By: Zack Patraw @ffdynasty_ztp
Week 7 of the NFL is in the books, and so is a big week of fantasy football. We have seen players come out of slumps in big ways. A few are here to stay. The others, I would try to get the most value out of them where I can. Here are the guys I think you can believe in going forward, and the guys who’s week 7 fantasy numbers are deceiving.
Dynasty Believers and Deceivers
Carson Wentz- I’m not too crazy to consider that Carson Wentz is in line for his first MVP in just his sophomore year am I? He currently leads the NFL in passing touchdowns, 4th in passing yards and 4th in passer rating. He’s been one of the most consistent QBs in fantasy football through 7 weeks, posting over 20 points in 5 out of his 7 games. He’s significantly improved from last year, nearly halfway to surpassing his rookie season for passing yards, and with 4 TD in the Monday night game, he has already surpassed his total last year in touchdowns. At his current interception pace, he will also improve from that total last year as well. At just 24 years old, Wentz will be in my top 3 dynasty rankings, and top 5 redraft rankings. This kid is the real deal.
Aaron Jones- The Green Bay Packers have to be able to run the ball in the weeks to come. With no Aaron Rodgers and Brett Hundley looking like he isn’t quite capable of running an NFL offense yet, the running game has to be a focal point. Jones looked like the runner the Packers need. He was powerful and elusive, bouncing runs outside, eluding tacklers in the backfield, and finding the smallest holes up the middle. He out touched Montgomery 20 to 5. 1 of Montgomery’s 60 carries this season has gone for 10+ yards. Out of Jones’ 62 carries this year, 9 have gone for 10+ yards. Now the Packers have a bye this week, the question will be, does Montgomery heal up and take over his feature back duties, or do they stick with their 22 year old 5th round pick, who has been the only sign of life since Rodgers’ injury. I’ll take my chances on Jones.
Doug Baldwin- I’ve struggled this year on when Baldwin is going to have a big game. He’s had only 2 solid games this season, and imagine that, it’s when Russell Wilson decides to look his way more often. In the last 3 years, Baldwin has had 8 games with 10+ targets. In those 8 games, he has registered 70 receptions for 922 yards and 7 touchdowns. He lines up all over the offensive line, which gives defenses some tough matchups and he catches the majority of passes thrown his way. He made Janoris Jenkins miss all Sunday, which gives me confidence that he can beat some of the best corners in the game.
Kenny Stills- Before you call me crazy, hear me out. Last year when Matt Moore took over in the final 2 games and the lone postseason game, Stills saw 18 balls thrown his way and averaged more than 100 yards through those 3 games. When Moore took over during the 3rd quarter of this week’s game against the Jets, Stills recorded 4 receptions on 5 targets for 42 yards and 2 TD. He even led the Dolphins WRs in snaps. You will be relying on Stills to have big plays, but Moore seems to like him and if Stills can get the volume, he could be a low end WR2 with Moore at QB. A solid play while Cutler is sidelined with the rib injury.
Evan Engram- He’s stepped up in a big way for the New York Giants. With the WR position decimated in New York, Engram has been the go to guy. In the last 2 games, he has been targeted 19 times with 11 receptions, 142 yards and 2 touchdowns. Although I like Sterling Shepard to step up when he is healthy, Engram will continue to be Eli Manning’s go to guy. He’s been a bright spot in an otherwise, very murky situation. With the TE position being so inconsistent this year, I have Engram ending the year in the top 5 at his position, barring injury.
Derek Carr- This is a great case where you should sell a guy high and for a lot of reasons. Coming into week 7, Carr only had around 70 fantasy points depending on your league format. Granted he was hurt for one of those weeks. He never amassed 300 passing yards, and he ranks 23rd in the NFL in that category, even after dropping 417 yards in week 7, which was the most by a QB this week. He still has his bye coming up in week 10, and his upcoming schedule doesn’t get much easier. Sell him this week, because this big week is going to deceive a lot of fantasy owners, and this will be the week you will get the most value out of him.
Latavius Murray- Since week 14 of last year, Murray hasn’t had a game that he rushed the ball more than 15 times. Until this week. He averaged 6.3 yards Sunday and had a touchdown, but still only out touched McKinnon by just 1 and McKinnon out snapped Murray 35 to 31. He hasn’t done much of anything in the passing game thus far, and he hasn’t been able to find much running room behind a much improved Minnesota Vikings offensive line. Since Dalvin Cook went down with the torn ACL, Murray has averaged 3.8 yards per carry. Before his big game this week though, he was averaging a measly 2.2 yards. Meanwhile, McKinnon has made his case to be the featured back on this offense. He’s found the holes to hit and has been very powerful considering his stature. McKinnon has averaged 4.7 yards per carry and has had 14 receptions since the Dalvin injury. McKinnon is the guy I want in this backfield, though Murray is worth stashing on your bench.
Chris Hogan- Hogan has seen his target share dip in this last 2 weeks, going from almost 20% down to just under 15%. He was also on the field for only 59 plays, compared to Cooks’ 70 snaps. This is quite a concern for me, considering Gronkowski is healthy and Brandin Cooks is beginning to get comfortable with his new team. Gronk has been Brady’s go to guy for years, but Cooks is looking like he’s a guy Brady is going to try and rely on for the bigger plays. Cooks leads WR in average yards per reception, and is tied for 3rd in 20+ yard catches. If you can sell Hogan based on his stats thus far in the season, I would do so. I don’t see his production going up from here.
Jimmy Graham- The only thing that saved Graham from not putting up a top 10 performance this week was his 4th quarter 1 yard touchdown. Otherwise, he remained quiet with just 2 catches through 3 quarters. However, both his catches were 20+ yard receptions. He has seen his TD number slide this year, with his only 2 coming in the past 2 weeks. He ranks below the top 10 TE in receptions and yards, and with only 2 TD, he is tied for 13th in the NFL for TEs in that category. With Graham at the age that he is and the production he’s lacked, you could possibly find a buyer based off his recent TD success and target share. But I’m not expecting him to be a TE1 when the season comes to an end.