Wow, we are almost halfway into the fantasy football season. Where has the time gone? This is when lineup decisions takes on critical importance. Playing the matchups amidst all the injuries and bye weeks makes the rankings all that much harder to compile.
In this slideshow I will break down every major fantasy spot and give the top-20 options at each position/unit.
So, let’s dive right in and breakdown the matchups and trends in this week’s position rankings.
Disclaimer: These lists are just for this week and do not reflect any seasonal value.
Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos- Rolling right along, Manning will absolutely be amped up returning to Indianapolis this week.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers- Although he will be miss Randall Cobb due to injury, Rodgers has enough weapons to still make him a high-end starter.
- Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys- While not at his best on Sunday night, Romo should be in for a good rebound performance in Philadelphia this weekend.
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts- You know Luck will also be charged for his showdown with Peyton Manning this week and we all know Denver can be beat through the air.
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers- While he can be inconsistent at times, Newton reminded you on Sunday (when he passed for 242 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for 30 yards and a touchdown) why he is a must start. He should do just fine against St. Louis at home this week.
- Matt Stafford, Detroit Lions- Coming off a game where he threw for four touchdowns against the Browns, Stafford should have little trouble putting up the points against the Bengals this week.
- Phil Rivers, San Diego Chargers- Rivers should be able to feast on the Jaguars and he should make for a clear-cut No. 1 quarterback this week.
- Tom Brady, New England Patriots- Brady played the hero in the win on Sunday vs. the Saints and he’ll ride that momentum into New Jersey when the Pats take on the Jets this weekend.
Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears- He’s been a little under the radar, but Cutler is having a fine season and he has the chance for a monster game in Washington this Sunday.
Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins- Although he struggled in a good matchup vs. the Cowboys on Sunday night, RGIII is someone you should still ride with, even though Chicago could create some turnovers this week.
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers- While he hasn’t erupted for any jaw-dropping numbers since Week 1, Kaepernick is still too talented to sit this week against the Titans.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons- Ryan will certainly have his challenges minus Julio Jones and perhaps Roddy White, but he still can be considered a low-end starter.
Russell Wilson- Seattle Seahawks- Although he didn’t pass for a touchdown against the Titans this week, Wilson still put up solid numbers (257 passing yards, 61 rushing yards). Look for the touchdowns this week when the Seahawks travel to Arizona.
- Eli Manning, New York Giants- If you can, ignore the turnovers and focus on all the passing yardage Manning accumulates, he's not such a terrible option. He can make for a solid start this week—especially against a struggling Vikings pass defense.
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles- Foles’ ranking is dependent on the status of Michael Vick, but if, indeed, Foles is the starter, he could rack up some nice numbers against the Cowboys this week.
Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams- After throwing for three touchdowns against a strong pass defense in the Texans, expect Bradford to have it a little easier in Carolina this week.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals- Finally delivering a standout performance (337 passing yards and three touchdowns against the Bills on Sunday), Dalton may be in for an encore in Detroit.
- Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars- When you have to sling it as much as Henne has to, you’ll run into some success. With Justin Blackmon emerging as a stud and with the Chargers (the Jags Week 7 opponent) vulnerable against the pass, Henne is a prime sleeper to roll with this week and beyond.
- Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens- While his matchup this week (@Pittsburgh) is not ideal, Flacco is starting to get production from his secondary receivers and is on the upswing after passing for 342 yards and two touchdowns against the Packers this past weekend.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers- Coming off a solid game against the Jets, Roethlisberger should be a safe start this week against the Ravens.
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings- After playing with a heavy heart this past Sunday, expect Peterson to get back in the flow when he takes on the wounded Giants on Monday night.
Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs- The Chiefs’ offense, of course, runs through Charles and the Texans have been struggling against the run this year; so Charles has the chance to go off in this affair.
- LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles- As one of the preeminent runners in the game, the matchup (vs. Dallas) hardly matters and McCoy is a must-start through thick and thin.
Matt Forte, Chicago Bears- Forte could have a field day this week when he and the Bears visit Washington (who allows 123.4 rushing yards per game) this week.
Arian Foster, Houston Texans- Foster exploded for 141 rushing yards (while also reeling in four receptions for 57 yards) this week against the Rams. While this week at Kansas City is a tough matchup, you still have to start Foster, who is in the zone at the moment.
- Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers- Father time has certainly not caught up to Gore this year and he’s as solid a back as there is in the league. Gore should carve up the Titans this week.
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks- While he'll will be on short rest and against a solid run defense in the Cardinals, you surely do not sit Lynch.
- Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos- Moreno’s role with the Broncos is expanding and after rushing for two more touchdowns against the Jags this past week, expect some carryover when the Broncos visit Indianapolis on Sunday night.
Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens- Outside of his two-touchdown performance against the Dolphins in Week 6, Rice has really struggled this year. Perhaps his hip injury is worse than we thought. That said, you’d be hard pressed to take him out of your lineup against the Steelers (who have allowed six rushing scores this season) this week.
- Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions- After a subpar performance in Week 5, Bush bounced against the Browns this week and a home game against the Bengals should lead to more success.
Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- With the Bucs in disarray, Martin has had trouble getting on track this season, but you have to have patience with Martin, as he could explode at any moment and this week against the Falcons may be the week.
Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins- After some injury concerns, Morris came back on Sunday and quelled any fears by rushing for 81 yards and a touchdown vs. the Cowboys on Sunday night. Considering what Brandon Jacobs just did to the Bears (Redskins Week 7 opponent) on Thursday night, Morris could be in for a big day on Sunday.
Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers- Lacy has firmly taken the reigns as the Packers lead back (he is also coming off rushing for 120 yards against the Ravens) and as such, you should rely on him as a viable No. 2 RB against the Browns this week.
Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots- After being in Bill Belichick’s doghouse and battling a prior thigh injury, Ridley returned to fantasy relevance this past week with 96 rushing yards and two touchdowns against the Saints. While the Jets (the Pats’ Week 7 opponent) will pose a problem, Ridley is a running back you can start trusting again.
- Fred Jackson/C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills- Flip a coin here as both backs are almost identical in value. Both Jackson and Spiller received 10 carries this past week and neither of them separated themselves from the pack, as Jackson ran for 55 yards and Spiller for 35. Their matchup in Miami makes both backs solid starts this week.
- DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers- Williams has been a vastly underrated option this year, and a matchup against the pathetic Rams’ run defense should allow him to produce at a solid clip.
- Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati- While BenJarvus Green-Ellis is still the preferred grinder in the Bengals offense; Bernard’s versatility makes him the more dangerous backfield threat in Cincinnati. Expect to see that versatility on display in Detroit this week.
- Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers- Between his rushing and receiving workload, Woodhead should be very busy in his game against the Jaguars.
Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins- Miller has a chance in his game against the Bills to rack up the yardage since the Bills yield 124.8 rushing yards per game (28th in the NFL)
- Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars- Jones-Drew had a solid day (21 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown) against a stout Denver run defense on Sunday. He should do well once again in his matchup with the Chargers this week since San Diego does give up 117.2 rushing yards per game (23rd in the NFL)
Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys- Although he put up a clunker (five receptions for 36 yards) against the Redskins on Sunday night, don’t expect that to be the case in Philadelphia this week.
Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears- Marshall returned to elite form when he registered 87 yards receiving and two touchdowns against the Giants on Thursday night. A matchup in Washington should allow Marshall to put some more impressive numbers.
A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals- After a few weeks of struggling, Green got back in the good graces of fantasy owners by hauling in six catches for 103 yards and a touchdown. A trip to Detroit (the Bengals Week 7 opponent) might allow Green to continue his strong play.
- Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars- Simply put: Blackmon is an emerging stud. After corralling in a whopping 14 receptions for 190 yards against the Broncos, he can be trusted as a No.1 receiver. He should rack up the receptions and the yardage against the Chargers this week.
Victor Cruz, New York Giants- While the Giants are struggling mightily at the moment, Cruz is still doing well and he could feast on a weak Vikings’ secondary.
Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers- With the injuries to James Jones and Randall Cobb, Nelson’s already high value will only grow when the Packers host the Browns this week.
- Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns- All Gordon has done ever since coming off suspension is produce like an elite No. 1 wide receiver. The Packers will most certainly have trouble containing him this weekend.
DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles- Jackson continues to flourish under Chip Kelly’s offense and a matchup vs. a weak Cowboys secondary should yield more positive results for Jackson.
Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos- While he has been in a bit of a rut (135 receiving yards and zero touchdowns in the last two games), Thomas will eventually rebound with the groove Peyton Manning is in.
- Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions- While he may be hindered by his injury, Johnson is so explosive you don’t dare sit him—that is unless the Lions do that for you.
Wes Welker, Denver Broncos- You know what you’re getting from Welker: a high volume of catches and a chance to score. A trip to Indianapolis won’t deter him.
- Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts- You know Wayne will be charged for Peyton Manning’s return to Indianapolis and as Andrew Luck’s primary target, expect him to excel against Denver’s shoddy pass defense.
Andre Johnson, Houston Texans- Johnson continues to put up steady numbers but it would be nice if he can eventually reach the end zone. Perhaps that happens this week in Kansas City, although that won’t be easy.
- Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Jackson benefitted from a weak matchup against Philadelphia this week (114 receiving yards and two touchdowns). Expect more of the same when the Bucs go to Atlanta this week.
Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens- There is no way around it, Smith had one stinker of a performance against the Packers this past week (one reception for 12 yards). However, he still makes for at least a solid No.2 wide receiver this week when the Ravens visit Pittsburgh.
Eric Decker, Denver Broncos- Again, with Manning spreading the wealth, Decker will always be a prime bet to go off.
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers- As Ben Roethlisberger’s main weapon in the Steelers’ passing game, Brown will always make for a decent No. 2 wide receiver.
- Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers- After two straight excellent outings, Allen is someone Phil Rivers is growing to love, and a matchup in Jacksonville certainly makes Allen a recommendable start this week.
Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins- As Robert Griffin III’s main target, Garcon is a dependable option at wide receiver week in and week out, and home game against the Bears should not slow him down.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals- The short turnaround and matchup against the Seahawks makes Fitzgerald a risk this week.
Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers- Davis has been on fire of late, and having scored in every game except for one, Davis has to be considered this week’s top tight end option with Jimmy Graham off.
- Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos- Having scored in five of his six games, you know Peyton Manning will often target Thomas in the red zone. Indianapolis should be no match for this athletic freak.
- Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons- With Matt Ryan likely to lean on Gonzalez more this week with the injuries to Julio Jones and Roddy White, expect Gonzalez to see a heavy boost in targets.
- Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers- A game against the downtrodden Jags should allow Gates to be a high-end tight end selection once again.
- Jordan Cameron- Cleveland Browns- Cameron rebounded after last week’s stinker to chip in with five receptions for 64 receiving yards against the Lions. Cameron should do even better with his matchup against the Packers in Green Bay this week.
- Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys- While Witten was mostly absent in his game against the Redskins (three receptions for 27 yards), I wouldn’t expect a repeat performance in Philadelphia this week.
- Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers- With injuries to Randall Cobb and James Jones, expect Aaron Rodgers to lean more on Finley this week against the Browns.
- Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears- Bennett is clearly someone Jay Cutler trusts, and as such, you should too when Bennett and the Bears take on the Redskins in Washington this week.
- Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins- Clay has been a focal point off the Dolphins’ offense and after a week of rest, he should be raring to go in his matchup vs. the Bills.
- Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers- While he didn’t have a good game against the Vikings this past weekend (two receptions for 19 yards), he should bounce back wonderfully against the Rams.
- Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers- Miller has been great ever since returning from his ACL injury and he’ll once again be a good play against the Ravens this week.
Rob Gronkowski- New England Patriots- One of these days, Gronkowski will be ready to make his return to the field. Hopefully it is this week against the Jets.
- Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts- Although he hasn’t been lighting the world on fire of late, sooner or later Andrew Luck will rely on Fleener.
- Garrett Graham, Houston Texans- He didn’t have the game against the Rams many were expecting of him with Owen Daniels sidelined, but Graham has the chance to rebound in Kansas City, although the matchup isn’t exactly great.
- Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings- Rudolph returned to fantasy relevance with nine catches for 97 yards and a touchdown against the Panthers. A good matchup against the Giants makes Rudolph a solid selection this week.
- Dallas Clark, Baltimore Ravens- After recording four receptions for 81 yards and a score, Clark is someone Joe Flacco obviously depends on. Flacco should continue to look for Clark in their game at Pittsburgh.
- Jeff Cumberland, New York Jets- Cumberland has been quietly having a solid season and chipped in with another four receptions for 59 yards against the Steelers on Sunday. With Kellen Winslow suspended, Geno Smith should target Cumberland heavily in their game against the Patriots.
- Joseph Fauria, Detroit Lions- After scoring three touchdowns on Sunday against the Browns (and with five on the season) Fauria is someone Matt Stafford clearly relies on in the red zone. While the yardage won’t be there, Fauria is a veritable force to score and there may be opportunities vs. Cincinnati this week for Fauria to do more.
- Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams- Call me crazy, but I still believe Cook has some redeeming value as a low-end starter when the Rams visit Carolina this week.
- Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills- After scoring (and racking up 47 yards receiving), Chandler could become Thad Lewis’s safety blanket. A matchup vs. the Dolphins in Miami makes Chandler a decent streaming option.
- Steven Hauschka, Seattle Seahawks- Tied for second in the league in field goals made, Hauschka is someone you can trust when Seattle heads to Arizona for a Thursday night matchup.
- Matt Prater, Denver Broncos- A game indoors (Indianapolis) against a usually high-scoring Colts’ offense should yield plenty of opportunities for Prater.
- Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys- Playing against a defense (Philadelphia) that allows nearly 30 points a game, Bailey should have his number called a lot.
- Nick Novak, San Diego Chargers- Coming off a game in which he nailed four field goals against the Colts, Novak may be just as busy when the Chargers visit the winless Jaguars this week.
- Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers- Crosby is coming off a game in which he drilled four field goals and a matchup against Cleveland should allow Crosby to keep producing.
- Alex Henery, Philadelphia Eagles- In a game that figures to be a shootout vs. the Cowboys, Henery should continue to produce at a top-10 level.
- Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears- Gould has been good for at least one field in each game this year and with a trip to Washington next on the schedule, expect that streak to continue.
- Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots- While the Jets defense can stall drives, Gostkowski should have a few chances in this affair.
- Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts- The game against Denver might just be a shootout and Vinatieri should be active on this night.
- David Akers, Detroit Lions- Back at home against a middling Cincinnati defense, Akers might be in line for a few field goal tries.
- Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens- Playing against heated rivals in the Steelers, expect this game to be a game of field position with the kickers (in this case Tucker) seeing a lot of run.
- Ryan Succop, Kansas City Chiefs- Succop should have his opportunities on Sunday against a suddenly vulnerable Texans defense.
- Blair Walsh, Minnesota Vikings- You know when you play against the Giants you’ll be putting points up on the board and as long as Walsh is healthy you should roll with him.
- Phil Dawson, San Francisco 49ers- Tennessee is a decent defense, but the 49ers should move the ball enough to make Dawson a solid play.
- Caleb Sturgis, Miami Dolphins- In a game that neither quarterback should exploit, this has the makings of a field-goal war between the Bills and the Dolphins.
- Dan Carpenter, Buffalo Bills- See Sturgis.
- Mike Nugent, Cincinnati Bengals- Kicking indoors vs. a team (Detroit) that yields a lot of points, Nugent may be busy on Sunday.
- Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons- Minus playmakers Julio Jones and perhaps Roddy White, the Falcons may call on Bryant to finish off drives in their game against Tampa Bay.
- Shaun Suisham, Pittsburgh Steelers- See Tucker.
- Nick Folk, New York Jets- Folk was the only offense for the Jets in their game against Pittsburgh with two field goals made. Expect similar numbers this week when the Patriots come to town.
- Seattle Seahawks- Even on short rest, the Seahawks should easily stifle a sputtering Cardinals’ offense.
- San Francisco 49ers- Just as the Seahawks limited the Titans this past week, expect the 49ers to do just as well in their trip to Nashville.
- New England Patriots- The Jets are inconsistent on offense and when the two teams played back in Week 2, the Patriots limited the Jets to 10 points and forced Geno Smith into three interceptions. The Pats are just as capable of a repeat performance this week.
- San Diego Chargers- Coming off an impressive performance against the Colts (limiting them to six points) the Chargers are riding high and head straight for another great matchup when they head to Jacksonville.
- Kansas City Chiefs- With the Texans (the Chiefs Week 7 opponent) in flux, the Chiefs should once again be a dynamite defensive option this week.
- Chicago Bears- Against a turnover prone Redskins’ squad, the Bears should make enough plays to make them a solid defense to roll with this week.
- Baltimore Ravens- The Ravens’ game against their fierce rivals the Steelers should be an all-out war on defense once again.
- Pittsburgh Steelers- Again, expect the Steelers-Ravens game to be a war in the trenches and most likely a low-scoring affair.
- Green Bay Packers- The Packers just held the Ravens to 17 points and with a home matchup against the Browns, expect even better production from Green Bay’s defense this week.
- Miami Dolphins- The Dolphins have had trouble with the Ravens and the Saints in the last two weeks but they should be able to contain the Bills this week.
- Houston Texans- Although the Texans are not living up to expectations, the Chiefs (the Texans Week 7 opponent) are no offensive juggernaut and that should make Houston a decent option this week.
- New York Jets- A matchup with the Pats is tough, but the Jets bread and butter is their strong defense.
- Carolina Panthers- The Panthers have been a largely underrated defense and they should make enough plays to limit the Rams at home.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Since the Falcons are without Julio Jones and possibly Roddy White and Steven Jackson, the Bucs might just be able to limit the Falcons this week.
- Atlanta Falcons- Seeing as though the Bucs are relying on a rookie quarterback (Mike Glennon) and with Doug Martin struggling, the Falcons make for a decent low-end defense this week.
- Cincinnati Bengals- The matchup with the Lions isn’t optimal, but the Bengals are still a good fallback option.
- Detroit Lions- While not the strongest unit out there, the Lions could do enough against a middling Bengals offense to factor in this week.
- Minnesota Vikings- With the way Eli Manning is turning the ball over, the Vikings should be in prime position to force some takeaways in their Monday Night game against the Giants.
- Buffalo Bills- Although the Bills aren’t a top defensive unit, playing against an ordinary Dolphins’ offense could make them a stop-gap option this week.
- Dallas Cowboys- The Cowboys will have their hands full with the Eagles and now that they’re missing DeMarcus Ware, the Cowboys are just a desperation pick this week.
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