Saturday, October 23, 2021

Week 7 Fantasy Football TE Start'em, Sit'em

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, Ricky Seals-Jones is listed below as a "start" for Week 7. And I'd certainly be comfortable going into Week 7 with him as my starting tight end.

Then again, Seals-Jones may be a "sit" for your team.

In other words, if you roster both Travis Kelce and RSJ, you should start Kelce and, in turn, bench Seals-Jones.

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 TE Start'em

Ricky Seals-Jones, Washington Football Team (at GB)

Topping our list of fantasy football waiver wire options at tight end, Seals-Jones is still only rostered in 50% of Yahoo! leagues as of Saturday morning. If you still need a bye-week replacement, RSJ could be a viable option.

Against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6, Seals-Jones had four catches for 58 yards and a score on six targets. It was his second consecutive solid performance with Logan Thomas on IR. In those two games, Seals-Jones almost never came off the field with 99% and 100% snap rates, respectively, and had a minimum of 15% target shares in both games.

The Green Bay Packers have allowed three top-five fantasy TE performances this season -- Juwan Johnson (Week 1, TE5), T.J. Hockenson (Week 2, TE3) and George Kittle (Week 3, TE4). As we head into a week with six teams on bye, RSJ is a plug-and-play option for at least one more week.

Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals (vs. HOU)

There are a couple of concerns with Ertz. A midseason trade could require an acclimation period as Ertz adjusts to his new team. In addition, the team's receiving corps goes four deep in terms of targets distribution. The team's top four receivers all have at least 28 targets (15.14% target share) through six weeks.

That said, Ertz was more productive for the Philadelphia Eagles than some might have expected and has a minimum of four catches in three of his past four games. During that span, he has finished as the TE7, TE13, TE54 and TE8, respectively.

Even if he doesn't extend his four-week 18%-plus team target share streak, Ertz gets the most favorable matchup of the weekend against the Houston Texans. Not only have the Texans allowed the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season, they have allowed a league-high five touchdowns to the position. In addition, the Cardinals have the week's second-highest implied total as 18-point favorites.

Hunter Henry, New England Patriots (vs. NYJ)

Henry had a season-low two targets in Week 6 against the Dallas Cowboys, but he converted one of his two receptions into a touchdown to extend his scoring streak to three weeks. On the season, Henry is averaging a receiving line of 3.7/40.2/0.5. While not elite, that's certainly solid.

The Patriots are touchdown favorites over the New York Jets, who have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

Week 7 Fantasy Football TE Sit'em

Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers (vs. WAS)

Good news first: Tonyan had his second-best game of the season last week. The bad news? He scored two fantasy points (half-PPR) and ended with 10 receiving yards.

Outside of a Week 2 matchup against the Detroit Lions, Tonyan has no more than two catches, 10 yards or two fantasy points in any game this season. At this point of the season, Tonyan is droppable.

Jonnu Smith, New England Patriots (vs. NYJ)

Once again, if I have to play a Patriots tight end, I'd prefer Henry over Smith due to his consistency.

Smith is averaging career lows in Y/R (7.8) and Y/TGT (5.0) and he has zero top-12 weekly performances this season. Over the past four weeks, Smith has 14 yards or less in three of four games. During that same four-week stretch, he has finished the week as fantasy's TE50, TE15, TE27 and TE43, respectively. The TE15 performance was the one week this season in which he caught a touchdown.

Gerald Everett, Seattle Seahawks (vs. NO)

Everett returned in Week 6 and finished with two catches for 40 yards on three targets against the Pittsburgh Steelers. With Russell Wilson out and Geno Smith in, the Seahawks have a bottom-five implied total this week. In addition, the defensive matchup isn't a favorable one, as the New Orleans Saints have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

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Week 7 Fantasy Football WR Start'em, Sit'em

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, Jaylen Waddle is listed below as a "start" for Week 7. And I'd certainly be comfortable going into Week 7 with him as one of my starting receivers.

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

In other words, if you roster Calvin Ridley, Chris Godwin and Waddle and start only two receivers, you should start Ridley and Godwin and, in turn, bench Waddle.

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 WR Start'em

Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins (vs. ATL)

Waddle had the best game of his young career last week in London. The first-round rookie converted 10-of-13 targets into a career-high 70 yards and scored his second and third NFL touchdowns.

Especially if DeVante Parker misses another week, Waddle should be peppered with as many targets as he can handle. The Atlanta Falcons have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.

Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans (at ARI)

Cooks had nine catches for 89 yards on 13 targets in Week 6 against the Indianapolis Colts. It was the third time this season that Cooks had nine catches and double-digit targets. Heading into Week 7, Cooks ranks fifth amongst wide receivers in receptions (40), eighth in targets (57) and 11th in receiving yards (481).

The Texans are this week's biggest underdog (18 points), so while their implied total is lowest of the week, the team should be throwing often and Cooks is a target hog (32.76% share). Even if Cooks fails to score his second touchdown of the season, the volume alone keeps him in the WR2 mix.

Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (vs. CAR)

Shepard left Week 3 early as he played only 34% of the team's snaps that week and then missed the next two games. In his other three games (90%-plus snap rates), Shepard had 7/113/1 on nine targets (Week 1), 9/94 on 10 targets (Week 2) and 10/76 on 14 targets (Week 6).

If we only look at the three weeks where Shepard played a full complement of snaps, he scored the ninth-most half-PPR fantasy points. In addition, he was tied with Adam Thielen for the most receptions (26), tied for fourth in targets (33) and was sixth in receiving yards (283) over that timespan.

Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots (vs. NYJ)

Meyers has a minimum of four catches and five targets in all six games this season. While he has yet to catch a touchdown in his NFL career, Meyers entered Week 7 with the 12th-most targets (52) and 11th-most receptions (36).

Even though he was quiet in his first matchup (4/38) against the New York Jets this season and the Jets have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers this season, a couple of their games were against teams missing their best receivers. For example, they played the Falcons without Calvin Ridley, the Titans without A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, etc.

In a week with six teams on bye, Meyers consistent volume makes him at least a low-end WR2.

Week 7 Fantasy Football WR Sit'em

Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (at BAL)

In Week 4, Boyd had nine catches for 118 yards on 11 targets (34.38%) target share. That game actually extended Boyd's streak of 30% target shares to three games. Since then, however, it's been a much different story.

Boyd had 4/24 on five targets (13.51%) and 1/7 on three targets (10.34%) in Weeks 5 and 6, respectively. What changed in Week 5? Tee Higgins returned from a two-game absence. Over the past two weeks, Boyd (eight) is a distant third among the team's wide receivers in targets behind rookie Ja'Marr Chase (16) and Higgins (13).

Especially against a top-five defense at limiting opposing fantasy wide receivers, it'll be difficult for the Bengals to support three viable wide receivers. Boyd is just outside my top 36 fantasy wide receivers in Week 7.

Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers (vs. IND)

Through five games, Aiyuk has eight catches for 90 yards and a touchdown on 15 targets. The second-year receiver had more receiving yards in four of his final seven games played as a rookie.

On a (moderately) positive note, Aiyuk has a 14% target share or better in two of his past three games. If that number continues to trend upward, he would eventually beocme startable again. That said, he has finished outside of the top-75 fantasy wide receivers in four of five weeks. Given his low floor, fantasy managers are wise to continue to take a wait-and-see approach.

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Philadelphia Eagles Week 7 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Philadelphia Eagles rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 24.0 (24th)
  • Best ranking: 23rd (CBS Sports)
  • Worst ranking: 25th (The Athletic)

Below you will find a Week 7 roundup for the Eagles in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 24

A 32-6 thrashing of the Falcons in the opener shot the confidence meter to places unexpected, but the Eagles have since crashed back to reality. Shaky playcalling, injuries along the offensive front and inconsistent play from quarterback Jalen Hurts have limited the offense, while the defense has had wild fluctuations in its performance. The good news for Philadelphia is that it is past the most difficult part of its schedule. There are wins to be had against the likes of the Giants, Jets, Lions and Washington. The confidence meter should tick up, even if it never reaches its Week 1 post again. -- Tim McManus

NFL.com -- Rank: 24

Jalen Hurts continues to fill up the fantasy stat sheet, but the jury remains very much out on whether the second-year QB should be a permanent fixture for the Eagles under center. Perfunctory cosmetic scores aside, Hurts struggled to lead the offense for much of Thursday night's 28-22 loss to the Bucs. The Eagles' attack -- which abandoned the running game against Tampa Bay's top-ranked rushing D -- put the team in a deep hole in a first-half performance that featured four three-and-outs and one interception. The problem -- and this is more on rookie coach Nick Sirianni than on his young QB -- is that Philadelphia is far too dependent on Hurts on a weekly basis. It's time to find some balance.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 23

They made it close against Tampa Bay, but it really wasn't that kind of game. At some point, they have to run the ball better.

USA Today -- Rank: 24

Since a strong performance on opening day in Atlanta, QB Jalen Hurts has completed fewer than 60% of his passes and is averaging just north of 240 yards through the air. His ability to make plays with his legs is nice, but the arm better do more if he wants to keep this job into 2022.

The Athletic -- Rank: 25

Rookie Heat Check: DeVonta Smith's 345 receiving yards and 16 first downs are second and third only to Ja'Marr Chase and former Alabama teammate Jaylen Waddle, respectively, among rookies. Smith's best game was against the Chiefs on Oct. 3, when he had 122 yards on seven receptions (17.4 yards per catch).

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New Orleans Saints Week 7 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 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: 12.0 (12th)
  • Best ranking: 9th (CBS Sports)
  • Worst ranking: 14th (Multiple)

Below you will find a Week 7 roundup for the Saints in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 14

The Saints might have had the most radical up-and-down swings in the entire league over the first four weeks: dominant win over Green Bay, blowout loss at Carolina, convincing victory at New England, epic fourth-quarter collapse against the Giants. But I have them right back at the exact same confidence number I would've chosen before Week 1. They have some flaws, most notably a lack of proven pass-catchers. But I still think this is a playoff-caliber team that will only get better as Jameis Winston keeps getting more comfortable in the offense and they get eight starters back from injuries (including WR Michael Thomas) and suspension. -- Mike Triplett

NFL.com -- Rank: 12

In the wake of a Week 6 bye, it feels like a good time for a check-in: How are we feeling about the Jameis Winston Experiment? Statistically, the veteran quarterback has been solid, throwing for nearly 900 yards with 12 touchdowns and just three interceptions during the Saints' 3-2 start. Of course, a closer study of the game tape reveals hints that the Winston of New Orleans is the same Winston who ran himself out of Tampa Bay. His usage -- topping 23 pass attempts in just one game so far -- tells you Sean Payton is loath to give his QB too much responsibility. We're a hard HOLD on this one.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 9

They come off the bye at 3-2 on the verge of getting a lot of key injured players back. Watch out as they get healthier. Sean Payton has done a nice job with this team.

USA Today -- Rank: 11

Though somewhat skewed after bye week, who would have guessed a Sean Payton team would have attempted 29 fewer passes than any other club in the NFL?

The Athletic -- Rank: 14

Rookie Heat Check: New Orleans has uncovered a nice little trio on defense with rusher Payton Turner, linebacker Pete Werner and defensive back Paulson Adebo. The collective is playing well at every level of the defense, and each has had their bright moments. Adebo may be the best of the group, though. He's started all five games and is fourth in tackles (23). That's two behind Werner's 25.

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Week 7 Fantasy Football RB Start'em, Sit'em

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, James Conner is listed below as a "start" for Week 7. And I'd certainly be comfortable going into Week 7 with him as one of my starting running backs.

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

In other words, if you roster Alvin Kamara, Jonathan Taylor and Conner and start two running backs, you should start Kamara and Taylor and, in turn, bench Conner.

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 RB Start'em

Darrell Henderson Jr., Los Angeles Rams (vs. DET)

For the majority of fantasy managers, Henderson has become an every-week starter regardless of matchup. In our Rest-of-Season (ROS) Fantasy Football Rankings, Henderson is the RB14.

Some of the running backs on bye this week include Austin Ekeler, Najee Harris, Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott and more. A week of rest for those elite backs means that Henderson catapults into our top three with a mouth-watering matchup against the Detroit Lions.

Favored by more than two touchdowns at home, the Rams should be feeding Henderson all of the touches that he can handle. In fact, it would not be a shock for Sony Michel to get a flex-viable volume of touches in garbage time.

In a 27-point win on Sunday, Henderson had a season-high 23 touches, but he has a minimum of 16 touches in every game that he has appeared. Yet to finish any worse than RB19 in half-PPR scoring, Henderson ranks top 12 in fantasy points despite missing a game this season.

In addition to having the week's highest implied total, the Lions have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. The Lions have allowed a league-high 12 touchdowns to opposing running backs, a league-high 93.1% catch rate, 9.44 Y/R (third-most) and 4.58 YPC (eighth-most). Regardless of how you slice it, this matchup gives Henderson RB1 overall upside.

[Note: If you roster Henderson, the good news is the Rams have another dream matchup (Houston Texans) in Week 8.]

James Conner, Arizona Cardinals (vs. HOU)

Mostly a non-factor in the receiving game, Conner has as many rushing touchdowns (five) as he has receptions (five). Only Derrick Henry (nine) has more rushing touchdowns this season than Conner, who has one of the week's highest TD equities. The unbeaten Cardinals are 18-point home favorites over the Houston Texans.

Only the Los Angeles Chargers (5.29) have allowed more yards per carry to opposing running backs than the Texans (5.15). Even though Conner has only finished as a top-30 fantasy running back in the weeks he has scored two touchdowns, the floor and ceiling are incredibly high this week.

Darrel Williams, Kansas City Chiefs (at TEN)

In last week's win, Williams carried the ball 21 times for 62 yards and two scores and added three catches for 27 yards on four targets. With Clyde Edwards-Helaire on Injured Reserve, Williams ended the week as fantasy's RB7 (half-PPR scoring). Only Dalvin Cook (31), Najee Harris (30) and Leonard Fournette (28) had more touches than Williams (24) last week.

While he may not get 24 touches again this week, the Chiefs are one of three teams with an implied total north of 30 points and the Titans-Chiefs game has the highest total (by a wide margin). Williams is a top-10 fantasy running back in our rankings this week.

Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons (at MIA)

Those waiting for Patterson's production to return to earth are still waiting. The only thing that was able to slow him down was the team's Week 6 bye.

Through the first five weeks of the season, Patterson has racked up 173 rushing yards, 25 catches for 295 yards and five total touchdowns. Even when we don't adjust for last week's bye, Patterson has scored the 10th-most fantasy points through Week 6.

Patterson played a season-high 46 offensive snaps (59%) with Calvin Ridley out in Week 5, but he had played only 23-26 offensive snaps per game in Weeks 1-4. If there's a concern it's the relatively modest snap counts, but he has been much more effective than Mike Davis.

The Dolphins have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. Averaging more than 20 half-PPR fantasy points per game over his past four games, Patterson is ranked inside our top 10 fantasy running backs for Week 7.

Week 7 Fantasy Football RB Sit'em

Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears (at TB)

Bye weeks may necessitate that we start players that we would otherwise prefer to sit. Herbert could be one of those for you this week (as he is for me in the Scott Fish Bowl). It was an easy choice to start the rookie running back last week, but the difficult matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers makes him more of a flex option even in a week with six teams on bye.

In the two games without David Montgomery, Herbert has carried the ball 37 times for 172 yards and a touchdown and added two catches for 15 yards. Damien Williams missed last week's game, but he has been activated for Week 7. Even so, The Athletic's Kevin Fishbain believes Herbert has leapfrogged Williams on the depth chart.

Tampa has allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs and only the New Orleans Saints (2.84) have allowed fewer yards per carry to opposing running backs than the Bucs (3.39) this year. Not only are the Bears double-digit underdogs, but they rank in the bottom three this week in NFL implied totals.

Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins (vs. ATL)

One player that had a great game against the Buccaneers was Gaskin, who caught 10 passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns and finished that week as fantasy's RB4. I had noted that week that Gaskin could have sneaky upside, only if we could trust his volume, since he's a talented receiving back and the Bucs are so stout against the run. Because I noted we couldn't trust the volume, I listed him as a "sit" that week.

In a game that should have been more favorable for the running backs in general, Gaskin had five carries for nine yards and two catches for five yards againt the Jacksonville Jaguars in London last week. As I've said before, we can't trust Gaskin or the Dolphins coaching staff to give him a consistent workload.

Here are Gaskin's workloads and weekly finishes over the past four weeks: 16 touches (RB32), two touches (RB77), 15 touches (RB4) and seven touches (RB49), respectively.

Unless forced to start him out of necessity, I'd prefer to keep Gaskin on my bench despite the plus matchup.

Kenyan Drake, Las Vegas Raiders (vs. PHI)

Scoring twice (once on the ground and once through the air), Drake had his best fantasy performance of the season (RB9) in Week 6. Even though he totaled a season-high 73 yards, Drake had only six touches and managed to play only 12 offensive snaps (21%).

In the first three weeks of the season, Drake had a minimum of 11 touches in each game. Since then, he has a total of only nine touches over his past three games. On such limited volume, it's highly unlikely that Drake is able to repeat his Week 6 performance.

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Tennessee Titans Week 7 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 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: 10.0 (10th)
  • Best ranking: 7th (USA Today)
  • Worst ranking: 13th (CBS Sports)

Below you will find a Week 7 roundup for the Titans in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 10

The Titans started the season by getting punched in the face by the Cardinals. Derrick Henry finished with 58 yards on 17 carries in a 38-13 loss. Fast-forward to Week 6 and Henry has reeled off five consecutive games with 100 or more rushing yards. Henry has put the Titans on his back and carried them to a 4-2 record, including a 143-yard performance -- highlighted by three touchdowns -- against the Bills, who were allowing 75 rushing yards per game (third in NFL) entering Week 6. The Titans are now 6-0 in his career when Henry scores three or more touchdowns. Henry's 10 TDs ties him with LaDainian Tomlinson (2005) and Priest Holmes (2004) for the second most over the first six games of a season. -- Turron Davenport

NFL.com -- Rank: 10

The Titans might not be perfect, but they're battle-tested and completely unafraid of the moment. On Monday night, Mike Vrabel's team went toe-to-toe with the Bills and never blinked: Derrick Henry rushed for 143 yards and three touchdowns before the defense sent the sold-out crowd in Nashville into hysterics with a goal-line stand that will go down in franchise lore. Ryan Tannehill made his share of money throws down the stretch, but Tennessee doesn't sniff victory without another ferocious performance by The Big Dog -- who just might be the greatest running back of his generation. Said Vrabel after the win: "We feel like we can beat anybody in the league."

CBS Sports -- Rank: 13

They still have major defensive issues, but they showed in beating the Bills that they can play with anybody when the offense is clicking. Just give it to Derrick Henry.

USA Today -- Rank: 7

The latest bullet point for RB Derrick Henry's MVP résumé? He personally hung 18 points Monday night on a Buffalo defense that entered the game allowing a league-low 12.8 per game and hadn't let a back into the end zone.

The Athletic -- Rank: 10

Rookie Heat Check: Brutal news for the Titans and first-round cornerback Caleb Farley: A source confirmed to The Athletic the team believes Farley suffered a torn ACL on Monday night. The injury would end Farley's season and likely sideline him for much of the 2022 offseason. Farley wasn't a full-time defensive player yet (he spent much of his rookie offseason and training camp continuing to recover from back surgery), but now the Titans will have to figure out their secondary rotation without him.

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Week 7 Fantasy Football QB Start'em, Sit'em

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, Derek Carr is listed below as a "start" for Week 7. And I'd certainly be comfortable going into Week 7 with him as my starting quarterback.

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

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

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

Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders (vs. PHI)

Bouncing back from a couple of modest outings, Carr threw for 341 yards and two touchdowns against the Denver Broncos in Week 6. It was the fourth time in six games where Carr threw for more than 340 yards and multiple touchdowns. Entering Week 7, Carr ranks second in the NFL in passing yardage (1,946, 324.3/G).

With his bounce-back performance last week, Carr has now finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in four games this season. Carr is one of just six quarterbacks to have as many QB1 performances this season.

Based on implied totals from Vegas odds, the Raiders are projected to score the eighth-most points in Week 7. Given that there are six teams on bye including top quarterback options like Josh Allen, Dak Prescott and Justin Herbert, Carr sits inside the top 10 of my weekly fantasy quarterback rankings.

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (at LV)

In back-to-back weeks and half of his games this season, Hurts has thrown for less than 200 yards. Despite a few lackluster passing performances, Hurts has finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback in all six games played this season.

Here is the full list of QBs with six top-10 outings this season: Hurts. (End of list.)

Even if Hurts doesn't post gaudy passing statistics, his dual-threat abilities raises his fantasy floor. Among quarterbacks, only Baltimore's Lamar Jackson has more rush attempts (64) and rushing yards (392) than Hurts (53/300). Coincidentally, all five of Hurts rushing scores have occured in the weeks where he has thrown for fewer than 200 yards. In addition, Hurts has yet to run fewer than seven times in any game this season.

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (vs. KC)

Derrick Henry has been as good as it gets this season. Tannehill has not.

Through six weeks, Tannehill has thrown for 216 yards or less in four games. In addition, he has thrown for multiple touchdowns in only one game (Week 3). Outside of the Week 3 performance (QB8), Tannehill has finished no better than QB17. Given the favorable matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, however, Tannehill has a chance to get back on track this week.

Only the Washington Football Team have allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season than the Chiefs. Taylor Heinicke struggled last week, but before that, the Chiefs had allowed four consecutive top-four weekly QB finishes. In addition, the Chiefs have allowed the third-highest Y/A (8.41) this season.

Week 7 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em

Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts (at SF)

Wentz has 17 fantasy points in three consecutive games and five of six games this season. On the year, he has thrown nine touchdowns and only one interception. After throwing a league-high 15 interceptions last season, Wentz has a league-low 0.5 INT%.

Even though Wentz has been playing well, he has only one top-12 fantasy performance this season. While the San Francisco 49ers have faced some of the best quarterbacks in the league (Kyler Murray, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, etc.), they currently rank eighth in NFL pass defense (216.6 YPG allowed).

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears (at TB)

Only three teams -- and one of them (Los Angeles Chargers) has a bye -- have allowed more fantasy points this season than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Combine the matchup with his dual-threat upside and I will throw a few darts in DFS tournaments with Fields this weekend.

That said, the rookie has been mediocre (last week) to outright terrible (all other weeks) as a starter. Through four starts, Fields has completed 53.57% of his pass attempts for 140.5 yards per game and 6.69 yards per attempt and has thrown only two touchdowns. More disappointing from a fantasy perspective is the fact that he has run only 15 times for 68 yards during that stretch.

Given that it's incredibly difficult to run on the Buccaneers and the Bears are 11.5-point underdogs, Fields should throw it more often than last week's career high (27 attempts). While the upside is there if you trust the Bears coaching staff to put him in a better position to produce fantasy points, Fields is an upside QB2 in Week 7.

Daniel Jones, New York Giants (vs. CAR)

Leaving Week 5 early with a concussion, Jones had completed only five-of-13 pass attempts (38.5%) for 98 yards against the Dallas Cowboys. In Week 6, the former Duke Blue Devil completed 29-of-51 for 242 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions against the Los Angeles Rams. He committed a fourth turnover with his lost fumble.

Jones was fantasy's QB6 through the first four weeks, but he will look to shake off some rough outings over the past two weeks. While I wouldn't call the matchup against the Carolina Panthers a plus matchup, they have allowed three consecutive quarterbacks to finish with 23-plus fantasy points -- Dak Prescott (27.02, QB7), Jalen Hurts (23.92, QB7) and Kirk Cousins (28.52, QB2), respectively.

As the QB15 in my rankings, Jones is best-viewed as an upside QB2 (like Fields) this week.

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Miami Dolphins Week 7 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Miami Dolphins rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 28.4 (T-27th)
  • Best ranking: 27th (ESPN)
  • Worst ranking: 29th (Multiple)

Below you will find a Week 7 roundup for the Dolphins in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 27

After winning 10 games in 2020, it felt like the Dolphins were ready to take that next step under coach Brian Flores in 2021. So far, that has not been the case. Miami ranks near the bottom of the league in scoring offense (29th) and scoring defense (29th), it's dead last in third-down defense and it just fell to the Jaguars to cap off a five-game losing streak. Six games into the season, there's little about the Dolphins' play that inspires confidence, and without their first-round pick in 2022, there isn't even a silver lining to losing games. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques

NFL.com -- Rank: 29

The Dolphins had what many considered a layup in Week 6: A trip to London and a matchup against a winless Jaguars team that appeared rudderless under Urban Meyer. And despite a successful return to action for Tua Tagovailoa, Miami coughed up a double-digit lead, made some dreadful in-game management decisions and somehow were left to watch the Jaguars celebrate a walk-off win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. A season that started with so much promise now seems nearly lost. "I'm not doing a good enough job," coach Brian Flores said in his postgame press conference. "Not playing consistently enough. Not coaching well enough. Not playing well enough. ... Consistent ball -- first half, a little bit in the second half, but we're just not putting it together. That starts with me."

CBS Sports -- Rank: 29

It's official after the loss to the Jaguars: Brian Flores is on the hot seat. This was considered a potential playoff team, but now they are 1-5, which is not a good look for Flores.

USA Today -- Rank: 29

Brian Flores got outcoached by Urban Meyer on Sunday, one of the bigger upsets of a young NFL season.

The Athletic -- Rank: 28

Rookie Heat Check: First-rounder Jaylen Waddle has been a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing Dolphins passing game. His 37 catches lead all rookies, and he caught two touchdowns against Jacksonville to bring his season total to three. All four of the Dolphins' first four draft picks (Waddle, first-round DE Jaelen Phillips, safety Jevon Holland and guard Liam Eichenberg) have each played every game, so at least they are getting valuable experience while the team is struggling.

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Friday, October 22, 2021

Pittsburgh Steelers Week 7 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Pittsburgh Steelers rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 16.4 (16th)
  • Best ranking: 15th (ESPN)
  • Worst ranking: 18th (USA Today)

Below you will find a Week 7 roundup for the Steelers in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 15

The Steelers started out sky-high with a win against the Bills -- arguably the NFL's best team after six weeks. But instead of that triumph setting a tone for the season, it appeared to be an aberration when the Steelers followed it up with three consecutive losses. Led by an inconsistent Ben Roethlisberger, the offense lacked rhythm. And the defense couldn't overcome injuries to make up for the offensive shortcomings. But after back-to-back wins entering the bye, the Steelers are showing life. If the defense can look more like the one in the fourth quarter and overtime on Sunday night, the Steelers' confidence rating will rise. Anything short of that, it'll dip right back down. -- Brooke Pryor

NFL.com -- Rank: 16

There are no words to properly describe how important T.J. Watt is to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is the team's best and most impactful player, and his ability to raise his game in the most crucial of moments makes him one of the greats. We saw that again on Sunday night, a 23-20 overtime win over the Seahawks that featured a dominant Watt performance capped by the Geno Smith strip-sack that set up the game-winning field goal by Chris Boswell. A closer study of the play reveals its brilliance: Watt was playing the run, reacted to Smith's play-action, fought through several blockers and drilled Smith just as the quarterback thought he had escaped the pocket. Watt is what happens when elite talent meets max effort.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 16

They made it interesting against the Seahawks, but found a way to win it in overtime. At 3-3, they've won two straight and things are looking up.

USA Today -- Rank: 18

Noticed All-Pro FS Minkah Fitzpatrick has been invisible this season? He had 12 takeaways during his first two seasons in Pittsburgh, but nada in 2021.

The Athletic -- Rank: 17

Rookie Heat Check: If the Steelers wanted a productive, every-down running back, they got it in Najee Harris. The Steelers' first-round pick is one of four players with more than 100 carries after six weeks, and with 388 rushing yards, he's the leading rookie. But he's only averaging 3.8 yards per carry and has arguably been more impactful as a receiver in the Steelers' short passing game (four of his six touchdowns have come on receptions rather than rushing attempts).

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Dallas Cowboys Week 7 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Dallas Cowboys rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 4.8 (5th)
  • Best ranking: 4th (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 6th (The Athletic)

Below you will find a Week 7 roundup for the Cowboys in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 5

Maybe the confidence rating should have been higher coming off the closer-than-expected loss to Tampa Bay in the opener. The Cowboys have not lost since and have a three-game lead in the NFC East. Dak Prescott's health comes into question with a calf strain. But if he is healthy, which opponent wouldn't the Cowboys be favored to beat in their final 11 games? Maybe at Kansas City? Arizona? This team can put itself in a favorable playoff position and run away with the division. -- Todd Archer

NFL.com -- Rank: 4

Dak Prescott would not be denied. He helped keep the Cowboys in business with a clutch 24-yard completion to CeeDee Lamb in the final seconds of regulation, then connected with Lamb again on the 35-yard touchdown in overtime to seal a 35-29 win over the Patriots in Foxborough. Prescott limped to the locker room with a strained calf that will get plenty of treatment during Dallas' bye week. Prior to the heroics from Prescott and Lamb, Trevon Diggs continued the incredible start to his season with his seventh interception, a pick-six of Mac Jones late in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys are a big-play team.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 5

They dominated the Patriots for much of the game, yet still had to win in overtime. The offense was special, but they turned the ball over in key spots. Dak Prescott is in the MVP conversation.

USA Today -- Rank: 4

The Dallas defense may only rank 24th overall, even after surrendering season-low 335 yards to New England, but it leads NFC with 14 takeaways -- with at least two in 10 consecutive games for the first time since 1976-77. Coordinator Dan Quinn and Co. are getting it done.

The Athletic -- Rank: 6

Rookie Heat Check: Is there anything Micah Parsons can't do? He finds ways to reach the ball or the quarterback no matter where defensive coordinator Dan Quinn lines him up. The Penn State product has been used at linebacker, as a rusher and in coverage to the tune of 30 tackles, 2 1/2 sacks, two passes defended and two run-stuffs.

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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Baltimore Ravens Week 7 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Baltimore Ravens rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 5.4 (6th)
  • Best ranking: 5th (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 6th (Multiple)

Below you will find a Week 7 roundup for the Ravens in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 6

This has been a masterful coaching job by John Harbaugh, who has guided Baltimore to a 5-1 start despite 16 players on injured reserve. The Ravens looked like a team in trouble with a season-opening loss in Las Vegas, where they allowed big plays on defense and couldn't protect Lamar Jackson. But Baltimore quickly turned it around in dramatic fashion with fourth-quarter comebacks -- against the Chiefs and Colts -- and Justin Tucker's winning 66-yard field goal in Detroit. Then on Sunday, the Ravens looked like the team to beat in the AFC with a 28-point rout of the Chargers. -- Jamison Hensley

NFL.com -- Rank: 5

On Sunday, Lamar Jackson threw for just 167 yards with two interceptions and only managed 51 yards on the ground. Typically, this type of output means bad news for the Ravens. Typically. In Week 6, Baltimore humbled the AFC West-leading Chargers in all phases in a 34-6 win. The Ravens blew out one of football's hottest teams with a balanced ground attack that wasn't overly reliant on their quarterback: Baltimore rushed for 187 yards on 38 carries, with Devonta Freeman, Latavius Murray and Le'Veon Bell all reaching pay dirt. The defense did the rest, holding the high-scoring Chargers to 26 rushing yards while limiting L.A. to a 4-for-16 success rate on third and fourth downs. The Ravens are thriving as they enter a surprisingly consequential Week 7 matchup against the Bengals.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 6

The Ravens abused the Chargers on both sides of the ball. The play of the defense is a good sign going forward, especially with the Bengals on tap this week.

USA Today -- Rank: 5

First-round WR Rashod Bateman made his NFL debut Sunday and caught four balls. A surging team that's won five straight now getting healthy around potential MVP Lamar Jackson? Look out.

The Athletic -- Rank: 5

Rookie Heat Check: Hello, Rashod Bateman! The Ravens' first-round pick finally made his debut Sunday against the Chargers after starting the season on injured reserve with a groin injury. He didn't need much acclimation time: The wide receiver played 45 offensive snaps (second-most to Marquise Brown) and caught four passes. Though he only totaled 29 receiving yards, each of his catches went for a first down. The Ravens have to be thrilled with the contributions of their other first-round pick, edge rusher Odafe Oweh, whom they drafted with the pick they received from Kansas City in the Orlando Brown trade. Oweh has been a force, with three sacks, eight quarterback hits and two forced fumbles, and has been a major part of the Ravens' impressive defensive performances over the past several weeks.

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