X

Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings: Breaking Down Each Position

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistOctober 16, 2018

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes rolls out to pass against the New England Patriots during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Steven Senne/Associated Press

The midpoint of the 2018 fantasy football regular season has likely already passed or will be coming soon.

Hopefully, your record is unblemished and your roster uninjured. More likely, you're dealing with some level of adversity and hoping the obstacles you've encountered won't derail your entire campaign.

If you're still standing, congrats—but don't get comfortable. If you aren't, let's get rolling on the savvy strategies that can save your season.

Either way, this Week 7 breakdown should help point you in the right direction.

                          

Quarterbacks

John Bazemore/Associated Press

1. Patrick Mahomes, KC (vs. CIN)

2. Matt Ryan, ATL (vs. NYG)

3. Philip Rivers, LAC (vs. TEN in London)

4. Jared Goff, LAR (at SF)

5. Cam Newton, CAR (at PHI)

6. Tom Brady, NE (at CHI)

7. Kirk Cousins, MIN (at NYJ)

8. Drew Brees, NO (at BAL)

9. Andy Dalton, CIN (at KC)

10. Matthew Stafford, DET (at MIA)

Matt Ryan's fantasy owners should have plenty of reasons to celebrate in Week 7. Those opposing him are likely already asking the football gods for as many points as possible, since they know how scorching hot he is.

The 33-year-old just completed his fourth consecutive interception-free week. He's passed for at least 350 yards and three touchdowns in three of those contests, and his absurd four-game totals include 1,432 yards on 73.2 percent passing with 12 scores against zero picks.

Up next, Ryan draws a Giants defense that's allowed 33-plus points three straight weeks. Most recently, they watched Carson Wentz slice through them with 278 yards on 26-of-36 passing (72.2 percent) and three scores.

                     

Running Backs

Charles Krupa/Associated Press

1. Todd Gurley, LAR (at SF)

2. Saquon Barkley, NYG (at ATL)

3. Melvin Gordon, LAC (vs. TEN)

4. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL (at WAS)

5. David Johnson, ARI (vs. DEN)

6. Joe Mixon, CIN (at KC)

7. Alvin Kamara, NO (at BAL)

8. Kareem Hunt, KC (vs. CIN)

9. Christian McCaffrey, CAR (at PHI)

10. Sony Michel, NE (at CHI)

If you hadn't previously purchased a ticket on the Sony Michel hype train, we regret to inform you they're all sold out.

The 31st pick in this past draft just had his second 100-yard effort in three weeks. During the other contest, he "settled" 98 yards on 18 carries, a season-high 5.4 yards a pop and a touchdown.

"Michel entered top-five in Yards Created per carry (2.04) and should continue to benefit from a top-five game script in this powerful offense that's only getting better," Dalton Del Don wrote for Yahoo Sports. "There are just a small handful of backs I'd rather own."

While no defense has been stingier to fantasy running backs than Chicago's, Michel seems to be entering matchup-proof territory.

                    

Wide Receivers

Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

1. Julio Jones, ATL (vs. NYG)

2. A.J. Green, CIN (at KC)

3. Adam Thielen, MIN (at NYJ)

4. Odell Beckham Jr, NYG (at ATL)

5. Tyreek Hill, KC (vs. CIN)

6. Michael Thomas, NO (at BAL)

7. Mike Evans, TB (vs. CLE)

8. Keenan Allen, LAC (vs. TEN)

9. Alshon Jeffery, PHI (vs. CAR)

10. Sammy Watkins, KC (vs. CIN)

No matter where Adam Thielen ranked on your draft board, it clearly wasn't high enough. After breaking out with a 91-grab, 1,276-yard performance last season, the 28-year-old is somehow making another leap.

As NFL.com's Graham Barfield observed, Thielen's weekly contributions have bordered on inconceivable:

Graham Barfield @GrahamBarfield

Adam Thielen's game log is so ridiculous that it almost looks fake: Week 1: 6/102 (12 targets) Week 2: 12/131/1 (13 targets) Week 3: 14/105 (19 targets) Week 4: 8/135/1 (12 targets) Week 5: 7/116/1 (10 targets) Week 6: 11/123/1 (15 targets)

Thielen went undrafted out of Minnesota State in 2013. Fast forward five years, and he's leading the NFL in targets (81), catches (58) and receiving yards (712). His four scores are already just one shy of his career high.

Considering his upcoming matchup—the Jets have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to receivers—there's no reason to think his incredible run will slow down at all.

                   

Tight Ends

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 16:  Evan Engram #88 of the New York Giants scores a touchdown  against the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

1. Travis Kelce, KC (vs. CIN)

2. Rob Gronkowski, NE (at CHI)

3. Zach Ertz, PHI (vs. CAR)

4. Eric Ebron, IND (vs. BUF)

5. David Njoku, CLE (at TB)

6. Jordan Reed, WAS (vs. DAL)

7. Trey Burton, CHI (vs. NE)

8. George Kittle, SF (vs. LAR)

9. Evan Engram, NYG (at ATL)

10. Austin Hooper, ATL (vs. NYG)

Save for the few elites, consistency has been nearly impossible to find at tight end. But one more relatively reliable option could be added to the list if Evan Engram is finally healthy.

He hasn't played since Sep. 23 due to an MCL sprain, but the Giants were optimistic about getting him back in time for last Thursday's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. That obviously didn't happen, but with 10 days between that contest and New York's next outing, that might be the break the sophomore needs to get himself back in the loop.

He grabbed 64 passes for 722 yards and six scores last season. So far this year, he's at 10 catches for 104 yards and a touchdown in roughly 10 quarters of work.

                    

Defenses

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 07: Jalen Ramsey #20, cornerback with the Jacksonville Jaguars, spoke to a referee during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on October 7, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Imag
David Eulitt/Getty Images

1. Los Angeles Rams (at SF)

2. Minnesota Vikings (at NYJ)

3. Indianapolis Colts (vs. BUF)

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. HOU)

5. Denver Broncos (at ARI)

6. Houston Texans (at JAX)

7. Philadelphia Eagles (vs. CAR)

8. Detroit Lions (at MIA)

9. Los Angeles Chargers (vs. TEN)

10. Atlanta Falcons (vs. NYG)

There's a common thread bonding nearly every opposing team in the top five here—they're either playing rookies or backups at quarterback.

The lone exception are the Houston Texans, who have sophomore signal-caller Deshaun Watson under center. He's capable of posting monster numbers (three games with 375-plus yards), but opportunistic defenses can pad their own fantasy totals against him. He's had seven interceptions and four fumbles through six games, thanks in no small part to the 66 hits and 25 sacks he's taken, per ESPN's Sarah Barshop.

While the Jaguars have rarely looked like an elite fantasy defense this season, they're still allowing the second-fewest yards per game (306.5). If they can get to Watson and generate takeaways how other opponents have, they could easily lead this group in Week 7.

               

Kickers

John Hefti/Associated Press

1. Justin Tucker, BAL (vs. NO)

2. Greg Zuerlein, LAR (at SF)

3. Harrison Butker, KC (vs. CIN)

4. Dan Bailey, MIN (at NYJ)

5. Adam Vinatieri, IND (vs. BUF)

6. Wil Lutz, NO (at BAL)

7. Jake Elliott, PHI (vs. CAR)

8. Matt Bryant, ATL (vs. NYG)

9. Robbie Gould, SF (vs. LAR)

10. Dustin Hopkins, WAS (vs. DAL)

Rams head coach Sean McVay believes Greg Zuerlein "has a chance" to play this weekend, per Myles Simmons of the team's official site. When healthy—which Zuerlein hasn't been since Week 1—he's right there with the best options at the position.

If an antsy owner somehow cut Zuerlein loose, this is the time to pounce.

                 

Statistics used courtesy of ESPN.com and NFL.com. Fantasy scoring info via Yahoo Sports.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.