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20 Interesting Facts for Week 7 (2020 Fantasy Football)

by James Bisson | Featured Writer
Oct 23, 2020

As Houston’s offense improves, so, too, does David Johnson’s fantasy potential.

Need a break from a narrow fantasy loss, a one-sided rout or all those injuries piling up on a weekly basis? This is the place for you!

Here are 20 of the most interesting facts from around the fantasy football world entering Week 7:

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1. We now have six games on which to judge No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow, who has had an up-and-down rookie season in Cincinnati. Here’s how he measures up from a passing standpoint with the seven other quarterbacks taken first overall since 2010 through their first six NFL starts:

NAME YEAR TEAM COMP % YDS TD INT
Sam Bradford 2010 STL 56.8 1,357 7 8
Cam Newton 2011 CAR 58.5 1,847 7 9
Andrew Luck 2012 IND 53.6 1,674 7 7
Jameis Winston 2015 TB 59.1 1,471 9 7
Jared Goff 2016 LAR 53.5 969 5 7
Baker Mayfield 2018 CLE 58.3 1,471 8 6
Kyler Murray 2019 ARI 64.3 1,664 7 4
Joe Burrow 2020 CIN 62.5 1,617 6 4

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Two observations: Burrow has fared decently compared to last decade’s No. 1 picks at QB, with the second-highest completion rate and the fewest interceptions; and none of these guys came close to returning consistent QB1 value over the majority of their rookie seasons.

2. So that was quite a run by Daniel Jones in the New York Giants’ Thursday night loss to Philadelphia – both in terms of the length (80 yards, to be exact) and in the fact that he stumbled without being touched and nothing but end zone in front of him. For perspective, here are the longest QB runs in the past 25 years:

1. Terrelle Pryor, Oakland (93 yards, 2013)
2. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco (90 yards, 2014)
3. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee (87 yards, 2015)
T4. Kordell Stewart, Pittsburgh (80 yards, 1996)
T4. Daniel Jones, N.Y. Giants (80 yards, 2020)

It’s a great reminder that, while Jones is going through plenty of struggles as a passer, his rushing ability remains one of the most undervalued skills of any notable player in fantasy football – and raises his floor higher than other options in his weekly tier.

3. On the topic of great rushing quarterbacks, Kyler Murray continues to add to his impressive 2020 fantasy football resume, throwing for a pair of touchdowns while adding 74 rushing yards and a score in Arizona’s 38-10 win over Dallas in Week 6. Murray is up to 370 rushing yards, the seventh-most among any QB through his first six games of a season. Murray’s six rushing TDs are tied for the third-most by a quarterback over that span.

4. On the flip side, much has been made about Philip Rivers‘ rushing touchdown drought, which stretches back all the way to the 2011 season. But Rivers doesn’t just avoid the end zone – he’s not really a fan of crossing the line of scrimmage. Here are the active QB leaders in zero-yard rushing performances:

Philip Rivers, Indianapolis (81)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (78)
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay (68)
Joe Flacco, N.Y. Jets (39)
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (34)

In an era where rushing yards from quarterbacks are such a great point source, it’s no surprise that none of the five guys listed above are regularly ranked among the top-five fantasy options at the position on a weekly basis.

5. Michael Florio of NFL.com Fantasy has this great note that highlights the consistency of Gardner Minshew:

Granted, you’d probably prefer to see that range a little higher – but if you’re looking for a back-end QB streamer that is likely going to be available most weeks, you could do worse than Minshew, who combines strong rushing totals with the ability to occasionally go off through the air. He’s basically Ryan Fitzpatrick with a starting job.

6. So maybe it isn’t as simple for Minnesota as plugging Alexander Mattison in for Dalvin Cook and calling it a day. Here’s a look at the two players’ advanced stats on the season:

NAME BT BT% POS% YAC YAC/A YAC%
Dalvin Cook 22 23.9 91.3 250 2.7 51.1
Alexander Mattison 8 14.8 81.5 143 2.6 58.4

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**BT: Broken Tackles; BT%: Broken Tackle Rate; POS%: Positive Run Rate; YAC: Yards After Contact; YAC/A: Yards After Contact Per Attempt; YAC%: Percentage of Total Yards Gained After Contact

Cook shares the NFL lead in broken tackles despite having missed last week’s game against the Atlanta Falcons, while his positive run rate is the highest of any qualified running back. And while he hasn’t been as involved in the passing game as fantasy managers would have liked, he is a candidate for the overall RB1 when healthy.

7. On the flip side: Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram, who is not only trapped in a hellish backfield rotation, but has performed less-than-optimally when pressed into action. Ingram has broken exactly one tackle on his 50 rush attempts, while gaining just 1.5 yards after contact (34.2 percent of his total yardage). Ingram appears to be fading into fantasy irrelevance, which should at least boost the value of other Ravens RBs.

8. So Jordan Howard is reportedly on the trade block – which is a minor shame, since he’s presently on pace to join a rather exclusive NFL club (and will likely spoil that if he winds up somewhere else). With 14 yards and three rushing scores on 18 carries, Howard is one of only two players in the Super Bowl era with 3+ rushing TDs and a yards-per-attempt average below 1.0, joining Reggie Evans (16 ATT, 11 YDS, 4 TDs in 1983) in history.

9. He hasn’t been converting at a rate his managers would like, but Houston RB David Johnson is seeing plenty of red zone work as the Texans’ offense comes to life following a slow start to the season. Johnson has seen the most carries inside the 5-yard line (seven) over the past two weeks; his 11 attempts inside the 20 over that span represent 84.6 percent of the Texans’ red-zone attempts. Johnson should see some positive TD regression.

10. Jacob Gibbs is back, and he has bad news for Josh Jacobs managers:

Coupled with the fact, as Jacob points out in his next tweet, that the Raiders’ entire offensive line has been unable to practice due to COVID-19 concerns, and if this game gets played, Jacobs could be in for a rough ride. You’re playing him if you have him, but keep your expectations as low as possible.

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11. Joe Mixon‘s absence from Cincinnati’s Week 7 showdown with the Cleveland Browns puts Giovani Bernard squarely on the streaming and daily fantasy radar – and he could be a sneaky play in both full-season and DFS formats. Bernard has a 4.65 YPC average on 85 career carries vs. the Browns while adding 30 receptions for 280 yards on 38 targets. He won’t win you the week, but Bernard should be in the RB2 conversation.

12. It might not feel like it given his slow start to the 2020 season, but Keenan Allen is right in line with his fantasy production over the previous two seasons – especially when it comes to PPR scoring:

YEAR STD PPG 1/2 PPR PPG PPR PPG
2018 10.2 13.2 16.3
2019 9.8 13.1 16.3
2020 9.5 12.9 16.3

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There’s something to be said for consistency at the wide receiver position – and managers are getting exactly what they bargained for with Allen so far. He might not have the sky-high ceiling of seasons past, but as the No. 1 option in an offense led by a rookie sensation in Justin Herbert, he’ll have his share of productive weeks moving forward.

13. There’s more reason for optimism with Allen: He’s one of only two players league-wide with both a 30+ percent share of his team’s total air yards and a 30+ percent of his team’s targets (Arizona Cardinals standout DeAndre Hopkins is the other). And the numbers are even higher with Herbert under center (34.4 AY%, 37.1 TGT%), which portends well for Allen’s rest-of-season prognosis. If he’s on the block, trade for him.

14. Damiere Byrd has been a somewhat popular desperation waiver wire addition in recent weeks, but managers have to be frustrated at his lack of high-leverage opportunities. Byrd has the dubious distinction of having the most receptions (17) and targets (26) of any player without a single catch in the red zone. And with the Patriots doing a whole lot of running when they get close to the end zone, Byrd is a virtual afterthought.

15. Ian Hartitz with one more reason to target the Seattle secondary in fantasy:

Next up for the sad-sack Seahawks pass defense: a date with a Cardinals team coming off a thorough beating of the Dallas Cowboys. Kyler Murray didn’t have to air it out in Big D, but he’ll be happy to make up for it this week – and he and Hopkins should be the most popular daily fantasy stack in slates that include the Sunday night game.

16. Oh, how the talented have fallen. Once regarded as a locked-in WR2 in fantasy circles (with frequent WR1 upside), Detroit Lions veteran Marvin Jones Jr. has become a fantasy non-factor, having seen just 10 total targets over his previous three games. Jones has targeted more than six times just once in 2020, and with Kenny Golladay as the no-doubt No. 1 and T.J. Hockenson emerging in Year 2, Jones’s value isn’t likely to rebound.’

17. With all those tight ends the Bears brought in over the offseason, you had to know that one of them would step up and become a sleeper option at the position (okay, maybe you didn’t have to know, but it certainly made sense). But not many among us could have predicted that Jimmy Graham would share the league lead in red-zone targets through Week 6 (10). He’s clearly a big part of the red-zone game plan, and that alone makes him TE1-worthy.

18. On the flip side: Jets tight end Chris Herndon, who was trumpeted in some circles as an intriguing late dart throw. Not only did he not hit the bull’s-eye, he missed the board entirely. Since seeing seven targets in Week 1, Herndon has been thrown to just 15 times over the past five games with one red-zone target in 2020 (and had zero targets last time out despite playing 63 percent of the snaps). He’s far from being fantasy-relevant.

19. This is one of the reasons why you trust Chiefs superstar Travis Kelce as a tight end that racks up borderline WR1 stats year after year (TE rankings in parentheses):

YEAR AY% TGT% YAC
2018 26.2 (1) 26.5 (1) 590 (2)
2019 25.8 (2) 24.3 (1) 464 (2)
2020 24.4 (2) 24.2 (2) 218 (1)

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It’s a Gronk-in-his-prime-level consistency that you won’t find in any other tight end in the league – not even George Kittle, who has been asked to block on 26.7 percent of his snaps over the past two weeks with just eight targets in that span.

20. Let’s wrap things up with an interesting factoid from Heath Cummings:

One more reason to love Claypool moving forward – and his emergence could mean less work for Diontae Johnson, even when Johnson returns to full health.

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