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Week 7 Heat Index (Fantasy Football)

by Jim Colombo | @WideRightNBlue | Featured Writer
Oct 27, 2020

Yama hama, it’s fright night! Or, you know, Halloween week. Has your fantasy football season been an absolute nightmare? Or is your team enjoying more treats than tricks?

Hopefully, it’s not too late for you to turn something scary into something sweet, which brings us to the Week 7 Heat Index.

Let’s find out which under-the-radar players broke out, why, and what the future might hold for them as we creep into spooky season and beyond.

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Giovani Bernard (RB – CIN)
Bengals running back Giovani Bernard rushed the ball 13 times for 37 yards and caught five passes for 71 yards and a touchdown in his team’s narrow victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Bernard, who typically serves as a change-of-pace back for the Bengals, was tasked with starting duties as fellow running back Joe Mixon missed the contest with a foot injury. Bernard did what he does best: catch balls out of the backfield and find space in the open field.

When Mixon returns, Bernard will once again be relegated to backup and breather duties. For now, though, Bernard is expected to suit up as the Bengals’ three-down ball carrier in the team’s Week 8 home game against the Tennessee Titans. In this matchup, I’d expect to see another heavy dose of Bernard as a pass-catching asset, which makes him a high-end RB2. The Bengals are on bye in Week 9, and by the time Week 10 rolls around, Mixon should be healthy and ready to roll. As long as Mixon is in the lineup, Bernard will be nothing more than a deep reach flex play or bye week fill-in.

Week 7 Heat Index: 🔥🔥
Rest-of-season Heat Index: 🔥🔥

Jeff Wilson (RB – SF)
Jeff Wilson had a career day in Week 7, rushing the ball 17 times for 112 yards and three touchdowns in a blowout victory over the New England Patriots. He also tacked on eight yards on two receptions. We have to acknowledge Wilson’s monster performance, but, sadly, we can’t expect to see him repeat games like this in the foreseeable future. On his third score of the day, Wilson suffered an ankle injury and was subsequently carted off the field.

While Wilson looked explosive and ran hard, reports indicate that he has a high ankle sprain, so he’ll probably be sidelined for the next three weeks or so. Keep in mind that Raheem Mostert suffered the same injury earlier in the season and was placed on I.R., costing him three weeks of playing time. If Wilson returns to the field following the 49ers’ Week 11 bye, he’ll have to contend with a crowded backfield in Raheem Mostert, Jerick McKinnon, and JaMycal Hasty. Right now, there are just too many question marks for us to trust Wilson long-term.

Week 7 Heat Index: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Rest-of-season Heat Index: 🔥

Nelson Agholor (WR – LV)
Raiders wide receiver Nelson Agholor had his best game of the season in a losing effort against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 7. The savvy veteran caught five of his nine targets for 107 yards and a score. It was his third consecutive game with a TD reception. Through seven weeks of action, Raiders tight end Darren Waller still holds a commanding lead on the team’s target share (26.1%), while Agholor is still only fourth on the team in that category (9.5%). Interestingly, Agholor leads all Raiders pass catchers with a snap rate of 61% and touchdown receptions with four.

If Agholor is on the field more often, why isn’t he seeing more targets? Perhaps this Week 7 performance is a precursor of more action to come. Derek Carr and the Raiders currently average 35.3 pass attempts per game, which is 15th most in the league. That’s nothing to go crazy about, but the team will continue to be competitive in the AFC, so Agholor could continue to see his involvement rise. Treat Agholor as a sneaky matchup play in redraft leagues in the weeks to come. He should also be worth a look in DFS leagues every week for the rest of the season.

Week 7 Heat Index: 🔥🔥🔥
Rest-of-season Heat Index: 🔥🔥

Cole Beasley (WR – BUF)
Cole Beasley is averaging 5.6 receptions and 67.1 yards per game this season. In Week 7, he logged his second 100-yard game of the season, catching 11 of 12 targets for 112 yards. No scores, sadly, as the Bills failed to enter the end zone in this game—but still, it’s promising to see Cole Beasley’s floor stay as stable as you could ever want from a guy who’s available in 41% of Yahoo leagues.

Josh Allen and the Bills are slinging the ball this season—the team is averaging 37 pass attempts per game (eighth most in the league), and Beasley is benefiting from the team’s new-look passing attack. Fellow wideout John Brown has been hobbled by knee and calf injuries, and even though rookie receiver Gabriel Davis is filling that void on the outside of the offense, it is clear that Allen trusts Beasley as a more reliable target—Allen is favoring his slot receiver over every other Bills offensive weapon not named Stefon Diggs. In fact, Beasley has been targeted less than six times only once this season, which means he is a definitive part of the Bills offense. Beasley’s not going to post 100+ yards every week, but he’s going to get you five receptions for 50 yards with the potential to score in just about every contest, and hey, that ain’t bad.

Week 7 Heat Index: 🔥🔥🔥
Rest-of-season Heat Index: 🔥🔥🔥

Harrison Bryant (TE – CLE)
I’ve never heard of Harrison Bryant until this weekend, but maybe I haven’t been paying close enough attention. In Week 7, the Cleveland Browns tight end caught four of his five targets for 56 yards and two touchdowns in a shootout win over the Cincinnati Bengals. This was only the second game of the season where Bryant caught more than one pass, the other game coming in Week 4 when he caught four balls for 37 yards. In every other game this season, Bryant has averaged just one reception for just 8.25 yards. That’s gonna be a “meh” from me, dog.

When you factor in the fact that Austin Hooper was sidelined in this game with appendicitis, and that David Njoku is still in the mix for now, Bryant will be practically impossible to start in just about any matchup moving forward. If you want to take a shot on Bryant in Week 8 against the Raiders, you could, but, well, you could also do better. Leave Bryant alone unless Hooper’s appendix explodes or Njoku gets traded to the covid-crazy Bills.

Week 7 Heat Index: 🔥🔥
Rest-of-season Heat Index: 🔥

If your fantasy team seems dead, don’t worry. You might just need to resurrect your season with some fresh blood. Who do you think will emerge from the fantasy football shadows? Let me know on Twitter! Until then, may your cider be spiked and your spirit stay strange. Peace!

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Jim Colombo is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Jim, check out his archive and follow him @WideRightNBlue.

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