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Sam Darnold is No Longer Fantasy-Relevant

Sam Darnold is No Longer Fantasy-Relevant

Welcome to Week 7 Fantasy Overreactions! The day or two after the dust settles during the NFL season, meaning that we can take any occurrence from Sunday or Monday and make a completely wild narrative with it. We also want to make bold claims to remain ahead of the curve!

Every week, we’re going to identify five of these potential overreactions from the week’s NFL action. While these are just our opinions, feel free to use your own thoughts on each narrative. The storylines have been played out, now it’s our job to decide if we feel the story is fact or fiction.

The stories were aplenty this week: Arizona extended their undefeated season to 7-0, The Chiefs didn’t score a TD for the first time in the Patrick Mahomes era, the Bengals stand atop the AFC, Tom Brady threw his 600th TD pass, and so much more from Sunday’s action.

All of this has led to some great overreactions. So as we will do each week, it’s now time to react to the potential overreactions! 

1) Sam Darnold’s days as a fantasy-relevant quarterback are OVER

Verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION

Sam Darnold looks lost. After the first three weeks that saw him accumulate 21.41 fantasy points per game to be the QB12 in fantasy football, he has now dropped to 17.48 fantasy points per game over his last five. He’s also failed to top 16.1 fantasy points over his last three games, which included him getting benched in Carolina’s most recent 25-3 thrashing to the New York Giants.

On the surface, Darnold’s game against the Giants looked bad: 111 total yards, on 16-of-25 passing with an INT and three sacks. What’s worse is according to NFL Next Gen stats, “D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson combined for six receptions on 15 targets for 68 yards when aligned wide.” That’s not getting the job done. Darnold’s job feels far from safe and outside the rushing touchdowns he was giving you early, there’s not much there. I would move on if he’s your starter.

2) Kyle Pitts has turned the corner and will be a Top 5 TE

Verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION

The “Unicorn” as he’s been called by many, has finally seemed to break out and perform like many were predicting this offseason. Over the last three weeks, Pitts is only behind Baltimore Ravens Tight End Mark Andrews in fantasy points, scoring over 50 points. Oh yeah, that’s in just two games. Pitts is also first in fantasy points per game over that stretch, nearly nine points per game ahead of third-place Mike Gesicki.

What’s even more impressive is according to NFL.com research, “Kyle Pitts’ 163 receiving yards Sunday are the second-most in a single game by a rookie tight end since the 1970 merger, trailing only Mark Bavaro (176 yards), who set the mark in Week 6 of the 1985 season.” What’s even crazier is that according to PFF, Pitts is lining up in line as a TE less than 20% of the time. He’s basically lining up as a WR in most plays and it is showing. Pitts looks like the real deal

3) Ja’Marr Chase will break the rookie wide receiver yardage record and be a Top 10 fantasy wide receiver 

Verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION

Ja’Marr Chase had over 200 yards on Sunday against the Ravens. A lot of them against a top 15 cornerback ranked on PFF in Marlon Humphrey. Right now Chase is on pace for over 1,800 yards as he’s collected 754 yards through his first seven games. The most by any player in their first seven games of their career in NFL history.

Many of us are running out of adjectives to describe his incredible rookie season, but with roughly a 25% target share, six touchdowns through seven games, and averaging over 16 yards per target, Chase is on pace for potentially the best rookie season in history. Chase remains the WR4 in fantasy points and fantasy points per game and there’s no reason to think at this point he won’t be breaking records and be a top-10 fantasy wide receiver the rest of this season.

4) You should not trust ANY Eagles player outside Jalen Hurts for fantasy

Verdict: OVERREACTION

I won’t sit here and tell you it hasn’t been painful to own Eagles players outside of Jalen Hurts. I have some DeVonta Smith, a little Dallas Goedert, and luckily no Miles Sanders shares on my teams this season. Better days are ahead for this offense though, as you can’t be overreactive from this game against the Raiders. The Eagles threw a pass with just over nine minutes left in the second quarter, and did not throw another pass until the third quarter. Those types of games will happen every once in a while.

The Eagles get to play the Lions, Jets, and Giants in three of their next six games and have a limited amount of pass-catchers consistently getting looks in this offense in Smith, Goedert, with a little Quez Watkins and Jaelon Reagor mixed in. I expect things to go right for this offense starting next week against the Lions so remain patient with the players on this team.

5) Mike Evans is the No. 1 option in the Buccaneers passing game

Verdict: OVERREACTION

Rostering Buccaneer wide receivers has been a roller coaster this season. Between some missing time, to throwing up duds, to breaking out in games we don’t expect them to. Here’s the reality of the situation: Mike Evans was WR3 in Week 7 putting up over 31 fantasy points. In Week 6, Mike Evans was WR73 putting up under 5 fantasy points. Chris Godwin had more targets, catches, and yards than Evans in this Week 7 game, but only scored one touchdown instead of three.

At the end of the day, the targets per game between Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown end up being: Evans (8.3), Godwin (7.7), and Brown (8.4). This passing game is a week-to-week roller coaster with no legit WR1 consistently each week. Don’t forget how more cloudy it’ll get when Rob Gronkowski returns! Don’t expect an alpha in this group, but expect results when the season is all said and done from each.

For more follow me on Twitter @DMendy02 and check out all the great work from other authors at the33rdteam.com

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