Week 7 Fantasy Football Workshop: Win Your League
Week 7 Fantasy Football Workshop
Every week in the fantasy football workshop, I will go through all the important news + notes, take a look at any important statistical oddities that can improve our process in fantasy football (and help our rosters) while also posting my rest-of-season rankings. The idea behind this space is to give readers an insight into how rankings are made and for all of us to keep track of players’ values throughout the course of the season.
Week 6+7 Fantasy Football News And Notes
-With the Miami Dolphins heading into their bye week, the team announced that Tua Tagovailoa will be taking over at starting quarterback. While Tua is going to project as a decent fantasy starter with rushing upside, in the near-term, this is not great news for DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, and Mike Gesicki as Fitz has been a long-term fantasy sustainer for pass catchers.
– Diontae Johnson is expected to be back for the Steelers this week after missing last week and most of their previous contest with a back injury. It remains to be seen what happens to Chase Claypool and James Washington with Diontae back in the lineup after Claypool scored five touchdowns in Pittsburgh’s last two games. I assume that Washington becomes the “reserve” Steelers wideout, and Claypool gets something close to a full complement of snaps. It’s possible that a “down” Claypool week could open up a small buying window if Johnson has a strong game in Week 7.
-John Ross and his agent have asked for the Cincinnati Bengals to trade him. This makes sense for all parties involved, as Ross has nowhere to play in this Bengals offense but offers 4.2 speed to any team willing to part with a fifth or sixth-rounder. Personally, I would love for the Seahawks to send a late-round pick for him and have him be the rotational wide receiver over Freddie Swaim. If you have had Ross sitting on the back of your dynasty rosters, this might be the lotto ticket you’ve been waiting for.
– Much to my chagrin, DeMarcus Robinson clearly operated over Mecole Hardman with Sammy Watkins out of the Chiefs lineup. Byron Pringle actually ran only one fewer route than Hardman and outproduced him in the Monday Night game as well. Given the available evidence, it seems that Hardman is both very game-script dependent and also viewed by the team as Tyreek Hill’s direct backup.
-Zack Moss returned from injury for the Bills and basically filled in the vacant TJ Yeldon role instead of returning to the 45% of snaps he had played in Weeks One and Two. As a #ZeroRB hardo, this is pretty disappointing. Singletary seems to have done enough while Moss was out to earn something like a 70% snap share.
-Raheem Mostert is going to be making a trip to the injured reserved with a high-ankle sprain, per head coach Kyle Shanahan. If you have stuck it through with Jerick McKinnon, you will likely be rewarded with more short-term production. However, in an interesting wrinkle, it has been JaMychal Hasty active and not Jeff Wilson Jr. in the 49ers most recent game. Hasty is a super intriguing $1 add this week. Wilson Jr. should be owned in all leagues as well.
– This is a *very* deep cut by Ty Montgomery has returned from injured reserve for the New Orleans Saints. Part of me wonders if he might have some real contingent value if Alvin Kamara were to miss time because he is a more natural replacement as a pass-catcher than Latavius Murray.
– The rumors that David Njoku is looking for a trade are still persisting out of Cleveland even if they do come from Mary Kay Cabot, who many of the Browns players seem to really not like. It would be fascinating to see if the team is interested in rolling forward with Harrison Bryant and Austin Hooper, both of whom had played well when Njoku was out. If Njoku were to get traded to somewhere like Dallas or Tampa Bay, he would be a very strong WW add as one of the few tight ends in the league with draft capital and past production.
– The Eagles are going to be running out an absolute goon squad on Thursday against the Giants with Miles Sanders, Alshon Jeffrey, Jalen Reagor, Zach Ertz, and almost the entire offensive line not expected to play. DeSean Jackson reportedly might be ready, but I would always lean on the side of him not being available. Travis Fulgham is going to project as a strong start, and even Richard Rodgers (former Cal Bears and Green Bay Packers tight end) might be in line for 80% of the teams’ snaps.
-Christian McCaffrey is reportedly within 1-3 weeks of returning for the Panthers. After an ugly loss to the Bears where Mike Davis left briefly to have his ankle looked at, it is possible that the team would be a little more incentivized to get him back on the field. However, Teddy Bridgewater has mostly exceeded expectations as the field general for Carolina. In leagues that allow trading, I would look to see if you could get an outsized package for Davis.
-For those of you wanting to spend waiver money on Lamical Perine, Adam Gase told the New York Post in regards to his rookie running back, ” We just gotta keep getting him more and more carries. Hopefully, in the next game, we can get the carries the way we want them.” I tend not to believe anything that Adam Gase says but the amount of difference-making running backs out on the waiver wire right now is about as thin as it has ever been.
Week 6+7 Team Level Fantasy Football Analysis And Player Usage Notes
-Last year, one of my favorite things in fantasy football was using the Air Yards charts (that are now BACK from AirYards.com, thank you to the great Josh Hermsmeyer) to create something I called the “Unrealized Air Yards” chart as well as “Unrealized Fantasy Points” which was basically just to see how many fantasy points wide receivers were leaving on the field. The formula is not tricky; it is just Air Yards subtracted by actual yards as well as yards after the catch.
This is the table after six weeks of football:
-Some fantasy-relevant observations: Get Marquise Brown on your fantasy teams. He has leftover 50 fantasy points out on the field, and *eventually* the Ravens will have to play a close game where they pick up the offensive pace. All of the Denver WRs (Patrick, Hamler, and Jeudy) look like brighter days are ahead. John Brown is a new addition to the list after going 0-fer on Monday night; small trade offers for him. It is possible that DK Metcalf might be underrated for fantasy at this point.
-After six weeks of football, there exists a clear tier of “buy high” running backs, where the market doesn’t believe that they are workhorses, but the team has clearly demonstrated that they are. These players are Ronald Jones, Myles Gaskin, Darrell Henderson, and James Robinson. All of them are handling at least 55% of the backfield work in total for their teams, and each of them are also trending up at this very moment in time due to injuries elsewhere in the backfield. This the running back leaderboard in terms of snap share in total:
-The expected points leaderboard at tight end has not gotten any prettier, though Logan Thomas did finally deliver on some of those expected points last week by scoring a touchdown. The Expected Points tool from Rotoviz is one of my favorites to evaluate players throughout the course of the season. Mark Andrews has performed well over expectation, but I expect that to be true for almost his entire career with his role on the Ravens. A few buy low names look like: Evan Engram, Austin Hooper, and perhaps even Rob Gronkowski.
-One of the big narratives coming into this season was that the 2020 wide receiver draft class would maybe rival the 2014 wide receiver class in terms of long-term superstardom, and without Jalen Reagor and Michael Pittman playing full time, those projections are looking correct. CeeDee, Justin Jefferson, Tee Higgins, and Claypool are looking like multi-year WR1s in elite situations.