THE ELITE eLEVen
(previous rank in parentheses)
1. Denver (1) -- Jim Irsay obviously has the utmost respect and admiration for Peyton Manning. So why poke the bear?
2. Seattle (3) -- They aren't all going to be masterpieces. Bottom line: Seahawks are still on track for home field.
3. New Orleans (2) -- The Saints' stunning last-second stumble at New England didn't change my opinion of them one bit. They're still elite.
4. Kansas City (4) -- The Chiefs have 31 sacks through six games. They had 27 sacks all of last season.
5. San Francisco (5) -- When God gives you lemons (Aldon Smith situation), make Lemonier (rookie Corey, 11 QB disruptions past 3 weeks).
6. New England (6) -- Just like the Atlanta game, Patriots won the battle but lost the war (Jerod Mayo out for season).
7. Cincinnati (7) -- Discouraging: Bengals struggle to beat Bills. Encouraging: QB Andy Dalton has his best game of the season.
8. Green Bay (8) -- Seems like the same story every year: Packers endure ton of regular-season injuries. Too much cheese?
9. Detroit (10) -- Couldn't understand why UCLA TE Joseph Fauria wasn't drafted. With every TD grab, he's proving his detractors wrong.
10. Chicago (12) -- Despite their record, I'm not sold on the Bears. That defense has become old and leaky.
11. Indianapolis (9) -- Not sure I like this power-running idea. You have Andrew Luck. Let him do what Peyton does.
12. Dallas (13)
13. Baltimore (11)
14. Miami (14)
15. San Diego (19)
16. Philadelphia (21)
17. Tennessee (16)
18. Cleveland (15)
19. Carolina (25)
20. St. Louis (27)
21. Houston (17)
22. Arizona (18)
23. N.Y. Jets (20)
24. Pittsburgh (30)
25. Washington (22)
26. Atlanta (23)
27. Buffalo (24)
28. Minnesota (26)
29. Oakland (28)
30. Tampa Bay (29)
31. N.Y. Giants (31)
32. Jacksonville (32)
FANTASY PICKUP OF THE WEEK
RB Joseph Randle, Cowboys
Now that the inevitable DeMarco Murray injury has occurred, it's time to get his backup. That would be rookie Randle, who didn't exactly light it up in relief last week, gaining only 17 yards on 11 carries. But Randle did score, and the gig is his until Murray returns from a sprained MCL. (That could be back as early as Week 8, but don't count on it.)
THURSDAY NIGHT'S GAME
SEATTLE (5-1) AT ARIZONA (3-3)
8:25 p.m. EDT, Univ. of Phoenix Stadium
Line: Seahawks by 61/2
Key injuries: SEATTLE: OUT-LB Bobby Wagner (ankle); ARIZONA: QUESTIONABLE-DE Calais Campbell (neck)
Injury impact: The Seahawks didn't have Wagner on Sunday, yet the only TD the Titans scored resulted from an aborted Seattle field-goal attempt. Campbell, remarkably, will be a game-time decision four days after leaving the field at Candlestick Park on a stretcher.
Fantasy tip: Slippery rookie Andre Ellington is this close to overtaking Rashard Mendenhall in Arizona's backfield. Ellington isn't a fantasy starter this week, but he's worth signing and stashing.
Lev's look: Seahawks 20, Cardinals 17. Seattle, with its ball-hawking secondary, is a bad matchup for turnover-prone Carson Palmer. But Arizona's defense is good too. Seahawks win, Cards cover.
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