We’ve started to figure out who’s good and who’s not now, and we’re getting to know the solid matchups from the tougher ties. You’re not starting many people against the Patriots D for example. You’re not starting anybody from the Dolphins offence. And yet still, the hope, the faith and the anticipation as we submit our lineups each week is always beautiful before kick-off, while the cold light of a new week can bring either joy or desolation.
Let’s run through our weekly group therapy session as we take a look at Fantasy Heroes and Villains from Week 7’s NFL matchups.
Hero: Aaron Rodgers – QB – Green Bay Packers:
Tom Brady is the GOAT. Patrick Mahomes is the MVP. Aaron Rodgers, however, is the most talented quarterback in football.
Through the first six weeks of the season, he’s had trouble translating that into fantasy success, struggling to rack up stats with injuries to Davante Adams and adapting to Matt LeFleur’s new offence in Green Bay.
Week 7 saw Rodgers buck that trend, as he went ballistic with five passing TDs and 429 air yards against a lacklustre Oakland defence.
He even chipped in a rushing touchdown for good measure, leading the way for a Packers blowout and showing once again that when he’s on form, he’s the best QB in the league.
Hero: Chase Edmonds – RB – Arizona Cardinals:
He was a popular pre-season handcuff for David Johnson, and there had even been some talk that new head coach Kliff Kingsbury would bring enough volume to his first NFL offence to make both running backs fantasy relevant. It hasn’t panned out like that for Edmonds in 2019 though, and he has played second fiddle to Johnson this season.
He had seen an uptick in usage in weeks 5 and 6, notching a TD each week to bring him onto the savvy fantasy manager’s radar. If you took a chance on Chase in Week 7, it paid off in a big way as he took over for the injured Johnson and ran for 126 yards along with 3 rushing touchdowns to finish as the highest-scoring RB in fantasy football.
A punt on a low-rated RB like this is the kind of decision that wins competitions and matchups, and Edmonds was delivering wins aplenty this Sunday.
Hero: Marvin Jones – WR – Detroit Lions:
Kenny Golliday has taken over in Detroit as the main fantasy asset, as QB Matthew Stafford has been looking his way more often than not in the passing game. This has caused a lot of people to sleep on Marvin Jones, and with good reason; he has been held under 11 fantasy points in 4 of his first 5 contests through the 2019 season.
Jones decided enough was enough in Week 7 though, as he hauled in 10 of his 14 targets for 93 yards and a whopping 4 TD catches en route to the second quadruple-TD game of his career. He joins Jerry Rice and Sterling Sharpe as the only players ever to achieve this feat, and his record-setting day will have helped your team over the line if you ran with Jones in your lineup.
Villain: Evan Engram – TE – New York Giants:
After a glorious start, the wheels are starting to come off the Danny Dimes train in New York. You can give them a pass for sputtering last week in New England but a rebound was on the cards this week against a flaky Arizona Cardinals D, especially with the return of star RB Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones’ favourite aerial target, tight end Evan Engram. This was not to be.
Having seen at least 7 targets in every game he’s appeared in this year, Engram should be a safe bet at tight end. This week, however, he was only able to pull in one of five balls thrown his way for a frustrating 6 yards.
At a position that’s maddeningly inconsistent at the best of times you can be forgiven for expecting Engram to be a reliable option, but it’s fair if you can’t forgive him for ruining your lineup’s TE slot this week.
Villain: Terry McLaurin – WR – Washington Redskins:
Washington stink. They are probably the worst offence in the NFL, and they’re terrible to watch. The one bright spot for them this season as they’ve cycled through offensive lineman, quarterbacks and now coaches has been the emergence of wide receiver ‘Scary’ Terry McLaurin.
He’s been a bright spot for most fantasy owners as well, logging 4 performances of at least 17 points so far in 2019.
Week 7 was not one of those performances. As the rain poured down on the Washington field in a miserable 9-0 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, QB Case Keenum only attempted 12 passes, one of which was caught by McLaurin for a measly 11 yards.
This marks the first time he’s failed to hit at least the 50-yard mark this year, so better times probably lie ahead, but that’s scant consolation if you opted to include him in your lineup; this week the only thing Scary about Terry was the disappointment.
Villain: Larry Fitzgerald – WR – Arizona Cardinals:
Larry Fitz is a future Hall of Famer, and he defies time and logic as he continues to produce week-on-week as a 36-year old. His consistency has been such that just a few short weeks ago he overtook Tony Gonzalez to become the player with the second-most receptions in NFL history, so for your PPR leagues, you can expect that he’ll have as safe a floor for production as there is.
Week 7 of the 2019 season was the rare exception that proves the rule, as the Cardinals all-timer was held to just a single catch for the first time since Week 1 of 2014.
This was his worst performance in over five years!
There were no mitigating circumstances, the Cardinals were doing well against a weak Giants D, and yet Kyler Murray just didn’t go to the most reliable hands in football enough. Sometimes it’s like these guys don’t even care about our fantasy teams.