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From The Godfather: Week 7

Sat Oct 24 11:01am ET
By CHARLIE WIEGERT
Contributing Writer

An interesting way to look at Week 7 in most leagues is that you are halfway finished with your regular season. Most leagues playoffs start Week 13 or 14, so this is a good time to take a serious look at your roster and ask yourself, can this team make the playoffs?  If not, it’s time to start making trade offers. And be proactive with the waiver wire.  With a lot of bye weeks coming, look ahead a week for someone you’ll need to cover, rather than wait and hope you get the player you want that someone else in your league could also be targeting.  An example this week is Indianapolis tight end Trey Burton, who is on a bye.  Not many team owners go after players on a bye, but next week he could draw a lot of interest as he’s become one of Phillip Rivers favorite targets.  And if your in a FAAB league, you can get him with a low bid this week, but it will take a higher bid next week.

The four teams on the bye this week are Minnesota, Miami, Indianapolis and Baltimore.  The COVID watch is on in Las Vegas, where their offensive line has lost one starter already and they await tests from the other four.  Their game with Tampa has been moved from Sunday night to Sunday afternoon because the NFL did not want to risk not having a prime time game on Sunday night.  So obviously the NFL has serious concerns about the game happening. A possibility of the game getting moved to Monday or Tuesday also exists.  If the game is played and the Raiders are without some of their starting offensive line, I wouldn’t want to be David Carr.  Tampa already will challenge them and without some key players, I’m not sure Jon Gruden will have enough tricks up his sleeve to keep the Raiders in the game.

This is good time to look at the defenses allowing the most fantasy points at each position again and some players who might be good plays this week.

Quarterback: Atlanta, Buffalo, Minnesota, Seattle and Dallas.  Matt Stafford against the Falcons, who have given up over 300 passing yards every game, should be good. 

I can’t really recommend Joe Flacco against the Bills (or anybody else for that matter), and the Vikings are on a bye. Red hot Kyler Murray has a key matchup with division rival Seattle. And Kyle Allen gets to exploit the Dallas defense.

Running Back: Houston, Carolina, Jacksonville, New York Jets and Green Bay.  Houston and Green are playing each other, so you’d expect two of the five teams giving up the most points to have a lot of rushing, right?  Aaron Jones should have a huge game. As a side note, Houston shutdown corner Bradley Roby will be shadowing Devante Adams, so Aaron Rodgers will be happy to let Jones be a workhorse in this one.  On the other side, David Johnson will try to keep the Packers off the field as he runs the ball for the Texans. 

I’m more of a believer in Justin Jackson than Joshua Kelley, but both Chargers running backs could approach triple digits against the Jaguars.  And since the Jaguars pass defense leaves a lot to be desired, Jackson should have the better day.  Buffalo gets the Jets weak rushing defense, making Devin Singletary a strong play. And Josh Allen could get more rushing yards than passing yards in this one.  Plus, it’s a great spot to give rookie Zack Moss a chance to show breakaway skills.

Wide Receiver: Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles Rams, Carolina and Kansas City.  I always find it interesting that the teams giving up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks are not also giving up the most fantasy points to wide receivers.  One has to assume a lot of the points to quarterbacks are coming from passing to running backs and tight ends, or running the ball.

So the Red Rifle will hope to get Dallas going by passing the ball to CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper, and perhaps a long ball to Michael Gallup.  All are better choices than having Ezekiel Elliott fumble the ball away.

The Bears and Rams matchup features two of the top three teams giving up points to wide outs.  Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods should be busy for the Rams, and Allen Robinson will be Nick Foles favorite target. 

New Orleans gets to feast on Carolina’s weak passing defense, so this would be a great spot for the return of Michael Thomas.  But a bulky hamstring has him out, giving Emmanuel Sanders another week to be the main man.  But Sanders just tested positive for the bat virus, putting him on the bench.  So if you’re looking for a sleeper, Tre’Quan Smith becomes one starter and either Deonte Harris or Marquez Callaway the other.  Not what Drew Brees was hoping for.

Tim Patrick should be busy for the Broncos as they play catch up with the Chiefs, making him a good play.

Tight End: Buffalo, Atlanta, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Washington.  It’s really hard to recommend a Jets player, but if they do find some success against the Bills, Chris Herndon could be the one to do it. 

T.J. Hockenson should exploit the Falcons.  Other than Kelce and Kittle, I think Hockenson could lead tight ends in fantasy points this week and is a great value in DFS. 

I can’t recommend Panthers Ian Thomas against New Orleans after he was catchless last week against the Falcons (and makes me wonder if the Falcons might also stop Hockenson). 

Logan Thomas practiced in full Friday, so the Washington tight end is good to go against a Dallas defense that struggles against tight ends (well, against everyone).

NFL football always reminds me how unpredictable it can be sometimes.  Last week, the Minnesota Vikings should have had their best offensive production of the year against a porous Falcon team that just fired their coach and GM.  If it wasn’t for some easy yards in mop-up time after the game was decided, it could have been one of their worst.  And Big Ben should have had a huge game against the Browns, but the Browns rolled over early so there was no need for him to be passing.  That’s what keep it’s it interesting for us, I guess!

Have a good Week 7!

Charlie Wiegert was the sixth person to be inducted in the Fantasy Sports Hall Of Fame in 2001. He is a founder of CDM Fantasy Sports and Fantasy Sports Trade Association. He has been playing and winning fantasy baseball leagues since 1984. If you have any questions for Charlie, email them to cwiegert@cdmsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.

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Cam Akers Nov 24 12:30am ET

Los Angeles Rams rookie running back Cam Akers couldn't get much going in the running game on Monday night and he's been marginalized in the offense all season. However, in Week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he found his way into the end zone. He finished with five carries for 15 yards to go with one reception for four yards and a touchdown. This isn't enough volume for fantasy managers to have confidence in Akers, though. From a football perspective, it's great to see him get involved in the offense. If he can see more volume in future weeks and take more of the workload from Darrell Henderson, he might be able to provide some more fantasy upside to close out the year.

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Cooper Kupp Nov 24 12:30am ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp didn't have a great matchup in Week 11 on Monday night, but it didn't matter, as he went off for a big night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He caught 11 of his 13 targets for 145 yards. Unfortunately, he couldn't get into the end zone on the night, but this was still a fantastic night regardless. The matchups that the Rams are dealing with over the next few weeks aren't great, but Kupp gets enough volume to maintain fantasy value. He's firmly in the WR2 conversation with the volume that he's seeing and he can have WR1 upside with games like this.

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Robert Woods Nov 24 12:30am ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods took advantage of his team's perfect game plan in Week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night en route to a third-place finish among wideouts for the week. He caught 12 of his 15 targets for 130 yards and a touchdown. After seeing his targets trend downwards for the last four weeks, he led the team in targets and had nine more than teammate Josh Reynolds, who had been outperforming Woods over that span of games. Woods will rarely present this type of ceiling, but his floor is generally one of the safest in football as a WR2.

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Jared Goff Nov 24 12:20am ET

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff saw a terrible matchup in Week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday, but he shrugged it off in a big way. He finished the game 39 of 51 for 376 yards to go with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He finished as the QB4 on the week and he would have jumped to third if it weren't for the pair of interceptions. Despite losing left tackle Andrew Whitworth to a likely season-ending injury, the Rams kept their passing game on schedule with a quick passing attack. Goff has been a decent start this year, but his fantasy playoff schedule leaves a lot to be desired.

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Darrell Henderson Nov 24 12:20am ET

Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson Jr. has been trending down of late, and he crashed hard in Week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night. He finished with eight carries for five yards to go with two receptions for four yards. Henderson was a solid RB2 about a month ago, but that value has vanished with the resurgence of teammates Malcolm Brown and rookie Cam Akers. With a difficult slate of games upcoming and a lack of consistent volume ahead of him, Henderson has become even hard to trust as an RB3/flex.

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Rob Gronkowski Nov 24 12:10am ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski had two receptions for 25 yards on six targets in Monday's loss to the Rams. After a terrific stretch of games just a few weeks ago, Gronk has declined a bit recently and now has below 30 yards in two of the past three games. Still, he has seen at least six targets in two of the past three games as well and remains a favorite target of Tom Brady. Add this all up and Gronk should still be considered a low-end TE1 going forward.

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Chris Godwin Nov 24 12:00am ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin compiled seven receptions for 53 yards and a score on 10 targets in Monday's loss to the Rams. The WR has seen at least six targets and has accumulated over 41 yards in all seven games he has played this season. His role is large and his production is generally consistent. This makes him a low-end WR1/high-end WR2 candidate each week going forward.

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Antonio Brown Nov 24 12:00am ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown finished Monday's loss to the Rams with eight receptions for 57 yards on 13 targets. It was certainly an encouraging performance for Brown, who led the team in every receiving category. In addition, his rapport with Tom Brady is proving to be very strong. Though he will have to fight with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski each week for targets, Brown is proving he deserves some of those targets. The WR should be considered a WR3/flex going forward and there is room for his fantasy value to go up should he continue to thrive.

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Leonard Fournette Nov 23 11:50pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette had seven carries for 17 yards and a score and one reception for nine yards on four targets in Week 11. Fournette continues to play behind Ronald Jones II and now has 16 rushes for 36 yards in the past three games total. Fournette should not be considered a worthy fantasy starter going forward given his smaller role in this offense and lack of production.

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Mike Evans Nov 23 11:50pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans finished with five receptions for 49 yards and a score on nine targets in Monday's loss to the Rams. Evans continues to remain a big part of this offense and though his yardage doesn't always reflect that, he has seen at least six targets and gotten three touchdowns in the past four games. The WR should be considered in the low-end WR1/high-end WR2 tier each week going forward.

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Tom Brady Nov 23 11:40pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady went 26-for-48 for 216 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in Week 11. Brady struggled most of the game against a powerful Rams defense and thus had a bit of an off-day. Nevertheless, the QB should remain in the low-end QB1 tier going forward as he has also had some terrific games as well. Based on his previous games though, it seems Brady does well only in favorable matchups rather than being consistent.

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Ronald Jones II Nov 23 11:40pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II finished with 10 carries for 24 yards in the loss to the Rams on Monday. Jones fell flat after a 192-yard performance last week but ended up with more carries than Leonard Fournette on the bright side. It seems Jones will remain the workhorse back going forward, which makes him the safer option to start. The only problem seems to be consistency, as Jones cannot put together a long string of decent games. He has now rushed for less than 35 yards in four of the past five games, so the RB should be considered a mid to low RB2 going forward.

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Tommy Sweeney Nov 23 10:40pm ET

Buffalo Bills tight end Tommy Sweeney (heart) will miss the rest of the season after a cardiologist discovered that he has myocarditis, which is a heart condition. Sweeney started the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list with a foot injury, and he was nearing a return when his condition was discovered during an NFL-mandated checkup. He was also placed on the COVID-19 list in Week 7 after being a high-risk close contact to teammate Dawson Knox, who tested positive for the virus. The 25-year-old caught eight passes for 114 yards in six games in his rookie season in 2019. Knox remains the team's top pass-catching tight end, with Lee Smith, rookie Reggie Gilliam and Tyler Kroft backing him up.

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Nick Mullens Nov 23 9:50pm ET

San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams tested positive for COVID-19 last week and has landed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list along with eight of his teammates. Williams, who is considered a high-risk individual after a fight with cancer, said he was feeling OK and expects to recover. It's unknown if the blind-side protector for quarterback Nick Mullens will be available in Week 12 against the division-rival Rams. It's Williams' second stint on the COVID-19 list after he was previously deemed a high-risk close contact. If Williams doesn't clear the league's protocol in time, it'll make Mullens more vulnerable against a good Rams pass rush next Sunday.

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J.K. Dobbins Nov 23 9:40pm ET

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh confirmed that defensive lineman Brandon Williams was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday after he was considered a close contact of running backs Mark Ingram II and J.K. Dobbins, who tested positive for coronavirus. Williams will have to quarantine for five days and will miss the Thanksgiving tilt on Thursday against the undefeated Steelers. As of now, the contest remains on schedule for Thursday night. Williams, a third-round pick in 2013, has just 20 tackles (13 solo) in eight games for Baltimore this season. The Ravens Defense has basically been a must-start fantasy unit all year long, but they'll face a tough Steelers offense on Thursday and should be faded in DFS.

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James Morgan Nov 23 8:30pm ET

Despite New York Jets head coach Adam Gase all but saying that 2020 fourth-round pick James Morgan is essentially getting a redshirt year as a rookie, the organization made the call Monday to release quarterback Mike White, who had been serving as Joe Flacco's backup. While Sam Darnold (shoulder) continues to battle injuries, Morgan may now slot into the backup role without White on the roster. New York's quarterback situation continues to remain fluid, but Morgan could get a look in the final weeks of the year if the team's losing woes continue and Darnold remains embattled with his shoulder injury. White, who has not yet thrown an NFL pass, will be looking for a new home prior to the conclusion of the year.

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Joe Burrow Nov 23 8:20pm ET

The New York Giants Defense could have both safety Xavier McKinney (foot) and linebacker Oshane Ximines (shoulder) back in the mix Sunday versus Cincinnati after having designated both to return from injured reserve Monday. McKinney was the team's second round Draft choice in 2020, although he would likely play a limited role in his first game, per head coach Joe Judge. Ximines has started three of the four contests that he has appeared in this year, combining for five tackles and three quarterback hits. Their availability will become clearer following Wednesday's practice. While not a standout group in their own right, the Giants' defense should receive sizable season-long streamer appeal due to its matchup versus Ryan Finley and Co., who will be navigating their first game all year without Joe Burrow.

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Ryan Fitzpatrick Nov 23 8:10pm ET

Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jesse Davis (COVID-19/reserve list) has been placed on the COVID-19/reserve list as of Monday, and will reportedly not be available for Sunday's game versus the Jets. (Players do not have to test positive to be added to the list.) Davis' absence likely means that Rob Hunt will slide over to man the right tackle spot, blocking for Tua Tagovailoa, who is expected to start after being removed late in Week 11 in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick. The loss of Davis means that Tagovailoa will have a new blind spot protector, while Salvon Ahmed is expected to lead the backfield once again, albeit with a shifting o-line in front of him. At this time, it appears as if Sunday's matchup between Miami and New York is in no danger of being shifted, although the situation will remain fluid throughout the week.

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Kenny Golladay Nov 23 8:00pm ET

Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hip) has been sidelined since Week 8 due to a hip ailment, but despite the quick turnaround ahead of a Week 12 matchup versus Houston, the team's top receiver was listed as a would-be limited practice participant Monday. While he will likely need to log some actual practice time in order to suit up Thursday, his status is beginning to trend in the right direction for potentially facing an exploitable Texans secondary. Golladay has exceeded the 100-yard plateau as a receiver in each of his last two full contests in 2020, making him a must-start asset should he eventually get the green light to suit up. Check back over the coming days to get a better read on his status with the Lions taking the field for practice Tuesday.

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Randall Cobb Nov 23 8:00pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Randall Cobb (toe) would not have been available to participate in Monday's practice had there been one. After leaving Sunday's win over New England due to a toe injury, Cobb is not trending in the right direction to return for Thursday's matchup with the Lions. Keke Coutee earned praises in the slot in place of Cobb, and would figure to continue seeing an increased usage with the veteran sidelined. The Lions Defense is allowing the fifth-most receiving yards to opposing wide receivers this season, putting Coutee, Brandin Cooks, and Will Fuller V in line for increased usage should Cobb ultimately not make it back in time for the contest.

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