Truth or Bogus: Week 7 Recap
Article by Mitch Lawson (Sleeperbot: @PeteCarolline)
Sort of a strange week for fantasy football no? To my recollection this has been a really low-scoring week. Some of the biggest scores came from players that would likely be on your bench.
So that also means there’s a few things to consider. Which “down” weeks are the sign of things to come? Which were a one-off event?
That’s where I come in. This is Truth or Bogus, the weekly analysis of the previous week’s biggest headlines.
We’re going to jump right in with a Thursday Night Performance to remember.
Amari Cooper is Back to Fantasy Glory
BOGUS — Not really. Cooper’s big night is the product of game planning and bad defense. Not a fantasy re-birth.
Amari Cooper had a great night, and it came out of nowhere. A guy who has been consistently held to less than 30 yards comes into a Thursday night game on a short week of practice and goes for 200 yards and 2 touchdowns?
It’s out of nowhere. Amari Cooper is a very talented receiver, and he’s bound to have a 10-point game or two from here on out, but I suspect he will still struggle for the most part.
It seems apparent to me that the Oakland Raiders were trying to avoid the Crabtree and Peters matchup, and planned to involve Amari Cooper as much as they could.
It should be noted that Cooper still only caught 60% of his targets, which happens to actually be one of his better jobs of getting to the ball.
You won’t see Cooper get over 20 points again this season. I wouldn’t start Cooper unless you need a bye week FLEX.
Jordan Reed is a TE1 Again
BOGUS — He finally had a great day. Which is a relief for those who spent a 5th-6th round pick on Jordan Reed.
From a fantasy perspective, Vernon Davis has been more productive. This has mostly been because Reed has been working through injuries, so I can understand there are owners out there who are ready to trust him again.
But, consider that the Redskins are bound to involve Josh Doctson more, and they have Chris Thompson to move the ball on short passes. There’s also the ever-present threat of another injury knocking Reed out of commission
Battling injuries and surrounded by talented short-yardage players, Jordan Reed might have just had the best game of his entire season.
At this point, he’s a “hold”. I would still start players like Jimmy Graham, Kyle Rudolph, Evan Engram and Cameron Brate over Reed.
Marshawn Lynch Suspension Opens Door For Richard and Washington
TRUTH — This doesn’t only bode well for week 8, but potentially the rest of the season.
I know that sounds extreme, but Lynch has been pretty pedestrian this year. Oakland’s offense has not matched what it was last year, and the Raiders could benefit from a shakeup. This might be their opening.
For my money, I like Jalen Richard to really step forward this week. He has quietly been one of the best backups in football over his last 2 seasons. He’s been explosive and elusive, and in very limited action this year he has shown big play ability. In week 2 against the jets he managed to go for 109 yards and a touchdown on just 8 touches just to give you an idea of what he’s capable of.
DeAndre Washington will get some looks on Sunday, that’s a given. But apart from Thursday’s game he has been lackluster this season. He’ll likely be featured on 3 or 4 series and I expect he’ll see around 10 touches.
Lynch is still the lead back despite the suspension, but he’s not the future of this team. The Raiders would be smart to really lean on Richard and Washington to see if one of them stands out. If they do, there’s room for a role to expand in this offense. Especially in Richard’s case as he displays some passing game value that neither Lynch (Practically never involved in passing game) or Washington (has caught passes but has been ineffective) have this year.
Especially if you’re in a dynasty/keeper league, go and get Jalen Richard. If you’re in desperate need of a FLEX then DeAndre Washington is worth consideration as a low-floor, high-upside dart throw.
Stream the Defenses Who Go Up Against Green Bay
TRUTH — Wow, the Green Bay offense is in trouble. I hate to see a player struggle like Brett Hundley did on Sunday, but “struggle” might not even be the right word.
Against one of the league’s worst defenses, Brett Hundley managed 12-of-25 passes for 87 yards and an interception. He did get into the endzone with a rushing TD, but beyond that he was absolutely dominated.
This is a serious red alert for all Packers skill players. Last week I mentioned that Jordy Nelson owners should be worried, but now the entire offense could be at risk.
The Packers have the bye week to prepare and try and work through some issues with Hundley. But after the bye they face the Lions, Bears and Ravens, 3 teams who have consistently produced on defense.
Each of those teams defenses need to be started against Green Bay. Until the Packers demonstrate some aptitude without Aaron Rodgers they will be a spring chicken for any defense.
OJ Howard’s Big Day a Sign of Things to Come
TRUTH — On the surface this looks like a one-off performance, but it’s more than that.
OJ Howard has been threatening to break out all season long and he’s finally come through. He caught 6-of-6 passes for 98 yards and 2 touchdowns, good enough for the top Tight End performance this week.
Considering he had amassed just 107 yards entering week 7, there’s reason to suspect that this is just a blip on an otherwise pedestrian season. But I sincerely think this is the first of many big performances.
In my Preseason TE rankings I mentioned that the Buccaneers were really high on Howard. They drafted him in the first round to be a versatile offensive tool. Jameis Winston heaped praise on him in the preseason as did head coach Dirk Koetter. It seems that his eventual showcasing was always in the cards for an offense that would love another weapon.
Howard benefited greatly from the fact that this was a close game. So when you look ahead at the Bucs schedule and see 5 games against divisional opponents (6 if you count week 17), and also games against the Dolphins and Lions, and you can see a ton of potential for some positive production out of Howard.
Don’t write him off due to his limited action in Weeks 1–6, rookie TEs are notorious slow-starters. This is the sign of things to come for one of the more intriguing rookies in the NFL.
That’s it for me. Check back every week for more in depth analysis of Fantasy Football’s top headlines.
Mitch Lawson is a Canadian based Fantasy Football enthusiast and lifelong Seahawks fan. If you have questions or comments, send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find him on: