Week 7 of the NFL season left us with a lot of questions. Is Sam Darnold going to keep his job as starting QB in Carolina? Are the Raiders contenders despite all the coaching drama? How did Derrick Henry throw more passing touchdowns than Patrick Mahomes? While a lot still remains up in the air, we are beginning to get a clear picture of which teams and players are legit. Trade deadlines are approaching in most fantasy leagues. Now is the time to acquire the players you need to make a playoff push and ultimately win your fantasy league.
Last Week Recap
Last week I recommended buying into the Courtland Sutton and Kadarius Toney hype. Unfortunately, Toney’s nagging injury was enough to keep him out of the game. It’s upsetting to see so many Giants players plagued by injuries and hopefully they all get healthy soon. If Toney is able to stay on the field, I believe he will be the best receiver on the Giants and an excellent option in fantasy. As for Sutton, he was able to grab 5 receptions for 68 yards in the Broncos loss to the Browns. While this may seem like a mediocre game, it is important to consider that this was a Thursday night away game against one of the best defenses in the league. This performance actually gave me more confidence in Sutton because he proved that even in a brutal situation, he can put up respectable fantasy numbers. The Broncos have a much easier schedule coming up and a week-and-a-half to rest. I expect Sutton to be a Top 10 fantasy receiver in the next few weeks.
Last week I also said to not buy into the James Conner hype. I claimed his fantasy production relied on him scoring touchdowns and every game he didn’t see the end zone would be a bust. Last week he had 10 carries for 64 yards and a touchdown. As much as I hate to say it, if Conner is going to score touchdowns this consistently, he’s probably worth holding onto for now. As a Chase Edmonds owner, I just keep on waiting for that week that they hand it off to Edmonds at the goal line instead of Conner. However, they have gone to Conner pretty much every time and he always finds the end zone. While I maintain that Conner’s success is dependent on scoring touchdowns, he is scoring at a consistent enough pace for me to recommend keeping him.
Buy Into the Hype: Leonard Fournette
If there were any questions as to who the main back was in Tampa, Leonard Fournette has answered them in the past few weeks. Since Week 4, Fournette is averaging 17.25 carries for 80.25 yards and 1 touchdown per game. Ronald Jones, with whom Fournette is supposed to be splitting carries, is averaging 6.5 carries for 32.25 yards since Week 4. Founette is the clear RB1 on one of the best offenses in football and his numbers reflect this. People forget that this is the same Leonard Fournette who was one of the best fantasy running backs in the league in Jacksonville. Now, he’s arguably in a better situation and he is entering his prime. It would not be surprising if Fournette went on to have the best season of his career. The Bucs are able to make it to the red zone and score very consistently. Fournette is already a Top 10 running back in the league, but with the pace he is on I can see him finishing in the Top 5. The Fournette hype is real, he can win you your fantasy league.
Don’t Buy Into The Hype: Devonta Smith
One of the harsh realities that many fans have had to accept in the past few weeks is that the Eagles are a bad football team. Not decent, not subpar, just plain bad. In light of that, many players on the Philly offense have struggled to produce consistent fantasy numbers. Jalen Hurts somehow always manages to get an absurd amount of garbage time fantasy points, but he’s usually the only one. Many people, myself included, had high expectations for Devonta Smith going into this season. He has shown flashes of what he can be, but unfortunately it is impossible for him to put up consistent numbers in his current situation. This season Smith has 32 receptions on 53 targets. That’s because the Eagles offense is easy to figure out and Smith rarely finds himself open. Hopefully, the Eagles will eventually find an offensive scheme that works for them. Until then, I am not relying on anyone in their offense, and that includes Smith.
Buy Into The Hype: Zach Ertz
Speaking of the Eagles offense being horrible, has anyone wondered why Zach Ertz is suddenly relevant again? It’s because he got traded from one of the worst offenses in the league to one of the best. While Ertz did put up some decent performances in Philly this year, it appears that he will be much more involved in the Cardinals offense. In his first week as a Cardinal, Ertz notched 3 receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown. I expect his production to only go up once he gets more familiar with the playbook and builds chemistry with Kyler Murray. Before Week 7, the only legitimate critique of the Cardinals offense was that they didn’t have a good tight end option and now it seems like they’ve found their guy. The future is bright in Arizona and it seems as if Ertz will be a big part of the offense going forward. He is definitely a player to go after, especially this season when having a good tight end is so rare.
After seven full weeks of football, the NFL has never been more intriguing. As fantasy owners prepare their teams for the playoffs, it is essential to make smart choices on the waiver wire. Also, as the trade deadline approaches, it may be smart to try and make one last move to help your team out in the coming weeks. Good luck to everyone who is about to begin their fantasy playoff push. You’ve got this.