Outliers Week 7 - Footballguys

A comparison of the early weekly positional rankings and the Top 200, this is an output of the players who could either have unexpected good or poor fantasy weeks.

This article will take a weekly look at players who are either undervalued or overvalued in a given week. The outliers calculated by a comparison between the Top 200 forward, a look at the top 200 players with the whole season in mind, and the initial weekly Footballguys rankings. Both sources are from the Footballguys.com subscriber content. An emphasis will be on the players with the largest differences between the season outlook and this week only. Also, a preference will be given to differences for the higher ranked players. Some of these differences will be due to injury, the matchup of the week, or short-term situation. Now, let's look at this week's outlier players.


Baker Mayfield

  • Top 200 ranking: 22
  • Weekly ranking: 14
  • Difference: +8

Mayfield has been a typical rookie with plenty of memorable moments, both positive and negative. The game against the Buccaneers this week should give him ample opportunity for a big outing. Tampa Bay is by far the worst defense in defending opposing quarterbacks. Look for the rookie to have a bounce-back game this week.

Andy Dalton

  • Top 200 ranking: 17
  • Weekly ranking: 9
  • Difference: +8

Dalton has enjoyed a good season so far and has a great matchup against the Chiefs this week. Cincinnati is stinging from the loss to the Steelers and is looking to knock off one of the premier AFC teams. As we saw on Sunday night, Kansas City is not strong in defending the pass. The Chiefs are the fourth-best matchup for fantasy passers.

Deshaun Watson

  • Top 200 ranking: 8
  • Weekly ranking: 17
  • Difference: -9

Watson has enjoyed a solid start to the season but gets division-rival, Jacksonville, this week. Even with the poor showing the past two weeks – in losses to Kansas City and Dallas – the Jaguars are the third-best defense in keeping fantasy quarterbacks under wraps.

Drew Brees

  • Top 200 ranking: 2
  • Weekly ranking: 12
  • Difference: -10

The Saints are coming off a bye week and face the Ravens this week. The Baltimore defense is little-discussed, but easily the top pass defense for defending fantasy quarterbacks. We like Brees and have difficulty recommending fantasy players to bench him, but this is a week for tempered expectations.

Running Back

LeSean McCoy

  • Top 200 ranking: 27
  • Weekly ranking: 12
  • Difference: +15

McCoy has been toiling away in anonymity in Buffalo for years. With Josh Allen sidelined, McCoy will be featured as Indianapolis has a weak run defense. We like McCoy as a low-end fantasy RB1. The only way the Bills win this game is with a strong running game.

T.J. Yeldon

  • Top 200 ranking: 15
  • Weekly ranking: 9
  • Difference: +6

Yeldon has put up solid numbers in games the Jaguars have been competitive and Leonard Fournette out of the lineup. The game against the Texans this week looks to meet these criteria as these two teams should play a tightly-fought contest. Houston is midpack in defending PPR tailbacks. With the Corey Grant injury, he should see more pass targets as well.

Mark Ingram II

  • Top 200 ranking: 10
  • Weekly ranking: 27
  • Difference: -17

Just like his quarterback, Ingram has a difficult matchup against the top-ranked Ravens. Baltimore is only yielding a mere 13 PPR fantasy points per game. There will be little running room between the tackles for Ingram to run and the scoring will be low enough that there may not be many touchdown opportunities.

Kerryon Johnson

  • Top 200 ranking: 20
  • Weekly ranking: 29
  • Difference: -9

Johnson and the Lions are coming off the bye week refreshed and ready to take on the Dolphins. The Miami defense has played well of late, even holding Jordan Howard in check last Sunday. We do not like Johnson’s chances of having a big game. Sure, he could score, but we do not like his chances of racking up yards between the tackles.

Wide Receiver

Robert Woods

  • Top 200 ranking: 12
  • Weekly ranking: 4
  • Difference: +8

With Cooper Kupp expected to miss the matchup against San Francisco, we like Woods as a fantasy WR1. The 49ers do not have a great pass defense which was evidenced against Aaron Rodgers and company on Monday Night Football.

Tyler Boyd

  • Top 200 ranking: 22
  • Weekly ranking: 15
  • Difference: +7

Boyd has played well this year, putting up quality numbers most weeks. The game in Kansas City will provide opportunities for Boyd to score and strike 100 yards once again. He is a legitimate fantasy starter this week, and many weeks going forward.

Michael Thomas

  • Top 200 ranking: 1
  • Weekly ranking: 12
  • Difference: -11

Thomas and his teammates travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens this week. The combination of facing an elite defense and playing outside of the dome is enough for us to lower expectations this week. He is a star and will get the star treatment from the Baltimore secondary.

Allen Robinson

  • Top 200 ranking: 18
  • Weekly ranking: 29
  • Difference: -11

Robinson played well last week but it was not enough to save the Bears from an embarrassing loss to the Brock Osweiler-led Dolphins. This week’s game against the Patriots will be a much tougher matchup as we expect New England to have a plan for slowing Robinson’s big-play ability.

Tight End

David Njoku

  • Top 200 ranking: 8
  • Weekly ranking: 5
  • Difference: +3

Njoku gets a plum matchup against the Buccaneers this week. Austin Hooper lit up Tampa Bay last week. Njoku may approach 100 yards and a score. He is a great play in what should be a high-scoring game.

C.J. Uzomah

  • Top 200 ranking: 28
  • Weekly ranking: 8
  • Difference: +20

The Chiefs pass defense is a sieve and defending the tight end is part of the problem. We like most pieces of the Bengals passing game this week, and Uzomah benefits with Tyler Kroft expected to miss the game.

O.J. Howard

  • Top 200 ranking: 5
  • Weekly ranking: 13
  • Difference: -8

Howard saw fewer targets with Winston back in the lineup. He spreads the ball between both tight ends more than Fitzpatrick. The game against a surprisingly-tough Browns defense will not be easy. He does have touchdown-upside but not a high expected target share.

Feel free to (email me) with feedback. Also, I am on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/JeffTefertiller), LinkedIn, and Google+, so you can ask me questions on one of these as well.

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