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Truths and Lies - Week 7

By Steve Schwarz | 10/20/21

The current wave of injuries and the largest number of teams on bye, including four prolific offenses, will make this the hardest weekend of the year to produce a solid lineup … if you didn’t plan ahead.

Not expected to play due to injuries are: Christian McCaffrey, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, David Montgomery, D.J. Chark, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Will Fuller, Michael Thomas, Saquon Barkley, JuJu Smith-Schuster, George Kittle, Russell Wilson and Chris Carson among others. Now eliminate players from the No. 1, No. 2, No. 10 and the 12th highest-scoring teams. This could get interesting.

Byes: Buffalo, Dallas, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota and Pittsburgh.


“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” – Flannery O’Connor

Antonio Gibson

1) The worst nightmare for those who want to start Antonio Gibson is he continues to miss practice due to the shin injury, but is active for games.

True. It’s obvious he’s not 100% or anywhere near that, but fantasy owners pretty much have to start him if he’s activated on game day. He had in-game treatment for the shin last Sunday and was forced to ride a stationary bike to keep things loose. He’s also still giving way to J.D. McKissic in most passing situations (McKissic has 19 targets over the last three games) and the game script may not be favorable in the next few matchups at Green Bay, at Denver and Tampa Bay. The unknown makes it difficult for fantasy owners. It would be better if he just sat out until he was healthy.

2) This could be a tough time to be looking for a quarterback replacement if your backup isn’t the best because you will have a lot of company scanning the waiver wire.

Correct. We hope you took our advice and mapped out a plan for this a while ago. Not only does Week 7 have the most teams on bye of any week this season (6), but it includes some of the best quarterbacks. Josh Allen, Dak Prescott, Justin Herbert and Kirk Cousins will be watching from the couch like the rest of us and even Trevor Lawrence has had three “fantasy-worthy” games. I suggest Tua Tagovailoa (19% rostered playing against Atlanta) or Daniel Jones (33% rostered) against a slumping Panthers’ pass defense which has yielded an average of 28.7 fantasy points over the past three games.

3) Tom Brady has a man crush on Antonio Brown.

I think this must be true, otherwise how do you explain “AB” seeing 13 targets on just 37 snaps while Mike Evans (70 snaps) and Chris Godwin (68) saw just four and five targets, respectively? Also, Brown leads the Bucs in targets per game with 8.4 versus 8.2 for Evans and 7.7 for Godwin despite a significantly lower snap percentage (Brown 53.2%, Evans 85.3% and Godwin 89.2%). Brady is making sure the guy he “forced” the Bucs to take a chance on, despite a “challenging” past, succeeds. Keep starting Brown and don’t worry about the snap counts.

4) Tyler Boyd is the third wheel.

True. When all three wideouts are active (Boyd, Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase), Boyd is averaging just 7.2 fantasy points. When he’s one of two (in this case when Higgins was sidelined for a couple of games) he averaged 17.2 FPts/G. After analyzing Boyd’s production it’s apparent that he needs at least seven targets a game to produce fantasy-worthy numbers and that’s a lot harder with three talented receivers on the field at the same time.

 Tyler Boyd's Fantasy Production
Targets 2020 2021
6 or less 6.1 7.0
7 or more 17.3 17.6

5) T.Y. Hilton should be the No. 1 waiver claim this week.

Fact. It wasn’t long ago that many thought Hilton would retire due to a neck issue, but he returned last Sunday and looked like the same old TY. In his first game back off the injured list he caught all four targets for 80 yards in a game which was dominated by the running of Jonathan Taylor. Carson Wentz only threw the ball 20 times and despite being on the field just 50% of the time he led the team in targets and yards. He’s only rostered in 39% of all leagues and if he can stay healthy he can be Wentz’s new “DeSean Jackson” which won’t make those who start Michael Pittman Jr. very happy.


“Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.” – Mark Twain

1) Myles Gaskin, Malcolm Brown and Salvon Ahmed are in a three-man RBBC making them all unusable.

False. Ignore the usage from the loss against Jacksonville in London (Gaskin 36%, Brown 36% and Ahmed 27%). The reason the trio saw equal usage is that Gaskin fumbled with three minutes remaining in the first quarter and was basically benched for the second quarter. If he can hold the ball, Gaskin can still be the lead back, although it’s a shaky position with a short leash at best.

2) Khalil Herbert is a godsend to fantasy owners after a great performance in Week 6.

Sorry, but no. It will be back to a shared backfield when Damien Williams returns from the Covid-19 list, though he should certainly be the lead back. Additionally, Herbert has a horrible matchup in Week 7 against the defending champion Bucs, who rank No. 2 against opposing RBs. They have allowed just 17 fantasy points a game to opposing backfields with only the aforementioned Gaskin having produced more than 13 fantasy points against them in a game. Eventually David Montgomery will return (possibly after the Week 10 bye) to muddy the waters further.

3) Many people think D’Ernest Johnson should be everyone’s No. 1 waiver claim this week.

He probably will be, but the correct answer, is false. Yes, both Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb are out for the Week 7 Thursday night game against Denver, but this isn’t going to be a “Khalil Herbert-like” situation. He will not produce a big number. Johnson isn’t that good and will end up sharing time with Demetric Felton. The rookie Felton only has been used as a receiver out of the backfield so far in 2021, but Felton was a solid running back at UCLA with a 5.1 ypc average and 99 career receptions and should see his fair share of the workload. Also concerning, for both running backs, is a poorly performing and injured Baker Mayfield or a journeyman Case Keenum under center bogging down any offensive flow. The Broncos are ranked No. 4 against opposing RBs allowing just 17.1 total fantasy points per game. As I said earlier, think Hilton.

4) Travis Kelce is slumping.

OK, his production is down from last season (20.8 FPts/G), but that was a record-setting season. Did you really expect back-to-back record-breaking seasons? How often does that happen? I’m sorry if you took him too high, but his 18.1 FPts/G is still elite and he leads the position in total fantasy points. No one other than Kelce has produced at this level since Jimmy Graham in 2013.

5) Derrick Henry is not the best running back in football.

Did you watch Monday night? Sure, Christian McCaffrey is great when he’s healthy because he runs and catches the ball (he’s missed 16 of the last 22 games), but he’s not “King Henry.” Jonathan Taylor looked good too and Najee Harris could develop into something. But Henry is the best pure runner in the game and the best pure running since Adrian Peterson in his prime. He’s also starting to catch a few balls out of the backfield too. He’s just three receptions from a career high (19). Oh, and by the way, what would the call have been if the Titans were on the 2-yard line and had fourth and one with the game on the line? It wouldn’t have been a Ryan Tannehill sneak! In the fourth quarter and a tiring defense, no one wants to tackle this 250-lb tank who runs as quickly as a Ferrari goes from 0-to-60. If he can stay healthy, Henry will be the first in NFL history to produce three consecutive 1500 yards, 15 TD seasons.