The Fantasy 32 analyzes the NFL from a fantasy perspective, with at least one mention of each of the league’s 32 teams. Though efficiency will be discussed plenty, the column will lean heavily on usage data, as volume is king (by far) in fantasy football. Use these tidbits to make the best waiver-wire, trade and lineup decisions for the upcoming week and beyond. Be sure to check back each week of the season for a new version of the Fantasy 32.
Note that data from Monday Night Football may not immediately be reflected in charts.
Throughout the team-by-team rundowns below, I’ll be referencing “OFP” and “OTD.” OFP stands for opportunity-adjusted fantasy points. Imagine a league in which players are created equally. OFP is a statistic that weighs every pass/carry/target and converts the data into one number that indicates a player’s opportunity to score fantasy points, or his “expected” fantasy point total. For example, if a player has an OFP of 14.5, it means that a league average player who saw the same workload in the same location on the field would have scored 14.5 fantasy points. FORP is the difference between a player’s actual fantasy point total and his OFP. OTD works the same way, except instead of fantasy points, it’s touchdowns. Volume is king in fantasy football, so this is not information you want to overlook.
That said, here is the post-Week 7 OFP leaderboard:
Week 7 OFP Leaderboard
|1. Marvin Jones Jr., WR||43||32||12|
|2. Allen Robinson II, WR||25||30||-5|
|3. Latavius Murray, RB||32||28||4|
|4. Melvin Gordon, RB||9||27||-19|
|5. Sony Michel, RB||22||27||-5|
|6. Jared Goff, QB||25||27||-2|
|7. Ezekiel Elliott, RB||27||25||1|
|8. Andy Dalton, QB||18||24||-6|
|9. Alex Erickson, WR||22||24||-2|
|10. Josh Jacobs, RB||16||24||-7|
Next, here are the players who exceeded their OFP by the largest margin this past week and are thus candidates to see a dip in fantasy production moving forward, assuming they see a similar workload:
Exceeded their OFP by the largest margin in Week 7
|1. Aaron Rodgers, QB||44||21||23|
|2. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR||21||5||16|
|3. Zach Pascal, WR||29||14||15|
|4. Chase Edmonds, RB||35||21||14|
|5. Darren Waller, TE||32||19||13|
|6. Marvin Jones Jr., WR||43||32||12|
|7. Jake Kumerow, WR||13||3||10|
|8. Tyreek Hill, WR||16||7||10|
|9. Jacoby Brissett, QB||28||18||9|
|10. Kirk Cousins, QB||29||20||9|
And these are the players who fell short of their OFP by the largest margin last week and thus you shouldn’t be too quick to overreact to their performance when making lineup, trade or waiver decisions:
Fell short of their OFP by the largest margin in Week 7
|1. Sam Darnold, QB||-7||13||-20|
|2. Melvin Gordon, RB||9||27||-19|
|3. Mark Andrews, TE||6||18||-12|
|4. Robby Anderson, WR||2||13||-11|
|5. Tyler Boyd, WR||9||20||-11|
|6. Keenan Allen, WR||10||21||-11|
|7. Damien Williams, RB||3||12||-9|
|8. Demaryius Thomas, WR||7||17||-9|
|9. Anthony Miller, WR||9||18||-9|
|10. Russell Wilson, QB||14||23||-9|
With David Johnson limited by injury to three snaps, Chase Edmonds played 95% of Arizona’s snaps against the Giants on Sunday. He took advantage in a big way, exploding for 27-126-3 rushing and 2-24-0 receiving lines. Edmonds entered the season as one of the most-valuable handcuffs in fantasy, and we saw why on Sunday. That said, once Johnson returns in full, Edmonds figures to again be limited to closer to 30% of the snaps and would thus struggle to produce consistent fantasy numbers. If Johnson is a go in Week 8, Edmonds will be a shaky flex. If Johnson is out, Edmonds will be a fringe RB1 at New Orleans.
Calvin Ridley has been as boom/bust as they come this season. The second-year receiver has scored in four different games and racked up at least six targets and 48 yards in all four outings. However, Ridley has failed to clear 32 yards and has zero touchdowns during his other three games. The good news is that Ridley has six-plus targets in all but one game and the team’s atrocious defensive play will lead to significant passing volume going forward (Atlanta has trailed on 74% of its offensive snaps this season, which ranks fourth-highest in the league). Ridley remains a fringe WR3, though Tuesday’s trade of Mohamed Sanu opens the door for an uptick in snaps and targets.
Since scoring five touchdowns during his first three games with Baltimore, Mark Ingram II has predictably regressed to the mean, finding the end zone twice during his past four outings. Ingram has reached 12 carries in all seven games, but he continues to play a small role as a receiver; Ingram has cleared two targets in only one game and sports a 12-96-0 receiving line on 12 targets. Ingram sits second in the league with eight carries inside the opponent’s 5 yard line, but his 5.9 OTD suggests he’s still well over his head in the scoring department (seven touchdowns). Ingram has four Top 25 fantasy weeks to his name this season, but only one was a top 10. He’s settled in as a back-end RB2.
Devin Singletary returned from a lengthy hamstring-related absence in Week 7 and was on the field for 41% of the offensive snaps. That wasn’t far behind Frank Gore (51%). Gore went for 66 yards on 12 touches, whereas the rookie posted 26 yards on seven touches. Surprisingly, Singletary wasn’t targeted in the game, though he trailed Gore by only one in the pass routes department (12 to 11). Singletary out-snapped Gore 43-to-18 in his only other game back in Week 1, so the rookie’s role figures to increase. Consider him a flex option in 12-team leagues.
Christian McCaffrey has scored nine touchdowns on 171 looks (carries + targets), but his 4.9 OTD suggests he’s a bit over his head this season. McCaffrey has scored on three of five carries inside the 4-yard line, adding touchdown runs of 5, 8, 76 and 84 yards and touchdown receptions that required post-catch runs of 13 and 29 yards. For perspective, McCaffrey scored 13 touchdowns last season with an 11.3 OTD. McCaffrey is undoubtedly an elite fantasy player right now, but he’s likely headed for some regression to the mean in the touchdown department.
The Bears’ rushing game continues to be a disaster. Chicago running backs have combined for 100 carries and 300 rushing yards, both of which rank dead last in the league. They also rank second-worst in both YPC (3.0) and YAC (1.12). For perspective, former lead back Jordan Howard has totaled 77 carries for 347 yards on his own this season. David Montgomery entered Week 7 averaging 15.75 carries per game during Weeks 2-5, but he was limited to two carries in Sunday’s loss to New Orleans. Montgomery has one weekly finish better than 28th. His lead-back status makes him worth a bench spot, but the rookie shouldn’t be close to lineups right now.
Alex Erickson was targeted a career-high 14 times Sunday, posting an 8-137-0 receiving line. The veteran receiver entered the game with 15 targets, 109 yards and zero touchdowns in six games this season. Erickson played all but four of the offensive snaps as one of the team’s top-three receivers, but he can’t be counted on for anything close to this target share (33%) moving forward, especially with A.J. Green expected back in the next few weeks. Cincinnati’s No. 3 receiver is only worth an add in 16-team leagues.
Jarvis Landry has been one of the league’ biggest underachievers in the touchdown department this season. Landry has failed to score on 47 targets, but has registered three end zone targets and a 2.1 OTD. Landry has cleared five touchdowns in a season only once, but his career offensive touchdown total (28) aligns almost exactly with his career OTD (27.9). If Landry continues to handle 7.7 targets per game, the touchdowns will follow. Consider Landry a weekly WR3.
Randall Cobb played through a questionable tag in Week 7, but the veteran slot receiver was limited to 47% of the snaps and three targets. Cobb played 76% of the snaps and had seen exactly five or six targets during his first five games with Dallas, though the usage didn’t lead to much fantasy production. Cobb posted a 4-69-1 receiving line in Week 1, but he totaled 13 catches for 141 yards and zero scores during the four games that followed. Cobb is only worth flex consideration in deep PPR leagues.
Royce Freeman out-snapped Phillip Lindsay 39-to-26 in Week 7 and has now held the edge over his counterpart in four consecutive games. Freeman also scored his first touchdown of the season after handling his first carry inside the opponent’s 5-yard line of 2019. The big week vaulted Freeman into the top 20 among running backs in OFP (88), though he’s still a bit behind Lindsay (101) in the category. Lindsay holds a 95-to-76 edge in carries, but Freeman is ahead in routes (123 to 93) and targets (31 to 27). Both backs are fringe RB2 options in Denver’s low-scoring, but run-heavy offense.
Marvin Jones Jr. exploded for 10 catches, 93 yards and four touchdowns on 13 targets against Minnesota on Sunday. The big day marks Jones’ second top-30 week of the season, though he’s been a bit boom/bust, finishing outside the Top 50 three times. Granted a 14-target Week 7 boosted this number a bit, but Jones is handling a 20% target share this season, which is his highest during his time in Detroit. He’s been on the field for 89% of the snaps and sits 21st at wide receiver in OFP. Jones is a weekly Top 30 play moving forward.
Green Bay Packers
Last week, we discussed in this column the reasons why a barrage of Aaron Rodgers touchdowns were on the way. Rodgers answered the call … and then some. Against Oakland on Sunday, the 35-year-old completed 25 of 31 pass attempts for 429 yards and five touchdowns, adding a rushing score along the way. After scoring eight of its first 14 touchdowns on the ground, the Packers’ offense has now scored seven of its last eight through the air. Granted, they’ve overcorrected a bit, but as long as the Packers continue to average close to their current average of 3.1 offensive touchdowns per game, Rodgers (currently QB7 on the season) will make for a strong weekly QB1 play.
Kenny Stills returned from injury and was on the field for 95% of Houston’s snaps on Sunday. Stills benefited from an early-game injury to Will Fuller V (5% of snaps), but it’s notable that he worked well ahead of Keke Coutee (70%). Stills posted a 4-105-0 receiving line in Week 7 after managing a 4-89-0 line back in Week 3, which was his last full game prior to the injury. Stills should be one of your top priorities on waivers this week, as Fuller is expected to miss time with a hamstring injury. Consider Stills a fringe WR3 with big upside and Coutee more of a borderline flex in deep PPR leagues.
Jacoby Brissett tossed a career-high four touchdowns Sunday and has now thrown two or more touchdowns in five of six games this season. That’s even more incredible when you consider that Brissett reached two passing touchdowns in only three of 16 starts back in 2017. Brissett has finished all six of his 2019 starts as a top-20 fantasy quarterback (only Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson can say the same) and has finished three of his past four starts as a top-11 quarterback. Brissett will be a fine streaming option when the matchup calls for it, but that won’t be the case against Denver in Week 8.
After seeing a total of 11 targets during Weeks 1-2, Dede Westbrook has handled six-plus targets in five consecutive games, including eight-plus during four of those five affairs. Westbrook has a catch of at least 23 yards in all five games and sits 19th among receivers in fantasy points during the span. Westbrook has been on the field for 85% of the Jaguars’ snaps and is handling a career-high 24% target share. Westbrook and teammate DJ Chark Jr. are both viable weekly fantasy starters.
Kansas City Chiefs
It appears that LeSean McCoy has overtaken Damien Williams as the Chiefs’ clear lead back. McCoy has out-snapped Williams 48-to-35 and out-touched him 24-to-13 over the past two weeks. That includes a Week 7 effort in which McCoy went for 76 yards on 14 touches, whereas Williams was held to 12 yards on 11 touches. The two backs have similar receiving numbers, but McCoy is averaging 5.4 YPC, compared to a lowly 1.7 YPC for Williams. McCoy is the better RB2 option moving forward, though neither back will be as appealing while Patrick Mahomes is out.
Los Angeles Chargers
Melvin Gordon has been back for three games, and the results have not been good. The veteran back has registered 81 yards on 36 carries (2.25 YPC) and nine receptions, 34 yards and one touchdown on 13 targets. Gordon has been out-snapped 104 to 97 by Austin Ekeler during the span. Neither back has been able to run the ball (combined 109 yards on 49 carries), but Ekeler has posted a 25-218-1 receiving line during the span. The Chargers appear committed to Gordon as their primary ball carrier (he’s handled 71% of the carries since his return), but the team’s offensive line troubles have crushed his efficiency. Ekeler is the slightly preferred fantasy play right now, but both are no more than fringe RB2 options against Chicago this week.
Los Angeles Rams
Gerald Everett soaked up a team-high 10 targets en route to a 4-50-1 receiving line against the Falcons in Week 7. Everett has now managed five-plus targets in four consecutive games, including eight-plus in three of those four affairs. Everett has a pair of touchdowns and sits second among tight ends in fantasy points during the span. It’s a bit disconcerting that Everett has only run a route on 57% of the team’s pass plays, but he’ll have no trouble sustaining TE1 numbers if he continues to see a target share around 20%. Fire him up in Week 8 against the Bengals.
Mark Walton is the new lead back for the Dolphins. After getting the “start” in Week 6, Walton paced the backfield in snaps (34) for the first time on Sunday, working ahead of Kenyan Drake (26) and Kalen Ballage (five). Walton showed well with 66 yards on 14 carries, though he was only targeted once and deferred to Ballage at the goal line, who scored the unit’s only touchdown. Especially considering Drake is a strong bet to be traded in the coming days, Walton is worth an add, but he’s best viewed as a shaky flex in Miami’s low-scoring offense.
Irv Smith Jr. handled a career-high six targets on Sunday, turning the usage into a 5-60-0 receiving line. Smith was on the field for 58% of the offensive snaps, which was just above his 51% average during Weeks 3-6. Smith entered the game with eight targets in six games, and while his role in the passing game should continue to evolve, he’s unlikely to flirt with TE1 value. Smith will have some sleeper appeal in two-tight end leagues if Adam Thielen misses Thursday’s game, but Minnesota’s run-heavy offense supplies the rookie with a very low floor.
On Monday, Ben Watson made his first appearance with the Patriots since 2009. The veteran tight end was on the field for 61 of the team’s 74 snaps. He ran a route on 25-of-45 pass plays and was targeted five times. The usage suggests Watson could sneak his way into the TE1 discussion at some point this season, though Tuesday’s acquisition of Mohamed Sanu will make it tough for Patriots’ tight ends to rack up many targets. Watson is only worth an add in leagues that start two tight ends.
New Orleans Saints
With Alvin Kamara sidelined in Week 7, Latavius Murray was on the field for 84% of New Orleans’ offensive snaps. Zach Zenner (seven snaps) and Dwayne Washington (one) played minimal roles off the bench. Despite facing a tough Chicago defense, Murray posted a rushing line of 27-119-2 and a receiving line of 5-31-0. Murray entered 2019 as arguably the most valuable handcuff running back, and those who had him stashed behind Kamara reaped the rewards of their investment on Sunday. Should Kamara miss more time, Murray will be an RB1 option, including against the Cardinals in Week 8.
New York Giants
After playing a limited role in his Giants debut back in Week 5, Golden Tate has posted receiving lines of 6-102-1 and 6-80-0 on a total of 20 targets over the past two weeks. Tate has been on the field for all but two of the Giants’ offensive snaps during that span and has a pair of top-25 fantasy weeks to show for it. Sterling Shepard appears likely to return in Week 8, but there is still room for Tate to see seven-to-eight targets most weeks. Consider him a flex.
New York Jets
Demaryius Thomas has totaled a team-high 23 targets (26% target share) in three full games with the Jets. Of course, the heavy usage hasn’t led to much fantasy production, as inefficient quarterback play has led to an 11-151-0 receiving line and the 44th-most fantasy points among wideouts. The heavy usage suggests the veteran receiver should certainly be on rosters, especially with much easier matchups on the horizon. Still, we’ll need to see a step forward from Sam Darnold before Thomas can be trusted as a flex option.
Josh Jacobs has been as advertised as a rookie, racking up both heavy volume and posting strong efficiency as a rusher. Jacobs has at least 79 rushing yards in five of six games and has averaged at least 4.4 yards per carry in five consecutive games. In fact, Jacobs is averaging 5.1 YPC on the season and his 2.3 YAC is third best among the 39 backs with at least 50 carries. The first-round pick has rushed for four touchdowns and has reached 20 carries in three games. Jacobs has done little as a receiver (11 targets), which limits his upside a bit, but he gets enough run to allow solid RB2 numbers. Upgrade him in non-PPR.
Zach Ertz has scored one touchdown and has yet to clear 72 yards in a single game this season. After setting the all-time tight end reception record last season (116), Ertz is on pace for 80 catches this season. Ertz has posted career-low marks in both catch rate (59%) and yards per target (6.8), but on the plus side, he leads all tight ends in snaps (392) and targets (59). Ertz is a candidate for some touchdown regression to the mean (one TD, 2.7 OTD), but he’s less the dominant fantasy tight end he was in 2018 and more of a solid TE1 option.
James Washington was a popular 2019 breakout candidate, but it simply hasn’t happened for the second-year receiver. Washington did match a career-high in targets with six when we last saw him in Week 5, but he’s yet to clear 52 yards in a single game or score a touchdown this season. It’s possible the return of Mason Rudolph will fuel a bigger second half for Washington, but the more likely outcome is extremely inconsistent production. Washington is only worth a bench spot in deep leagues.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers’ offense couldn’t get much going in rainy Washington D.C., but we did get more evidence that Tevin Coleman is the team’s clear lead back. Coleman played 66% of the snaps, compared to 26% for Matt Breida and 13% for Jeff Wilson Jr. Granted Breida missed some time due to injury Sunday, but Coleman has now played 107 snaps to Breida’s 68 since returning from his own injury in Week 5. Coleman has posted weekly fantasy finishes of 19th, 17th and 23rd over the past three weeks and is in play as an RB2 against Carolina this week.
With Will Dissly out for the season, Seattle’s tight end snaps were as follows during Sunday’s loss: Jacob Hollister 36, Luke Willson 32. Hollister posted a 3-20-0 receiving line on six targets and Willson failed to haul in his only target. Hollister is obviously the preferred choice for those of you looking for help in two-tight end leagues, though keep in mind that Ed Dickson is due back from a knee injury in the next few weeks. It’s unlikely Hollister will average more than three-to-four targets per game going forward. He’s well off the TE1 radar.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
As good as Chris Godwin has been this season, the third-year receiver is in way over his head in the touchdown department. Godwin has found the end zone six times, but sports a 2.6 OTD. Godwin has caught three of four end zone targets and required post-catch runs of 10, 11 and 12 yards on the other scores. Godwin has played 95% of the snaps and is handling 8.8 targets per game, so he’s still positioned to provide strong WR2 (if not back-end WR1) numbers, but just don’t expect the touchdown pace to continue.
Ryan Tannehill made his debut as the Titans’ starter Sunday and added some life to Corey Davis (6-80-1 receiving line) and rookie A.J. Brown (6-64-0). Davis posted a 5-91-1 line against Atlanta a few weeks ago, but he failed to clear 44 yards or score in any other game. Brown hit a few big plays earlier this season, but he also fell short of 30 yards in four of his six games prior to setting career-high marks in targets (eight) and receptions Sunday. Both receivers belong on rosters, with Davis the preferred flex option in 12-team leagues.
Granted, Sunday’s game was distorted by rain, but Paul Richardson Jr. has gone without a catch on five total targets during his past two games. This comes after he totaled exactly 14 yards in each of his previous two outings. Richardson had a huge game against Chicago back in Week 3, but he has failed to clear 36 yards in six other games. The former Seahawk has been on the field for 85% of the team’s pass plays, but 4.4 targets per game in a low-scoring, run-heavy offense simply won’t cut it. Richardson should obviously be nowhere close to fantasy rosters right now.
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