Many a profitable NFL season, and by the identical token, many a profitable fantasy soccer season, is decided by a staff’s relative well being.
For precise groups in addition to fantasy managers, when a participant comparable to Christian McCaffrey goes down, it is a troublesome tablet to swallow. There merely is not a lot you are able to do. Some groups have higher backups than others, and some fantasy managers truly will handcuff starters with the No. 2 on the identical staff (it makes good sense with Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison, as an example).
Injuries even have tentacles, significantly when a quarterback is concerned. The Seattle Seahawks with out Russell Wilson are like spaghetti with out sauce. It’s probably not spaghetti then, is it? It’s simply moist noodles, type of just like the Seattle offense has been.
The drop-off for DK Metcalf hasn’t been fairly as precipitous as that of Tyler Lockett. Metcalf at the least has managed to search out the top zone twice with Geno Smith throwing to him. Lockett has barely discovered the ball since Wilson suffered a thumb harm.
Here’s a nugget to depress Lockett managers: 46 receivers have 10+ targets over the previous two weeks. Lockett ranks forty fifth in factors per goal over that stretch.
As such, ESPN fantasy sports activities researcher Kyle Soppe, who generates the fantasy questions, is questioning whether or not there’s anybody reliable in Seattle for fantasy managers. He additionally has questions in regards to the receivers in New England, Denver and Tampa Bay. And our reporters have solutions.
On byes this week and thus not included beneath are the Raiders and Ravens. Away we go.
Who stands to achieve essentially the most in the best way of targets with Dawson Knox banged up?
Unfortunately from a fantasy perspective, quite a lot of gamers are set as much as get more targets with Knox’s absence on account of a hand harm. Depth at tight finish is restricted for the Bills, and whereas Tommy Sweeney will get some alternatives in his place, all the targets that will have been directed towards Knox are unlikely to go to simply Sweeney based mostly on his restricted latest expertise as a receiver. Receivers Gabriel Davis and Isaiah McKenzie may even have elevated alternatives, making it a dicey state of affairs for fantasy house owners. — Alaina Getzenberg
Who is Tua’s prime goal the remainder of the best way: Mike Gesicki or Jaylen Waddle?
Jaylen Waddle has undoubtedly been Miami’s most dependable large receiver this season, however Mike Gesicki is a matchup nightmare. He has caught 15 of 17 targets within the two video games since Tua Tagovailoa’s return, for 201 yards and a landing — primarily matching his manufacturing from the Dolphins’ earlier 5 video games. Expect that to proceed as Miami depends more and more on its passing sport to remain aggressive. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
Is there a single pass-catcher we will rely on for constant quantity?
Jakobi Meyers (team-high 41 catches) stays one of the best guess, however the lack of touchdowns is clearly regarding. It is not for an absence of effort, nevertheless. Meyers was focused on third down close to the purpose line final week and drew a defensive cross interference penalty, organising a TD cross on the following play to Hunter Henry. — Mike Reiss
Do you count on Michael Carter to be a featured again the remainder of the best way and get upward of 20 touches on a routine foundation?
Yes, so long as Mike White is the quarterback. Unlike beginning QB Zach Wilson, White does not thoughts throwing checkdowns to the working backs. That’s why Carter had a team-high eight catches final week, together with 11 rushes. Generally talking, the Jets do not imagine in having a featured again, however Carter’s touches determine to extend merely due to White’s tendencies. — Rich Cimini
What has occurred to the function of Tyler Boyd?
Boyd is getting squeezed because the Bengals’ offense is reworked by rookie Ja’Marr Chase. Chase has shortly develop into the staff’s go-to goal in lots of conditions, a job Boyd had the previous couple of seasons. His goal share, as soon as very dependable, is now on shaky floor with Chase’s record-breaking rookie season. Boyd is not a lock to be a starter for fantasy managers. — Ben Baby
Assuming Nick Chubb returns, how do you see Cleveland dividing the RB touches this weekend?
The Browns often attempt to chorus from overworking Chubb so he is recent sufficient to shut out video games within the fourth quarter. That will certainly be the case with Chubb coming back from the calf harm. With Kareem Hunt nonetheless out, meaning Thursday Night Football hero D’Ernest Johnson may see a half-dozen carries or so. Maybe more. While Demetric Felton ought to see as much as round 5 touches, although most likely largely out of the passing sport. — Jake Trotter
Matthew Berry says D’Ernest Johnson ought to nonetheless produce for the Browns vs. the Steelers.
Do you suppose Chase Claypool will achieve consistency with JuJu Smith-Schuster on the shelf?
That’s the hope, however Claypool’s output towards Seattle — the primary sport with out Smith-Schuster — was just a little regarding. He was focused seven instances however had simply two catches for 17 yards. Plus, he had more penalty yards than receiving yards, drawing flags for an unlawful block and offensive cross interference. Creating more splash performs is an emphasis for Claypool and his coaches, and the largest hurdle to that’s ending performs with more consistency — one thing large receivers coach Ike Hilliard mentioned he has addressed together with his second-year receiver. Claypool confirmed he has the products final 12 months, however he has to ship on them more usually in Year 2. — Brooke Pryor
How do you suppose Brandin Cooks’ amount/high quality of goal will change when Tyrod Taylor returns?
On Wednesday, coach David Culley mentioned Cooks’ utilization has much less to do with the quarterback and more to do with the Texans staying above the chains and being in manageable conditions on third down to allow them to reap the benefits of the receiver’s talent set. But, given the best way the offense has struggled with Davis Mills underneath heart — and will begin once more this week — there is a good likelihood Cooks won’t solely have more alternatives as a result of the Texans can have longer drives, however that the standard of goal can even improve. — Sarah Barshop
Jonathan Taylor appears to be clicking on all cylinders: Will the staff give him more work on the bottom in consequence?
It’s Taylor’s present on the bottom. Coach Frank Reich not too long ago mentioned Taylor, who’s arguably one of the best working again within the NFL not named Derrick Henry, has earned the correct to get at the least 20 carries a sport. Taylor has but to succeed in that quantity, with 18 in Week 7 at San Francisco being his excessive this season. — Mike Wells
Matthew Berry calls it a ‘coin flip’ when requested to decide on between RBs Najee Harris and Jonathan Taylor.
Jamal Agnew has 11 catches over his previous two video games: Worthy of a roster stash now that the bye week is behind us?
Absolutely. Both Urban Meyer and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell mentioned they need to get Agnew more work. The Jaguars are trying to find a substitute for Travis Etienne and DJ Chark, and Agnew has risen out of a gaggle that features Tavon Austin and Tyron Johnson. — Michael DiRocco
Is it time to cease assuming that Julio Jones can produce on this offense and lock him on fantasy benches till proved in any other case?
Yes. Jones is continuous to nurse a hamstring harm that has at instances brought on him to be pulled late in a few video games, and he will not play in Sunday’s sport towards the Colts. At this level, it is not possible that he’ll be a constant contributor despite the fact that he has a 100-yard receiving sport underneath his belt this season. It’s clear that A.J. Brown is the primary learn on a variety of the performs; he has been focused 18 instances over the previous two video games in comparison with 9 for Jones. — Turron Davenport
With Jerry Jeudy anticipated again, what’s the goal hierarchy in Denver shifting ahead (prime three)?
Jeudy has regarded in apply like he’ll be prepared for taking part in time pretty near regular. It is his first sport for the reason that season opener when he injured his ankle, however there is not prone to be chemistry issues and the Broncos will look to contain him early. At large receiver the goal order possible returns to what it was going to be earlier than Jeudy was injured — Jeudy, Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick general, with an occasional shift if Jeudy attracts the protection assist. — Jeff Legwold
Mike Clay breaks down what to anticipate from Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick towards Washington.
Anything to Byron Pringle main this staff in receiving in Week 7?
I’d be shocked if it occurred once more quickly. Patrick Mahomes and the passing sport struggled like they have not all season final week towards the Titans. If you purchase the speculation that the remainder of the league has caught on to Mahomes and the Chiefs, then perhaps Pringle turns into WR1. More possible, Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce has an enormous sport on Monday evening towards the Giants. — Adam Teicher
Will Keenan Allen’s manufacturing enhance post-bye, or is his low-upside sport from the previous month what we must always proceed to count on?
Chargers coach Brandon Staley acknowledged that one of many staff’s targets throughout the bye week was to determine the way to be more environment friendly on first and second downs and keep away from the third-and-long situations which have been frequent within the first six weeks. The greatest approach to do this is to get Allen, one of many league’s greatest route-runners, concerned in early downs. Allen has had more than 100 receptions three of the previous 4 seasons (and 97 within the one he did not), so he’s a trusted goal who’s certain to be more concerned after the bye. — Staff
Amari Cooper noticed eight targets in Week 6 after averaging 4.5 within the earlier 4 weeks. Is his quantity one thing we will rely on shifting ahead?
Everything with the Cowboys’ offense is week to week. If they see a good matchup they are going to exploit it, however they do not go right into a sport saying Cooper — or anyone, actually — wants this many targets. With the upcoming return of Michael Gallup from a calf pressure, meaning there shall be more locations Dak Prescott can go along with the ball. Prescott has proven since his rookie season he’ll throw to the open man, not only a uniform quantity. But if this helps: Cooper was focused seven instances in final 12 months’s assembly vs. Minnesota and had six catches for 81 yards from Andy Dalton. — Todd Archer
Field Yates and Matthew Berry clarify why Amari Cooper is not the No. 1 fantasy possibility in Dallas.
Darius Slayton led this staff in receiving yards (63) and targets (9) in Week 7. Something or nothing given the variety of receiver accidents?
It’s one thing if the Giants are once more with out their prime 4 choices. The ball has to go someplace. Slayton and quarterback Daniel Jones have proved over the previous three seasons to have stable chemistry. If most or all the Giants’ prime playmakers are unavailable, Slayton is a stable play. He’s most likely a robust possibility the following two weeks regardless till New York hits its bye week. — Jordan Raanan
Not a lot change in utilization for Dallas Goedert within the first week following the commerce of Zach Ertz: Is 4-6 targets what we must always count on or is there hope for an eventual spike in function?
I’m anticipating a spike. He performed 93% of the snaps towards the Raiders — his highest fee by a large margin this season — whereas ending with a season-high 70 yards on three catches. The numbers present that Jalen Hurts is best when concentrating on Goedert, and I count on him to take action more recurrently over the ultimate 10 video games. — Tim McManus
Field Yates believes more productive days are forward for Eagles TE Dallas Goedert as he will get more concerned within the offense.
It has been all or nothing for Terry McLaurin this season: Will the consistency enhance with time, or is spotty manufacturing to be anticipated on this offense?
It’s a operate of what is round him and the quarterback play at instances. In three video games he has completed with 352 mixed receiving yards and 4 touchdowns — surpassing 100 yards every time. But within the different 4 it is a mixed 198 yards and no scores. Without Logan Thomas or Curtis Samuel within the lineup, there’s not a lot to remove a protection’s need to pay additional consideration to him. Thomas (hamstring) ought to return quickly, however there’s nonetheless no agency phrase on Samuel (groin) coming again. And it does not assist that quarterback Taylor Heinicke lacks a robust arm, resulting in throws that may have been contested catches however as an alternative are knocked down. The targets for McLaurin stay excessive — he is averaging one more per sport than in 2020 — however the success fee is 8% decrease due to these components. — John Keim
Is this backfield by committee when David Montgomery returns given the success of Khalil Herbert?
Doubtful. Montgomery will obtain the majority of the carries when he returns, however the Bears know they’ve a stable backup in Herbert. The rookie will play some, however Montgomery is Chicago’s featured again when wholesome. — Jeff Dickerson
Field Yates expects Khalil Herbert to see the ball fairly a bit in Week 8.
Kalif Raymond has at the least six targets in 4 of his previous 5 video games: with bye weeks in full swing, can he be an honest weekly dart throw given the latest quantity of seems to be?
Yes. I really feel the identical approach about him and rookie WR Amon-Ra St. Brown largely as a result of they’re out there so Jared Goff will discover them once they’re open. Also, Raymond is proving that he is a dependable goal. The Lions have been riddled with accidents, with wideouts Quintez Cephus (collarbone) and Tyrell Williams (concussion) each out, and Raymond has capitalized — notably the final sport towards the Los Angeles Rams the place he recorded 100-plus receiving yards for the second time in his profession. — Eric Woodyard
Should we view AJ Dillon/Aaron Jones as a good backfield by way of contact rely shifting ahead, or was TNF a one-off sport?
The solely curious factor is that the Packers did not use Dillon within the goal-to-go state of affairs on the finish when the Cardinals stacked the road of scrimmage. That would’ve seemingly been the right spot for an influence runner. Dillon now leads the NFL in common yards after contact for the reason that begin of the final season (2.47 YAC per rush). His function has expanded sufficient to contemplate him an virtually equal associate to Jones. — Rob Demovsky
Three video games over 75 receiving yards and three underneath 30 for Ok.J. Osborn: Which model is nearer to what we must always count on the remainder of the season?
Osborn is a WR3, subsequently it is affordable to count on the fluctuation between the manufacturing he put up at Arizona (5 catches, 91 yards, TD) and Carolina (6 catches, 78 yards, TD) and the instances the place he disappears in video games to be routine. Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen are the Vikings’ prime receivers and will see most of Kirk Cousins’ targets. However, the best way Osborn performed towards the Panthers with a important catch on third down, together with incomes Cousins’ belief to haul within the game-winning TD, signifies the quarterback is more than comfy leaning on his third receiving risk, which could typically be his best choice. — Courtney Cronin
Safe to chop ties with Mike Davis after Cordarrelle Patterson dominated the carry rely in Week 7 (14-4)?
Nope. Davis remains to be closely concerned within the offense, having performed 60% of snaps every week. There remains to be a job there and shall be video games the place he is the lead again and efficient. Is he going to be the entire featured again some anticipated earlier than the season? No, however that was additionally possible hopeful fallacy anyway contemplating Davis’ profession previous to Atlanta. But he is nonetheless price having on your roster, particularly as you get via bye weeks. Heck, I’d go one step additional and say he may have a much bigger sport Sunday contemplating the Panthers permit 110.3 speeding yards per sport and Davis is dealing with his former staff. — Michael Rothstein
The offense appears to be trending down: Can DJ Moore proceed to supply robust numbers?
It will assist when the Panthers get Christian McCaffrey again, most likely in every week. Teams will not be capable of double up on Moore as a lot. It additionally will assist if Sam Darnold can sluggish his footwork and get again the rhythm he had the primary three video games. That has saved Moore more than something from being as productive currently. — David Newton
Career-low within the yards-per-carry division for Alvin Kamara: Do you suppose we see a spike in effectivity at any level to enrich the spike in quantity on the bottom?
Now that he has his previous working mate again in Mark Ingram II, perhaps we’ll see a return to fewer carries and more yards per carry (and even more involvement within the passing sport). I feel a part of the rationale why his YPC are down this 12 months is as a result of he has principally taken each carry for this staff — even in short-yardage and unfavorable working conditions. But he nonetheless seems to be pretty much as good as ever bodily, and he is more essential to the staff than ever. So I count on him to proceed delivering fantasy manufacturing in a single kind or one other. — Mike Triplett
Mike Clay breaks down the fantasy impression of Mark Ingram’s return to the Saints in a commerce with the Texans.
No mistaken reply: Rank the receivers the remainder of the best way.
It relies upon on which week and how groups need to assault the Bucs. But on condition that Antonio Brown is coping with a foot/ankle harm, has missed apply time and will not play Sunday towards the Saints, it is Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Brown, with Tyler Johnson because the fourth receiver. But if a staff just like the New Orleans Saints shadows Evans with Marshon Lattimore the best way the Philadelphia Eagles did with Darius Slay, that is when you’ll be able to actually look to Godwin or one of many tight ends. — Jenna Laine
What do you make of Kyler Murray’s latest underwhelming speeding numbers? Blip on the radar or play design to maintain him wholesome?
It’s a mix of play design and his personal decision-making with the purpose of each maintaining him wholesome in addition to not having the necessity for him to run. Arizona’s run sport is pretty much as good because it has ever been and Murray has made it recognized he needs the Cardinals to have a look at his legs as a luxurious not as a necessity, so he’ll in the reduction of on working wherever doable and be more of a drop-back passer. But when he must, like late within the sport Thursday evening, he’ll use his legs to make performs. — Josh Weinfuss
Is Van Jefferson a risk to overhaul Robert Woods for fantasy WR2 on this offense?
No. Jefferson is coming off a terrific efficiency in a win over the Lions, which included 4 catches for 43 yards and a landing, however Robert Woods is a confirmed playmaker – particularly in high-stakes conditions. It has been a little bit of a curler coaster for Woods this season when it comes how usually (or not) he is focused, however do not count on the second-year Jefferson to be regarded to more usually. — Lindsey Thiry
75% of the RB touches for Elijah Mitchell final week: Is he locked right into a workload that permits us to realistically count on 100 complete yards on a daily foundation?
It can be naive to imagine that something is “locked in” in relation to working backs and a staff coached by a Shanahan. But with that essential caveat out of the best way, it is protected to say that Mitchell has clearly been the staff’s greatest working again when wholesome. And now that his proper shoulder harm appears to be behind him, Mitchell seems to be poised to proceed to develop within the offense and proceed because the again who at the least will get the primary alternative to get rolling each sport. — Nick Wagoner
Any purpose for optimism that there’s a single piece on this offense we will belief till Russell Wilson returns?
Nope. It’s laborious to belief any of their pass-catchers with Geno Smith at quarterback and offensive sport plans that lean more on their working sport. And it is laborious to belief any of their working backs with how a lot they have been spreading the work round. Alex Collins figures to be the first possibility once more and ought to have a neater time discovering yards towards a Jaguars run protection than is not pretty much as good as that of the Saints. But Rashaad Penny and Travis Homer would possibly lower into his workload an excessive amount of to make Collins a surefire play. — Brady Henderson