Running Diary: Week 7 (2021 Fantasy Football)
(The Fantasy Football Running Diary is an ongoing series by Tim Metzler, in which Tim records and shares what is happening in the NFL every Sunday. It may also include updates on his personal life.)
Paying attention to everything that’s happening in the NFL is a challenge. You’re busy. Don’t sweat it. You keep doing you, and let me do the work for you. This Running Diary will recap as many events as I can keep track of on Sunday, October 24th. Let’s go!
12:05 PM (CST) – The games begin! I’ll admit today is going to be a wild one for me. The great thing about life returning to normal is that it’s fun to do stuff. The downside is, similarly, that I now have to do stuff.
12:10 – Tennessee trickery! Derrick Henry (RB-TEN) tosses a TD pass for the first score of the day. Henry should truly be the MVP front-runner.
12:14 – Rodgers to Adams! What is up with this Washington Defense? They should be more dominant. Yet…Packers lead WFT 7-0.
12:20 – The Dolphins get a TD with Tua fighting to keep his starting job (please see Deshaun Watson (QB-HOU) trade rumors).
12:21 – Damien Harris (RB-NE) runs in a TD. The J-E-T-S are B-A-D. Harris, on the other hand, has scored in three consecutive weeks.
12:35 – Ryan Tannehill (QB-TEN) tosses a deep bomb to AJ Brown (WR-TEN)! Call me crazy, but I’m not so sure the trade for Julio Jones (WR-TEN) was (ahem) worth it. He’s got zero TDs on the year and has spent more than one game out with injury.
1:20 – I’m back! My wife had a friend from a past life come over for brunch, so I made cheesy eggs, breakfast potatoes, bacon, and spinach pie. Was it the perfect brunch? No. Was it still pretty fantastic? Obviously, now we’re talking about musical theater while I stress out about these early games.
1:21 – Some thoughts as we approach half-time. Patrick Mahomes (QB-KC) has negative fantasy points in some leagues (based on scoring settings). He’s got an interception and fumble on the day, and the Titans lead the Chiefs 24-0. The Chiefs are broken, and that means the AFC is wide open.
1:22 – The Panthers trail the Giants 3-5. It’s the weirdest score I think I’ve ever seen. I’m sorry for fans of either team. Pick a new team for the year. Neither of these rosters is doing anything in 2021.
1:25 – The Jets are still losing to the Pats (sarcastic gasp). The Packers lead the WFT 14-7. The Bengals and Ravens are tied 10-10; the winner will control the AFC North (actual gasp). At the start of the season, I would have slapped you if you’d said the Browns wouldn’t take this division. I’m not sure they’ll be a wildcard team when all is said and done.
1:26 – The Falcons lead the Dolphins 13-7. Both teams will miss the playoffs and will seek a new QB situation next year-Mark my words.
1:30 – My wife and her friend talk about old Broadway shows similar to how I talk about past NFL rosters. They mention retired actors and singers like I casually drop Peyton Manning stats to my co-workers. There’s a shocking similarity between football and theater. It’s all a show. Sometimes I forget that.
2:24 – I decided to stop stressing and let the games breathe for a bit. Thank goodness I did. These matchups went from tame to ridiculous. The Falcons and Dolphins are in a fight to the death. 20-14. The Panthers and Giants left their constant state of mediocrity to be… a higher scoring state of mediocrity. 12-3, Giants up. The Patriots have completely massacred the Jets. No survivors. It’s brutal. I had to close my eyes at points. It’s 34-13, and the Patriots seem fixed on running it up. This game is going to get hideous. You can feel it. Bengals on top of the Ravens, 27-17. Ja’Marr Chase (WR-CIN) is making the case to be considered the #1 dynasty WR from now on. Scratch that: Ja’Marr Chase is the #1 dynasty WR. Deal DK Metcalf (WR-SEA) for him if you can. This Bengals offense is mind-bogglingly fun. And, of course, the Packers are on top of the Washington Football Team, 21-7. No surprise. The Packers have left their Week 1 obliteration at the hands of the Saints and evolved into a deep roster that will keep winning. As they get healthier, it’s almost a guarantee we’ll see them face the Buccaneers again in the NFC Championship game. The roster with fewer injuries will decide the winner.
2:53 – Let’s pop into the Bengals stat column and ask the critical question: “How good are they?” Firstly, there’s still half of the 4th quarter to go in this game. Joe Burrow (QB-CIN) has over 400 yards passing and 3 TDs. Joe Mixon (RB-CIN) has 11 Carries for 56 yards and a TD. That’s a YPC of 5.1. That’s very good. Ja’Marr Chase has 8 receptions for 201 yards and a TD. Tee Higgins (WR-CIN) has 16 targets (7 receptions). These are the stats that pop out. There’s room for improvement from Higgins, but this is a team that can officially run the ball and dominate through the air. The defense has improved from last year. With Burrow’s rookie contract in only, it’s 2nd of 5 years; this is a team that needs to load up and go for the championship right now. Make trades, mortgage the future; there’s a 3-4 year window of massive opportunity before Burrow will need the big contract. Do it, Cinci. Just do it. Your fans deserve it. This window is every franchise’s dream.
3:38 – This is a reminder that this week is also known as “Bye-megeddon” because so many excellent teams are on bye. 6 teams total, actually, including the Bills, Cowboys, Chargers, Vikings, Steelers, and Jaguars. For anyone doing the mental math of “good players,” we’re missing this week: (according to start of season Average Draft Position (ADP)) 4 of the top 8, 8 of the top 15, and 16 of the top 35 players are on bye. With injuries to players like Christian McCaffrey (RB-CAR), Saquon Barkley (RB-NYG), George Kittle (TE-SF), and Darren Waller (TE-OAK), not to mention high-pick players who began the year on IR, like Travis Etienne (RB-JAX), JK Dobbins (RB-BAL), and Cam Akers (RB-LAR), it’s any wonder that we don’t all band together and leave our rosters blank for this week. We might score more points that way. Yet, the season pushes on through this bite-size sport-isolated apocalypse. All this is to say, don’t jump too aggressively on waiver-wire adds this next week. Players who showed up, like Dante Pettis (WR-NYG) (TD catch) or JJ Taylor (RB-NE) (2 rushing TDs), result from a talent bubble. Or, in the case of JJ Taylor, it’s the result of a matchup bubble. Don’t chase the points; chase the long-term opportunities.
3:55 – The Buccaneers are up 14-0 on the Bears, which is as unsurprising a score as possible. The Eagles and Raiders are tied at 7-7. The Raiders are without Darren Waller today. The backup TE, Foster Moreau (TE-LV), has four catches and a TD already. Maybe this team knows how to use TEs? The Texans are beating the Cardinals 2-0. You read that right-almost the end of the first quarter. Spooky season is here. Lastly, the Lions lead the Rams 13-3 in Jared Goff (QB-DET)‘s revenge game. They’re going to lose, but it’s hard not to root for Goff. He went from LA to Detroit. That’s mean.
4:00 – I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but AJ Green (WR-ARZ) has had precisely six targets in 5 of the first six weeks of the season. He’s got a TD in 3 of those games. That’s what we call a high-floor, low-ceiling player WR3. If you’re dealing with injuries, he’s a guy worth targeting in trades, especially in deeper leagues.
4:02 – Rookie RB Khalil Herbert (RB-CHI) has six carries for 40 yards for this Bears team. When Montgomery comes back, these two (plus Tarik Cohen (RB-CHI)) will make an interesting three-headed monster. Justin Fields (QB-CHI), however, needs a visit from his old friend The Bench. He’s got two turnovers today. Brady’s Bucs are about to make this a three-score lead.
4:05 – It would be inappropriate not to mention that Tom Brady (QB-TB) has thrown for 600 career passing touchdowns. He has two so far today but may toss another 100 before the game is over.
4:24 – Justin Fields has thrown 1 INT and fumbled three times. It’s the 2nd quarter. Is it too late to offer Trubisky a new contract?
5:00 – Half-time has come for most of these second slot games. Mike Evans (WR-TB) has 3 TDs so far, and the Bucs are up 35-3 on the Bears. Have to wonder if both teams pull their starters for the second half.
5:26 – Kyler has 3 TD passes today. Considering his opponent is the Texans, that number should be closer to 30.
7:35 – Today was yet another one of those ridiculous days where I did more running to things I had to do than doing the things I had to do. Anyway, let’s get back into this.
7:36 – The Bucs ended the Bears. As in… the Bears are done. There’s no reason to keep playing this season. It’s over. The Cardinals remain undefeated, but the Texans seemed to put up more fight than I thought they would. The Rams spoiled Jared Goff’s revenge, and the Lions remain… uh… defeated? Yeah. The Raiders proved (once again) that Jon Gruden was never really required for them to win. They topped the Eagles 33-22. On to the last game of the night!
7:40 – Eli Mitchell (RB-SF) has a rushing TD, and the 49ers are on top. 9-0.
8:15 – We’re into the second quarter. I just tried Brach’s Turkey Dinner Candy Corn for the first time. I’m going to spew everywhere. I can’t believe those exist. Seriously, look them up. They are an abomination. Unless Brach’s is somehow a sponsor of FantasyPros… in which case, they are delicious, and everyone should buy some.
9:20 – Jonathan Taylor (RB-IND) runs in the 5 yard TD. How long before he usurps Christian McInjury as the top dynasty RB?
10:10 – Michael Pittman (WR-IND) decided to be good today. Wentz hits him for his 3rd total TD for the day. The Colts have driven the dagger into Kyle Shanahan’s heart. Not sure Jimmy G can lead a comeback with only 3 minutes left.
10:30 – The game is over. All that remains is for us to find something to show thanks. For me, I’m grateful that I tasted those awful candy corn things. I know now never to eat those again. That, in itself, is a miracle. Anyway, thanks again for joining me this week, and best of luck in all your matchups. A reminder that this week featured six teams on bye. Week 8 only has two teams on bye: the Ravens and the Raiders. Have a great week, and I’ll see you next Sunday!
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