Monday, October 26, 2020

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Ranking Week 8 TE Options

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short and/or long term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire. Of course, your league's size and settings could significantly impact whether these players (or better options) are available in your particular league(s).

With that said, here are some tight end waiver-wire options to consider heading into Week 8 (Yahoo! % rostered in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by our preference to add.]

1. Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts (21%)

Coming off his team's Week 7 bye, Burton had five-plus targets in each of his past three games. In those three games, Burton has a total of 11 catches for 107 yards and a touchdown on 16 targets and a one-yard rushing touchdown as well. Meanwhile, Jack Doyle has only six targets during that same stretch. Going forward, Burton is on the TE1/TE2 fringe as a streaming option in fantasy leagues.

2. Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers (46%)

Playing alongside a talented receiving corps may cap Ebron's weekly upside. That said, Ebron had six receptions on eight targets, both of which were season highs, for 50 yards on Sunday. Ebron has a minimum of four targets in five consecutive games and at least 43 yards in four of those five contests.

3. Harrison Bryant, Cleveland Browns (1%)

Although David Njoku also scored a touchdown, it was Bryant -- not Njoku -- that got the start and the larger target market share with Austin Hooper (appendicitis) sidelined. The rookie tight end scored twice on his four catches for 56 yards on Sunday. If Hooper were to miss another game, Bryant would be a top-15 tight end for Week 8. Either way, the season-ending ACL injury to Odell Beckham could lead to an expanded share of targets to the (tight end) position overall.

4. Richard Rodgers, Philadelphia Eagles (9%)

Rodgers turned his eight targets against the Giants on Thursday night into six catches for 85 yards, both of which were team highs. Only Travis Fulgham (11) was targeted more. The veteran tight end hasn't had as many receptions since 2016 or yards since 2015, back during his Green Bay days.

With Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert sidelined, Rodgers may not duplicate his Week 7 production, but he's in the streaming mix against a Cowboys defense that has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season.

5. Drew Sample, Cincinnati Bengals (2%)

If the 2019 second-round pick played the Browns every week, he might be higher on this list. In his second matchup against the Browns, Sample had five catches on six targets for 52 yards. (He had 7/45 on nine targets Week 2 in Cleveland.) On a positive note, Sample has a favorable matchup against the Titans (seventh-most fantasy points per game allowed) this week.

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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Ranking Week 8 WR Options

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short and/or long term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire. Of course, your league's size and settings could significantly impact whether these players (or better options) are available in your particular league(s).

With that said, here are some wide receiver waiver-wire options to consider heading into Week 8 (Yahoo! % rostered in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by our preference to add.]

1. Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers (48%)

Despite the 49ers running all over the Patriots, the first-round rookie had the best game of his young career on Sunday with six catches for 115 yards. To a degree, the boxscore production for Aiyuk has been a bit up and down given the run-first nature of the offense, but he's averaging 3.6/51.8/0.2 on 5.8 targets per game over his past five games.

Opportunities could be more plentiful for Aiyuk in Week 8. The run-heavy offense may need to throw much more often in Week 8 to keep up with Russell Wilson and the league's highest-scoring offense. In addition, Deebo Samuel tweaked his hamstring on Sunday as well.

Not only will the 49ers likely throw it more often than their norm, the matchup for Aiyuk is ideal as no team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers than the Seahawks.

2. Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (29%)

After missing more than a month and returning from IR, Shepard had six receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown against the Eagles on Thursday Night Football. Only Evan Engram (nine, 30.0% share) had more targets than Shepard (eight, 26.7%). Missing a total of 10 games over the past season and a half, Shepard has the chance to be the team's top-performing receiver if he can stay healthy.

3. Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills (41%)

Beasley converted 11-of-12 targets into a season-high 112 yards on Sunday. Buffalo's slot receiver has more than 50 yards and/or a touchdown in every game this season.

As we all know by now, the Patriots (Buffalo's Week 8 opponent) focus on stopping an opponent's best weapon (Stefon Diggs for Buffalo) and forcing their secondary weapons to beat them. Especially if John Brown and Dawson Knox miss more time, Beasley should get peppered with targets this week.

4. Rashad Higgins, Cleveland Browns (1%)

Higgins led the Browns in both catches (six) and yards (110) in what turned out to be a shootout against their cross-state rivals on Sunday. While Higgins Week 7 production was equal to or greater than his production through Week 6, his role in the offense will expand significantly going forward with the team losing Odell Beckham to a torn ACL.

5. Nelson Agholor, Las Vegas Raiders (4%)

Agholor finished Sunday with five receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown on nine targets, all of which were season highs. Not only did it extend Agholor's scoring streak to three games, but his yardage has continued to increase each week (44, 67 and 107, respectively). Of course, the streak won't last forever, but there's another favorable matchup on the table for Agholor and the team's receivers as the Browns rank amongst the three most generous fantasy defenses to the position this season.

6. Denzel Mims, New York Jets (4%)

Making his season (and NFL) debut, Mims led the Jets in targets (seven) and finished with four catches for 42 yards. Of course, Mims led the team in targets with Jamison Crowder sidelined and Breshad Perriman (concussion) leaving the game early. That said, Mims is a height-weight-speed freak on a team that will be (big) underdogs in every game this season and are currently 20-point underdogs to the Chiefs.

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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Ranking Week 8 RB Options

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short and/or long term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire. Of course, your league's size and settings could significantly impact whether these players (or better options) are available in your particular league(s).

With that said, here are some running back waiver-wire options to consider heading into Week 8 (Yahoo! % rostered in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by our preference to add.]

1. Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers (43%)

Kelley's efficiency in Week 7 leaves a lot to be desired, but the workload (17 touches) makes us take a long look. The fourth-round rookie carried the ball 12 times for 29 yards and added five catches for 24 yards. Meanwhile, backfield mate Justin Jackson had only 10 touches (after getting 20 before the bye in Week 5).

It's certainly possible that Jackson out-touches Kelley in Week 8, but the duo has a favorable upcoming schedule after their difficult Week 8 matchup (Broncos). From Weeks 9 to 11, the Chargers face the Raiders, Dolphins and Jets, who have allowed the second-most, ninth-most and seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

2. Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills (46%)

Moss had his best game of the season against the Jets on Sunday with seven carries for 47 yards and three catches for 25 yards. Meanwhile, Devin Singletary had a season-low and identical-to-Moss 10 touches on Sunday. While both Moss and Singletary are averaging less than four yards per carry, Singletary has now averaged 3.1, 2.3, 3.2 and 3.6 YPC, respectively, in his past four games.

Going forward, Moss has the potential to either maintain an even split with Singletary or perhaps become the 1(a) to Singletary as a 1(b). Either way, he's worth a stash if he's available in your league.

3. Carlos Hyde, Seattle Seahawks (11%)

With Chris Carson exiting Sunday night's game with a mid-foot sprain, Hyde had 15 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown and added three catches for eight yards. Depending on the results of Carson's MRI on Monday, it's possible that Hyde could get the start in Week 8.

4. Damien Harris, New England Patriots (47%)

As bad as the team's offense has looked, it's difficult to get excited about any Patriot on the waiver wire. That said, Harris was one of the few offensive bright spots (10 carries for 58 yards and a 12-yard reception) on Sunday. Looking past Week 8 (Buffalo) to Week 9 (NY Jets), it's certainly possible that Harris is a top-24 back in Week 9 as the Patriots should be favored by double digits.

Related: Jets are 20-point underdogs in Week 8

5. JaMycal Hasty, San Francisco 49ers (21%)

Before suffering a high-ankle sprain, Jeff Wilson Jr. ran all over the Patriots to a tune of 112 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries. Once again, Hasty has looked good as well as he gained 57 yards on nine carries and added a 16-yard reception.

With Raheem Mostert and Wilson sidelined, Hasty could lead the backfield in touches next week. Per The Athletic's David Lombardi, Kyle Shanahan said that the team was "planning to rest" McKinnon since he "had a large workload earlier this season." And Tevin Coleman could possibly return in Week 8. So, in other words, it remains difficult to predict the workloads for this team's backfield.

6. La'Mical Perine, New York Jets (21%)

As Frank Gore also had 11 carries on Sunday, Perine rushed 11 times for 39 yards and a touchdown and added two catches for 16 yards in Week 7. It was a season-high 13 touches for Perine and with Le'Veon Bell now in Kansas City, Gore could continue to cede a larger share of the workload going forward. In fact, Pro Football Reference charted Hasty (season-high 70%) playing more than double the number of snaps as Gore (28%, his lowest since Week 1).

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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Ranking Week 8 QB Options

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short and/or long term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire. Of course, your league's size and settings could significantly impact whether these players (or better options) are available in your particular league(s).

With that said, here are some quarterback waiver-wire options to consider heading into Week 8 (Yahoo! % rostered in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by our preference to add.]

1. Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers (44%)

Whether looking for a bye-week replacement for Kyler Murray or Deshaun Watson, both on bye in Week 8, or streaming the position by design or out of necessity (Dak Prescott's season-ending injury), Bridgewater is an ideal plug-and-play option off the waiver wire this week.

Bridgewater has thrown multiple touchdowns and scored at least 19 fantasy points in three of his past four games. In Week 8, Bridgewater gets a repeat matchup against one of those teams (Atlanta). In his first matchup, Bridgewater completed 27-of-36 for 313 yards and two touchdowns.

It's not just Bridgewater that has had success against the Falcons secondary; every quarterback has. The only game in which they did not allow a 300-yard passer was due to the fact that the Bears benched Mitch Trubisky for Nick Foles, but the duo combined for 316 passing yards and four touchdowns. Heading into Monday Night Football, no team has allowed more fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season than the Falcons.

2. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders (29%)

While Carr has never been an elite fantasy quarterback (and still isn't), he's been more productive than most have realized as he's never finished worse than the QB20 (2014, rookie season). Since Week 2, Carr has averaged 297.4 passing yards per game and thrown multiple touchdowns every week. During that five-game stretch, the veteran quarterback has compiled a 12-to-two TD-INT ratio.

Carr has now scored 20-plus fantasy points in three consecutive games and four of his past five. To help maintain his current hot streak, the Raiders quarterback gets a favorable matchup in Week 8 against the Browns, who have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game this season. In addition, they have allowed four games of 24-plus fantasy points to opposing signal-callers in 2020.

3. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (33%)

Mayfield is coming off his best performance of the season, by far. In a battle of former No. 1 overall picks (Mayfield vs. Joe Burrow), the Browns quarterback completed 22-of-28 for 297 yards, five touchdowns and an interception despite losing Odell Beckham to a torn ACL. Aside from Week 7, gaudy production has eluded Mayfield, but he has now thrown multiple scores in five of six games.

The loss of OBJ diminishes Mayfield's upside, but like the quarterbacks listed above him, he gets a favorable matchup as well. The Raiders have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points this season. While Mayfield isn't in the tier of quarterbacks the Raiders defense had to face over the past three weeks (Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady), they have allowed an average of 30.99 fantasy points over that stretch.

4. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (30%)

While his numbers include a benching (vs. Miami), Garoppolo has averaged only 24.8 pass attempts per game this season. Excluding the Dolphins game, the average increases to only 26.75 per game. As much as the 49ers love to run the ball, game script may force Garoppolo to sling it much more often as they try to keep up with Russell Wilson and the high-flying Seahawks offense in Week 8. Not only do the Seahawks average a league-high 33.8 offensive points per game, they have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks as well.

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Saturday, October 24, 2020

Chicago Bears Week 7 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Chicago Bears rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 10.6 (10th)
  • Best ranking: 6th (CBS Sports)
  • Worst ranking: 13th (USA Today)

Below you will find a Week 7 roundup for the Bears in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 12

EPR was not a believer in the Bears last week, but the model liked what it saw in their win against Carolina. Their defense continues to lead the way. Rookie corner Jaylon Johnson had a nice pass deflection early that Tashaun Gipson intercepted. Eddie Jackson came through with a forced fumble on a Mike Davis run. And the Bears got a couple of key red-zone stops. Through six games, Chicago's defense ranks seventh in EPA per snap. The offense, meanwhile, is 24th. The Bears face a tough upcoming three-game stretch: at the Rams, home against the Saints, at Tennessee.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 6

At 5-1, it's time to give them their props. It might not be pretty, but they are getting the job done.

USA Today -- Rank: 13

They're in first place, so give them credit for grit. But nothing comes easily to this team, especially on offense. Watching Chicago try to score from the 1-yard line Sunday -- failing in a four-tight end set, then a three-receiver set -- before QB Nick Foles did it himself ... just painful.

ESPN -- Rank: 11

Most impactful injury: RB Tarik Cohen

Cohen, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear in Week 3, contributed heavily on offense and special teams. The Bears have yet to fill Cohen's multidimensional role on offense, although veteran Lamar Miller is a strong candidate to do so whenever the Bears elevate him off the practice squad. Cohen provided Chicago with a strong second option in the run game alongside David Montgomery, and Cohen caught 79 passes out of the backfield last season. The Bears also are struggling to fill Cohen's role on punt returns, where veteran Ted Ginn Jr. has failed to generate much positive yardage in recent weeks. -- Jeff Dickerson

NFL.com -- Rank: 11

Do you respect the Bears yet? They provided more food for thought on Sunday, shutting down the Panthers with a 23-16 win in Charlotte. Carolina had been playing as well as any team in the NFC over the course of its three-game winning streak, but the Bears' defense muzzled Matt Rhule's offense with a now-familiar recipe for success: get to the quarterback and force turnovers. Add in improved QB play for Chicago with Nick Foles, and the Bears are finding ways to win close games week after week. But back to the question at hand: Do you respect the Bears yet? With games against the Rams, Saints and Titans on tap (12-4 combined record), further clarity should be on the way.

Previous update: Chicago Bears Week 6 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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Fantasy Football Start'Em, Sit'Em: Week 7 TEs

The decision on which player to start, or sit, largely comes down to the options on your roster (and/or possibly the players available on your league's waiver wire).

As an example, T.J. Hockenson is listed below as a "start" for Week 7. And we'd certainly be comfortable going into Week 7 with him as our starting tight end.

Then again, Hockenson may be a "sit" for your team.

In other words, if you own both Travis Kelce and Hockenson, you should start Kelce and, in turn, bench Hockenson.

For a more direct answer on whether we would start Player X over Player Y, check it our Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings. Instead of those direct comparisons, the goal here is to highlight players that we like, or dislike, for the week.

Week 7 Fantasy Football TE Start'em

T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions (at ATL)

In his two most recent games, Hockenson has been limited to just 26 total yards and two catches per game. That said, one of those two catches in each game were touchdowns. On the season, the second-year tight end has a total of 17 catches for 197 yards and three touchdowns over five games.

So far this season, the Falcons defense has allowed either the most or second-most receptions (40, 2nd-most), receiving yards (438, 2nd-most) and receiving touchdowns (seven, most) to opposing tight ends. Only the Saints have allowed more fantasy points per game to the position this season.

Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at LV)

After a slow start earlier this season, Gronkowski said, "I came here to block, baby." Since hauling in only two catches for 11 yards on four targets through the first two weeks of the season, Tom Brady has been looking Gronk's way much more often. With a minimum of six targets in three of the past four games, Gronkowski has 15 catches for 207 yards and a touchdown over that four-game span.

Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers (at HOU)

Tonyan (ankle) is listed as questionable for Sunday, so there is obviously some concern. Fortunately the Packers-Texans game kicks off at 1 p.m. ET, so fantasy owners will know ahead of time if they need to look in a different direction.

Over the past four games, Tonyan has a total of 16 catches for 198 yards and five touchdowns. No team has a higher implied total than the Packers this week and no game has a higher weekly total. Meanwhile, the Texans have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points per game to the position this season.

Week 7 Fantasy Football TE Sit'em

Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams (vs. CHI)

Outside of his three-TD explosion in Week 2, Higbee has no other touchdowns this season. Exceeding the 40-yard mark in only two games with a season high of only 56 yards, Higbee has disappointed fantasy owners this season. Based on half-PPR scoring, here are his weekly finishes: TE21, TE1, TE20, TE32, TE29 and TE16.

We have Higbee ranked outside our top 15 fantasy tight ends for this week as well.

Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons (vs. DET)

As my TE13 for the week, Hurst isn't necessarily a terrible option at the position if you don't have a better option. That said, the Lions have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season and the team that has allowed the fewest (Indianapolis) is on a bye this week.

Hurst has been solid, not great, this season as he has 50-plus yards and/or a touchdown in four of his past five games. That said, he has only finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end twice (in six games) this season.

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Indianapolis Colts Week 7 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Indianapolis Colts rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 13.6 (13th)
  • Best ranking: 12th (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 16th (NFL.com)

Below you will find a Week 7 roundup for the Colts in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 15

Good luck trying to figure this team out. A week after laying an egg, Philip Rivers played his best game as a Colt. Indianapolis got down 21-0, and then Rivers caught fire. In the second quarter alone, he completed 14 of 21 passes for 235 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Rivers' 267 yards in the first half were the most by a quarterback in a game this season. The Colts got contributions from an unlikely group. Marcus Johnson had five catches for 108 yards, and that stat line could have looked even better had Rivers not overthrown him on a deep ball in the second half. Trey Burton caught four of five targets for 58 yards and a score and also had a rushing touchdown. Safety Julian Blackmon came up big with an interception late to seal the win. The Colts appear to be one of the most high-variance teams in the league. But they go into their bye at 4-2.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 13

So Philip Rivers can still take over a game. He was outstanding against the Bengals. The defense has waned the past few games, which is not a good sign.

USA Today -- Rank: 12

If you had to guess who league's leading scorer was, probably be quite some time before you got to undrafted Indianapolis rookie K Rodrigo Blankenship ... who's basically made everyone forget about Adam Vinatieri.

ESPN -- Rank: 12

Most impactful injury: RB Marlon Mack

Mack suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in the first half of the Week 1 game at Jacksonville. The plan all along was for Mack to be the starter and for rookie Jonathan Taylor to get significant carries behind Mack, but Taylor has been forced to carry the bulk of the load out of the backfield. The rookie out of Wisconsin has shown flashes but doesn't have Mack's consistency yet. Taylor, who leads the Colts with 367 yards rushing, struggles at times turning upfield when there's a lane to run through. The Colts, who were seventh in the NFL in rushing last year, are 26th in the league this season with 98 yards per game. -- Mike Wells

NFL.com -- Rank: 16

Now that's the Philip Rivers the Colts paid for. The veteran passer delivered a vintage performance against the Bengals, throwing for 371 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-27 comeback win. Sure, he also had a vintage Philip Rivers interception that kept Cincinnati's hopes alive in the fourth quarter, but on balance, it was an excellent performance that backed up Frank Reich's vote of confidence last week and sends the Colts into their bye on a high note at 4-2. Rivers was unconscious as the Colts slashed away at a 21-0 deficit in the second quarter, finishing 14-for-21 with 235 yards and two TDs in the period. It was the most yards he's accumulated in any quarter in his career.

Previous update: Indianapolis Colts Week 6 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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New Orleans Saints Week 7 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the New Orleans Saints rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 9.6 (9th)
  • Best ranking: 8th (The Athletic)
  • Worst ranking: 12th (CBS Sports)

Below you will find a Week 7 roundup for the Saints in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 8

The Saints return from the bye with a home matchup against Carolina in Week 7. Much of the focus thus far has been on Drew Brees' arm, but New Orleans has scored 30-plus in four of its first five and ranks eighth in EPA per snap on offense. Getting Michael Thomas back should help them be more consistent. The defense, though, ranks 25th and needs to be a lot better for the Saints to come out of the NFC.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 12

They come off the bye with a division game at home against the Panthers. The defense has to be better going forward.

USA Today -- Rank: 9

They haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher since Nov. 19, 2017 ... since Washington's Samaje Perine hit the century mark. That's a remarkable streak of 48 consecutive games.

ESPN -- Rank: 9

Most impactful injury: WR Michael Thomas

This one is pretty obvious, considering Thomas is the NFL's reigning Offensive Player of the Year after catching a league-record 149 passes in 2019. Thomas has been out since suffering an ankle injury in Week 1, and the offense missed him while taking several weeks to get in sync. Drew Brees has finally started to develop a rhythm with WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Tre'Quan Smith, which bodes well for them now that Thomas appears likely to return following the Week 6 bye. But as of now, the Saints rank 28th in the NFL in yards per game by wide receivers. -- Mike Triplett

NFL.com -- Rank: 10

The Saints steadied the ship with back-to-back wins going into their Week 6 bye, but this remains a team with issues on both sides of the ball. Getting Michael Thomas back in the mix would be a big lift on offense, though the situation has been somewhat complicated. Thomas missed three weeks with an ankle injury, then missed his fourth consecutive game due to disciplinary reasons in Week 5. Thomas threw a punch at a teammate, then reportedly behaved in a disrespectful manner toward coaches after the incident. When Thomas is on, he is an historically productive receiver. Is that the version of Thomas the Saints get upon his return? His presence has been badly missed.

Previous update: New Orleans Saints Week 6 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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Fantasy Football Start'Em, Sit'Em: Week 7 WRs

The decision on which player to start, or sit, largely comes down to the options on your roster (and/or possibly the players available on your league's waiver wire).

As an example, Chase Claypool is listed below as a "start" for Week 7. And we'd certainly be comfortable going into Week 7 with him as one of our starting wide receivers.

Then again, Claypool may be a "sit" for your team.

In other words, if you own both Davante Adams, Calvin Ridley and Claypool and start two wide receivers, you should start Adams and Ridley and, in turn, bench Claypool.

For a more direct answer on whether we would start Player X over Player Y, check it our Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings. Instead of those direct comparisons, the goal here is to highlight players that we like, or dislike, for the week.

Week 7 Fantasy Football WR Start'em

Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers (at TEN)

As teammate Joe Haden had said, Claypool was going to a "problem" (for opposing secondaries) and that he has. The rookie out of Notre Dame is a height-weight-speed mismatch and he has a total of six touchdowns in his past four games. During that four-game stretch, Mapletron has 15 catches for 296 yards and four touchdowns plus 15 rushing yards and another two scores.

Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers (at NO)

Anderson has exceeded our expectations for the 2020 season. Across all scoring formats, the former Jet is a top-10 receiver -- 10th in non-PPR, ninth in half-PPR and sixth in PPR -- despite scoring only one touchdown this season. Through six games, Anderson has 40 catches for 566 yards and a touchdown. While he has 99-plus yards in four of six games, he has yet to have less than 55 receiving yards or four receptions in any game this season.

Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills (at NYJ)

Based on implied totals from Vegas odds, the Bills are forecast to score the fourth-most points this week. And while the Bills are double-digit favorites, which could prompt them to take their foot off the gas early, Diggs has been extremely consistent all season. Not only does he have three 100-yard games, but he now has 86-plus yards and/or a touchdown in every game this season. Averaging nearly double-digit targets per game (9.83), Diggs had eight catches for 86 yards on nine targets in his first matchup against the Jets.

Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. CLE)

Higgins set career highs in receptions (six) and yards (125) last week and now has a minimum of 62 yards in three consecutive games. Over the past four weeks, the Clemson rookie has scored double-digit fantasy points (half-PPR) in three games with an average of 13.35 per game. In addition, Higgins has a minimum of seven targets per game over that span and an average of eight per contest. Inside my top-24 fantasy wide receivers for the week, Higgins is a viable WR2 and my preferred Bengals receiver for Week 7.

Week 7 Fantasy Football WR Sit'em

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers (at TEN)

Since starting the season with a bang (6/69/2 at NYG), Smith-Schuster has failed to reach the 50-yard mark. In fact, his weekly yardage total has dropped every week this season: 69, 48, 43, 28 and six. Meanwhile, here is how JSS has performed since Week 2 (half-PPR scoring): WR48, WR25, WR63 and WR86. With the emergence of Claypool (see above) and return of Diontae Johnson, it's difficult to trust Smith-Schuster as anything more than a low-end WR3 or flex option in Week 7.

Julian Edelman, New England Patriots (vs. SF)

Like Smith-Schuster, Edelman has struggled more recently for fantasy owners. Edelman had 13 catches for 236 yards on 18 scoreless targets in the first two weeks of the season, but since then, he has finished with 2/23 (Week 3), 3/35 (Week 4), BYE (Week 5) and 2/8 (Week 6). In other words, Edelman hasn't finished as a top-65 weekly wide receiver since Week 2. The 49ers defense has been decimated by injuries, but they have allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing receivers this season.

A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. CLE)

Targeted 11 times in Week 6, Green turned in his best performance (8/96, WR16) of the season last week. Another positive for Green was a season-high in targets (13) the first time the Bengals faced the Browns this season. That said, AJG's only weekly finish inside the top 45 wide receivers was last week's performance. Meanwhile, Tee Higgins has emerged as a more reliable target for fellow rookie Joe Burrow. Despite his immense talent, we'd prefer to see him string together two strong outings before trusting him in our lineups.

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Los Angeles Rams Week 7 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Los Angeles Rams rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 11.8 (12th)
  • Best ranking: 9th (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 20th (USA Today)

Below you will find a Week 7 roundup for the Rams in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 9

Late in the third quarter, it looked like the Rams were well-positioned for a comeback win against the 49ers. But Cooper Kupp dropped a pass in the end zone, and then Jared Goff threw an interception. The pair failed to connect time and again during Sunday night's loss to the 49ers. Goff was 3-for-9 for 11 yards when targeting Kupp, who averaged 0.3 yards per route run, which is the third-worst mark of his career. And the defense gave up 24 first downs. The Rams are still a good team, but all four of their wins have come against the NFC East.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 11

That was a bad loss at San Francisco. So much so, it has some saying their fast start was fraudulent. We will find out this week against the Bears.

USA Today -- Rank: 20

Admittedly, time to take hard look at this team -- which fattened up on NFC East -- and re-evaluate. Aaron Donald can't do it alone up front.

ESPN -- Rank: 10

Most impactful injury: RB Cam Akers

The Rams have mostly avoided serious injuries, with the exception of left guard Joe Noteboom (calf) and safety Jordan Fuller (shoulder), who were placed on injured reserve but are expected to return after being replaced by experienced starters. So the most significant injury was to Akers, who suffered separated rib cartilage in Week 2 and was sidelined for two games. A second-round pick from Florida State, Akers started the first two games and appeared on track to play a large role. Despite returning to health and rushing for 61 yards on nine carries in Week 5, Akers did not have a touch in Week 6. -- Lindsey Thiry

NFL.com -- Rank: 9

Jared Goff and Cooper Kupp have enviable chemistry on the field. That's what made the near misses between the quarterback and wide receiver so jarring in Sunday night's 24-16 loss to the 49ers. Two plays on successive drives in the third quarter stood out: With 9:30 to play in the quarter, Goff was a split-second late on a deep throw to an open Kupp, who got turned around and couldn't make the catch. Then, with 2:39 to play in the third and the Rams inside the San Francisco 10-yard line, Goff rolled to his right and fired a perfect dart that Kupp failed to corral at the pylon. The first missed connection led to a punt, the second set up an interception. Frustrating stuff for two guys who usually make the most of their opportunities together.

Previous update: Los Angeles Rams Week 6 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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Fantasy Football Start'Em, Sit'Em: Week 7 RBs

The decision on which player to start, or sit, largely comes down to the options on your roster (and/or possibly the players available on your league's waiver wire).

As an example, Giovani Bernard is listed below as a "start" for Week 7. And we'd certainly be comfortable going into Week 7 with him as one of our starting running backs.

Then again, Bernard may be a "sit" for your team.

In other words, if you own both Derrick Henry, James Conner and Bernard, you should start Henry and Conner and, in turn, bench Bernard.

For a more direct answer on whether we would start Player X over Player Y, check it our Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings. Instead of those direct comparisons, the goal here is to highlight players that we like, or dislike, for the week.

Week 7 Fantasy Football RB Start'em

Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns (at CIN)

Hunt has finished as a top-five fantasy running back once this season (Week 2 against the Bengals). In that game, backfield mate Nick Chubb finished as the week's RB3 with 22/124/2 rushing. Hunt also scored a pair of touchdowns -- one rushing and one receiving -- as he totaled 101 scrimmage yards on 12 touches. With Chubb out this week, Hunt is set up for a monster week and currently sits inside our top four fantasy running backs for the week.

Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers (at NO)

Christian McCaffrey who? Of course, CMC is one of the most talented backs in the NFL, but the Panthers have not missed a beat with Davis filling in for the team's stud running back.

Davis has a minimum of 20 touches and a touchdown in each of the past four weeks as the starter. In addition, Davis has a minimum of eight receptions in three of his past five games with a total of 32 catches during that span. In fact, the other top back (Alvin Kamara, 38) in this game is the only running back to haul in more receptions than Davis this season.

Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at LV)

Even though Leonard Fournette has practiced in full this week, Tampa's backfield clearly belongs to Jones. The third-year back now has a three-game 100-yard streak and currently ranks fifth in the NFL in rushing (472). While he has been a workhorse with 20-plus touches in three consecutive games as well, RoJo has been efficient with an average of 4.87 yards per carry this season.

To help Jones' cause, he gets a favorable matchup against the Raiders, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season. Counting rush attempts by only running backs, the Raiders have allowed 5.21 YPC (third-most) and a rushing touchdown percentage of 7.29% (most) to the position.

Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. CLE)

Whether or not you owned Joe Mixon, who has been ruled out this week, Bernard is a viable plug-and-play option at RB2 off the waiver wire. The Browns have surrendered only 3.81 YPC to running backs, but they have allowed seven rushing touchdowns on 116 carries (6.03%, third-most) to the position.

Week 7 Fantasy Football RB Sit'em

Le'Veon Bell, Kansas City Chiefs (at DEN)

It's certainly possible that Bell becomes the 1(a) to Clyde Edwards-Helaire's 1(b) at some point this season. That said, it's more likely that the roles to begin Bell's Kansas City tenure see him as the No. 2 -- not even the 1(b) -- to CEH initially. The first-round rookie currently ranks second in the NFL in rushing (505) and is a talented receiver out of the backfield. Taking a wait-and-see approach with Bell figures to be the most prudent approach. In additionn, the Broncos have been the league's stingiest defense to opposing running backs this season.

Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams (vs. CHI)

Henderson is off to a great start. Through six weeks, the second-year back has three RB1 (top-12) weekly performances and another RB2 (top-24) performance. With 14 or more touches in four of the past five weeks, Henderson has averaged 87.6 yards from scrimmage per game with a total of four touchdowns during that span.

While Cam Akers (surprisingly) played only one snap last week, there is (the potential for) a three-headed backfield with Henderson, Malcolm Brown and Akers. Given that the Bears have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, Henderson is more of a flex option than a must-start RB2 this week.

Adrian Peterson, Detroit Lions (at ATL)

Peterson has scored in back-to-back games, but he rushed for 40 or less yards in each of those games. With a limited role as a receiver (seven targets in five games), Peterson was out-touched and outperformed by rookie D'Andre Swift last week. Swift rushed 14 times for 116 yards and two touchdowns and added three catches for seven yards.

While the matchup against the Falcons is favorable, it's Swift, not Peterson, that ranks insde our top 20 fantasy running backs for the week. Averaging only 4.13 YPC this season, Peterson is likely to continue to cede more rushing work to Swift, who has four-plus targets in four of five games this season.

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Green Bay Packers Week 7 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Green Bay Packers rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 7.0 (7th)
  • Best ranking: 6th (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 8th (Multiple)

Below you will find a Week 7 roundup for the Packers in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 6

Sometimes throughout the course of a 16-game season, even really good teams get steamrolled. That's what their loss to the Buccaneers looked like: a one-game blip, not a reason to panic. Aaron Rodgers averaged 3.03 net yards per pass play, which is the sixth-worst mark of his career. He was sacked four times and threw two interceptions. The Packers had the second-worst offensive performance (EPA per snap) of any team in Week 6. And the defense didn't play well either. But their upcoming schedule (at Texans, Vikings, at 49ers, Jaguars) is forgiving, and Green Bay is still well-positioned in the NFC.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 8

What the heck happened to this team in Tampa? That was a disaster and puts a damper on the 4-0 start.

USA Today -- Rank: 8

On one hand, they've only lost five games under Matt LaFleur. On the other, those defeats have been by an average of 19.2 points.

ESPN -- Rank: 6

Most impactful injury: WR Allen Lazard

Just when Lazard showed he could be a legit No. 2 wideout -- with six catches for 146 yards and a touchdown in Week 3 against the Saints -- he was gone, lost for several weeks due to core muscle surgery. The Packers were already thin at wide receiver, and with Davante Adams battling a hamstring injury that kept him out in Weeks 3 and 4, Aaron Rodgers has barely played with his top two targets at the same time. -- Rob Demovsky

NFL.com -- Rank: 7

The Packers were ambushed on Sunday. Two minutes into the second quarter, Aaron Rodgers had the ball and a 10-point lead; it looked very much like business as usual for the NFL's best team through five weeks. Then came a pick-six, which triggered an avalanche of Bucs points in what became a grim 38-10 loss. Rodgers completed just 16 of 35 passes for 160 yards (with two interceptions) before being mercifully lifted from the game midway through the fourth quarter. He was sacked four times and hit repeatedly by a Tampa Bay pass rush that had no issues with Green Bay's vaunted offensive line. It's hard to believe this was the same Packers team that carved up every opponent in its path in four straight victories to start the season. Is this a speed bump or the start of a slump?

Previous update: Green Bay Packers Week 6 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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Tennessee Titans Week 7 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Tennessee Titans rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 3.8 (4th)
  • Best ranking: 3rd (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 5th (Multiple)

Below you will find a Week 7 roundup for the Titans in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 3

There are a number of statistical oddities for the Titans since Ryan Tannehill took over last season. But perhaps the wildest relates to their red-zone efficiency. In 15 games with Tannehill as the starter, the Titans have scored touchdowns on 44 of 53 (83 percent) red-zone trips. To put that into perspective, since 2000, no team has been better than 77.8 percent for a single season. The Titans had the best offensive performance (EPA per snap) in Week 6 and also now rank first offensively for the season.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 5

They are the real deal on offense. Ryan Tannehill is playing at a high level, but he will be challenged in a big way against the Steelers.

USA Today -- Rank: 3

Some notes on Derrick Henry. Over past three regular seasons, there have been six 200-yard rushing efforts ... three by Henry. Four players have three career games with 200 rush yards and two TDs -- Henry ... plus Hall of Famers Jim Brown, Barry Sanders and LaDainian Tomlinson. And Henry's only the fifth to have two touchdown runs of at least 90 yards. Dude is special.

ESPN -- Rank: 5

Most impactful injury: LT Taylor Lewan

Lewan suffered a torn ACL on Sunday and is out for the season. Losing their starting left tackle is a big blow for the Titans, as Lewan brings energy to the offense. His physicality is perfect for the zone rushing scheme the Titans employ. So far this season, Tennessee is averaging 3.9 yards attempt when running to the left (Lewan's side). Veteran offensive lineman Ty Sambrailo will be called upon to play left tackle in place of Lewan. Although Sambrailo is a capable player, there's a considerable drop-off from Lewan, who is Tennessee's best O-lineman. -- Turron Davenport

NFL.com -- Rank: 3

Quite a six-day stretch for the Titans, who came out of an extended COVID-19 layoff with two impressive wins that further burnish their standing as a serious Super Bowl contender. On Sunday, Tennessee became the first team in NFL history with a 350-yard passer and a 200-yard rusher in the same game -- and they needed every one of those yards in a 42-36 overtime win over the rival Texans. Derrick Henry was unfair in this one, finishing with a career-high 264 yards from scrimmage and two scores, including the game-winner. It's not just that Henry is stronger than everyone on the field; he's faster than everyone, too. Watch how he accelerated away from cornerbacks on his 94-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. That's Bo Jackson stuff. That's Herschel Walker stuff. That's Derrick Henry.

+ Previous update: Tennessee Titans Week 6 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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Fantasy Football Start'Em, Sit'Em: Week 7 QBs

The decision on which player to start, or sit, largely comes down to the options on your roster (and/or possibly the players available on your league's waiver wire).

As an example, Justin Herbert is listed below as a "start" for Week 7. And we'd certainly be comfortable going into Week 7 with him as our starting quarterback.

Then again, Herbert may be a "sit" for your team.

In other words, if you own both Patrick Mahomes and Herbert, you should start Mahomes and, in turn, bench Herbert.

For a more direct answer on whether we would start Player X over Player Y, check our Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings. Instead of making those direct comparisons, the goal here is to highlight players that we like, or dislike, for the week.

Week 7 Fantasy Football QB Start'em

Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (vs. JAX)

Since becoming a surprise starter in Week 2, Herbert, the sixth-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, has exceeded even the most optimistic expectations. In all of his four starts, the former Oregon Duck has thrown for 300-plus yards and/or accounted for multiple touchdowns. The rookie has scored 22-plus fantasy points in three of four games. Averaging nearly 300 passing yards per game (298.8), Herbert has accounted for 10 touchdowns -- nine passing and one rushing -- while only turning the ball over four times -- three interceptions and one lost fumble.

Perhaps negative game script will adversely impact Herbert's Week 7 fantasy outlook as the Jags have lost five consecutive games including three of the past four by more than 15 points. During five-game losing streak, Jacksonville has faced an average of fewer than 30 weekly pass attempts.

That said, no team has allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete a higher percentage of their pass attempts (73.44%) than the Jaguars and only the Falcons have surrendered more yards per attempt (8.56). The Chargers currently project to score the sixth-most points of the week based on implied totals from Vegas odds.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (at HOU)

Tempered expectations entering 2020 (Aaron Rodgers' ADP) means that Aaron Rodgers often went undrafted in fantasy drafts. The future first-ballot HOFer had a dud in Tampa following Green Bay's Week 5 bye, but he was lights out to start the season.

Over the first four games of the season, Rodgers averaged 303.5 passing yards per game as he compiled a combined 13-to-none TD-INT ratio. During that stretch, he finished as a top-six fantasy quarterback in three of four games.

Heading into Week 7, no team is projected to score more points than the Packers, who own the week's highest implied total based on Vegas odds. Entering this week, the Texans have allowed the eighth-most passing yards per attempt (7.73) and sixth-most passing TD% (6.37%).

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at ATL)

Entering Week 7, Stafford has yet to throw for 300 yards in a game this season. Before this year, the 12-year veteran has thrown for 300-plus yards in 48 (31.6%) of 152 games (counting the playoffs). This week figures to be an ideal scenario for him to reach that weekly milestone for the first time in 2020.

No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Atlanta has allowed the most passing yards per attempt (8.67), second-most passing TD% (7.53%) and second-most completion percentage (71.97%).

The Falcons have allowed five 300-yard passers in their six games. The exception was Week 3 vs. Chicago, where the Bears benched Mitchell Trubisky (128 yards) for Nick Foles (188 yards) and the duo combined for more than 300 yards and four passing scores. In fact, that was also the only game that the Falcons did not allow 20-plus fantasy points to an opposing quarterback, but the duo combined to score a total of 28.84 points.

Week 7 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (vs. CAR)

On a positive note, Brees has either thrown for 300-plus yards or multiple touchdowns in every game this season, but he's yet to do both in the same game. Finishing no better than QB9 in Week 3, Brees has finished as the QB19 or worse in three of five games.

While he rushed for a one-yard touchdown in Week 5, Brees is mostly a non-factor as a runner with minus two yards on the season. Posting gaudy passing statistics appears unlikely this week as the Panthers have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and Brees will be without both Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders this week.

Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (vs. CHI)

Goff has had three excellent fantasy outings (23.98 points or more) and three poor fantasy outings (14.92 points or less). In a matchup against the stingiest fantasy defense to opposing quarterbacks, this week's performance could be disappointing. Aside from the 49ers-Patriots game, no other game has a lower total than the Rams-Bears game (45.0).

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (at CIN)

Even in a week where the Browns are projected to be one of the top eight scoring offenses of the week, it's impossible to trust Mayfield. In fact, the former No. 1 overall pick is barely a viable starter as a QB2 in two-QB leagues as our 24th-ranked quarterback of the week.

The first time this season that the Browns faced the Bengals (Week 2), Mayfield scored 15.26 fantasy points to finish as the weekly QB20. That was nearly his best performance of the season as he has yet to score more than 15.58 fantasy points this season. He's finished as the QB20 or worse in all but one game this season and his Week 2 performance (219 yards) was one of only two games in which he exceeded the 200-yard passing mark.

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