It was a challenging week in fantasy football land, with several
important teams on bye, as well as the injuries that continue to
pile up and wreak havoc. For those teams that weren’t on bye,
let’s jump into the primary positions to see what we can learn.
Below I will give some ideas for players to acquire, bench, or
cut, hopefully giving you clarity on some ways to move forward
and continue your march toward the fantasy playoffs.
Although Melvin Gordon continues to barely edge Javonte Williams in snap share (58% to 42% on Thursday), Williams got
far more work in the passing game this week. He got 7 targets
and caught 6 for 32 yards and a touchdown, while Gordon saw
3 targets and caught 2 for 14 yards. Overall, however, the split
continues to be nearly even, making it difficult to start either
player. Williams is more dynamic, so if he starts playing on
55-60% of snaps or more, he will become a nice weekly option.
Johnson took over for both Nick
Chubb and Kareem
Hunt, playing the role of workhorse back in Week 7. He played
on 69% of snaps and got 24 touches, taking them for 168 total
yards and a score. If Chubb and Hunt remain out for Week 8,
Johnson is a must-start option. Even if Chubb returns, Johnson
will likely split snaps with him and will remain a solid starting
option until Hunt returns.
Demetric Felton was the No. 2 back for Cleveland
on Thursday night, playing on 31% of snaps. He only got 2
carries and 3 targets, though, showing that the coaches do
not trust the rookie as much as they trust DíErnest
Johnson. He should be avoided unless desperate.
Joe Mixon played on 54% of snaps and Samaje Perine
played on 48% and both were effective. Perine returning from
the Covid-19 list relegated rookie Chris Evans to the bench,
and with Perine playing so many snaps on a good offense he
needs to be rostered everywhere. They both finished with 12
touches, although Perine got the only target and had more
total yards. I think moving forward, Mixon will play more
like 65% of snaps, so if he is on my roster Iím not
freaking out about Perine. But, Perine definitely has value.
In the messy Baltimore running back room, Devonta
Freeman got 40% of snaps, LeíVeon
Bell got 30%, and TyíSon
Williams got 29%. None should be started moving forward,
until one starts getting more than 50% of snaps.
Antonio Gibson played on only 42% of snaps on Sunday,
recording under half of snaps for the second straight week.
J.D. McKissic played on 64% of snaps, leading the way in snaps
for the second straight week. It appears the Washington coaching
staff has decided that with Gibsonís stress fracture,
they need to limit him to keep him healthy. This is terrible
news for those who have him on their rosters, and there is
very little to be done at this point. He is worth playing
in good matchups, but otherwise should be benched if possible,
until something changes. McKissic is a weekly flex option
It was a very strange week for the Packers backfield
in Week 7, as Aaron Jones played on 73% of snaps but got only
6 carries (19 yards). He did receive 5 targets and caught
all 5 for 20 yards, but the 11 touches are not what youíre
looking for from Jones. It wasnít because AJ Dillon
was more involved, as he got only 4 touches on 23% of snaps.
It appears the Packers were able to salt away the game with
short passing and chose to avoid the strong Washington front.
I wouldnít worry too much about this for future weeks.
Cordarrelle Patterson played on the most snaps of
any skill-position player for the Falcons, at 73%. He has
clearly taken over the lead back duties for the Falcons; although
Mike Davis played on 60% himself, he received only 4 total
touches. Patterson got 16. Head coach Arthur Smith built his
offense in Tennessee around a freak of nature in Derrick Henry,
and he also sees some special characteristics in Patterson.
I look for him to take over the lead-back role for the rest
of the season, as they made this shift coming out of the bye.
I would try to acquire Patterson if you are able to, as he
could be a huge boost to your team down the stretch.
Myles Gaskin looked like the clear-cut starter again
in Week 7, continuing the strange flip-flop game weíve
been playing all season. It is hard to know what the coaches
are thinking, and why they only involve him around half the
time, and it will make it tough moving forward to know when
to start him. But this week he played on 63% of snaps and
dominated the running back touches with 19. Salvon Ahmed (30%
of snaps) got 9 touches, and Malcolm Brown (7%) got 4 and
was injured in the game. It makes sense for Gaskin to be their
starter, so Iíd look to acquire Gaskin if heís
still cheap due to a frustrated owner. On his 19 touches he
produced 77 yards of offense and a score.
Michael Carter played by far his highest snap share
of the season on Sunday, 72%. His previous high was in Week
5, 52%. The coaches have realized he is their best back and
have decided to give him the starting role. The upside is
still limited due to the terrible Jets offense, which is now
without its starting QB for about a month. Still, Carter showed
why he can still have value, even in a blowout, as he led
the team in targets with 9, catching 8 for 67 yards. He should
be a very useful option if you have running back injuries,
or as a Flex in good matchups.
Ty Johnson only played on 32% of snaps, but he also
was very involved in the passing game, catching 6 of 7 targets
for 65 yards. The Jets backup QB Mike White, a 5th-round pick
in 2018, likely prefers to throw to backs as they are easier
reads. This could make Johnson a desperation flex play over
the next few weeks.
J.J. Taylor was the backup to Damien Harris in Week
7 (10 touches on 26% of snaps), with Rhamondre Stevenson again
inactive. We just donít know what Belichick is going
to do, so itís better to leave all of these backs except
for Harris on the wire unless you are in very deep leagues
and are desperate.
Devontae Booker continues to be effective in place
of Saquon Barkley. He played on 82% of snaps and got 16 touches
for 66 yards and a score. He is a fine spot start at running
back or flex until Barkley is back.
Darrynton Evans got his first action of the season
for the Titans. He only played on 6 snaps, but he got 2 carries
and 2 receptions. He is likely to work in more as we go along,
making him a nice addition for running back-needy teams.
Williams was effective on Sunday, rushing 12 times for 57
yards, but he played on only 20 snaps (29%). Meanwhile, DíAndre
Swift played on 52 snaps (75%) and got 13 carries (48 yards)
and an eyebrow-raising 10 targets (8-96-1). Swift is an every-week
starter and Williams is a desperation running back play.
Darrell Henderson only produced 64 yards of total
offense and only got 18 touches, but he played on 88% of snaps.
The Rams just decided to pass more than run in this one, and
it worked. Henderson remains an excellent weekly option.
Miles Sanders (ankle) was off to his best start of
the season on Sunday, so it makes sense he was injured and
left the game in the first half. He just canít win this
season, and now he is likely out a couple games. I would not
drop him due to the terrible lack of options at running back
this season, but you are certainly frustrated if heís
on your roster. Kenneth Gainwell could be a decent stand-in,
even though the Eagles still do not run the ball nearly enough.
He is very involved in the passing game, so he is worth a
strong bid if he is on your wire. Boston Scott came in and
had 8 touches and a score as well, so he is worth a lower
Josh Jacobs was injured in the same game, leaving
early in the second half after getting 9 touches and producing
68 yards of offense and a score. Kenyan Drake took over the
No. 1 role and ended up playing on 39% of snaps. He got 17
touches and produced 79 yards of offense, with a score. Drake
will be a very nice option against the Giants in Week 9, if
Jacobs is out after the Raiders bye.
The merry-go-round continues in the Houston running
game, and in Week 7 it was David Johnson getting the most
work. He played on 54% of snaps and got 12 touches, including
5 receptions on 6 targets. He only produced 52 yards of offense,
but the 5 receptions are noteworthy for PPR leagues. I would
not play him unless totally desperate, as they will probably
change course again next week.
Chase Edmonds took over the starting job again in
Week 7, after struggling with an injury over the past two
weeks. He played on 69% of snaps, while James Conner played
on 30%. This is the split we were seeing early in the season,
so itís apparently what the coaches want to do if possible.
Edmonds got 16 touches (90 yards) and Conner got 10 (64 yards
and a score). Because Conner is getting the goal-line work
for a good offense, he remains a weekly starting option.
Khalil Herbert played on 77% of snaps, while Damien Williams played on only 17%. Herbert looks to have clearly
taken over the lead back role while David Montgomery is out.
He may be playing well enough to continue getting touches
even after Montgomery is back. On Sunday Herbert got ran for
100 yards on 18 carries, excellent against the stout Bucs
front. He also caught all 5 of his targets for 33 yards. Herbert
needs to be picked up everywhere if he is on your wire, in
case he remains involved for the rest of the season.
Jonathan Taylor played on 69% of snaps on Sunday
night, his highest snap share of the season. It looked early
in the season like Nyheim Hines might stay very involved,
but Hines only got 9 touches on 28% of snaps. Taylor got 22
touches and produced 110 yards of offense, with a touchdown.
It looks like Taylor will be a trustworthy option the rest
of the way, pending health. Hines should be avoided, as heís
just not involved enough in the offense.
Elijah Mitchell played on 66% of snaps and got 18
carries, which he took for 107 yards and a score. JaMycal Hasty was the only other back to see a touch, and he got 3
carries and 3 receptions for 16 total yards. I do not know
why the 49ers are refusing to play Trey Sermon, but it appears
it is not going to change. He should be dropped except in
very deep leagues and perhaps dynasty leagues, but I do not
anticipate he will see the field unless there are injuries.
Alvin Kamara was heavily involved in the passing
game. He got 11 targets, a 31% target share, and caught 10
for 128 yards and a score. Be aware that the Saints have had
a hard time on offense overall, and Jameis Winston has not
looked good. Things might go south for Kamara once Michael Thomas returns, if they look to change their identity on offense.
But for now, Kamara has been a safe play.
We have another three-way time share in Seattle at
the moment, with Alex Collins, Rashaad Penny, and Travis Homer
all playing less than 40% of snaps on Monday night. Thatís
not even counting DeeJay Dallas, who played one offensive
snap. Itís a mess, and the Seahawks look like a mess
on offense overall. Avoid all of their players if you can.
Jarvis Landry returned in Week 7 from injury and
played on 54% of snaps. He led the team in targets and finished
with 8, catching 5 for 37 yards. He continues to garner more
targets than Odell Beckham Jr. whenever he is on the field.
Beckham, despite playing on 61% of snaps, only got 6 targets
and caught only 2 for 23 yards. In this low-volume passing game,
neither player is a good option unless you are desperate during
the upcoming bye weeks.
Chase played on virtually every snap for the Bengals, until
they pulled their starters in the blowout win over the Ravens.
He received 10 targets, a 26% target share, and caught 8 of
them for 201 yards and a score. He is an every-week must-start
Meanwhile, Tee Higgins received a whopping 15 targets
himself, good enough for a 39% target share! He caught only
7 of them for 62 yards, but he is starting to click again
with Burrow and should be a nice starting option the rest
of the way in what is looking like an explosive offense.
In his second week active, Rashod
Batemen played on 63% of snaps and again received 6 targets,
catching 3 for 80 yards. Marquise
Brown still was clearly the top option in the passing game
(5-80-1 on 14 targets), and played on 86% of snaps. But donít
miss that Bateman has certainly taken over the No. 2 receiver
role. He should push for more snaps and targets as we go along.
was involved for the second straight week, catching 5 of 6 targets
for 60 yards and a score, on 91% of snaps. Until Marquez
Valdes-Scantling returns, he should be a decent flex option,
particularly for those hurting with bye week and injury issues.
In his return from injury Russell Gage played on
63% of snaps and got 6 targets, catching 4 for 67 yards and
a score. He outproduced Calvin Ridley, despite Ridley playing
on 73% of snaps and getting 10 targets (4-26-1). I continue
to say I would wait for Ridley to have a big week and then
try to move him, as he is not the same player without Julio Jones on the other side of the field. Gage should be a nice
weekly flex option against weaker defenses.
Jaylen Waddle played on 84% of snaps and got 8 targets,
catching 7 for 83 yards. Pay close attention to any shifts
in the offense when Will Fuller and DeVante Parker are healthy,
but for now I recommend starting Waddle every week, particularly
in PPR leagues. Since he hasnít had a really huge week
yet, he is also a nice trade target.
Elijah Moore played on 57% of snaps and got 6 targets,
but he only caught 1 for 13 yards. He did get a rushing opportunity
and took it 19 yards for a score. With the poor quarterback
play for the Jets, Moore is likely in the midst of a lost
season. He can be dropped in redraft leagues, but he is certainly
a hold in dynasty leagues.
Robby Anderson continues to play almost every snap
and get targets, but Sam Darnold has been awful of late. Anderson
got 9 targets in Week 7 but caught only 3 for 14 yards. He
has to be benched or cut in all leagues, until something improves
with the Carolina offense.
played on only 43% of snaps on Sunday, likely still dealing
with a hamstring issue. He got only 4 targets, catching 2 for
38 yards. If he is on your roster, you have to hope he will
work his way into more targets as he gets healthier.
has become the No.1 receiver in Detroit. He played on 81% of
snaps on Sunday, leading all Detroit skill-position players,
and got 8 targets. He caught 6 for 115 yards. He needs to be
added in all leagues, since it appears he is clearly going to
stay involved for an offense that will trail almost every week.
Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods both played on 97% of
snaps. Kupp got 13 targets (10-156-2) and Woods got 6 (6-70).
Both players are effective, but Kupp is earning more targets
and is producing incredibly well. Kupp is a WR1 and Woods
is a WR3 for now, until he starts earning more targets on
a weekly basis.
It is impossible to trust any Raiders wide receiver,
except possibly Hunter Renfrow in PPR leagues (if youíre
happy with 12 points). Henry Ruggs III played on 71% of snaps
but only got 4 targets (4-24) and Bryan Edwards played on
89% of snaps and also got 4 targets (3-43-1). Iíd avoid
both the rest of the season unless desperate.
Brandin Cooks only caught 5 passes for 21 yards,
on 7 targets, despite playing on 95% of snaps. He is not worth
a start against solid or good defenses.
All four Cardinals receivers played on over 50% of
snaps, with Rondale Moore hitting 52%. This is worth noting,
even though the involvement of all four will keep any of them
from consistent weekly production, aside from DeAndre Hopkins.
Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney continue to disappoint,
and they cannot get on the same page with rookie Justin Fields.
They played on 94% and 86% of snaps, but only received 4 and
5 targets, respectively. Neither got to 40 yards receiving.
I am benching both players wherever I have them rostered until
something big changes in Chicago.
Michael Pittman Jr. played on 91% of snaps in Week
7, and led the way in receiving for the Colts, catching all
4 of his targets for 105 yards and a score. His upside is
limited because of the low-volume passing offense of the Colts,
but he has shown he is an excellent receiver with great ball
skills. Still, even without T.Y. Hilton in the game, Pittman
only managed a 15% target share, as the Colts love to spread
the ball around. Pittman is only a flex option moving forward.
Deebo Samuel played on 48 snaps (86%) and Brandon Aiyuk played on 40 (71%). However, Samuel was the centerpiece
of the passing offense (7-100-1 on 11 targets) and Aiyuk saw
only one target. I do not know why this is happening, or whether
to blame Jimmy Garoppolo, Kyle Shanahan, or both. But Aiyuk
cannot be started in any circumstances, and should only be
rostered in very deep leagues, until something changes.
DK Metcalf got a 23% target share on Monday night,
which is fine. But that equated to only 5 targets, as Geno Smith threw it only 22 times. If Metcalf had not caught the
long touchdown, it would have been a crushing game for those
who roster him, sort of like it was for those who have Tyler Lockett. Iíd recommend pivoting away from Lockett if
you can, until Russell Wilson returns. He finished with 2
catches for 12 yards, on only 3 targets (14% target share).
Noah Fant played on 90% of snaps and tied for the
team lead in targets with 7. Even though he only caught 5 for
39 yards, his heavy involvement bodes well for his upside the
rest of the season. Pay close attention to what happens to his
snaps once Albert Okwuegbunam returns.
C.J. Uzomah only got 3 targets on Sunday but he made
them count, catching all 3 for 91 yards and two touchdowns.
He is not commanding a large target share, meaning that he
will have very poor weeks. But he is playing well and in a
dynamic offense, meaning you could do a lot worse than Uzomah
at tight end.
Ricky Seals-Jones again played on 100% of snaps and
had another productive game, catching 6 of 7 targets for 51
yards. He will remain a very nice weekly play while Logan Thomas is out.
Robert Tonyan finally got involved again in Week
7, playing on 68% of snaps and catching 4 of 5 targets for
63 yards and a score. He will be a weekly boom-bust option
at tight end, but remains worth a roster spot in every league
due to his potential for big weeks and the lack of elite options
at the position.
Kyle Pitts continues to impress early in his career.
On 67% of snaps, he got 8 targets, a 25% target share. He
caught 7 of them for 163 yards. He should be started every
Mike Gesicki has also become one of the best weekly
options at tight end this season. He played on 82% of snaps
and caught 7 of 8 balls for 85 yards and a score. There were
fantasy analysts saying to drop Gesicki after his poor Week
1, and I hope you didnít listen. He has become a dominant
force for this offense, despite their struggles in the standings.
He should be started every week.
Hunter Henry played on 79% of snaps, while Jonnu Smith (shoulder) played on only 22%. This struggle for the
top of the tight end depth chart appears to be over. Smith
can be dropped except in very deep or tight end-premium leagues,
and Henry is a weekly starting option. However, the Patriots
change game plans and approaches more than any other team,
so donít count on Henry having a productive game every
Tyler Higbee played on 100% of snaps and got 8 targets
(5-46). He is not producing huge numbers but is involved for
a good offense and is on the field a ton. He is a top-10 option
at the position due to his snap share and upside.
Dallas Goedert got what fantasy managers had been
pining for, playing on 93% of snaps. He did not do much with
those snaps, catching 3 of 5 targets for 70 yards. But bigger
days are likely ahead for him if Jalen Hurts can keep improving.
Foster Moreau had a nice Week 7 with Darren Waller
out, catching all 6 of his targets for 70 yards and a score.
Derek Carr simply likes throwing to the tight end. Waller
should be back after the Raiders bye, so I would not bother
picking up Moreau.
Zach Ertz played on only 49% of snaps but was second
on the team in targets with 5 (3-66-1). He will have very
quiet weeks since the Cardinals do not use the tight end much,
but he is also a worthy starting option since there are very
few clear starting options at the position.
Cole Kmet played on 89% of snaps on Sunday and led
the team with 6 targets (5-43). It is not advisable to play
any Bears right now, but if I had to play one, it might be
Kmet on teams without a top tight end. He seems to have a
nice connection with Fields and is playing basically all the
Without Rob Gronkowski available, O.J. Howard and
Cameron Brate split snaps, with Brate playing on 55% and Howard
on 51%. They got 7 targets between them but only caught 1
of them. Neither is worth rostering going forward, even in
Itís extremely hard to trust any Saints players
other than Kamara, but Adam Trautman did play on 86% of snaps
on Monday night, and caught all 3 of his targets. No Saints
player had more receptions than Trautman except Kamara, so
at least he is a part of the game plan to some extent. He
could be a desperation play if your starter is on bye.
The Seahawks are trying to get Gerald Everett involved,
but they are simply struggling mightily on offense without
Russell Wilson. Everett did get a carry, which he took for
12 yards, and also got three targets, which he caught for
11 yards. There just isnít much meat on the bone here.
Still, keep Everett in mind for the stretch run, when presumably
Wilson will be back under center.
Kevin Scott is a fantasy pro who has made over $100,000 playing
fantasy football. Catch his podcast "Grinding the Data"
and you can follow him on Twitter @kevinscottff.