One could say that Sunday is the greatest day of the week. Grab an ice cold beer, watch some NFL football, and click refresh on your computer browser around 50 times a minute to see who has scored in your fantasy football league.
Week 7 was no different from any other. Many players played up to their caliber, and, as usual, somebody stepped up.
Some notable teams who stepped up, perhaps just a little bit, were the Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders. The Browns came out barking, “Who Dat think they gonna beat them Browns?!” as they forced Drew Brees to throw four interceptions, two returned by linebacker David Bowens for touchdowns.
The Browns stepped up big time and won 30-17 on the road against the defending Super Bowl champs. One player on the Browns defense scored more points than the entire offense of the Saints, leaving many fantasy players at a loss for words.
The Raiders stepped up even more. Many picked the Broncos to roll over the Raiders, with Kyle Orton coming back and getting back to form. Instead, the Raiders came out of the gates early with 24 first quarter points, en route to a 59-14 beat down of their top divisional opponent. Fantasy owners of Orton and those Bronco wide receivers who supposedly won’t stop producing were really disappointed this week.
With that being said, NFL Soup looks to the Week 7 fantasy football surprises:
Mare continued his NFL streak of consecutive field goals made on Sunday, as he made five more against the Cardinals. Those five field goals provided the few fantasy owners with around 16-18 points, as he also had an extra point.
9. Matt Moore, QB, Carolina Panthers
Moore was a pleasant surprise on Sunday. In a 23-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers, Moore threw for over 300 yards and two touchdowns. An interception kept him from reaching the 20-point milestone in most leagues, but he still put up great QB2 numbers.
Despite the Bengals secondary giving up a ton of points to Roddy White (40+) and Matt Ryan (28+), their offense at least tried to keep it relatively close. Carson Palmer threw for 412 yards as well as three touchdowns, getting him close to 30 points in most leagues, and close to 55-60 in special leagues that give .5 points for completions.
Palmer would be higher, but we know the talent is there. He just hasn’t been 100 percent effective this season.
7. Jordan Shipley, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Shipley proved me wrong on Sunday by catching six balls for 131 yards and a touchdown. He provided fantasy owners with a spark in the return game as well, amassing around 17-21 points in standard leagues.
He’s a guy to keep a look at in deeper leagues for a Flex play.
What else can you say about Rob Ryan’s defense, which hasn’t played too poorly all season? They held Brees to just two touchdowns while picking him off four times, and one of those scores was very late in the game and just for style.
The Browns returned two of those interceptions back for touchdowns, and were effective in punt returns as well with a bit of trickery.
5. Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders
McFadden is on this list strictly because we didn’t expect him to have the stats he did with the hamstring injury. I was predicting he’d be worked in a bit slower and ready for Week 8, and he decided to start a week early, rushing just 16 times for 165 yards with three touchdowns on the ground.Add a fourth touchdown receiving and 31 yards in the air.
Fantasy owners that took a shot in the dark and started him were rewarded with over 40 fantasy points.
Just when I thought there was very little value in the Carolina receiving corps, Gettis sticks it to the man. He was targeted nine times, catching eight of the passes for 125 yards and two scores in a late rally victory against the 49ers on Sunday. He scored over 22 fantasy points for most waiver wires, as he’s not owned in many leagues.
3. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Buffalo Bills
Perhaps one of the most surprising offensive performances was in Buffalo with Ryan Fitzpatrick, who threw for 374 yards against the Ravens defense. We found out against the Browns that the Ravens can be run on, but they can apparently be passed on, too.
Fitzpatrick recorded four touchdown passes, and could have probably been No. 1 on this list had he not thrown a couple of interceptions. Fantasy owners who started him saw a nice 28-30 point performance at least.
The only reason Britt isn’t No. 1 on this list is that he’s been scoring a touchdown seemingly every week. However, he makes this list because I didn’t expect him to go out and catch seven passes for 225 yards, and a whopping three touchdowns. I figured Kerry Collins would throw it quite a bit, but he was looking rookie Damian Williams’ way more in Monday night’s game against the Jaguars, and Britt is now showing that he should be owned in all leagues, regardless of who's throwing to him.
1. Lee Evans, WR, Buffalo Bills
Lee Evans is praising the Bills management for getting rid of the cancer that is Trent Edwards. Ryan Fitzpatrick starting has meant more receptions downfield for Evans, and more opportunities for touchdowns.
Evans had a very solid Week 5, and then a stellar Week 7, catching six passes for just over 100 yards as well as three touchdowns, amassing around 30 points for fantasy owners.
Evans and fellow wide receiver Steve Johnson are both solid looks going forward in the Flex spot.