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NFL Week 7 Recap: Austin Ekeler and Kenneth Walker Battle in Hollywood

Fresh off Sunday’s slate of games, Fantrax looks back at all the good, the bad, and the interesting from the first Sunday of NFL games in the Week 7 fantasy football recap.

Hopefully, we can use what we learned in the first seven weeks of fantasy football to help make better lineup decisions moving forward. This weekly column will highlight the week’s slate from a fantasy perspective, while also analyzing what trends to pay attention to in the weeks ahead.

For Week 7, we will look at the slate highlighted by Ja’Marr Chase and Joe Burrow’s monster day, Kenneth Walker’s emergence as an RB1, and a vast list of injuries that just never seemed to end in Week 7.

Week 7 Fantasy Football Recap

Week 7 Studs

Joe Burrow

This makes two weeks in a row with Burrow leading the position. After he torched New Orleans for 32.5 fantasy points last week, he took that one step further with 39 fantasy points Sunday against the Falcons, including three passing scores and a rushing touchdown. Throw in a cool 481 passing yards and Burrow didn’t just lead the position this week, he lapped the field. This Bengals team is catching fire and I would recommend grabbing any piece of it you can.

Patrick Mahomes

The Chiefs started a little slowly in this game against the 49ers, but Patrick Mahomes sure did make up for it by the end. He finished with 423 passing yards and three touchdowns to help Kansas City cruise to a 44-23 win on the road. The way Mahomes is spreading the ball around without Tyreek Hill this year is simply incredible. Three different receivers caught touchdowns today and that doesn’t include Travis Kelce who ended the day with 98 yards.

Daniel Jones

If you have a betting slip of Daniel Jones over 100 rushing yards, go collect your winnings and pass along the lottery numbers to me while you’re at it. Jones was fine throwing the ball, finishing with 202 passing yards and a touchdown. But he also ran all over the Jaguars for 107 rushing yards plus another score. Jones does have two 90+ rushing yard games under his belt, but this number today was a clear career-high.

Josh Jacobs

In perhaps the most predictable outcome of the day, Josh Jacobs broke the fantasy slate with his 35 fantasy points including 143 rushing yards and three scores on the ground. The Houston Texans were allowing the most fantasy points per game to running backs coming into the day, and that certainly ain’t going to change after Jacobs scored five more points that any other back in the Sunday games.

Austin Ekeler

Another team just hemorrhaging fantasy points to running backs is the Seattle Seahawks; especially pass-catchers. They were bottom 10 in receptions and receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns allowed to running backs and that was before Austin Ekeler put 12 catches for 96 yards and a score in their eye. Add in another rushing touchdown and the result is 30 fantasy points on the day. Ekeler’s slow start to the season is long gone at this point.

Kenneth Walker

Kenneth Walker was drafted as RB37 this offseason amid an injury concern and questions about how he would split the role in Seattle with Rashaad Penny. Now with the backfield to himself, Walker has a legitimate shot at finishing as the overall RB1 for 2022. After another 28 fantasy points (he had 18 last week), it is clear Walker is going to get as much run as he can handle. He has carried the rock 44 times the last two games and hasn’t even needed to catch the ball because of two big Seattle wins. It’s pure, massive profit all the way to the end of the season now.

Travis Etienne

It’s time. If you thought the Etienne takeover of the Jacksonville backfield was going to be a slow-moving process, I have some news for you. On Sunday, Etienne out-snapped James Robinson 57-12, led in carries 14-0 and in targets 5-1. This is now his show and he is clearly the more dynamic back of the two. All he did with this opportunity was turn it into 114 rush yards, a score, and a two-point conversion. The banner has been passed and we should be prepared for more big games ahead.

Ja’Marr Chase

Let’s see. Fifteen catches, 262 yards, and four touchdowns in his past two games? That’s essentially what Gabriel Davis has for the entire season. If you sold Chase during his four-game stretch of less than 10 fantasy points, may God have mercy on your soul. This guy is on a path to challenging Cooper Kupp for the WR1 supremacy title. And the best thing going to Chase is that the Bengals are throwing the ball at a top-six rate in the league. More massive games are on the way.

Mecole Hardman

Two rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown on Sunday? Those who were desperate due to injuries and bye weeks will certainly take it. Clearly, this was an outlier game so we don’t need to debate that. But what is encouraging to see is that Hardman led all receivers in snaps on Sunday, and turned his opportunities into a massive fantasy day. As mentioned with Mahomes, he is really spreading it around this year, so as long as Hardman is a part of that group, he will get his big days as well.

Marquise Goodwin

After D.K. Metcalf went down with an injury, it was Goodwin, not Tyler Lockett or a tight end that stepped up in a huge way. Goodwin caught four balls for 67 yards and turned two of those into scores against Los Angeles. Metcalf’s injury hasn’t been officially diagnosed, but if he is forced to miss some time, Goodwin looks like the next man up for Geno Smith. Monitor the injury news as Goodwin could quickly become a top waiver priority this week.

Parris Campbell

The Tennessee Titans did a very good job on Michael Pittman on Sunday, holding him to six catches and 58 yards. But what Pittman didn’t get, Parris Campbell came and ran with it. He got 12 targets, 10 catches, seventy yards, and a touchdown, following up on his big week in Week 7. A lot of love was going to Alec Pierce’s way this week, but Campbell is showing recently that he can be a clear and dominant number two receiver to Pittman, even with a mediocre quarterback like Matt Ryan.

George Kittle

It was a down week all around for tight ends, but Kittle led the way with six catches for 98 yards and a touchdown. The Chiefs came into this week having already allowed four touchdowns to tight ends this year, so Kittle just gets to add a notch to the bedpost. Kittle is on the ascent with his fantasy points increasing each week since he came back from injury.

Travis Kelce

Six catches for 98 yards and Patrick Mahomes favorite target once again. What else is new? Wash, rinse, repeat every week for the number one or number two tight end in fantasy.

Week 7 Duds

Derek Carr

Derek Carr was a very popular Week 7 streaming and DFS option at quarterback, but he let Josh Jacobs do all the work and only ended up with 241 passing yards and one score against the lowly Houston Texans. It resulted in only Davante Adams (eight catches for 95 yards) having a decent day receiving the ball. With how well Jacobs is running right now and with rushing plays getting called with more and more frequency in Las Vegas, it’s going to be hard to trust Carr except in the absolute best matchups.

Tom Brady

Yikes. This is now four straight weeks that his fantasy points have decreased and it marks the first time all season that Brady has not thrown a touchdown. Losing to a depleted Panthers squad might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for this struggling Tampa Bay team, but Tom Brady is certainly part of the problem with how he is failing to produce consistent drives. Mike Evans also dropping a WIDE OPEN 75-yard touchdown catch did him no favors as well.

Lamar Jackson

Why even worry about throwing the ball when the Cleveland Browns are going to let you run for 160 yards and two touchdowns by guys like Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, and Kenyan Drake? Jackson attempted his lowest number of pass attempts (16) in a healthy game since December 2020 and turned it into just 120 yards passing. It was big trouble for guys like Mark Andrews and Rashod Bateman, but they will bounce back in weeks to come.

Isiah Pacheco

We were all fooled by the late-night “Pacheco is starting” news that came in on Saturday. He did, in fact, start by taking the first offensive snap, but then only rushed seven more times for 42 yards. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, however, got 32 rushing yards plus the rush touchdown in this win. Is it more of a timeshare moving forward? We shall see, but Pacheco did not take away the lion’s share of the snaps and attempts today.

Leonard Fournette

We really should just give a demerit to all Tampa Bay Buccaneers not named Cade Otten on this day, but Fournette was especially inefficient with just 19 rushing yards and seven receiving yards on the day. Rachaad White had more rushing yards and receiving yards and he continues to chip away into Fournette’s bell-cow role.

Jonathan Taylor

We might give Taylor a pass as we know he is not fully healthy yet, but all the fantasy managers who selected him first overall are getting impatient with no more than 12 fantasy points in any game since Week 1. The seven receptions saved his day in PPR formats, but those were the most in any game in his career, so it’s likely not sustainable long-term. Patience, young padawan, his time will come again soon.

Deebo Samuel

Deebo Samuel has been a lot more bust than boom this year, and Sunday was another case of him just not living up to that second-round draft slot. In fact, it was his worst game of the year and he finished with just 6.9 fantasy points in half-PPR formats. Many wondered how the presence of Christian McCaffrey would affect Deebo’s usage, and in our first dataset, it looks like he will be running a whole lot less. Samuel rushed just once on Sunday, which is down from eight attempts in Week 1. The seven targets were fine, but Deebo relies on some insane yards after the catch performances for his big days and the Chiefs were having none of it. If I’m a Deebo Samuel manager, I’m selling after the next big game.

Keenan Allen

We knew it wouldn’t be a full workload coming off a weeks-long injury, but Allen was needed in many fantasy lineups considering the bye weeks and the fact that it was the best offensive environment on the slate. He would inevitably disappoint with two catches for 11 yards, but will need to take on a much bigger role going forward based on some of the injury news below…

Drake London

The Falcons threw just 14 passes in a game they lost by 18 points and were down double digits from the first quarter to the end. Those first few weeks with Drake London spike games were nice, but those seem to be long gone with this offensive philosophy. Remember, the Falcons WANT to lose games this year. London bottomed out with just one target in this game.

T.J. Hockenson

How “meh” has Hockenson been this year? Let’s put it this way. He scored 35.9 fantasy points in that crazy October 2nd game with most of the rest of the offense sidelined. In his six other weeks, his total fantasy points don’t equal his score from that one game. Four catches for 48 yards is about what we have come to expect every game from this guy.

Mark Andrews

See Jackson, Lamar. Andrews had zero catches in this game. That’s the first time that has happened since December 2018. No need to panic about one game where the game plan was clearly run, run, and run some more.

Injuries to Monitor

Breece Hall Goes Down with Knee Injury

Not long after rookie phenom Breece Hall rolled out a 62-yard touchdown run, he crumpled to the field in pain in what the team is calling a serious ACL injury. It will likely put an end to this unbelievable season for the rookie, and likely delays him somewhat being ready for 2023. He still managed 72 yards and that score to give fantasy managers one parting gift, but replacing Hall’s usage and efficiency is not going to be easy.

After Hall went down, Michael Carter filled in with 13 rush attempts for 29 rushing yards (that’s a terrible yards per attempt), plus 45 receiving yards. Carter is going to get as much work as he can handle from here on out, so if you are running back desperate, that’s the name to grab this week.

Mike Williams Suffers Bad Ankle Injury

On a day when the Chargers finally got Keenan Allen back into the lineup, Mike Williams goes down with a serious ankle injury after posting 86 receiving yards and a score against the Seahawks. He was cruising on the day with nine targets and seven receptions, leading the team in both categories. I’ve seen speculation of ankle sprain, fracture, and ligament damage, among other things, but until we hear from Los Angeles officially, it’s tough to know for sure. But no matter what it looks like an injury that will force him to miss a long time.

Keenan Allen is the clear winner assuming he is healthy but don’t sleep on both tight end Gerald Everett and wide receiver DeAndre Carter. Granted, they got in must-throw mode early, but Everett finished today with nine targets while Carter had seven. Both have the trust of Justin Herbert and should be consistent pieces of the offense without Williams.

Amon-Ra St. Brown Suffers Concussion

It’s been a Hard Knocks life lately for the Lions’ offense. Amon-Ra St. Brown suffering a concussion is the latest setback in a long line of injuries to this squad. The team has been without Josh Reynolds and D.J. Chark due to injury, D’Andre Swift couldn’t get on the field this week, and it’s been a month since T.J. Hockenson did anything of value. Should St. Brown have to miss next week, guys like Khalif Raymond and Brock Wright will have to pick up the slack, but neither are worth a waiver priority.

Swift should be back next week (something we’ve been hearing for a month), so the offense ostensibly runs through the running backs and Hockenson. But the dysfunction there right now makes me want to stay away from this entire corps of pass-catchers for good until St. Brown is back.

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