It was a brutal week for me from start to finish. My bye week players are stacked to the moon, and in my effort to fill out a starting roster, I made a pair of terrible add/drop moves. At least they weren’t bad trades.
To start it out, I added Willie Snead on Wednesday morning. That doesn’t sound so bad. Snead had a promising match-up and was a top option on the wire. I needed a fill-in for a team that included two Raiders, two Packers, and a Seahawk all on byes. I was starting everyone on my bench, including Nick Chubb — projected for just 2 points. Rather than settle for those 2, I went out and snagged Snead. Later that day, Chubb’s running mate, Carlos Hyde, was traded to the Jaguars, opening up the role I’d envisioned for Chubb since I drafted him in August. And hours before he found that role… I’d bailed on him. The Twitter response was entertaining to say the least – I definitely recommend scrolling down past the initial conversations to all the GIFs of my despair.
The second error stings far less, but is still painful. On Sunday, needing to find a sub for Gronk, Lamar Miller found the axe. A disappointment so far this year, there were no sad feelings about Lamar. That is until he eclipsed the century mark and scored a TD. This is what we’d hoped for as our RB2 all year. And it came a week late.
Masters of Week Seven
Patrick Mahomes & Kareem Hunt. PPR scorers 1 & 2 on the week, prior to Monday night. Mahomes lit it up for 358 yards and 4 scores. Hunt caught two of those scores and ran a third in, while contributing 140+ yards from scrimmage. The Chiefs slaughtered the Bengals, and I have to admit I didn’t even watch the end. It wasn’t close, and the game wasn’t very interesting. Alas, that’s how blowouts can be.
Marlon Mack & Andrew Luck were not on the same level as the two Chiefs, but they still finished 4 & 5 in the PPR rankings this week. Mack’s 2 TDs + 150 yards were solid. Andrew lucked his way into the top five thanks to 4 touchdowns, albeit on only 150 yards. Splitting the two pairs of scorers was Mitchell Trubisky. Mitch tossed it around again, topping 330 yards with multiple scores, and showed off his legs, adding 80 yards on the ground. Trubisky should be a popular waiver wire add this week (just 50% owned in ESPN leagues).
From there – let’s look at each group of players:
Of the Quarterbacks, the top of the board doesn’t look too off the norm, with the obvious exception in the five-hole.
- Patrick Mahomes
- Mitch Trubisky
- Andrew Luck
- Cam Newton tossed for two scores, ran for nearly 50 yards and slid into the 4-hole.
- Tom Brady added three more TDs to his illustrious career, trailing only Mahomes/Luck for the weekly lead.
- Phillip Rivers continues to play well no matter who the opponent is. A 300+ yard day, coupled with two TDs is exactly what you’re looking for from Rivers.
- Baker Mayfield had a heartbreaking loss on the field, but his numbers were solid, albeit nothing amazing: 2 TDs, 215 yards, and 40 more on the ground.
- Joe Flacco is not elite. His two TDs and 279 yards are simply average. But QBs didn’t shine, so he’s in the top 25% this week, (including bye teams).
- Kirk Cousins battled the wind to the tune of 241 yards and 2 TDs.
- Carson Wentz slung It for over 300 yards, but only two TDs. You’re okay with this start from Wentz.
Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford, Jared Goff, Dak Prescott, & Brock Osweiler each totaled just a point off the top 10 mark, and interestingly enough, each accounted for 2 TDs.
Runners run, and these runners ran hardest. However, this section is looking more and more like a
- Kareem Hunt
- Marlon Mack
- Todd Gurley is the RB GOTS — Greatest of this Season. Sorry for that.
- James White has been a staple of this column. One of the best late-round picks you could have made, White snagged eight more passes, totaling 57 yards and two scores. He only added 40 ground yards, but who needs rushing stats when you catch like White?
- Latavius Murray has back-to-back 20+ point weeks in PPR. This time, it was spurred on by two TD and 69 yards.
- Dion Lewis didn’t reach the end zone, but he topped 150 all purpose yards and added six catches for your PPR mavens.
- Tarik Cohen has now put up four straight weeks of double digits in PPR scoring, and three straight over 20 points. He’s being used everywhere in Nagy’s new offense, and we’re working to get him into lineups of any style, with PPR nearing the “must-start” category.
- Kerryon Johnson rumbled his way to 158 yards, adding 21 in the air. No TDs limited this strong showing.
- Lamar Miller had his best game of the season, running for 100 yards and a score. If you didn’t drop him, I’d be trying to sell high.
- Kenyan Drake has started to put things together, tallying a third straight double-digit performance. His value is higher in PPR than standard, but you’re finally okay with his play.
Outside the top ten: T.J. Yeldon, Phillip Lindsay, Kapri Bibbs, Alvin Kamara, Derrick Henry, Christian McCaffrey, and Nick Chubb each topped 14 PPR points, all were start-worthy this week.
Looking at the pass catchers next — and we’re a bit disappointed after last week. Only nine WRs topped 20 points this week – with five of those nine at 22 or less points.
- Emmanuel Sanders leads the way after a strong Thursday night showing that included both a passing and receiving touchdown. The 102 receiving yards on six catches would have been enough for a top ten finish, but the passing score vaulted Sanders to WR1 on the week.
- Adam Thielen is a bad man. He caught all but one of his 10 targets in route to 110 yards and a score. He’s been the fantasy MVP through half a season and he shows no signs of slowing down.
- John Brown landed in the 3-hole. Brown caught all seven targets for 134 yards and a score in his mouth-watering match-up with the Saints. He was a chalk start, and he produced.
- Jarvis Landry finally put up those WR1 numbers you were hoping for. A league-leading 15 targets on the week resulted in 97 yards on 10 catches, including a TD. With three more plus match-ups in a row, expect to see Landry’s name in this column the next few weeks.
- Tyrell Williams has dropped 118 yards in back-to-back games. This time only catching 1 TD, however. Williams will be very boom/bust this year, evidenced by five games of 10 or less and two games of 22 or more points.
In the 6 to 9 holes, we have four WRs scoring TDs on at least a half dozen catches each. Then there’s T.Y. Hilton at #10 thanks to a pair of scores.
- Alshon Jeffery: 7-88-1
- Danny Amendola: 6-84-1
- Michael Thomas: 7-69-1
- Tyreek Hill: 7-68-1
- Y. Hilton: 4-25-2
Outside of the top ten, but over the 17-point PPR threshold, we find Devin Funchess, A.J. Green, Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks, Tajae Sharpe, and Michael Gallup. The last of these names is intriguing, as the Cowboys lack a true #1 WR (prior to the trade for Amari Cooper). If Gallup can somehow claim that role, he should be rosterable in all formats.
A look at the top 10 TEs reveals just 70% caught TDs. Pretty standard for the position.
- Trey Burton had a monster day, catching 9 of 11 targets to the tune of 126 yards and a score.
- Zach Ertz mirrored Burton’s catches and targets, and eclipsed his yardage total (gaining 138 yards). Sadly, Ertz didn’t find the end zone.
- Michael Roberts (a Detroit Lion) snagged two TD passes. He is forgettable in terms of reproducing this line.
- George Kittle may have been the biggest miss I had after two weeks, though his increased usage is more attributed to C.J. Beathard’s preference for TEs. Either way, his 5-98-1 line is quite nice.
- Benjamin Watson tallied his best game of the season, catching all six targets for 43 yards and a score.
- Travis Kelce continues to be a top TE, even as he’s been held out of the end zone. Another 5-95 line keeps him in the TE1 conversation, though Ertz is leading the way for now.
- David Njoku rewarded owners again – tallying a 4-52-1 line.
- Dallas Goedert is Philly’s second TE, but he’s a top 10 guy for fantasy thanks to a TD and 43 yards. His role continues to grow in this TE-focused offense.
- Chris Herndon also got you a score, adding just 40 yards in the process.
- Our last double-digit scoring TE, O.J. Howard did it all without a TD. His nine targets trail only Burton/Ertz on the week, and his role is growing with Winston behind center.
- Greg Olsen missed the top 10, but his TD late saved you if you started him.
What about the Losers?
Some of these losers are injury-related. Others are simply poor performances. If you had more than one of these guys on a team? That team lost.
Soul-Crushing, Injury-Related Losers
- Melvin Gordon was started in 62% of ESPN leagues this week. Including by yours truly, (though in a Yahoo league). He was placed on the injury report on Saturday, so that smart 38% of owners was ready. I actually did pick up another RB to start in his stead, but I didn’t realize there was a 9:30 a.m. start time to this game in London. And so I started Gordon, waking up during the first quarter of that game to the news that he was held out.
- LeSean McCoy was injured early in his game, tallying the same number of points as Melvin Gordon.
- Sony Michel was a fantasy darling for a few weeks, but his brutal injury could keep him out of the lineup for a few weeks. Hopefully you didn’t sell the farm for him!
- Carlos Hyde was a scratch in Jacksonville, though this was more likely a “get him up to speed” scratch than anything else.
- Gronk sat out. It was a late decision. He was started in 24% of ESPN leagues. That’s a bummer.
- Both Dalvin Cook & Leonard Fournette were out again this week.
Poor Play From Guys I’m Holding:
- Ezekiel Elliott couldn’t get anything going in Washington, totaling just over 40 yards on the day.
- David Johnson didn’t do much better, out-gaining Zeke by just 30 yards. Neither found the end zone. You can’t get value for DJ, so you’re stuck with him.
- Allen Robinson is very frustrating. He managed just one catch this week, despite 330 yards from his QB.
- Kyle Rudolph really bummed you out this week.
- So did DeShaun Watson, burning owners in back-to-back weeks. News came out this weekend that Watson is dealing with a bum lung, but the young signal caller is due for a rebound performance next week.
- Eric Ebron let you down — but that’s what he usually does.
- Stefon Diggs made the “buy low” list last week. He will stay there this week. Sooner or later; though, Thielen will be seeing double coverage and Diggs will have the chance to win one-on-ones.
Who am I Selling / Sitting?
- Matt Breida looks banged up. And this bad match-up with the Rams did him no favors. He got you the dreaded negative points.
- Corey Davis is droppable in all formats. He was a big miss of mine this year. Oh, and now that I’ve said he’s droppable, he’s clearly going to go off next week. That’s how variance in football works.
- Peyton Barber was a popular add last week after a strong week 6 performance. He let you down this week if you relied on him.
- Stop. Starting. Alfred. Morris. The dude is old and can’t play the game well anymore.
If you need better players, the trade is my favorite way to go. Check out my Week 7 Trade Targets, or pay attention for the list coming out later this week.
Let me know your thoughts — who did I miss? Who else won you a week? Who let you down? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Twitter machine: @MillerBadger.
And as always, tell your friends… or don’t.