Gregg Rosenthal

Goal Line Stand

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Week 7 Rankings update

Friday, October 21, 2011

The three most valuable fantasy players so far this season didn’t go early.

Fred Jackson was a RB3/4 afterthought in most leagues. Wes Welker dropped deep into WR2 territory coming off a down year. And Saints tight end Jimmy Graham was usually not one of the first six tight ends off the board.

Graham is quietly on pace for the most ridiculous tight end season of all time. The record at the position for yards in a season is 1,280 by Kellen Winslow. Graham is on pace for 1.648.

In some ways, Graham is a throwback to the days of John Mackey, when tight ends were counted on for big plays rather than moving the chains. In other ways, he feels like the future of the NFL.

Teams try to cover Graham with safeties, linebackers, and cornerbacks. He beats them all. New Orleans has so many weapons and alignments that defenses can’t seem to key on him enough to slow him down.

There was an argument back in August that Graham wasn’t worth the fantasy hype. It’s a reminder that sometimes the hype isn’t enough. The owners that took Graham “too early” got the single best value in the draft.

Week 7 Quarterbacks

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Aaron Rodgers at MIN -
2 Drew Brees vs. IND -
3 Tony Romo vs. STL -
4 Matthew Stafford vs. ATL -
5 Cam Newton vs. WAS -
6 Ben Roethlisberger at ARZ -
7 Tim Tebow at MIA -
8 Philip Rivers at NYJ -
9 Joe Flacco at JAC -
10 Matt Schaub at TEN Probable (chest)
11 Jay Cutler at TB -
12 Josh Freeman vs. CHI -
13 Matt Ryan at DET -
14 Matt Hasselbeck vs. HOU -
15 Matt Cassel at OAK -
16 Kevin Kolb vs. PIT -
17 Curtis Painter at NO -
18 John Beck at CAR -
19 Mark Sanchez vs. SD Probable (-)
20 Colt McCoy vs. SEA -
21 Matt Moore vs. DEN -
22 Christian Ponder vs. GB -
23 Charlie Whitehurst at CLE -
24 A.J. Feeley at DAL -
25 Kyle Boller vs. KC -
26 Blaine Gabbert vs. BAL -

QB Notes: I watched Tim Tebow’s half against the Chargers and it wasn’t pretty. He started with back-to-back-to-back three and outs typified by ugly throws. He locks into a primary receiver and can’t seem to move off him. He’s not composed in the pocket at all. And I’d still start him this week.

Denver’s two scoring drives came on short fields, but Tebow’s running ability makes him such a safe fantasy option. All he needs to do is hit a couple of well-designed screens, like he did to Knowshon Moreno and San Diego. His rushing will do the rest. I have my doubts Tebow will be a quality NFL quarterback, but he’s already a top-ten fantasy option. Don’t expect the passing yards he had last year, but expect him to score plenty against Miami.

Philip Rivers has had too much Patrick Crayton, Randy McMichael, and Kory Sperry in his life this year. Hopefully that changes this week with Antonio Gates back and his starting wideouts truly healthy. Rivers has earned the right to start every week, even against the Jets. … Ryan Fitzpatrick has been compared to a point guard this year as a distributor. Drew Brees is a similar style player, except he has more weapons and arm strength. … Cam Newton has made loose throws from day one. They are starting to get caught more now, so people are noticing. It doesn’t make a difference as long as he keeps running. And there are still a few wow throws after moving in the pocket each game. Carolina has run more options plays lately, which almost seem unnecessary. This is Newton’s toughest test yet, but he’s earned every-week starter status.

It didn’t quite show up in the box score, but Sam Bradford had his best game of the season against Green Bay. He was hurt by drops and penalties by his teammates. He made good decisions and on target throws. With Mark Clayton back and Brandon Lloyd in town, things could improve quite a bit from here. … The Rams no longer have a dangerous pass rush. This should be a bounce back Tony Romo week.

I’m really down on Matt Ryan until proven otherwise. His accuracy is off and the Falcons are getting less aggressive with him as a result. Losing Julio Jones potentially for another week hurts too. … I expect Carson Palmer to put up similar numbers to what Jason Campbell did in Oakland. Palmer hasn’t been any better as a starter over the last three years.

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Gregg Rosenthal has directed Rotoworld's football content since 2003. He co-hosts the NBC Fantasy Fix and covers the NFL for and Catch him on Twitter.
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