Ten Things We Learned In Week 7 (Fantasy Football)
Week 7 has wrapped up, and we had exciting things happen both on and off the field. We saw players return to their teams but also had some significant injuries. The biggest news was Christian McCaffrey getting traded to the 49ers, and we will get into that right away. Let us go ahead and look at the biggest storylines in Week 7 and what we learned from them.
1. Christian McCaffrey is a 49er
The Carolina Panthers moved on from their star running back, Christian McCaffrey, in a trade with the 49ers in which they acquired multiple draft picks. In his debut, McCaffrey had eight rushing attempts for 38 yards and caught 2-of-2 targets for 24 yards. He had the most carries for the 49ers on the day, with just one more carry than Jeff Wilson. Considering the quick turnaround on playing for the 49ers, McCaffrey had a decent day and will likely be a significant part of this offense rather quickly. Week 8 may be a tough matchup for McCaffrey as the 49ers take on the Rams, but then they have a bye week, and the schedule looks favorable for McCaffrey starting in Week 10 when they take on the Chargers. Surely he will be up to speed after the bye, and fantasy managers should hope for elite RB1 production.
2. Deandre Hopkins Is Back
The Cardinals lost Marquise Brown; however, Deandre Hopkins was able to suit up for the first time after his suspension. He showed that he does not seem to be washed as he caught 10-of-14 targets for 103 yards. In his first game back, Hopkins had a 48.3% target share and will be a great play in fantasy lineups going forward, at least until Hollywood Brown is back.
3. James Robinson May Not Be Healthy
I wrote in this article series last week on how the Jaguars running back rotation would cause headaches due to splits between James Robinson and Travis Etienne. Fantasy managers were confused in Week 7 as Robinson barely saw the field. He did not have an official rush attempt and only saw one target. Etienne, on the other hand, dominated with his opportunity. He finished the game with 14 rushing attempts for 114 yards and a touchdown and caught 1-of-5 targets for five yards. Etienne looked like a star on the field, and if he gets to handle most of the work and strengthens his ball security, he will help fantasy managers win games. Regarding Robinson, Doug Pederson was quoted as saying, “It’s not anything about lack of confidence. We just have to make sure he is 100% before we move forward.” Per an article by John Shipley from SI.com, Robinson did not appear on the injury report, so it’s a strange situation.
4. Breece Hall‘s Season Is Likely Over
As of writing this article, it is assumed that rookie sensation Breece Hall‘s season will end due to a torn ACL. Hall looked like a potential superstar and league-winning player for fantasy managers who took the risk on him in the mid-rounds of drafts. Michael Carter will now take over as the lead running back for the Jets. However, we should not expect him to be nearly as valuable as Hall was. As we advance through the rest of this season, Carter will be more of an RB2 or RB3 option. He finished Week 7 with 13 carries for 29 yards and caught 2-of-2 targets for 45 yards.
5. Gus Bus Leads The Ravens’ Backfield
The Baltimore Ravens added a new running back to the mix in Week 7, activating Gus Edwards to the team off the PUP list. Edwards was fantastic in his 2022 season debut, rushing 16 times for 66 yards and two touchdowns. Kenyan Drake saw 11 carries as well, so Edwards will likely split work with him until J.K. Dobbins returns. Edwards is a risky play due to the timeshare, but he is likely the running back you want in the Ravens’ backfield for now.
6. Terry McLaurin Needs Taylor Heinicke
With Carson Wentz out, Taylor Heinicke suited up as the Commanders’ quarterback in Week 7. It took exactly one game as the starter to increase McLaurin’s target share to what we were accustomed to in years past. Per Adam Levitan in the tweet below, McLaurin had a 24% target share in Week 7 with Heinicke at quarterback but had only seen 16% of targets from Wentz this year. It may be somewhat premature, but McLaurin may be in line for an uptick in production with Heinicke under center for at least the next three weeks.
24% target share for Terry McLaurin today. That's in line with the 25% share he got from Taylor Heinicke last season.
McLaurin had only seen 16% of the targets from Carson Wentz this season. https://t.co/gSE7K9N1Lo
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) October 23, 2022
7. The Chiefs’ Running Back Situation Should Be Avoided
Clyde Edwards-Helaire burst onto the scene early in 2022, but in Week 7, Isiah Pacheco got the start. Pacheco finished with eight carries for 43 yards, and CEH finished with six carries for 32 yards and a touchdown. Jerick McKinnon only had two carries for 12 yards, but he has been involved in the offense, so it will be hard to predict which running back will be the best start. Each running back will likely be touchdown-dependent.
8. The Chargers Need Wide Receiver Depth
Keenan Allen suited up for the Chargers for the first time since his injury in Week 1. Per JJ Zachariason, Allen only played 33.3% of the Chargers’ snaps and did not seem fully healthy. The Chargers lost Mike Williams to a sprained ankle, so they are struggling to keep their star receivers on the field. The Chargers desperately need more depth at wide receiver. DeAndre Carter and Joshua Palmer are just not going to get the job done, so the Chargers have been linked to looking for wide receivers via trade. Carter and Palmer will be hard to trust, even in an offense that fantasy managers love having pieces of in their lineup. Luckily for fantasy managers with Allen and Williams, the Chargers have a bye in Week 8, so they will have a week to recover in hopes they can be a full-go in Week 9.
9. The Panthers’ Running Back Situation Shows Promise
The Panthers had a surprising Week 7 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. PJ Walker stepped in at quarterback, and D’onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard stepped in at running back. They both had good fantasy days, but Hubbard was the one who got the start and looked better. He finished with nine carries for 63 yards and a touchdown and caught 2-of-3 targets for 10 yards before leaving with an ankle injury. Foreman had 15 carries for 118 yards and caught 2-of-2 passes for 27 yards. Foreman should be a solid start for those who need it at the running back position if Hubbard misses any time. They both showed promise for the Panthers in the first game in the post-McCaffrey era.
10. Parris Campbell Might Finally Be Happening
Every year it seems to be brought up that Parris Campbell should be on our radars as a potential sleeper, and every year, he suffers an injury or disappoints. The last two weeks have shown that Campbell may finally become fantasy relevant. In Week 6, Campbell caught 7-of-11 targets for 57 yards and a touchdown, and in Week 7, he caught 10-of-12 targets for 70 yards and a touchdown. While Michael Pittman is the unquestioned number one option, Campbell has emerged as the second option and is worth rostering to see what happens.