NFL Week 7 Fantasy Football Mailbag: Bye Week Moves, DeVonta Smith Trade, Jets Receivers
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: DeVonta Smith.
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Fantasy Bye Week Question
Drop James Robinson Or Brian Robinson?
@cedarroom7 from Twitter asks: “With bye weeks I need to drop some players to make room for [Josh] Allen and Philadelphia D/ST (I shouldn’t drop PHI right? )10 teams. Trying to decide between [James] Robinson and [Brian] Robinson for rest-of-season. Thank you Sam!”
Samantha: Normally, I am not a proponent of rostering two defenses at any given time — even if it is the Eagles, who are the DST5 through six weeks. If I were you, I would probably drop the D/ST in hopes of picking them back up next week.
That said, I am cognizant that premium players in a 10-team league are much more important than depth. Having two RB3s is not nearly as important as it would be in a 16-team league. If you are going to drop one, I would lean toward James Robinson over Brian Robinson.
James and Brian are trending in opposite directions.
James had an okay — not great — game last week, rushing 12 times for 54 yards and finished as the RB30 in half PPR. That was his best game since Week 3, as it appears he may have been passed on the depth chart by Travis Etienne Jr. The Year 2 running back who missed the entire 2021 season with a Lisfranc injury saw 10 carries for 86 yards and caught two passes for 22 yards. It was his second game in a row with 100-plus scrimmage yards and third game in a row out-snapping Robinson.
As for Brian Robinson, he looked very solid in his second game since returning from being shot. He tallied 17 attempts for 60 yards and a touchdown in Week 6 against the Bears and out-snapped Antonio Gibson 27 to 15. He had been trending toward becoming the Commanders’ No. 1 in the preseason and seems to have picked up where he left off. I anticipate he will be used heavily on early downs and in goal-line situations.
One-Week Waiver Wire Rentals
@jeremykasperson from Twitter asks: “Week 7 is Bye-maggedon. Who can I rent off the waiver wire for a week?”
Samantha: Even with just four teams on bye, I agree this is a mini bye-nado given the caliber of the teams. I will break down some of my favorite one-week rentals under 50% rostered in Yahoo leagues by position, though feel free to check out my more comprehensive waiver wire article.
Starting at quarterback, I like Jimmy Garoppolo (39% rostered) as a one-week fill-in with the Chiefs on deck. Kansas City is allowing the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year and Garoppolo has looked solid in the last two games (at least for fantasy).
I also like Matt Ryan (28%), who finally showed signs of life last week against the Jaguars and was the QB2 for fantasy. He now gets to face the Titans, who have allowed the second most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
If Garoppolo and Ryan are not available, I would look to one of the rushing quarterbacks like Daniel Jones (30%), Marcus Mariota (14%) or Justin Fields (38%). All three give you somewhat of a safe floor with their usage on the ground.
At running back, I really like Latavius Murray (15%), who could offer value far beyond just one week. He eclipsed Melvin Gordon III, who was not used at all in the second half, in snaps (27 to 9), touches (16 to 3) and all-purpose yards (64 to 8) on Monday night against Los Angeles.
Next up, I like two unlikely heroes, Kenyan Drake (5%) and Deon Jackson (43%). Drake stepped up with J.K. Dobbins tweaking his knee on the MetLife Stadium turf and he could be utilized more if Dobbins isn’t 100%. The Ravens face the Browns this week, whose defense ranks bottom three against the run.
Jackson may have less shelf life with Jonathan Taylor potentially returning, though I recommend monitoring the injury report heading into Sunday.
At receiver, I love Rondale Moore (46%), who has averaged nine targets per game over the last two weeks and could see a significant target share on Thursday against the Saints with Marquise Brown out with a foot injury and newly acquired Robbie Anderson unlikely to be a major factor on the short week.
Other than Moore, I like Alec Pierce (38%), Chase Claypool (41%) and Wan’Dale Robinson (8%).
Last but not least, everyone’s favorite position: tight end.
Other than Tonyan, I like Noah Fant (11%), Hunter Henry (36%), Mike Gesicki (24%) and Evan Engram (37%). This position is pretty much a hellscape unless you drafted Travis Kelce or Mark Andrews.
Fantasy Add-Drop Questions
Who to Replace the 49ers D/ST With?
@SF_GAME from Twitter asks: “Hello, should I drop the San Francisco D/ST? Looking to add the Dallas D/ST.”
Patrick Mahomes is managing just fine without Tyreek Hill and has the third most passing yards and an NFL-high 17 passing touchdowns. Kansas City has a solid offensive line and rank bottom five in defensive DVOA (according to Football Outsiders), which will keep them in shootouts all year.
Dallas is not far behind San Francisco as the overall DST4. It has a much better matchup against the Lions, who started the season strong but were completely stymied by the Patriots in Week 5 in a 29-0 shutout loss.
I expect Jared Goff to struggle against the Cowboys’ stout front seven and fearsome secondary. They should be a top play in each of the next two weeks against the Lions and Bears before their Week 9 bye.
Help! Zach Wilson Ruined the Jets' Receivers
James asks via DM: “I drafted Elijah Moore and I burned my top waiver claim on Garrett Wilson thinking at least one of these guys is a hit on the Jets. It looked good for Wilson when Joe Flacco was starting, but now with Zach Wilson at QB, it just sucks and these guys don’t even seem worthy of roster spots. But no one on the waiver wire seems all that good/trustworthy — Corey Davis (FUN!), Chase Claypool, etc. — should I just stick it out with these two and hope it eventually turns around?”
Samantha: It’s truly sad that Zach Wilson has rendered all his pass-catchers except for Breece Hall unusable. There is so much talent that will remain untapped until the quarterback play improves, which may not happen this season.
I would consider dropping Moore for Claypool, not Davis; that would put you in essentially the same position as you are in now.
That said, I am not ecstatic about Claypool, who did find the end zone twice in the Steelers’ Week 6 win over the Buccaneers. The performance felt flukey and there isn’t a ton to get excited about on Pittsburgh's offense, no matter who is under center.
He does offer slightly more “big-play” upside than Moore, however, who laid a goose egg in the Jets’ Week 6 win in Lambeau Field. I would drop Moore for someone better on the waiver wire without hesitation at this point.
I would hold on to Wilson. He is one of my favorite players out of this year’s stacked rookie class and has enough talent to overcome poor QB play. He offers more upside than Moore or Davis and probably comparable upside to Claypool.
My Friend, The Touchdown Chaser
@PDAcquaviva from Twitter asks: “Have an interesting dilemma for you: Friend playing fantasy for the first time this year, but they keep seeing someone score a TD, then adding them to the watchlist, and eventually bidding on the player and inevitably dropping them a week later. It's bad process, and I want to help and be like, 'Here are some helpful things to look for,' but don't want to say to a new player, 'Here's how you should do it.' Nature or nurture?”
Samantha: This is an interesting dilemma and I applaud your diplomacy in not wanting to seem condescending to your newbie friend.
The situation reminds me of a famous psychological study conducted on children at Stanford University called the “marshmallow experiment.” The gist of it is that children were offered one snack immediately or two snacks if they waited for 15 minutes. The process was repeated multiple times and the results showed the children who were able to wait longer went on to have more success later in life.
Your friend appears to be chasing instant gratification, but a lot of season-long fantasy football requires delayed gratification. I would encourage your friend to look at metrics outside of just touchdowns (or even fantasy points), which tend to be high in variance and not easy to predict.
For example, a player like O.J. Howard could fall into the end zone twice on his two targets of the day. That feels flukey and not an indicator of future success. He could be much less valuable long term than a player who has not broken out yet, but whose usage stats are steadily increasing.
Deciphering which players can be breakouts versus one-hit wonders can be difficult for any fantasy manager regardless of experience level. You can at least increase your chances of separating the signal from the noise when you take a big-picture look at things and consider stats outside of touchdowns or fantasy points. I suggest starting with usage, snap counts, efficiency metrics and matchups.
Fantasy Trade Questions
Trade Devin Singletary For DeVonta Smith?
@filpaik from Twitter asks: “Would you trade [Devin] Singletary for DeVonta Smith? (PPR)”
Samantha: Assuming you have decent depth at the running back position and do not need Smith immediately (as the Eagles have a Week 7 bye), I like this trade a lot.
Singletary appears to be leading the Bills backfield for now, though that has not translated to stellar fantasy production. He tallied 21 touches for 107 all-purpose yards and finished as the RB14 in full PPR — his second highest finish of the year.
I do not trust this backfield, which has limited upside with quarterback Josh Allen vulturing precious goal-line carries. Also, if you happen to believe any of the trade scuttlebutt, the Panthers may be on the verge of an early season fire sale and could trade their most valuable offensive player, Christian McCaffrey.
The Bills were rumored early on as a potential landing spot for McCaffrey, which would likely render Singletary completely irrelevant for fantasy if that trade occurred.
Smith has been super impressive and has participated in 93% of snaps — for reference, A.J. Brown has participated in 83%. He is the WR7 in full PPR since Week 2 and should be considered a high-end WR2 rest-of-season.
Especially in full PPR, a high-end WR2 is more valuable than a low-end RB2 (probably the best-case scenario for Singletary). Smash accept and enjoy the PPR spoils of this trade.