Fantasy Football Market Report: Week 7

Fantasy Football Market Report: Week 7

Fantasy football player trends

Fantasy Football Market Report: Week 7

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Every year when a team invests in a quarterback in the first round, there is one of two scenarios that tend to play out.

One is that they throw the guy in the first on Day 1 and take their chances. 2) Under ideal circumstances, the organization claims that it’s going to take time with the young quarterback and get him up to speed slowly.

That rarely happens. There were five quarterbacks taken in the first round this year and only two of them were slated to be starters right out of the gate – first overall pick Trevor Lawrence and second overall pick Zach Wilson. The other three were projected to be groomed.

That ended in New England with the surprise release of Cam Newton, ascending Mac Jones to the starting job for Week 1.

Then there were two.

The Andy Dalton Era in Chicago ended in Week 2 when he was injured and the job was given to rookie Justin Fields.

Then there was one.

The 49ers claimed that they intended to sit Trey Lance. He made is starting debut in Week 5 but is still nursing a calf injury coming out of the bye week, hindering his chance to stake a legitimate claim on the starting job from Jimmy Garoppolo.

If a quarterback (other than Jordan Love) is drafted in the first round, regardless of what a coach says, he becomes the starter sooner than projected and gets his chance to make his stand as a franchise guy – for better or worse.

If anything, that timeline is getting shorter all the time, but will it translate into seeing any of them enter upcoming editions of the Fantasy Football Market Report?

Fantasy Football Risers

RB Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears

Being the primary running back in the Bears offense has been a pretty good gig this season. In the four games David Montgomery played before getting injured, he had a pair of 100-yard rushing games and scored three touchdowns. In the two games since he went down, Herbert has rushed 37 times for 172 yards and a touchdown. With injuries sidelining his in-house competition, Herbert could join the elite fantasy back by sheer production – 18 carries for 75 yards in Week 5 and 19 carries for 97 yards and a score last Sunday.

WR Antonio Brown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Everyone keeps referring to Brown as the third wide receiver with the Bucs behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but that is in name only. Despite playing one fewer game that those two, Brown has 29 receptions (two behind Evans and five behind Godwin) and his 418 yards is second on the team (just two yards behind Evans). What makes Brown the more attractive option is that over the last three games is he leads the teams in targets (32), receptions (23), receiving yards (280) and touchdowns (3). He will still have stiff competition for receptions but has quickly become Tom Brady’s most used target.

QB Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

Hurts wasn’t a player anyone outside of Philly would have considered to be a regular fantasy starter, but he’s been about as consistent as any QB in the league in terms of not having the kind of game that loses a week for a fantasy owner. Through six games, he has accounted for two or more touchdowns in five of them. He has a pair of 300-yard passing games and is the Eagles’ leading rusher with 300 yards. At his current pace, he will rush for 850 yards and 14 touchdowns to go along with 23 touchdown passes. Most fantasy owners could live with those numbers, especially with the easiest part of his schedule coming up.

RB Darrel Williams, Kansas City Chiefs

The injury to Clyde Edwards-Helaire could be a boom for Williams. While he didn’t post huge rushing numbers in his debut as the starter post-CEH, he rushed 21 times for 62 yards and scored two touchdowns. He accounted for 21 of the 24 rushing attempts for running backs for the Chiefs, and Andy Reid seems content to let him continue to be the primary (if not exclusive) running back in the system as long as Edwards-Helaire is out.

WR CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys

Lamb has always been considered to be the No. 2 guy in the Cowboys’ pass offense behind Amari Cooper, but he has been putting together some very impressive weekly numbers. He leads the team in targets (49), receptions (33), receiving yards (497), average per reception (15.1), and is tied for the lead in touchdowns (4). He has four games with more than 80 receiving yards and, in his last two games, has blown up for 13 catches for 233 yards and three scores. Cooper may still be viewed as the top dog among Dallas receivers, but Lamb is making a case for himself that is pretty persuasive.

Fantasy Football Fallers

QB Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts

Wentz was drafted to either be a starter or in a platoon for someone who didn’t make a huge investment to land one of the top quarterbacks. However, he is starting to look much more like a game manager than a bona fide fantasy quarterback. He has thrown for more than 251 yards just once in six games and hasn’t accounted for more than two touchdowns in any game. At a time when QBs that can get you points with their legs and their arms, Wentz is a one-trick pony who doesn’t have a great trick. Over the last four games, he has rushed just nine times for 14 yards and hasn’t scored a rushing touchdown this season. If 240 passing yards, no rushing yards and two touchdowns are what you want from a quarterback, he’s your guy.

RB D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions

Big things were expected of Swift this season and, while he hasn’t been awful, he hasn’t shown any explosiveness. He leads the team with 34 receptions and has 295 receiving yards and one touchdown, so he brings value there. What is troubling is that he in a time share with Jamaal Williams at running back and appears to be losing that battle. Williams is averaging a full yard more per carry (4.3) than Swift (3.3). Over 65 carries, Swift has had a single carry of more than 16 yards. His four touchdowns in six games has been his saving grace, but when 51 yards is your high-water mark for any rushing in a game, that’s a problem that will be worse if the touchdowns start to dry up.

QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Rodgers isn’t having a bad season, but he was taken in drafts and auctions much higher this year than he was last year, because he was consistently dominant in 2020 on his way to the MVP. Last season, he threw for 280 or more yards 10 times and had three or more TD passes 12 times. Through six games, he has topped 280 yards just once and has three or more TD passes in just one game. Again, he is posting solid numbers (12 TD passes and two TD runs in six games). But, he just isn’t living up to the kind of expectations fantasy owners had coming off his brilliant 2020 season.

RB Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos

Gordon was brought onto rosters to start more weeks than not, and it just hasn’t worked out with him. He is averaging fewer than 12 carries a game, has more than 60 rushing yards just once (in Week 1), and a long run of just 14 yards in the last five games. Over the last three weeks, Javonte Williams has had a carry of 30 yards or more in each game – the kind of production that gets you more opportunities. Those will come at the expense of Gordon, who has done little as a receiver with just 13 catches for 119 yards and no TDs in six games.

QB Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

Mayfield has been nothing short of a bust most of the season. He has thrown just six passing touchdowns in six games, has four games with 246 or fewer passing yards, and has 11 or fewer rushing yards in five of six games. Granted, his top two receivers (Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry) have both missed time with injuries, but Mayfield’s production has fallen off hard after a strong finish to the 2020 season. He doesn’t look like a guy you want in your lineup every week with the expectation of winning, especially now that he’s nursing a shoulder injury.

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