The season has progressed quickly, and we’re now to one of the most difficult bye weeks for the quarterback position. We’ll dive into missing guys below, but all those idle stars and depth options make the middle portion of our Week 7 fantasy QB rankings more important than ever. Streamers and sleepers will be counted on to deliver this week, so we’re here to help you decide who to start.
Justin Herbert, Dak Prescott, Josh Allen, Kirk Cousins, Trevor Lawrence, and Ben Roethlisberger are out of action this week because of byes. That’s a nice chunk of fantasy studs and potential matchup-based streamers, so some fantasy owners might be scrambling.
Consistent QB1s Jalen Hurts (@ Raiders) and Tom Brady (vs. Bears) have some of the tougher matchups this week, but we can’t reasonably say they should be benched. Both have produced more often than not this year. Hurts is the only QB in the league that has been a QB1 in every game this season, so don’t worry about him — regardless of how ugly he can look at times.
We love Joe Burrow (@ Ravens), Ryan Tannehill (vs. Chiefs), and Jameis Winston (@ Seahawks) this week. Baltimore’s, Seattle’s, and Kansas City’s defenses have given up huge games to quarterbacks this year. We won’t call Burrow or Tannehill streamers because they are heavily owned, but Tannehill should enjoy his best week of the season here after being a borderline QB2 so far this season.
Teddy Bridgewater (@ Browns) and Justin Fields (vs. Buccaneers) have favorable matchups on paper in Week 7, but they are riskier than the guys mentioned above. The Browns had given up the fifth-most fantasy points to QBs heading into Week 6 (then got torched by Kyler Murray), but Murray, Justin Herbert, and Patrick Mahomes are the guys who inflated their numbers. The elite quarterbacks are often matchup proof, but Bridgewater is not. That said, he’s a tricky guy to evaluate this week.
If the Bears open up their offense, it could be a boom week for Fields. Tampa has been a bottom-10 defense against QBs, but Chicago’s coaching staff hasn’t allowed Fields to be a factor on the ground yet. This could be the week he breaks out…or he could continue to do next to nothing. We have Taylor Heinicke (@ Packers), Tua Tagovailoa (vs. Falcons), Sam Darnold (@ Giants), the emerging Carson Wentz (@ 49ers), and Jimmy Garoppolo (vs. Colts) ranked ahead of those guys because they’ve been a little more consistent. If you’re willing to go for a higher ceiling and lower floor then try your luck with someone like Fields. Ultimately, it’s stacking up to be a solid week for streamer QBs with a lot of favorable matchups.
Daniel Jones (vs. Panthers), Jared Goff (@ Rams), and Baker Mayfield (vs. Broncos) have all been produced in at least one game this year, but they face brutal matchups this week. Jones can be started over some of the fringe streamers because of his rushing ability, but he has bust potential against a strong Panthers’ D. It’s always fun to play a guy facing his former team, but we can’t project Goff to have success in his revenge game against the Rams. Mayfield has only had one good fantasy showing this season, and Denver’s secondary will keep him and his banged-up pass-catchers in check.
Again, we lucked out with a lot of solid matchups from streamer QBs, so you have a chance of surviving this week with so many studs out of commission.
Note: We’ll be updating these QB rankings throughout the week, so check back for the latest player movement and analysis.
Fantasy QB Rankings Week 7: Who to start at quarterback
Rankings are based on standard, four-point passing TD formats.
|1||Patrick Mahomes, KC @ TEN|
|2||Kyler Murray, ARI vs. HOU|
|3||Aaron Rodgers, GB vs. WAS|
|4||Matthew Stafford, LAR vs. DET|
|5||Lamar Jackson, BAL vs. CIN|
|6||Ryan Tannehill, TEN vs. KC|
|7||Jalen Hurts, PHI @ LV|
|8||Tom Brady, TB vs. CHI|
|9||Joe Burrow, CIN @ BAL. Baltimore’s defense had been up and down before shutting down Justin Herbert and the Chargers’ offense, but we’re trusting Burrow here. He’s been red hot since his Week 3 disaster in Chicago.|
|10||Jameis Winston, NO @ SEA. Winston has put on great performances in Weeks 1 and 5, but everything in between has been mediocre. That said, he is leading the league in passing touchdowns per attempt and may get Michael Thomas (ankle) and Tre’Quan Smith (hamstring) back against Seattle. Even if those guys are out, we like his chances to come up big against a struggling Seahawks secondary. They’ve given up around 20 fantasy points per game (FPPG) to quarterbacks, and Winston is capable of hitting the longball at any time.|
|11||Tua Tagovailoa, MIA vs. ATL. Tua (ribs) had a strong return from IR, completing 33-of-47 attempts for 329 yards and two touchdowns. He looked to be on the same page with Mike Gesicki and Jaylen Waddle, and Atlanta has been an even worse defense against fantasy QBs than Jacksonville. DeVante Parker (hamstring) might also return, and with a non-existent rushing attack in Miami, this sets up to be another strong passing game for Tagovailoa.|
|12||Taylor Heinicke, WAS @ GB. Heinicke averaged over 20 FFPG in his first three starts this season but has underwhelmed since. However, Green Bay’s defense has given up solid fantasy outings to Jamies Winston, Jared Goff, and Joe Burrow. Heinicke has a much better rushing profile than any of those guys and has shown he can put up big numbers. Just last week, Green Bay blew several coverages against Chicago, but Justin Fields was unable to take advantage. We think Heinicke can.|
|13||Sam Darnold, CAR @ NYG. Darnold continued to struggle against Minnesota, but he saved his fantasy day with 48 rushing yards. With five rushing TDs and over 100 rushing yards, we have to view him as having a decent rushing floor. The Giants are a bottom-10 team against QBs, so we’ll give Darnold another chance. If he sees ghosts in this game, we’ll have to evaluate him differently moving forward.|
|14||Carson Wentz, IND @ SF. Wentz is quietly having a solid season and has emerged as a decent fantasy option. He’s averaging 258 passing yards and has thrown nine touchdowns to just one interception. Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and Jared Goff all threw at least two touchdowns against San Francisco, and with Michael Pittman, Parris Campbell, and T.Y. Hilton playing well recently, Wentz could, too. The Niners haven’t been the defense we expected, so you don’t have to fade Wentz this week.|
|15||Matt Ryan, ATL @ MIA. Miami has given up the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, including respectable performances from Mac Jones, Trevor Lawrence, and Carson Wentz. Tom Brady hung 400 yards and five touchdowns on them. That said, they aren’t a scary defense, but Ryan hasn’t been consistent enough to fully trust him. His range of outcomes is wide, so it’s understandable if you decide to roll with him. But again, he could be a stud or dud this week. That’s been his style for a large part of his career.|
|16||Jimmy Garoppolo, SF vs. IND. Continuing our trend of disappointing defenses, Indianapolis has been dreadful against quarterbacks this season. Let’s eliminate Lamar Jackson’s nuclear performance from consideration and just look at what mostly pocket passers have done against the Colts: Matthew Stafford threw two touchdowns, Ryan Tannehill threw three touchdowns, and Russell Wilson threw four touchdowns. Wilson only rushed for nine yards in that game yet eclipsed 26.16 points. Tannehill threw touchdowns to Jeremy McNichols, Chester Rogers, and Nick Westbook-Ikhine. To put it simply, Indianapolis is extremely generous in allowing fantasy points to the position. In a week with so many QBs on a bye, Garoppolo is a top streaming option.|
|17||Derek Carr, LV vs. PHI. Philly has struggled in the secondary in years past, but it’s been up and down this year, as has the rest of their defense and team for that matter. Jimmy G, Dak Prescott, and Patrick Mahomes have torched them, but they’ve contained Matt Ryan, Sam Darnold, and Tom Brady. Yes, holding Brady to under 300 yards and just two passing touchdowns in containing him. That said, this all depends on which Eagles’ defense shows up. Carr had a nice fantasy day in the Raiders’ first game without Jon Gruden, but he attempted just 27 passes, completing 18 of them. Most of his fantasy points were accumulated on a few broken plays, so if Philly can keep those from happening, the range of outcomes is wide. Again, we don’t blame you if you start Carr over a guy like Sam Darnold, but we don’t love the matchup here.|
|18||Teddy Bridgewater, DEN @ CLE. Bridgewater was held in check against Las Vegas until garbage time began, but he did throw three interceptions and hasn’t looked sharp since the first two weeks of the season. This matchup screams “sloppy Thursday night game.” The Browns have been solid against Davis Mills, Justin Fields, and Kirk Cousins, and who can blame them for allowing Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, and Kyler Murray to go off? The stats say this is a favorable matchup for Bridgewater, so we’re only lukewarm on him.|
|19||Daniel Jones, NYG vs. CAR|
|20||Justin Fields, CHI @ TB|
|21||Mac Jones, NE vs. NYJ|
|22||Case Keenum, CLE vs. DEN|
|23||Geno Smith, SEA vs. NO|
|24||Zach Wilson, NYJ @ NE|
|25||Jared Goff, DET @ LAR|
|26||Davis Mills, HOU @ ARI|