The Fantasy Footballers’ Rankings Audit & Podcast Highlights for Week 7

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Welcome in, #Footclan! It’s (almost) football time!

This week’s Thursday Night Football clash between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants had it all: divisional rivals, a 12-point comeback, and an infamous run by QB Daniel Jones that will forever echo the halls of the internet for generations to come:

With the conclusion of an NFC East showdown that was equal parts exciting and aggravating, we now look forward to an exciting new slate of games in Week 7 of the National Football League!

As a reminder, this article is a weekly installment where I’ll review the Fantasy Footballers’ player rankings and highlight a few specific players per position that deserve extra attention. I’ll also recap important moments from the past week’s Fantasy Footballers’ podcast episodes with links to each episode provided. So be on the lookout every week for this series!

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Also, please keep in mind that the Footballers’ rankings are constantly being updated whenever any breaking news is released. So always refer to their rankings page or click on a specific player below to see their latest rankings!

Now enough chit-chat… let’s go already!

Quarterback Rankings

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
By now, we have all accepted that MVP-frontrunner Russell Wilson is ON FIRE and will proceed to carry his fantasy GMs to a #Footclan Title. He’s currently the QB4 on the season, which is ridiculous when you realize that he already had his bye last week. If we remove his bye week, then he’s the clear No. 1 QB in fantasy and real-life football. The ‘Ballers are on board, ranking him as their consensus QB1 this week in a divisional matchup against the Cardinals. But that word — divisional — should make managers perspire with fear and doubt, much like that leftover pizza you forgot in the microwave overnight and decided to eat in the morning anyways. Since OC Brian Schottenheimer joined the team in 2018, the Seahawks have faced the Cardinals four times. Here’s how Wilson performed against them:

Date Rank Fantasy Points Passing Yards Passing TDs Rushing Yards Rushing TDs Notes
9/30/2018 QB25 9 172 0 21 0
2 Sacks, 1 Fumble
12/30/2018 QB24 7.9 152 1 -2 0 6 Sacks, 1 INT
9/29/2019 QB18 14.3 240 1 7 0
4 Sacks, 2 Fumbles
12/22/2019 QB25 11 169 1 2 0
5 Sacks, 1 Fumble

Yikes. Of course, this is a different Russell Wilson we’re dealing with this year, one that’s a culinarian inclined to execute without limits. I’m betting that he’ll easily improve on his previously abhorrent performances, and agree that he’s a safe QB1 candidate. I’m also betting that he won’t finish in the top five this week, especially with an improved Arizona defense that is giving up the 8th least fantasy points to QBs. You’re obviously starting him if he’s on your roster, but temper expectations as this might not be the smash-spot most are anticipating.

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
After a promising start, life hasn’t been easy for rookie QB Joe Burrow. The number one draft pick has been sacked 24 grueling times already, the second-most in the league and just behind human pinata Carson Wentz. But his upcoming rematch with divisional rival Cleveland Browns is just what the doctor ordered. Their first encounter in Week 2 was the only time he’s finished as a QB1 or scored three TDs. But here’s the thing: he’s only managed three total passing TDs since then. And that game had his highest number of passing attempts, which have dropped dramatically since. It’s possible that RB Joe Mixon‘s recent ascension may be partially to blame. But with Mixon officially OUT this week, the Bengals will need to rely on Burrow’s arm and legs once again. The gang ranks him as this week’s QB16, but I’m banking that his scoring upside will lead him to his second QB1 fantasy result.

Running Back Rankings

David Johnson, Houston Texans
David Johnson! Awhoo, ooh, ooh!” Get ready to belt out our favorite nostalgic #Footclan tune this Sunday when Texans RB David Johnson has a return to fantasy glory against the Packers’ bottom-ranked defensive line. Just how bad is their defense? Here’s how their last opposing RBs fared:

  • Week 6: RB4
  • Week 5: Bye
  • Week 4: RB12
  • Week 3: RB1
  • Week 2: RB31
  • Week 1: RB8

To summarize, four of the last five RBs finished as an RB1, with three in the top-10. This defense is porous, which is perfect for someone like Johnson who will receive ample opportunities to gain yardage and convert TDs. Though he’s had middling success, his opportunities (carries + targets) have increased each week, and he’s seen 21 of them in each of his last two games. He’s the ‘Ballers’ consensus RB13, a DFS sleeper, Mike’s Start of the Week. Barring injury, I believe he’s a shoe-in to finish as an RB1 this week.

Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
Hot on the heels of Johnson is Raiders RB Josh Jacobs, who enters the week as the gang’s consensus RB14. However, the group is split on Jacobs, with Jason the most optimistic at RB10, followed by Mike at RB15, and Andy the lowest at RB17. Very friendly reminder that Jacobs was Andy’s #MyGuy. Though he’s averaged an abundant 25.2 opportunities per week, he’s also been incredibly TD dependent, finishing as an RB1 only in games he’s scored in (two games) while plunging to RB2/RB3 results otherwise. After a breakout performance in the season opener as the overall RB1, he finds himself clinging onto the outskirts of fantasy prominence as the RB12 on the year. His upcoming showdown against Tampa Bay is no cakewalk, as they’ve allowed the 8th fewest fantasy points to RBs. In fact, the Buccaneers just held TD monster Aaron Jones to 11.6 half PPR points, his WORST performance yet. To make matters worse, his offensive line starters are in jeopardy of missing the game due to COVID concerns. Jacobs has an uphill battle against a colossal defense with a potentially second-string o-line, but he should still see sufficient volume that makes him a safe RB2 with top-10 upside if he can find the end zone. Given his latest performance in an upset win over the Chiefs, I’m betting he’ll get it done.

Wide Receiver Rankings

Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
BOOM. To the delight of managers everywhere who’ve endured weeks of disappointment and inactivity, superstar WR Julio Jones finally exploded against the Minnesota Vikings last week. He caught eight passes for 137 yards and two TDs, good for a spectacular 29.7 half PPR points and the second best fantasy score among WRs. He gets the Lions’ middling defense next, and is currently the gang’s consensus WR3. Interestingly, fellow receiver and overall WR1 Calvin Ridley is ranked two spots below him, though the guys disagree on who will emerge with more fantasy points. Jason and Mike both have Jones ranked higher, while Andy believes Ridley will have the better game. Only 0.7 points separate their current projections. There is certainly room for both wideouts to succeed, but I’m banking on Ridley to come out on top thanks to his softer matchup against rookie CB Jeffrey Okudah. Both receivers — plus opposing WR Kenny Golladay — must be started in what should be a firefight in ATL.

Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers
Rookie phenom Chase Claypool now has back-to-back weeks as a WR1. He gets an advantageous matchup against a Titans defense that has given up the 6th most points to WRs. By the hallowed NBA Jams rule, Claypool is officially heating up and is primed to catch on fire this Sunday. He’s a rising Dynasty stud and the crew’s consensus WR23. But I’m still a tad worried about his workload when all weapons are healthy, and I’m not alone. Take a look at the percent of snaps played by each receiver this season:

Percent of Snaps Played
Week JuJu Smith-Schuster James Washington Diontae Johnson Chase Claypool
1 86% 58% 86% 30%
2 91% 48% 83% 37%
3 73% 61% 24% (injured) 76%
5 76% 71% 8% (injured) 69%
6 65% 66% DNP 78%

The major takeaway is that Claypool’s involvement only shot up when Diontae Johnson‘s plummeted. Meanwhile, James Washington‘s “slow but steady” increase in snaps is offset by JuJu Smith-Schuster‘s gradual decrease. My concern is that Claypool will see less usage with Johnson returning to the lineup. Anyone who’s watched him will know that he’s earned a significant role in this offense. But if I’m stuck deciding between him or someone similarly ranked like D.J. Chark, then I’d personally choose the latter. By the way, Chark is Jason’s Start of the Week.

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Tight End Rankings

T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions
What’s more important, consistency or matchup? Lions TE T.J. Hockenson has had an awful track record, scoring a D grade on the Footballers’ consistency rating. His matchup against the Falcons, though, is a premiere one. Their last opposing TEs finished as the TE11, TE51, TE2, TE1, TE7, and TE12. Meanwhile, Hockenson is the TE11 on the season, although he’s inconsistently bounced around the rankings each week. But his matchup is so juicy that he’s emerged as the guy’s consensus TE3 and is Andy’s Start of the Week. All signs point to a smash game for “Hockules.” Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn into another run-heavy game dominated by rookie D’Andre Swift and the-opposite-of-rookie Adrian Peterson.

Biggest Takeaways from the Week 7 Podcasts

Monday (Week 6 Studs & Stinkers + Monday Punday Extraordinaire)
We kick off the week with Andy, Mike, and Jason chatting about the Monday Night Football doubleheader before sharing their favorite Monday Punday submissions at 03:15. Next is a recap of last Sunday’s games on the Weekly Rewind at 06:00. The ‘Ballers then discuss all their Fantasy Studmuffins at 13:00. We wrap up the episode with the Stinkers of the Week at 39:25.

Tuesday (Week 7 Waivers + Full Stream Ahead, Big Herbs, Tua Time!)
In this episode, the gang weigh the fantasy implications from the shocking news that Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will be benched for rookie sensation Tua Tagovailoa at 00:50. They then recap the Monday Night Football games, starting with the Chiefs vs Bills at 04:10, then the Cardinals vs Cowboys at 06:30. The ‘Ballers move on to News & Notes at 13:40, before hitting the juiciest part of the episode: the Week 7 Waivers at 23:05. Next up are their choices for Team Defense Streamers at 54:15 and QB Streamers at 55:40.

Wednesday (Tough Decisions + Week 7 Buy/Sell, TNF Preview)
The ‘Ballers jump start this episode with a Quick Question, “Should you be able to drop bench players that have already played?” at 03:50. We then proceed with the Buy or Sell segment at 07:05, discussing hotly-contested players like Devin Singletary, Ben Roethlisberger, and D.J. Moore. They move onto the News & Notes at 12:50, before detailing the TNF Breakdown between the Giants and Eagles at 19:05. They conclude the episode with a Mailbag segment at 32:05, including an impromptu game about Kenyan Drake:

Thursday (Starts of the Week + Week 7 Breakdown, Cereal Killer)
Thursday’s episode starts with the Taking It Up To 100 segment at 04:20, where the guys plant their flag on blowup candidates Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, and wildcard Marquez Valdes-Scantling. That’s followed by the News & Notes at 08:10, then the ‘Ballers talk about the upcoming matchups in the Fantasy Forecast at 21:40. We then get to the meat & taters of the episode at 56:40 — the ‘Ballers Starts of the Week! And don’t forget Jason Moore’s Iron-Clad Locked and Loaded 100% Guaranteed Boom-Boom Kicker of the Week at 01:04:10!

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Friday (Week 7 Matchups + The Rumble Bumble Stumble)
The ‘Ballers hit the ground running like Daniel Jones at 00:25 before segueing to the FootClan Fridays segment at 05:00. They then discuss the News & Notes at 08:55, including breaking news on Joe Mixon and the fantasy implications surrounding the Bengals’ backfield. Afterwards, the crew details the Fantasy Forecast for the remaining Week 7 matchups at 16:40, before rounding off the episode at 56:45 with their can’t-miss segment, Prop It Like It’s Hot!

Have a great weekend #Footclan and let’s crush all our matchups! If you haven’t done so yet, make sure you check out the awesome Week 7 DFS Podcast by Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg) and Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT). And as always, remember to tune in Sunday for Mike’s live stream where he provides last-minute updates to help you make those crucial roster decisions!

Lastly, make sure you tune in next week for the Footballers’ heavily anticipated #Halloween episode! You don’t want to miss this!

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