When it comes to storylines, Week 7 had it all. It was full of exciting games, close victories, and a lot of action all day. There was the revenge matchup for QB Jimmy Garoppolo against the New England Patriots, the Jon Gruden revenge matchup against Tom Brady and his former team, even QB Teddy Bridgewater got involved with a revenge game of his own against his former team in the New Orleans Saints.
QB Russell Wilson and the Seahawks were delivered their first defeat visiting the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday night football in overtime. If you recall, the last time he threw an interception in that stadium was the infamous Super Bowl XLIX loss to the Patriots. Let’s be honest, though. The best play of that whole game was watching WR D.K. Metcalf clock out at 22 mph running down Budda Baker after his interception. Metcalf kept him from the end zone and the Cardinals also came away with no points on the drive.
We saw some head-scratching games like the Bills-Jets where Buffalo’s kicker Tyler Bass scored all of the points for the Bills with six field goals. He had seven total attempts but missed one, finishing better than some WRs and RBs on the day. Despite being unable to score a touchdown, the Bills still beat the Jets 18-10. There’s not much else to really talk about there other than HC Adam Gase giving up his play-calling duties to the OC Dowell Loggains.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are now the only undefeated team in the league after the Tennessee Titans gave them a run for their money.
In fact, there were several games that came right down to the final seconds. It was an action-packed, fast-paced, and incredibly fun to watch day of football. Unless you're a Jets fan.
Oh, and it was National Tight End Day. So, logically, tight ends had an excellent day in fantasy.
Antonio Brown Signs With The Buccaneers
Aside from the nail-biting matchups all day and night on Sunday, there was some interesting news over the weekend. WR Antonio Brown, rumored to be headed to the Seahawks, signed a one-year deal worth up to $2 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He will be eligible to play in Week 9 after serving his eight-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal misconduct policy, which will also coincide with the time needed to clear COVID protocols.
Brown will be reunited with QB Tom Brady after playing one game together in New England. During that game, Brown saw eight targets and had four receptions for 56 yards and touchdown.
Raiders Face Significant Fines and Potential Loss of Draft Picks
We learned last week that Trent Brown from the Raiders tested positive for COVID-19. It later came to light that he violated protocols by not wearing a mask or his contact tracing tracker as often as he should have been.
The league has called the Raiders repeat offenders after already fining them $500K so far. Several of the players were photographed not wearing masks while indoors at TE Darren Waller’s charity event earlier this year. Gruden was fined for not wearing his face mask properly while on the sideline as well. If the league levies more heavy fines, they could be looking at nearly $1 million in penalties and even the potential loss of draft picks.
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Fantasy Greats and Not-So-Greats
Enough with the bad news (we haven’t gotten to the Week 7 injuries yet), let’s talk about some players who shined in fantasy.
Quarterbacks across the league had some excellent production this week. A total of 11 of them saw 20 points or more and four posted over 30 including Justin Herbert, Kyler Murray, Tom Brady, and Joe Burrow.
On the other hand, despite the Chiefs putting up 43 points, QB Patrick Mahomes had his worse week in fantasy in 2020 with only 12 points. His backup, Chad Henne, took over once the game got out of hand and he scored nearly half that with 6.32. The 49ers and Garoppolo had a similar day with 33 points scored, but Garoppolo only scored 7.48. Drew Lock and Ben Roethlisberger scored under 13 points, but it was Cam Newton who took the cake for bad performances. He threw only 98 yards and three interceptions finishing in the negative. The situation looked grim for the Patriots on Sunday.
Jeff Wilson had the best outing on Sunday with three touchdowns on 112 yards and 32 points before getting injured. Jaguars James Robinson also saw the 30 plus mark with two touchdowns and 31.7 points. Alvin Kamara, Todd Gurley, and Chase Edmonds round out the top-five RB fantasy finishes even though Kamara and Edmonds didn’t find the end zone.
Ezekiel Elliott, Josh Jacobs, Mike Davis, Ronald Jones, and Justin Jackson didn’t have such a great day. Jones and Jackson broke 10 points, but not by much with 10.6 and 10.5. Elliott and Jacobs both finished with 6.1 points while Davis put up only 8.6.
We had more wide receivers feasting in fantasy points but it was Tyler Lockett who reigns victorious after Sunday’s matchups. He had 15 receptions for 200 yards and three touchdowns and finished with 53 points. The Packers' Davante Adams tried his best to compete with 13 receptions for 196 yards and two touchdowns and 44.6 points. For the Steelers, it was Diontae Johnson’s turn to shine scoring nearly 30 points while Tyler Boyd and A.J. Brown round out the top-five with over 27 points each.
Since Johnson balled out, of course, that means Chase Claypool did not. He finished with under a point at 0.8, deflating the air out of his previous two fantasy weeks. The Saints were without WRs Mike Thomas with a hamstring flare-up and Emmanuel Sanders due to a positive COVID-19 test. Despite the lack of pass-catchers, Tre’Quan Smith couldn’t reproduce the magic from a few weeks ago and only scored 8.6 on the day. Mike Evans only scored 5.7 points while Metcalf, Darius Slayton, and D.J. Chark all scored under five points.
Happy National Tight Ends Day and boy, was it a good day for tight ends. Browns rookie TE Harrison Bryant capitalized on Austin Hooper’s absence with four receptions for 56 yards and two touchdowns, leading TEs in Week 7 with 21.6 points. Even David Njoku found the end zone for the Browns. Rob Gronkowski scored a touchdown in his second consecutive game and finished as our TE2 on the week so far. Darren Waller, T.J. Hockenson, and Washington’s Logan Thomas finish out our top-five TEs with at least one touchdown each.
Sadly, Travis Kelce, Hunter Henry, Robert Tonyan, Dalton Schultz, and Ian Thomas were big names that failed to produce on their national holiday, scoring only 6.1 points or less.
We have a bit of a shorter list of trade targets after Week 7. Remember the rule of thumb when you are evaluating potential trades for your squad. Trade for a player when their stock is at their lowest and trade away when their stock is at their highest and their opportunity is not sustainable.
Also, remember that trades are not universally bad or good but depend on your team's needs. A winning trade is one that is mutually beneficial to both sides. You don’t want to become that person that no one wants to trade with because you are constantly short-changing your league-mates. Just don’t be that guy or gal. Bad form.
Our first three trade-for candidates are, admittedly, long shots.
The window for acquiring D’Andre Swift may be closed, but if you can find a way to get him on your team, it may be worth bundling an additional player. He has scored a touchdown in the last two games and has a favorable schedule moving forward.
The same is true for Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Some managers may be ready to pull the trigger now that Bell has made his official start for the Chiefs. I firmly believe there will be fantasy production for both backs and this may be the only shot to get Helaire on your team.
Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys simply do not look like themselves and Elliott is coming off of two bad games. If there is a manager in your league who is in panic-mode over Elliott, working a trade to acquire him is a no-brainer for me. There is only so much that Dallas that can take after Dak went down that it seems inevitable that they should start to right their sinking ship. Now is the time to capitalize on Elliott’s poor performances if you can.
I am on the fence about what to do with Panthers WRs D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, but I thought it pertinent to mention them in trade negotiations. Moore had his best game of the year so far with 25.6 points and just barely missed out on our top-five list. He has been a volatile player to start when you expected WR1 numbers whereas Anderson has been the consistent target, gobbling up receptions every week. The more consistent piece of the offense so far has been Anderson, but it looks as though Moore may be emerging as the ceiling play. Depending on what your team needs, you can swap Anderson and Moore as trade-for/trade-away targets.
My final three trade-away targets are all Tampa Bay Buccaneers. RB Leonard Fournette is starting to eat into Ronald Jones' production now that he’s healthy. You may need to wait until a better week to get the best value, but it’s time to start making plans to move Jones. The same is true for Scott Miller who had a monster game. Once Antonio Brown starts getting reps in Week 9, it will be very difficult to support Brown, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Miller as well as Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate. I know Tom Brady is the G.O.A.T but it’s a matter of target share. You can move either Miller or Gronkowski after excellent performances before their stock starts to drop moving forward.
Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake suffered a bad ankle injury and had to be carted to the locker room. … Seahawks RB Chris Carson left the game early with a foot injury. … Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. suffered a knee injury making a tackle after an interception. He will undergo an MRI to determine its severity. … Cowboys QB Andy Dalton sustained a concussion and left the game. … 49ers Jeff Wilson suffered a lower leg injury after scoring three touchdowns against New England. … Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay left the game early and headed to the locker room. … Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook suffered a serious leg injury. It was so bad that CBS did not show the replay. He was carted off the field.