The Seahawks defense and special teams might have looked mortal in a loss to the Rams in Week 7, but Russell Wilson just keeps getting better.
Days after the Seahawks sent shockwaves through the league by trading Percy Harvin to the Jets, Wilson was able to rally the his mates down 21-6 at halftime and posted one of his best stat lines of the season: 313 yards passing and two touchdowns with 106 rush yards and another touchdown. The Seahawks lost 28-26, but Wilson's Fantasy owners don't mind that one bit.
This was especially good to see not only after the Harvin trade but also after a loss at home when he didn't get his usual 20-plus Fantasy points. On Sunday, Wilson had the most passing yards since Week 1 of last season and the most rush yards since, well, two weeks ago.
So how did he do it? Doug Baldwin made the most of 11 targets, catching seven passes for 123 yards and a late touchdown, and tight end Cooper Helfet delivered 61 yards on three catches with a touchdown on six targets. Jermaine Kearse (seven targets) and Paul Richardson (five targets) had 50 yards or less to help pad Wilson's numbers, and runs of 19 and 52 yards made him dynamic.
It's not totally rare for one player to have a hand in a team's 10 most explosive plays, but it's certainly a big accomplishment when it happens. On Sunday, Wilson indeed was responsible for all 10 of those such plays for the Seahawks. Not bad for a guy who shares the field with Marshawn Lynch.
Above all, this game made last week's game look like the exception, not the rule. Wilson seems committed to running the ball when needed moving forward, which should definitely come in handy when he and the 'Hawks play at the Panthers and their run-deficient defense in Week 8. And remember that last time Wilson had big passing yardage? The one in Week 1 of last season? Yeah, it came at Carolina, and their pass defense hasn't been even remotely special all year.
Here's more of the good and bad from Week 7.
Player on the riseAll Ryan Tannehill has done in his last three games is thrown for over 240 yards and multiple touchdowns and run for at least 35 yards in each, including Sunday in a statement win at Chicago. Sure, those three games have come against weak defenses in the Raiders, Packers and now the Bears, but it's still Tannehill getting the job done. What really stuck out this week was that he overcame some early adversity -- sacked on the first play of the game and four times in the first half -- to still play effectively on the road. He also didn't have any turnovers, the first time that's happened to him since Week 3. With a game at Jacksonville next week, Tannehill should continue to be productive.
Player on the declineNormally a quarterback with two quality receivers is a great Fantasy choice, but Matt Ryan is suffering behind a bad offensive line that lost another starter this week. An opportunistic Ravens defense was in Ryan's grill all game long, sacking him five times and making him look like a journeyman backup. Ryan finished with 228 yards on 29 of 44 passing with a late touchdown to Roddy White. He also fumbled the ball away once. Sunday represents the lowest passing total he's had all season and his third straight game with one touchdown. The Lions are up next for the Falcons in London next Sunday in a rare 9:30 a.m. ET start time. You'll hear a lot about that early kickoff next week, and you'll hear a lot of "sit Matt Ryan" advice as well. Tannehill is a better pick.
Quarterback injuries: None
Of note: Last week we saw Joe Flacco whip the Buccaneers for five touchdowns. No such luck this week against the Falcons -- just two scores -- but interceptions played a role for him. Both were in the Falcons end zone on poorly thrown passes. I'd be surprised if he brought a big game to Cincinnati in Week 8. ... Drew Brees overcame a tough matchup to post a good stat line of 342 yards and two scores with a pick (and a 13-yard run) at Detroit. This accounted for 24 Fantasy points, a season-high for him. He'll be back at home with an easier matchup vs. the Packers in Week 8, which is good news since it'll probably mean he'll have to throw another 45 times like he did in Motown. ... Congratulations to Peyton Manning on breaking Brett Favre's career passing touchdowns mark.
Player on the riseWell hello, Tre Mason! Stashed in just 18 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, the rookie from Auburn started for St. Louis and gashed the Seahawks for 43 yards and a touchdown on his first six carries. He cooled off after that but still ended Week 7 with 85 yards on 18 carries (42 yards on his last 12 carries). Mason has given the Rams something they haven't really had since last season -- a good rushing presence. Furthermore, he's quicker and faster than their other backs, though he's certainly not as pass proficient as Benny Cunningham, who caught all five of his targets for 46 yards and a touchdown, though a goal-line shovel pass and an 18-yard reception on a fake punt helped those numbers along. Expect Mason to be the top target off waivers this week, even if the Rams are about to embark on a three-game road trip to Kansas City, San Francisco and Arizona.
Player on the declineHopes were high for Alfred Morris on Sunday against the Titans. After getting stuffed by tough defenses for two straight weeks, the stars were aligned for Morris to take on a big workload and rack up a lot of numbers against a weak Titans run defense. It didn't happen, as Morris got off to a slow start (37 yards on 11 first-half carries) along with the rest of the Redskins and had just four red-zone carries with none near the goal line. Washington plays at Dallas in Week 8 and at Minnesota in Week 9 before taking some time off. It's hard to envision Morris as a premier back so long as Colt McCoy is under center, as defenses will eventually dare him to throw.
Running back waivers: Mason (owned in 17 percent of CBSSports.com leagues), Darren McFadden (76 percent), Jerick McKinnon (74 percent), Isaiah Crowell (68 percent), Denard Robinson (5 percent), Bernard Pierce (65 percent), Bryce Brown (4 percent), Anthony Dixon (0 percent), Benny Cunningham (34 percent), Jonathan Stewart (47 percent), Joseph Randle (19 percent), Storm Johnson (44 percent), Stepfan Taylor (7 percent), Travaris Cadet (4 percent).
Of note: We're going to see a major change in the Bills run game with Spiller out for the season with a broken collarbone and Jackson expected to miss at least Week 8 with a groin injury according to CBSSports.com NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. Bryce Brown hasn't played a snap this season but would be the most alluring player between him and physical rusher Anthony Dixon. Brown has had a roller-coaster career with Fantasy owners as he has posted monster games and total duds in previous opportunities with the Bills. While my colleague Jamey Eisenberg likes Brown's potential, I'd rather aim for Mason and/or Jerick McKinnon. ... Speaking of McKinnon, his 103 rush yards is the most the Bills have allowed to a single back all season. In fact, no team has had even 100 yards against the Bills this season. He's the clear-cut guy to own in the Vikings backfield for the rest of the way. ... Denard Robinson had a career-best game for the Jaguars, running over the Browns for 127 yards on 22 carries. I've admired Robinson's speed but felt he always was too slight to take on that kind of workload. Given the chance on Sunday he did well -- we'll see how he does against the Dolphins. ... Ahmad Bradshaw is this year's Knowshon Moreno.
Player on the riseSammy Watkins might end up as the best Fantasy receiver for Week 7 and Doug Baldwin had great numbers (it was only his second career 100-yard game), but the receiver I'm most excited about is Odell Beckham. In the first game without Victor Cruz, Beckham proved that he's more than a one-trick field-stretching pony, catching 4 of 6 targets for 34 yards -- no catch for any more than 11 yards -- and two touchdowns. That proves to me that he can work in the short and intermediate areas like Cruz has for the Giants. Both scores came from within 10 yards and only one of those six targets was on a deep pass. I'm pretty sure Beckham (owned in 68 percent of CBSSports.com leagues) will be inconsistent for a while, but when Eli Manning is in matchups where he'll have to throw, owners should feel comfortable taking a chance on him. The Giants are off in Week 8 and should have to throw a bunch against the Colts in Week 9.
Player on the declineSometimes going with young guns can lead to disappointing results. Such was the case for Brian Quick and Andre Holmes in Week 7. Quick's matchup against Seattle figured to be tricky, but after being such a potent part of the St. Louis offense for a while, the thinking was that he'd bounce back and get involved more. He caught both of his two targets for 33 yards while escaping Richard Sherman's coverage for much of the game. It's very disappointing given his skill set and tremendous progress so far this season. I didn't see all of the game, but it didn't look like he was drawing tilted coverage. As for Holmes, it was hard for him to keep up the big numbers he had been delivering, but it's hard to get a lot going on five targets. Tolerance for these guys will vary from owner to owner, but trusting receivers on suspect offenses is always risky business. Switching out one of these guys from an upstart receiver on the Seahawks, Packers or Patriots could save you some headaches down the line. Then again, there's nothing wrong with sitting on these guys and seeing how the next week or two pan out.
Wide receiver injuries: None
Wide receiver waivers: Odell Beckham (owned in 68 percent of CBSSports.com leagues), Doug Baldwin (33 percent), Brandon LaFell (56 percent), Davante Adams (21 percent), Allen Robinson (34 percent), Andrew Hawkins (38 percent), Kenny Stills (18 percent), Jermaine Kearse (8 percent), Danny Amendola (16 percent)
Of note: Scary stats out of the Bears receivers following what should have been a peach of a matchup against the Dolphins. Brandon Marshall had six catches for 48 yards on 10 targets while Alshon Jeffery had 9 yards on two catches over seven targets -- and both of Jeffery's grabs came on the Bears' first drive! Jeffery did draw a pass interference call that set up a touchdown and Marshall got flagged for offensive pass interference that wiped out another 14-yard grab, plus he had some end-zone targets. In the long run the Bears' dynamic duo will be just fine, but they'll follow up this stinker with a game at New England and the Patriots secondary. ... If I'm Golden Tate, I'm begging the Lions to let Calvin Johnson take his time to heal up. After a slow start, Tate finished with 10 catches for 154 yards and a touchdown. It's the fourth straight game with at least seven catches, the second time in three weeks he's had over 100 yards and a touchdown and the third time in four weeks he's had at least 110 receiving yards. A dandy of a matchup is next against the Falcons in London. ... I was way off on Pierre Garcon this week. I didn't think the Titans would have a hard time keeping him in check, but he was off to the races after a short pass from Colt McCoy that the Titans couldn't contain. Nice play. ... With another low-catch-but-still-scored game, Terrance Williams has 19 catches on 31 targets for 338 yards and six touchdowns. A touchdown every three catches and five targets?! I'd bet a fried egg sandwich he won't keep this up. Trade him if you can -- the perfect move is to pair Williams with a decent running back for a very good running back. ... A.J. Green reportedly told a teammate he plans to play in Week 8, says WXIX-TV reporter Joe Dannerman.
Player on the riseThere wasn't really a tight end who made a major statement in Week 7. Charles Clay resurfaced on the Fantasy map with 58 yards and a touchdown, as did Owen Daniels with 58 yards and a score. I'm curious to see how much Cooper Helfet played, though I imagine it wasn't much. Helfet had 61 yards and a touchdown. Normally, there's a tight end that breaks out and offers Fantasy owners a glimmer of hope. The best we have this week are Clay and Daniels. Sorry.
Player on the declineA player I've long liked is Gavin Escobar with the Cowboys, a 6-foot-6, 260-pound behemoth with pretty good speed and hands. He scored twice in Week 7 and once last week, but this week he caught three passes for 65 yards. To put that into context, he had 20 receiving yards coming into Week 7 and never had more than 32 yards in a single game before this week. Save for the Cowboys making a fundamental change in their offensive approach, it's unlikely to call Escobar a good Fantasy option. If Jason Witten calls it a career after this year, Escobar will immediately become a breakout candidate.
Tight end injuries: None
Tight end waivers: Owen Daniels (owned in 59 percent of CBSSports.com leagues), Charles Clay (34 percent), Cooper Helfet (0 percent), Gavin Escobar (0 percent), Daniel Fells (0 percent), Jeff Cumberland (1 percent)
Of note: Greg Olsen continues to embark on his best season yet -- he had another game with at least 10 Fantasy points on Sunday. He is on pace for 94 catches for 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns. That would be a career year. Forget about trading for Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski -- this is the guy to go offer a quality player on your bench for. ... Mr. September, Martellus Bennett, had his third straight bad game in October. It's looking like the hot-start, cold-finish trend for Bennett is indeed happening. I'm not sure I'd feel good starting him against the Patriots, even if they allowed a touchdown to a tight end on Thursday. ... Larry Donnell's fumbles could cost him playing time moving forward. If it does, Daniel Fells would step in. ... Delanie Walker delivered a real party foul this week. Boo him.