7 Interesting Tidbits for Week 7 (2019 Fantasy Football)
Week 6: the week of phantom calls and teams not showing up. Week 7: the week where we talk about Week 6 for far too long. Instead of talking about the same things that everyone is already saying on any NFL-related medium, let’s escape reality into the wonderful world of fantasy football.
We have four more teams on bye this week, with the Browns, Buccaneers, Steelers and Panthers all off. This means that experts like myself are forced to rank someone besides Christian McCaffrey as the RB1 for the week. Secretly, I’m still holding out hope he gets traded somewhere so I don’t need to go a week without “Run CMC” in my lineup.
Anyways, these four teams have quite a bit of fantasy relevance, which can mess up your lineup construction on your fantasy team and could lead to some gross looking daily lineups. To help give you a bit more clarity on this week, I have seven interesting tidbits below that could be useful in projecting value for Week 7. These can be useful for both season-long or daily fantasy football, and all ranks that are given will take half PPR scoring into account.
Patrick Mahomes has played worse than his average during night games and against the Denver Broncos in his career.
The reigning MVP is having a great year by all accounts, but he has been slowed the past few games for a couple of reasons. First, his offensive line is struggling, which has allowed him to get banged up. Second, and most important, is that teams have been able to run the football and control the clock against the Chiefs, limiting the number of opportunities that Mahomes and his offense have gotten on the field, meaning he has to take advantage of every opportunity he gets.
His matchup on Thursday Night Football doesn’t seem like it will be an MVP-like performance, at least to Mahomes’ standards. To start, Mahomes has struggled in all seven of his night games. In those games, he has gone 2-5 and thrown 3.5 touchdowns for every interception. That touchdown to interception ratio is good for most players, but considering Mahomes has thrown 5.38 touchdowns for every interception in all other games, it’s less impressive.
Mahomes has also seen his performance dip in his three games against Denver. In those three matchups, he has thrown just five touchdowns to two interceptions and averaged 297 passing yards. So while Mahomes is still a must-start in season-long leagues, lower your expectations. It also may be wise to avoid him in daily fantasy.
History tells us that T.Y. Hilton is going to have a big game against the Houston Texans.
Despite playing a bit banged up, T.Y. Hilton is averaging 14.8 fantasy points per game, which is the tenth-most among WRs. He hasn’t slowed down without Andrew Luck at all, being more than valuable for fantasy owners this season. However, this week he could step up his game even more in a divisional battle with the Houston Texans.
It’s pretty clear that Hilton gets up for games against Houston. In his 14 outings against the Texans, Hilton has averaged 103.2 yards and has scored nine touchdowns. Against the other 30 NFL teams, Hilton has averaged only 70.2 yards and scored 33 touchdowns in 98 games.
To put his performance against Houston in fantasy terms, he has averaged 16.9 points in half PPR scoring. To make this matchup even juicier, the Texans will be without Bradley Roby, their top-graded cornerback, due to injury.
The Arizona Cardinals are still terrible against TEs, opening up a golden opportunity for Evan Engram, if he is active.
It has been six weeks and the Cardinals still have not figured out how to stop the opposing TE, so we’ll just continue to exploit this matchup this week, even if reports say Evan Engram is limited. Arizona has given up 17.0 fantasy points to opposing TEs, which is by far the most in the league (Tampa is a distant second at 11.3).
Engram missed last week’s matchup with the Patriots, but he returned to practice on Monday. Even with the missed game, he leads the Giants in catches (33) and receiving yards (373). Engram also still ranks as TE4, despite everyone else in the top six playing an extra game. If he is active in any capacity this week, he is a must-start.
The time has come — Marcus Mariota has been benched. To add insult to injury, he is being benched in favor of Ryan Tannehill, who is mediocrity personified. Does this suddenly make the Titans contenders? Of course not. However, it could benefit wide receiver Corey Davis, if what we saw Sunday is any indication of what is to come.
Tannehill replaced Mariota with five minutes left of the third quarter. At this point, Davis had just one target, which has essentially been the norm for him in this disappointing season. But once Tannehill came in, Davis led the team with four targets. I understand this isn’t exactly the huge payoff you may have been hoping for, but hey, it’s something positive about Corey Davis!
Davis has been WR61 so far this season, totaling just 16 catches on 27 targets. This means that nearly 15 percent of his season targets came during the four drives from Tannehill on Sunday, which could be a positive sign for things to come…maybe? Either way, the QB switch does not mean things will be worse for Davis, and if he is floating out there on waivers, he could be worth a speculative add. We know the talent is there.
Tom Brady plays his best in night games, and he faces the New York Jets on Monday Night Football this week.
On Monday Night Football this week, the New England Patriots will travel to take on the New York Jets. The matchup itself would be a good one for Tom Brady, after passing for 306 yards and two touchdowns against the Jets earlier in the season, but the fact that it is in prime time benefits the veteran further.
In his 68 career night games, Brady has averaged 281.9 passing yards, 1.97 passing touchdowns, and just 0.65 interceptions. During his career excluding night games, Brady has averaged 256.5 passing yards, or 25.4 fewer. While that does not seem like much, we are talking about a very large sample size (275 games) and any trend like this is worth noting.
Leonard Fournette is in for an elite week against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Leonard Fournette is certainly heating up, ranking as the RB4 over the past three games. This week, Fournette gets as good of a matchup as he could hope for against the Cincinnati Bengals. In fact, it may be even better than at first glance, making Fournette one of the top plays, if not the best, this week.
The Bengals have given up the most yards per rush in the league at 5.3 yards. This is terrible, and they have not gotten any better, giving up 5.7 yards over their past three games. Worse, two of those games were against Arizona and Pittsburgh, who are two teams that have struggled to run the football. This has translated into them giving up 28.8 fantasy points to RBs, which is also a league-worst.
The game flow also favors the Jaguars, with them being favored by three points currently. This means that they are likely to be playing with a lead and can lean on the running game, controlling the clock and not allowing Cincinnati’s big-play receivers back on the field.
The Rams offense is in a bounce-back spot against the Atlanta Falcons, so do not be afraid to start your studs.
I know, I know. The Rams have been bad, I get it. I also understand that the struggles offensively begin and end with Jared Goff, who has been unable to get anything going under pressure this season. Under no pressure, Goff has completed 74.8 percent of his passes this season. This completion percentage drops to an atrocious 43.4 percent when he is under pressure.
Luckily for Goff and the Rams, the Falcons have been unable to get pressure. They have a league-worst 2.54 sack percentage and 0.8 sacks per game. This has only gotten worse, with the team failing to get a sack during the last three games. This explains why they have been so bad against the pass, allowing the second-most fantasy points to QBs this season (24.9) and a 0.71 catch percentage.
Obviously, Goff making accurate throws will benefit all of his receivers, but it may benefit Brandin Cooks most this week. Being the deep threat, Cooks has struggled in recent weeks with Goff under pressure. If he is given the time to let plays develop, Goff could be passing deep to Cooks in the dome this week.
Zach Brunner is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Zach, follow him @fantasyflurry.