Fantasy Football Film Study: Week 7 Waiver Wire
Editor’s Note: Check out previous Film Studies including Is Julio Jones a Poor Red-Zone WR?, Robby Anderson’s breakout, and Keke Coutee’s debut.
We’re turning the page towards Week 7 and there were a number of eye-popping fantasy performances that we need to take notice of especially heading into placing waiver wire bids. Instead of just looking at the box scores, we had some of our Footballers Writing Staff do the watching for you. We took a look at a couple of Week’s 6 standouts: Tyrell Williams, Cole Beasley, and Peyton Barber.
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Tyrell Williams- WR, Los Angeles Chargers
I’ve always had a soft spot for Tyrell Williams since writing a player profile article “Who is Tyrell Williams?” almost 2 years ago. He’s always been able to showcase some major boom games but often it was when Keenan Allen was out with an injury. His catch radius and natural “gliding” running style make him look effortless sometimes. Much has been made that Philip Rivers, after the game, shared how Williams scored on both his TDs on the same exact play. Let’s dive into the tape and see what actually occurred on that play and how Williams was able to snag 2 TDs against the Browns.
What’s more amazing is that the play BEFORE Williams gets his 1st TD was a 44-yard bomb from Rivers where Williams comes from across the right side of the field on a deep post. Rivers hit him perfectly in stride from their own 11-yard line. The very next play, they immediately go back to Williams on this long one. Notice he is the only WR lined up on the play.
You mostly have to chalk this up to above average ball tracking ability and Rivers’ willingness to put his WR in a position to make a play. The one of the triple coverage variety could easily have been picked as Rivers is known to force the ball. However, I applaud OC Ken Whisenhunt going for the kill as the Browns obviously weren’t ready for back-to-back bombs to the same player. The second TD is a beautifully thrown ball by Rivers while Williams uses his 6’4 frame to basically remove rookie Denzel Ward from being able to make any play on the ball. Ward had no safety help over the top and Rivers made the right read seeing as there was no Cleveland player in the middle of the field.
Before this week, Williams’ aDOT (average depth of target) was 12.1 yards and a pedestrian 217 Air Yards (barely top 75 among WRs). While you can’t always count on 2 TDs, especially of the long-bomb variety, if he’s going to be utilized in this variety, consider him a tempting FLEX play only in games with high over/under Vegas totals. You’re still rolling the dice but this is an offense that will score and you want a piece of the offensive pie. –Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg)
Cole Beasley- WR, Dallas Cowboys
Look, we know what Beasley is all about. He’s had moments of fantasy relevancy over the years but never been a world burner. That being said, he did just post a nine-catch, 101-yard, two-score day on 11 targets against the formidable Jaguars defense. People may be running to add Beasley, but I would recommend against it. Beasley’s 11 targets were good for a 40.7% market share, something that isn’t likely to occur again. This game was less about Beasley playing well and more about the Jaguars defense playing poorly.
Several times Beasley was left wide open in the middle of the field. On his first touchdown, Beasley caught the ball at the 10-yard line and there was no one within 10 yards any direction. Then on the second touchdown, he was left unattended once again. There were many miscommunications between the Jaguars defenders on Sunday. Beasley is fine in a limited slot role, but he will not be a reliable fantasy start considering the Cowboys’ and Dak’s struggles. Let someone else spend FAAB on him. -Kent Weyrauch (@kentweyrauch)
Peyton Barber- RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Barber finished the day with 106 scrimmage yards including 84 on the ground and a 5-yard uncovered TD catch with under 4 minutes to go as the Bucs made a comeback attempt. He was the clear lead back seeing 17 touches to Ronald Jones’ 4 and outsnapping him 62% to 18%. What showed up on tape?
Barber was given the opportunity to run downhill on multiple occasions despite the fact Jameis Winston and the Bucs were in catch-up mode the entire game. There was a concerted effort not just to mix in Barber but give him meaningful carries. Here’s one of his biggest runs of the day that got the Bucs out of deep in their own territory.
Barber, mostly known as a power back, is given an outside toss and makes two legitimate cuts to weave through traffic and cutback for a huge 25-yard gain. There’s no getting around the fact this is solid NFL work, albeit against a Falcons defense without LB Deion Jones and safeties Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal. 13 carries isn’t a giant workload and if the game script dictated that the Bucs were ahead, he could be a clock killer.
Let’s not get too carried away though. 9 of Barbers’ 13 carries went for 4 yards or less including 6 for less than 1 yard. This Buccaneers offensive line came into the week ranked 31st in offensive adjusted line yards (2.98) per Football Outsiders and the Falcons were 30th in defensive adjusted line yards (5.08). This was an exploitable matchup and we knew someone in the Tampa Bay backfield was going to get some usage in a high scoring affair. Barber is definitely worth a look as a starting RB in the NFL but is merely a bench add. He’s the preferred option over Jones although realize he hadn’t crossed 40 yards from scrimmage since Week 1. –Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg)