FOX Sports' Ryan Fowler assesses your options this week.
Fantasy Dud Game of the Week:
The stage was set for a monster fantasy day from the offensive skill players on both the Cowboys and the Eagles. Through the first six weeks, the two teams’ defensive units allowed a combined 53 fantasy points to quarterbacks, 35 fantasy points to running backs and 61 fantasy points to wide receivers per game. Not to mention the Vegas OVER/UNDER was 55 points. So, when Nick Foles led the Eagles’ in rushing at halftime, the fantasy rage on Twitter started to boil over. By game’s end, it took LeSean McCoy 18 carries to rack up 55 yards. It took waiver wire hot commodity Joseph Randle 19 carries to reach 65 yards. Sure, Tony Romo passed for 317 yards, but with more interceptions than touchdowns. After Foles left the game due to injury, Matt Barkley stepped in and promptly threw three interceptions. Cowboys 17 – Eagles – 3 was a final score no fantasy football owner wanted to see in Week 7. All that glitters is not gold – even in fantasy football.
Week 7 Fantasy Football Studs
The Bengals' “Red Rifle” posted the third-best passing day of his career against the Lions. From an efficiency standpoint, Dalton’s line of 24-34 | 372 | 3 TD | 0 INT | 135.9 QB Rating was the best of his career. Dalton has now thrown six touchdowns and only one interception the last two weeks. It’s worth noting that A.J. Green has accounted for 258 yards (2 TDs) of the 709 yards Dalton’s thrown for during that stretch. That’s over 36 percent of his production.
Roy Helu vs. Bears
For those of us who have played fantasy football within the past three years, the verb “Shanahaned” remains fresh in our vocabulary. The 2010 season was a nightmare for owners of Clinton Portis, Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams. You were never sure which hot hand head coach Mike Shanahan would ride. That fear dissipated last season with Alfred Morris driving the bus week in and week out. Fast forward the narrative to Week 7 2013 and Roy Helu, a familiar character from the 2011 season, is back to vulturing once again. Helu only managed 41 rushing yards against the Bears. However, he scored two three-yard touchdowns and one 14-yarder on 11 carries. Great game, but … Shanahaned!
Other Fantasy RB Studs: Ryan Mathews (17.0 FP) with back-to-back 100-yard-plus rushing games with 20-plus carries in both | Zac Stacy (14.9 FP) – something’s percolating in the Rams’ backfield … finally.
Andrew Luck vs. Broncos
The Colts' quarterback posted a season-high 36 fantasy points with 228 yards (30 rushing yards) and four touchdowns. It's the second time Luck has accounted for four touchdowns in a game (2012 season vs. Lions).
No Julio Jones for the season. No Steven Jackson for the foreseeable future. No Roddy White for at least the week. Somebody had to pick up the slack and plenty of owners plucked Harry Douglas up off the waiver wire this past Wednesday. The Falcons’ wide receiver was the third-most popular add of the week, but he’s still out there in 45 percent of leagues. Expect him to remain a hot commodity after posting seven receptions for 149 yards and a touchdown against the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay’s secondary has been torched back-to-back weeks by Matt Ryan and Nick Foles.
Chris Ivory vs. Patriots
Ivory had 34 total carries heading into Week 7’s game against the Patriots. He doubled his season total with 34 more carries for 104 yards against the Pats. The 3.1 yards per rush are well off his career averages, but it was a nice sight to see for owners who kept the faith. Bilal Powell was a non-factor with only three carries for six yards. We may have witnessed a changing of the Jets’ running back guard in Week 7. Make the necessary waiver wire adjustments.
FOX Sports fantasy contributor Adam Meyer was preaching from the pulpit during the Sunday morning fantasy chat to start up Boykin against the Brownies. With Joe Haden smothering Jordy Nelson, Meyer believed Boykin was prime for a breakout performance in place of James Jones / Randall Cobb. Boykin finished with a game-high eight receptions for a game-high 103 yards and a touchdown. The Packers don’t rebuild fantasy production – they reload. Next man up!
Jordan Reed vs. Redskins (Fan Nomination)
Like a death by a thousand cuts, Reed has trumped Fred Davis as the Redskins' tight end of the future. The rookie out of Florida posted a career-best 134 yards on 9 receptions (on 9 targets!) with a touchdown against the Bears. That's the good news. The bad news is only 3.3 percent of fantasy owners on FOXSports.com started Reed in Week 7.
Week 7 Fantasy Football Duds
Doug Martin vs. Falcons
The “Muscle Hamster” was forced to leave Sunday’s game against the Falcons in the third quarter with a shoulder injury. The good news for owners is that X-rays came back negative and it didn’t show that Martin suffered a separation. Before he left, Martin had 47 yards on 11 carries. Now, I’m not a fan on labeling somebody a dud in a game they left due to injury, however Martin’s recent track record has been far from flawless. After posting double-digit fantasy points the first three weeks, Martin has averaged less than nine fantasy points per game in the three games since. We’re talking about a first-round fantasy draft pick. Mike James finished with 45 yards on a 14 carries and would slide into the starting role if Martin can’t play next week.
DeSean Jackson vs. Cowboys
File under “what have you done for me lately” because Jackson has been stellar for fantasy owners. With 13 receptions for 196 yards and three touchdowns in the last two games, owners were drooling over the tasty Cowboys’ matchup. But as I touched on at the beginning of this article, the NFC East duel failed to deliver for NFL fans and fantasy owners. Jackson managed only three receptions for 21 yards – his worst numbers since November 2012.
Larry Fitzgerald vs. Seahawks
When you combine the Cardinals’ offensive line issues (Carson Palmer has been sacked 20 times this season – 3rd NFL) with the Seahawks’ secondary glue men with Larry Fitzgerald’s lingering hamstring injury, the deck was stacked against owners Thursday night. He finished with two receptions for 17 yards. It’s the fourth time Fitzgerald has been held to fewer than 20 receiving yards in a game since Week 1 2012.
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