At this point in the season, you should have a good idea of what you have in your fantasy team. You know which players you can trust, which players are boom-or-bust options each week and which players you should probably give up on.
Now, it's simply a matter of ensuring you put out the most productive lineup each week.
With my early Week 7 rankings, you'll have a handy tool to get your research started for the week. Don't be the guy that has one of these top-10 players on your bench.
Notes: All point totals for standard-scoring leagues. Points against stats via ESPN. The Oakland Raiders and the New Orleans Saints are on a bye.
|1||Philip Rivers||San Diego Chargers||Jacksonville Jaguars||28|
|2||Cam Newton||Carolina Panthers||St. Louis Rams||25|
|3||Tony Romo||Dallas Cowboys||Philadelphia Eagles||24|
|4||Peyton Manning||Denver Broncos||Indianapolis Colts||22|
|5||Andrew Luck||Indianapolis Colts||Denver Broncos||21|
|6||*Nick Foles/Michael Vick||Philadelphia Eagles||Dallas Cowboys||19|
|7||Jay Cutler||Chicago Bears||Washington||18|
|8||Tom Brady||New England Patriots||New York Jets||17|
|9||Aaron Rodgers||Green Bay Packers||Cleveland Browns||16|
|10||Russell Wilson||Seattle Seahawks||Arizona Cardinals||16|
For the first time in quite awhile, Matt Ryan doesn't make this list. With Julio Jones out for the year and the status of Roddy White and Steven Jackson up in the air, the Falcons offense could struggle even against the cellar-dwelling Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brilliant matchups for Philip Rivers, Cam Newton and Tony Romo all vault them ahead of Peyton Manning, who until this week had a permanent place atop the rankings. But he looked human against the Jacksonville Jaguars and faces an Indianapolis Colts defense that has played well this year.
Meanwhile, Rivers faces a Jacksonville Jaguars team that has given up 16 or more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in four of six weeks and comes in without much of a running game to speak of. He should post huge numbers.
The Philadelphia Eagles just allowed 18 fantasy points to Mike Glennon, so Romo will certainly torch that weak secondary.
Finally, with Randall Cobb and James Jones leaving Sunday's game with injuries—and given the fact that Aaron Rodgers hasn't exceeded 20 fantasy points in three straight games and faces a stout Cleveland defense—keep your expectations realistic for the Green Bay quarterback this week.
|1||Matt Forte||Chicago Bears||Washington||24|
|2||Adrian Peterson||Minnesota Vikings||New York Giants||23|
|3||LeSean McCoy||Philadelphia Eagles||Dallas Cowboys||20|
|4||Jamaal Charles||Kansas City Chiefs||Houston Texans||18|
|5||Marshawn Lynch||Seattle Seahawks||Arizona Cardinals||17|
|6||Ray Rice||Baltimore Ravens||Pittsburgh Steelers||17|
|7||C.J. Spiller||Buffalo Bills||Miami Dolphins||16|
|8||Frank Gore||San Francisco 49ers||Tennessee Titans||14|
|9||Arian Foster||Houston Texans||Kansas City Chiefs||14|
|10||Reggie Bush||Detroit Lions||Cincinnati Bengals||13|
Running Back Notes
When the Dallas Cowboys travel to Philadelphia, a shootout seems destined to break out. That should bode very well for LeSean McCoy, who has been a stud all season for his owners.
The New York Giants have given up double-digit fantasy points to opposing running backs in every game this season so Adrian Peterson will rip them to shreds.
Washington has allowed 18 or more fantasy points to opposing running backs in every game this season. Matt Forte will tear them to shreds.
Fantasy owners have been riding the roller coaster with Ray Rice this year, but against a Pittsburgh Steelers defense that has given up 16 or more fantasy points to opposing running backs in four of five weeks, he should put up big numbers.
C.J. Spiller has been a bust as well this year, but this is the week he'll bust out against a Miami Dolphins team giving up 20.2 fantasy points to opposing running backs per week. Meanwhile, steadier options like Frank Gore and Arian Foster will continue to produce despite tough matchups.
|1||Dez Bryant||Dallas Cowboys||Philadelphia Eagles||25|
|2||Brandon Marshall||Chicago Bears||Washington||23|
|3||Reggie Wayne||Indianapolis Colts||Denver Broncos||22|
|4||DeSean Jackson||Philadelphia Eagles||Dallas Cowboys||20|
|5||Vincent Jackson||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Atlanta Falcons||19|
|6||A.J. Green||Cincinnati Bengals||Detroit Lions||19|
|7||Josh Gordon||Cleveland Browns||Green Bay Packers||17|
|8||Victor Cruz||New York Giants||Minnesota Vikings||17|
|9||Torrey Smith||Baltimore Ravens||Pittsburgh Steelers||16|
|10||Wes Welker||Denver Broncos||Indianapolis Colts||16|
Wide Receiver Notes
In Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, Reggie Wayne and DeSean Jackson, there are four players atop the rankings this week that have produced this season and have brilliant matchups. They'll put up big points.
A.J. Green and Vincent Jackson each reemerged for fantasy owners in Week 6 and have solid enough matchups to keep the good times rolling.
Since returning from suspension, Josh Gordon has averaged 13.7 fantasy points per week. It's hard to ignore his status as a WR1 moving forward—especially this week against the Green Bay Packers.
Regular mainstays such as Calvin Johnson, Jordy Nelson and Demaryius Thomas don't make the rankings this week. Megatron is obviously less than 100 percent and has a tough matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. Nelson will be matched up against fantasy crusher Joe Haden, while Thomas has reached double-digit points just twice this season.
At this point, Wes Welker is the safer play in Denver.
|1||Antonio Gates||San Diego Chargers||Jacksonville Jaguars||20|
|2||Julius Thomas||Denver Broncos||Indianapolis Colts||18|
|3||Vernon Davis||San Francisco 49ers||Tennessee Titans||17|
|4||Tony Gonzalez||Atlanta Falcons||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15|
|5||Jason Witten||Dallas Cowboys||Philadelphia Eagles||13|
|6||Jordan Cameron||Cleveland Browns||Green Bay Packers||12|
|7||Martellus Bennett||Chicago Bears||Washington||11|
|8||*Rob Gronkowski||New England Patriots||New York Jets||11|
|9||Greg Olsen||Carolina Panthers||St. Louis Rams||9|
|10||Charles Clay||Miami Dolphins||Buffalo Bills||9|
*If he plays
Tight End Notes
At this point, there aren't going to be too many surprises in the tight end rankings—there are about 12 players you can trust to give you decent production and the rest are risky on a week-to-week basis.
If Rob Gronkowski returns this week—something I've found myself typing on this article in the past few weeks—he's a must-start immediately.
Antonio Gates is going to torch the Jaguars next week, while Julius Thomas is a must-start even with a potentially tough matchup against the Indianapolis Colts, as he has seven touchdowns now in six weeks. Not too shabby for a guy that was drafted in the late rounds, if at all.
|1||New England Patriots||New York Jets||19|
|2||Kansas City Chiefs||Houston Texans||18|
|3||Seattle Seahawks||Arizona Cardinals||16|
|4||Baltimore Ravens||Pittsburgh Steelers||15|
|6||San Francisco 49ers||Tennessee Titans||12|
|7||Carolina Panthers||St. Louis Rams||11|
|8||Tennessee Titans||San Francisco 49ers||11|
|9||Miami Dolphins||Buffalo Bills||10|
|10||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Atlanta Falcons||10|
Defense/Special Team Notes
The consistency of the Kansas City Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks is remarkable. The Chiefs have scored 20 or more fantasy points in four of six weeks, while the Seahawks have registered nine or more points in all six games this year.
After those two defenses, streaming your team defense and playing the matchups is the way to go. The New England Patriots should torture rookie quarterback Geno Smith for four quarters, while the Chicago Bears could have a field day against a turnover-prone Washington offense.
|1||Matt Prater||Denver Broncos||Indianapolis Colts||16|
|2||Robbie Gould||Chicago Bears||Washington||16|
|3||Dan Bailey||Dallas Cowboys||Philadelphia Eagles||15|
|4||Alex Henery||Philadelphia Eagles||Dallas Cowboys||14|
|5||Stephen Gostkowski||New England Patriots||New York Jets||13|
|6||Steven Hauschka||Seattle Seahawks||Arizona Cardinals||12|
|7||Mason Crosby||Green Bay Packers||Cleveland Browns||11|
|8||Dan Carpenter||Buffalo Bills||Miami Dolphins||11|
|9||Justin Tucker||Baltimore Ravens||Pittsburgh Steelers||10|
|10||Ryan Succop||Kansas City Chiefs||Houston Texans||10|
If your kicker isn't averaging close to double-digit fantasy points per week, it's time to drop him, go to the waiver wire and add a consistent kicker who has a solid matchup this week.
There is absolutely no reason to get less than eight points a week from your kicker, unless you already have a consistent kicker like Matt Prater who happened to have an off-week for fantasy owners. But other than that, don't be the owner who is losing matchups because of a shoddy kicker because you simply ignore the position.
Hit me up on Twitter—I'll answer your fantasy lineup questions and commiserate with you over underachieving players. You bring the beer.