Fantasy Football: Week 7 kicker and defense rankings

Oct. 18 (UPI) — Check out our top 20 defense/special teams units and top 15 kicker rankings for Week 7.

Just the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions are out with Week 7 byes, meaning you should take their defenses and Matt Prater and Ka’imi Fairbairn out of your lineups.

If you own any of those players and need a bye week fill-in, travel over to my Week 7 top pickups and drops article.

My top defense for the week is the Minnesota Vikings and my top kicker is Will Lutz. Here are the rest of my top 20 defense/special teams units and top 15 kickers for Week 7. You can visit other positional rankings in the links below.

TOP SHELF

The Minnesota Vikings are my top defense for Week 7. This week the Vikings host the Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore has lost three of its last four games and scored fewer than nine points in two of those losses. I’m expecting another loss here for the Ravens. The Vikings have only allowed one opponent to score more than 19 points this season and have limited opponents to 10, 17, and 14 points in the last three weeks.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are one of the top defenses in football this season and get a matchup in Week 7 against the Indianapolis Colts. I’m expecting the Jaguars to win this AFC South matchup and put up a decent amount of defensive fantasy points. Jacksonville is my No. 2 defense for Week 7. The Jaguars have limited three of their five opponents to nine points or less this season, including an impressive performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 5.

New Orleans Saints leg Will Lutz is my top kicker for Week 7. Lutz and the Saints travel to Lambeau Field on Sunday and should control possession in this one after the Green Bay Packers lost Aaron Rodgers to his broken collarbone. This one could get ugly if Green Bay can’t run the ball. I’m expecting a ton of chances for the Saints kicker to produce. Lutz had at least three field goal attempts in every game through the first four weeks. He hit a 41 yarder and made seven extra points last week against the Detroit Lions.

New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski is my No. 2 kicker for Week 2. Gostkowski has attempted multiple field goals in three straight games and should be very active in what I think will be a shootout against the Atlanta Falcons.

SNEAKY PLAYS

The Buffalo Bills are my No. 7 defense for Week 7 with a matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Buffalo has limited the Carolina Panthers to nine points, the Atlanta Falcons to 17 points and the Denver Broncos to 16 points this season. I don’t see the Buccaneers going off in this one. Tampa Bay has lost three of its last four games. Also of note: Jameis Winston is injured and was limited in practice this week with an AC sprain in his throwing shoulder. If Winston can’t go, enter Ryan Fitzpatrick.

The Tennessee Titans are my No. 8 defense for Week 7. Tennessee has won three of its last five games and faces the Cleveland Browns in Week 7, a team with uncertainty at quarterback. The 0-6 Browns have scored more than 18 points in a game only once this season and the Titans offense looked reenergized in Week 6. Look out Cleveland.

Los Angeles Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein is my No. 7 kicker for Week 7. Zuerlein has multiple field goal attempts in every game this season. Last week he made both of his attempts, including a 56-yarder, and was perfect on three extra point attempts. This could be field goal fest against the Arizona Cardinals in a tough NFC West skirmish.

Chris Boswell could also find himself busy Sunday in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ AFC North matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. Boswell had multiple field goal attempts in four consecutive games before belting just one in the Steelers’ 19-13 win in Week 6 against the Kansas City Chiefs. He should find more room to kick here in what should be a tight game. Boswell is my No. 13 kicker for Week 7.

Week 7 Kicker Rankings

LONGSHOTS

The Philadelphia Eagles might be a useful defense in Week 7 in an NFC East clash against the Washington Redskins. Philadelphia is my No. 9 defense this week in what I see as another Eagles victory on Monday Night Football. In Week 1, the Eagles held the Redskins to 17 points and Kirk Cousins barely completed 50 percent of his passes. Start the Eagles here as they continue to be one of the best teams in the NFL.

The Miami Dolphins are worth a streaming play this week against the New York Jets. While the Dolphins’ offense struggled out of the gate, their defense came to play this season. The Dolphins have not allowed more than 20 points in a game so far. That being said, one of those games where they did allow 20 points came in Week 3 against the Jets. But after holding the Atlanta Falcons to 17 points in Week 6, I have confidence that the Dolphins can handle Josh McCown while playing at home. Miami is my No. 11 option at the position for Week 7.

Graham Gano is worth a start in deeper leagues this week in the Carolina Panthers’ matchup against the Chicago Bears Sunday at Soldier Field. The Panthers have scored at least 23 points in three consecutive games and should do that again here behind Cam Newton. Gano has made multiple field goals in all six of his appearances this season. He is a solid streaming play.

My No. 14 kicker for Week 7 is Buffalo Bills leg Stephen Hauschka. The veteran has made at least three field goals in three consecutive games and might be a free agent in your league, as the Bills served a Week 6 bye. Pick him up if he is available and throw him in your lineup. He should be very active Sunday in the Bills’ home contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Week 7 Defense Rankings

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