Underdog Battle Royale Rankings Week 7

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  1. Patrick Mahomes
  2. Josh Allen
  3. Justin Herbert
  4. Jared Goff
  5. Lamar Jackson
  6. Matthew Stafford

Sleepers: Geno Smith, Sam Howell, Desmond Ridder, Tyrod Taylor, Jordan Love

This is a slate that could be opposite from last week where there weren’t any scores that really separated. I could see one or two 30+ point games from the top-6, so I typically won’t get too cute in grabbing a later option. Mahomes and Herbert have had some epic shootouts in the past, if that happens again we could need of those two QBs. Goff and Jackson are also another pair of QB’s from the same game that have the upside to hit 30 points. Jackson has had two big weeks so far, but it’s only really been because of his legs. It will be interesting to see if his increased passing efficiency, will start to lead to more passing yards and scores. Goff could be in a situation where the Lions have to throw the ball 45-50 times without Montgomery in the line-up. Though there is a little concern about the lack of pushback from the Patriots, there is no denying that Allen is a top-tier option. New England’s defense has been really bad the last month, which could allow Allen to get off to a fast start.

Matt Stafford rounds out my top-6, he’s yet to hit a ceiling this season as his TD variance hasn’t been there. He’s another QB who could see his value bolstered by the fact that the Rams are missing multiple running backs. I would look for Stafford to prioritize his top passing weapons, and throw even more, especially around the goal line. Smith, Taylor, Ridder and Howell all have some intrigue, but you will need a real outsized run out form them to compete with this top-6 group.

Running backs:

  1. Josh Jacobs
  2. Kenneth Walker III
  3. Saquon Barkley
  4. Bijan Robinson
  5. Isiah Pacheco
  6. Austin Ekeler
  7. Brian Robinson Jr.
  8. James Cook
  9. Aaron Jones/A.J. Dillon (if Jones is out)
  10. Najee Harris

Sleepers: Jahmyr Gibbs, Javonte Williams, Jaleel McLaughlin, Jaylen Warren, Jerome Ford, Jonathan Taylor

Typically I love doubling up at RB in these drafts, but this is a week where that could be pretty difficult to do. I think the pre-set ranking of Ekeler as the top back is just off, given the match-up vs the Chiefs and him coming off a short week, and the injury report prior to that could keep his touches in check a bit. That leaves Jacobs and Walker as my top two backs, with both in great spots. Jacobs could be heavily relied upon if the Raiders need to rely on their back-up QB this week.

Bijan Robinson, Pacheco and Ekeler do round out my top-6 as they have the total usage potential. I think the spot for Pacheco against the Chargers defense is very tempting, and he’s seen his role in the passing game improve this season. After the top 6 I do like both Brian Robinson and James Cook as guys in the right game script will get the usage you want to challenge for a top spot. It really starts to thin out at that point. The Packers backs have a great match-up, but we don’t know the status of Aaron Jones health. If he doesn’t play Dillon is one that I like, but if he does play, I’d take a shot on Jones, but would consider it risky. Guys like Harris, Gibbs, Javonte Williams, Ford, and Taylor can have the right run out to be viable, but haven’t been really close to that this season.

Wide Receivers:

  1. Cooper Kupp
  2. Stefon Diggs
  3. Amon-Ra St. Brown
  4. Keenan Allen
  5. Davante Adams
  6. Tyler Lockett
  7. Zay Flowers
  8. Puka Nacua
  9. George Pickens
  10. Mike Evans
  11. Christian Watson
  12. D.K. Metcalf
  13. Gabe Davis
  14. Terry McLaurin
  15. Amari Cooper
  16. Rashee Rice
  17. Drake London
  18. Jakobi Meyers
  19. Joshua Palmer
  20. Courtland Sutton

Sleepers: Marquise Brown, D.J. Moore, Michael Pittman Jr. Chris Godwin, Diontae Johnson, Curtis Samuel, Darius Slayton, Jahan Dotson

I do think the receiver group is stronger this week, and we should see more Flex usage from it. It comes down to a couple of different tiers. Kupp, Diggs, St. Brown, and Allen all have the real potential to be alpha WR’s and the top overall option on the slate. While there’s always an outside chance it could come from someone else, it’s pretty likely one of those four end up being the guy you want. Probably at least 2, if not three end up being pretty good plays.

In the next tier from a talent standpoint Adams stands out and the match-up is strong. The concern is that it could be the battle of the backup QBs, making this likely a low-scoring game. Adams has already struggled with his usage of late, so it’s not great that the game script isn’t in his favor. Lockett is the better of the two Seattle receivers given his target share, and deep targets, but either is really in play in a great match-up. Flowers, Nacua, and Pickens all offer some real intriguing upside, especially Nacua as the Rams could be without multiple RBs.

I think you can pick your spots with some of the other receivers, but none are truly must-plays. Guys like Watson, Davis, McLaurin, Cooper, and Rice all could end up with 25+ points, or they could be sub 10 points. One thing to definitely keep an eye on is the QB situations for some of these teams. Though WR is stronger than RB this week, after the initial 20 there isn’t a lot to get excited about. Some good receivers with bad back-up QBs in Brown, Moore, and Pittman. A guy returning from injury in Johnson, and a couple options from the Commanders-Giants game.

Tight Ends:

  1. Travis Kelce
  2. Sam LaPorta
  3. Darren Waller
  4. Mark Andrews
  5. Luke Musgrave
  6. Michael Mayer

Sleepers: Kyle Pitts, Logan Thomas, Gerald Everett, Jonnu Smith, Pat Freiermuth

With Travis Kelce on this slate there is a clear priority in the first round to see if he can have a week that truly separates himself from the rest of the TE group. While there are a couple of other good TEs on the slate, they aren’t in the best of spots and Kelce historically has destroyed the Chargers. Unlike other positions, if Kelce really goes off in this match-up, he has the potential to double the next highest TE, and almost triple the majority of the options.

The risk you run is that if Kelce is just above average-to-good, or one or two other tight ends have very good games, then his value vs the field doesn’t really materialize. There are a few other TEs with the potential ceiling to challenge a very good low 20’s fantasy point game from Kelce. LaPorta only had 4 catches for 36 yards last week, but he had 11 targets in a game where he was limited coming in. The Lions could be even more pass-happy with David Montgomery on the shelf, particularly in the red zone. Waller is coming off 18 targets and 13 receptions over the past two games against the Dolphins and Bills defenses. He now gets to face a Washington Defense that has given up major fantasy points through the air this season. Andrews usage hasn’t been great, but we know the upside is there for a 2 TD game.

As for the rest I think the other rookies like Musgrave and Mayer are both in strong positions for good weeks. They’ve been very strong in usage lately and it’s only a matter of time before it all comes together. Pitts, Thomas, and Smith all have seen consistent work and usage to warrant reaching for. Everett’s targets are still a bit too low, but the potential is there in this offense. Pittsburgh is coming off the bye, and getting back both Freiermuth and Diontae Johnson. Hopefully, that can jump-start this offense that has been very anemic so far this season.


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