It’s spooky season, and I don’t know which is more terrifying: Arthur Smith’s complete disregard for draft capital and talent or the IR slots on most of my dynasty leagues. It’s hard to believe we are halfway through our fantasy seasons. It’s been a strange year, but we tend to say that every year.
There was a fairly even amount of treats last week compared to tricks, so I can’t complain too badly. We will quickly recap Week 7’s picks before we head on to the main event.
Week 7 Hits
D’Onta Foreman, RB CHI
What a hit! Not only did Foreman return value, he ended up as RB1 on the week! The big man rushed for 89 yards on 16 attempts and, even more beautifully, ended up with three total touchdowns! What a time to be alive! I am not expecting this level of production every week, but as long as he is healthy and the Bears are short of options, I think he is a viable flex possibility.
Diontae Johnson, WR PIT
Johnson did not put up gaudy numbers by any stretch of the imagination, but he didn’t completely leave you hanging, which is certainly something! Diontae had five receptions on six targets for 79 yards, which was good enough for 12.9 PPR points. He played a decent amount of snaps for his first return to action. Worryingly for managers, he was limited this week in practice, so it is unclear if he suffered a setback or if it is just precautionary.
Zach Evans, RB LAR
My skepticism paid off with Mr. Evans last week. He only took four total snaps; they were all on special teams! The Rams chose to lean on Darrell Henderson and Royce Freeman in the backfield instead. As I mentioned last week, with Myles Gaskin having just been signed as well, it’s hard to see a viable role for Evans soon.
Week 7 Misses
Christian Watson, WR GB
I did not have the Packers losing to the Denver Broncos on my Week 7 bingo card. Watson had five targets in the game, and so did four other receivers for Green Bay. Jordan chose to spread the “Love” (apologies for the terrible pun), and sadly, there wasn’t much fantasy “Love” to spread. Watson got banged up a little later in the game and is now dealing with a knee injury. It is not a great sign of the short-term value he adds to dynasty managers.
Jeff Wilson Jr., RB MIA
This one hurts the most. I was looking forward to seeing what Wilson could do in this potent Dolphins offense now that he is healthy. Sadly, he only played 14% of the snaps and had a single target. He did manage to turn that target into a reception for four yards, so it was not the dreaded “goose egg,” but honestly, it may as well have been. The Eagles manhandled the Dolphins’ run game, and even Raheem Mostert only had nine rush attempts. I think brighter days could be ahead for Jeff, but I am not rushing to throw him in my lineup till I see a serious increase in involvement.
Wan’Dale Robinson, WR NYG
Danny Dimes did not end up suiting up, and Robinson did not have a good game. Strangely enough, the Giants did win, and Tyrod Taylor had a decent game. Robinson played 60% of snaps, the same as in Week 6. He only had two targets and a single reception for it this time. He has also put in some limited practices this week. It’s hard to know if this is a lingering issue from the knee injury or just the Giants being very cautious with him. Either way, it makes him a very scary potential start in your flex spot for the time being.
So, unfortunately, we ended up in a dead heat this last week. On the year, the tally is 21 hits and 17 misses. A 55% hit rate currently; I am still looking to get over that 60% hump for now. It does get more challenging later in the season as I am trying not just to put the same names in every week, and rankers are getting smarter with more data to reflect on! Enough excuses; let’s get on to Week 8!
As a reminder, I am using the FantasyPros Expert Consensus Ranking (ECR) as my guidelines each week. I will pick wide receivers and running backs outside their top 24 to discuss. I will give a couple I like and maybe one or two I don’t and brief reasons. Hopefully, these studs give you more than 10 PPR points and will all end up in next week’s “hits” section!
Dameon Pierce, RB HOU (RB25) ⬆️
Pierce has been an interesting character this year. I expected a lot more from the second-year running back and generally speaking, I am fairly disappointed. In his defense, the Texans offensive line has not done him any favors thus far in the campaign.
I am including him in the article this week because of the matchup. I love a good matchup for running backs. The Carolina Panthers are about as good of a matchup as possible. They have allowed the second most fantasy points to running backs. They have also gifted the third-most rushing yards, second-most yards per carry, and the most rushing touchdowns in the league. I would take the chance on Pierce and throw him in the lineup.
George Pickens, WR PIT (WR27) ⬆️
Pickens has quietly been one of the more successful second-year wideouts in 2023. He has bagged double-digit fantasy points in four of his six games played this year. Even after his bye week and the return of Diontae Johnson, he still put up five receptions on eight targets for 107 yards. Johnson is putting in limited practices, so I am confidently firing Pickens against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Josh Downs, WR IND (WR38) ⬆️
Downs is such a stud! I loved him in the pre-draft process and even had a late first-round rookie draft grade on him. To my shame, I allowed his fall in the NFL draft and his landing spot to soften me on my pro-Downs propaganda.
The rookie is straight-up balling out of late, and I think it’s time we put some respect on Mr Downs’ name! He is playing over 70% of snaps and getting 6-8 targets a game through the last three weeks. I don’t see any reason why that should change with the New Orleans Saints lined up next. The Saints are pretty generous to the slot receiver, and I think Downs can take full advantage of that!
Kendrick Bourne, WR NE (WR43) ⬆️
The Bourne Supremacy isn’t just a 2004 blockbuster with Matt Damon anymore! Bourne is leading the New England Patriots receiving corps and becoming an intriguing name for your flex considerations. In the last two weeks, Bourne has played over 90% of snaps and is the WR8 in all fantasy football in that tiny sample size! The Miami Dolphins should be able to score against the Patriots, and hopefully, that means Mac Jones will be forced to throw the ball a good bit. I think Bourne is a solid option in Week 8.
Drake London, WR ATL (WR32) ⬆️
As much as I hate Arthur Smith, I recommend starting London this week. He has not been able to hit the highs that I think he is capable of, but he still commands a respectable target share in Atlanta. On the year, he has a 22% target share, including his single target outing in Week 1.
On the downside, I don’t know if the Titans will be able to score much against Atlanta, with Tannehill potentially set to miss the game. The Falcons may opt to run the ball 752 times. On the upside, even though Desmond Ridder only threw the ball 25 times last week, London still had seven targets. With Arthur Smith involved, it is always a risk, but I would probably still flex London this week.
I am leaving the picks on an odd number this week to ensure no stalemate! Have a great weekend, everyone, and I hope all your start-sit decisions are the right ones!
If you want to chat fantasy football, you can always find me on X / Twitter @FFEvanlution. You can also check out my year-round dynasty fantasy football podcast (@DynastyDebates) on all major podcast listening platforms!