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Fantasy Football: Vincent Jackson Leads 13-Member 'Dream Team' from Week 7

Jay ClemonsFantasy Sports Lead WriterNovember 4, 2016

Fantasy Football: Vincent Jackson Leads 13-Member 'Dream Team' from Week 7

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    The following countdown touts the 13 greatest fantasy stars (standard-scoring leagues) from the Sunday portion of NFL Week 7.

    This week's list includes one opportunistic defense, two big-name receivers, two AFC East-based tight ends, four workhorse backs and four high-profile quarterbacks who combined for 12 touchdowns and nearly 1,500 total yards in a three-hour window.

    If this was a points-per-reception countdown, Jeremy Kerley (seven catches/120 yards), Lance Moore (nine catches/121 yards) and Cardinals tailback LaRod Stephens-Howling (145 total yards, one TD) would have easily garnered weekly honors.

    For what it's worth, there are no kickers in the Week 7 homage. Maybe next time.

    Enjoy the show!

Quarterback: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

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    Sunday Stats: 377 Yards Passing, 4 TD

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. Drew Brees registered all four passing touchdowns in the first half—to four different pass-catchers (Marques Colston, Darren Sproles, Joseph Morgan, David Thomas).

    2. Sunday's superb effort marked the 15th straight game that Brees accounted for either 300 yards passing and/or three touchdowns.

Quarterback: Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Sunday Stats: 420 Yards Passing, 3 TD

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. Josh Freeman was the only NFL quarterback to throw for at least 400 yards on Sunday.

    2. Freeman's combination of 420 yards/three touchdowns led to the most fantasy points of any NFL player (standard-scoring leagues). Bar none.

    3. Freeman could have easily had five touchdowns for the day—if Vincent Jackson had converted a 95-yard catch/run into a 96-yard catch/run...or if Mike Williams hadn't been penalized prior to his apparent game-tying touchdown with no time on the clock (illegal touching—stepping out of bounds).

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

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    Sunday Stats: 342 Yards Passing, 3 TD

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. Aaron Rodgers had an incredibly efficient outing against the Rams, throwing for 342 yards and three touchdowns. To further illustrate his greatness, Rodgers missed on only seven of his 37 passes.

    2. Rodgers, the NFL's current scoring leader, has racked up 16 passing touchdowns in the last four games.

Quarterback: Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

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    Sunday Stats: 258 Yards Passing, 2 TD

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. It would have been very hard to leave Robert Griffin III off this week's countdown, even though I typically cap the quarterbacks at three.

    In his debut against an NFC East club, Griffin racked up 347 total yards (89 rushing) and two touchdowns.

    2. In his six complete games this season (excluding the early exit from Week 5), Griffin is a perfect 6-for-6 in collecting either 300 total yards and/or three touchdowns.

Running Back: Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans

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    Sunday Stats: 198 Total Yards (195 Rushing), 2 TD

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. Just 12 minutes into Sunday's game, Chris Johnson already had rushing touchdowns of 16 and 83 yards.

    2. Johnson nearly became the third NFL tailback to rush for 200 yards in a game this season (Jamaal Charles, Ahmad Bradshaw).

    3. For Jamie Harper's two goal-line touchdowns, Johnson got the Titans to within striking distance both times.

    In other words, Johnson was thisclose to pulling an Al Bundy—scoring four TDs in one game.

Running Back: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

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    Sunday Stats: 159 Total Yards (153 Rushing), 1 TD

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. Adrian Peterson notched his season high in rushing yards (153). It was also his best yardage effort since Week 7 of last year (175 against Green Bay).

    2. Peterson also broke a five-game touchdown drought, the longest of his pro career.

    3. For a fifth consecutive game, Peterson logged 20-plus touches, a remarkable achievement for someone just 10 months removed from major knee surgery.

Running Back: Arian Foster, Houston Texans

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    Sunday Stats: 103 Total Yards (98 Rushing), 2 TD

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. For back-to-back weekends, Arian Foster tallied two touchdowns for the Texans.

    2. And for the 11th consecutive week (dating back to last year), Foster notched at least one touchdown.

    3. Foster collected 103 total yards—his fourth 100-yard outing of the season—without the benefit of a run or catch beyond 16 yards.

Running Back: Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins

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    Sunday Stats: 130 Total Yards (120 Rushing)

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. Alfred Morris rushed for 120 yards against the Giants to make it three times in four weeks that he has broken the century mark.

    2. Through seven games, Morris has racked up 100 total yards and/or one touchdown six times.

    3. Morris's teammate, receiver Santana Moss, deserves 'Dream Team' mention, as well, for scoring two touchdowns off only three receptions (for 67 yards).

Wide Receiver: Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Sunday Stats: 7 Catches, 216 Yards, 1 TD

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. Vincent Jackson became the third NFL receiver to break the 200-yard barrier. In fact, his 216 yards were four better than Reggie Wayne's output in Week 5 (Brian Hartline still occupies the No. 1 spot—253).

    2. Jackson could have—and probably should have—scored two touchdowns against the Saints, but Malcolm Jenkins miraculously thwarted the second scoring effort on the infamous 95-yard catch/run.

    3. Through six games with the Bucs, Jackson already has four outings of double-digit targets. In the preceding four campaigns with the Chargers, V-Jax reached double digits only six times.

    4. In his even-numbered games this season, Jackson boasts stellar averages of six catches, 144 yards and one touchdown. BOOM!

Wide Receiver: Victor Cruz, New York Giants

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    Sunday Stats: 7 Catches, 131 Yards, 1 TD

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. Thanks to his game-winning, 77-yard touchdown against the Redskins, Victor Cruz turned an average fantasy day into a superb one.

    2. Cruz has scored a touchdown in four straight games, with six total in that span.

    3. Cruz and Reggie Wayne both logged 11 targets on Sunday, which means both receivers have earned a share of the overall targets lead (81) for another week.

    In Cruz's case, he already has five outings of double-digit targets.

Tight End: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

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    Sunday Stats: 6 Catches, 78 Yards, 2 TD

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. Rob Gronkowski was the only NFL tight end to rack up multiple touchdowns on Sunday.

    2. Gronkowski (nine targets) also eclipsed teammates Wes Welker (six catches, 66 yards), Aaron Hernandez (five catches, 54 yards) and Brandon Lloyd (one catch) in yardage and targets.

Tight End: Dustin Keller, New York Jets

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    Sunday Stats: 7 Catches, 93 Yards, 1 TD

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. In his first full game of the season, Dustin Keller (hamstring woes for Weeks 1-5) caught all seven balls thrown his way for 93 yards and one score.

    2. Keller's presence and production might be the primary reason to endorse Mark Sanchez as a fantasy quarterback. The Jets actually resemble a capable and versatile offense when Keller's on the field.

    3. Heading into the 2012 season, Keller was one of only a few prominent tight ends to post double-digit improvements in receptions for back-to-back campaigns.

    Bottom line: For the Jets' final nine games, a healthy Keller could still tally 45 catches and five touchdowns.

Defense/Special Teams: Minnesota Vikings

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    Sunday Stats: 1 INT-TD Return, 2 Forced Turnovers, 7 Sacks

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. Rookie safety Harrison Smith's 31-yard interception-return TD clinched Minnesota's fifth win of the season.

    2. Brian Robison (three sacks) and Jared Allen combined for five of the Vikings' seven sacks.

    3. Minnesota held Arizona to seven points for the game's first 58 minutes.

    4. For the season, the Vikings defense holds top-five rankings in sacks (22) and fumbled recoveries (six).

    One more thing: Minnesota is allowing just 319 total yards per game.

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