Week 7 ranks reaction: Believe in Dalton 

October, 17, 2012
10/17/12
2:22
PM ET


Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton wasn't on my list of fantasy football sleepers for this season, mainly because his arm seemed only average, he certainly didn't close his rookie season strongly and had a less than ideal schedule, facing the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens in a quarter of his games. However, Dalton clearly looks better this season. The Steelers and Ravens aren't as formidable defensively, and with wide receiver A.J. Green becoming fantasy's best, well, I was willing to move Dalton into my top 10 for the Week 7 matchup against the Steelers.

Dalton comes off 381 yards passing with three touchdowns and three interceptions in a loss to the Cleveland Browns. Obviously, there are positives and negatives there. Dalton has been picked off in each game this season, with nine interceptions in all, but he also has nearly the same exact statistics as the New York Giants' Eli Manning, with these guys tied for eighth in all of fantasy, regardless of position, in standard scoring. Manning has one more completion in 10 more attempts, 46 more passing yards and one fewer touchdown pass, but Dalton has one rushing score. Manning consistently gets near-top-five quarterback treatment, and certainly he's more proven. Dalton struggled in Week 1, but since then has averaged 20 points per game -- a pace which, by the way, would easily top what Manning accomplished for the 2011 season.