It’s hard to stay up to date with absolutely everything that went down in NFL Week 7. Obviously you know the big storylines—Cooper Kupp and Ja’Marr chase being simply unstoppable come to mind—but it’s important to also note minor storylines, ones that might have more actionable fantasy football takeaways.
I’ve gone game-by-game to bring you the biggest fantasy narrative to come out of each game.
Bengals at Ravens: Don’t Worry, Joe Mixon Managers
First off, I would like to apologize to Ja’Marr Chase for ever doubting him this week. I thought that the Ravens’ secondary, which had just shutdown the Chargers’ passing game, would at least slow down the rookie phenom and lead him to his worst start yet. I was OOOOOH so wrong. Again, my apologies.
JA'MARR CHASE CANNOT BE STOPPED. #RuleTheJungle
— NFL (@NFL) October 24, 2021
Now to the actual matter at hand. Samaje Perine, fresh off the COVID list, came in and outperformed Joe Mixon from a fantasy standpoint. This might seem worrisome, but Mixon managers shouldn’t panic. Perine saw a lot of his work in the fourth quarter and most of his fantasy production came from a 46-yard touchdown. Outside of that, Perine had 10 carries for 6 yards. That is not good football. Mixon is still the workhorse back in Cincy and should be in for a smash week Week 8 vs a bad bad Jets run defense.
Also, add C.J. Uzomah off waivers. He’s scored five touchdowns in four games which isn’t sustainable but is definitely noteworthy.
Washington at Packers: Monitor Washington’s Backfield
For the second week in a row, Antonio Gibson was hobbled by a shin injury. He played just 42% of the snaps, after playing just 39% in Week 6. J.D. McKissic again was the leading back in Washington from a snap perspective, playing over 60%. While Gibson did lead the backfield in carries and rushing yards, McKissic saw all the passing game work and finished with more total fantasy points.
At 2-5, Washington might take a long term look with Gibson and seriously consider shutting him down for a few weeks, especially with their bye coming in Week 9. If Gibson were to miss any time, fantasy managers who already missed out on adding McKissic should turn their attention to Jaret Patterson.
Falcons at Dolphins: It’s Time to Move on From Mike Davis
It was all Cordarrelle Patterson and no Mike Davis vs the Dolphins this week. After averaging over 12.5 carries over the last 3 weeks, Davis saw just 4 vs Miami. Patterson on the other hand carried the ball 14 times, including the red zone work.
FLASH finds the end zone for 6️⃣!
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) October 24, 2021
While this backfield has been shared to start the year, given just how good Patterson has been, we might see him continue to dominate the Falcons’ touches moving forward. Davis just hasn’t shown enough to keep giving him the football and to keep starting him in fantasy.
Also, I’m starting to really panic about Calvin Ridley. Someone please help.
Jets at Patriots: Zach Wilson’s Injury Torpedos Jets’ Receivers
Wilson left Sunday’s matchup with a knee injury and didn’t return. Monday morning we learned that he sprained his PCL and is expected to miss two to four weeks. With Wilson out, Mike White stepped in for the Jets and looked… fine? His numbers don’t look bad but that’s because he targeted his running backs more than any other position. Both Michael Carter and Ty Johnson finished with over 60 yards receiving, while Corey Davis led all pass catchers with 47 yards and a touchdown.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) October 24, 2021
Wilson’s injury all but nukes Jets’ receivers fantasy value—Davis still has some but outside of him its bleak—but improves the value of Carter and Johnson.
Also, Brandon Bolden had his best game of the year for the Patriots, catching 6-of-7 targets for 79 yards and a touchdown. He’s now seen at least four targets in four of the last five games for New England. He’s worth stashing in deep leagues.
Panthers at Giants: Start Hubbard & Booker As Long As McCaffrey & Barkley Are Out
Both Chuba Hubbard and Devontae Booker have been fairly reliable fantasy backs since filling in for their respective backfields. What fantasy managers should be most encouraged about these two is the reliability of their workloads. Hubbard is averaging 19.3 touches per game since taking over in Week 4. Booker, who took over in Week 5, is averaging 17 touches per game. The backfield work is entirely theirs and that alone gives him solid RB2 floors every given week.
Chiefs at Titans: Now Is Your Chance to Buy Low on KC’s Offense
You and your fantasy league-mates are about to hear a whole week’s worth of takes about how the Chiefs’ offense looks mortal after getting thumped by the Titans. On the one hand, they’re not wrong. This has been Patrick Mahomes’ worst statistical season since entering the league and it has certainly capped the fantasy highs of Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.
Still, there is a lot of season left and this offense still has all the pieces to be the unstoppable force it has been in the past. Even despite Mahomes’ uncharacteristic start, he’s still the QB5 in fantasy while Hill’s the WR3 and Kelce still is TE1.
I would make sure any Mahomes or Hill or Kelce manager in your league sees every First Take video slandering the offense, talking about how there’s no hope to right the ship. Then, be the good samaritan and offer to take these underperforming players off their hands.
Eagles at Raiders: Sanders & Jacobs’ Injuries Could Shake Up Backfields
Both starting backs in this game left with injury. Miles Sanders left with an ankle injury while Josh Jacobs left with a chest injury. Without Sanders, the Eagles turned to the rookie Kenneth Gainwell in passing situations and Boston Scott in rushing ones. Gainwell played 51% of the snaps, rushing the ball 5 times for 20 yards, while seeing 8 targets for 41 yards through the air.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) October 24, 2021
If Sanders is out for a prolonged period of time, both backs are worth rostering with Gainwell having the best long term value. Scott should be rostered and started next week as the Eagles play the Lions.
It seems like Jacobs’ injury isn’t expected to be serious and the Raiders have their bye this week. Should Jacobs be out for any NFL action, Peyton Barber returns to the streaming radar.
Lions at Rams: Jamaal Williams Is Worth Cutting
It’s been quite a bit of time since William has done anything close to RB2 value in fantasy. Despite averaging 10.8 attempts per game over the last 4 games, Williams hasn’t logged a double-digit .5PPR performance during that time. His role has been limited more and more to just running the ball, and while he’s posted 55+ yards in 3 of those 4 games, the lack of touchdowns has hindered his fantasy production. If you play in a fantasy league with a short bench, Williams is worth moving on from.
Also, while Robert Woods isn’t Cooper Kupp, he has been working his way back into this Rams offense. Against the Lions, Woods had 70 yards on 6 catches, the second time he’s done at least that in the last three weeks.
Texans at Cardinals: Sell High on Zach Ertz
Ertz made his Cardinals debut Sunday and looked good doing so. He finished with 3 catches in 4 targets for 66 yards and a touchdown.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) October 24, 2021
There are two important things to note though about this performance. First, the Texans ranked dead last in fantasy points surrendered to tight ends heading into Week 7 which certainly helped Ertz’s performance. Second, Ertz only played 60% of the Cardinals passing snaps which is low. The Cardinals like to run out four wide receiver sets, which is why Ertz and Rondale Moore played similar number of snaps.
Ertz will have big weeks as the Cardinals have proven they do get their tight ends involved. However, he’s not likely to see the snap share he needs to to be considered a reliable top-8 fantasy tight end. See if someone in your league will pay high for him after his big debut.
Bears at Buccaneers: Khalil Herbert Has Replaced Damien Williams
I thought no one could run on this Buccaneers defense. I thought for sure this was going to be a bust game from Khalil Herbert. I felt that so much I dropped him in my home league to add J.D. McKissic. Welp, I was clearly wrong. Shoutout to Jordan who called Herbert a sneaky start on last week’s starts & sits show. He was clearly right.
Herbert managed to rack up 100 yards against the Bucs on 18 carries, and added 33 yards through the air for good measure.
— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) October 25, 2021
He also dominated the backfield snap share, even with Damien Williams returning from COVID list. Herbert played 51 snaps to Williams’ 11. It’s clear the rookie has claimed hold of this Bears’ backfield as long as David Montgomery is out.
Colts at 49ers: Brandon Aiyuk Remains in Kyle Shanahan’s Doghouse
Despite being on the field and playing just eight snaps less than Deebo Samuel, Aiyuk had just one target and one catch Sunday night against the Colts. This marks the third game in a row that Aiyuk has caught under three balls in a game. Things aren’t likely to get better for Aiyuk either as the 49ers have the sixth-hardest pass schedule the next four weeks, per NEFF rating. It’s been a hell of a fall from grace for Aiyuk this season and it might be time to think about dropping him. At the very least, make sure he’s not in your starting lineup until we see some sort of consistent production from him.