Sunday Fantasy Football Fallout: Week 7 (2019)
Welcome to the first installation of Sunday Fantasy Fallout! Each Sunday, I’ll be following the Sunday afternoon slate of games to offer you some quick fantasy feedback on important storylines — and to show you this week’s best touchdown celebration. Injuries rocked the league this week, and I hope that your lineup didn’t take any hits. Let’s take a look at what went down in an exciting Week 7!
Adam Thielen (WR – MIN) injured his hamstring.
Story: The Vikings’ star receiver left the game against the Lions after scoring a 25-yard touchdown in the first quarter. It was his only reception of the game, so he finished Week 7 with a 1-25-1 stat line for his fantasy owners. Hamstring injuries, while usually not season-ending, can drag on for weeks at a time. Worse, they have a high re-injury rate. A 2011 study showed that hamstring injuries cause players to miss an average of 2.6 games, so Thielen owners should have a backup plan ready, especially since the Vikings play the Redskins on Thursday night. That said, Thielen expressed optimism that he’ll be ready for the game. If he does, I hope he wears these fantastic cleats again:
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) October 20, 2019
Fallout: Without Thielen’s 25-yard score, quarterback Kirk Cousins still looked good, as he threw for 312 yards and three scores. Stefon Diggs caught seven passes for 142 yards, no scores, and a fumble on eight targets. Olabisi Johnson came in for Thielen and also saw eight targets, which he turned into 40 yards and a touchdown. Tight ends Irv Smith Jr., and Kyle Rudolph both saw six looks, and they both turned them into five receptions and a score. Smith got 60 yards, while Rudolph got 58. And Dalvin Cook still got 25 carries despite the Vikings’ active passing game, gaining 142 yards on the ground and two scores. The Vikings’ offense should keep on humming with or without Thielen, so Olabisi Johnson could be a smart waiver add.
Will Fuller (WR – HOU) also injured his hamstring.
Story: Fuller left Sunday’s game against the Colts in the first quarter with an injured hamstring. At the time of the injury, he had just one reception for six yards. Like Thielen owners, Fuller owners should get ready to replace him for the next couple of weeks.
Fallout: Without Fuller, Texans wideouts Keke Coutee and Kenny Stills will see an increase in value. Both Coutee and Stills earned five targets each, but Stills turned his handful of targets into considerably more yards — 105 to Coutee’s 25. Stills is probably the better option of the two, as he had been producing WR4/5 numbers on his 3.5 targets per game before his Week 4 injury. Unfortunately, Fuller’s injury limits Deshaun Watson’s deep-play upside. But if you’re a DeAndre Hopkins owner, the star wideout should have some extra value without Fuller around, as he caught nine passes for a score and 106 yards.
Matt Ryan (QB – ATL) left the game with a limp.
Story: Ryan got sacked five times on Sunday. After the final one, he had to leave the field. Matt Schaub (he’s still in the league?) subbed in and tossed a touchdown to tight end Austin Hooper. Ryan is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday, but the Falcons don’t believe his injury to be that serious.
Fallout: Ryan had been a great fantasy quarterback until this week. The Rams held Atlanta to just a field goal until Schaub’s garbage-time score, but I bet Ryan will rebound in his next start. That said, we’ll need to wait for Monday to see if he’ll be back on the field next week. The Falcons have a Week 9 bye, so it would make sense for them to rest their star quarterback now that their season is effectively over. But since Dan Quinn might be on the hot seat, he could bring Ryan back regardless. So if Ryan is your QB1, I’d add his bye-week replacement to your roster a week early, just in case he has to miss next week against Seattle.
Chase Edmonds (RB – ARI) looked like a star.
Story: David Johnson’s banged-up ankle didn’t hold him out of Sunday’s game against the Giants, but head coach Kliff Kingsbury limited him to just one carry. Edmonds used the opportunity to gash New York for 150 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. He did so on only 29 touches, giving him an average of 5.17 yards per touch.
Fallout: If you own both Johnson and Edmonds, congratulations! The tandem could produce numbers similar to what Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler put up last season once Johnson is healthy. Until then, Kingsbury clearly trusts Edmonds, which will allow him to rest Johnson until he’s completely healthy. While Edmonds hasn’t replicated Johnson’s passing-game production yet, Kyler Murray should continue to put up steady numbers regardless of which one Kingsbury starts.
Gerald Everett (TE – LAR) led the Rams in targets.
Story: Everett finished with just four receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown, but he could’ve had a bigger day — Goff targeted him 10 times. Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks both got seven targets, while Goff’s security blanket Cooper Kupp got eight.
Fallout: Jared Goff’s three-headed monster has sprouted another head. Everett blew up Week 5 against the Seahawks, and while he disappointed in Week 6 against the 49ers, the tight proved that he’s a vital part of the Rams’ passing attack this week. Going into the half, Everett only had one catch on seven targets. But he’s proved that he has Goff’s trust, as the quarterback continued to target him in the second half. The tight end’s emergence caps the upside of the receiver trio, but it should give Goff some solid floor when he’s not under heavy pressure.
Austin Ekeler (RB – LAC) outgained Melvin Gordon (RB – LAC) by 96 yards.
Story: Ekeler played some impressive football on Sunday. He earned 125 yards on 12 touches, while Gordon only managed 29 yards on 18. Gordon also fumbled twice and cost the Chargers a chance to win.
Fallout: If you drafted Ekeler, you knew you were going to have a flex play once Gordon came back. But I don’t think anyone expected Ekeler to out-play Gordon as much as he has done so far. Neither back was effective on the ground, and things won’t get much better behind an offensive line that’s now missing guard Forrest Lamp. The Titans continued to stuff the run against the tandem, as Tennessee gives up just 19.3 Half-PPR points per game to running backs. But Ekeler was a star through the air, as he turned his eight targets into 118 yards and a touchdown. Things won’t get much easier against the Bears next week, but Week 9’s matchup with the Packers should be a get right matchup for Gordon. That said, you have to be concerned with how Gordon has played since he ended his holdout.
The Detriot Lions’ defense is beaten up. Bad.
Story: The Lions were already giving up the third-worst 26.7 Half-PPR points per game to running backs after Week 6, but things won’t be getting better anytime soon. Defensive linemen Mike Daniels and Da’Shawn Hand were both already hurt, but now so is Damon “Snacks” Harrison. After he suffered a groin injury, Snacks walked to the tunnel but had to be carted to the locker room. Cornerback Darius Slay also left Sunday’s game after re-injuring his hamstring.
Fallout: The Lions are a defense to target. The Lions draw the Giants in Week 8, so I’d get ready to fire up players like Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, and a revenge-game Golden Tate. The Lions get Jon Gruden and the Raiders after that, so look for big games from Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller, and Tyrell Williams, if he plays. There’s only so much Matt Patricia can do to compensate for his injured defense. The other upshot is that the Lions’ offensive starters will have to play well to keep up in games, so look for Matthew Stafford, Kenny Golladay, and Marvin Jones to produce some big numbers moving forward. I’d mention Kerryon Johnson, but…
Kerryon Johnson (RB – DET) injured his knee.
Story: Johnson went to the locker room and returned to the sideline with a brace (and a limp). His Week 8 availability is questionable at best, so owners should start planning ahead for his absence.
Fallout: The other Johnson, Ty Johnson, replaced Kerryon along with J.D. McKissic. Ty saw the bulk of the workload with 10 carries for 29 yards, but McKissic still had five carries for the same amount of yards. Interestingly, Johnson was more involved in the passing game than McKissic. Ty caught four balls for 28 yards to McKissic’s two for 31. The Lions were playing from behind for most of the second half, so the running backs might get more usage in their next two games against the Giants and the Raiders.
Alex Erickson (WR – CIN) led the Bengals in receiving.
Story: Uh, what happened to Auden Tate and Tyler Boyd? Erickson caught eight passes for 137 yards, and he was the only Bengals receiver to even catch a pass in the first half against the Jaguars. He had six receptions for 110 yards by halftime.
Fallout: As A.J. Green’s injury is expected to keep dragging on until at least after the trade deadline, Andy Dalton will have to keep making do with his weird cast of wideouts. Both Erickson and Tyler Boyd saw a whopping 14 targets, but Erickson’s 8-137 stat line is far more impressive than Boyd’s 5-55. Meanwhile, former waiver-wire darling Auden Tate got only six looks, and he caught just half of them for 65 yards. I’d keep avoiding Zac Taylor’s 0-7 Bengals, but Erickson might be worth a waiver add as a one-week substitute for a player on bye next week. The Bengals have a Week 9, though, which caps some of Erickson’s utility.
Frank Gore (RB – BUF) retained the lead-back duties even with Devin Singletary (RB – BUF) in the backfield.
Story: Gore had 11 carries to Singletary’s seven. The 36-year-old was more efficient than the rookie, too, as Gore turned his carries into 55 yards for five yards per carry, while Singletary earned 26 for just 3.7. Gore also added one reception for 11 yards.
Fallout: The Bills were honestly disappointing this Sunday, as Ryan Fitzpatrick’s Dolphins had them in the first half (not gonna lie). But Josh Allen’s team stormed back in the second half, and Micah Hyde even took Miami’s last-ditch onside kick back for a touchdown. But neither Gore nor Singletary put up touchdowns, and it seems like they’ll both return to the same roles that they had before Singletary got hurt in Week 2. Gore is a reliable floor option with 10+ carries per week, and Singletary will definitely have better games when the Bills aren’t dominated in time of possession. That said, don’t start either Gore or Singletary next week against the run-stuffing Eagles.
Touchdown Celebration of the Week
I came into today thinking the Ravens might have to win a shootout in one of the toughest road venues in the NFL. Instead, they pulled out a vintage performance with two defensive touchdowns for one of the bigger road victories in recent years. pic.twitter.com/UJyarsCJZy
– Tyler Greever (@WIBWTyler) October 20, 2019