Stars of Week 7

QB: Aaron Rodgers, GB: 25-31, 429 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs          

RB: Chase Edmonds, ARI: 27 carries, 126 yards, 3 TDs

WR: Marvin Jones, DET: 10 catches, 93 yards, 4 TDs            

TE: Darren Waller, OAK: 7 catches, 126 yards, 2 TDs

Welcome back to the throne, Aaron Rodgers! No better way to inject yourself back into the MVP conversation than by throwing for 5 TDs and rushing for another. Rodgers remains a QB1 and a weekly start unless you have another top 5 option with a better matchup that week.

Not sure who’s more frustrated by Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury – those who started David Johnson or those who sat Chase Edmonds. Probably those who did both. Kingsbury admitted in a post-game interview that the plan was to use David Johnson only as absolutely necessary, but told us minions that Johnson would play – and thus start. Johnson had one carry for two yards, and that was it. Edmonds looked phenomenal in Johnson’s place, and we’ll take a closer look below.

Marvin Jones had a career day against the Vikings, scoring all four of the Lions’ TDs. That makes five TDs for Jones on the season. Don’t get fooled into thinking that this is a sign of things to come. Jones’ value does not change after his four TD day – he remains a flex caliber WR. Perfectly fine WR, but not a weekly must start.

Last we move to an ascending tight end for the Raiders, who has become a must start. Darren Waller has become a go-to tight end for QB Derek Carr, and we’ll take a closer look at him below.

Week 7 Takeaways – A Closer Look

Each week we take a closer look at a handful of performances and sort out what such performances mean going forward.

Ryan Tannehill, QB – TEN: 23-29, 312 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT

Analysis: Former Miami Dolphins’ QB Ryan Tannehill made his first start for the struggling Tennessee Titans, with Marcus Mariota riding the pine – potentially for good - after his ineffective QB play. Not uncommonly, the backup QB provides an immediate jolt to a struggling offense. There’s no doubt that Tannehill certainly provided that to the Titans, as the team moved the ball better than it has all season in a 23-20 win against the Chargers. Tannehill had a solid 6 seasons with the Dolphins, but didn’t have great accuracy with throws down the field, and struggled with the nuances of situational QB play. He’s still the same QB, but that doesn’t mean he’s not useful. Expect Tannehill to perform averagely and keep the job the rest of the season. For those of you in deeper leagues, Tannehill can be a solid plug in for bye week coverage. The other key here – the Titans’ wide receivers get a big bump. Corey Davis and AJ Brown will each start factoring into flex play going forward. Grab them now if you need WR help. This will be Tannehill’s position to lose, and this is good news for the rest of the offense, save for perhaps Delanie Walker, who had a great connection with Mariota. 

Chase Edmonds, RB – ARI: 27 carries, 126 yards, 3 TDs 

Analysis: Rookie RB Chase Edmonds had himself a game against the New York Giants, posting numbers that holler RB1. Edmonds found the end zone thrice and made the most of his 27 carries in Coach Kliff Kingsbury’s offense. Edmonds has great burst and vision to go along with good hands, which will allow him to be a receiving weapon out of the backfield as well. So what comes next with Edmonds? Well, the answer turns on David Johnson’s healthy. Perhaps wrongfully, but this remains DJ’s job if healthy, so I would not assume a time share is in order upon his return.  But if Johnson is out, then Edmonds has an RB1 ceiling and an RB2 floor, dependent upon matchup. In other words, DJ being out would equal Edmonds being a must start. The Cardinals face a tough Saints’ run defense next week, so he would garner RB2 status. But let’s see the news on DJ before we decide on week 8. It goes without saying, but Edmonds needs to be rostered in all leagues, so put a claim in for him if he’s available. In the mean time, we’ll see how much opportunity there’ll be to deploy him in fantasy lineups.

Mark Walton, RB – MIA: 14 carries, 66 yards, 0 TDs 

Analysis: The Miami Dolphins are steamrolling towards the number 1 overall pick in the draft. Will they go winless? The guess here is no. As long as Ryan Fitzmagic continues to start some games, he’ll get them a W somewhere along the way. Teams destined to win two games or less don’t usually field many viable fantasy options, which remains true of the Dolphins. That said, in the battle of the backfield between Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage, write-in choice Mark Walton has emerged from the shadows to take over the primary RB gig. Walton had 14 carries against the Bills this past Sunday, while Drake had six and Ballage a mere three. Walton averaged 4.6 yards per carry against a tough Bills D, and has averaged 4.7 yards per tote for the season. Compare that to 3.7 for Drake and 1.7 for Ballage. While it didn’t happen this past weekend, Walton has the skills to factor into the passing game as well, as evident by his 5 catch, 47 yard performance versus the Redskins the week prior. This was Walton’s first game leading the team in carries, and look for this trend to carry forward. Walton’s clearly the RB to own from the Dolphins going forward, and he’ll factor into RB3/flex territory in neutral to favorable matchups. If you need an RB, Walton is worth the claim.  

Darren Waller, TE – OAK: 7 catches, 126 yards, 2 TDs

Analysis: We’ve had quite a few breakout stars at tight end this year, including Will Dissly and Mark Andrews. Now we turn our attention to yet another gem, Raiders’ TE Darren Waller. Waller has already caught 44 balls for 485 yards over six games, and he found the end zone twice against the Packers to get his first two TDs of the season. To show just how ingrained Waller has become into the offense, note that he has 50 targets thus far, which nearly doubles that of the second most targeted Raider (Renfrow with 26). Waller has become a weekly must start, and you should expect him to hover around the 1,000 yard mark for the season, with 5-6 more TDs the rest of the way. He’s an attractive trade target in case someone in your league doesn’t value him properly, or otherwise has another top TE rostered. If you have Waller, know that you’re sitting on a top 5 TE. Stick him in your lineup and enjoy the results, or otherwise hold out for a haul if you elect to trade him. 

Rapid Fire Pickups 

Each week we throw out potential free agent pickups from each position for deeper leagues, in each case 1) someone who has NOT been referenced above, and 2) a player available in more than 50% of leagues.

QB: Jacoby Brissett, IND

RB: Darrell Henderson, LAR

RB: Ty Johnson, DET (he’s the guy now with Kerryon Johnson on the IR)

WR: AJ Brown, TEN

WR: DeVante Parker, MIA

TE: Chris Herndon, NYJ