Fantasy Stars

Week 7 fantasy football rankings: Feed Zeke while you still can

Week 7 fantasy football rankings: Feed Zeke while you still can
Get Ezekiel Elliott in your lineup while he's still available to play. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Below are my early PPR fantasy rankings for Week 7. Most leagues are using points per reception these days, so take that into consideration when looking at the ranks. Six points are awarded for every receiving and rushing TD, and four points for every passing TD. If you are playing in a non-PPR league, pass-catching running backs lose a bit of value and so do possession receivers. Make sure you check the status of players that have been limited or out of practice. The rankings will be updated on Sunday morning.

If you have any start-sit questions, feel free to hit me up at @jordanpfx on Twitter, and I will do my best to get to every question. Include your scoring system with your questions. My ranks are a little abreviated this week, but will be back to normal next week. Good luck!

QB

1 D. Brees NO
2 T. Brady NE 
3 C. Wentz PHI 
4 D. Prescott DAL
5 M. Ryan ATL  
6 K. Cousins WAS   
7 M. Mariota TEN 
8 C. Newton CAR
9 C. Palmer ARI 
10 A. Smith KC
11 R. Wilson SEA 
12 P. Rivers LAC  
13 D. Carr OAK
14 B. Roethlisberger PIT
15 A. Dalton CIN 

RB

1 E. Elliott DAL
2 D. Freeman ATL
3 L. Bell PIT  
4 K. Hunt KC
5 T. Gurley LAR
6 L. McCoy BUF 
7 L. Fournette JAC  *Inactive
8 M. Ingram NO
9 M. Gordon LAC  
10 J. Howard CHI
11 C. Anderson DEN
12 A. Peterson ARI
13 C. Hyde SF  
14 D. Martin TB 
15 J. Ajayi MIA
16 C. Ivory JAX
17 D. Henry TEN
18 A. Kamara NO 
19 J. White NE 
20 J. McKinnon MIN
21 T. Coleman ATL  
22 C. McCaffrey CAR
23 D. Johnson CLE  
24 J. Mixon CIN
25 M. Lynch OAK  
26 F. Gore IND 
27 C. Thompson WAS
28 A. Jones  GB
29 L. Blount PH
30 D. Murray TEN *He's active but may lose touches to Henry because of his hamstring.

WR

1 A. Green CIN
2 D. Bryant DAL
3 J. Jones ATL
4 M. Thomas NO
5 A. Brown PIT 
6 L. Fitzgerald ARI 
7 M. Crabtree OAK 
8 M. Evans TB 
9 C. Hogan NE
10 D. Thomas DEN
11 A. Jeffery PHI
12 J. Landry MIA  
13 J. Nelson GB
14 D. Baldwin SEA
15 T. Hill KC
16 B. Cooks NE 
17 E. Decker TEN
18 A. Thielen MIN
19 D. Adams GB 
20 T. Hilton IND
21 D. Funchess CAR 
22 R. Matthews TEN 
23 John Brown ARI
24 N. Agholor PHI  
25 M. Bryant PIT
26 D. Amendola NE
27 K. Allen LAC  *questionable
28.D. Jackson TB
29.P. Garcon SF 
30.A. Cooper OAK

TE

1 R. Gronkowski NE  
2 T. Kelce KC  
3 Z. Ertz PHI 
4 J. Graham SEA
5 A. Seferian-Jenkins NYJ
6 H. Henry LAC  
7 D. Walker TEN *He's active 
8 E. Engram NYG
9 C. Brate TB  
10 A. Hooper ATL  
11 J. Reed WAS  
12 K. Rudolph MIN

DEF

1 Vikings 
2 Broncos 
3 Jaguars
4 Seahawks 
5 Panthers 
6 Steelers  
7 Titans
8 Chiefs  
9 Bills  
10 Dolphins  
11 Bengals
12 Saints  

Kicker

1 S. Gostkowski NE 
2 D. Bailey DAL   
3 M. Bryant ATL
4 R. Succop TEN 
5 J. Elliott PHI    
6 W. Lutz NO  
7 S. Hauschka BUF 
8 G. Gano CAR  
9 G. Zuerlein  
10 H. Butker KC 
11 A. Vinatieri
12 B. Walsh SEA

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96 games down, 66 games to go as the Astros tackle a fairly significant series in Seattle to open up the figurative second half of the season Friday night. It’s actually just over 40 percent of the schedule remaining. With the Astros having closed within one game of the Mariners in the American League West it’s the biggest series possible for them as the season resumes. But it’s not remotely make or break. Measuring by run differential the Astros should already be out front. They have outscored their opponents by 49 runs while Seattle is just plus-19. The actual standings can be explained in no small part by this comparison: in one-run games the Astros are a pitiful 7-17 while the Mariners are 19-14.

The spectrum of outcomes this weekend ranges from the Astros sweeping and leaving the Emerald City two games on top, to getting swept and heading down the coast to Oakland four games behind. Of note, the Mariners beat the Astros in five of the seven meetings to date this season. So if Seattle wins this series it clinches the season series and playoff tiebreaker should a spot come down to it. The Astros and Mariners have another series to come after this one, three games in Houston the final week of the regular season.

Trade deadline looming

What may be even more important than this weekend’s games is who gets what done between now and the July 30 trade deadline. With Justin Verlander clearly not close to returning, Spencer Arrighetti and Jake Bloss both performance question marks, and both Ronel Blanco and Hunter Brown being asked to handle unprecedented workloads for them, the Astros’ rotation needs obvious fortification. The Mariners’ rotation is second to none in the American League and their bullpen is good. Seattle’s lineup is atrocious. The Chicago White Sox are on pace to be one of the worst teams of all-time. The ChiSox’ offense is a joke with a team batting average of .220. The Mariners’ team average is .219. Only the White Sox and pathetic Marlins are scoring fewer runs per game than the M’s.

The Mariners have 11 players with at least 100 at bats this season. Eight of them have an OPS of .690 or lower. Cal Raleigh has the highest at .734. The Astros have 12 guys with at least 100 at bats including Jose Abreu. Abreu, Chas McCormick, and Mauricio Dubon are the only .690 or worse OPS guys. Kyle Tucker is the Astros’ OPS leader by a significant margin, .979 to Yordan Alvarez’s .912. What’s that you ask? Who is this Kyle Tucker? 35 missed games and counting for “Tuck” with his leg bone bruise, with return not imminent. T-Mobile Park is a notably better pitchers’ park than is Minute Maid Park, but not enough to shrug off the Mariners’ offensive ineptitude. The Mariners team payroll is more than 100 million dollars below the Astros’ payroll. The Mariners have the clearly better farm system from which to deal. If Seattle doesn’t add offense, its ownership and front office will deserve a continued fade in the second half, on top of the Mariners’ 8-15 gimp into the All-Star break.

Don't forget about the Rangers

With the Astros and Mariners going at it this weekend with the division lead in the balance, a reminder that this is not a two-team race. The Texas Rangers rallying to take the final two games at Minute Maid Park last weekend sent up a flare that the reigning World Series Champions are definitely still in the picture. The Rangers sit four games behind the Astros, five back of the Mariners. If the Rangers manage to win their series in Arlington with the Orioles this weekend, they are guaranteed to gain ground on at least one team ahead of them. The Astros-Rangers season series sits tied at five wins apiece with three games left, it will be decided in Arlington the first week of August. The Rangers and Mariners play seven more times.

In broader view, as measured by opponents’ records, the Astros have the toughest remaining schedule among the three. Among the 30 big league clubs the Rangers have the fourth easiest slate left, the Mariners have the fifth easiest, the Astros have the 15th easiest. If the Astros ultimately are not to win the West, there is the Wild Card race to keep in mind. The Astros are seven games behind the Yankees, four behind the Twins, and three and a half back of the Red Sox. Those three currently hold the Wild Card spots. The Astros are also a game and a half behind the Royals. The Astros have already lost the season series and tiebreakers to the Yankees, Twins, and Royals. The Astros and Red Sox have all six of their meetings yet to come.

Remembering Ken Hoffman

This is my first column since the passing last Sunday of my friend and eventual colleague Ken Hoffman. I originally learned of Ken’s quirkiness and wit through his columns at the Houston Post. He was a big sports fan. Our friendship was driven in part by our shared passion for tennis. We played probably more than a thousand times over nearly 20 years. Tennis and baseball were Ken’s two favorite sports. His two favorite athletes were Roger Federer and Jose Altuve. Well, after he and his wife Erin’s son Andrew, who was a pitcher on Trinity University’s 2016 NCAA Division Three national championship-winning team.

*Catch our weekly Stone Cold ‘Stros podcast. Brandon Strange, Josh Jordan, and I discuss varied Astros topics. The first post for the week generally goes up Monday afternoon (second part released Tuesday) via The SportsMap HOU YouTube channel or listen to episodes in their entirety at Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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