Koerner’s Week 7 Fantasy Football QB Tiers: Is Jameis Winston an Elite Option?

Koerner’s Week 7 Fantasy Football QB Tiers: Is Jameis Winston an Elite Option? article feature image

Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jameis Winston

  • Sean Koerner -- the No. 1 in-season fantasy football ranker in 2015, 2016 and 2017 -- takes a detailed look at his Week 7 quarterback tiers.
  • Use the strategies outlined below to build the most optimal starting lineup for your fantasy football team.

Below you’ll find my quarterback tiers for Week 7 fantasy football. These are based on standard scoring.

As a reminder, these tiers are not updated after publication. If you want my most up-to-date rankings for PPR, Standard and Half-Point PPR leagues, check out this post.

And, yes, my tiers will be part of our Action Network subscription this season. Be sure to check out everything that comes with a sub here.

Koerner’s Quarterback Tiers

Tier 1
Patrick Mahomes (vs. CIN)

Mahomes gets a great matchup at home this week. Despite being a pretty good defense on paper, the Bengals have been gashed by opposing quarterbacks this year. They’ve allowed either 360-plus passing yards or two-plus touchdowns to all but one opposing quarterback this season (Ryan Tannehill).

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) and offensive guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (76) gesture at the line of scrimmage during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Arrowhead Stadium.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15).

Tier 2
Matt Ryan (vs. NYG)
Jameis Winston (vs. CLE)

There is a pretty big drop-off after Mahomes this week, and the competition for the No. 2 quarterback this week is wide open. Especially considering Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger and Russell Wilson are on a BYE.

That helps make Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston elite plays this week.

Congrats if you managed to scoop up Winston from the waiver wire last week. The Bucs offense has so many weapons in the passing game that we can expect around 300 yards through the air from Winston on average. Often overlooked is his sneaky rushing ability, too.

Winston will never be confused with Cam Newton when he scrambles, but we will always take 15-25 rushing yards with the potential for rushing touchdowns from any quarterback.

Projecting Winston in this 2018 Bucs offense gives off an Aaron Rodgers vibe — only if Rodgers threw interceptions more frequently. In any league that docks only one point per interception, Winston could be a top-five quarterback going forward.

Tier 3
Jared Goff (@ SF)
Cam Newton (@ PHI)
Kirk Cousins (@ NYJ)

Jared Goff will be without Cooper Kupp this week, but I’m not projecting much of a drop-off at all due to him having a plethora of weapons. My only worry is if the Rams get out to a big lead early against San Fran and simply use Todd Gurley to run out the clock in the second half.

This limits Goff’s ceiling, but he still has one of the highest floors at the position this week.

Tier 4
Andrew Luck (vs. BUF)
Carson Wentz (vs. CAR)
Andy Dalton (@ KC)
Tom Brady (@ CHI)
Matthew Stafford (@ MIA)
Philip Rivers (vs. TEN)

This is a critical sit/start tier this week, and if Dalton is available, he makes for a great BYE week fill-in against the Chiefs who turn every matchup into a shootout.

The Colts are 7.5-point favorites this week against the Bills, meaning there is a chance they choose to limit Luck’s attempts this week to give his shoulder a bit of a break.

Additionally, the return of Marlon Mack last week allowed Indy to feature a true workhorse running back even though the Colts had four active backs last week. Look for them to be a much more balanced team this week, which could curb Luck’s upside against an underrated Bills defense.

Tier 5
Blake Bortles (vs. HOU)
Drew Brees (@ BAL)
Mitch Trubisky (vs. NE)
Joe Flacco (vs. NO)

If there was ever a week I would be pretty bold in recommending Brees owners to roll with a different quarterback, this would be it. As we saw in Mark Ingram’s return from a four-game ban in Week 5, he not only cuts into Alvin Kamara’s role, but he’ll also impact Brees’ touchdown shares.

Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara

On top of that, back in Week 5 I referred to Taysom Hill’s increased involvement in a package of plays designed for him to run the ball out of a wildcat formation. This became more of a concern after the Saints featured him in the red zone and he ran for a touchdown.

Again, these are all things that will eat into Brees’ touchdown share long-term and something I factor into my projections. He is also on the road this week against one of the top defenses. I would start anyone in Tier 4 or better over him this week.

Tier 6
Eli Manning (@ ATL)
C.J. Beathard (vs. LAR)
Baker Mayfield (@ TB)
Deshaun Watson (@ JAX)
Alex Smith (vs. DAL)

I have yet to fall for Eli Manning this year, as I believe this is the first time he has cracked my top 20. He is going to be playing for his job this week — and rightfully so. I think this Falcons defense will allow the Giants offense to go off this week.

C.J. Beathard is a worthy streamer this week in deeper leagues if you need some BYE week help. He will be forced to throw in this potential shootout with the Rams.

Deshaun Watson is this week’s biggest downgrade. He is clearly less than 100% and getting killed behind this O-line. We saw the Texans limit his rushing last week with two rushes for two yards. He will not be able to put up QB1 numbers this week against the Jaguars through the air, forcing owners to find a spot-start quarterback this week.

Tier 7
Ryan Tannehill/Brock Osweiler (vs. DET)
Dak Prescott (@ WAS)
Marcus Mariota (@ LAC)

Week 6 we witnessed two of the most unlikely outcomes at quarterback in a single week: Dak Prescott carved up the Jaguars and Brock Osweiler went off for 380 yards with three touchdowns in an emergency start for the injured Ryan Tannehill.

Do not fall for either performance as I have both ranked outside of the top 20 this week.

Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Dak Prescott (4).

Tier 8
Case Keenum (@ ARI)
Josh Rosen (vs. DEN)
Sam Darnold (vs. MIN)

We won’t need to make any tough sit/start decisions at quarterback for the Thursday night game this week, as both quarterbacks aren’t worthy of our attention outside of ultra deep two-QB leagues.

Whomever is starting at quarterback for the Bills this week Tier
Derek Anderson/Nathan Peterman (@ IND)

The Indy defense makes a great stream play at defense this week.