Fantasy Overview: Week 7

Get yourself caught up on what's going on in the league as we enter Week 7 of the NFL season. Here's my take on the fantasy landscape around the league and how you can benefit. 

Let's take a look at which position players are HOT over the last three weeks. I'll share my thoughts on certain players who should sustain success and those who may falter over the next few games. 

Quarterback Top 10 (Weeks 4-6)

Rank Name (Bye Week) Cmp Att Cm% PYd PTD Int Rsh RshYd RshTD FantPt
1 Matt Ryan ATL (11) 70 107 65.4 1105 8 2 8 19 0 87.15
2 Ben Roethlisberger PIT (8) 75 108 69.4 869 10 2 1 -1 0 81.35
3 Marcus Mariota TEN (13) 50 82 61.0 649 6 2 18 144 1 74.85
4 Andrew Luck IND (10) 76 113 67.3 808 5 2 16 89 1 73.30
5 Case Keenum LA (8) 66 93 71.0 858 5 3 6 21 1 68.00
6 Philip Rivers SD (11) 67 102 65.7 858 7 3 1 0 0 67.90
7 Andy Dalton CIN (9) 72 103 69.9 819 4 0 14 39 1 66.85
8 Dak Prescott DAL (7) 59 83 71.1 719 6 1 13 13 1 66.25
9 Brian Hoyer CHI (9) 91 128 71.1 1001 4 0 5 -4 0 65.65
10 Derek Carr OAK (10) 72 109 66.1 741 7 2 8 19 0 64.95

Expect Success to continue

Matt Ryan - The Falcons offense is firing on all cylinders and Matt Ryan is finding a connection with Kyle Shanahan's offense. Ryan's outing at Seattle shows that he's matchup-proof and that you should expect big things, especially at home. Keep leaning on him until he shows otherwise. This team started 5-0 last year and fell apart. I don't see that happening to this team. They look like they are on a collision course to play Minnesota in the NFC Championship.

Marcus Mariota - The Titans quarterback has the fewest completions on the list above, but he has the most rushing yards by far. As long as he keeps his rushing numbers up, he'll be a decent fantasy threat. Tennessee has a favorable schedule coming up with home games against the Colts and Jaguars followed by a trip to San Diego. Mariota has been clicking lately and I expect that to continue, at least for the next few games. 

Andrew Luck - I'm a little uncertain about Luck, but I think he stays equal, if not slightly better in the next few games. The Colts are a different team on the road than they are at home and they have two road games coming in the next three weeks at TEN and at GB. These are two teams in the bottom third of QB fantasy points against over the last three games, but the good news is the Colts will likely be getting Donte Moncrief (shoulder) back soon, possibly this week. The injury to Dwayne Allen should yield more three wide receiver sets with Jack Doyle as the main tight end. Opposing defenses will have to play more nickel, which Luck has thrived against. As long as Moncrief is back, this favors Luck and his ability to put up fantasy points. 

Philip Rivers - The Chargers have a bad enough defense to keep their offense scoring and keeping pace with their opponent. I don't see that formula and game script going away anytime soon. They have two tough games at Atlanta and at Denver followed by a home game against Tennessee, but I don't see the passing game struggling - perhaps against Denver, but we saw them have success last week against the Broncos. I'm buying Rivers and Chargers offense. I think the production continues. 

Look for a decline in the coming weeks

Brian Hoyer - Only two quarterbacks from the list above have passed for 1,000+ yards in the last three games. Matt Ryan is one and Brian Hoyer is the other. The Bears have a tough schedule coming up with games at GB and home vs MIN with their bye the week after. If Hoyer can keep his strong play going in these next two games, he deserves to be included in this list of Top 10. He has four straight games of 300+ yards passing, but that streak could be stopped in the next few weeks. 

Ben Roethlisberger is an obvious choice here. He is expected to be out for 1-3 weeks while he recovers from a torn meniscus. 

Case Keenum - Keenum is on this list mostly due to his big Week 6 game against Detroit. Too bad he can't play the Lions every week. Keenum will host the Giants (in London) and Carolina in the next three weeks with a bye week in between. Carolina has been horrible against quarterbacks so far, but I am not at the point where I can trust Keenum as a fantasy starter. Let's see what he does in London, but I'm expecting a decline to come. 

Running Back TOP 10 (WEEKS 4-6)

Rank Name (Bye) Rsh RshYd Y/Rsh RshTD Rec RecYd RecTD FantPt
1 David Johnson ARI (9) 66 351 5.3 5 10 96 0 84.7
2 LeSean McCoy BUF (10) 56 360 6.4 3 10 48 1 74.8
3 Ezekiel Elliott DAL (7) 66 429 6.5 3 6 73 0 74.2
4 Le'Veon Bell PIT (8) 48 263 5.5 0 20 177 0 64.0
5 DeMarco Murray TEN (13) 73 281 3.8 3 7 40 0 57.1
6 Terrance West BAL (8) 55 295 5.4 3 6 30 0 56.5
7 Jordan Howard CHI (9) 54 263 4.9 1 8 72 1 53.5
8 Melvin Gordon III SD (11) 62 199 3.2 2 7 61 1 51.0
9 James White NE (9) 16 57 3.6 0 17 160 2 50.7
10 Jay Ajayi MIA (8) 44 279 6.3 3 3 16 0 50.5

Expect Success to Continue

David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott, Le'Veon Bell, DeMarco Murray - These four have proven that they are among the top running backs in the league. They have earned their keep and should start for your team regardless of matchup. I don't see a let down from either back on the horizon. 

LeSean McCoy - McCoy is a high producing running back and last week he proved it against a soft run defense at home against the 49ers. He's a big part of the offense with new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn and the strong play should continue. The next few games are tough ones at MIA (who just held Le'Veon Bell in check for the most part), at home vs New England and at Seattle. If McCoy can come out smelling like a rose in the next three weeks, I'll be surprised. I see a slight drop off in production, despite the high volume of carries that is coming. 

LOOK FOR A DECLINE IN THE COMING WEEKS

James White - White is on this list mostly due to his big game last week against the Bengals. It wasn't Cincinnati's porous run defense that resulted in a strong game from White, it was Tom Brady's usage of White as a receiver, especially around the goal line. Is this type of success sustainable? If he gets consistent scores, yes, but he may not be the right tool for the job in most games, so I'm saying no. Plus we still don't know what the status of Dion Lewis is. He's eligible to return beginning this week, but as of now, we don't know when he'll strap on the cleats. When/if he does return, look for him to share duties and responsibilities with White. I'd sell high on White while you can. A good target owner is the Lewis owner. 

Jordan Howard - I'm shying away from Howard in the comning weeks and possibly longer. He's on my list of backs to sell right now. I know I was high on him the last few weeks but the Bears have a tough schedule coming up. They play GB and MIN plus Jeremy Langford is returning soon, maybe after the Week 9 bye, but possibly sooner. His YPC is dropping over the last few weeks and he's only relevant lately due to back to back weeks with a touchdown. He still has trade value, but I don't expect him to rebound that much, if any in the next few games. 

Jay Ajayi - Jay Ajayi is coming off a 200-yard rushing game against Pittsburgh. Where did that come from and can he sustain it? I'd have to say no, but I do think he bought himself another week of more carries while Arian Foster returns to health. Ajayi may still be the back of choice for Miami even if/when Foster is fully healthy. The offensive line is intact and the offense is clicking, but I still can't hitch my wagon to Ajayi, especially with a tough Bills defense coming to town this week. This week will say a lot about what Ajayi can bring to the table. He may be a fantasy starter going forward, but I don't see him putting up Top 10 numbers. 

Wide receiver TOP 15 (WEEKS 4-6)

Rank Name Rec RecYd Y/Rec RecTD FantPt
1 Julio Jones ATL 21 468 22.3 2 79.8
2 Odell Beckham Jr Jr NYG 16 301 18.8 3 64.1
3 Amari Cooper OAK 21 315 15 1 58.5
4 T.Y. Hilton IND 20 262 13.1 2 58.2
5 Cameron Meredith CHI 24 271 11.3 1 57.7
6 Kenny Britt LA 16 293 18.3 2 57.3
7 A.J. Green CIN 20 311 15.6 1 57.1
8 Brandon Marshall NYJ 15 273 18.2 2 54.3
9 Terrelle Pryor CLE 19 169 8.9 3 54.2
10 Antonio Brown PIT 17 181 10.6 3 53.7
11 Michael Crabtree OAK 12 145 12.1 4 50.5
12 Cole Beasley DAL 13 177 13.6 3 49.4
13 Larry Fitzgerald ARI 17 192 11.3 2 48.3
14 Jeremy Kerley SF 16 202 12.6 2 48.2
15 Emmanuel Sanders DEN 19 208 10.9 1 45.8

EXPECT SUCCESS TO CONTINUE

Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr Jr. - The law of averages is starting to take shape in the wide receiver universe as Julio Jones and Odell Beckham Jr Jr are back among the top receivers once again. I expect that we will see consistent effort from both in the coming weeks, keeping them afloat in the Top 5 conversation. 

Cameron Meredith - The Bears have found their Kevin White replacement and he's proving several scouts wrong with his ability to rise to the occasion. I've seen enough good from Meredith to think it's sustainable. He saw 15 targets last week - tied for most in the league. The confidence he's gaining from Brian Hoyer is growing every week. Eddie Royal is dealing with another injury, thus bumping Meredith up further in the pecking order. Look for the success to continue especially with Hoyer. If he's available on your waiver wire, scarf him up, because he won't be after this week. 

Amari Cooper - Cooper has taken a big step forward over the last two weeks, getting 12 and 13 targets respectively with two 100-yard games. He's asserting himself as the team's go-to receiving threat, while Michael Crabtree is occupying the complementary role. The Raiders play at Jacksonville and at Tampa Bay before returning home against Denver. The next two weeks should be productive for Cooper and the Denver game should have good volume. I expect him to remain in the Top 15 easily over the next three games. 

T.Y. Hilton - The return of Donte Moncrief will definitely eat into Hilton's target share, but I don't necessarily see his production going away, at least not out of the Top 15. Hilton should continue to thrive, due to his ability to get himself open, plus Andrew Luck is purposely looking for him on certain routes. That's not going away. Expect a small decline, but he should still be a productive receiver. 

LOOK FOR A DECLINE IN THE COMING WEEKS

Antonio Brown - We've seen how Antonio Brown can disappear in stretches when Ben Roethlisberger isn't under center. That could re-appear in the next few games while Roethlisberger recovers from a torn meniscus. I don't see Brown as a lock for 7-8 catches and 100 yards with Landry Jones at quarterback, especially not against New England and at Baltimore in the next three weeks (bye Week 8). 

Terrelle Pryor - A hamstring injury could keep Pryor from playing in Week 7 at Cincinnati. Whether that injury keeps him out longer is yet to be determined, but usually if you miss one game from a hamstring injury, the next game is more of a wait and see approach. This could be a multiple week injury for Pryor, or at least a multiple weeks of not having a full 100% Pryor. Cleveland's bye week isn't until Week 13, so he doesn't even have that to help him recover. The bubble may have popped for Pryor, at least the for the next few games. 

Cole Beasley - The Cowboys have their bye this week and then they are expected to get Dez Bryant back. I'm assuming Bryant will be a big part of their offense, thus decreasing targets and opportunities for Beasley. Having said that, Beasley has looked sharp lately, especially around the goal line where Dak Prescott has developed a liking for the Julian Edelman clone. I can see Beasley having some decent fantasy production, but I'm a little leery seeing him as a Top 15 receiver over the next few games. 

Jeremy Kerley - I was afraid that Colin Kaepernick would shy away from Kerley and target Torrey Smith more and that's exactly what happened. Some quarterbacks have more of a bond with certain players, or maybe I should say certain routes. Kaepernick has shown more of a connection with Smith and less of one with Kerley. This isn't to say Kerley's production will go away, but I don't see him sustianing a Top 15 status in the coming weeks. 

tight end top 10 (WEEKS 4-6)

Rank Name Rec RecYd Y/Rec RecTD FantPt
1 Greg Olsen CAR 21 351 16.7 1 62.1
2 Martellus Bennett NE 16 224 14 3 56.4
3 Hunter Henry SD 13 218 16.8 3 52.8
4 Rob Gronkowski NE 13 282 21.7 1 47.2
5 C.J. Fiedorowicz HOU 14 194 13.9 2 45.4
6 Jordan Reed WAS 17 126 7.4 2 41.6
7 Zach Miller CHI 16 140 8.8 1 36.0
8 Gary Barnidge CLE 15 192 12.8 0 34.2
9 Charles Clay BUF 15 172 11.5 0 32.2
10 Jimmy Graham SEA 12 202 16.8 0 32.2

EXPECT SUCCESS TO CONTINUE

Greg Olsen - The Panthers aren't having much trouble scoring points, it's their defense that has struggled to keep points off the board. Greg Olsen is third in fantasy points for WR/TEs only behind Julio Jones and Odell beckham Jr. over the last three weeks. His production isn't going anywhere, except his services will be nill this week during Carolina's bye. He returns for games vs Arizona and at Los Angeles. Not the greatest matchups, but still sustainable. I expect a slight decline, but not out of the Top 6-7. 

Martellus Bennett and Rob Gronkowski - It's easy to say that Bennett will decline with Rob Gronkowski returning to form, but I say to that, look at the targets over the last two games with Brady under center. Gronkowski has 16 and Bennett has 13. I expect this dual tight end tandem to stay intact with both tight ends being productive. 

Hunter Henry - If Week 6 is any indication, Hunter Henry looks to be a big target for Philip Rivers and Chargers passing game. Henry continues to out-snap and out-produce Antonio Gates. The torch is being passed to the budding rookie and he's making the most of it. 

Gary Barnidge - The injury to Terrelle Pryor is going to result in an increase in targets for Gary Barnidge. I'm expecting to see a bump in production over the next two games, especially with Josh McCown returning to the fold soon. I see Barnidge holding his rank, if not seeing a spike into the Top 5 over the next few games. 

Zach Miller - Miller has seen 8 targets or more in three of the last four games. An injury to Eddie Royal will open up more opportunities for Miller. If he can reach the end zone, he'll make his way into the Top 6 or 5 in the next few games. 

Charles Clay - Clay is seeing an increase in targets with Sammy Watkins out of the picture and he's making good on his opportunities. He has yet to find the end zone, but it's only a matter of time, before he does - and when that happens, it might be a multiple touchdown day. The Bills have scored 30+ points in four of the last five games. Points are coming and Clay is becoming more of an offensive threat. 

LOOK FOR A DECLINE IN THE COMING WEEKS

Jordan Reed - This is an obvious decline, due to his concussion and his concussion history. It's possible that he will miss Week 7 and not return until Week 8. Look for Washington to keep him out as long as it takes to be cleared. 

C.J. Fiedorowicz - The Texans tight end has touchdowns in two of the last three games, with a date with Detroit coming in Week 8, but without the scores, Fiedorowicz isn't sniffing this list. He has only one game of 8 targets or more. I'm siding with this streak being more of a fluke than a rise to fame. 

 

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to haseley@footballguys.com