Fantasy Football Week 7 Rewind: A Britt-ish Invasion and Failure in Chicago
What you will find below is a collection of my thoughts about the fantasy football world from Week 7.
Consume as much as you would like, but please make sure you leave some for others. No one likes the kid that goes back for a second helping of brownies.
Wide receiver Kenny Britt had a fantastic game in Week 7—and may never have another game like that in his career. Of course, that doesn't mean he shouldn't be in your starting lineup. Just temper your expectations a little bit, and pray he goes clubbing every Thursday night but manages to stay out of fistfights.
What is going on in Chicago? QB Jay Cutler looks awful, and RB Matt Forte simply cannot be trusted. The only bright spot is WR Johnny Knox, and of course Knox's production is dependent on Cutler being not awful at least three or four times every game. Cutler should probably remain on your bench, or the waiver wire, unless your league awards points for interceptions.
Running back Darren McFadden might just be the real deal. Scoring four times and accumulating 196 total yards will put a glossy shine on any player. Of course he has injury issues. He always has. But clearly McFadden was healthier than the Oakland Raiders let on during the week leading up to Sunday. Sadly, McFadden was probably on most fantasy benches during his career day.
The Ryan Fitzpatrick Magical Mystery Tour continues, and it doesn't appear to be stopping any time soon. Head coach Chan Gailey again proves that he can get the best out of any quarterback—remember Tyler Thigpen?—and Fitzpatrick should be considered a borderline starter going forward.
Running back Maurice Jones-Drew looks dreadful and is dragging down fantasy squads the world over. Jones-Drew found the end zone on Sunday for only the third time all season and on a receiving touchdown no less. Averaging only 3.9 yards per carry, Jones-Drew's struggles are well known. While it is tough to bench a guy with so much upside, it is getting to the point of Jones-Drew becoming a matchup play every week.
To dig a little deeper into Jones-Drew's fall from grace, consider this: Through the first seven games of 2009, Jones-Drew had 30 red zone opportunities and was involved in 59 percent of the Jaguars' red zone plays. Through the first seven games of 2010, Jones-Drew has had 20 red zone opportunities and has been involved in only 38 percent of the red zone plays.
Wide receiver Roddy White is simply superb. The only downside with White is QB Matt Ryan's inconsistent play, particularly on the road. In road games this year, Ryan's completion percentage is a full six points lower than in home games. So while White may be one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, temper your expectations for fantasy production when the Falcons play on the road.
Running back Frank Gore is a treat to watch every Sunday, although the lack of touchdowns is concerning from a fantasy perspective. The problem is with the offense, not so much Gore. Gore has had only two goal line carries thus far, which somewhat explains his lone rushing touchdown. Thankfully, Gore is getting it done through the air as well, scoring twice and supplementing his poor rushing weeks with solid receiving yards.
Giants WR Hakeem Nicks may be the "next big thing" in the NFL. If you have not seen it yet, go back and watch the touchdown Nicks scores on a hitch route and the way he uses his frame to shield the defender from the ball. It is amazing. He has a full complement of skills and a quarterback that loves getting him the ball.
Whatever Tennessee head coach Jeff Fisher's game plan is every week, it needs to change. Running back Chris Johnson is targeted on average only three times every week and is only averaging 3.9 yards per reception.
Vikings quarterback Brett Favre is simply a terrible option for fantasy owners. He continues to make poor decisions that cost fantasy owners points, while occasionally making a big play just to reel you back in. He simply isn't worth starting going forward.
The entire Patriots offense must be downgraded based on the last two weeks. The Patriots have morphed into a ball control, short passing game offense, and that is not good for fantasy owners. Drastically lower your expectations going forward and you won't be disappointed.
Quarterback Tom Brady ranks 17th in average passing yards per game and 12th in average fantasy points per game. Yes, you may want to consider other options.
Wide receivers Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens are the only teammates to average double-digit targets every week. As long as QB Carson Palmer continues to struggle early but then produce in garbage time, both wide receivers should be viable starting candidates.
Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald ranks last among wide receivers (those averaging at least five targets per game) in target conversion percentage, converting only 45 percent of his opportunities. In 2009 with QB Kurt Warner chucking the rock, Fitzgerald converted 64 percent of his pass targets. So, yes, quarterback play matters.
If you had a top three selection in your fantasy draft, and you passed on RB Adrian Peterson, do you regret that decision? Peterson is averaging 4.9 yards per carry for 114 yards per game and has scored in every game but two. Celebrate if you own him.
Washington Redskins QB Donovan McNabb now has more interceptions, seven, than he does touchdowns, six. McNabb has yet to throw for more than one touchdown in any game thus far. No, you should not be blindly starting McNabb every week.
In Week 7, QB Kevin Kolb made sure that there would be no quarterback controversy in Philadelphia coming out of their Week 8 bye. QB Michael Vick is, and should be, the starter. The entire Eagles offense gets a bump when Vick returns.
Averaging 6.0 yards per carry, Jamaal Charles leads all running backs with at least 50 rushing attempts. Thomas Jones lags behind just a bit, averaging only 4.7 yards per carry. Head coach Todd Haley and the gang must be doing something right in Kansas City.
All hope is not lost, from a fantasy perspective at least, for the Dallas Cowboys with QB Jon Kitna taking over. Kitna has been productive, although you have to turn back the clock a bit to 2007. Clearly, you need to downgrade the Cowboys' receiving corps, at least in the short term, until Kitna gets some first team reps this week in practice and becomes comfortable in the starting role.
Maybe Green Bay RB Brandon Jackson just needed some time to warm up to the starting role. Over the last three weeks, Jackson has averaged 11 carries for 75 yards and found the end zone once. Not too shabby for a guy who many fantasy owners wrote off after a couple mediocre starts.
Looking forward to the fantasy football playoffs, here are the teams with the best playoff schedules Week 14 through Week 16:
- QB: IND, DET and BUF
- RB: DEN, TEN and JAX
- WR: WAS, IND and BUF
- TE: DAL, CAR and DEN
Best of luck to you in Week 8, and may your domination continue or your comeback begin.
For an all you can eat buffet of fantasy football information, you can follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanWaddell.
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