Fantasy Football Weekly Recap: Week 7
We saw lots of points in Week 7. Some came from the usual suspects (Davante Adams, Calvin Ridley), while others did not (Harrison Bryant, Marquez Callaway). So what should you make of these performances? For as long as we’ve got a season, I’ll be here on Sundays to give you some instant stat-based insight into NFL offenses. I try to focus on the numbers, but I’ll also break down some of the significant injuries of the day as well.
Story #1: Davante Adams caught 13 passes for 196 yards and two scores.
Wow — Adams almost hit 200 yards against the Houston Texans. He caught 13 of his 16 targets from Aaron Rodgers, good for an exceptional 81.3% catch rate, and he averaged 15.1 yards per catch. A 45-yard touchdown marked his best play of the day:
— NFL (@NFL) October 25, 2020
The Packers caught a lot of flak in the offseason for not bringing in more help for Rodgers, but when Adams gets this hot, you don’t really need anyone else to target, do you?
We all already knew that Adams was an elite WR1, but his strong showing this week demonstrates just how high his ceiling is. He has a pair of easy matchups in his next three games, as he’ll play the Vikings and the Jaguars, and he could come close to these numbers in those games. Aaron Jones’ impending return may cap his upside, however.
Story #2: Baker Mayfield and Joe Burrow combined for nine touchdowns.
The Browns and Bengals game was an electrifying affair — we saw back-and-forth scoring up until the end of the game, and that included 34 fourth-quarter points. With 11 seconds left, Mayfield tossed the game-winner to rookie sixth-rounder Donovan Peoples-Jones. It was his third-career catch:
THE ROOKIE DONOVAN PEOPLES-JONES GAME WINNER🔥
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 25, 2020
While the Browns are a run-first team, they looked exceptional through the air; Mayfield completed 78.6% of his passes. On the other side, Burrow looked good, too, as he completed a solid 74.4% of his throws.
Mayfield doesn’t get enough volume in most games to post these numbers again. The Browns attempt just 30.1 passes per game, and you’re not going to get QB1 (or high-end QB2) numbers with that workload.
In contrast, Burrow continues to look like a volume-based, low-end QB1. The Bengals are attempting 41.9 passes per game, which ranks as one of the best in the league, and his numbers give you a decent floor at the position. That’s especially true now that A.J. Green has turned things around; heading into Week 7, Green was the target on 26.8% of Burrow’s incompletions.
Story #3-6: Injuries.
Football is a violent game, and unfortunately, that means we’ll lose players to injury each week. It’s too early to know much about length, but we’ve got a spectrum of severity with these injuries. Odell Beckham may have suffered a season-ender, while it seems like Andy Dalton, Breshad Perriman, and Diontae Johnson all suffered less serious injuries.
#3: Beckham went down with a knee injury when trying to make a tackle after a Baker Mayfield interception. He went directly to the locker room, and Ian Rapoport reported that it’s suspected to be a major knee injury. We’ll know more after he undergoes an MRI, but Beckham managers should start to weigh their options now.
#Browns WR Odell Beckham, who was knocked out of today’s game early, is feared to have suffered a major knee injury, source said. He’ll have an MRI in the morning and perhaps there will be some better news, but early indications aren’t good.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 25, 2020
Without Beckham for most of the day, Mayfield threw to Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins six times. However, that’s barely more than what Landry usually gets, and Higgins was clearly the bigger beneficiary of Beckham’s departure. He’ll get Beckham’s long-range targets moving forward, although he may have to share some with Donovan Peoples-Jones.
#4: Dalton suffered a concussion on a brutal hit by Jon Bostic. Bostic got ejected for the hit, and third-string rookie Ben DiNucci took over the offense with Dalton sidelined. DiNucci completed two of his three passes for 39 yards.
If Dalton’s concussion is serious, and the veteran quarterback can’t clear the concussion protocol in time for Week 8, the Cowboys may add someone else at quarterback. A trade for Miami’s Ryan Fitzpatrick could be in the cards. They could also sign Blake Bortles or Cody Kessler.
Regardless of Dalton’s status, it’s clear that the Cowboys now intend to prioritize the run, and their receivers will see reduced fantasy numbers no matter who is under center.
#5: Perriman took a tough hit from Micah Hyde and was evaluated for a concussion. While it’s still unclear if he suffered one or not, he’ll need to clear the league’s concussion protocol before he can play in Week 8’s matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The injury took place late in the fourth quarter, so we didn’t get to see much out of the Jets post-Perriman. However, he drew coverage from Tre’Davious White for most of the day, so he didn’t draw much attention from Sam Darnold anyway. Rookie Denzel Mims and slot receiver Braxton Berrios tied for the team lead in targets with seven, although both players could only haul in four of those looks.
If Perriman has to miss time, Mims would benefit the most. Unlike Berrios, he’s a talented perimeter receiver, and slot receiver Jamison Crowder‘s return will put Berrios back on the bench. Mims makes a smart waiver-wire pickup in deeper leagues regardless of Perriman’s status.
#6: Johnson got hurt. Again. After the game, he told reporters that it was an ankle bruise that wouldn’t cause him to miss time.
At this point, it’s safe to call Johnson injury prone. He might be unlucky, or he might have too low of a playing weight, but he comes with considerable mid-game injury risk. While Ben Roethlisberger treats him like Pittsburgh’s WR1 when he’s on the field, he can’t be the team’s WR1 when resting up on the sideline. His volume makes him a low-end WR2, but the injuries are enough of a problem for me to drop him into WR3 range.
Story #7: Harrison Bryant caught two touchdowns.
With Austin Hooper sidelined, rookie tight end Harrison Bryant earned the start. Baker Mayfield threw his way five times, and the rookie caught four of those targets for 56 yards and two scores! However, fellow tight end David Njoku was still involved, and he caught two of his three targets for 20 yards and a touchdown.
— NFL (@NFL) October 25, 2020
We saw an abnormally high number of passing touchdowns out of Cleveland in this game, and Bryant shouldn’t jump onto your waiver radar quite yet. Hooper should be back next week, as he was only held out by appendicitis, and Bryant has yet to see more than two targets in a game with both Hooper and Njoku active. That said, he makes an excellent pickup in deep dynasty leagues — if he’s still a free agent.
Story #8: La’Mical Perine scored his first NFL touchdown.
New York’s fourth-round rookie hit paydirt for the first time in his career this Sunday. More importantly, he out-snapped teammate Frank Gore by a significant margin:
Jets final HB snap count
La'Mical Perine 40
Frank Gore 16
Out of 57 plays
— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) October 25, 2020
Both Gore and Perine ended up with 11 carries on the day, so you’d miss this story in the traditional box score. The difference is likely due to passing downs, as Perine earned three targets while Gore wasn’t thrown to at all.
It’s never exciting to start a New York Jet in fantasy, but Perine could post solid flex numbers moving forward. The Jets will play the Kansas City Chiefs next week, and Perine is a smart waiver-wire pickup if you have a starter or two on bye.
Story #9: Antonio Gibson ran for 128 yards and a score.
The Washington Football Team continued to use a committee approach in the backfield. But since the team attempted 39 rushing plays, Gibson’s half of the carries still translated to workhorse-level volume. The talented rookie turned his 20 attempts into the aforementioned stat line; notably, he missed his lone target.
Gibson’s usage this week marked an interesting shift — coming into this game, he was averaging 10.7 attempts, 3.7 targets, and 3.2 catches per game. But with the game firmly in Washington’s control for most of the day, Ron Rivera chose to feature Gibson on the ground.
While the Football Team is unlikely to control many games this season, we got a taste of Gibson’s role in a winning game script, and he still had tons of fantasy value. That’s a great sign for him moving forward, and I think that he’ll be an exciting option at RB2 for the rest of the season.
Story #10: Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb combined for zero receptions.
Yikes. Dallas did not look good on Sunday, but nothing stands out more than the goose-eggs that Lamb and Gallup posted in the receiving column. While both receivers still earned targets — five for Lamb and two for Gallup — neither player did anything with them. It didn’t help that the Football Team dominated in time of possession (36:24 to 23:36), and that the Cowboys emphasized the run (26 runs to 22 passes).
So what should we do with both Lamb and Gallup in fantasy? The Cowboys still want to get Lamb the ball — that’s evident in his five targets and one rushing attempt. But in a new run-first scheme, there’s just not enough room for Gallup, and you can safely drop him at this point. The occasional big play won’t be worth the hole that he’ll burn into your roster.
Story #11: D’Andre Swift saw an “expanded role.”
Before Sunday’s game, Ian Rapoport said that the Lions intended to use Swift more often:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 25, 2020
So how did that work out for him? Pretty well. He out-snapped everyone else in the backfield:
Lions final HB snap count
D'Andre Swift 28
Adrian Peterson 18
Kerryon Johnson 14
Out of 62 plays
— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) October 25, 2020
On his 28 snaps, Swift ran nine times and received five targets. He totaled 48 yards on 13 touches, which isn’t great, but he scored a touchdown to save his fantasy day. His four receptions also gave him a boost in PPR formats.
If the Lions continue to use Swift like this, then he looks like a great option at RB2. He’s getting plenty of passing-down and red-zone work, and that’s the most valuable kind of usage in fantasy football.
Story #12: Marquez Callaway led the Saints in receiving.
Uh, who? Callaway, an undrafted rookie out of Tennessee, led the Saints in receiving with both Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders sidelined. His six-target, four-reception showing last week should’ve put him on our fantasy radars, but Callaway is no stranger to getting overlooked. If you need an introduction, check out RotoUnderworld’s breakdown below:
— the podfather (@Fantasy_Mansion) October 25, 2020
Callaway caught eight of his 10 targets for 75 yards. He would’ve had a better day, too, if his touchdown reception hadn’t been overturned by an OPI call on Tre’Quan Smith.
So how should we evaluate the Saints’ receiving corps moving forward? There’s some speculation that Michael Thomas could miss Week 8, and that would leave a hole in this offense for Callaway or Emmanuel Sanders to fill. I think that Callaway makes a good speculative add, but he won’t have as much value if Sanders is activated from the COVID-19/reserve list before next Sunday’s game against the Bears.
Story #13: Jeffrey Wilson scored three touchdowns. And then he got hurt.
To everyone’s surprise, Jeffrey Wilson led the 49ers’ rushing attack, not Jerick McKinnon or JaMycal Hasty. He led the team in snaps (37), carries (17), rushing yards (112), and most importantly, rushing scores (3). Unfortunately, he got hurt late in the game, and the 49ers fear that it’s a high ankle sprain. Those are typically multi-week injuries.
49ers final HB snap count
Jeff Wilson Jr. 37(injured)
JaMycal Hasty 14
Jerick McKinnon 12
Out of 65 plays
— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) October 25, 2020
So what’s going on here? According to Kyle Shanahan, the plan was “to rest McKinnon a little bit.” The 49ers will play the division-leading Seahawks next week, so I don’t think that they’ll rest their best remaining rusher then. That said, if Hasty is still a free agent in your league, pick him up immediately. If the 49ers do opt to keep resting McKinnon, then he’s their next man up.
Story #14: Tyler Lockett caught # touchdowns.
D.K. Metcalf who? Russell Wilson threw Lockett’s way 20 times against the Cardinals on Sunday, while Metcalf earned just five of Wilson’s looks. Lockett capitalized on his jaw-dropping 60.6% target share by catching 15 passes for 200 yards and three scores.
TYLER LOCKETT IS A CHEAT CODE 🎮
3 TDs tonight
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) October 26, 2020
We had seen a few boom games from Lockett earlier in the year, but we hadn’t seen one quite like this. There’s a ton of passing volume to go around in this offense, and Lockett is a fantastic low-end WR1 each week. There will be Lockett games and Metcalf games, of course, but anyone with Lockett’s upside is a must-start.
Story #15: Le’Veon Bell made his debut for the Chiefs.
We got to see Bell’s first action in a Chiefs uniform this week. Bell wasn’t expected to get a full slate of carries this week, so his unremarkable stat line (six carries for 39 yards) shouldn’t be a concern. On his first carry, he out-performed all but one of his carries for New York.
264 rushes with Jets: ONE for 16+ yards
First rush with Chiefs: 16 yards pic.twitter.com/C14qw5Ld4O
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) October 25, 2020
Unfortunately, we didn’t get much insight into how this offense will operate moving forward because Andy Reid opted to ease Bell into the offense.
The Chiefs will probably be a frustrating backfield to deal with in fantasy moving forward. That said, there’s an easy start here next week. The Chiefs will take on the Jets next week, and Bell is a lock to explode in his revenge game against Adam Gase.
Stories #16-21: Injuries II.
If it’s a concussion, Harry will have to clear the NFL’s concussion protocol before he can play again. That said, Harry hasn’t seen enough consistent usage to warrant staying on your fantasy roster — he’s drawn just four targets and one catch over the last two weeks. Even if he rebounds, he doesn’t have enough floor for you to risk starting.
The Broncos will play the Chargers next week, and they’ve been very generous to opposing rushers. Gordon will need to get the fumbles under control to capitalize, but still, he’s in a tantalizing matchup.
In 2 of the last 3 weeks, the Chargers have allowed two 100-yard rushers (James Robinson and Ronald Jones)
The Chargers play @ DEN 🏔 in Week 8
Phillip Lindsay sustained a concussion in Week 7
Melvin Gordon will be the feature back against his former team, revenge game RB1 🚀
— Adam Koffler (@AdamKoffler) October 26, 2020
#18: Patrick left in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury. He was ruled questionable to return, but he didn’t have a chance to get back on the field. Hamstring injuries are tricky to navigate, but his status for next Sunday’s game is probably in question.
Patrick has been one of the few pleasant surprises in Denver this year, as he’s been one of the team’s leading receivers. He had caught three of four targets before his premature exit, more than both Jerry Jeudy (4-2-20) and K.J. Hamler (3-2-24). Both of those receivers would see more volume if Patrick were forced to miss time, and Hamler isn’t a bad waiver pickup heading into Denver’s upcoming matchup against the Chargers’ struggling secondary.
#19: Samuel suffered a hamstring injury and is expected to “miss some time,” according to head coach Kyle Shanahan. Samuel had caught all five of his targets for 65 yards before exiting.
While Samuel misses time, Brandon Aiyuk should see the largest uptick in usage. He has versatility similar to Samuel, and he should get some of the designed looks that go to Samuel. He’s a low-end WR2 moving forward, especially with the 49ers’ long list of injuries at running back.
#20: Carson left Sunday Night Football early with a foot injury and did not return. He had touched the ball just six times before leaving. With Carson gone, Carlos Hyde led the way with 15 carries for 68 yards and a score. On Monday morning, Adam Schefter reported that he has a midfoot sprain, and he will undergo an MRI to determine its severity.
I’m not sure if Carson will have to miss time. If he does, Hyde should see the bulk of the carries next week against the 49ers. San Francisco ranks as one of the league’s best defenses against running backs, however, so doesn’t make for a great waiver-wire pickup. I would only pick Hyde up if you’re desperate or if Carson has to miss multiple weeks.
#21: Drake was forced out of Sunday Night Football late in the fourth quarter. Not much information has been made public as of publication, but he had to be carted into the locker room, and it certainly didn’t look good. X-rays came back negative, but like Carson, we’re still waiting on MRI results. The Cardinals have a bye next week, so if it’s a one week issue, Drake may not have to miss a game.
If Drake has to miss time, Chase Edmonds is the next man up in this backfield. He’s looked incredibly efficient on limited carries thus far, and he’s a low-end RB2 with Drake out of the lineup. That said, his efficiency could regress if Kliff Kingsbury puts too much on his plate.
Behind Edmonds, the Cardinals also have rookie seventh-rounder Eno Benjamin. However, the rookie is yet to record an NFL carry, and he’s not a serious threat to Edmonds’ workload. He’s a no-floor speculative pickup in deeper leagues at best.
Story #22: Scott Miller and Nelson Agholor led their teams in receiving.
Tampa Bay’s visit to Las Vegas did not go as expected. Yes, it seemed likely that the Buccaneers would win after the Raiders’ starting offensive line spent most of the week in quarantine, but a pair of somewhat surprising names did most of the damage for both sides.
For Las Vegas, Agholor tied for the team lead in targets (9), and he caught five of them for 107 yards and a score. Miller also tied for his team’s lead in targets (9), and he caught six of them for 109 yards and a score.
Agholor has been everything that analysts expected Bryan Edwards to be this year. He’s really turned his career around on the Raiders, as he’s now caught 15 of his 20 total targets for 292 yards and four touchdowns. That’s eerily similar to the stats that Tyrell Williams posted in this role last season, and time will tell if he can maintain his high rate of scoring. He’s a high-upside WR4 until Edwards gets back.
Unlike Agholor, Miller’s value is about to drop off a cliff. The Buccaneers will have Antonio Brown next week, and there’s no way that Tom Brady can support Miller, Brown, Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and Rob Gronkowski. I would try to sell Miller, but I doubt that you’ll be able to find a buyer.
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