With Week 7 of the 2021 NFL season in the books, dynasty league standings become even more clear as many managers now have their eye on the 2022 NFL Draft or are aiming for the first seed in their playoffs. As managers welcome back myriad studs after a brutal slate of bye weeks, the NFL simply keeps moving. Let’s take a look at a couple of intriguing players that had notable performances this week.
RB Michael Carter, New York Jets
Beginning the season with limited opportunity as he didn’t play more than 55% of snaps during the first five weeks of 2021, Carter had a slower start than many who drafted the former Tar Heel was hoping for. He was inefficient on the ground through those five games, rushing for just 3.51 YPC and averaging less than two receptions per game. However, Carter had a career day in Week 7 against the New England Patriots. Though he was once again inefficient on the ground, with 11 carries for just 3.4 YPC, he hauled in eight of nine targets for 67 yards though he did lose a fumble. All nine of his targets came once backup quarterback Mike White entered the game for starter Zach Wilson, who will reportedly be out for 2-4 weeks with a sprained PCL.
Carter’s Week 7 performance was a revelation but comes with significant warning signs. Though his nine targets in his first five games may be partially a function of a low snap share, Wilson doesn’t project to throw the ball to Carter nearly as much as White. In fact, fellow running back Ty Johnson had just 13 targets in four games with Wilson and then had seven in just one game with White at quarterback. When you factor in Carter’s lack of significant draft capital (the Jets drafted him in the fourth round), he feels like an easy sell that you can leverage to take advantage of the dearth of viable running backs. Sellers should aim to move him to a contender for a late first-round pick, and shouldn’t be afraid to add an ancillary piece such as Darius Slayton or K.J. Osborn to get the deal done.
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions
After three straight weeks of at least seven targets and five catches, St. Brown put up an absolute doughnut in Week 7 against the Los Angeles Rams as he scored the same amount of fantasy points as you, the reader. This dud performance was especially disappointing after many managers in redraft leagues scooped him off of waivers as a bye-week fill-in. Despite registering a 62% snap share, he failed to even register a target as Jared Goff threw 20 of his 22 completions to either D’Andre Swift, T.J. Hockenson, or Khalif Raymond. However, in dynasty leagues, certain offenses – the Chicago Bears, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, and yes, the Detroit Lions – require patience due to some combination of coaching ineptitude, lackadaisical playcalling, moribund offensive lines, and improvement from signal-callers.
It’s unlikely St. Brown has helped you much if you are a competing team, and the son of former Mr. Universe winner John Brown was selected somewhere between the middle of the second and the early third-round in 2021 rookie drafts. Just seven weeks into the season, there is no need to press the panic button. Instead, I would be looking to buy-low on St. Brown from any frantic owners. I would certainly be willing to move multiple third-round rookies picks for him, and would be comfortable with a rookie second-round pick if I knew I was a contending team. For rebuilding teams, an older wide receiver – such as Marvin Jones Jr. or Robby Anderson – plus a rookie third-round pick to sweeten the pot should be sufficient for some St. Brown owners.