Chiefs in YPRR (2.75) and YAC (7.05).
- The Chargers also allow the third-most YPG to slot receivers (97.4) and Rice lines up in the slot more than any Chief (55.6%).
Dolphins at Eagles, SNF
- If Jeff Wilson returns, he’s an RB3 upside/risk play, and if Wilson doesn’t, Salvon Ahmed returns to that same spot from last week… though a bit less risk since Wilson is returning from injury.
- The Dolphins lead the league with 0.23 EPA/Play — the 49ers are second (0.14) and the Patriots are last (-0.23, ahead of CLE -0.21 and NYG -0.20).
- The Eagles have the most plays per game (71.3) despite being just 15th in pass plays per game (37.8).
- The Dolphins have the most combined PPG (63.2) with DEN 54.8 and WSH 51.5 the next two.
49ers at Vikings, MNF
- Normally, I wouldn’t wait without a backup plan, but with Christian McCaffrey, I’d wait, even risking a zero. There is that much upside. Though, stashing a Brandon Powell even makes sense. If Elijah Mitchell returns and CMC is out, Mitchell would be a mid-RB2 with risk, and Jordan Mason an RB2/3. If CMC is out and Mitchell doesn’t return, Mason is in the Top 15 discussion.
- The 49ers are the worst matchup for tight ends per EPA, and T.J. Hockenson had 8-6-50-0 last week (TE12) on a team-high 26.7 TmTGT% with Justin Jefferson out.
- After facing the Browns — second-toughest PassEPA (49ers first) — Brock Purdy gets a rebound spot as the Vikings are the sixth-most favorable, and the best matchup for the slot (Seahawks second).
- Jauan Jennings has run the highest percentage of slot routes (58.5%), with all other receivers at 26.7% (Ray-Ray McLoud) or lower.
WEEK 7 FANTASY FOOTBALL SLEEPERS
These are sleepers (DuckTales and Darkwing Duck style — Woo-oo is worthy of the risk in most leagues, and Dangerous is if you need a Hail Mary). They will not mimic my rankings 100%. This is about chasing upside and often carries more risk — put simply, they are upside plays you might consider over a solid floor option.
- QB: Sam Howell, WSH
- RB: Zach Evans, LAR; Roschon Johnson, CHI
- WR: Curtis Samuel, WSH; Michael Wilson, ARI
- TE: Pat Freiermuth, PIT
Let’s Get Dangerous
- QB: PJ Walker, CLE
- RB: Craig Reynolds, DET; Keaontay Ingram, ARI
- WR: Jauan Jennings, SF; Jalin Hyatt, NYG
- TE: Luke Musgrave, GB
WEEK 7 BUY LOW, SELL HIGH
These are players to maximize value on, as a “Buy Low” doesn’t mean go trade for them everywhere, and a “Sell High” doesn’t mean get rid of them at all costs. These are simply potential under and overvalued players in trades.
- QB: Daniel Jones, NYG (big rushing uptick when Saquon Barkley plays) again; Patrick Mahomes, KC
- RB: Jonathan Taylor, IND (before he’s back to 100%); Miles Sanders (health); Joe Mixon, CIN (been mediocre, on a bye, managers see SF after the bye); Jerome Ford, CLE (if holds lead, gets CHI, HOU, NYJ playoffs)
- WR: Davante Adams, LV (yes, the QB situation could ruin Adams, but don’t forget the first three weeks); DeVonta Smith, PHI (SEA, NYG, ARI playoffs); DK Metcalf, SEA (PHI, TEN, PIT playoffs)
- QB: Tua Tagovailoa, MIA (NYJ, DAL, BAL for playoff schedule); Desmond Ridder, ATL (not that you probably can, but with injuries and byes, someone might be desperate)
- RB: Breece Hall, NYJ (only if Top 10 value); Raheem Mostert, MIA (if RB1 value since Jeff Wilson could spoil it) — repeats of last week
- WR: Curtis Samuel, WSH (might not get WR2 value, but if so, went through a run last year too, and volatility will return); Adam Thielen, CAR (obvious, and might not get WR1 value, but ATL, GB, JAX playoffs worrisome)
FUN WITH RANKINGS!
Halloween is almost here, so with the best Halloween candy ranks coming next week, this week is the best Halloween/horror villains/baddies of all time. You might disagree with my stance, but I didn’t include Jaws, Jack Torrence or The Facility (Cabin in the Woods is one of the best ever), as they are a bit different when it comes to this list.
Top 10 Halloween or Horror Villains (Big Bads)
- Jason Voorhees — Tough call with Michael Myers, but he’s more unkillable (Death Battle proven), and that “ch ch ch, ah ah ah” sound as he comes for his victims is rather terrifying.
- Freddy Krueger — Anyone who’s woken up in a cold sweat from a nightmare knows the terror that Freddy can bring. So… everyone. Krueger has an iconic look, and he’d take the No. 1 spot if he wasn’t one of the more defeatable options.
- Michael Myers — If you watched the Death Battle, you know how imposing Myers is… well, if you’ve seen any Halloween movie, you already knew. Great theme, a simple and scary look, and nearly unstoppable.
- Pennywise — Despite the lame-ish way he’s defeated — particularly in the sequel — he’s a terrifying monster, as being a clown was base enough for his terror.
- Leatherface — Has some similarities to Myers, but his mask(s) are 100% more gruesome.
- Pinhead — Supposedly stronger than Jason and Michael, Pinhead has supernatural powers that he uses to kill victims by summoning hooks and chains. He has his limits though, including the physical world (has to be summoned), which dings him — similar to Freddy.
- Candyman — The guy can teleport on top of having strength comparable to Jason and Michael, plus he controls bees and has a hook!
- Jigsaw — Getting into “real-ish” territory, Jigsaw might be human, but he might also have the grossest collection of kills, and his traps are nearly unstoppable.
- Samara Morgan/Kayako — From The Grudge if you didn’t know her name. Be honest, you thought twice before watching the full video version of the tape. Yes, we hear people saying the Japanese original is better, but nothing will stop you from remembering the first time she came crawling out of the TV.
- Chucky — Creepy @$$ doll! It involves a lot of comedy and hokeyness, but something about a supernatural and somewhat unkillable doll coming for you rattles the nerves.
- Ghostface — Definitely comedy-heavy, but the voice is as recognizable as the mask. However, having ongoing new “Ghostface’s” means it’s not a true “one main big bad.”
- Pazuzu — Another “if you didn’t know the name” character, as this is the name of the devil possession in The Exorcist. Also, yet another lasting image to haunt your dreams, as Regan MacNeil walked down the stairs upside down.
- Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster — Two OGs. They deserve a mention.
- The Nun — One of the creepiest-looking horror baddies. Too reliant on jump scares.
WEEK 7 FANTASY FOOTBALL PROJECTIONS
🚨 HEADS UP 🚨 These can differ from my rankings, and my ranks are the order I’d start players outside of added context, such as, “Need highest upside, even if risky.” Also, based on 4-point TDs for QB, 6-point rest, and Half-PPR
Download Link Added Thursday
WEEK 7 FANTASY FOOTBALL RANKINGS
🚨 HEADS UP 🚨
- There is no perfect widget out there, sadly, still. I know many view this on your phone, but 1) use the rankings widget on a PC/laptop/etc. if possible or 2) open in your phone’s browser, especially for Android users, to get the scrolling to properly work.
- ECR = “Expert” Consensus Ranking (which isn’t updated by everyone consistently, so take with a grain of salt).
- Updated regularly, so check up to lineups locking.
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)