It's Week 7 and your Fantasy Football lineup is a bit of a mess. Injuries and bye weeks have wreaked havoc on the landscape for this week, and you might be panicking. Maybe you're 2-4 and now you have to play without multiple starters in a game where you can't afford a loss.
It's okay, you're not alone. Everyone is going through it, too. But hey, there's nothing wrong with asking for some help, either. I took some emails from the Fantasy Football Today Newsletter subscribers and took to Twitter to find some other questions for another weekly #AskFFT mailbag. If you want more help, email Chris.Towers@ViacomCBS.com with the subject line "#AskFFT" or head to Twitter and use #AskFFT and we'll find you.
Here are this week's questions and answers:
Terry: I've been offered Saquon Barkley and Chris Godwin for Dalvin Cook in a non-PPR league. My other RBs are Damien Harris, Elijah Mitchell, Chuba Hubbard, Latavius Murray, Damien Williams, and Alexander Mattison. Other WRs are Kelce (counts as a WR), Woods, E. Sanders, AJ Green, Toney, and Bateman.
So, obviously this depends to a certain extent on how many players you need to start, but in a vacuum, I think it's a reasonably fair deal -- Barkley is obviously currently injured, but I think he'll be a must-start back when healthy, and Godwin is still a must-start WR in my eyes despite a somewhat slow start to the season. Cook is the best player in the deal by far, but I do think it's fair to downgrade him a little bit due to his injury history.
The Cook side probably wins, especially with Barkley not looking likely to play in Week 7 -- he sat out Wednesday's practice. A two-for-one deal isn't a bad idea for you, given your roster construction, but this isn't really one as long as Barkley is out. If you want to get another starter, I think you can probably do better than this if you shop Cook. And if you don't need immediate help, I would try to see if you can get a better WR than Godwin along with Barkley.
Tom: I'm in a 12 team, 1 point PPR league. I need to make two pickups and have to drop two of the following four, Brandon Aiyuk, Khalil Herbert, Tony Pollard and Amon-Ra St. Brown. Who would be the two guys you would drop?
Week 7 is going to be a week of tough drop decisions for a lot of players, and you are clearly one of them. St. Brown is the easy drop for me, because I just don't see much upside there -- is there really that much value in holding on to someone whose best-case scenario is probably Hunter Renfrow? And Tony Pollard is the easy hold -- he's a useful weekly option with massive upside if anything happens to Ezekiel Elliott.
So that brings it to Herbert vs. Aiyuk. If we knew Damien Williams was going to be back this week, I would say Herbert would be droppable, because he's going to be in a timeshare moving forward with three matchups on the way before the Bears bye -- and David Montgomery's (knee) likely return. However, with Williams' status still very much up in the air, Herbert may end up being a top-20 RB in Week 7 even against the Buccaneers. Which means you've gotta drop Aiyuk. I still believe there's a lot of upside there, but we just haven't really seen his usage increase much even since he's gotten out of the proverbial dog house. The problem is, that could change any given week without much warning -- the 49ers just have to start throwing it to him more. Maybe that'll happen after the bye week, but it's not enough of a sure thing to hold if you need the roster spot.
So who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 7 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that has out-performed experts big-time.
Best buy low RBs right now?— TheBigDeal (@xTheBigDealx) October 20, 2021
If you're 6-0 or 5-1, you should be looking at the injured and bye-week running backs -- Christian McCaffrey, Barkley, Nick Chubb/Kareem Hunt, Ezekiel Elliott, James Robinson, Antonio Gibson, Najee Harris, or Austin Ekeler would all be targets to try to pry away from some team desperate for wins right now. Is it predatory? Sure, but it's smart to try to take advantage of someone who might be in a desperate position. It's just Fantasy football, after all.
If you're looking for the more traditional definition of a buy-low RB, I think Miles Sanders is the best option, as I wrote in Wednesday's Fantasy Football Today Newsletter. The Eagles schedule hasn't been particularly conducive to Fantasy production, but he's got the Raiders, Lions, and Chargers on the schedule over the next three weeks, so hopefully the Eagles will find themselves chasing points less often against some soft defenses. Sanders has run the ball well and hasn't been actively detrimental in the passing game, an upgrade over last season, and far from Kenny Gainwell taking his job, he's playing more as the season has gone on.
I would also consider Josh Jacobs, Michael Carter, Damien Harris, Javonte Williams, Chase Edmonds, and even Myles Gaskin all various levels of buy-low candidates -- with Jacobs, Edmonds, and Harris as buy-low candidates you can use right now, Williams and Carter as upside plays, and Gaskin as a desperation play for upside.
It's easier to answer with A.J. Brown: If he's healthy, I think he'll be himself. That's a big if given the recurring nature of his various leg injuries, but he's healthy right now and just had a pretty A.J. Brown-esque game in Week 6 -- seven catches for 91 yards against a tough Bills defense. He's a must-start Fantasy WR as long as he is healthy, with as much upside on a weekly basis as pretty much anyone in football.
It's harder to have a good answer for Robert Woods. He's doing well with the targets he's getting, with a more downfield-oriented role, as we expected with Matthew Stafford at QB. However, he's not doing that much better than last year -- certainly not enough to make up for the dip in target share we've seen. He followed up his 14-target, 12-catch performance in Week 5 with just two catches for 31 yards against the lowly Giants the following week, and if he hadn't found the end zone, we'd see a lot more panicking about him.
I don't really have any questions about whether Woods can still be a good Fantasy option in this offense, but with Cooper Kupp taking up such a massive target share (34%) and the Rams having less pass volume than expected (33.7 attempts per game, their lowest since 2017) there just hasn't been the role we expected for Woods. And the manufactured touches in the running game haven't been as big a part of the game plan as expected. I still think Woods is a WR2 moving forward with upside beyond that, but it's hard to feel good about him every week at this point.
#AskFFT seems like Hopkins is smoke and mirrors....Target share down just cause of the nature of the offense in combination with receivers all better...is he someone you are trying to trade? kinda reminds me (not talent but the fantasy #s) how TD dependant Gurley was last year.— Seven Costanza (@broncorodeo) October 20, 2021
This is a little harsh, but it's not totally unfair. Hopkins is benefitting from the new talent around him in some ways -- career-high yards per target, career-high touchdown rate -- but the overall drop in opportunities caused by his target share falling to 21% has obviously been a net negative for his Fantasy appeal. You can look at it one of two ways, depending on whether you want to be optimistic or pessimistic.
- The pessimistic view is: This is exactly why the Cardinals brought in A.J. Green and drafted Rondale Moore, and the acquisition of Zach Ertz is only going to exacerbate things. They want every eligible receiver to be a legitimate threat, because Kliff Kingsbury wants to spread the ball around and put pressure on the defense at every possible point of the field. Given their success, why would this change? This is clearly how they want to use Hopkins.
- The optimistic view is: Yeah, it's all well and good to get Christian Kirk his targets when you're 6-0 and winning easily, but when they were stuck in a close game with a tough 49ers defense and they had trouble moving the ball, Hopkins had his highest target share of the season, at 32.1%. When the chips are down, they're going to throw it to Hopkins more, and things won't be this easy for them all season.
The problem with the optimistic view is, in their toughest game in Week 2, a 34-33 win over the Vikings, Hopkins had just an 11.8% target share. I do believe if it comes to it, they will feature Hopkins more heavily moving forward, but I don't expect him to be in the high-20's in target share. The question is whether he can sustain this kind efficiency while seeing his target share climb more to the 24-25% range where most WR1s live.
It's hard to tell you to trade Hopkins when we know how incredible his potential is and the only thing keeping him from it is a choice the offense is making -- a choice they could very easily reverse at any point. But it's also hard to view him as a No. 1 Fantasy WR right now. If someone does, it's not a bad idea to try to sell.
Here's a PPR trade I was offered today:— The Fantasy Futurist Podcast 🔮 (@geek_mill) October 20, 2021
I send: Darren Waller / David Montgomery
I receive: Kyle Pitts / Miles Sanders
(My RBs: DM, Kareem Hunt, Nyheim Hines, Jamaal Williams, Deejay Dallas, Le'Veon Bell)
If you need RB help right now -- and you do -- I can definitely see the reason to do this trade. You're giving up the best player at each position in the long run, but David Montgomery isn't going to help you until Week 11, likely. The dropoff from Waller to Pitts is a big one, but obviously we know Pitts has the skills to shrink the gap quickly, and I like Sanders as a buy-low option, as previously stated. If you're 5-1 or 6-0, there's probably no reason to do this, but if you are .500 or worse, I think you probably have to.
Should i be looking to move Damien Harris after a respectable week? Or should i be holding? If moving… names i should be targeting?— mischief managed. (@BeardedMN14) October 20, 2021
The best thing Harris has going for him right now is that he's available. He's active and healthy and likely to get a solid workload, which is enough to make him a top-20 RB for Week 7. However, even with the position in as rough shape as it is, he's not much higher than 20 for me. If you don't need him right now, you should definitely be shopping him to someone who might need him right now, because this is probably the peak of his perceived value given the lack or viable RB starters right now. Try to take advantage of someone who is desperate if you don't need him.
Why am I so down on Harris? Well, part of it is that he has struggled to stay healthy and has a viable backup in Rhamondre Stevenson who might actually have more upside for Fantasy if the passing game role he showed in Week 6 was anything close to real. If Harris has to miss time, it's entirely possible Stevenson just takes the job and runs with it. It's not entirely likely, but hey, that's what Harris did to Sony Michel last year.
But part of it is also that he just isn't a very good Fantasy player. He's the definition of "fine." He's Just A Guy. He's started 16 games since the start of last season and rushed for 1,022 yards on 4.7 yards per carry, which is pretty good! And yet, he's averaging just 9.5 PPR points per game in that span, with one RB1 finish and just two RB2 finishes. If he rushes for 100 yards and/or scores a touchdown, he's going to be a top-24 back most weeks, but that's about it. His lack of a passing game role really hurts him, and he's on a bad team, so you can't exactly expect a ton of touchdowns. He's an RB3 with little upside most weeks.
If someone in your league views him as more than that, move him. If you don't need the RB help, move him.