Fantasy Football: Week 7 Recap
Edging on the midway point of the season, it seems fairly obvious that fantasy owners really need to take the good with the bad. It’s a yin-yang kinda season, and if you need further convincing, just take a look at Amari Cooper’s 44-point performance and yet another QB injury, this time Carson Palmer, to know what I’m talking about. Yep, each week has plenty of good and bad karma, and with another Sunday slate in the books, it’s time to recap all of the happenings:
- We don’t often give defenders the credit they deserve. You might not know it, but DeMarcus Lawrence has recorded at least one sack in every game this season, and on Sunday against the 49ers, he didn’t miss a beat. Lawrence not only sacked C.J. Beathard, he also caused a fumble. The Cowboys defense has been almost untouchable all season, but they racked up 16 fantasy points this week, great for the 46% of people who actually own them.
- Looks like Philip Rivers has finally warmed up. He threw two first-half TDs against the Broncos on Sunday and completed 15 of his 26 passes. Fantasy wise, Rivers wasn’t the biggest bread-winner, but he’s now finished among the Top 10 QBs in terms of scoring three weeks in a row.
- For the second time in his career, Ezekiel Elliott scored 3 TDs. No matter what happens with this suspension thing, there’s no denying that we are witnessing greatness. A 72-yard reception to the end zone was one of just many highlights for the Cowboys star, and since he’s now put up 584 yards over the last four games, this season could become even more magical if he, y’know, gets to play.
- Don’t sleep on Ty Montgomery just yet, but it really looks like the Packers are in love with Aaron Jones, and who can blame them? The rookie ranked behind only Elliott, LeSean McCoy, and Todd Gurley in fantasy points this week, and he completely led the way with 17 carries and 131 yards. Somehow, Jones is still available in 34% of leagues, so if he isn’t the hottest waiver wire add this week, I don’t know who is.
- The Jaguars D/ST just keeps on rollin’, baby. Calais Campbell would have to be the MVP of IDP leagues, and with a combined 10 sacks, this defensive unit looks to perhaps be the best in the league. I suppose we’re used to seeing the Jaguars dominate on the ground, but they also held the Colts’ receivers to just 200 yards in the air and a big fat zero on the scoreboard.
- With Adrian Peterson out of the way, Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara can really play! The Saints duo combined for 217 yards and a TD vs. the Packers and also ranked inside the Top 10 fantasy RBs for the week. New Orleans takes on the Bears next week at home, another big opportunity for some serious points.
- The Bucs sure love their TEs. After Cameron Brate stole the show over the last two weeks, O.J. Howard came good on Sunday against the Bills. Jameis Winston found him in the end zone twice, hooking up for 98 yards in a three-point loss. If you’re still stuck at TE, both Brate and Howard are readily available in plenty of leagues.
- Feels good to be talking positively about the Jets’ QB situation for a change. For the second week in a row, Josh McCown was the standout, passing for 209 yards and 3 TDs vs. the Dolphins. He’s a long way away from being a go-to fantasy option, but who would have thought McCown would potentially own more value than Bilal Powell at this point in the season?
- Running the ball on the Ravens is child’s play – they are the only team to allow over 1,000 yards this season. What Latavius Murray did to Baltimore on Sunday was nothing short of remarkable, though, as he put up 113 yards on eight carries as well as a TD. The Vikings must feel blessed to be able to rely on their run game when Case Keenum has an off day, and even with Dalvin Cook hurt, you still can’t underestimate the Vikings’ rushing attack.
- So you thought Jimmy Graham was a shoo-in for a big game against the Giants? Ha! Okay, 51 yards and a TD is pretty okay, and so is 14.1 fantasy points, but wow, what could have been, huh? Graham had two massive drops in the first half, one in the end zone and one wide open down the sidelines that probably would’ve been good for six. He’s now dropped five passes this year, continuing his theme of fantasy frustration.
- Andy Dalton set some milestones himself against the Steelers. He’s now thrown 13 INTs vs. Pittsburgh across his six-year career, and two of them came on Sunday. One of the picks was a freak ball that A.J. Green should have caught, but the second was a flat-out bad read on 3rd and 4. After putting up 28.3 fantasy points three weeks ago, Dalton has now combined for just 23.7 points over the last three games.
- Sticking with bad QBs, did you know Eli Manning had thrown just 50 passing yards midway through the third quarter? If you expected much else against the Seahawks secondary, you probably deserve this, but it was the first time since the 2007 season that Manning had thrown back-to-back games of 150 yards or fewer. It can’t really get much worse from here, can it?
- Is it fair to throw the entire Falcons offense on here? Matt Ryan threw for an okay 233 yards, but at least Julio Jones finally found the end zone for the first time this season. You can’t even blame the offensive line here, either, because the Patriots managed just two hits and a sack on Ryan all night. Chalk it up to mental Super Bowl nerves or the blanketing fog, but owning shares in anyone other than DeVonta Freeman is causing headaches for owners everywhere.
- Hopefully you Adrian Peterson owners placed the 32-year-old in the front window of your trade market last week because Week 7 was a serious crash landing back to earth. On neutral ground over in London, another blockbuster game was certainly possible for Peterson against a Rams defense that ranks ninth in yards allowed. Somehow, though, Peterson went to sleep, dishing up 21 yards on 11 carries – good for 4.3 fantasy points. His workload should increase now that Carson Palmer is injured, but everyone needs to temper their expectations going forward.
- Let’s throwback to the Week 4 version of Cam Newton. As if a 3-17 loss to the Bears wasn’t enough, Cam threw for just 211 yards and a pair of INTs in a forgettable game in Chicago. The Bears had allowed 39.0 fantasy points to opposing WRs entering Week 7, but even Devin Funchess and Kelvin Benjamin managed just 17.6 points between them. Cam has become such a risky player now that it’s gone beyond just “picking the right matchups.” He’s either overthrowing the ball too hard or not finding enough time in the pocket, and with two divisional games coming up against the Bucs and Falcons, this could be where the Panthers win or lose their season.
- Tired of talking about Joe Flacco? At least that makes two of us. For the fourth time this year, Flacco put up fewer than 200 yards and was sacked five times in the process. He’s now owned in fewer leagues (12%) than Josh McCown. And for a QB that many labeled as a sleeper coming in, this fall from grace easily has to be the worst so far this season.
- Just like the Falcons, you could easily throw most of the Broncos offense on here, too. They punted five times in the first half on top of two fumbles and were completely shut down in the running game. Demaryius Thomas was by far the biggest letdown, though, coming up with just nine yards and 2.9 fantasy points. You can probably pin most of that on Trevor Siemian, as the Broncos went 3-for-14 on third down.
On the Shelf
- Owners that didn’t watch the Cowboys/49ers game are probably gawking at Dan Bailey’s 2.0 fantasy points and wondering why. That’s because the Cowboys kicker exited Sunday’s game in the second quarter with a groin injury, and was replaced with Jeff Heath. No word on the severity, but Will Lutz is likely your next best waiver wire option if this becomes long term.
- Another one bites the dust. There goes Carson Palmer for at least eight weeks with a broken arm, and unfortunately, this might be the last we see of the 13-year veteran. Just like Aaron Rodgers a week ago, it was a big hit and an awkward landing that caused the break, and surgery too will be required.
- The heavy hits kept on coming with Jay Cutler landing hard on his left side. Apparently, it’s a chest injury, but we’ll know more on Monday.
- Other notables: Mike Wallace (concussion), Delanie Walker (ankle).
The good times are certainly rolling for Evan Engram, even if the rest of the Giants offense is completely miserable. Engram reeled in 60 yards and a TD on 12 targets vs. the Seahawks, good for 18 fantasy points – the second most among TEs. The Seahawks D/ST had allowed 24.4 fantasy points per game to opposing TEs entering Sunday, so this was always a matchup that was quite favorable. The Bears’ Tarik Cohen is also worth a late mention in this spot. His 70 receiving yards led Chicago’s offense against the Panthers. I guess that’s not hard to do, though, considering Mitchell Trubisky completed just four passes all day.
Injuries are never good, but sometimes there’s a silver lining for another player to step up. That theory applies to Kenny Stills, who scored a TD for the second straight week. DeVante Parker’s injury has proved extremely beneficial for the Dolphins’ underrated receiver, and with 26.5 PPR points this week vs. the Jets, Stills has quickly jumped into a must-add waiver wire option.
The theme so far this season has been whatever Christian McCaffrey lacks on the ground, he makes up for in the air. Give the Bears D/ST credit, though. There’s a reason why they have allowed the sixth-fewest total yards per game this season. McCaffrey was held in check all day, good for 10 rushing yards and 36 receiving. For a rookie, these kinds of bumps in the road are expected, but since we fully expected the Panthers to run the ball down Chicago’s throat and back it up with the usual screen passes to McAffrey, his underwhelming 11.6 fantasy points come as a surprise.
It was also interesting to see offensive coordinator Mike Shula lean toward Jonathan Stewart for most of the game. Stewart carried the ball 14 times as opposed to McAffrey’s seven, and since we all assumed he was the Panthers’ fourth-quarter running back, it’s still tough to figure out who the Panthers prefer on a week-to-week basis.