Fantasy Football Believe It or Not: Drop your Raiders? Is Russell Wilson back?
Week 6 brought us a blowout in London that has Heath Cummings wondering if we really need to hold on to the Raiders through their bye.
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Week 7 begins the worst stretch of byes in the Fantasy season. We lose the Packers, Seahawks, Raiders and Steelers this week, and four more teams in Week 8. Week 9 and 11 each bring us six teams on bye. That means roster sports are about to get much more valuable. Watching the Raiders on Sunday, I began to wonder if there were any of them worth holding through their upcoming bye.
Marshawn Lynch is the only Raider worth holding through their bye.
To say the Jon Gruden experiment is a failure may be premature. But it sure looks like one so far. The Raiders have won one game (at home against the Browns in overtime) and just suffered their worst defeat of the season on Sunday. Things aren't getting better, especially for Fantasy.
This is a team that has scored more than 20 points just once this season. Derek Carr is completing a lot of passes, but most of them are within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson have each had two great games and four duds. Jared Cook has been as inconsistent as ever. It's a low-scoring offense heading into its bye with no predictability in how targets are delivered. Feel free to drop them.
Verdict: Don't believe it.
Listen, if you play in a 10-team league then I get it. But most of you don't. The Raiders come back from their bye with a game against the Indianapolis Colts, a defense Sam Darnold just shredded. It's possible the bye week is just enough time for Carr and company to get on track and take advantage of a string of matchups that include the Colts, 49ers, Chargers and Chiefs.
That doesn't mean you have to hold on to all of them either. Get Derek Carr as far away from your roster as possible. There's no reason to carry backup QBs on their bye week. You could even drop Jared Cook if it meant keeping a better player on your bench this week. I'd just make an effort to get him after the bye. But hold onto Cooper and Nelson for now. Better days should be ahead.
You can trust Adrian Peterson until he succumbs to injury.
Can we take a moment to appreciate what Adrian Peterson just did? A week after dislocating his shoulder (and popping it back in himself), the 33-year-old ran for 97 yards on 17 carries against a very good Panthers defense. It was his third time this season going over 90 yards rushing, and his effort was a big part of the reason Washington was able to hold on and win this game
Verdict: Believe it.
Despite his age and injury concerns, Peterson is the No. 14 running back in non-PPR leagues this season. That sounds amazing enough. Now consider his team has already had a bye and he missed half a game with an injury. How has he done this? A lot of it is volume, which is aided by Washington playing very good defense most of the season. When Peterson has played he's been a No. 1 running back and he should be treated like one. Well, almost.
The truth is I'm terrified of an eventual breakdown, and I'd happily trade Peterson for a No. 2 running back or receiver in the right circumstances. But he's a difficult player to deal, so if he's on your roster and he's active, he needs to be in your starting lineup.
Both Buccaneers tight ends are startable.
Throughout last week we touted Cameron Brate as Jameis Winston's favorite red zone target. We talked about how O.J. Howard was on the shelf of 2-4 weeks and that Brate would excel in his absence. Then Howard made a surprise recovery and they both played on Sunday. Unsurprisingly, they both scored as well.
Winston has thrown more than 40 percent of his career touchdowns to tight ends, and more than 50 percent since the start of 2017. This is the perfect position for two tight ends to thrive, and both Howard and Brate are capable. Start them both with confidence.
Verdict: Don't believe it.
We got lucky with Brate this week. Howard is pretty clearly the lead dog here. Even in his first game back he outsnapped Brate 52 percent to 33 percent. Howard caught all four of his targets for 62 yards. Brate didn't see another look after his early touchdown. You should absolutely start Howard with confidence, but Brate is more of a desperation play that you're hoping will score a touchdown.
Russell Wilson is back as a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback.
Boy, do I look silly. I doubted Russell Wilson, and he responded with six touchdown passes in his next two games. Wilson has now topped 25 Fantasy points three times this year and in each of his past two. All he needed was to get Doug Baldwin back to full strength. He's a must-hold through his bye and a must-start after that. Congratulations if you never gave up on him.
Verdict: Don't believe it.
I don't actually feel silly at all. I feel vindicated. I spent most of the summer worrying about what Brian Schottenheimer would do to this offense. While he's been successful, he's done exactly what I feared. Wilson has not thrown more than 26 passes in a game since Week 2. He's topped 230 passing yards once all year. What's worse is he's not running either, with no more than 21 rushing yards in a game. I would sell Wilson for just about any useful piece I could get. There is no way he keeps this up with this volume.
Mike Evans is going to be a No. 2 receiver with Jameis Winston.
Let's go back to the Bucs for a minute, because it wasn't all positive for the passing game. Evans saw just five targets in a game that saw Winston wing it all over the field. Both Chris Godwin and Desean Jackson had nine targets a piece. We saw this from Winston last year, with him spreading the ball around to a variety of receivers. It's going to be very difficult for Evans to be a top-12 receiver with all of the weapons they have in Tampa.
Verdict: Believe it.
Winston has a bit of a history of being better for running backs and tight ends but worse for receivers, and that doesn't look to be changing. We already talked about Howard and Brate in the red zone but both Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones saw a season-high in targets in Winston's first start. You shouldn't panic on Evans; he'll still be a high-end No. 2 receiver, but you may not be getting what you paid for.
So who should you sit and start? And what shocking QB could win you Week 7? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB finishes in the top 5 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.
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