The third NFL Sunday is in the books, so let’s take a moment to reflect on the good (Aaron Rodgers), bad (David Johnson), and ugly (Matt Ryan) from a fantasy football point of view. Take note that fantasy scores are listed in terms of half PPR scoring, and you can see the complete player results over at the nifty FantasyPros sortable results page.
Aaron Rodgers (QB – GB): 43.8 FP
We witnessed a vintage Rodgers performance on Sunday, as the Green Bay QB went 25-of-31 for 429 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions. The fact that he did it without his top receiver, Davante Adams, makes this feat even more impressive. As a result, Rodgers turned in the top fantasy score of the week heading into Monday Night Football.
Marvin Jones Jr. (WR – DET): 38.3 FP
Jones was a touchdown magnet on Sunday, hauling in 10-of-13 targets for 94 yards and four scores. Nobody saw this breakout performance coming against a usually viable Minnesota secondary, but the Detroit WR paid massive dividends in this NFC North shootout. Jones finished as the top-scoring receiver in Week 7 by a wide margin, and he was second overall in fantasy points to Rodgers.
Matthew Stafford (QB – DET): 29.6 FP
It was a great day for quarterbacks from the NFC North (except Mitchell Trubisky), as Stafford, Rodgers, and Kirk Cousins all came through with breakout fantasy showings. The Detroit QB found himself slinging the ball all around the field in a shootout with the Vikings, completing 30-of-45 passes for 345 yards and four touchdowns (all of them going to Jones).
Dalvin Cook (RB – MIN): 27.4 FP
There were plenty of stats in this Minnesota-Detroit scorefest, and Cook emerged with another beastly performance of 142 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. He’s a frequent flyer in this section of the “Studs & Duds” article, and turning in an RB3 performance earned him another spot among the fantasy leaders of the week.
Out of Nowhere
Chase Edmonds (RB – ARI): 34.0 FP
David Johnson was active, but he only played three snaps. Chase Edmonds was the featured back for Arizona in a well-aligned draw against the Giants, and he definitely made the most of that opportunity. Edmonds took 27 carries for 126 yards and two touchdowns while adding two catches for 24 yards as well. That earned him 34 total fantasy points, which was the highest among every running back in Week 7. We’ll need to monitor the health of Johnson moving forward, but it appears that Edmonds has earned himself a role in the offense.
Latavius Murray (RB – NO): 29.5 FP
This isn’t necessarily “out of nowhere,” as Murray was expected to be the Saints’ featured back with Alvin Kamara ruled out. Still, his 27-119-2 and 5-31 lines beat even the loftiest of projections. That marks two straight games where the usually stout Chicago defense was exposed on the ground, which will be something to monitor as we move into the second half of the season.
Darren Waller (TE – OAK): 28.1 FP
The marquee tight ends of the week featured Travis Kelce, Evan Engram, George Kittle, and Austin Hooper. While all of those guys failed to meet expectations, Darren Waller emerged with the seventh-best fantasy performance of the week, regardless of position. The Raiders were trailing throughout most of this contest (due to Rodgers’ amazing display), and Waller stepped up with 7-126-2 due to that game flow. He’s a sure-fire TE1 every time he takes the field.
Zach Pascal (WR – IND): 25.6 FP
Most people expected a strong showing from Indianapolis WR T.Y. Hilton against a vulnerable Houston secondary. While Hilton held his own (6-74-1), it was Pascal who came through with the Colts’ top receiving line. The second-year pro hauled in six-of-seven targets for 106 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, and both of his scores came inside the 15-yard line. He’s a speculative add moving forward, but we’ll need to see more consistency in order to trust him in any fantasy format.
Matt Ryan (QB – ATL) & Patrick Mahomes (QB – KC): 3.6 FP & 7.0 FP
Not all “duds” are created equal, and both of these quarterbacks succumbed to injury-shortened outings in Week 7. Either way, fantasy backers were left disappointed, especially considering the high expectations for both Ryan and Mahomes. Ryan was struggling before exiting the game with an ankle injury, going just 16-of-27 with 159 yards and an interception. He is considered questionable moving forward. On the other hand, Mahomes was cruising while completing 10-of-11 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown before a dislocated kneecap ended his night. The 2018 MVP is expected to miss several weeks.
David Johnson (RB – ARI): 0.2 FP
This is probably the most frustrating “dud” of the week. Johnson was listed as active heading into a juicy matchup against the Giants, but he only played three total snaps. The fact that backup RB Chase Edmonds (mentioned earlier) scored 34 fantasy points surely caused a blood pressure spike in DJ’s shareholders. This is turning into a messy situation with Johnson dealing with lingering injuries and a coaching staff that doesn’t seem keen on disclosing the best information in that regard.
David Montgomery (RB – CHI): 0.9 FP
It was not a good week for running backs named David. The Bears fell behind against the Saints, and Montgomery didn’t see many snaps within that negative game flow. It didn’t help that the rookie lost a fumble while rushing for six yards on two carries. The good news is that he has a date with the Chargers next week, as Los Angeles has been extremely generous to opposing running backs lately.
Larry Fitzgerald (WR – ARI): 1.7 FP
Arizona found themselves with a lead early in the game, as Edmonds ran for a pair of quick scores. The Cardinals proceeded to feed their 5’9″ running back 27 times in an effort to preserve their advantage. The passing attack of Kyler Murray, Larry Fitzgerald, and the other receiving options suffered as a result. There will be better days ahead for this group.