SBNation Minnesota's week seven fantasy football rankings and projections

Andy Lyons - Getty Images

Kyle Rudolph should find the end zone when the Vikings host Arizona on Sunday.


Let's face it, fantasy football is fun, entertaining and exciting, but it's not THAT difficult to be decent at. Anyone can just show up on draft night with a magazine and draft a team that ends up running through the league. To some degree it is luck of the draw in that sense. What keeps those "average" players from performing well season to season?

Two things, byes and injuries.

Like I said, everyone can draft well. But who can find that receiver buried on the depth chart week four that breaks out for a double-digit performance when you have five players with byes week eight? That person is truly skilled in the game of fantasy football.

So when it comes to bye weeks, I say cheers. They give us all a week to pick up a random Joe who is entirely unproven, or to re-insert a player that we previously shunned from our lineup but need to come through just once this week (cough, Chris Johnson, cough).

Whether you have no one on byes this week, or your team is so compromised by them that you don't recognize anyone's name in your starting lineup, best of luck to all.

Here are my week seven LIKES and DISLIKES.

Quarterbacks

LIKE ‘EM

Tony Romo

The Dallas quarterback performed well last week against Baltimore’s stout defense. Romo and receiver Dez Bryant’s improving connection is encouraging as it gives the Dallas offense just another threat. The Cowboys desperately need a win this week and I think Romo will step up and play well against a mediocre Panther secondary with DeMarco Murray out with an injury.

Projection: 20 points

Ben Roethlisberger

Big Ben looks for redemption this week after an embarrassing loss to the lowly Titans last Thursday. It is worth noting that Roethlisberger did throw for 363 yards and a touchdown and has played well all season. With an extended week to prepare for a Bengal defense no where close to where they it was last season, Roethlisberger should have success.

Projection: 22 points

Andrew Luck

Disappointing performance last week against a game Jets’ defense. The rookie should bounce back because, well, it’s the Browns. I am slightly concerned about receiver Reggie Wayne’s matchup with Cleveland corner Joe Hayden but Luck should be able to find plenty of other open targets.

Projection: 18 points

Josh Freeman

Is this it? Is this finally the week Josh Freeman shows signs of consistency with two consecutive good weeks? He will have a decent chance to do so against the Saints’ secondary that has been fifth friendliest to fantasy quarterbacks this season. I love the reemergence of Mike Williams playing opposite of Vincent Jackson. Don’t look now folks.. But this Bucs’ offense may actually be a threat.

Projection: 17

Sleeper: Mark Sanchez threw for just under 500 yards and three touchdowns against the Pats’ secondary last year and we saw what Russell Wilson did to New England last Sunday. Sanchez should also have to throw a lot.

DISLIKE ‘EM

Cam Newton

Dallas has a good pass rush and a good secondary. Quarterbacks have not seen much success against the Cowboys’ defense this year and Cam Newton has struggled to throw the ball. This is a recurring theme in this blog, if Newton is going to have fantasy value, it is going to be on the ground. Newton out of my top 10.

Projection: 12 points

Matthew Stafford

Stafford is my number seven quarterback this week, which is not horrible. While I think you have to start him this week, I am concerned that Stafford was awful through three quarters last week and the Bears’ defense has made quarterbacks look silly this season.

Projection: 13 points

RUNNING BACKS

LIKE ‘EM

Stevan Ridley

Not surprisingly, the Pats failed to run with much success against Seattle. This week will be a different story. The Jets’ pass defense is much better than their run stopping unit. New England knows its better when there is balance and Ridley should be the beneficiary of 20+ carries.

Projection: 16 points

C.J. Spiller / Fred Jackson

It was tough sledding for a couple weeks for Buffalo’s tailback tandem, but they got back on track last week as both got into the end zone. This week the Bills take on a Titan defense that has relinquished the fourth-most points to fantasy running backs this season. There should be plenty of touches, and points, to go around for these two.

Spiller Projection: 14 points

Jackson Projection: 13 points

Chris Johnson

Johnson finally finds himself on the positive side of this column. CJ2K delivered his second-best performance of the year against the Steelers last Thursday, rushing for over 90 yards. He faces a porous Bills’ run defense this week, and while I don’t think he will score, I like him to approach the 100 yard mark again and is a solid RB2 play.

Projection: 10 points

Sleeper: LeGarrette Blount has now scored in two straight games for Tampa Bay and this week takes one of the worst rush defenses in the league in New Orleans. I like Doug Martin this week as well, but Blount could be a sneaky play if you need him.

DISLIKE ‘EM

Steven Jackson

This is probably more of a long term dislike. The Rams’ veteran running back has yet to reach the 10 point mark this season and last week rookie Daryl Richardson received more carries. This week, keep your fingers crossed for Jackson reaching the end zone. If you have him, try to trade him for whatever you can get.

Projection: 6 points

Mikel LeShoure

LeShoure has a terrible matchup this week on Monday night against Chicago. It’s nearly impossible to run against the Bears and I expect Stafford to have to throw it a ton as Chicago’s offense is beginning to click this year.

Projection: 7 points

WIDE RECEIVERS

LIKE ‘EM

Dez Bryant

Bryant hauled in two touchdowns last Sunday to go along with his 13 catches on 15 targets. In Dallas’ last two games they have made the effort to get Bryant involved early and often and he is providing the results. I do not expect things to change this week.

Projection: 15 points

Antonio Brown

Brown has been disappointing this season for his fantasy owners, culminating in a two point effort last week against Tennessee. Cincinnati is actually pretty decent against wideouts, I just have a feeling Brown turns it around in this one. My gut pick of the week, if you will.

Projection: 14 points

Mike Williams

Williams recorded double-digit fantasy points for the second straight week last Sunday against the Chiefs, his third such game this season in his quest to prove last season’s struggles are behind him. This week, Williams takes on the Saints’ secondary. Look for big things again from him and I would consider him as a WR2 option.

Projection: 14 points

Sleeper: My guess is this is the last week Brandon Gibson will be considered a sleeper. With seven receptions for 91 yards last week, Gibson is clearly established as Sam Bradford’s number one option in St. Louis while Danny Amendola is out. Gibson could see a lot of action as the Rams play catch-up this week against Green Bay.

DISLIKE ‘EM

Steve Smith

Until Newton gets that Panther offense going, expect to see Smith on this list often. He’s outside of my top 20 this week.

Projection: 6 points

Brandon Lloyd

I expect Tom Brady and the Pats’ passing offense to have a huge game against the Jets this week. The only problem for Lloyd is, with the reemergence of Welker and the return of Hernandez, he appears to be the fourth option for Touchdown Tom. It is hard to trust a fourth option.

Projection: 6 points

TIGHT ENDS

LIKE ‘EM

Kyle Rudolph

Rudolph has three more touchdowns than Adrian Peterson, two more than Percy Harvin and has caught five of Christian Ponder’s eight touchdown passes. Who do you think Minnesota’s number one red-zone threat is? Rudolph is in my top five this week.

Projection: 13 points

Sleeper: Marcedes Lewis has been sporadic this year to say the least, with two weeks of zero point production. This week he faces a Raider defense that struggles to defend the tight end position and if Blaine Gabbert can toss the ball into the end zone, I expect Lewis to be the one hauling it in.

DISLIKE ‘EM

Fred Davis

Davis just doesn’t appear to be a big part of The Griffin-lead Redskins’ offense. The passing game features a lot of quick throws to the sidelines and slant routes, two things not suitable for tight ends. I don’t see Davis seeing a lot of throws on a consistent basis.

Projection: 3 points

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

LIKE ‘EM

Minnesota

Vikings’ owners shouldn’t be discouraged by RGIII’s fantastic performance last weekend against this defense. Minnesota is still solid in it’s base set and should have no problem shutting down the Cardinals’ dismal running game. John Skelton should have to drop back to throw plenty this Sunday at the Metrodome, which is trouble for a Cardinal offensive line that has given up 22 sacks in its past three games.

Projection: 16 points

Green Bay

The Packer defense was serviceable against the Texans’ offense last week. I like Green Bay’s defense this week against the Rams and moving forward as I expect the offense to continue to roll, forcing other teams to throw often to catchup, allowing Clay Matthews to pin his ears back and Charles Woodson to do all the ball hawking he wants.

Projection: 15 points

DISLIKE ‘EM

New York (A)

The Jets’ defense played well last week against Andrew Luck and the Colts, but this week they play Tom Brady. Brady and the Pats are going to come out ready after a disappointing loss in Seattle last week and I expect them to put up ample points on the Revis-less Jets’ secondary.

Projection: 2 points

Remember you can always tweet any additional questions or concerns regarding your fantasy football team to Frederick at@SpaceJace27.

Week 7 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks

1

Aaron Rodgers

2

Drew Brees

3

Robert Griffin III

4

Tom Brady

5

Eli Manning

6

Ben Roethlisberger

7

Matthew Stafford

8

Tony Romo

9

Joe Flacco

10

Matt Schaub

11

Jay Cutler

12

Cam Newton

13

Andrew Luck

14

Andy Dalton

15

Christian Ponder

16

Ryan Fitzpatrick

17

Josh Freeman

18

Carson Palmer

19

Matt Hasselbeck

20

Mark Sanchez

21

Sam Bradford

22

Brandon Weeden

23

John Skelton

24

Alex Smith

25

Russell Wilson

25

Blaine Gabbert

Running Backs

1

Arian Foster

2

Ray Rice

3

Trent Richardson

4

Maurice Jones-Drew

5

Adrian Peterson

6

Matt Forte

7

Ahmad Bradshaw

8

Alfred Morris

9

Darren McFadden

10

Marshawn Lynch

11

Stevan Ridley

12

Frank Gore

13

Rashard Mendenhall

14

Doug Martin

15

Shonn Greene

16

Darren Sproles

17

BenJarvus Green-Ellis

18

Felix Jones

19

CJ Spiller

20

Fred Jackson

21

Chris Johnson

22

Steven Jackson

23

Mikel LeShoure

24

Alex Greene

25

DeAngelo Williams

26

Jonathon Stewart

27

Brandon Bolden

28

Vick Ballard

29

William Powell

30

Michael Bush

31

Daryl Richardson

32

Pierre Thomas

33

Isaac Redman

34

LeGarrette Blount

35

Ben Tate

36

Danny Woodhead

37

Kendall Hunter

38

Joique Bell

39

Bilal Powell

40

Mark Ingram

Wide Receivers

1

A.J. Green

2

Calvin Johnson

3

Victor Cruz

4

Wes Welker

5

Brandon Marshall

6

Larry Fitzgerald

7

Marques Colston

8

Jordy Nelson

9

Percy Harvin

10

Hakeem Nicks

11

Vincent Jackson

12

Mike Wallace

13

Reggie Wayne

14

Dez Bryant

15

Torrey Smith

16

Andre Johnson

17

James Jones

18

Stevie Johnson

19

Brandon Lloyd

20

Antonio Brown

21

Miles Austin

22

Mike Williams

23

Kenny Britt

24

Steve Smith

25

Randall Cobb

26

Brandon Gibson

27

Denarius Moore

28

Lance Moore

29

Pierre Garcon

30

Andre Roberts

31

Anquan Boldin

32

Domenik Hixon

33

Donnie Avery

34

Michael Crabtree

35

Nate Washington

36

Jeremy Kerley

37

Sidney Rice

38

Andrew Hawkins

39

Josh Gordan

40

Brandon LaFell

Tight Ends


1

Rob Gronkowski

2

Jimmy Graham

3

Vernon Davis

4

Kyle Rudolph

5

Jason Witten

6

Aaron Hernandez

7

Owen Daniels

8

Scott Chandler

9

Jermaine Gresham

10

Heath Miller

11

Jared Cook

12

Dennis Pitta

13

Brandon Pettigrew

14

Jermichael Finley

15

Martellus Bennett

16

Greg Olsen

17

Marcedes Lewis

18

Fred Davis

19

Coby Fleener

20

Tom Crabtree

Defense/Special Teams

1

Chicago

2

San Francisco

3

Seattle

4

Minnesota

5

Dallas

6

Houston

7

Arizona

8

New England

9

New York (N)

10

Green Bay

11

Baltimore

12

Buffalo

13

Oakland

14

Jacksonville

15

St. Louis

16

New York (A)

17

Detroit

18

Washington

19

Cincinnati

20

Carolina

*You might notice some projections do not match up with the rankings (Freeman is five spots behind Newton, yet I have Freeman projected for five more points). Projections indicate how I believe the players will perform, while rankings indicate who I would start at the position (Newton may not outscore Freeman this week, but I would still start Newton over Freeman based solely off upside).

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