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Week 7 Heat Index: Tua Tagovailoa, D’Ernest Johnson, Russell Gage (2021 Fantasy Football)

by Scott Youngson | @fantasymutant | Featured Writer
Oct 26, 2021
Elijah Mitchell

Week 7, aka “Byemaggedon,” brought with it some surprising performances, particularly amongst the running backs. In this week’s Heat Index, we’ll dig into the ones who were the most intriguing. Listed below are the players who performed well above expectations last week, along with our thoughts on their prospects moving forward. Each player’s stat-line and positional rank for the week (based on half-point PPR scoring through Sunday’s games) is listed along with their “Heat Index” rated on a scale of 🔥-to-🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥.

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Quarterbacks

Tua Tagovailoa (QB – MIA)

Stat-line:  32-40 passing for 291 yards and 4 TDs, 29 yards rushing

QB Rank:  1

Analysis:  Tua almost made the index last week, after he finished as QB #10. This week, albeit in one with many key players on bye, he surpassed expectations once again in large part due to his 4 TD passes. However, his production has come against two of the weaker pass defenses in the league in Jacksonville and Atlanta. The schedule gets tougher from here with tilts against Buffalo next week and Baltimore in 3 weeks. He’s got Houston in Week 9 and the Jets in Week 11, though, so if you’re looking for a streamer one of those weeks, he may be worth a look.

Heat Index:  🔥🔥🔥

Wide Receivers

Russell Gage (WR – ATL)

Stat-line:  4 catches on six targets for 67 yards and a TD

WR Rank:  12

Analysis:  Gage came back from injury this week and reminded everyone that he was a relevant fantasy wide receiver in 2020. He was the clear #2 WR for the Falcons, playing 63% of the snaps, and had a better day than Calvin Ridley (WR – ATL). However, even though Atlanta may be playing from behind often this season, Gage will have to compete for targets with Ridley, Kyle Pitts (TE – ATL), Corderrelle Patterson (RB/WR – ATL), and Mike Davis (RB – ATL). As such, he’s probably no better than a streaming option in deep leagues.

Heat Index:  🔥🔥

Allen Lazard (WR – GB)

Stat-line:  5 catches on six targets for 60 yards and a TD

WR Rank:  14

Analysis:  Lazard has had two productive weeks in a row but had done very little in the season’s first five games. This uneven production is a hallmark of all Packers’ wide receivers not named Davante Adams (WR – GB). However, Adams will likely miss Thursday’s game against the Cardinals as he went on the Reserve-Covid-19 list Monday. This creates an excellent opportunity for Lazard Week 8, though the potential return of Marques Valdes-Scantling (WR – GB) could cut into his targets.

Heat Index: 🔥🔥🔥 while Adams is out, 🔥 once he returns

Running Backs

D’Ernest Johnson (RB – CLE)

Stat-line:  146 yards rushing on 22 attempts and a TD, 2 catches on 2 targets for 22 yards

RB Rank:  3

Analysis:  Most people didn’t expect too much from Johnson last week after discovering that both Nick Chubb (RB – CLE) and Kareem Hunt (RB – CLE) would miss the Browns game vs. the Broncos. But Johnson surprised everyone with a massive game against a good Denver defense. The bad news for Johnson owners is that Chubb is expected back this week. The good news (for fantasy purposes) is that Hunt will be out for a while with his calf injury, and the Browns have shown that they can produce two viable fantasy running backs regularly.

Heat Index:  🔥🔥🔥

Brandon Bolden (RB – NE)

Stat-line:  6 catches on seven targets for 79 yards and a TD

RB Rank:  4

Analysis:  Bolden looked a lot like the injured James White (RB – NE) on Sunday, putting forth a strong fantasy effort despite no rushing yards. Bolden is not James White, but it looks like he will play a similar role on this team the rest of the season. If you are desperate for a running back, this makes him a deep league streaming option in PPR formats. It’s hard to imagine much consistency coming from him, though.

Heat Index:  🔥🔥

Elijah Mitchell (RB – SF)

Stat-line:  107 yards rushing on 18 attempts and a TD

RB Rank:  5

Analysis:  We gave Mitchell 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 way back on our Week 1 Heat Index after Raheem Mostert (RB – SF) went down with a season-ending knee injury. After missing Weeks 3 & 4 due to a shoulder injury, many feared he would lose carries to Trey Sermon (RB – SF) upon his return. That didn’t happen, though, as he dominated the running back snaps and rushing attempts both last week and Week 5 before the Niners bye. The lack of activity in the passing game caps Mitchell’s upside slightly, but he should be a solid RB2 or Flex option the rest of the season.

Heat Index:  🔥🔥🔥🔥

Tight Ends

C.J. Uzomah (TE – CIN)

Stat-line:  3 catches on three targets for 91 yards and 2 TDs

TE Rank:  1

Analysis:  In the Week 4 Heat Index, we only gave Uzomah one 🔥 as we weren’t sold. He would get targeted consistently. We were partly right – in the three games since, including yesterday, he’s been targeted a total of 8 times. Yesterday, however, he turned his three targets into the best week by a Tight End for the 2nd time this season. His day was highlighted by a spectacular 55-yard catch for a TD. Uzomah probably still won’t produce consistently, but his two monster weeks have made him a Top 10 option at the position this season. He’s worthy of being a bye week streamer at the very least in the future.

Heat Index:  🔥🔥🔥

Foster Moreau (TE – LV)

Stat-line:  6 catches on six targets for 60 yards and a TD

TE Rank:  4

Analysis:  Moreau stepped in for the injured Darren Waller (TE – LV) and played like, well, Darren Waller. He’s proven himself more than capable when given a chance, but Waller’s injury doesn’t sound serious, and he’ll likely be back after the Raiders bye this week. Moreau is great insurance for Waller owners, but probably not much more.

Heat Index:  🔥

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Scott Youngson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Scott, check out his archive and follow him @FantasyMutant.

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