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Fantasy Football: The 50 Most Valuable Assets for Week 7 (Sunday/Monday)

Jay ClemonsFantasy Sports Lead WriterOctober 8, 2016

Fantasy Football: The 50 Most Valuable Assets for Week 7 (Sunday/Monday)

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    The following countdown touts the 50 most valuable fantasy plays for Week 7, citing Sunday/Monday games only.

    To clarify, this listing doesn't project the 50 highest scorers for the weekend in standard-scoring or points-per-reception leagues. If that was the case, we'd have quarterback after quarterback occupying the penthouse spots, and that would be extremely boring to read...and write (especially since The Fantasy Blog already has a top 25 countdown for quarterbacks).

    This slideshow went heavy on running backs, wide receivers, quarterbacks and tight ends—the lifeblood positions of fantasy champions—but there was also room for two kickers and two defensive/special teams units.

    Enjoy the show!

50a: WR Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers

2 of 53

    2012 Stats: 21 Catches, 388 Yards 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Dallas 

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Despite middling seasonal numbers, Steve Smith already has two games of double-digit targets and 100 yards receiving.

    2. In Week 5 (his last game), Smith collected a season-high 13 targets.

    3. Smith (79 catches, 1,394 yards, seven TD in 2011) is overdue for his first touchdown of the year.

50: K Lawrence Tynes, New York Giants

3 of 53

    2012 Stats: 17-of-19 Field Goals, 17 PAT 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Washington

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Heading into the Sunday/Monday portion of Week 7, Lawrence Tynes is the only NFL kicker with 17 field goals.

    2. The Giants are averaging 36 points in their four victories. And of those wins, Tynes connected on 15-of-16 field-goal attempts.

    3. The Redskins-Giants clash should be among the highest-scoring games of the weekend. It all depends on the quarterbacks.

49: D/ST Minnesota Vikings

4 of 53

    2012 Stats: 15 Sacks, 5 Fumble Recoveries, 3 INT  

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Arizona

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. The Vikings are one of five NFL defenses (Texans, Cowboys, Steelers, 49ers) to allow per-game averages of less than 220 yards passing and 100 yards rushing.

    2. Minnesota is among the league leaders in sacks and kick-return touchdowns (two).

    3. The Cardinals' starting quarterback for Sunday is John Skelton. Need we say more?

48: K Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots

5 of 53

    2012 Stats: 14-of-17 Field Goals, 20 PAT 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. N.Y. Jets

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Stephen Gostkowski and Houston's Shayne Graham are the only NFL kickers with 20 PATs heading into Week 7.

    2. Gostkowski has nailed at least three field goals in half of New England's games this season.

    3. The Patriots' offensive stars are well represented in this countdown, meaning they're solid bets for plenty of yards and points against the Jets.

47: WR Kenny Britt, Tennessee Titans

6 of 53

    2012 Stats: 13 Catches, 145 Yards, 1 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: at Buffalo

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Kenny Britt has underperformed in four games, failing to register 70 yards in a single contest to date. But a slow start was expected given Britt's recovery from a torn ACL last season.

    2. On the plus side, Britt already has two games of 11 or more targets. And last week's four-catch, 62-yard, one-TD outing against Pittsburgh might serve as a fantasy turning point.

    3. The Bills are allowing 430 total yards per game. Bottom line: It would be a great surprise if Britt didn't have a breakout effort against Buffalo.

46: TE Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots

7 of 53

    2012 Stats: 12 Catches, 89 Yards, 2 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. N.Y. Jets

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. When healthy, Aaron Hernandez is a top-five tight end in standard-scoring and points-per-reception leagues.

    2. Hernandez had a successful return from injury last week, catching six balls for 30 yards and one touchdown. Of equal importance, he collected nine targets in his first action in four weeks.

    3. In two full games this season, Hernandez tallied six catches and one touchdown each time.

45: QB Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

8 of 53

    2012 Stats: 1,209 Yards Passing, 7 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Detroit

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Jay Cutler hasn't completed 24 or more passes in a game this season, which obviously affects his passing numbers. That said, he has already crossed the QB-elite threshold of 275 total yards and/or three TDs three times.

    2. Cutler may be blessed with fantasy's best running back/wide receiver combination in PPR circles (Matt Forte/Brandon Marshall).

    3. In his last six games against the Lions (2009-11), Cutler sports per-outing averages of 233 yards passing and 1.83 TDs.

44: TE Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints

9 of 53

    2012 Stats: 25 Catches, 252 Yards, 3 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: at Tampa Bay

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. At the time of this writing, Jimmy Graham (ankle injury) is not a lock to play against the Bucs. And yet, we're confident he'll be his typically stellar self against the NFL's second-worst pass defense.

    2. For Weeks 1-4 (before the ankle woes), Graham had per-outing averages of six catches, 10 targets, 62 yards and 0.75 TDs.

    3. You cannot discuss fantasy's elite strata of tight ends without mentioning Graham, who's still a candidate for 100 seasonal catches. But he needs to stay on the field (and reasonably healthy) from this point forward.

43: QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

10 of 53

    2012 Stats: 1,488 Yards Passing, 8 Total TD

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Cleveland 

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Through five games, Andrew Luck has crossed the QB-elite threshold of 275 total yards and/or three touchdowns four times.

    2. Luck finally looked like a rookie in last week's 35-9 loss to the Jets. On the plus side, he still finished with 280 yards passing.

    3. At Indy's Lucas Oil Stadium (three games), Luck boasts superb per-outing averages of 300 yards passing and two touchdowns.

42: QB Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

11 of 53

    2012 Stats: 1,726 Yards Passing, 13 Total TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Pittsburgh

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Among quarterbacks, Andy Dalton currently enjoys a No. 5 ranking in passing yards and total touchdowns.

    2. Through six games, Dalton already boasts three outings of 310 yards passing and three touchdowns.

    3. Dalton has a tremendous rapport with the No. 1 receiver in fantasy, A.J.Green.

    4. The Cincy QB has attempted at least 30 passes in five of six games.

41: RB C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills

12 of 53

    2012 Stats: 594 Total Yards (453 Rushing), 5 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Tennessee

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. For Weeks 1 and 2, C.J. Spiller was the hottest thing in fantasy, racking up 292 rushing yards (plus 72 receiving) and three touchdowns.

    2. Last week, with Fred Jackson back in the Buffalo lineup, Spiller still rolled for 110 total yards and one touchdown.

    3. Either Jackson (my Week 7 preference) or Spiller will dominate the Titans for 130 total yards and one touchdown Sunday. Bank on it!

    4. The consolation prize would hopefully entail 100 total yards and maybe a late score.

40: WR Andre Johnson, Houston Texans

13 of 53

    2012 Stats: 25 Catches, 358 Yards, 2 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Baltimore

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Andre Johnson has experienced a "bookend effect" this season. For Weeks 1 and 6 (the first and last games to date), Johnson tallied eight catches, double-digit targets and at least 75 receiving yards. In the middle four outings, he has only nine catches and 164 yards. Ugh.

    2. In last year's AFC playoffs, Johnson ripped the Ravens for 111 receiving yards, including season highs in catches (eight) and targets (15).

    3. In 2010, Johnson tallied nine catches, 140 yards and two touchdowns against Baltimore.

    4. The Ravens currently have the NFL's 22nd-ranked pass defense (260 yards per game).

39: RB Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

14 of 53

    2012 Stats: 431 Total Yards (323 Rushing), 1 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. New Orleans

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Doug Martin had his best day as a pro in Week 6, rolling for 131 total yards (76 rushing) against the Chiefs.

    2. Through five games, the rookie has logged 20-plus touches four times.

    3. The Saints are allowing 173 rushing yards per game—the second-worst mark in the NFL.

38: WR Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

15 of 53

    2012 Stats: 20 Catches, 370 Yards, 4 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. New Orleans

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Vincent Jackson has drawn seven or more targets in all five games this season, including three double-digit efforts.

    2. In his last two outings, Jackson has amassed 10 catches, 19 targets, 166 yards and three touchdowns.

    3. The Saints have allowed a staggering 457 total yards per game—a stat that plays right into the hands of Bucs playmakers Josh Freeman, Doug Martin, Mike Williams and Jackson.

37: WR Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers

16 of 53

    2012 Stats: 21 Catches, 345 Yards, 4 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: at Cincinnati

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Mike Wallace has scored a touchdown in four of five games.

    2. Against Cincy last year (two games), Wallace caught nine balls for 92 yards and two touchdowns. And in 2010, he had per-outing averages of five catches, 94 yards and 0.5 TDs.

    3. The Bengals have already surrendered 27-plus points four times. And for Weeks 1 and 2, their pass defense allowed 300 yards twice.

36: QB Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

17 of 53

    2012 Stats: 1,118 Yards Passing, 8 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. New Orleans

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. This is Josh Freeman's highest overall ranking of the season.

    2. Freeman recently notched 300 total yards in back-to-back games (Weeks 5 and 6) for the first time in his four-year career.

    3. He has averaged 30.25 passes in his last four games.

    4. The Buccaneers' Big Three playmakers (Doug Martin, Mike Williams, Vincent Jackson) are off to fantastic starts.

    5. Freeman has the capacity for 270 yards and two touchdowns every time he takes the field, regardless of opponent.

35: RB Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins

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    2012 Stats: 563 Total Yards (538 Rushing), 5 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: at N.Y. Giants

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Through six games, Alfred Morris has collected 100 total yards and/or one touchdown five times. And the one "clunker" (Week 2 at St. Louis) resulted in 89 rushing yards on just 16 carries.

    2. The rookie Morris has already rushed for 100 yards in back-to-back games (Weeks 4 and 5).

    3. In a short time, Morris has earned automatic starting consideration in standard-scoring leagues, either at the RB2 or flex spots.

34: WR Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers

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    2012 Stats: 32 Catches, 410 Yards, 4 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: at St. Louis

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. In the last three games, Jordy Nelson has accounted for 19 catches, 29 targets, 243 yards and four touchdowns.

    2. Against Houston last week, Nelson posted season highs in receptions (nine), targets (12—tie), receiving yards (121) and touchdowns (three).

    3. Nelson is on pace to match last season's TD output (15).

    4. With Greg Jennings sidelined with a groin injury, Nelson stands as the Packers' No. 1 option. Thus, he's an automatic start in 12-team leagues, regardless of scoring.

33: TE Martellus Bennett, New York Giants

20 of 53

    2012 Stats: 20 Catches, 226 Yards, 3 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Washington

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. For the first time in four weeks, Martellus Bennett wasn't mentioned in the Giants' midweek injury report (Bennett previously had a balky knee).

    2. When Bennett was presumably healthy in September, he caught 15 balls for 185 yards and three touchdowns for Weeks 1-3. Of equal importance, the athletic tight end was targeted 20 times in that span.

    3. Through six games, Giants QB Eli Manning has per-outing averages of 292 yards passing and 1.83 TDs.

    4. Four NFL tight ends (Jimmy Graham, Jermaine Gresham, Tony Gonzalez, Kyle Rudolph) have already scored touchdowns against the Redskins this season.

32: WR Steve Johnson, Buffalo Bills

21 of 53

    2012 Stats: 27 Catches, 316 Yards, 3 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Tennessee

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Steve Johnson has accrued double-digit targets in four straight games. That's a telltale sign of his mini-slump (215 yards, one touchdown in that span) ending soon.

    2. The streaky Johnson notched a touchdown in three straight games (Weeks 1-3). His next run of end-zone luck could be just a Sunday away.

    3. Against the Titans last year, Johnson caught five balls for 52 yards and one touchdown.

    For Week 7, I'm expecting more catches and receiving yards.

31: TE Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys

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    2012 Stats: 27 Catches, 276 Yards, 1 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: at Carolina

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Jason Witten and teammate Dez Bryant have each notched 20-plus targets, 19-plus receptions, 200 yards and at least one touchdown over the last two weeks.

    2. Witten's spleen concerns from August have vanquished in October. He already has two outings of double-digit targets.

    3. Giants tight end Martellus Bennett carved up the Carolina defense for six catches, 73 yards and one TD four weeks ago. Witten is a healthy bet for similar numbers Sunday.

30: RB Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants

23 of 53

    2012 Stats: 536 Total Yards (449 Rushing), 3 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Washington

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. In the last two weeks, Ahmad Bradshaw has carried the ball 57 times for 316 yards and two touchdowns. The Giants haven't been this committed to the enigmatic rusher in quite some time (if ever).

    2. Prior to last week, it had been two years since Bradshaw strung together back-to-back outings of 100 yards rushing.

    3. The Redskins have held opponents to under 100 rushing yards (combined) in five of six games. But Bradshaw has an excellent chance to tally triple digits once again.

29: WR Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys

24 of 53

    2012 Stats: 34 Catches, 364 Yards, 2 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: at Carolina

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. For the first time in his career, Dez Bryant recently notched double-digit targets in back-to-back games (Weeks 4/6).

    2. In the last two weeks, only three receivers (Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker, Marques Colston) collected more targets than Bryant (28). In that span, he posted 21 catches, 200 yards and two touchdowns.

    3. Bryant may finally be growing into the role of a dominant fantasy asset, someone who can be counted for rock-solid numbers every week.

28: RB Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns

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    2012 Stats: 526 Total Yards (340 Rushing), 5 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: at Indianapolis

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Don't be scared off by Trent Richardson's mild rib injury. He should be ready to dominate the Colts on Sunday. Perhaps he'll even roll for 161 yards and three touchdowns, just like Shonn Greene for Week 6.

    2. In a short period of time, Richardson has already established himself as an automatic starter in 12-team leagues, regardless of scoring.

    3. For Weeks 2-5, Richardson amassed 100 total yards and/or one touchdown in all four games.

27: QB Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

26 of 53

    2012 Stats: 1,493 Yards Passing, 6 Total TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: at Chicago

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Despite a slow start to the season, Matthew Stafford is still on pace for 4,778 yards passing. Most quarterbacks would kill for that kind of "off" production before their 25th birthday.

    2. Stafford had per-outing averages of 274 yards passing and 1.5 touchdowns against the Bears last season. And don't forget: At Chicago, he threw for 329 yards (and four interceptions) with a cast on his left hand.

    3. Stafford has regular access to the NFL's most dangerous weapon: receiver Calvin Johnson.

    4. Based on the fourth quarter and overtime of Detroit's comeback victory last week, Stafford's mini-slump may soon be a distant memory.

26: D/ST Chicago Bears

27 of 53

    2012 Stats: 18 Sacks, 13 Interceptions, 4 Fumble Recoveries 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Detroit

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. The Bears are currently the NFL's No. 1 defense against the run (65.8 yards per game).

    2. On Oct. 7, Chicago returned two interceptions for touchdowns (Charles Tillman/Lance Briggs) in a 38-point road rout of Jacksonville.

    3. The Bears have recorded a pick-six in three straight games.

    4. Through five games, Chicago already has four outings of three or more sacks. For Weeks 2 and 3, the defense combined for 11 sacks.

    5. The Bears have earned a No. 1 fantasy ranking without the help of a Devin Hester kick- or punt-return touchdown. (Scary thought.)

25: WR Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts

28 of 53

    2012 Stats: 41 Catches, 593 Yards, 2 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Cleveland

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Reggie Wayne is the NFL co-leader (along with Victor Cruz) in receiving targets (70).

    2. Speaking of which, Wayne already has four outings of double-digit targets.

    3. Wayne has collected 70 receiving yards in all five games.

    4. No NFL receiver can match Wayne's most recent three-game output of 26 catches, 45 targets and 387 yards—highlighted by a 13-catch, 252-yard effort against the Packers.

    5. Wayne may be the most bankable asset in PPR circles...although the No. 15 player in this countdown has a right to that claim as well.

24: WR Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals

29 of 53

    2012 Stats: 36 Catches, 430 Yards, 3 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: at Minnesota

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Larry Fitzgerald has collected double-digit targets in three straight games; and for the season, he's hit that mark four times.

    2. In three career games at the Metrodome, the Minneapolis native has per-outing averages of 7.33 catches and 115 yards. Curiously, Fitzgerald has never scored a TD in that stadium as a pro.

    3. In his last four games, Fitzgerald has notched eight catches, 92 yards and/or one touchdown each time.

    4. I'm not the world's biggest John Skelton fan, which may explain Fitzgerald's so-so weekly ranking.

23: QB Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

30 of 53

    2012 Stats: 1,154 Yards Passing, 7 Total TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Dallas

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Through five games, Cam Newton has thrice crossed the QB-elite threshold of 275 total yards and/or three TDs.

    2. The Panthers have too many skilled playmakers to be averaging only 18.4 points per game. By extension, Newton (3,727 total yards, 35 TD last year) simply has too much talent to be this mediocre for a sustainable period.

    3. This lofty endorsement (against a stellar Dallas pass defense) is admittedly fraught with potential problems.

    But it's easy to bet on Newton for big fantasy numbers—especially since the Cowboys are meeting him for the first time.

22: RB Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills

31 of 53

    2012 Stats: 211 Total Yards, 1 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Tennessee

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Heading into Week 7, the Bills (No. 32) and Titans (No. 24) each possess a defense among the NFL's 10 worst, and both starting quarterbacks (Ryan Fitzpatrick/Matt Hasselbeck) have been erratic of late.

    This sets the stage for one big-time tailback (Fred Jackson/C.J. Spiller/Chris Johnson), maybe even two, posting monster numbers on Sunday.

    Among the trio, let's ride Jackson for the most fantasy points. He looked sharp against the Cardinals last week (83 total yards, 1 TD) and may finally be ready to dominate for four quarters, just six weeks removed from a knee injury.

    2. Jackson is the same dynamic rusher who averaged 137.6 total yards per game, before suffering a season-ending injury. He's due for a breakout performance.

21: RB Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots

32 of 53

    2012 Stats: 575 Total Yards (524 Rushing), 4 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. N.Y. Jets

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Through six games, Stevan Ridley already has four outings of 95 total yards and/or one touchdown.

    2. For Weeks 4 and 5, Ridley rushed for 257 yards and three TDs...on 50 carries.

    3. The Jets currently rank 28th against the run, surrendering 169 or more yards in four of six games.

20: WR Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions

33 of 53

    2012 Stats: 35 Catches, 558 Yards, 1 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: at Chicago

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. How's this for consistency? Calvin Johnson has drawn 12 or more targets in four straight games. And for the season, Johnson has five-plus receptions in every outing.

    2. Johnson boasts 100 yards receiving in odd-numbered games.

    3. Just think of how strong his numbers will be once QB Matthew Stafford breaks out of a funk.

    4. In his last six games against the Bears (2009-11), Johnson has averaged six catches, 90 yards and 0.5 touchdowns—strong numbers that would look even better if the NFL recognized end-zone "receptions" of four feet and one knee in 2010 (last time I use that joke).

19: QB Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

34 of 53

    2012 Stats: 1,409 Yards Passing, 7 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: at Carolina

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. There is no such thing as bad road karma for Tony Romo—at least from a fantasy perspective. In his last 10 games away from Jerry World, Romo has averaged 295 yards passing and 2.1 touchdowns.

    2. Through five games, Romo is averaging 36.8 pass attempts per contest. And in that span, he's 5-of-5 in collecting 250 yards passing.

    3. Speaking of which, the Panthers are allowing 250 passing yards per game. And for Weeks 2-4, Carolina surrendered 280 yards three times.

    4. Romo has two of the hottest pass-catchers (Jason Witten and Dez Bryant) at his regular disposal.

18: WR Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints

35 of 53

    2012 Stats: 28 Catches, 444 Yards, 4 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: at Tampa Bay

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Through five games, Marques Colston already boasts three outings of double-digit targets.

    2. For Weeks 4 and 5, Colston racked up 18 catches, 31 targets, 281 yards and four touchdowns.

    3. Tampa Bay currently has the NFL's second-worst pass defense.

    4. Let's debunk the notion that Colston only dominates when playing indoors or on lightning-fast Field Turf-esque surfaces:

    Of his last five outdoor games on grass, Colston broke the 100-yard mark and scored at least one TD four times.

    And his last performance at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium entailed seven catches, 118 yards and one touchdown.

17: WR Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings

36 of 53

    2012 Stats: 49 Catches, 540 Yards, 2 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Arizona

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Percy Harvin has accounted for 95 total yards and/or one touchdown five times this season. And the one "clunker" (Week 4 at Detroit) still yielded a return touchdown on the opening kickoff.

    2. Harvin has crossed the PPR-elite threshold of six catches, 95 yards and/or one touchdown in all six games.

    3. In the last two weeks, Harvin has 19 catches, 24 targets, 241 receiving yards and two touchdowns (one rushing).

    4. At home (three games), Harvin boasts averages of 103 total yards and 0.66 TDs.

16: RB Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders

37 of 53

    2012 Stats: 410 Total Yards (271 Rushing), 2 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Jacksonville

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. At home this season (two games), Darren McFadden has per-outing averages of 116 total yards and 0.5 TDs.

    2. In December 2010, McFadden torched the Jaguars for 209 total yards (123 rushing) and three touchdowns. It stands as DMC's second-best day as a pro. (The signature game: 196 yards and four TDs against the Broncos that same season.)

    3. When healthy, McFadden is a good weekly bet for 110 total yards and/or one score.

15: WR Wes Welker, New England Patriots

38 of 53

    2012 Stats: 48 Catches, 622 Yards, 2 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. N.Y. Jets

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. For the season, Wes Welker currently ranks second in catches (behind Percy Harvin) and receiving yards (behind A.J. Green).

    2. Welker is the only NFL receiver riding a five-game streak of double-digit targets. Going further, no other pass-catcher boasts four straight outings of 100 yards receiving.

    3. In his last five games against the Jets (2010-11, including playoffs), Welker reached the PPR-elite threshold of six catches, 95 yards and/or one touchdown five times.

    4. Simply put, Welker is hottest fantasy receiver on the planet—so much that a No. 15 ranking feels like a hose job.

14: TE Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

39 of 53

    2012 Stats: 29 Catches, 356 Yards, 3 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. N.Y. Jets

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Atlanta's Tony Gonzalez and New England's Rob Gronkowski are currently the only tight ends to rank top five for catches, targets, receiving yards and touchdowns.

    2. Through six games, Gronkowski has reached the tight end-elite threshold of six catches, 75 yards and/or one TD four times.

    3. The Patriots have a scary-good fleet of playmakers in Hernandez, Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Stevan Ridley and Tom Brady. As a positive consequence, Gronk likely won't encounter much double coverage in the red zone.

    4. History buffs may recall that Gronk endured a similarly slow start two years ago, before erupting for double-digit touchdowns.

13: QB Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

40 of 53

    2012 Stats: 1,343 Yards Passing, 11 Total TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: at N.Y. Giants

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. In standard-scoring leagues, Robert Griffin III currently ranks as the No. 2 QB in fantasy points per game (27).

    2. Through five full games, Griffin has crossed the QB-elite threshold of 275 total yards and/or three TDs five times. In fact, he's averaging 328 total yards in complete games.

    3. In three home games, the hot-and-cold Giants have surrendered a per-game average of 372 total yards. That stat doesn't bode well for a club facing Griffin for the first time.

12: RB Matt Forte, Chicago Bears

41 of 53

    2012 Stats: 376 Total Yards (270 Rushing), 1 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Detroit

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Matt Forte (376 total yards, 1 TD) has per-outing averages of 131 total yards and 0.83 TDs in his last six games against the Lions (2009-11).

    2. He is still riding high from his best performance of the year—127 total yards (107 rushing) against the Jaguars. He also recorded a season-high 24 touches.

    3. When healthy, Forte is a top-10 fantasy back, regardless of scoring rules.

11a. WR Victor Cruz, New York Giants

42 of 53

    2012 Stats: 43 Catches, 496 Yards, 6 TD

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Redskins

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Victor Cruz, the NFL co-leader in receiving targets (70), has reached the PPR-elite threshold of six catches, 100 yards and/or one touchdown in all six games.

    2. Of his last three outings, Cruz has 20 catches, 34 targets, 217 yards and five touchdowns.

    3. Cruz is on the short list of receivers with five-plus catches and eight- plus targets in every game this season.

    4. The list of single-game, three-touchdown wideouts (Cruz, Jordy Nelson, Marques Colston) is even more exclusive.

    5. Cruz should have a field day against Washington, the NFL's worst pass defense.

11: RB Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans

43 of 53

    2012 Stats: 408 Total Yards (301 Rushing) 

    Week 7 Opponent: at Buffalo

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. For Weeks 4-6, the Bills surrendered an absurd average of 247 rushing yards per game.

    2. In Chris Johnson's last two outings against Buffalo (2009 and 2011), he boasts averages of, get this, 194.5 total yards and two touchdowns.

    3. Johnson has notched 100-plus yards in two of his last three games.

    4. The Titans speedster is wayyyyyyyy overdue for his first touchdown of the season.

10: RB Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

44 of 53

    2012 Stats: 628 Total Yards (499 Rushing), 2 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Arizona

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Adrian Peterson went head-to-head with the Cardinals in four straight seasons (2008-2011). And during that span, he averaged 149 total yards and 1.25 TDs.

    2. Peterson has recorded at least 80 total yards in all six games this year. Of equal importance, he's logged 19-plus touches in every outing.

    3. The Vikings superstar has gone five games without a touchdown—the longest scoring drought of his pro career. Don't surprised to see him find the end zone on Sunday.

9: WR A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

45 of 53

    2012 Stats: 43 Catches, 628 Yards, 6 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Pittsburgh

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. A.J. Green is currently the only receiver to rank top five for catches, targets, receiving yards and touchdowns.

    2. Green has collected nine or more targets in all six games—with double-digit efforts five times.

    3. The Bengals star has scored at least a touchdown in five straight games.

    4. In the last four games, Green has totaled 31 catches, 44 targets, 500 yards and five touchdowns.

    5. Green's lofty ranking would be even higher if the Steelers weren't on the Week 7 docket. Against Pittsburgh last year (two games), Green tallied seven catches, 123 yards and two scores.

8: QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots

46 of 53

    2012 Stats: 1,845 Yards Passing, 12 Total TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. N.Y. Jets

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Tom Brady is the NFL's current leading passer (1,845 yards), ahead of Peyton Manning, Eli Manning and Matt Ryan.

    2. Through six games, Brady has reached the QB-elite threshold of 275 total yards/three TDs four times. He has also enjoyed four passing days of 316 yards or more.

    3. Against the Jets last year, Brady had per-outing averages of 325 yards and two touchdowns.

7: RB Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens

47 of 53

    2012 Stats: 715 Total Yards (482 Rushing), 5 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: at Houston

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. In Ray Rice's last six games against elite rushers (Arian Foster, DeMarco Murray, Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Ryan Mathews, Frank Gore), his per-game tallies were 110 total yards and 0.33 TDs.

    2. Among running backs, Rice ranks only behind Charles (720) in total yards.

    3. Rice is a perfect 6-of-6 in collecting 96 total yards and/or one touchdown this season.

6: QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

48 of 53

    2012 Stats: 1,645 Yards Passing, 16 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: at St. Louis

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Aaron Rodgers torched the Texans—one of the NFl's best defenses—for 338 yards passing last week. More importantly, he tied a Packers franchise record (Matt Flynn) with six passing touchdowns.

    2. Last Sunday marked the second time in 12 months that Rodgers racked up six touchdowns in a game.

    3. Here's a stat that will surprise no one: Rodgers leads all NFL quarterbacks in total touchdowns.

    4. Rodgers has a minimum completion mark of 64 percent in all six games. He also racked up 275 total yards or three TDs four different times.

5: WR Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears

49 of 53

    2012 Stats: 35 Catches, 496 Yards, 3 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Detroit

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    Among receivers, Brandon Marshall is the biggest lock for Week 7 greatness, especially PPR leagues.

    1. In five total games with the Bears, Marshall has notched double-digit targets three times.

    2. In that span, he also claimed 100 yards and one touchdown for Weeks 1, 4 and 5.

    3. For Weeks 4 and 5, Marshall racked up 19 catches, 282 yards and two scores.

    4. In December 2010, Marshall rolled the Lions for 10 catches and 102 yards—numbers that may be replicated on Monday night.

4: QB Eli Manning, New York Giants

50 of 53

    2012 Stats: 1,772 Yards Passing, 11 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Washington

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Among NFL quarterbacks, Eli Manning currently ranks in the top eight for completions, pass attempts, passing yards and touchdowns.

    2. All signs point to Manning having a monster game against the Redskins—the NFL's worst pass defense (328 yards per game)—while exacting a measure of revenge on the club that swept Big Blue last year.

    3. In three home outings, Manning boasts per-game averages of 337 yards passing and 2.33 touchdowns.

3: RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars

51 of 53

    2012 Stats: 494 Total Yards (408 Rushing), 2 TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: at Oakland

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Maurice Jones-Drew plowed the Raiders for 120 total yards and one score two years ago (December 2010).

    2. Oakland's defense has allowed averages of 112 rushing yards this season, with two games netting 165-plus rush yards.

    3. In his last four outdoor games on grass (2011-2012), Jones-Drew has averaged 128 total yards and 0.5 TDs.

    4. The Jaguars must ride MJD 25 times against the Raiders. It's the quickest path to victory.

2: QB Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

52 of 53

    2012 Stats: 1,720 Yards Passing, 15 Total TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: at Tampa Bay

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    1. Through five games, Drew Brees has crossed the QB-elite threshold of 275 total yards and/or three TDs all five times.

    2. In his last two games, Brees has a grand total of 816 yards passing and seven TDs.

    3. The Bucs defense currently ranks 31st against the pass.

    4. Against Tampa Bay last year, Brees averaged 321 yards passing and 1.5 TDs.

    5. On any given Sunday, Brees is the greatest fantasy lock for 300 yards passing.

1: RB Arian Foster, Houston Texans

53 of 53

    2012 Stats: 633 Total Yards (561 Rushing), 8 Total TD 

    Week 7 Opponent: vs. Baltimore

     

    Reasons To Support This Selection

    Here's all you need to know about Arian Foster's candidacy for the top spot: When pitted against an elite fantasy running back in the last two seasons (Maurice Jones-Drew, Ray Rice, Chris Johnson in 2012; MJD, Rice, McFadden, Johnson, Rashard Mendenhall. Michael Turner in 2011), Foster boasts incredible 10-game averages of 144 total yards and 1.1 TDs.

    And if that's not enough:

    1. Foster is the current tailbacks leader in fantasy points (standard-scoring leagues).

    2. Through six games, Foster has accounted for 108 total yards and/or one touchdown six times.

    3. Foster is on pace for nearly 1,900 total yards and 21 touchdowns.

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