We are now over a month into this NFL season! We must focus on the top takeaways now that we have film and statistics to study. No longer can we rest on our offseason takes of who will succeed and who will fail. We now have a reasonably large sample size of NFL football. The fantasy season will move quickly, and in a dynasty, it is essential to acquire players before they break out or unload players before they falter. We can lead our team to a fantasy football title by focusing on weekly top takeaways!
Eno Benjamin Last Man Standing
The Arizona Cardinals backfield was hit with several injuries this past week. James Conner suffered a rib injury and left the game. Conner played only 24 snaps before leaving, and backup Darrel Williams only saw nine snaps. Williams suffered a knee injury shortly after taking the field. Finally, Jonathan Ward was placed on injured reserve this week with a hamstring injury. That leaves just Benjamin as the last man standing in this backfield.
Benjamin is now slated to be the starting running back for the Arizona Cardinals for the time being. He was a seventh-round pick in the 2020 draft class from Arizona State. Benjamin was a prolific producer in college, having two seasons of over 1,000 rushing yards and multiple years of double-digit touchdowns. Many in the dynasty community have been stashing him since 2020, and now we can finally see what he will do with a full workload.
The Time For Walker Is Now
Arizona wasn’t the only NFC West team to suffer injuries at the running back position. Seattle Seahawk’s running back Rashad Penny went down with an injury in Sunday’s loss to the New Orleans Saints. He will be undergoing season-ending surgery this week. This is unfortunate news for Penny as he is in a contract year and will hit free-agency post-recovery. However, the stage is now set for Kenneth Walker to take over.
Walker was selected in the second round of the 2022 NFL draft. He was a Heisman finalist last year and had quite the senior year at Michigan State. Walker was selected near the top of most rookie drafts this past spring but has scored the least points so far this season. Dynasty managers are looking forward to seeing him on the field. Most analysts were fading Walker due to the lack of offense in Seattle, but Geno Smith has been quickly changing that narrative.
Rams’ Offensive Struggles Continue
Seattle is not the only surprise offense in the NFC West this season. The Los Angeles Rams are surprising fans and analysts all around the league. However, it is not in a positive way. After winning the Super Bowl last season and averaging 27 points per game in the regular season, this year’s Rams are averaging only 16 points per game which is the bottom four in the league.
Stories broke over the summer that Matthew Stafford was dealing with a fatigue issue in his throwing elbow. This was concerning because it was during the summer when a throwing elbow saw the lightest load. The offensive line has also undergone significant changes and performs much worse than last season. Minus Cooper Kupp, most fantasy stars are not living up to their value, and unless something changes soon, that trend will most likely continue.
Tevin Coleman, Really?
San Francisco is such an oddity regarding the running back position. Despite Jeff Wilson starting and playing twice as many snaps, Tevin Coleman found the endzone twice on Sunday. The same Tevin Coleman who was on the practice squad just last week. That is not to say that Jeff Wilson was relegated to fantasy relevance. The starting running back had 120 yards and a score himself. Everyone gets to eat in this 49ers’ running game. With Tyron-Davis Price returning to practice and Elijah Mitchell eligible to return in Week Eight, this backfield is about to get a whole lot more confusing.
Information is the most powerful tool any dynasty fantasy football manager possesses. If you can stay on top of the correct information more than your league-mates, you will come out on top. The NFC West is home to many key fantasy players. Be sure to check back with us, as we will be breaking down takeaways from every division this week. And be sure to come back next week, as we will be doing the same for all 18 weeks of the 2022 NFL season!
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I hope you enjoyed this piece in our Winning With Vegas series. For more content like this, follow me on Twitter @DanT_NFL. DMs are always open for any questions, comments, or craft beer recommendations!