How did your team perform in Week 7?
Another week in the books and another week we cannot figure out what offense the Jaguars want to be from week to week. They light up the scoreboard and look like world beaters against the Patriots one week, another week like week 7, they cannot buy a point. We had emergences of Kerryon Johnson, who finally was in a featured role though LeGarrette Blount limited his upside as he continues to be involved in the offense. Marlon Mack’s “I am a beast” tour continues as he torched the bills in the receiving and ground game. The Ravens defense gives up a second-half touchdown for the first time in this season.
We have no idea from week to week what to expect from the Jets, Niners, and Eagles backfield still. Hue Jackson celebrates Halloween prematurely and lets the media know he is the coach. Yes coach, we already know you are but that’s all you are, by name the coach since you are yet to coach your team like one. Somehow Brock Osweiler is moving the Dolphins offense better than Ryan Tannehill.
Before Justin Tucker’s miss this past week 7, he had gone 356 extra point attempts dating back to high school without a miss. Think about that for a moment, in a season where Mason Crosby missed 2 extra point attempts in the same game, and kickers are missing them at a record pace, he was the one exception. When Tucker stepped onto the field to kick an extra point you did not even have to watch because it was a guarantee he was going to make it. The Rams have scored 30 or more points 15 times in 23 games under Sean McVay, under Jeff Fisher the Rams scored that many points just 11 times in 77 games.
So much to get to so let’s dive right in on my game by game thoughts from a fantasy perspective, and injury updates.
Los Angeles Chargers (20) vs. Tennessee Titans (19)
Los Angeles Chargers
Everyone expected Austin Ekeler to handle the bulk of the load in the running game, which he did based on how you want to look at it. He was on the field for 95% of the offensive snaps in Week 7, but only managed 68 total yards. This run game is clearly not the same without Melvin Gordon, and Philip Rivers took charge with deep touchdowns to Tyrell Williams (75 yards) and Mike Williams (55 yards). Though this is back to back games for Tyrell Williams now having produced in the passing game, he is a touchdown-dependent desperate fantasy play. He has only seen 5 targets twice this entire season. Just not enough volume here to make him weekly relevant. The same applies to Mike Williams who has had two games of 6 and 7 targets, in 5 other weeks he has a combined 12 targets.
The only consistent receiver to rely on here is Keenan Allen. He is off to a slow start to his standards but if we all recall last year he was off to a similar start before creating fantasy chaos. In the last three games, his target share actually has been on a downward trend, seeing 10, 9, and 6 targets, and had just 5 targets in week 7. His snap shares the last three games was 84.8%, 75.9%, and 64.9%. Week 7 that number jumped to 95.2% which had more to do with the absence of Melvin Gordon than anything else. His air yards per pass thrown his way is also down from last year by over 3 yards which makes him a shorter pass catcher and limiting his ceiling. Another problem is the deep ball touchdowns. Rivers is top 5 in deep ball efficiency which Tyrell Williams and Mike Williams are covering, something they did not have consistently last year. Keenan Allen is a High WR2 with WR1 upside on a weekly basis and has just one top 10 fantasy finish which is troublesome. I would not be concerned yet, but something to pay attention to in the next few weeks. If you do not have him, he is a buy-low candidate who is worth putting an offer out for. I think better days are ahead of Allen.
Injury concerns: There is only one concern here in Week 7 and that is Melvin Gordon (leagues 3rdleading rusher), who missed this game due to a hamstring injury. The chargers did admit they were being cautious and the injury isn’t considered to be serious. I am sure the chargers were confident they could beat the Titans without him and did not want to risk potentially aggravating the injury further. I will be surprised if he was not active after the bye week.
The running game finally had a decent game in Week 7, rushing the ball for 5 yards per carry. A lot of that had to do with Dion Lewis and quarterback Marcus Mariota who both averaged 5 or more yards per carry. Derrick Henry continued to be his inefficient self, running straight up the line expecting to somehow magically run through the defenders as if they were puppets. If it was not for a goal-line touchdown his fantasy week would have been a disaster (when is it not at this point). This team is clearly better with Lewis on the field, yet they continue to feed Henry the ball (Lewis had 13 rushes to Henry’s 12) but had 91 rushing yards to Henry’s 33.
As for the receivers, Tajae Sharpe led the way in Week 7 with 9 targets, catching 7 of them for 101 scoreless yards. Wasn’t this the year Corey Davis was supposed to breakout? We all expected it after seeing how he performed near the end of the season (including the playoff game against the Patriots). Outside of the game against the Eagles, he has been non-existent. Mariota is partly to blame for this too, as he is near the bottom of the league in air yards per attempt and completion. Outside of Davis, there is no real threat in the passing game, so defenses can easily focus on covering him and making Mariota beat them elsewhere. 3-10 line off 7 targets is not what fantasy owners had expected from him when they drafted him. In the last 3 games, he is averaging just under 6 targets a game. You expect more from a teams WR1. Unless Mariota and the coaching staff don’t find a way to get the ball more to Davis, this may be a bust year for the promising and talented receiver.
Injury concerns: There are no major fantasy injuries from the Titans to report after Week 7.
New England Patriots (38) vs. Chicago Bears (31)
New England Patriots
Not long ago, the Bears defense was considered one of the best in the league, and they very well might be, but they have been giving up a lot of points lately. A pocket passer like Tom Brady they should not have had many problems getting to him (indeed they did). Ever since joining the Patriots, Josh Gordon’s usage has gone up across the board from his offensive snap share (from 22.7% week 4 to 98.4% week7), routes ran on offense (from 10 in week 4 to 32 week 7), targets (from 2 in week 4 to 7 in week 7), and red zone targets where he is coming off back to back games with one. He actually had exactly 100 yards receiving off 4 receptions which was good enough for #24 fantasy finish. His big game should be taken with a grain of salt as tight end Rob Gronkowski did not play due to a back injury, now if this was to happen with Gronkowski in the lineup, then I will be a believer. He might just become a weekly WR2, but for now, until we see some more consistency I still consider him a weekly WR3 with WR2 upside.
Edelman has finished back to back weeks now as a WR2 which was expected as he is Brady’s favorite target, seeing targets of (9, 7, and 8) in the 3 weeks he has been back, and having back to back games with a touchdown. His reception total is a bit down which makes him a bit more of a touchdown-dependent WR2 but he is easily the Patriots most consistent wide receiver. I would not look too much into Chris Hogan’s decent game (6-63), as his ceiling is capped behind Edelman, Gronkowski, Gordon, and James White. Speaking of James White, he came into this game as an overall RB7 in fantasy, he finished the game as RB4 with 29.7 fantasy points, with 97 yards and 2 touchdowns. A lot of it had to do with Sony Michel’s leg injury after he was twisted very awkwardly on a tackle. White has a total of 189 rushing yards, but where he is doing most of his damage is in the passing game where he has 45 receptions and 380 receiving yards which ranks 2ndbehind only Saquon Barkley, to go along with his 7 touchdowns which ranks 4thamongst running backs.
He is outplaying his ADP significantly and is one of the bigger surprises of the season thus far. If Sony Michel misses time which we expect he will, James White will be a plug and play high-end RB1. There is no much to talk about when it comes to Brady, as he was his normal efficient dominant self, throwing for 277 yards and 3 touchdowns. His production is a formality at this point.
Injury Concerns: Sony Michel left this game with a leg injury after being tackled awkwardly with his leg being twisted around. He went down immediately and did not look good. You could almost have thought his season was over. X-Rays yesterday confirmed he had no structural damage and is considered week to week. This is much better news for Michel owners considering how bad the injury looked. He is almost certain to miss next week’s Monday night game and very likely a second game. I see no reason why the Patriots need to rush him back as they face the Bills and surely believe they can beat him without him. Having said that if you need to find a replacement, there is one within this game, Kenjon Barner is a solid flex play while Michel is out, the caveat here is that the Patriots do not sign another running back, like (dare I say) Mike Gilleslee is a free agent.
Rob Gronkowski missed this Week 7 game due to back spasms he had suffered on Friday. Team sources confirm he should not miss much time and the injury is considered to be minor. If I was the Patriots and a Gronkowski owner, I make other arrangements. It would not surprise me if the Patriots held their star tight end out against an expansion level team like the Bills. If he plays, great but why risk the chance he does not and now you have a big goose egg at your tight end position. Dwayne Allen is not the answer, please do not waste your waiver wire priority/FAAB on him.
Mitch Trubisky put up some great fantasy points against a defense that does just that, allow decent offenses to put up great numbers in Week 7. The Patriots are allowing the 7thmost fantasy points to the quarterback position while being in the bottom five in the league against defending pass-catching backs. This was a prime spot for not only Trubisky but for Tarik Cohen to continue the hot run he has been on of late. Although he did not top 100 scrimmage yards this game, he did most of his damage in the passing game, catching 8 of 12 targets for 83 yards and scoring a touchdown (3 games in a row). He now has a fantasy finish of RB6 or better three weeks in a row. Continue to ride the hot hand while it is hot.
The concern on the other end of it is the usage of Jordan Howard. He is entering Derrick Henry territory here. He has not had a finish of better than RB18 in a game this season and has one game of over 100 yards from scrimmage. This is a running back who is coming off back to back 1000 yards seasons, and with Nagy in town as the new coach, he was only supposed to get better, instead, he is having easily his most inefficient season in his career. A touchdown saved his fantasy week finishing as RB23 which he does not deserve. So an RB2 finish I would read much into. Out of all running backs, Howard ranks 25 or worse in rushing yards (25th), receiving yards (39th), receptions (38), fantasy points (36), yards per touch (55) and fantasy points per touch (89). He has been one of the biggest busts of the year thus far, and it is hard for me to put my finger on what the problem is. This offense is just better functioning with Cohen on the field. If I own him (which I do in a few leagues), I am legitimately worried I may have another Derrick Henry on my hands.
Allen Robinson stat line was more to blame for his groin injury than his play, as he remained on the sideline for the majority of the game because of it. Robinson is not going to be the WR1 we all hoped he become and a major problem with that is pass attempts. Trubisky ranks 20thin the league in pass attempts (212), which just is not going to cut for Robinson who needs volume to produce at the WR1 level he has in the past. Taylor Gabriel is going to have a few nice games here and there but with the short passing of Trubisky (ranks 17thin air yards), his fantasy outlook is almost impossible to predict week to week.
However there is one guy who is finally playing up to the billing in Week 7, that’s my guy Trey Burton. He had a career day with a stat line of 9-126-1 which was good for the overall TE2 finish. It was easily the most snaps he had run all season (92%), routes (47), targets (11) and red zone targets (2). He now has 4 touchdowns on the year, but a lot of this had to do with the fact that Robinson was on the sidelines. Before this game, Burton had not seen more than 6 targets in any game and surpassed 55 yards just once. Although I am excited to finally see him have a great game, I need to see it again with Robinson on the field to be convinced that this was not just a fluke.
Injury Concerns: The biggest injury here in Week 7 would be to Allen Robinson (Groin). The team is saying it is not serious and he should be fine. The fact that he actually played a few snaps during the game is promising for his next week outlook, but as we have already seen this year, two players have been sent to IR recently due to groin issues (Falcons running back Davante Freeman and Raiders Running back Marshawn Lynch). This is something to pay close attention to and let’s hope this is not a long holdout though I am sure Burton owners don’t mind him missing some time.
Indianapolis Colts (37) vs. Buffalo Bills (5)
The Bills were absolutely stomped on in this Week 7 game. How about it, you tell me Andrew Luck would throw for fewer than 30 pass attempts and he would have 4 touchdowns to show for it, I would have laughed you out of my sight. Though he threw for only 156 yards, a lot of that was thanks to the return of Marlon Mack, who has continued his good play since his return. Playing only his second game of the season, Mack contributed with 158 total yards and two touchdowns. The sacrificial lamb, in this case, Nyheim Hines, who was a hot waiver add early in the season, has now been just about as nonexistent as they come. It isn’t his fault, Mack is just playing on a different level right now. Maybe in a close game, the Colts utilize him more, but until we do not see some type of consistent usage of him on this offense, he has hard to trust in fantasy right now. He remains, however, a solid hold if you can afford it.
The return of T.Y. Hilton was ceremonious with two touchdowns. He only ran 56.7% of the Colts’ offensive plays and just 20 routes ending with a stat line of 4-20-2. Two of this four targets were inside the 5-yard line. Fantasy owners shouldn’t worry about Hilton’s usage as before his injury (hamstring) he was averaging over 10 targets a game. The Colts simply did not need him in this game, due to the large lead they had. Seems like the big lead also downgraded the production from the tight end position more specifically Eric Ebron, who saw just 51.7% of the offensive snaps and ran only 17 routes. Short day at the office for all the receivers and tight ends. Enjoy this while you can Luck because such games are going to be far and few between especially after the bye week where the schedule really kicks into gear as far as the defenses they will be facing including two games against the Jaguars. If the Dallas Cowboys can torch their defense for 40 points the colts can too right? RIGHT?
Injury Concerns: There are no major fantasy injuries from the Colts to report.
I am going to do all the readers a favor and keep this short and sweet. The Bills are so bad, Todd Gurley has more points than the Bills offense, defense and special teams have combined. Derek Anderson started this Week 7 game over the interception machine, Nathan Peterman, and to no one’s surprised he didn’t fare any better, throwing for 175 scoreless yards. There is no real fantasy discussion to be had here, for deeper leagues Kelvin Benjamin led the team with 71 yards with 4 receptions, not a single bill outside of him had more than 30 yards. This is an offense to avoid at all costs in fantasy, even in 16 man leagues.
Injury Concern: LeSean Mccoy left this Week 7 game after just two carries when he went down with a head injury after taking a hard hit from colts corner Kenny Moore. No official report has come from the bills office, but I expect this to be a concussion, which is very difficult to predict how long it takes for a player to come out of the concussion protocol. This is something to monitor closely, and the back to own here would be Chris Ivory as he handled most of the load, but another name to keep in mind is Marcus Murphy for deeper leagues. Take my advice and avoid this offense at all costs if possible.
Houston Texans (20) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (7)
This was an ugly game and that might be putting it nicely for both sides. The Texans do have a solid alibi though, as quarterback Deshaun Watson is dealing with a rib injury and a partially collapsed lung. They actually could not fly him out for this Week 7 game, as doctors were worried the compression from being in the air would cause more harm to his lungs, they drove him from Texas to Florida and back via bus. The Jaguars defense coming off an embarrassing loss to the Dallas Cowboys, were much better in this game holding Watson to just 139 passing yards and one touchdown. This was a game Watson would like to forget as he completed just 50% of his passes for an average of 5.8 yards per attempt which was his lowest since week 1 while being hurried 9 times out of 24 dropbacks. His QB23 finish is his second lowest finish of the season, second only to last week against the bills when he finished as QB27. This is not what fantasy owners expected from majority’s top 5 quarterbacks in fantasy (based off ADP). The injury is not going to make it any easier for him and he is a lock to miss time if he gets hit the wrong way. It takes just one hit when you’re healthy, but add a partially collapsed lung and a rib injury to it, it’s a recipe for disaster.
Lamar Miller can hear the echoes of Donta Foreman’s name in his head, and he made it a point to perform well playing with purpose and urgency in this Week 7 game as he had his best game of the season (which is not saying much). He had 99 yards on 23 touches and one touchdown, which was good for RB12 finish (only his second of the season), but let’s not kid ourselves. Miller is not going to put up efficient numbers like these often, amongst running backs he is 18thin rushing yards, 43rdin receiving yards, 38thin receptions, 34thin total touchdowns, and 31stin fantasy points per game. He just isn’t very good. The coaching staff has already said Foreman will be ready to play once he is off the PUP list, which spells immediately downgrading Miller’s value as his touches will certainly drop. Luckily for Miller, Foreman is not expected to be activated this week. Will Fuller led the way in the receiving game with 68 yards on six receptions but it was Hopkins with the touchdown reception to go with his 3 receptions for 50 yards.
Injury Concern: With rookie Keke Coutee aggravating his hamstring injury in this Week 7 game, and potentially may miss some time, we may see Fuller be himself in the coming weeks though Watson’s injury may become a concern as Fuller is dependent on the deep ball.
This was a game to forget for the Jaguars. Last week it was the defense, and offense, this week, it is just the offense that could not produce. It was such a bad game, the coaching staff was forced to pull Blake (Balakay) Bortles and insert Kessler who ended the game with 156 yards and a touchdown. Funny thing is, Bortles actually led the team in rushing with 30 yards. T.J. Yeldon had a total of 68 yards and a touchdown, but was, for the most part, bottled up by the Texans defense, just as everyone on this team was. The bigger news from the running back side is the acquisition of Carlos Hyde, which kills any startable value Yeldon had. He was acquired too late for him to be active week 7, but with the Jaguars releasing Jamal Charles, it is safe to say Hyde has grasped the playbook and is ready to be the starting running back of this team till Fournette returns. This could very likely be a scenario where Hyde handles the carries while Yeldon handles passing down work, which would make a lot of sense. Hyde becomes the flex option, with Yeldon not even worth a stream as of right now. Keep an eye on practice this week as that will be telling on how both backs are utilized. Moncrief led the team in receiving with a 7-76 line but there is not much to see here from a fantasy perspective. If you are starting one of these receivers in your lineup I hope it is only because you are facing the bye week blues or injuries.
Injury Concerns: There are no injuries to report at this time for the Jaguars.
Detroit Lions (32) vs. Miami Dolphins (21)
Finally, Kerryon Johnson is used as a featured back and he gets to show why he was drafted high by the Lions. Can we please feed this man the ball more now? Can someone please call the Lions front office, stand in protest outside of their building, start a petition, do something to get the lions to stop giving Blount or Riddick the ball and just use Johnson as a workhorse back. Sure we all need a breather from time to time and they can provide that, Johnson is simply too talented to stay on the sidelines for long. Even with Riddick out for the Week 7 game, Johnson did not have a touchdown in this game, thanks to Blount vulturing a goal-line touchdown from him. Matt Patricia must hate fantasy football or has Blount on his fantasy team because no other explanation makes sense. With a team-high 21 touches, Johnson totaled 179 yards, which was good for RB9, his best finish easily this year. He is 8thin total rushing yards, 3rdin blocking efficiency (I thought coaches loved this in their running back), 4thin true yards per carry, 11thin yards per touch, and 5thin breakaway runs. The guy is a beast, please city of Detroit, I beg you, do something. Stafford had a decent game, throwing for 217 yards and two touchdowns, both to tight end Michael Roberts (who?? Did anyone even start this guy anywhere??). Kenny Golladay had a touchdown (second week this season) called back on a penalty (facepalm – I own this guy in a lot of leagues) and finished with a stat line of 2-37. This was a down game for Golden Tate and Marvin Jones as well, as the passing game was not really needed for this game.
Injury Concerns: Theo Riddick is week to week, dealing with a knee injury. We do not have much to report on his injury at this time but for all, you Kerryon Johnson owners (including me) are hoping he just retires right? Thought so.
Brock Osweiler got the start in Week 7 as Ryan Tannehill is still not ready to return and performed admirably, finishing with 239 yards and 2 touchdowns. Seriously though, are we really streaming “The Brock” or Tannehill unless you are absolutely out of options? Figured the answer was no. Outside of a 54 yard run by Kenyon Drake, the running game was mainly held in check as they averaged well under 4 yards a carry. The ageless Frank Gore came crashing down to earth as he was held to 29 scoreless rushing yards on ten carries. This running game has been hard to predict all year and neither running is anything more than a weekly flex. The usage of Drake specifically is mind-boggling, since week 2, he has had double-digit carries twice in a game, but where he is being more utilized is in the passing game, especially in the last 3 weeks averaging 8 targets a game. Even though he has had an RB2 or better finish in the last three weeks, the low number of total touches makes him a weekly RB3 at best. As for the receiving game, with Albert Wilson leaving the game with a hip injury in the first half, it actually helped Danny Amendola, who had one of his better games with a 6-84-1 stat line. If Wilson is forced to miss time, the direct beneficiary would be Amendola as the possession receiver. The rest of the receiving core is too difficult to predict on a weekly basis, one week it may be Jakeem Grant another week it may be Kenny Stills. Amendola would be a flex option with Grant being a prayer deep ball touchdown play. There is not much to discuss with any dolphins tight end as the position has been irrelevant in fantasy.
Injury Concerns: Two major injuries to the receiving core here. Albert Wilson injured his hip in the first half and missed the rest of the game and Kenny Stills (groin) has already been ruled out for week 8. With Devante Parker being a healthy scratch in week 7, he will be in line to start with the injuries at hand. I leave Parker on the waiver wire, especially after his agent openly spoke against Adam Gase for not having his client on the active roster for week 7.
Minnesota Vikings (37) vs. New York Jets (17)
If God was playing football he would be Adam Thielen. He has been on fire all season, and now has 7 games to open the season with 100 receiving yards with his 9-110-1 stat line. He is overall WR1 in fantasy football, ranking #1 in receptions, receiving yards, 2ndin air yards, 13thin yards after the catch, 4thin red zone receptions, 5thin touchdowns, and 1stin fantasy points per game. It isn’t like he is making catches because he is open, he can also make the contested catch as he ranks 5thamongst receivers with 70% success rate. That is what I call total domination. Unfortunately for Stefon Diggs, he has taken a backseat to the feast Thielen is having weekly, because all the attention goes to him. He was targeted 14 times for 8-33 stat line. It is just not happening for Diggs the way most expected. A lot of us including myself thought the addition of Cousins would actually benefit Diggs, but it has been an up and down season for him. Diggs is on two different extremes. In 7 games this season, Diggs has either been a WR1 (three games) or finished no better than WR32 (four games). That is such a swing week to week. He is getting the targets (ranked 5thamongst receiver), but where he is hurting is his catch rate where he ranks 59thamong wide receivers. 56 out of his 74 targets have been deemed catchable, which is 75.7% of passes thrown his way. Unfortunately, this week to week cycle is not going to change unless defenses start to focus more on Thielen, which is not out of the realm of possibility considering the Godzilla level production.
The running game, before last week the Vikings had not scored a rushing touchdown. A lot of that has to do with Dalvin Cook’s hamstring that refuses to cooperate. Latavius Murray filled in yet again, and like last week had a good performance accounting for 83 yards and two touchdowns. Cook is a superior runner, there is no doubt about that and his workload is not in jeopardy by any means, but he has to actually be healthy to matter, and there is no guarantee that happens anytime soon.
Kyle Rudolph has been disappointing thus far considering the expectations we had of him, and this week was no different. His snap share was actually the lowest since week 2 (79.7%), which had more to do with the fact that the Vikings won by a mile. He ran 25 routes but only had four targets, two of which came in the red zone for what it’s worth. Rudolph is yet to finish as a TE1 in the past 4 weeks. He just isn’t being utilized enough in the passing game but due to the talent and potency of the offense, it is almost impossible to bench him unless you have a better option. Considering how thin the position already is I highly doubt you have a choice.
Injury Concerns: We all already know about Dalvin Cook. He is either ready, but then has a setback, or doesn’t practice at all and sits out the week. Even the coaching staff is confused, reporting last week he practiced in full when he actually didn’t practice at all (what!?!?!?). Keeping rolling Murray in favorable matchups till we hear otherwise especially after a solid Week 7 performance.
New York Jets
Sam Darnold continues to be inconsistent week to week with a rough game, throwing three interceptions and just one touchdown, while throwing for 206 yards. A great dynasty hold but not someone you can rely on to start even in favorable matchups just because of how unpredictable this offense is. Outside of two weeks he has had a completion % of less than 61% and is yet to finish higher than a QB13 all year. The Jets are ranked 15thin passing attempts and 16thin deep attempts which does not bold well for players like Robby Anderson who live by the deep ball and is why everyone and their children thought that this was a great spot for Jermaine Kearse, as he inherited the Quincy Enunwa role, seeing 10 targets in week 6, he had just 2 targets in week 7. With the Jets releasing Terrelle Pryor, and just signed Rishaad Matthews, this offense is going to need some time to develop for us fantasy owners to figure out who the go-to person is. Matthews was the leading receivers on the Titans for a few years before they moved on from him, so he has the talent, how that fits with this offense and Sam Darnold is another story.
Chris Herndon, the tight end actually had his second consecutive good game with 4-42-1 stat line. Maybe he is the new go-to player outside of Robby Anderson (who saw 10 targets this game) but only turned it into a 3-42 scoreless stat line. In the running game, we finally saw more extended work for Trenton Cannon, a return specialist by trade, but has big-play potential every time he touches the ball. With Bilal Powell lost to a neck injury for an undisclosed period of time, this may be his chance to shine and makes for an interesting stash in redraft leagues if you have the room. Crowell is a weekly boom or bust as he proved in week 7 with 11 carries and just 29 yards.
Injury Concerns: Bilal Powell has a neck injury which he suffered in the week 7 game. There are no updates on his injury at this time but considering how sensitive a neck injury can be it is possible he may miss some time. Trenton Cannon is a must add in deeper leagues especially in PPR as he excels in the passing game. Quincy Enunwa is week to week still and is expected to miss week 8 matchup.
Carolina Panthers (21) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (17)
Everyone knows the usual suspects here. Cam Newton is a great quarterback, more for fantasy than in real life, Greg Olsen the tight end is one of the best when healthy (although he does require surgery at the end of the year on his foot), and Devin Funchess is a good (not great) wide receiver who is a weekly high WR3 with WR2 upside. Christian McCaffrey is a weekly RB1 with the number of touches he is receiving. I want to use this time to talk a little bit about rookie wide receiver D.J. Moore. After starting the season on the field only 22.4% of the offensive snaps, in the last 3 weeks, he has averaged a snap share of 42%, while running an average of 16 routes and being targeted an average of just about 5 times a game. You must be wondering why I am spending my time talking about a player who is not on the field even 50% of the time with the offense.
Let’s go back to week 6 first. Moore started the game with back to back fumble on receptions he had possession of and they lost both fumbles. Now normally especially as a rookie, you fumble once and you are out of the game either for an extended period of time or for good. Moore actually stayed on the field and played the entire game. The coaching staff knows what they have in Moore and want to get him more involved in the offense. He is easily their best wide receiver, and with some polishing can become a great receiver especially in fantasy. I highly recommend picking him up as a stash until his role does not grow more, which should be very soon.
Injury Concern: No major injuries to report for the Panthers at this time
As far as fantasy goes, it was different week same suspects, with Alshon Jeffrey (7-88-1) and Zach Ertz (9-138) leading the way in the receiving category. Even rookie tight end Dallas Goedert maintained his efficiency with 4-43-1 and remains a decent flex play in deeper leagues (14 to 16 man leagues). We continue to see a timeshare at running back with minimal production as neither back got much going as Smallwood led the backfield with just 32 rushing yards. Maybe it is time for rookie running back Josh Adams to get some more looks. Even though Nelson Agholor continues to see over 90% of the offensive snap share and averaging over 30 routes run, it is not translating into fantasy production, as his best finish was way back in week 2 (WR17). In the last 3 weeks, he has been averaging 5 targets per game which is not going to cut it. Wentz dating back to last year never targeted Agholor heavily enough to make him more than a WR3/4. Nick Foles is who made him more relevant and that seems to have carried over into this year. The games in which Agholor produced the most were week 1 and 2 with Foles under center seeing 10 and 12 targets finishing WR37 and WR12. Since week 3 his best finish is WR43. Do not expect this narrative to change though there will be a blowup week here and there, and it might just be against their next opponent (Jaguars) who are vulnerable against the slot receiver.
Injury Concern: No major injuries to report for the Eagles after Week 7.
Tampa Bay Bucs (26) vs. Cleveland Browns (23)
Before this week 7 matchup, the Bucs defense had allowed every quarterback to throw for over 300 yards, this was a prime spot for Baker Mayfield to produce. It is understandable when fantasy owners were disappointed (as they should be) at the outcome of this game for him. He threw for only 215 yards and two touchdowns. Mayfield was able to actually have his best fantasy finish this week with QB8 numbers. Before this week had not had a completion % of over 58%, he completed 67.6% of his passes. There is cause for concern in fantasy for Mayfield if you are depending on him to carry your team, though due to his schedule he is a solid QB2 option in two QB leagues. With Carlos Hyde being traded to the Jaguars, Nick Chubb was finally set free finishing with an 18-80-1 stat line. He is safe to start as a weekly RB2 with limited upside due to his lack of involvement in the passing game, which belongs to the Duke of Cleveland (Duke Johnson), who only saw a demoralizing four targets. It is safe to wonder at this point if last year was the best we would ever see of him again. Mayfield does not show a keen interested in checking down to the running back position, which makes Johnson impossible to trust even in deeper leagues. He is ranked 19th amongst running backs with 26 targets. That is not what fantasy owners signed up for. Jarvis Landry and tight end David Njoku are both benefiting from the presence of Mayfield and should continue to both be solid options in fantasy. As long as Landry continues to see targets that he can actually catch (ranked 94th in the league with only 67.9% of his targets considered catchable), he will become more of WR1 than WR2 with upside type of receiver. Their upcoming schedule is not very frightening either.
Injury Concerns: No major injuries to report for the Browns after Week 7.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The only major fantasy concern for owners is the running game. It is becoming more and more difficult to predict who the lead back is when one is getting more touches but the other is scoring the touchdowns. In Hue Jackson’s defense, Peyton barber did leave the game with an injury, which put Ronald Jones into the starting role resulting in his touchdown. Peyton Barber suffered an injury late int he game, but there is at this time no update on his status. We should know more about it once the injury report is released Wednesday. This may finally be the chance Jones has been looking for. Jones is a solid pick up this week for the rest of the season, and DFS if Barber were to sit out this game though his upside is capped with the lack of targets the running backs see in this offense.
Washington Redskins (20) vs. Dallas Cowboys (17)
This was a night to forget offensively for the Redskins as they had a hard time moving the ball. Alex Smith threw for just 178 yards and a touchdown, but it was Adrian Peterson (with Chris Thompson out), who carried the load and impressed with his physical running picking up yards in chunks and making sure the defense worked hard to bring him down every time. AP is a decent running back in fantasy but is capped with game flow dictating his usage along with Chris Thompson who owns the passing down work. This may be a good time to sell high on him. One would have thought with multiple starting receivers out for the game it would mean more work for Jordan Reed, but he only caught two balls for 43 yards. Kapri Bibbs though had a touchdown only touched the ball 6 times. He is best left on the waiver wire in 10 to 12 man leagues and is worth a speculative add in 14 to 16 man leagues if you are desperate. In the past 3 weeks, he has finished no better than TE16, which in a position that is very thin is unfortunate. He is averaging just 5 targets a game over the past 3 weeks, while only accounting for an average of 69% of the snap share. That has been his average throughout the season. He has only caught more than 5 balls once all season. Out of the 20 routes he ran, he was targeted 4 times. That ratio needs to change if we are going to see Reed as a consistent TE1 as we are used to.
What a bad game for Ezekiel Elliot and what a time to be on bye. If there is a team that needs one it is this team. Now that they have acquired Amari Cooper from the Oakland Raiders for a hefty price (1st round pick), it may actually do more good to Dak Prescott and run game than to Cooper’s value. Take a look at this stat from 2017 for Dak Prescott, when targeting his number 1 receiver versus the rest of the team.
Dez Bryant – Completion percentage 52.27% (132 Attempts – 69 Completions – 6 TD’s)
Rest of the Team – Completion percentage 66.76% (358 Attempts – 239 Completions – 16 TD’s)
In fact, Dak’s passer rating when targeting Dez was 87.9, compared to 109.65 when targeting the rest of the team. Zeke has not been consistently producing as we are used to seeing him, and Prescott has been a disappointment up until this point. Expect that to change with the Cowboys coming out of the bye. Considering their performance against the Redskins, this could not have come at a better time. A waiver wire must-add for those leagues where he is still available, Michael Gallup may be the biggest beneficiary in the receiving core with this signing. I recommend picking him up wherever you can.
Injury Concerns: No major injuries to report from the Cowboys in Week 7.
Los Angeles Rams (39) vs. San Francisco 49ers (10)
Los Angeles Rams
This team is like a well-oiled machine. This Week 7 game was another example as to why Jared Goff will never enter the elite quarterback in the fantasy category. His ceiling is capped with Todd Gurley scoring touchdowns at will. Goff’s last three games he has finished QB18, QB26, and QB18. If you looked at the box score of all three games you would never think that was the case. In the last three games, he has three touchdowns and three interceptions. In the last two games, he has thrown for 201 and 202 yards. Goff is great for this offense but not consistent enough for your weekly QB1.
Injury Concerns: Cooper Kupp is still dealing with his knee injury and is week to week.
San Francisco 49ers
The legend of C.J. Beathard came crashing down to end in this one when he went up against a front 7 that can actually get to him. He could not get anything going on offense and finished as QB25 while completing a season-low 55.6% of his passes in Week 7. Outside of Matt Breida (if the guy can actually finish a full game without getting hurt), and George Kittle, there is no other player on this offense that you can trust and start with confidence. Everyone knew George Kittle was going to take the next step this year based on how he finished last year but his consistency this year is refreshing for an offense that is lacking it in the receiving game from anywhere else. In the past 5 weeks, he had 4 TE1 finishes, with the only blemish being the Marquis Goodwin show last week against the Packers. He is averaging 7 targets a game, and outside of two games has no less than 79 receiving yards. No other Niners receiver passed 25 yards. For you waiver wire lovers, a solid add in case he has not already been picked up in your league is Raheem Mostert. You might be a week too late on him, but in case you are not go pick him up, especially Matt Breida owners. In back to back week with seeing more work he has an RB33 and RB23 finish. If Breida is to miss time (which the Niners need to seriously consider doing), Mostert would become the lead back and possibly the pass-catching option (he did see 4 targets).
Injury Concerns: Matt Breida has been dealing with a number of different injuries all season and seems to find a new injury to add to his long list of them every week. Let’s all hope the Niners sit him out after Week 7 to allow him to heal up, instead of risk more injury on him in a season where they are not going anywhere.
New Orleans Saints (24) vs. Baltimore Ravens (23)
New Orleans Saints
One of the most frequently asked questions for week 7 start/sits was about this game. Fantasy owners were worried about Drew Brees and Michael Thomas especially, due to one of the better defenses in the league this year. Drew Brees did finish as QB17 with 16.8 fantasy points which is below his average this season, but that is well above average for what the Ravens were giving up this season to opposing quarterbacks (13.3 fantasy points per game, 2nd fewest). Shockingly the Seattle Seahawks are allowing the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks on a per game basis(12.3). Isn’t that impressive considering all the losses they have had on that defense? Fantasy wise on the Saints side there isn’t much to discuss that stood out outside of the usage of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. Kamara had a total of 19 touches (5 in the red zone), finishing RB16 and Ingram had a total of 14 touches (2 in the red zone), finishing as RB37. This is about where we expected them to be in splits. It is going to be hard to predict weekly who will outproduce who, but as of right now I would pencil in Kamara and Ingram as an every week RB2 with RB1 upside.
Injury concerns: No injuries to report from the Saints in Week 7.
The major concern fantasy wise for the Ravens was the usage of John Brown who was coming off a 3 target game. Browns snap share has hovered around 70% all year, and week 7 was no different with 73% which included 34 routes ran. He saw 7 targets and ended with a stat line of 7-134-1 for a solid WR3 overall finish (season-best). Consider last week a small hiccup for him. Lamar Jackson is like that annoying fly that buzzes around your head that you just cannot get rid of. That is what I see on Joe Flacco’s face when Jackson is out there under center. He absolutely hates it, and for good reason. He did, however, have his first touchdown of his career (rushing touchdown). This has no fantasy relevance for this year but he is certainly a dynasty hold.
Injury concerns: No injuries to report from the Ravens after Week 7.
Kansas City Chiefs (45) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (10)
Kansas City Chiefs
There are very little fantasy relevant topics to discuss here as there is nothing we already do not know about this offense. Similarly to the Rams, the Chiefs just keep on rolling up and down the field on every defense (including the Jaguars). After a slow start to the season, Karem Hunt now has finishes of RB15, RB8, RB15, RB4, and RB1 in the last 5 weeks. Outside of week 1, Hunt has a touchdown in every game, for a total of 9, which is second in the league, behind of course the immortal cheat code Todd Gurley. What is making hunt so productive now is his red zone touches? Since week 2 he is 3rd in the league in red zone touches, 3rd in the league in carries, 3rd in rushing yards, and 3rd in evaded tackles. That slow start to the season that had everyone worried has been safely put behind him.
Injury Concerns: No injuries to report from the Chiefs in Week 7.
Fantasy owners were not happy with this game for those who owned Bengals offensive players unless you were C.J. Uzomah. The recipient of Andy Dalton’s only touchdown pass of the night. Dalton in prime time is 0-7 and has never played well under the lights. This was a defense that was one of the most generous defenses in the league at every position. Let’s just archive this game as a mistake, and pretend it never happened.
Injury concerns: According to NFL.com’s reporter Mike Garofolo, John Ross will be sidelined for “a few weeks” with a groin injury. He just cannot find a way to stay on the field. He should not be rostered in any redraft leagues.
Atlanta Falcons (23) vs. New York Giants (20)
Another week with no Julio Jones sighting in the end zone. He almost had a touchdown when he was open down the field off a deep pass from Matt Ryan, but fell short because of Ryan’s hand hitting his offensive lineman’s shoulder pad/helmet. It has been that kind of season for him. Officially Jones has the most receiving yards without a touchdown. The bigger fantasy story is Calvin Ridley, who got off to a scorching hot start to this season, between week 2 and week 4, Ridley had 19 receptions, 264 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns with finishes of WR30, WR1, and WR16. Since then he has 12 receptions, 128 receiving yards, and no touchdowns with the best finish of WR45. Granted he did get hurt in the game against the Bucs in week 6, but it is still noteworthy especially his games in week 5 and week 7, he only saw 5 and 6 targets. Outside of week 3 (8 targets), Ridley has not seen more than 6 targets in any game. In a potent offense, he remains a solid WR3 with WR2 upside.
Injury Concerns: No injuries to report for the Falcons after their Week 7 game.
New York Giants
There is not much to discuss on the fantasy side that we already do not know about the Giants. Coming into this Week 7 game the Giants had allowed the 4th fewest passing yards in the league and allowed just 9 passing touchdowns, but have only 4 interceptions and 7 sacks so u can understand the Falcons struggles early on in this game before they picked up the pace in the second half, but the Falcons have allowed the 3rd most touchdowns (16) and just 6 interceptions and allowing the second most fantasy points to the quarterback position, so for the Giants to have struggled this much for the most part of the game made little sense. Eli Manning is the 2nd worst among active quarterbacks with an average of 4.5 yards per pass completed, just ahead of check down master Derek Carr (4.4 air yards per completed pass). This is the same coach who came from the Vikings coaching staff, which was one of the best in the league. Barkley and Odell are going to have their big games like they always do, outside of that Shepard and tight end Engram will have their once in a while big game, though considering how weak the tight end position is Engram is a locked in TE1 on a weekly basis.
How did you enjoy Week 7? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!