Austin’s Fantasy Train: Week 7


Austin West, Contributing Writer

We’ve officially made it a third of the way through the NFL season and that means we are that much closer to the fantasy football postseason. Hopefully, by this point, you’re not a 0-6 team or even 1-5, like a particular fantasy article writer and you’re on your way to fight for a spot in the fantasy playoffs. With BYE weeks already underway, some people suffered through a tough week. Take for example one of my fantasy teams: With the Raiders, Texans, and Lions all on byes, I lost half my starting lineup in Davante Adams, Dameon Pierce, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Brandin Cooks. Basically, how my team ended up 1-5. Since you’ve been reading my article I hope your fantasy season has been going much better than some of mine.  

Last week’s predictions went horrendously as even though Rhamondre Stevenson had himself a great game, every other picked overperformer underperformed and only two of the underperformers actually underperformed. I blame the Cowboys’ defense for giving up just the second rushing touchdown of the year to Miles Sander on Sunday night, but what can you do about it? This week I think will be better just because I have to be better to help people win their matchups so do not worry folks I am here for you as your conductor on the Week seven Fantasy Train.  

 Tickets to Ride 

Quarterback, Dak Prescott: Back from the injury he sustained at the beginning of the season, Dak Prescott looks to return in a great matchup against the Detroit Lions. With CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, and the possible return of Dalton Shultz, Prescott has everything he needs to pick apart a Lions defense that has had quarterbacks throw for 270 yards and at least a touchdown per game. They’ve also given up two rushing touchdowns to quarterbacks as well as only reeling in two interceptions this season. If the Lions’ offense is able to become the high-scoring offense they were early in the season against a stout Dallas defense, we could see a shootout for Prescott’s return. 

Running Back, Saquon Barkley: In possibly one of the weirdest matchups I’ve seen this season, Saquon versus the Jaguars looks to help him stay one of the top fantasy running backs of the season. Barkley has already been having himself a great season averaging over 17 points per week, but he has also come up short of overperforming his projections the last three weeks. That’s not the weird part though. The weird part of this matchup is Jacksonville gives up the third least rushing yards per game but the sixth most fantasy points to running backs. The key to this is that the Jaguars have allowed five rushing touchdowns to their running backs, with seven receptions and 55 receiving yards per game. Additionally, four touchdowns in six games on the ground and an average of 25 receiving yards, have officially set him up for a high volume and high production day. 

 Wide Receiver, Tyreek Hill: Time for a little fun fact of the day: how many touchdowns does Tyreek Hill have this season? Without looking it up I doubt you would have guessed only two which came in Week two against the Ravens. So even without a touchdown, Tyreek has scored an average of 18.4 fantasy points per game. Imagine how many points he could score if he does find the endzone against the Steelers who have given up a league-high nine receiving touchdowns to wide receivers. With the 40% target share Tyreek has, regardless of quarterback, and Tua Tagovailoa returning from concussion protocol, this will be the strongest the offense has been since Week two.  

 Tight End, Taysom Hill: DISCLAIMER- This pick could go so unbelievably wrong it isn’t funny. However, Taysom Hill is currently listed as a tight end but could end up as the starting quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. Both Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton were listed as questionable on the estimated practice report on Monday. With a game coming up on Thursday against the Cardinals, the Saints may not be able to push a quarterback into health quick enough leaving the job to Hill. This has happened once before with Hill and as someone who picked him up that week, boy does that make a matchup that much more fun. Take this as my “I’m 6-0, have nobody else to play a tight end, and want to have some fun” pick.   

 Missed the Train 

 Quarterback, Derek Carr: Derek Carr and the Raiders are coming off a bye week to play against the Houston Texans. While that’s a lot of time to prepare, the Texans have held quarterbacks to an average of 17.9 points per game. Oh, did I mention that the Texans are coming off a by week too? They’ve had just as much time to get ready for Carr as he has to get ready for them. Carr has also thrown for two touchdowns in four out of his five games but the Texans have only allowed a quarterback to do that once so far this season. Even with those touchdowns Derek Carr still has only topped his projection in one week this season. The ball-hawk Texans defense who have reorded an interception all but one week also may be the ones to end Carr’s two-game streak without one. Look for Carr to score you around 15 points but stay below 20 points and his projection.  

Running Back, Clyde Edwards-Helaire: While a top 15 fantasy running back so far this year, CEH has been losing value by the week. He’s been sharing snaps with Jerrick McKinnon most of the year but was out-snapped the last two weeks by McKinnon. After failing to eclipse 35 rushing yards last week against the Bills, he faces off against the 49ers’ defense who have held opposing running backs to under 70 rushing yards per game. CEH has also had less than five fantasy points in each of the last two weeks. Just like Miles Sanders, but without the workload, CEH becomes dependent on touchdowns against a defense that has only given up three touchdowns to running backs this season.  

Wide Receiver, Diontae Johnson: While the Dolphins have given up the 8th most passing yards per game, Diontae Johnson doesn’t look to add to that number this week. Johnson has had a rough season as the number one Steelers target. Johnson has faced much of the brunt of the problem with no touchdowns this season and his three worst fantasy games in the last three weeks. With Mitchell Trubisky back at the helm as well, Johnson’s target look to lessen as he saw his most targets when Pickett was his quarterback. The Dolphins have also only given up five receiving touchdowns to wide receivers, only one of which in the last four games went to the top receiver in an offense. 

Tight End, TJ Hockenson: The Lions have a tough competition coming off their bye week with the Dallas Cowboys. TJ Hockenson may have the roughest fantasy outing of the offensive weapons on the Lions as only one tight end has been able to score double-digit fantasy points against the Dallas defense: Tyler Higbee. Hockenson only gets a 19% target share in his offense. In comparison, Higbee’s 23% forces him to do more with his targets to raise his fantasy score. The Cowboys have not allowed any touchdowns to the tight end position this season so Hockenson will be forced to rely on his targets even more than usual. With the Cowboys allowing an average of 8.7 fantasy points and Hockenson projected 9.7, it already seems Hockenson will miss that mark.  

All projections and rankings are provided by FantasyPros experts in PPR scoring format 

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