Fantasy Football Hot Takes: NFL Week 7
Dan Malin recaps the weekend's action in the NFL with his fantasy football hot takes and what you need to take away from everything you saw.
Week Seven is almost in the books and I have some opinions. The fire alarm in my building went off a 4:00am so I’ve been up for approximately 17+ hours at the time of the beginning of this article and I am “a mood.” For starters, I’m a Patriots fan and this is the worst they’ve looked since the Pete Carroll administration. The Trevor Lawrence conspiracy web continues to grow, and it looks like America’s Team could have a top five pick in next year’s draft. I’m not going to comment on injuries because the last two weeks I did that and somebody of importance got hurt. Instead I’m going to take a deep breath, sip on some hot green tea laced with a wedge of lemon and a sprinkle of peanut butter, and dive into these scorchers…
Stream D/ST’s Against The Cowboys, Not The Jets
I recommended in this week’s D/ST coach to fade the Bills because they were facing the Jets. I don’t care how well the Bills did at $4,700 I just want people to know the Football Team was just as good at half the price. For all the glitz, glamour, and attention the Cowboys get, they absolutely suck right now. I don’t want to rail on Dallas too much because they’ve been dealt a lethal blow with injuries. They lost Dak Prescott a couple weeks ago to a broken ankle and it looks like they’ll be without Andy Dalton for the foreseeable future at quarterback after he sustained a concussion Sunday. The offensive line is hurting as well, possibly more than the quarterbacks are. And let’s not forget the Cowboys’ general manager (looking at you, Jerry) must have taken an historic nap when assembling this defense. So, it’s not anybody’s fault, but this team is a gem if you’re looking to stream a D/ST or target one for DFS. Dallas totaled 142 yards of offense on Sunday and 75 of those bad boys came via Dalton’s arm prior to the injury. I’m no detective but 67 yards with your backup’s backup doesn’t seem very good on the surface. Add in a legendary (but not in a good way) offensive line that allows six sacks and we’re looking at fantasy gold for opposing defenses. Let everyone else pay up in DFS for whoever is playing the Jets. You should be looking at the defense playing the Cowboys.
You Cannot Trust Any Dallas Cowboys In Fantasy
This ties in to the last post, but it deserves to be said. The Cowboys are not good, and without Andy Dalton , they will be even worse. This isn't necessarily to say that you can't start any of these players. In no world are you benching Ezekiel Elliott if he's healthy. But with the passing game in limbo it's a legitimate question as to whether you'll be starting Amari Cooper , CeeDee Lamb, or Michael Gallup . It's certainly within reason to look to trade the first two and see what you can get. But the running game and quarterback play are at the mercy of the offensive line. The best parts of the line are all hurt. Given the injuries to all other running backs it's within reason that Elliott is still a top ten running back in fantasy, but it's almost by default. Once Joe Mixon , Nick Chubb , Austin Ekeler , Miles Sanders, and Christian McCaffrey come back he might be pushed out of RB1 status and it's not quite his fault despite the ball security issues.
The Chiefs Are So Good At Real Football That They’ve Become Frustrating For Fake Football
It isn’t the shortest header we’ve ever compiled here at Fantasy Alarm but it makes its point. Weather be damned, the Chiefs are on autopilot until the playoffs. They don’t need to show up and play at their best, they just need to be at their best in January. They just set the offense to cruise control and produce wins. And that’s a real bummer for fantasy. In four-of-seven games this year Patrick Mahomes has 32 or fewer pass attempts. And in those four games he’s thrown for under 250 passing yards in each one. The sad fact is that you can’t really sit any of these guys. I noted earlier in the NFL Seasonal Chat that I don’t care if Patrick Mahomes is in a wheelchair, I’d still start him if he was on my team. It kind of sucks and this is a hot take in itself, but we’re seeing this team have featured names that could be touchdown-dependent players for fantasy. Travis Kelce gets a pass for Sunday’s game. The tight end position isn’t as deep as we all thought it would be and he’s still among the best and he had his first unproductive game in fantasy this year. But Tyreek Hill has certainly suffered from a lack of passing volume this season. In five-of-seven games this year he has six or fewer targets. Fortunately for him he’s found the end zone six times but he’s only topped 80 receiving yards just once. Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been performing better over the last couple games but what happens when Le’Veon Bell eats into his workload more? It might be worth testing the trade market to see what you could get especially for Hill who is coming off a good game. You can’t sit any of these guys by any means, but we’re playing them with more trepidation than we were anticipating.
Kyler Murray Finishes The Year As QB1
I guess at this point this is more of a midseason bold prediction than a hot take. But this team will always be throwing (and when they aren’t throwing, Murray will be running). And better yet, they always play to the level of their opponent whether that’s playing up or playing down. I love everything about him, but I don’t really like the first name here. His parents had nine months and they went with Kyler? They couldn’t decide between Kyle and Tyler so they split the difference? Regardless of how I feel, Murray is the best quarterback in fantasy this year. The Cardinals just seem to find themselves in competitive games or trailing each week. And Murray is dynamic in that he can throw the ball or run it. Even in games where he only completes nine passes (like last Monday) he still finds a way to be an elite play. The offense runs through him which is incredibly refreshing and with Patrick Mahomes throwing less and Lamar Jackson underwhelming prior to Baltimore’s bye week, we’re looking at Murray as the top quarterback in fantasy this year. His only real competition might be Russell Wilson .
Every New England Patriot Can Be Dropped In Fantasy
That’s right. Every. Single. One. Drop ‘em. Trade ‘em. I don’t care, destiny arrives all the same. Just get them off your team. We all thought the running back group was hard to read? Imagine an entire team! In what world does Cam Newton get benched for Jarrett Stidham? Nobody has value in this offense. Julian Edelman probably wishes he got traded to Tampa Bay. The backfield is unreliable. And no pass catcher is getting the volume to return value for a fantasy football team. The New York Jets have more startable players for fantasy than the Patriots do. How can anyone possibly move forward with confidence in Cam Newton or the Patriots D/ST after Sunday’s game? The excuse last week was that they didn’t get a full week of preparation in. There’s no excuse now. This is just a bad team with little-to-no direction.
Cleveland Pass Catchers: Who Steps Up?
This is a fun analytical section. The Browns are anticipating a serious injury to Odell Beckham Jr. after he injured it making a tackle on an interception return by the Bengals. And this obviously stinks on ice because he flashed some great upside in sporadic moments this year. The Browns managed to keep pace with the Bengals and they won the game despite the absence of Odell. A lot of people will look to Rashard Higgins after he caught all six targets for 110 yards and that makes sense. Harrison Bryant could get some love after stepping in for Austin Hooper and catching two touchdowns. Jarvis Landry will remain a thing but he’s playing through a broken rib and the team doesn’t want to put him at too much risk. He’s also thrown more touchdowns (one) than he’s caught this year (zero). To be honest, Donovan Peoples-Jones is my Hot Take grab from this group. I’m very interested in what he can bring to the table and I want to keep an eye on his snaps and workload going forward. He caught all three of his targets on Sunday including a touchdown pass. DPJ is a bigger target than Odell with slightly bigger hands, a bigger wingspan, and he measured out with an impressive 44.5-inch vertical leap at the combine. The question will be whether Peoples-Jones can develop separation between himself and the defensive backs covering him. Higgins will likely make my waiver column tomorrow but this rookie is one I’ll also mention as a longshot play because I’d love to see what he can do with more reps.
The San Francisco Backfield Is The NEW New England Backfield
If there are no fantasy-relevant Patriots then we need a new backfield to complain about. Every time we think we get a shred of clarity on the 49ers backfield, we’re dealt a newer, more crappy hand than before. A lot of fantasy managers played Jerick McKinnon today and they were sorely disappointed in his performance after he touched the ball… *Checks Notes*… Thrice. Jeff Wilson Jr. had as many touchdowns as McKinnon had touches. THAT is how exasperating this backfield is. And if you thought Jeff Wilson would make for a great waiver addition, you were right! Sadly, he suffered a high ankle sprain and will likely be unavailable in the immediate future. Luckily the 49ers have Tevin Coleman returning soon but that’s just another monkey wrench to account for in this backfield. It’s likely Jamycal Hasty gets a little more rub in the coming weeks, or Kyle Shanahan goes back to the McKinnon well. It’s an elaborate quandary we find ourselves in as fantasy football managers with San Francisco. I’m doing my best not to get tangled up in this web of calamity.
The Bills/Jets Game Had The Most Fantasy Developments In Week 7
Stick with me here because I’ll elaborate on this. If we’re looking at games where we’re breaking down the quantity of fantasy takeaways, it’s this game. It was another sketchy performance from Josh Allen . After the hot start he got off to, he needed 43 pass attempts against the lowly Jets. He salvaged his day from a fantasy perspective with over 300 passing yards and 60+ rushing yards. However, he didn’t find the end zone and he did lose a fumble. So his stock is slipping a little bit and I’d be worried if I were an Allen owner. Zack Moss emerged with as many touches as Devin Singletary . He could gradually carve out a bigger role as the season progresses. This was to be expected after all. On the other side of the ball we also thought Breshad Perriman would perform well with Jamison Crowder out and that simply wasn’t the case. Denzel Mims, in his debut with the Jets, turned seven targets into four catches for 42 yards. Frank Gore looked decent with his 11 carries, but it was about time La’Mical Perine saw double-digit touches and he found the end zone. Hopefully that’s a trend that continues. I’m still a firm believer the Bills D/ST is awful for fantasy, but they did come through with six sacks and a pair of interceptions from Sam Darnold . It wasn’t the prettiest game and by most accounts it was definitely a frustrating game. But we come away from it with plenty of talking points.
The Trevor Lawrence Conspiracy Corner
This has become a running joke (for me at least) the last few weeks. Initially I thought maybe the Atlanta Falcons could be tanking for Trevor Lawrence, which is still a possibility if anyone saw Todd Gurley ’s “accidental” touchdown to give Detroit the ball back, and a chance to win the game as a matter of fact. Last week it was the more obvious team in the New York Jets that were tanking for Lawrence. Adam Gase hasn’t been fired yet so he’s clearly convinced Lawrence is the route to take. But that’s just really grasping at the low-hanging fruit, right? But what if I told you there was a certain team in North Texas that was no stranger to bold moves and dramatic first-round draft picks? Yes… This week I’m pitching the Dallas Cowboys on the Tank for Trevor train. The Cowboys find themselves in a fantastic spot where they could find themselves on varying ends of the spectrum. Even at 1-6 they’re still in contention to possibly win the division. I know a couple weeks ago I said a team could win that division with five wins. That was a little facetious on my part, but legitimately we could be looking at the Eagles as 6-9-1 NFC East division champions. And Dallas could still possibly win the division… But they won’t. With no Dak Prescott and no Andy Dalton , the Cowboys can mail this season in.
Trevor Lawrence is going to end up in Dallas. pic.twitter.com/vu2qFT5y7a— Dan Malin (@RealDANlanta) October 26, 2020
Speaking of conspiracies… And mail for that matter (you’ll understand if you’ve seen “Pepe Silvia”)… What’s to stop Dallas from making a run at Trevor Lawrence? You can’t tell me if the Dallas Cowboys are sitting there in April, with a top five draft pick, and they’re in another contract dispute with Dak Prescott , that they won’t consider making drastic moves for Trevor Lawrence. And if the Jets have the number one overall pick and Trevor Lawrence doesn’t necessarily want to play for the Jets, but he also doesn’t want to return to Clemson, what’s to stop Dallas from tempting the Jets with a couple first-round draft picks to get the rights to Lawrence? I don’t care what the Cowboys have said about their future and how Dak is involved, that could easily change in six months when we’re preparing for the draft and wondering why Dak hasn’t signed his second franchise tag. At this rate, the Cowboys may not win another game this year. Nor should they! The best thing any team struggling right now can do is to Tank for Trevor. It’s going to take an unprecedented lack of effort and an unparalleled tier of sucking to keep pace with the Jets. But you can do this, Dallas.