Six weeks in the books, and the entire landscape of the league changed with one injury.  Sorry Jameis, but I’m of course referring to the broken collarbone suffered by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.  For the time being, this moves Green Bay from Superbowl contenders, to playoff longshots.  We’ll see if Brett Hundley can change that narrative in the coming weeks.

As a reminder, these power ratings are 100% FORWARD-LOOKING.  The numbers don’t care that Team X beat Team Y and that Team Y is 3 spots higher.  This is a ranking of how we project the teams going forward from this point on.  If you want to look at how teams have done so far, take a look at the standings.

Here’s the rankings for Week 7:

Tier 1: Cream of the Crop

1. New England Patriots

2. Seattle Seahawks

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

4. Kansas City Chiefs

The Patriots are still our top team but the gap between them and the rest of the league continues to shrink as the season goes on.  Seattle still has plenty of talent, especially on the defensive side of the ball and it helps to still have Russell Wilson as well.  The Steelers finally looked like the Steelers in Week 6 as they won a big game in Kansas City.  This doesn’t make the Chiefs frauds at all as they have still looked impressive for a majority of the season against some good teams.

Tier 2: Not Far Behind

5. Philadelphia Eagles

6. Atlanta Falcons

Philadelphia is tied with Kansas City for the best record in the league and Carson Wentz looks like he’s ready to take the next step in becoming a franchise quarterback.  Why aren’t they higher? Remember, they looked really good at the beginning of last season and we still don’t want to overreact to what we’ve seen so far.  The Falcons have two straight concerning home losses to the Bills and Dolphins.  However, in this league, bad games can happen and Atlanta’s peripheral stats still look really good which is a good sign for them going forward.

Tier 3: Preseason Expectations

7. Dallas Cowboys

8. Oakland Raiders

9. Houston Texans

Just like we don’t want to overreact to fast starts, we don’t want to overreact to slow starts either.  That being said, the Cowboys and Raiders are just a couple of losses away from their fans hitting the panic button.  Meanwhile, the Texans roster looked to complete sans a quarterback heading into the season but they appear to have their guy in Deshaun Watson although the rest of the roster has suffered some setbacks.

Tier 4: Good, Not Great

10. Carolina Panthers

11. New Orleans Saints

12. Minnesota Vikings

Carolina has looked fantastic at some points and lackluster at some as well.  They need more consistency out of Cam Newton but will still give any team a fight with their talented roster.  The Saints defense has made some improvements (last week’s final score withstanding) over last year which is really all Drew Brees needs to stay competitive.  The Vikings’ Sam Bradford couldn’t stay healthy (surprise!) but Keenum has been just fine and they could be getting Bridgewater back sometime this year as well.

Tier 5: Great Defenses

13. Jacksonville Jaguars

14. Denver Broncos

As the name of the tier suggests, both teams rely on their defenses to do most of the work.  Both teams have questions at quarterback but the defense should keep them in enough games to compete for a playoff spot in the AFC.

Tier 6: Crossroads

15. Detroit Lions

16. Cincinnati Bengals

Who are these teams?  Are the Lions the team that can keep winning one-score games or a team destined to be hit hard by regression to the mean?  The Bengals have won two games since their 0-3 start but one was against the Browns so it was basically a freebie.  Has their offense improved after switching coordinators or did the schedule just give them a little break?

Tier 7: A Big Group of Average

17. Buffalo Bills

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

19. Baltimore Ravens

20. Washington Redskins

21. Tennessee Titans

22. Los Angeles Rams

I could easily cut the number of tiers in half or more and just put 12-15 teams in the average tier.  We constantly hear about the adage of “any given Sunday” but it really does apply.  I know the Redskins and Rams have both looked good at points this season, but it will take a little more time before they start drastically moving up the rankings.

Tier 8: Should Be Better

23. New York Giants

24. Los Angeles Chargers

Everyone wrote off the Giants as left for dead after all of their wide receivers went down last week.  Then they promptly went into Denver on Sunday night and looked just fine as they walked away with an impressive win.  The public is still overrating injuries when it comes to big fantasy players.  If a couple of field goals go their way, we could be talking about the Chargers as a playoff contender.  But I can’t play revisionist history or else I would put them back in San Diego where they might actually have some semblance of a home field advantage.

Tier 9: Teams That Don’t Have Aaron Rodgers

25. Green Bay Packers

26. Arizona Cardinals

27. Miami Dolphins

Aaron Rodgers is the most valuable player in this league.  If he hadn’t got hurt, Green Bay jumps all the way back up to fourth in the rankings.  We don’t know a lot about Brett Hundley but we know he isn’t Aaron which is enough.  The Dolphins and Cardinals have had to play without an Aaron Rodgers all season so at least they are used to it.  Both are coming off of impressive wins but need to show some consistency to move up in the league.

Tier 10: Bad, But Some Glimmer of Hope

28. Chicago Bears

29. New York Jets

Chicago was able to go on the road and get the first win of Trubisky’s career.  The Jets only lost by seven at home to the Patriots and were the victims of a controversial call that took away a touchdown from New York and my daily fantasy team.  The Jets were being called a laughing stock by many prognosticators but have competed in nearly every game this year and Todd Bowles may end up winning Coach of the Year and may only need six or seven wins to do it.

Tier 11: Just Bad

30. San Francisco 49ers

31. Indianapolis Colts

32. Cleveland Browns

49ers continue to lose close games and have actually moved up a little from our preseason rating but still have a lackluster roster that needs overhauled.  The Colts aren’t just an Andrew Luck away from being good but he sure would help if/when he ever gets back.  The Browns looked to have missed out on a quarterback in the draft yet again and are now on their 3,784th quarterback this decade.

Like the rankings?  Hate the rankings?  Let us know on twitter @Bet_Labs and I’m sure I can get everyone on the internet to agree.