Top fantasy takeaways from Week 7's action
Week 7 of the 2017 NFL season is nearly in the books and there are a number of major takeaways. Here’s what you need to know from every game on the Sunday slate.
Shady McCoy goes off.
After struggling to generate stats for much of the season, LeSean McCoy racked up 122 scrimmage yards on 28 touches and scored his first two touchdowns of the season. The performances vaulted McCoy into the top 10 among running backs in PPR scoring. He’ll make for another strong play this upcoming week at home against the Raiders.
Bears win despite 38 offensive snaps.
We saw almost nothing out of the Bears passing game for the second straight week, with Mitch Trubisky attempting just seven passes against the Panthers. He’s thrown the ball 23 times over the last two contests with the Bears attempting 80 rushes. Not surprisingly, the Bears receivers have been essentially non-existent, with just three catches over the last two weeks. This offensive game plan essentially wipes Bears wideouts off the fantasy radar. Zach Miller still holds some streamer value, but the big winner is Jordan Howard. He didn’t manage a big fantasy day in a tough matchup this week, but he saw 21 carries and figures to continue to see heavy volume going forward.
Poor numbers, but good play from Marcus Mariota.
Sometimes the fantasy results don’t match what we see on the field. Case in point: Mariota. In fantasy, he was a huge disappointment, with just 203 passing yards. But this isn’t a sign of bad things to come. Mariota played well and had receivers drop four passes. That’s double his total for the season entering this contest. With the Titans heading into bye this week, it’s a great time to buy low on Mariota.
Some clarity on the Packers backfield.
That changing of the guard appears to have taken place in the Packers backfield with Aaron Jones out-snapping Ty Montgomery 44-7 on Sunday. Jones was excellent for the second time in the last three weeks, topping 100 yards and scoring his third rushing touchdown of the season. With Brett Hundley struggling to move the offense, expect the Packers to continue to lean on Jones and the run game going forward. Jones is now an RB2-plus with Montgomery a candidate to be cut from fantasy rosters.
Much to the chagrin of those who rolled the dice on Chris Ivory, it was Yeldon who ended up taking advantage of this favorable matchup He racked up 122 yards and a score on nine carries. This was the first time Yeldon was active this season. For fantasy purposes, Yeldon’s value is minimal going forward. At best he’s a handcuff to Fournette, though his role isn’t entirely clear. Yeldon was actually out-snapped by Ivory 38-23.
Carson Palmer injured.
Arizona can’t seem to catch a break this season. After losing star running back David Johnson to injury earlier in the season, they’ll now be without Palmer for the next two months. Arizona will now turn to Drew Stanton, who may have donned a Supergirl costume before this week’s game, but he’s been far from super under center as a pro. Stanton averages just 6.3 yards per attempt with a lowly 52.7 completion percentage. His presence is a downgrade for the Arizona offense and puts a serious damper on the fantasy outlooks for Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown, and Adrian Peterson.
Stay the course with Jay Ajayi.
It’s been a tough season for Ajayi owners, as the Dolphins running back sits a disappointing 31st among running backs in PPR scoring. However, there is a silver lining to this dark cloud. Ajayi has topped 20 carries in each of the last three weeks and has the third-most carries over that span. Stay the course with Ajayi if you own him. He’s also an interesting buy-low option.
Many fantasy players didn’t want to believe that a committee still existed in the Minnesota backfield, but we covered that very topic in last week’s column. The Vikings continued the nearly 50-50 split between Murray and McKinnon this week, with Murray producing the better fantasy day. McKinnon owners shouldn’t panic, but this is a crucial data point that should McKinnon cannot be trusted as anything more than an RB2 going forward. Despite this week’s stat line, McKinnon remains the preferred option of the two due to his role in the passing game.
Ezekiel Elliott romps.
It wasn’t a huge surprise to see Elliott go off in this one, but few expected this big of a performance. The Cowboys back notched 219 yards and three scores on 27 touches. Of course, the bigger topic with Elliott is his potential suspension. At this point, we have little clarity beyond Week 8. Elliott owners should continue to have a backup plan in place, and those who picked up Darren McFadden and/or Alfred Morris should keep them stashed on the bench.
Russell Wilson gets back on track.
Wilson had some fantasy owners concerned following a disappointing performance in Week 5, but he erased all of those thoughts with a massive 334 yards and three scores through the air against the Giants. Wilson may not be the most consistent option, but fantasy need to keep firing him up as an every-week QB1.
Time to drop Martavis Bryant?
The Steelers wideout has failed to deliver the goods this season. He’s scored just one touchdown and has only topped 50 receiving yards once. Over the last three weeks, Bryant has been out-targeted by JuJu Smith-Schuster 13-12. Perhaps more importantly, Smith-Schuster has 129 yards and a score over that span, while Bryant has just 51 yards. It certainly isn’t out of the question to toss Bryant back into waivers this week.
Broncos lay an egg.
Denver was bad across the board with Demaryius Thomas and C.J. Anderson finishing among the biggest fantasy duds for the week. Much of the problem stemmed from the offensive line. Denver was forced to start Allen Barbre at right tackle, and he proceeded to post one of the worst performances this season. Barbre was a human turnstile, allowing three sacks and nine quarterback pressures. Despite the performance, Thomas is a good bet to rebound in a plus matchup this week. The outlook isn’t as bright for Anderson, who has really struggled to generate yardage over the last two weeks. It’ll be tough to rely on Anderson as anything more than a flex option until he starts producing.
One week can be a fluke, but two weeks is often a trend in the NFL. For the second straight week Lewis out-snapped, out-carried, and out-performed Gillislee. Those looking for some upside at the running back position will want to scoop up Lewis this week. Gillislee hasn’t shown fantasy upside since Week 1, and should be cut loose in fantasy leagues this week.