Every site has a fantasy football rankings column. None of them will be as charted up on a Thursday afternoon up as this one. I'll go position-by-position with the charts, matchup notes, film, and injury nuggets that I view as worth your time.
This ranking will depend on injuries, as both Mark Andrews (DNP-DNP-limited) and Rashod Bateman (limited x3) are truly questionable. The Browns struggling defense, however, will be without CB1 Denzel Ward (concussion).
Chargers are tied with the highest team total (27.75 points) of the week, despite their injuries on offense. Keenan Allen (limited x3) is truly questionable. Joshua Palmer (concussion), Joshua Kelley (knee), and Donald Parham (concussion) are out.
Let's monitor the 49ers defensive injury report later in the week. They weren't themselves last week due to injuries, and those got worse mid-game against the Falcons.
This is a must watch. We broke down how much the Bengals offense is changing. In short, it's good news for the pass game specifically.
On re-watch, I thought Tom Brady played well, but the Bucs were stagnant due to a reliance on inefficient runs on early downs. Enough already. Pass the ball... and Brady will be a mid-ranged QB1 with a weekly ceiling.
I'm conflicted with this one because of the history of QBs coming back too soon with hand injuries, but at the end of the day, the Cowboys have an elite team total at home against the Lions.
The Texans best pass rusher (Jonathan Greenard) is out. This assumes Hunter Renfrow plays with Darren Waller out.
Hopefully LT Terron Armstead (DNP-limited-DNP) is healthy enough to play. We were picking on the Steelers secondary, but they will get back S Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB Cameron Sutton, and CB Levi Wallace this week.
Adds Christian McCaffrey as a pass-game option and gets All Pro LT Trent Williams back. On defense, they return Nick Bosa and others. This is as good as the Niners have been in a long time.
The Colts' Week 6 game plan was probably the most shocking of any game this season, shifting from unwatchable play in Week 5 to a 73% neutral pass rate. With Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines likely back, this likely won't hold, but it was nice to see Matt Ryan bounce back with accurate underneath throws.
No All Pro guard Wyatt Teller (concussion) hurts.
Bailey Zappe is throwing accurately and on time, but even he has less juice on his passes than Mac Jones, who throws the ball deeper in general. We'll see if Jones is near 100% health by Monday Night Football. Zappe has played well enough for the Patriots to wait for Jones to fully heal. The offense has played decent this year, and I'm optimistic the new scheme and the addition of speedster Tyquan Thornton will help long term.
This isn't the week to get cute against the Patriots emerging defense. For Fields development, this coaching staff has increased their screen usage (it was at 6% for Fields last year and 18% this year), but we're still waiting for more designed QB runs. Until that happens, Fields is a sketchy QB2 play.
With the receivers hurt (Chris Olave returns this week) and with Andy Dalton under center, the Saints have become the league's most run-heavy offense over the last four weeks. If Dalton starts here, there will be more of a lean on underneath passes, too.
We'll see if he clears concussion protocol.
This isn't a huge downgrade at QB in general, but Heinicke is more likely to scramble than pass, so it's a negative for the fantasy appeal altogether. Last year, Heinicke passed in the intermediate areas more often and went for the long ball less often compared to Carson Wentz. There are too many mouths to feed for a team projected for 18.25 points.
Russell Wilson (hamstring, lat) is out. Yes, Rypien is likely worse than Russ.
The Panthers aren't an NFL offense with Walker. They went completely run heavy last week, and Walker finished the game with NEGATIVE AIR YARDS.
Let me repeat, NEGATIVE AIR YARDS.
Read the player notes above. Rankings below are half PPR.
Leonard Fournette - Carolina is 28th versus fantasy RBs.
Josh Jacobs - Houston is dead last against fantasy RBs.
Alvin Kamara - Dalton starting, Michael Thomas missing are wins.
Jonathan Taylor - Back-to-back full practices. Let's go.
Nick Chubb - No All Pro guard Wyatt Teller (concussion) hurts.
Breece Hall - Love the design of this offense (video).
Kenneth Walker - Watch this film breakdown. There's a method to his madness. The Chargers are 29th against fantasy RBs because their LBs and DBs don't like to tackle.
Dameon Pierce - Post Bye Rookie Bump.
D'Andre Swift (Questionable) - A lower team total (20.75) and big play regression are working against him in my rankings. He also didn't get in a full practice this week, all limited with an ankle and shoulder.
Aaron Jones - It's hard to be a fantasy RB1 in a below-average offense when the work is being shared close to 50/50.
Ezekiel Elliott - Touchdown reliant RB gets his QB1 back, leading to the 2nd-highest implied team total (27.25) of the week. The Lions are also 31st against fantasy RBs and just put their starting DT on injured reserve. Buy low.
Eno Benjamin - This assumes James Conner (DNP Wednesday) is out. Benjamin was in a mini bellcow role in Week 6. The issue is that Benjamin could be less of a focal point at the goal line, and that the Cardinals may not get to the goal line as often with LG Justin Pugh and C Rodney Hudson hurt.
Raheem Mostert - Chase Edmonds played more in Week 6, but mostly in garbage time. When they are in neutral and positive game scripts, Mostert should be the man in Miami. They are 7-point favorites this week.
Rhamondre Stevenson - Damien Harris (hamstring) had back-to-back full practices this week. He's likely back, perhaps even as the 1a in this committee.
David Montgomery - Khalil Herbert is 1st in rushing yards over expected per NextGenStats, so the Bears coaches said they'll ride the hot hand more often moving forward. Last week, Montgomery had his 2-for-1 drive rotation over Hebert, but now there's more uncertainty. To be fair, Montgomery also has positive rushing yards over expected per NGS. Both are quality backs in my opinion, and with the offensive design, there's enough room to see both operate with a baker's dozen opportunities worst case.
Christian McCaffrey - This assumes he is active but not playing a full set of snaps. Ian Rapoport believes that it's "likely" he plays, perhaps only in the red zone. We'll learn more later in the week.
AJ Dillon - See RB16 Aaron Jones.
Travis Etienne - He started for the first time last week, and JRob's efficiency has tanked since Week 3. Jacksonville should keep giving Etienne more looks.
James Robinson - Worried about his achilles fatiguing down the stretch.
Damien Harris (Questionable) - Full practices on Thursday and Friday, though this was a week or two earlier than expected.
Kenyan Drake - Dobbins (IR) is out weeks. Also, the Browns are dead last in rushing EPA allowed and 30th versus fantasy RBs. Of note, Justice Hill returned to practice, though I found this from The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec: “Probably Drake with Justice Hill mixed in. And then I'll stick with hot hand in second half.”
Brian Robinson - He's the primary runner and goal line back, while Antonio Gibson spells him and J.D. McKissic handles all passing work. It's not sexy work, but he can fart into a touchdown, just at lower odds of other early-down RBs given this offense.
Jeff Wilson - This assumes Christian McCaffrey is active but is limited to 5-20 (largely red zone) snaps. We'll learn more later in the week.
Melvin Gordon - Benched in Week 6, but the coaching staff says he's the starter. This is as "low floor" as it gets.
Khalil Herbert - See RB21 David Montgomery.
Jamaal Williams - Needs goal line vulture TDs to be worth it.
Tyler Allgeier - See RB35 Caleb Huntley.
Caleb Huntley - This is a rotation from hell, with Allgeier playing more (especially on passing downs) but with Huntley mixing in more at the goal line.
Latavius Murray - See RB30 Melvin Gordon.
Sony Michel - 7.7 expected half PPR in relief of the injured Joshua Kelley.
Chuba Hubbard - Hubbard is likely viewed as the better passing down option (and perhaps has more long-term value), while Foreman has out-carried Hubbard this season, 12-to-6. The team will be trailing heavily most games, so Hubbard has some deep sicko-league PPR flex value. Foreman is more likely to score a TD on the ground. Of course, there aren't many TDs available with the Panthers projected for .... wait for it .... 13.0 points this week.
D'Onta Foreman - See RB40 Chuba Hubbard.
Read the player notes above. Rankings below are half PPR.
Ja'Marr Chase - Check out our video on how he was schemed up last week.
Tyreek Hill - Let's monitor the Steelers defensive injuries. They're 31st against fantasy WRs this year because of missed time from multiple DB starters.
CeeDee Lamb - Jeff Okudah will likely stay outside, so we're not concerned with the Justin Jefferson-like bracket coverage here.
DK Metcalf - Tyler Lockett didn't practice this week due to a hamstring.
Amon-Ra St. Brown - No DJ Chark. Josh Reynolds and D'Andre Swift are questionable.
Mike Williams - Blame shutdown CB Pat Surtain for last week. This assumes Keenan Allen (limited Wednesday) suits up. Josh Palmer (concussion) is also questionable. Seattle is 30th in passing EPA allowed. If injuries break his way, I'll have him inside my top-6 WRs.
Tee Higgins - He got in back-to-back full practices this week. Higgins is back to normal.
Chris Olave - No Michael Thomas or Jarvis Landry.
DeAndre Hopkins - The Saints are 29th against fantasy WRs, largely due to their offseason moves but also because Marshon Lattimore (out) has missed time. On top of that, the Saints are 2nd in rushing EPA allowed, making them more of a pass funnel.
Amari Cooper - Ravens CB Marcus Peters is questionable.
Allen Lazard - He's the WR3 overall in yards per game versus man coverage per SIS and is averaging 10.1 yards per target on them. His tape is good. He is good. Adjust. Those 4-straight games with 8.8+ expected half PPR points keep his floor quite high. ... The matchup is nice, too, with CB1 William Jackson not playing.
Courtland Sutton - Russell Wilson is out.
Drake London - Needs to play in 1-WR sets to reach a ceiling, but he's making plays (video). Projected negative game script should help him this week.
Keenan Allen (Questionable) - This assumes he gets in at least one full practice. It's also possible he sits the final game before the Chargers' bye week. From Keenan: "Yeah, most definitely. It's going to be a thought process going into it. Definitely want to play it the smartest way, and if that's the best thing, then that's what it will be."
Tyler Lockett (Questionable) - He was DNP all week (hamstring), so there's clearly a much lower floor this week than usual, even if Pete Carroll is optimistic he'll play.
Hunter Renfrow (Questionable) - Darren Waller (hamstring) is out, and Renfrow had massive splits with and without Waller last season. The problem for Renfrow's floor is that he went from full to DNP to limited in practice this week with a hip issue. I'm unsure what happened there.
Diontae Johnson - Positive regression candidate, per usual.
Romeo Doubs - Sammy Watkins (questionable) returning would be bad news for his floor.
Rashod Bateman (Questionable) - Limited all week. If he plays, he could be at less than full health. React to our NFL news account on Sunday morning.
Curtis Samuel - No Jahan Dotson, Logan Thomas, or Dyami Brown.
DJ Moore - A great buy low if you can. It can't get worse, and CMC could get traded opening up even more looks (check).
Michael Gallup - A great buy low if you can.
Garrett Wilson - Elijah Moore is (rightfully) tilting about his role, as his playing time had droped the last two weeks while his aDOT has remained way too high for a player with his YAC skill set. Wilson will play more on the perimeter this week, which is fine for the most part, to get Braxton Berrios onto the field in 3-WR sets. This week, however, that's not great, as complete baller CB1 Pat Surtain awaits. Surtain will also see some Corey Davis.
Jerry Jeudy - Russell Wilson is out.
Wan'Dale Robinson - 7.6 expected half PPR points on only 35% routes in his debut. With Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney not practicing, there are paths to Robinson being a schemed up player moving forward, though I expect him to stay in the slot on most snaps. The best news is he was completely left off the injury report on Wednesday. We discussed his game film here (video).
Mack Hollins (Questionable) - He was limited all week.
Josh Reynolds (Questionable) - D.J. Chark is out. Reynolds went DNP-DNP-limited, so he could be playing at sub-100% if active.
Tyquan Thornton - We discussed his game film here (video).
Devin Duvernay - This assumes Rashod Bateman is back.
A.J. Green - He'll lose his starting job once Anderson gets acclimated.
Robbie Anderson - Expecting a rotation at Z in 3-WR sets with AJG.
Read the player notes above. Rankings below are half PPR.
Mark Andrews (Questionable) - DNP-DNP-limited in practice this week. If he plays, he could be at less than full health. React to our NFL news account on Sunday morning.
Gerald Everett - Seattle is dead last versus fantasy TEs, and the Chargers injury report is perfectly set up for Everett this week. TE2 Donald Parham (concussion) is out, as is WR3 Joshua Palmer (concussion). Meanwhile, Keenan Allen (limited x3) is a true game-time decision with the bye sitting next week. This ranking assumes Allen (hamstring) is in but not at full health.
Dalton Schultz - Dak Prescott and Schultz practiced in full on Wednesday. We should be close to pre-season expectations for Schultz, though I did notice Jake Ferguson showed some juice last week.
Robert Tonyan - Randall Cobb's (IR) injury sent Tonyan to a season-high 74% routes and 13.3 expected half PPR points last week. We should expect ACL players to play better as the season progresses. Tonyan is my favorite TE2 streamer.
Taysom Hill - Having Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton, and Chris Olave back probably hurts Taysom a bit.
Darren Waller (Questionable) - I don't think he plays after a DNP Wednesday.
The defenses of the week are the Patriots, Bucs, and Packers, with the Broncos, Jaguars, Jets, Titans, and Bengals also in play.
To me, this is the most beatable DFS game out there, as drafters too often go off the default rankings. Simply add one or two players who are commonly undrafted to get a unique DFS team. And of course, stack. I truly believe my readers/followers would enjoy the game theory (and the edge) of this contest.