Ten Things We Learned in Week 7 (Fantasy Football)
An exciting Week 7 has come and gone (with the exception of Monday Night Football), and it was one for the books. The Lions and Falcons matchup was a cardiologist’s nightmare and the battle for Ohio showcased the last two top overall picks in dramatic fashion. Things are starting to settle down in terms of who we can trust week to week, but the injuries are still piling up so it’s important to stay on the ball with a deep bench. Let’s take a look at what we learned in a wild week:
Travis Fulgham Belongs in Our Lineups
Even though it’s hard to believe, it’s easy to see. Travis Fulgham is the WR1 for Carson Wentz and the Eagles. After another double-digit target game, it’s very clear that the Philly signal-caller has a connection with the former Old Dominion standout. He’s been one of the more reliable assets in fantasy in the past three weeks, and he should be in your lineup through these bye weeks unless you play in a smaller league. His ceiling is not as high as you’d want it to be, but between Covid-19 testing, the mounting list of injuries, and bye weeks…. there’s a good chance you will be starting Fulgham more times than not. I don’t think he’s someone you should be dying to trade away unless someone pays a reasonable WR3 price or higher.
Davante Adams is a Baller
Okay, this may not be something I learned…. but I wanted to call it out. Rodgers and Adams are arguably the best duo in the league when things are clicking, and this week, things certainly clicked. Adams exploded for 196 yards and two touchdowns which will launch him to the top of the list for the week and put him back in the top five on the season. Adams was a top fifteen pick for a reason this year, and it’s so much fun to watch when the two of them are in sync. Since Michael Thomas appears to have retired, Adams is the obvious WR1 going forward and should help people win championships in November.
It’s Replacement Running Back Season
This part of the year is when you want to stack up on backup running backs that have value because the lead ball carriers historically start to go down at a much higher rate as the season goes on. This week we saw Jamaal Williams, Boston Scott, and Gio Bernard step up for fantasy managers that paid close attention to the injury report, and I promise you it won’t stop there. Players like Tony Pollard, Alexander Mattison, and even Jeremy McNichols need to be rostered in most twelve-team leagues. Championships are not won in the first seven weeks, they’re won in the final seven. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen lower-seeded teams upset the top dogs in their league playoffs because of guys like this on their bench. Scoop them up if you have space, and make space if you can. This is when the lower tier receivers can be dropped without repercussions, and replacement running backs should be added.
Alvin Kamara = 2020 CMC
It’s not even a hot take to say that Kamara is dominating in a way similar to Christian McCaffrey last season, but it’s worth noting. Through the first six weeks, Kamara has compiled 147 fantasy points in half-PPR scoring, and McCaffrey had 168 through the same time period last year. Obviously that’s a significant gap, but it also just shows you how incredible CMC was last season. Kamara is dominating in a big way for a team missing their top receiver, and he would easily be the top overall pick if we were to draft tomorrow. Do not even think about trading Kamara, and don’t panic too much about Thomas’s return, he will be just fine.
TJ Hockenson is Oddly Reliable (for a Tight End)
Tight end has been a nightmare once again this season unless you roster Kittle, Waller, or Kelce. There have been a few bright spots in random weeks, and a few guys have flown under the radar. TJ Hockenson has not had a massive game as he did in week one of last season, but he’s been oddly reliable for fantasy purposes. He’s scored a touchdown in four of six games so far, and he will finish the week in the top eight at the position in fantasy scoring. He hasn’t done it in a sexy way by any means, but he’s been uniquely consistent at a position that doesn’t have much consistency. If you snagged him in the late rounds you are feeling good about his performance thus far, and you should continue to trot him out in your lineup. Matthew Stafford appears to trust him more and more each week, which is a crucial aspect of tight end production in the NFL. The Lions don’t have a ton of weapons to turn to, so it’s safe to assume Hock will be a reliable TE1 from here on out, albeit one with a low ceiling.
Game script Matters for Derrick Henry More Than Most
Derrick Henry is an absolute monster. That’s my in-depth film analysis.
Even Monsters have weaknesses though. Derrick Henry‘s weakness is a game that the Titans aren’t in control of, which is a scary weakness to have. Every running back is going to be in a better position when his team has the lead, but Henry is one of the rare top fantasy picks that barely get any usage in the passing game. This is the primary reason he struggles more than his workhorse counterparts in the top ten, and it’s not something that we should expect to change. Henry will win you weeks as he did just seven days ago, but he will also cause you some trouble like he did this week. Thankfully he was able to find the end zone to salvage what was turning into a disastrous outing, but come playoff time you may not be that lucky. You can’t do anything about it of course, but you should lower your expectations in games that are projected to be pass-heavy.
The Chase Claypool Redraft Hype Was Overblown (as expected)
But it also might not matter. As I write this, I’m awaiting the update on Diontae Johnson‘s injury that he suffered late in the game. Claypool had an awesome week five explosion, but I was very vocal about being careful in redraft leagues if you were looking to trade for him. Diontae Johnson was a target monster before he went down, and there was a clear chemistry between him and Big Ben. Claypool had some big plays and has a VERY bright future, so I still love him as a long term talent. I’m strictly talking about this year, in redraft formats. Rookie wide receivers are almost always very up and down for obvious reasons, so they shouldn’t be considered every week starters very often. Claypool doesn’t see the volume needed to be an every-week starter, and his status as a rookie puts his big-play potential in doubt when he’s getting the shadow corner treatment. He’s a great fill-in for a flex spot, but when Diontae Johnson is in the lineup…. he’s the man. This week he came back and Ben treated him like the WR1 in the Steel City, and Chase Claypool was barely a factor. Johnson looked like he was hobbled by the end of the game, so we will see. He came back in briefly, but given how his year has gone – it’s not a guarantee he suits up in week eight. If that’s the case, Claypool goes right back to being a WR3 candidate once again. I’m not hating on Claypool and he’s a dynasty darling, but this isn’t the year for him in redraft lineups. You can also guarantee he will be overdrafted next year, just like AJ Brown, Juju Smith-Schuster, and DJ Moore were over the course of the past few seasons. Speaking of DJ…..
DJ Moore is Still Really Good
Robby Anderson has been a thorn in the side of DJ Moore drafters all year. This week he blew up in a huge way thanks in part to a busted coverage by the Saints secondary in the second quarter. Either way, Moore looked like the guy we all drafted him to be so it was a nice reminder of his talent as a player. Anderson still remains the top target for Bridgewater from a volume standpoint, but Moore should get enough work to be helpful for your team in more instances than he’s not. He’s going to be frustrating and if someone is willing to deal a consistent target hog for him this week, it’s worth exploring. I can already tell you that Allen Robinson is someone I will be targeting heavily after he presumptively gets shutdown by Jalen Ramsey on Monday. I’m writing this on Sunday, so if he goes off in your lineup, feel free to send some smack talk my way. But if he doesn’t – I’ll look to deal Moore for Robinson in full PPR leagues.
Cam Newton Appears to be Regressing Quickly
If you had Cam as your fantasy quarterback this week…. yikes. That was an all-time brutal performance for a fantasy QB that was likely started by every person who rosters him. He threw three disgusting interceptions and it’s obvious that without his rushing floor, he’s not reliable in lineups. The Niners are not an easy matchup by any stretch, but their injuries on the defensive line are plentiful, and the Patriots made them look a lot more dominant than they are. In games that don’t project to be high scoring, you should probably find an alternative until we see Cam step up again. His early games were touchdown dependent but his floor was appealing because he was running the ball a lot. He hasn’t used his legs anywhere near as much, which has forced him into passing situations that he hasn’t been sharp in at all. The position is too deep to let him linger in your lineup every week, so if you can pivot to someone like Ryan Tannehill or Justin Herbert, you should consider it.
This isn’t really a new take for me personally, but it’s the first time I put it in writing like this. I’ve always loved the Drake, and he’s salvaged some fantasy wins in recent weeks with late touchdowns…
But he’s not the best back on his team. Chase Edmonds has been more electric, more efficient, and more effective than Drake for most of this season. Last night he came in the game in relief of a potentially injured Drake, and we saw him in a featured role for the first time this season. The result was nearly three times the total yardage on two fewer touches, and a seamless transition that helped the Cardinals pull off a win. The X-Rays were negative on Kenyan Drake‘s knee supposedly, which is awesome news for him. The fallout of that short stint on the bench was Chase Edmonds getting a chance to prove he’s the better back in a big way, and it’s safe to assume Kliff Kingsbury noticed. He is a primary target for me in leagues you don’t already have him on the bench because I think it’s just a matter of days before the changing of the guard happens in Arizona.