Fantasy Tiers & Rankings: Answer Your Start/Sit Questions For Week 7

Fantasy Tiers & Rankings: Answer Your Start/Sit Questions For Week 7 article feature image
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Chris Graythen/Getty Images. Pictured: Alvin Kamara

Go to Sean Koerner’s updated Week 7 fantasy football tiers.


If you want to contend for your fantasy football championship, you have to be diligent about in-season management. And a big part of that is making start/sit decisions.

To help you start strategizing for Week 7, I’ve outlined the early version of my fantasy football rankings into tiers so you can better visualize the drop-off in expected production at each position.

As always, there will be a ton of volatility in how I adjust my rankings up until kickoff, so be sure to check my updated rankings before making final decisions. I’ll also publish an updated version of these tiers before Sunday’s kickoff, but for now, let’s dive into the initial version of my Week 7 tiers!

Week 7 Fantasy Tiers

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QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DEF

QUARTERBACKS

Tier 1

Russell Wilson (@ ARI)
Kyler Murray (vs. SEA)
Josh Allen (@ NYJ)
Patrick Mahomes (@ DEN)

Wilson and Murray elevate each other’s ceilings this week in a potential shootout. Murray has either 70 rushing yards or a rushing touchdown in every game this season. His dual-threat ability could reach its peak this week, and he has “top-five QB score of the season” type of upside in this matchup.

Allen has a lowered ceiling this week considering the blowout potential against the Jets.

Meanwhile, we could see our first true “snow” game of the season in Denver. It is way too early to be making lineup decisions based on weather, but it’ll be a situation to monitor for Mahomes, who will likely be in the top-five unless there are blizzard conditions.

Tier 2

Deshaun Watson (vs. GB)

Watson continues to be in his own tier that separates the top-five QBs from the QB1/2 Tier. He’s thrown for more than 330 yards and three touchdowns in both games since the Texans fired Bill O’Brien.

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Tier 3

Aaron Rodgers (@ HOU)
Matt Ryan (vs. DET)
Cam Newton (vs. SF)
Justin Herbert (vs. JAX)
Matthew Stafford (@ ATL)
Tom Brady (@ LV)

Herbert has looked great in his first four career starts, throwing for more than 300 yards or three touchdowns in each game. However, we have yet to see how he performs in a positive game script. I’m a bit worried the Chargers — who are 7.5-point favorites against the Jaguars (find real-time odds here) — might have a more balanced approach this week, which lowers his ceiling.

Tier 4

Ryan Tannehill (vs. PIT)
Ben Roethlisberger (@ TEN)
Drew Brees (vs. CAR)
Derek Carr (vs. TB)
Carson Wentz (vs. NYG)
Joe Burrow (vs. CLE)
Gardner Minshew (@ LAC)
Teddy Bridgewater (@ NO)

The “streamer” Tier this week is a tight one — only one projected point separates the top from the bottom.

Last week I highlighted Carson Wentz as a buy-low candidate. He’s faced a brutal schedule over the past few weeks, with numerous injuries to his pass-catchers. But now that his schedule is set to open up, and DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, Jalen Reagor and Dallas Goedert are nearing return, the time to invest in Wentz is now.

Tier 5

Jared Goff (vs. CHI)
Andy Dalton (@ WAS)

Dalton flopped in his first start following Dak Prescott’s season-ending injury. There’s too much talent on this offense to completely write Dalton off, but we’ll need to see at least one solid outing from him before we can trust him as a streaming option.

Tier 6

Kyle Allen (vs. DAL)
Daniel Jones (@ PHI)
Baker Mayfield (@ CIN)

Allen injected some life into Washington’s passing game with 280 yards through the air in Week 6. The plus-matchup against the Cowboys elevates him to QB2 status for the week. You could certainly do worse if you’re in a desperate situation at QB.

Tier 7

Jimmy Garoppolo (@ NE)
Nick Foles (@ LAR)
Drew Lock (vs. KC)

Lock could be forced into a pass-heavy game script against the Chiefs, but he remains a work in progress, and we can’t trust him in our lineups unless we’re desperate.

Joe Flacco Tier

Joe Flacco (vs. BUF)

The tier title says it all.


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RUNNING BACKS

Tier 1

Alvin Kamara (vs. CAR)

Kamara’s fantasy value could take a slight hit with the return of Michael Thomas. However, with the Cowboys offense in shambles and Derrick Henry facing the Steelers this week, Kamara is the RB1 for Week 7.

Chris Graythen/Getty Images. Pictured: Alvin Kamara

Tier 2

Aaron Jones (@ HOU)
Ezekiel Elliott (@ WAS)
Kareem Hunt (@ CIN)

The Bucs’ elite run defense was no match for Jones as they held him to just 15 yards on the ground last week. He has a much easier matchup this week against the Texans, who have allowed four different RBs to rush for 100 or more yards (including Derrick Henry’s 212-yard game).

As for Zeke, I’m more worried about the Dallas offense than I am about his two fumbles. He’ll need Dalton’s play to significantly improve to maintain top-three status.

Tier 3

Derrick Henry (vs. PIT)
Mike Davis (@ NO)
Josh Jacobs (vs. TB)
Joe Mixon (vs. CLE)

We’re starting Henry this week, but we need to lower our expectations against the No. 1 run defense in the Steelers. The same can be said for the other three backs in this Tier.

Tier 4

Chris Carson (@ ARI)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (@ DEN)
James Robinson (@ LAC)
James Conner (@ TEN)
Ronald Jones II (@ LV)
Todd Gurley (vs. DET)
David Montgomery (@ LAR)
David Johnson (vs. GB)

I still view CEH as a high-end RB2, even after the Le’Veon Bell signing. It’s going to be a fluid situation that we’ll need to monitor closely, but we can still bank on 15-20 touches for CEH every week, which is more than enough to post RB1/2 numbers.

Andy Reid said he wasn’t sure if Bell would even be active this week, so CEH would likely move up a Tier if Bell ends up being inactive.

chiefs-vs-bills-odds-pick-spread-betting-week-6-2020
Todd Olszewski/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes (right) hands off to Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

Tier 5

Antonio Gibson (vs. DAL)
Kenyan Drake (vs. SEA)
Justin Jackson (vs. JAX)
Devonta Freeman (@ PHI)
Boston Scott (vs. NYG)
Devin Singletary (@ NYJ)

Scott will start for the injured Miles Sanders and could provide low-end RB2/Flex value for the next two weeks, assuming the Eagles keep Sanders out until after their Week 9 bye.

Tier 6

D’Andre Swift (@ ATL)
Jerick McKinnon (@ NE)
Joshua Kelley (vs. JAX)
Darrell Henderson (vs. CHI)

Swift erupted for 116 yards and two touchdowns in Week 6. It was the breakout performance we all knew he was capable of, but we can’t get too excited quite yet: Adrian Peterson still led the Lions’ backfield with 15 carries, and they won by 18 points. Swift should see enough usage against the Falcons to warrant low-end RB2 value this week.

Tier 7

Melvin Gordon (vs. KC)
James White (vs. SF)
Adrian Peterson (@ ATL)
Latavius Murray (vs. CAR)

nfl-prop-bet-pick-saints-raiders-monday night football-2020
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images. Pictured: Latavius Murray

Tier 8

J.D. McKissic (vs. DAL)
Chase Edmonds (vs. SEA)
Frank Gore (vs. BUF)
JaMycal Hasty (@ NE)
Jamaal Williams (@ HOU)
Damien Harris (vs. SF)
Malcolm Brown (vs. CHI)
Phillip Lindsay (vs. KC)

McKinnon is undoubtedly the favorite to lead the 49ers’ backfield for the next several weeks with Raheem Mostert on IR. Jeffery Wilson, who has been in and out of the lineup, could also carve out a fantasy-relevant role.

However, my rule to “always target the cheapest 49ers RB” applies to Hasty this week. He’s worth a stash if you’re desperate for a RB flier.

We’re mostly investing in the 49ers running scheme under Kyle Shanahan by investing in Hasty. There’s a chance (maybe 10-15%?) that he could be the “2019 Raheem Mostert” — let’s not forget that this time last season, Mostert was available in 99% of leagues before he became the RB7 over Weeks 12-17.

Tier 9

Rex Burkhead (vs. SF)
Brian Hill (vs. DET)*
Le’Veon Bell (@ DEN)*
Zack Moss (@ NYJ)*
La’Mical Perine (vs. BUF)*
Corey Clement (vs. NYG)
Duke Johnson Jr. (vs. GB)*
Leonard Fournette (@ LV)*
Tony Pollard (@ WAS)*

[Go To Sean Koerner’s Full Week 7 Rankings]

Tier 10

Giovani Bernard (vs. CLE)*
Carlos Hyde (@ ARI)*
Chris Thompson (@ LAC)
D’Ernest Johnson (@ CIN)
Benny Snell (@ TEN)*
Kerryon Johnson (@ ATL)
Jalen Richard (vs. TB)
Wayne Gallman (@ PHI)

* = High-upside backups

The final two tiers are emergency-only plays. The only reason we roster many of these backs is due to the upside they have if their team’s starter were to miss time. Backs who would offer RB2/3 value (or better) if their team’s starter were to miss time are identified with an asterisk above.


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WIDE RECEIVERS

Tier 1

Davante Adams (@ HOU)
DeAndre Hopkins (vs. SEA)

Adams returned from a two-game absence to post a six-catch, 66-yard game against the Bucs. The good news was that he looked close to 100% and saw 10 targets. Look for him and Aaron Rodgers to bounce back against the Texans this week.

Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams

Tier 2

Stefon Diggs (@ NYJ)
Julio Jones (vs. DET)
Tyreek Hill (@ DEN)
D.K. Metcalf (@ ARI)
Tyler Lockett (@ ARI)
Calvin Ridley (vs. DET)
Keenan Allen (vs. JAX)
Kenny Golladay (@ ATL)

Jones’ hamstring injury appears to be in the rearview mirror after dropping an eight-catch, 137-yard and two-touchdown game against the Vikings.

The Chargers’ Week 6 bye worked out perfectly for Allen, as it allowed him an extra week to recover from back spasms that cut his Week 5 short. He should be close to 100% by now. I’m treating him as a low-end WR1.

Tier 3

Michael Thomas (vs. CAR)
Terry McLaurin (vs. DAL)
Robby Anderson (@ NO)
Allen Robinson (@ LAR)
Will Fuller V (vs. GB)

Thomas missed Week 5 for disciplinary reasons instead of the ankle injury that had left him on the shelf since Week 1. He should be close to 100% health now and should see his typical workload out of the gate.

Meanwhile, Kyle Allen should elevate Terry McLaurin’s value, and he has a chance for a true ceiling game against the ailing Cowboys defense.

Tier 4

A.J. Brown (vs. PIT)
Chris Godwin (@ LV)
Cooper Kupp (vs. CHI)
Amari Cooper (@ WAS)
Tyler Boyd (vs. CLE)
Mike Evans (@ LV)
Robert Woods (vs. CHI)
Odell Beckham Jr. (@ CIN)
D.J. Moore (@ NO)

The Cardinals held Cooper to one catch for eight yards in the first half of the Cowboys’ Week 6 blowout. He salvaged with 6/61/1 line over the second half, which was mostly garbage time. We need to treat Cooper as a low-end WR2 until we see Dalton make significant improvements.

nfl-picks-chiefs-vs-bills-cardinals-vs-cowboys-monday-night-football-2020
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: Amari Cooper

Tier 5

Chase Claypool (@ TEN)
JuJu Smith-Schuster (@ TEN)
Jamison Crowder (vs. BUF)
Tee Higgins (vs. CLE)
D.J. Chark (@ LAC)
CeeDee Lamb (@ WAS)
Brandin Cooks (vs. GB)
Travis Fulgham (vs. NYG)
Darius Slayton (@ PHI)

Claypool did nothing in Week 6 to slow down his hype train, posting a 4/74/0 line while chipping in a three-yard rushing touchdown. He now has a rushing touchdown on a designed pitch play near the goal-line in two straight games — one reason his TD production could remain fairly steady.

Fulgham is playing well enough to be trusted as a WR3 again this week. However, with Jeffery, Jackson and Reagor all due back over the next few weeks, Fulgham’s long-term ceiling is limited.

Tier 6

Laviska Shenault (@ LAC)
Deebo Samuel (@ NE)
Jarvis Landry (@ CIN)
Jerry Jeudy (vs. KC)
Julian Edelman (vs. SF)

Shanahan loves scheming up plays that get the ball into Samuels’ hands. Shanahan introduced a play that involves pitching Deebo the ball on a jet sweep (that counts as a reception); they ran twice. The first resulted in a 35-yard gain, while the other resulted in a six-yard touchdown. Samuels’ after-the-catch ability is what provides him with a high weekly floor/ceiling combo.

Tier 7

John Brown (@ NYJ)
Christian Kirk (vs. SEA) (-)
Mike Williams (vs. JAX) (+)
A.J. Green (vs. CLE)
Marvin Jones (@ ATL) (+)
Tim Patrick (vs. KC) (-)
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (@ HOU) (+)
James Washington (@ TEN)
Michael Gallup (@ WAS) (+)
Keelan Cole (@ LAC) (-)
Henry Ruggs (vs. TB) (+)
Brandon Aiyuk (@ NE)
Emmanuel Sanders (vs. CAR) (-)
Russell Gage (vs. DET) (-)

(-) = high floor
(+) = high ceiling

Henry Ruggs
Jamie Squire/Getty Images. Pictured: Henry Ruggs

Tier 8

Cole Beasley (@ NYJ) (-)
Damiere Byrd (vs. SF) (-)
Randall Cobb (vs. GB)
Mecole Hardman (@ DEN) (+)
Breshad Perriman (vs. BUF)
N’Keal Harry (vs. SF)
Adam Humphries (vs. PIT) (-)
Corey Davis (vs. PIT)
DeSean Jackson (vs. NYG) (+)
Hunter Renfrow (vs. TB) (-)
Curtis Samuel (@ NO) (-)
Golden Tate (@ PHI) (-)
Demarcus Robinson (@ DEN) (+)
Greg Ward Jr. (vs. NYG)
Diontae Johnson (@ TEN)
Dontrelle Inman (vs. DAL)
Tre’Quan Smith (vs. CAR)
Larry Fitzgerald (vs. SEA) (-)

(-) = high floor
(+) = high ceiling

For these final couple tiers, I like to treat sit/start decisions based on the type of player you need for your matchup: If you’re a big favorite, you want to lean toward a player who is guaranteed to get you a handful of points (i.e. high floor), and if you’re an underdog, you should be more willing to use a high risk/reward player (i.e. high ceiling).


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TIGHT ENDS

Tier 1

Travis Kelce (@ DEN)
George Kittle (@ NE)

Bill Belichick is excellent at game-planning ways to slow down the opposing team’s best player. The Patriots held Darren Waller (2/9/0) and Travis Kelce (3/70/0) below expectations, so we should lower our expectations for Kittle this week, but he’s still a top-two TE.

Tier 2

Darren Waller (vs. TB)

Mark Andrews is on a bye this week, leaving Tier 2 all to Waller.

darren waller-prop-picks-betting-projections-touchdowns-2020
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images. Pictured: Darren Waller

Tier 3

Hunter Henry (vs. JAX)

Henry has been reasonably steady this season with a weekly average of 4.4 receptions and 54 yards a game. He’s scored only one touchdown to date, but the Chargers’ team total of 28.5 is reason to elevate his TD odds this week.

Tier 4

T.J. Hockenson (@ ATL)
Jonnu Smith (vs. PIT)
Robert Tonyan Jr. (@ HOU)
Hayden Hurst (vs. DET)

Hockenson has yet to have a ceiling game, but a matchup against the Falcons could change that. Atlanta has been a sieve to opposing TEs, allowing 14.3 fantasy points a game to the position (second-highest).

Smith is dealing with an ankle injury that we’ll need to monitor. Be sure to check the final version of my tiers on Saturday once we have more information.

Tier 5

Jared Cook (vs. CAR)
Rob Gronkowski (@ LV)
Eric Ebron (@ TEN)
Evan Engram (@ PHI)
Logan Thomas (vs. DAL)
Austin Hooper (@ CIN)
Dalton Schultz (@ WAS)

Back in Week 5, I declared Gronk as a viable TE1 with O.J. Howard out for the season. Sure enough, Gronk is the No. 6 TE over the past two games. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to float him in an offer to a TE-needy team in an attempt to sell high” — he should offer TE1 value for the next few games, but it’s reasonable to worry his body could break down over the second half of the season.

week 6 nfl teasers
Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Rob Gronkowski

Tier 6

Noah Fant (vs. KC)
Jimmy Graham (@ LAR)
Tyler Higbee (vs. CHI)
Greg Olsen (@ ARI)

I would be cautious with Noah Fant if he can return from his ankle injury this week. The Broncos could ease him in with a three- to four-way TE committee approach. If he ends up being ruled out for Week 7, Albert Okwuegbunam would be an exciting streaming option in deeper leagues — he was college teammates with Lock and flashed some of his big-play potential with 18- and 27-yard catches in his NFL debut.

Tier 7

Richard Rodgers (vs. NYG)
Darren Fells (vs. GB)
Jordan Akins (vs. GB)
James O’Shaughnessy (@ LAC)
Drew Sample (vs. CLE)
Gerald Everett (vs. CHI)
Anthony Firkser (vs. PIT)

Richard Rodgers is another potential streaming option in deeper leagues. He’s set to replace Zach Ertz as the team’s primary pass-catching TE.

Tier 8

Tyler Kroft (@ NYJ)
Ian Thomas (@ NO)
Cameron Brate (@ LV)
Chris Herndon (vs. BUF)


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KICKERS

Tier 1

Jason Myers (@ ARI)
Mason Crosby (@ HOU)

Tier 2

Wil Lutz (vs. CAR)
Harrison Butker (@ DEN)
Matt Prater (@ ATL)
Younghoe Koo (vs. DET)
Michael Badgley (vs. JAX)
Tyler Bass (@ NYJ)
Ryan Succop (@ LV)
Chris Boswell (@ TEN)
Ka’imi Fairbairn (vs. GB)
Zane Gonzalez (vs. SEA)

week 2-fantasy-kicker-rankings
David Eulitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Harrison Butker

Tier 3

Cody Parkey (@ CIN)
Stephen Gostkowski (vs. PIT)
Sam Sloman (vs. CHI)
Nick Folk (vs. SF)
Daniel Carlson (vs. TB)
Jake Elliott (vs. NYG)
Greg Zuerlein (@ WAS)
Randy Bullock (vs. CLE)
Dustin Hopkins (vs. DAL)
Joey Slye (@ NO)
Robbie Gould (@ NE)

Tier 4

Jon Brown (@ LAC)
Cairo Santos (@ LAR)
Brandon McManus (vs. KC)
Graham Gano (@ PHI)
Sam Ficken (vs. BUF)


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DEFENSES

Tier 1

Buffalo Bills (@ NYJ)

Tier 2

Kansas City Chiefs (@ DEN)
Philadelphia Eagles (vs. NYG)
Los Angeles Rams (vs. CHI)
New England Patriots (vs. SF)

Tier 3

Dallas Cowboys (@ WAS)
Los Angeles Chargers (vs. JAX)
New York Giants (@ PHI)
Cleveland Browns (@ CIN)
Washington Football Team (vs. DAL)
New Orleans Saints (vs. CAR)

Tier 4

San Francisco 49ers (@ NE)
Green Bay Packers (@ HOU)
Seattle Seahawks (@ ARI)
Cincinnati Bengals (vs. CLE)

Tier 5

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ LV)
Pittsburgh Steelers (@ TEN)
Atlanta Falcons (vs. DET)
Chicago Bears (@ LAR)
Jacksonville Jaguars (@ LAC)
Detroit Lions (@ ATL)

Tier 6

Tennessee Titans (vs. PIT)
New York Jets (vs. BUF)
Las Vegas Raiders (vs. TB)
Arizona Cardinals (vs. SEA)
Carolina Panthers (@ NO)
Denver Broncos (vs. KC)
Houston Texans (vs. GB)


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