Fantasy Football Week 7: Top Plays at Every Position

Eric Mack@@EricMackFantasyFantasy Football Lead WriterOctober 18, 2013

Fantasy Football Week 7: Top Plays at Every Position

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    You have to figure Peyton Manning is motivated to stick it to the Colts in his Indy return Sunday night.
    You have to figure Peyton Manning is motivated to stick it to the Colts in his Indy return Sunday night.Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

    You think Peyton Manning and the Broncos have been awe-inspiring this year? Wait until you see what he has in store for the Colts in Indianapolis on Sunday night.

    This stands to be epic.

    That won't be the only shootout on the Week 7 slate either, which will make for some huge performances for fantasy owners. Injuries might have sucked some life out of fantasy lineups of late, but the points are going to be plentiful still.

    Heck, Week 7 shapes up to be so promising, even Rob Gronkowski (arm/back) will get in on the fun.

    We break down the top plays for the weekend, which promises to be an exciting one.

Quarterbacks: Matchup Plays Are Nice, but Elite Options Are (Still) Better

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    Riddle this writer stubborn, but there has only been one change in the makeup of the top 12 fantasy quarterbacks going forward: Philip Rivers has entered the group of weekly starters. With just Drew Brees on bye, you should stick with the guy you drafted to start and carry your quarterback position.

    That means you stick by the likes of Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III. It worked last week with Cam Newton, and it worked Thursday night with Russell Wilson. There were some very good reasons everyone valued these versatile passers. Let them come through for you in your lineup, not on your bench.


    Eagles roll with Foles

    Nick Foles might be one that throws a monkey wrench in the above game plan for Week 7. He is getting another start for the potent Eagles, and he is facing a Dallas defense that has allowed the most points to quarterbacks to date. Foles is second to Jay Cutler in our rankings this week among those that weren't in the preseason top 12 quarterbacks. He is a very good option.


    Expect just an ordinary Joe this week

    Joe Flacco has had his moments, despite having a sketchy receiving corps outside of Torrey Smith this season. This figures to be a bad week to put your trust in him, though. He faces a Steelers defense that hasn't played well this season, yet it still is the No. 1 unit against quarterbacks in fantasy. You are going to get arguably your worst production of the season out of Flacco here.


    Like him more

    You and everyone else is justified being down on Matt Ryan with Julio Jones (foot) out for the season, and Steven Jackson (hamstring) and Roddy White (hamstring/ankle) out this week, according to NFL insider Jay Glazer. But Ryan is still a better option than all but eight quarterbacks in fantasy, and he has had a bye week to develop his new targets in the passing game. That Bucs defense is good, but it made Foles look like a fantasy star last week.

    Ryan is among the quarterbacks we like more than a few spots better than the consensus below:

    1. Colin Kaepernick
    2. Matt Ryan
    3. Russell Wilson (already played Thursday night)
    4. Alex Smith
    5. Sam Bradford


    Like him less

    We understand the allure of Cutler and his emerging offense with Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett, and you have to love his matchup against the Redskins, a bottom-10 team in fantasy against quarterbacks. We still would not trust Cutler over the elite-12 QB you drafted to be your starter—unless he slots perfectly as a bye-week replacement for Drew Brees for you.

    Cutler is 13th in our rankings and among the quarterbacks we like less than the masses this week:

    1. Jay Cutler
    2. Nick Foles
    3. Eli Manning
    4. Ben Roethlisberger
    5. Brandon Weeden


    Week 7 Quarterbacks Rankings—Eric Mack
    RankQuarterbacksTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Peyton ManningDenat Ind10
    2Aaron RodgersGBvs. Cle3+1
    3Cam NewtonCarvs. StL4+1
    4Tony RomoDalat Phi2-2
    5Andrew LuckIndvs. Den6+1
    6Philip RiversSDat Jac5-1
    7Matthew StaffordDetvs. Cin9+2
    8Colin KaepernickSFat Ten15+7
    9Matt RyanAtlvs. TB12+3
    10Tom BradyNEat NYJ11+1
    11Russell WilsonSeaat Ari14+3
    12Robert GriffinWasvs. Chi10-2
    13Jay CutlerChiat Was7-6
    14Nick FolesPhivs. Dal8-6
    15Andy DaltonCinat Det17+2
    16Alex SmithKCvs. Hou20+4
    17Sam BradfordStLat Car23+6
    18Ryan TannehillMiavs. Buf16-2
    19Eli ManningNYGvs. Min13-6
    20Joe FlaccoBalat Pit24+4
    21Ben RoethlisbergerPitvs. Bal18-3
    22Brandon WeedenCleat GB19-3
    23Josh FreemanMinat NYG22-1
    24Carson PalmerArivs. Sea28+4
    25Chad HenneJacvs. SD21-4
    26Geno SmithNYJvs. NE260
    27Thaddeus LewisBufat Mia270
    28Mike GlennonTBat Atl25-3
    29Ryan FitzpatrickTenvs. SF30+1
    30Case KeenumHouat KC31+1
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Running Backs: Waiver Wire Capable of Filling Out Starting Lineups Right Now

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    In hindsight, it was only a matter of time before DeMarco Murray (knee) suffered some kind of injury that would knock him out of fantasy lineups. We should have been more bullish on you adding rookie Joseph Randle as his handcuff.

    Sure, Lance Dunbar opened the season as Murray's backup, but the rookie Randle is the one with upside. The most-added player in fantasy this week should go right into starting lineups, especially because he is facing an Eagles defense that has even allowed David Wilson to score. No defense does that.


    Jacobs a Giant play on Monday night

    Speaking of most-added running backs that should go right into your lineup, Jacobs is a start against a Vikings defense that has allowed the most points to backs in fantasy. Jacobs is coming off 106 yards and two touchdowns in Week 6, and the Giants have to finally realize their running game is a way to take some pressure off the error-prone Eli Manning and his patchwork offensive line. Jacobs will find the end zone again this week, even if he rushes 15 times for 25 yards.


    A bad week for your Bells and Ball

    Le'Veon Bell, Joique Bell and Montee Ball have fantasy potential, but they are not great plays right now in fantasy. Ball is a third choice for the Broncos at this point, while the Lions' Bell has cooled off after a hot start. The Steelers' Bell is a back you likely have to play out of necessity, but the Ravens run defense is not a good matchup for him. That is the second-best team in fantasy against running backs, allowing just one touchdown to them this season. Only the Bucs and Chargers have allowed fewer.


    Like him more

    C.J. Spiller (ankle) returned to practice Thursday, according to the Buffalo Bills Twitter feed, so you should feel good about him playing against the Dolphins this week. Sure, Fred Jackson is going to steal touches, but Spiller is still too good to sit in fantasy, particularly since he is facing a Dolphins defense that has given up the third-most points to fantasy backs to date.

    Spiller is among the backs we like considerably more than the consensus this week:

    1. C.J. Spiller
    2. Danny Woodhead
    3. Joseph Randle
    4. Chris Johnson
    5. Ronnie Hillman


    Like him less

    Giovani Bernard clearly oozes talent every time he touches the ball, but he still has to deal with BenJarvus Green-Ellis getting the starts and the goal-line carries. We still rate Bernard as a starter in standard leagues, but he just cannot be considered the elite option the fantasy analysts see him as until something happens to BGE.

    Bernard is among the players we like less than the masses below:

    1. Giovani Bernard
    2. Brandon Jacobs
    3. Fred Jackson
    4. Maurice Jones-Drew
    5. Jacquizz Rodger 


    Week 7 Running Backs Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankRunning BacksTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Adrian PetersonMinat NYG10
    2Jamaal CharlesKCvs. Hou20
    3LeSean McCoyPhivs. Dal30
    4Arian FosterHouat KC5+1
    5Marshawn LynchSeaat Ari6+1
    6Matt ForteChiat Was4-2
    7Ray RiceBalat Pit12+5
    8Doug MartinTBat Atl9+1
    9Alfred MorrisWasvs. Chi11+2
    10Frank GoreSFat Ten100
    11Reggie BushDetvs. Cin8-3
    12Knowshon MorenoDenat Ind7-5
    13C.J. SpillerBufat Mia23+10
    14Danny WoodheadSDat Jac20+6
    15Lamar MillerMiavs. Buf17+2
    16DeAngelo WilliamsCarvs. StL14-2
    17Trent RichardsonIndvs. Den16-1
    18Eddie LacyGBvs. Cle13-5
    19Joseph RandleDalat Phi26+7
    20Ryan MathewsSDat Jac21+1
    21Chris JohnsonTenvs. SF28+7
    22Stevan RidleyNEat NYJ25+3
    23Giovani BernardCinat Det15-8
    24Brandon JacobsNYGvs. Min18-6
    25Le'Veon BellPitvs. Bal24-1
    26BenJarvus Green-EllisCinat Det31+5
    27Fred JacksonBufat Mia19-8
    28Maurice Jones-DrewJacvs. SD22-6
    29Bilal PowellNYJvs. NE27-2
    30Zac StacyStLat Car29-1
    31Willis McGaheeCleat GB33+2
    32Rashard MendenhallArivs. Sea36+4
    33Joique BellDetvs. Cin35+2
    34Ronnie HillmanDenat Ind41+7
    35Ben TateHouat KC38+3
    36Andre EllingtonArivs. Sea32-4
    37Bernard PierceBalat Pit43+6
    38Daniel ThomasMiavs. Buf47+9
    39Bryce BrownPhivs. Dal51+12
    40Jacquizz RodgersAtlvs. TB30-10
    41Jason SnellingAtlvs. TB34-7
    42LeGarrette BlountNEat NYJ49+7
    43Kendall HunterSFat Ten48+5
    44Mike TolbertCarvs. StL39-5
    45Robert TurbinSeaat Ari58+13
    46Montee BallDenat Ind61+15
    47Daryl RichardsonStLat Car50+3
    48Brandon BoldenNEat NYJ40-8
    49Anthony DixonSFat Ten72+23
    50Donald BrownIndvs. Den45-5
    51Chris IvoryNYJvs. NE42-9
    52Ronnie BrownSDat Jac54+2
    53Shonn GreeneTenvs. SF60+7
    54Chris OgbonnayaCleat GB37-17
    55Michael BushChiat Was57+2
    56Roy HeluWasvs. Chi46-10
    57Bobby RaineyCleat GB78+21
    58Toby GerhartMinat NYG65+7
    59Jordan TodmanJacvs. SD81+22
    60Felix JonesPitvs. Bal67+7
    61Alfonso SmithArivs. Sea86+25
    62Knile DavisKCvs. Hou69+7
    63Jackie BattleTenvs. SF56-7
    64LaMichael JamesSFat Ten80+16
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Wide Receivers: Expect Some Wide-Open Shootouts This Week in Indy and Philly

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    There are enough healthy wide receivers who have proven productive in fantasy that you shouldn't have to be hoping for the question marks to be active this weekend. So, if you are a Danny Amendola (concussion), Roddy White (hamstring/ankle), Cecil Shorts (shoulder) or Randall Cobb (leg, out multiple weeks) owner, do not fret.

    Wide receivers are everywhere, and wide-open passing games should give you plenty of viable starting options even when injury and bye weeks have you stressed.

    Heck, if you're really desperate, look to that impending legendary shootout between Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck on Sunday night. Even the likes of Indy's Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denver's Andre Caldwell figure to get into the mix.


    Cowboy up!

    The Dallas offense will be without DeMarco Murray (knee), so you have to figure it will be an even more pass-heavy attack than it has been already. It is a great week to start all of your Cowboys receivers, especially because that Eagles secondary has been the worst in fantasy against wide receivers to date, allowing league highs of 102 receptions and 13 touchdowns through six games. Dez Bryant and Miles Austin are great plays, and rookie Terrance Williams should be, too.


    Dwayne Bowe? More like chain Bowe…to your bench

    We have to admit now Bowe is not a viable starter in fantasy. We have been stubborn to expect him to find a rhythm with Alex Smith and have Andy Reid devise ways to get his leading receiver the ball in a short passing game. It hasn't happened, and you shouldn't bank on it happening against a Texans defense that has been the best in fantasy against wide receivers to date. Don't start Bowe or Donnie Avery in any formats this week.


    Like him more

    We don't like Thad Lewis as the Bills starter, but Steve Johnson remains one of the veteran receivers who has proven he can overcome subpar quarterback play. You should have faith in Johnson at Miami as a third fantasy receiver, despite the fact the Dolphins have been the fourth-best team in fantasy against the position.

    Johnson is among the options we like more than the masses this week:

    1. Steve Johnson
    2. Golden Tate (already played Thursday night)
    3. Miles Austin
    4. Brandon LaFell
    5. Darrius Heyward-Bey


    Like him less

    You had to marvel at what the Seahawks did to the Cardinals passing game Thursday night, shutting down Larry Fitzgerald and making things tough on Carson Palmer. It should be a warning for you if you're trying to get some starters out of the Titans mess of a receiving corps against the 49ers this weekend. Not only is Ryan Fitzpatrick junk, but you cannot be sure which of the Titans receivers are going to come through.

    The Titans pepper the receivers we like significantly less than the consensus below:

    1. Michael Floyd (already played Thursday night)
    2. Mike Williams
    3. Brian Hartline
    4. Kendall Wright
    5. Nate Washington


    Week 7 Wide Receivers Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankWide ReceiversTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Calvin JohnsonDetvs. Cin7+6
    2A.J. GreenCinat Det20
    3Dez BryantDalat Phi1-2
    4Brandon MarshallChiat Was3-1
    5Demaryius ThomasDenat Ind6+1
    6Wes WelkerDenat Ind8+2
    7DeSean JacksonPhivs. Dal4-3
    8Victor CruzNYGvs. Min5-3
    9Pierre GarconWasvs. Chi13+4
    10Josh GordonCleat GB100
    11Reggie WayneIndvs. Den14+3
    12Justin BlackmonJacvs. SD9-3
    13Jordy NelsonGBvs. Cle11-2
    14Hakeem NicksNYGvs. Min17+3
    15Antonio BrownPitvs. Bal150
    16Andre JohnsonHouat KC18+2
    17Larry FitzgeraldArivs. Sea25+8
    18Vincent JacksonTBat Atl12-6
    19Alshon JefferyChiat Was190
    20Eric DeckerDenat Ind16-4
    21T.Y. HiltonIndvs. Den22+1
    22Torrey SmithBalat Pit21-1
    23Mike WallaceMiavs. Buf230
    24Steve SmithCarvs. StL240
    25Anquan BoldinSFat Ten26+1
    26Rueben RandleNYGvs. Min28+2
    27Keenan AllenSDat Jac20-7
    28Steve JohnsonBufat Mia39+11
    29Golden TateSeaat Ari42+13
    30Julian EdelmanNEat NYJ27-3
    31Greg JenningsMinat NYG29-2
    32Miles AustinDalat Phi51+19
    33Harry DouglasAtlvs. TB34+1
    34Terrance WilliamsDalat Phi38+4
    35Brandon LaFellCarvs. StL47+12
    36Kenbrell ThompkinsNEat NYJ30-6
    37James JonesGBvs. Cle33-4
    38Vincent BrownSDat Jac37-1
    39Darrius Heyward-BeyIndvs. Den66+27
    40Cecil ShortsJacvs. SD43+3
    41Dwayne BoweKCvs. Hou46+5
    42Aaron DobsonNEat NYJ41-1
    43Stephen HillNYJvs. NE44+1
    44Emmanuel SandersPitvs. Bal40-4
    45Robert WoodsBufat Mia48+3
    46Jeremy KerleyNYJvs. NE55+9
    47Michael FloydArivs. Sea35-12
    48Tavon AustinStLat Car67+19
    49Mike WilliamsTBat Atl31-18
    50Jason AvantPhivs. Dal68+18
    51Doug BaldwinSeaat Ari64+13
    52Sidney RiceSeaat Ari63+11
    53Austin PettisStLat Car57+4
    54Donnie AveryKCvs. Hou62+8
    55DeAndre HopkinsHouat KC53-2
    56Mohamed SanuCinat Det70+14
    57Riley CooperPhivs. Dal60+3
    58Brian HartlineMiavs. Buf32-26
    59Andre CaldwellDenat Ind93+34
    60Jerricho CotcheryPitvs. Bal75+15
    61Chris GivensStLat Car56-5
    62Leonard HankersonWasvs. Chi69+7
    63Davone BessCleat GB78+15
    64Kendall WrightTenvs. SF45-19
    65Nate WashingtonTenvs. SF54-11
    66Jerome SimpsonMinat NYG50-16
    67Kenny BrittTenvs. SF94+27
    68Jacoby JonesBalat Pit74+6
    69Kris DurhamDetvs. Cin52-17
    70Andre RobertsArivs. Sea84+14
    71Ryan BroylesDetvs. Cin89+18
    72Jon BaldwinSFat Ten101+29
    73Marvin JonesCinat Det71-2
    74Marlon BrownBalat Pit58-16
    75Dexter McClusterKCvs. Hou105+30
    76Brian QuickStLat Car102+26
    77Brandon GibsonMiavs. Buf61-16
    78Earl BennettChiat Was97+19
    79Greg LittleCleat GB83+4
    80Ted GinnCarvs. StL65-15
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Tight Ends: Rob Gronkowski Reportedly Cleared, so You Have to Start Him

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    One man enter, one man leave. Jimmy Graham is on bye, but fantasy owners are anticipating a return of Rob Gronkowski (arm/back) to the field Sunday. According to, citing reports from Mike Reiss and Adam Schefter, Gronk has finally been cleared to play Sunday against the Jets.

    With Graham off the board, we optimistically place Gronk at the top of our Week 7 tight end rankings.


    Rudolph can play reindeer games again

    Fantasy owners jumping off the Kyle Rudolph bandwagon did so too soon. He was a monster in Week 6 and now gets the potential upgrade of quarterback Josh Freeman in a Monday night matchup against the Giants. That defense has already given the eighth-most points to tight ends in fantasy to date. Rudolph goes from the waiver wire back to being a must-start option at the roller-coaster position.


    Graham cracker: Chiefs matchup is tough

    Garrett Graham was justifiably picked up in many leagues once Owen Daniels (leg) went down, but this is a bad week to trust the fringe fantasy tight end. Not only are the Texans relying on the unknown at quarterback with starting Case Keenum, but they are also facing a Chiefs defense that has been the best in fantasy against tight ends to date. The Chiefs are one of four teams that haven't allowed a touchdown to tight ends in six games, and they have allowed a league-low 166 receiving yards to the position.


    Like him more

    The Giants haven't been able to make a consistent threat out of Brandon Myers, but a favorable matchup might lure you to use him if you are desperate this week. The Vikings have been the third-worst team in fantasy against tight ends, and Myers rates as one of the options we like more than the masses below:

    1. Rob Gronkowski
    2. Kyle Rudolph
    3. Brandon Myers
    4. Tyler Eifert
    5. Brandon Pettigrew


    Like him less

    Charles Clay, like Myers, is a receiving tight end who doesn't do much in the way of blocking. It tends to tip off defenses it will be a pass when he is in the game. The Bills don't need much help against tight ends, because they have been the third-toughest fantasy matchup for the position through six games.

    Clay is among the options we rank lower than the consensus this week:

    1. Tony Gonzalez
    2. Charles Clay
    3. Jordan Reed
    4. Jeff Cumberland
    5. Scott Chandler 
    Week 7 Tight Ends Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankTight EndsTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Rob Gronkowski NEat NYJ 8+7
    2Vernon DavisSFat Ten20
    3Jason WittenDalat Phi30
    4Julius ThomasDenat Ind40
    5Tony GonzalezAtlvs. TB1-4
    6Antonio GatesSDat Jac 5-1
    7Jordan CameronCleat GB6-1
    8 Jermichael FinleyGBvs. Cle 7-1
    9Kyle RudolphMinat NYG 12+3
    10 Martellus BennettChiat Was9-1
    11Greg OlsenCarvs. StL 10-1
    12Heath MillerPitvs. Bal 11-1
    13 Coby Fleener Indvs. Den14+1
    14Garrett GrahamHouat KC16+2
    15Jared CookStLat Car17+2
    16Charles ClayMiavs. Buf 13-3
    17Brandon MyersNYGvs. Min22+5
    18Tyler Eifert Cinat Det 30+12
    19Brandon Pettigrew Detvs. Cin 26+7
    20Brent Celek Phivs. Dal18-2
    21Rob Housler Arivs. Sea37+16
    22Jermaine GreshamCinat Det 25+3
    23Jordan ReedWasvs. Chi15-8
    24Jeff CumberlandNYJvs. NE19-5
    25Zach MillerSeaat Ari23-2
    26Scott ChandlerBufat Mia21-5
    27Lance KendricksStLat Car29+2
    28Dallas ClarkBalat Pit280
    29Clay HarborJacvs. SD27-2
    30Fred DavisWasvs. Chi38+8
    31 Delanie WalkerTenvs. SF310
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Defense/Special Teams: Quarterback Play Means More Than Defensive Talent

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    How bad of a first half has this been for the Houston Texans? Even their defense is letting them and fantasy owners down. J.J. Watt might be one of the best players in football, but he alone cannot elevate that defense up to the starting level against a Chiefs team that has been the fourth-toughest opponent in fantasy for defense/special teams.

    The Chiefs haven't faced a good fantasy quarterback yet, and they won't this week either.


    Hail to the Chiefs

    The Texans have been the most vulnerable team in fantasy against opposing defenses, so you have to keep your upstart Chiefs defense active in all leagues, especially at home. We have a feeling the Texans are going to actually show up for this contest, but the Chiefs are playing well and get to face quarterback Case Keenum in his first NFL start. That is too good to pass up.


    Broncos-Colts, um, no thanks

    Denver has played some legendary shootout football already this season against the Ravens and Cowboys, and you have to figure this one is going to get really loose. Peyton Manning certainly wants to stick it to the franchise that decided to let him go, and Andrew Luck has to prove his Colts owner didn't make a bad decision. This is a legendary matchup that has to be avoided from the fantasy defense perspective.


    Like them more

    The Bengals haven't played great defense this season, but they are certainly capable of doing that. They showed it against the Pats, so you still should consider this a starting unit, even if Detroit is in the top 10 among the toughest matchups for an opposing defense in fantasy.

    The Bengals are among the units we like more than the consensus this week:

    1. Chicago Bears
    2. Cincinnati Bengals
    3. St. Louis Rams
    4. Dallas Cowboys
    5. Houston Texans


    Like them less

    The Giants have been the second-worst team against defense/special teams, mostly because Eli Manning has been the most error-prone quarterback in football this season. Only Matt Schaub and his pick-six streak have made the Texans worse against defensive units. We have a hunch the Giants are going to play better offensively this week, if only because the Vikings are so porous defensively themselves.

    The Minnesota defense is a popular streaming play because of Manning's interceptions and poor offensive line, but it is also among the units we like less than the masses below:

    1. Carolina Panthers
    2. Green Bay Packers
    3. Minnesota Vikings
    4. Buffalo Bills
    5. Arizona Cardinals (already played Thursday night)


    Week 7 Defenses and Special Teams Rankings—Eric Mack
    RankDefenses and Special TeamsTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Kansas City ChiefsKCvs. Hou 10
    2San Francisco 49ersSFat Ten3+1
    3Seattle SeahawksSeaat Ari2-1
    4New England PatriotsNEat NYJ 40
    5Baltimore RavensBalat Pit6+1
    6Chicago BearsChiat Was8+2
    7San Diego ChargersSDat Jac 70
    8Carolina PanthersCarvs. StL 5-3
    9Miami DolphinsMiavs. Buf 10+1
    10Cincinnati BengalsCinat Det 19+9
    11Green Bay PackersGBvs. Cle 9-2
    12Atlanta FalconsAtlvs. TB13+1
    13Minnesota VikingsMinat NYG 11-2
    14St. Louis RamsStLat Car17+3
    15Denver BroncosDenat Ind16+1
    16Buffalo BillsBufat Mia14-2
    17Dallas CowboysDalat Phi20+3
    18Arizona CardinalsArivs. Sea12-6
    19Tennessee TitansTenvs. SF15-4
    20Houston TexansHouat KC22+2
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Kickers: Must-See TV Makes for Some Easy Decisions

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    Two huge shootouts figure to make for some productive kickers this week. You shouldn't sit Stephen Gostkowski, Justin Tucker or Mason Crosby because of their matchups, but you have to love Matt Prater, Adam Vinatieri (DEN-IND), Dan Bailey and Alex Henery (DAL-PHI) in those shootouts. The Monday night game should get loose, too.


    Giant rebound for Walsh

    Blair Walsh is just No. 19 on the scoring list among kickers right now, but a matchup against one of the worst defenses in the NFL makes him a must-start option Monday night against the Giants. That defense has given up the most points to kickers to date. You should not be wary of Walsh's hamstring keeping him out of action. Keep him active.


    Texans kicker is completely Bullock(s)

    You don't need a reason to hate Randy Bullock this season, but trusting him with Case Keenum in at quarterback and facing the Chiefs this week is a bad, bad move. The Chiefs have been the No. 1 team in fantasy against kickers, and Bullock has been one of the worst kickers in fantasy this season, missing a league-high five field goals.


    Like him more

    Caleb Sturgis remains one of the best-kept secrets among kickers. The rookie has a strong leg, and the Dolphins have an improving offense that can position him to score. Oh, the Bills are also on the schedule this week, and they have allowed the second-most points to kickers to date.

    Sturgis is among the kickers we like a handful of spots more than the consensus below:

    1. Ryan Succop
    2. Caleb Sturgis
    3. Phil Dawson
    4. Greg Zuerlein
    5. Graham Gano


    Like him less

    Nick Novak has had his moments for fantasy owners this season and that Jaguars team looks tasty, but we are going to say Novak will be merely good for extra points this week. That reason alone is why Novak rates lower with us than the masses this week:

    1. Dan Bailey
    2. Adam Vinatieri
    3. Nick Novak
    4. Steven Hauschka (already played Thursday night)
    5. Robbie Gould


    Week 7 Kickers Rankings—Eric Mack
    RankKickersTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Stephen GostkowskiNEat NYJ10
    2Matt PraterDenat Ind3+1
    3Alex HeneryPhivs. Dal4+1
    4Mason CrosbyGBvs. Cle6+2
    5Matt BryantAtlvs. TB7+2
    6Blair WalshMinat NYG8+2
    7Dan BaileyDalat Phi2-5
    8Ryan SuccopKCvs. Hou13+5
    9Caleb SturgisMiavs. Buf14+5
    10Justin TuckerBalat Pit9-1
    11Phil DawsonSFat Ten17+6
    12Adam VinatieriIndvs. Den10-2
    13Nick NovakSDat Jac5-8
    14Greg ZuerleinStLat Car20+6
    15Steven HauschkaSeaat Ari12-3
    16Robbie GouldChiat Was11-5
    17Graham GanoCarvs. StL24+7
    18Kai ForbathWasvs. Chi16-2
    19Mike NugentCinat Det25+6
    20David AkersDetvs. Cin18-2

    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

    Follow @EricMackFantasy

    Eric Mack, one of the giants among fantasy writers, is the Fantasy Football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report this season. Follow him on Twitter, where you can ask him endless questions about your team, rip him for his content and even challenge him to a head-to-head fantasy game. You can also listen to him on his podcast that he deprecatingly dubbed the Fantasy FatCast.