Don’t look now, but we are on course to have all our regularly scheduled games played at the time they were initially scheduled! It’s the small victories people. We even get the luxury of Thursday Night Football. Hopefully, you read the sarcasm dripping from the word “luxury” because the matchup is another letdown; the New York Giants (1-5) take on the Philadelphia Eagles (1-4-1). Despite their putrid records, this game will have first-place implications for the NFC East.
Another 1-2 week brings us to 2-4 on the season. No, it’s not ideal, but that’s the process and we have notched a win each week. As usual, there is still more money to be made. If anyone is going to win it, it might as well be us, right?
**Just when we thought we were safe from games being rescheduled, for at least a week anyway, the NFL has flexed the Seattle Seahawks visiting the Arizona Cardinals to Sunday night in place of Bucs-Raiders due to Las Vegas having its entire starting offensive line and safety Johnathan Abram on COVID watch**
Primetime Moneymakers Week 7
New York Giants (1-5) @ Philadelphia Eagles (1-4-1)
Spread: Eagles -4.5
This would typically be one to avoid. With so many injuries for both teams, it’s challenging getting a bead on how this one will go. New York is 3-3 ATS, but all three of their wins have come on the road and two have come in the last three weeks. The Giants offense is putrid, ranking 32nd in DVOA, per Football Outsiders, and 27th or worse in passing yards per game, rushing yards per game, in points per game. But their defense is…better. They rank 17th in DVOA (23rd in pass defense, 15th in rush defense).
Philadelphia (2-4) can’t catch a break. Okay, bad choice of words. But just as the Iggles look to get DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery back they lose Zach Ertz and Miles Sanders for multiple weeks. How healthy will Jackson and Jeffery (a longshot) be in their respective returns? Already without Dallas Goedert, will Richard Rodgers be able to step up? Or will it be the Travis Fulgham show for another week?
Both of these teams are bad and injured and are only on in primetime because everyone must get a shot. Philly’s defense is porous, but the Giants offense is inept. So the question is can the Giants defense keep this one close. They managed to hold the Rams offense to 17 points on the road a couple of weeks ago before struggling against the Cowboys and Football Team. Leave the spread alone and take the Eagles straight up and the under (44.5) in what could be a very ugly watch. They should win handily and hopefully (and mercifully) will get this one over quickly.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2) @ Las Vegas Raiders (3-2)
Spread: Raiders +3.5
O/U: 52 Last we saw of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers they were putting the screws to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to the tune of 38-straight points and a 28-point lead. It was Tampa’s (3-3 ATS) largest margin of victory of the season and came against what was supposed to be their stiffest challenge. Tampa is first in overall and defensive DVOA and is seventh in offensive DVOA. Not an easy task, though both of their losses came on the road. If there’s one team with reason not to fear the Bucs it’s Las Vegas (3-2 ATS). After all, they have already taken out the Saints and beat the Chiefs in Arrowhead before their bye. Those are two impressive notches for a team no one is talking about. Derek Carr is having a career year. He commands the sixth-ranked offense in DVOA, is leading the league with a career-best 73.1 completion percentage, and is throwing more touchdowns to fewer interceptions than he ever has. His defense is among the worst in the league so he will have to keep it up to keep up the Raiders winning ways. The spread (-4) wants you to remember and believe the Raiders two big wins instead of the Bucs thrashing of Green Bay. But Tampa’s defense is better than the Saints or Chiefs and does a good job of limiting big plays over the top; a key in Vegas’ win over KC. Only two of the Bucs opponents have matched the Raiders implied total of 24 points. And against the Patriots and Broncos, two defense close to the Bucs, the most Vegas could muster was 23 points. Take the Bucs, minus the points, and the under as they match up perfectly with what the Raiders want to do.
Seattle Seahawks (5-0) @ Arizona Cardinals (4-2)
Spread: Cardinals +3.5
The Seahawks (4-1 ATS) are the sole remaining undefeated team in the NFL. Russell Wilson is the odds-on favorite to win MVP, the first of his career. Following the #LetRussCook motto, Seattle’s gunslinger leads the NFL in touchdown passes, yards per attempt, and passer rating. The Seahawks are fifth in total DVOA. That’s due to their offense ranking first because their defense is 26th. Letting Russ cook has seemingly been more out of necessity than choice.
Two weeks in a row in primetime for the Cardinals (4-2 ATS)? That’s what the first 4-2 start since 2015 gets you. Obviously this has everything to do with the Raiders COVID issues, but don’t sleep on Kyler Murray’s Cardinals. What we saw from this offense (12th in DVOA) against the Cowboys last Monday could happen again against the porous Seattle secondary. Murray, a preseason favorite for MVP, has had an uneven 2020, throwing six interceptions. But he threw three of those in one (awful) game but he has also thrown 10 touchdown passes and has run for another.
Arizona won the last matchup between these two teams back in December last season. Before that though, Seattle won three straight. Wilson is absolutely dealing right now and, while Murray’s Cardinals had big plays against the Cowboys, he was just 9/24 passing on the night. The Seahawks only win by fewer than five points came last week against a desperate Minnesota Vikings squad. Arizona’s losses both came against the best offenses they’ve faced. Take Seattle minus the points and the over as this could be a fun watch on Sunday night.
Chicago Bears (5-1) @ Los Angeles Rams (4-2)
Spread: Rams -6
These two teams are meeting in primetime for the third time in as many seasons. The Chicago Bears (4-2 ATS) are riding high on a two-game win streak and sitting in first place in the NFC North. Very much on-brand, it has been the defense (fifth in DVOA) doing the heavy lifting. Khalil Mack and Akiem Hick are dominant as ever and Kyle Fuller has locked down the perimeter along with Jaylon Johnson. Can Nick Foles survive a Rams defense that features the NFL sack-leader, Aaron Donald?
Jared Goff has enjoyed a bounceback season and has the Rams (3-3) looking like a contender once again. They’re fifth in offensive DVOA and the offensive line has only allowed seven sacks, tied for second in the league. Goff has his full-compliment of weapons with Cooper Kupp back after tearing his ACL last season. And he has the luxury of three talented running backs to hand the ball off to. He has one of the highest yards per attempt averages which could be problematic against Mack and Co.
Neither of the previous two matchups between Sean McVay’s Rams and Matt Nagy’s Bears have topped 24 points. So the 45-point total might be a little optimistic. The Bears offense isn’t reliable and their defense should be able to limit the Rams. The spread (Rams -6) says Vegas thinks that won’t be the case. After what we saw against the bruised and beaten 49ers, you have to understand our skepticism. Even if this is in-line with the margin of victory from before. The Bears don’t look scary offensively. But the Rams, outside of Donald, don’t either. Take Chicago plus the points and ride the under.
All lines and other betting information courtesy of Covers.com
Another week of exciting NFL action has gone by and, for those of us who play fantasy football, the attention turns to the waiver wire for Week 7. In a shift of recent trends, there was more news on players returning to action than would be missing time going forward. Unfortunately, that didn’t mean we were injury-free. All in all, it should be another busy waiver period. So let’s see who should be on your radar ahead of Wednesday.
There’s a good chance you’re going to bristle at first blush upon reading several of these names. But with the number of injuries we have seen already, beggers can’t be choosers. Hopefully, if you’re looking for a quarterback or tight end, it is just for streaming or a short-term injury replacement. If it’s a wide receiver or running back then you’re in luck. There are a couple of options at either position that will get you through.
Beggars Can’t Be Choosers in Week 7 Waiver Wire
Teddy Bridgewater – Carolina Panthers
Teddy Bridgewater was certainly a letdown in Week 6. That can happen when playing a stout Chicago Bears defense that ranks fifth in DVOA, per Football Outsiders. Teddy Two-Gloves is your QB16 on the season though and was the QB4 back in Week 4 and QB12 in Week 5. He has a favorable Week 7 matchup on deck against the New Orleans Saints. Bridgewater has thrown three of his six touchdowns on the road. He’s also thrown for more yards and completed a higher rate of his passes away from Bank of America Stadium.
New Orleans is eighth in defensive DVOA but that is thanks in large part to their superb run defense. While the Saints rank third against the run and fourth in run defense DVOA, they are a middling pass defense. They rank 19th in passing yards allowed and 15th in pass defense DVOA. They’ve allowed top-10 performances to quarterbacks in their three home games, including a QB4 performance by Justin Herbert in Week 5.
Kyle Allen – Washington Football Team
Let’s be honest, you’re only doing this if you’re a Lamar Jackson owner and your league is competitive or is a two-quarterback or superflex league. Kyle Allen got his second start of the season in Week 6 and ended up as the QB16 for the week. He did so against the New York Giants 21st-ranked pass defense (23rd in DVOA) but will face a Dallas Cowboys defense that ranks 23rd against the pass and just got lit up by the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football. Dallas has allowed three QB6 or better performances already. Again, if you’re desperate.
Boston Scott – Philadelphia Eagles
For the second time this season, Boston Scott will be called upon to handle the majority of the backfield touches for the next few weeks while Miles Sanders recovers from yet another injury. Sanders is the RB19 so far but missed Week 1. Scott struggled in that game against the Washington Football Team’s stout front to the tune of 3.9 yards per carry. This time, he steps into the role with the Philadelphia Eagles needing all the playmakers they can get.
He’ll face the Giants who, if you’ve read to this point, you already know have a suspect defense. They allow a respectable 3.7 yards per tote but have faced the ninth-most carries and rank 15th in run defense DVOA. They’re also tied in facing the fifth-most passes to running backs, are eighth in receptions, and sixth in receiving yards allowed to backs. Scott could be very busy with the Eagles so depleted.
J.D. McKissic – Washington Football Team
You may not have felt the sting of bye weeks at quarterback, but running back might be different. No solid-if-unspectacular Jonathan Taylor, or the suddenly reliable Myles Gaskin, or Alexander Mattison who was already filling in for the injured Dalvin Cook. That’s the RB15 and RB16 in Taylor and Gaskin, respectively. And Cook is still the RB4 on the year. Enter J.D McKissic, the forgotten back for the Washington Football Team. With Antonio Gibson garnering all the pub, you may not have noticed that McKissic was the RB12 in Week 6 and that he has out-snapped Gibson, 50 percent to 43.7 percent.
Gibson has the touch advantage (83-58) but, as we saw against the Giants, McKissic is still a vital part of this team. He’s just RB37 on the season but did come in as RB27 in Week 5 and has seen multiple carries in five of six games while catching multiple passes in his last four. He’ll see a Dallas defense that is most vulnerable on the ground. But in a game that will have serious implications for the NFC East, McKissic is worth a shot this week.
Frank Gore – New York Jets
Death. Taxes. Frank Gore getting the bulk of the carries over an intriguing rookie. This time Gore has relegated LaMical Perine to speculative bench duty while he plods his way to 3.3 yards per rush. He did up that to 4.2 in a losing effort against the Miami Dolphins and, as long as Adam Gase in running the show, appears locked into double-digit touches. If you aren’t hurting for running back help, maybe stash Perine in case the winless New York Jets boot Gase and they start evaluating players. It won’t be pretty and there isn’t much upside. But as it stands, Father Time has nothing on the 37-year-old.
Christian Kirk – Arizona Cardinals
It can be hard not to get wrapped up in big performances during primetime games. There’s always a random, fringe player that makes a huge impact on the night. Sometimes, like with the Pittsburgh Steelers Chase Claypool, it can be a springboard. But the road to fantast football glory is paved with unrealized potential. Some guys just use the national stage to announce themselves to the rest of us. Christian Kirk was the WR4 in Week 6 and is WR14 over the last three weeks.
This is undoubtedly DeAndre Hopkins’ show, but with Arizona among the league leaders in plays per game, there are points to go around. That should be particularly true this week with the Seattle Seahawks and their sieve-like passing defense (29th DVOA) coming to town. Shaq Griffin will likely be tasked with covering Hopkins which should leave plenty of opportunity for Kirk, who has three touchdowns the last three weeks, to make plays.
Tim Patrick – Denver Broncos
Would you believe the Denver Broncos Tim Patrick is the WR36 on the season? It’s true. When Courtland Sutton went down we all anticipated Jerry Jeudy to dominate the looks there. But Patrick has more catches, yards, and touchdowns than the rookie from Week2 on with just one fewer target. Most of that, by the way, came without starting quarterback Drew Lock, who struggled in his return.
Patrick, the WR24 in Week 6, was WR7 in Week 4, and WR34 in Week 3. That makes him the WR19 on average since Week 3 with a matchup against the high-powered Kansas City Chiefs in Week 7. You shouldn’t expect him to out-produce Jeudy all the time. And Melvin Gordon missing last week helped some. But Patrick is looking like a solid WR3/Flex player available for a bargain.
Breshad Perriman – New York Jets
I know, I know. There’s no way two Jets made it on the list, right? Well, here’s the thing, sure you could go after James Washington and Demarcus Robinson, two guys getting extra burn due to injuries. Or you can take a chance on Keelan Cole or Corey Davis and hope you get one of their boom performances. Or you can go after the guy set to fill the Robby Anderson role for the Jets. Breshad Perriman is no stranger to fantasy relevance. He was the WR5 from Weeks 13-17 last season, catching 25 passes for over 500 yards and five touchdowns.
He isn’t likely to put up those kinds of numbers in New York but the Anderson role is a valuable one nonetheless. Anderson was the WR40 in 2019 and had three 100-yards games, two additional 80-yard games, and five touchdowns. The Jets face the Bills, Chiefs, and Patriots the next three weeks before their bye. Jamison Crowder is still the top option but the Jets are bad and figure to be trailing the rest of the season. Perriman will get his opportunities.
Alshon Jeffery – Philadelphia Eagles
Sterling Shepard – New York Giants
A twofer! Both of these guys are coming back from injury but have arguably the highest ceiling of any players listed. Sterling Shepard has been out since Week 2 with a turf toe injury but has a shot to come of the injured reserve in time for the Giants Thursday Night Football game against the likewise beaten-up Eagles. He’ll return to an offense that has only cracked the 20-point threshold once (they hit it one other time) and will compete with Golden Tate and Darius Slayton for targets. But neither of them are world-beaters that command a certain number of looks.
Alshon Jeffery’s Eagles need him in the worst way. He has yet to suit up this year as his team has lost weapons left and right. DeSean Jackson is still working his way back from a hamstring injury, rookie Jalen Reagor hasn’t played since Week 2, and they just lost Zach Ertz and Miles Sanders. Travis Fulgham has been their go-to guy the past two weeks for goodness sakes. Jeffery could bring WR2 upside if he gets (and stays) healthy.
Greg Olsen – Seattle Seahawks
The “Frank Gore” of tight ends, Greg Olsen just keeps coming back and producing for his team. His tenure with the Seattle Seahawks has been more of the same. The volume hasn’t been heavy, but he’s had four-plus targets and receptions in three of five games this season. Week 5 against the Vikings, before the Seahawks bye, Olsen put up a dud. That just served to further remove him from your league-mates memories.
Olsen is the TE27 in 2020 but was TE15 from Weeks 3-4, grabbing 10 of 13 passes for 96 yards. The downside is that MVP-hopeful Russell Wilson spreads the ball around and there are even other tight ends on the roster that pose a threat to Olsen’s (who only has one touchdown) production. But losing Mark Andrews (TE3). Mike Geisicki (TE11), and Indy’s bunch of productive tight ends at an already thin position makes people desperate. You could do much worse than Olsen.
Darren Fells – Houston Texans
We’ve seen this movie before. From Weeks 3-13 in 2019, Darren Fells was the quintessential streaming tight end. He wasn’t seeing a ton of targets and averaged just under three catches per game. But he had a better-than-not chance to catch a touchdown from one of the most dynamic passers in the league in Deshaun Watson. Well, Fells might be at it again, having more than 50 yards and catching a touchdown in each of the last two weeks. He gets the Green Bay Packers in Week 7, who just let the ghost of Rob Gronkowski go off for 5/78/1 in Week 6.
The WWE draft separated New Day members Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods from Big E. The superstar shakeup switched brands for many notable names like Charlotte Flair, Miz and Morrison, Seth Rollins, and Rey Mysterio. On the Wednesday night wars, NXT had its sights on Halloween Havoc with Shotzi Blackheart as the host and competing in one of two number one contenders’ matches on the Card. Every championship was defended on AEW including a brutal match between Jon Moxley and Lance Archer.
No Count Outs: The Dastardly Debonairs – No Count Outs
In the age of COVID, NFL games are constantly subject to being rescheduled. We have already seen the Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots, and several other teams have their seasons rearranged already and it’s a safe bet there will be more to come. We’ve already had this week’s Thursday night matchup moved to Monday afternoon since the Buffalo Bills had to play on Tuesday.
We went 1-2 on our picks last week and missed on our weekly prop of Rob Gronkowski scoring a touchdown. Woof. Alas, there is more money to be made. And if anyone is going to make it, it should be us, right? With that let’s dive into three games to eye this week for their earning potential.
Road Teams Dominate in ‘NFL Week 6 Primetime Moneymakers’
Los Angeles Rams (4-1) -3 vs San Francisco 49ers (2-3)
Are the Los Angeles Rams good again, or at least, as good as their record says they are? Who knows, but they have been getting the job done against the spread this season (3-2 ATS) including last week’s 30-10 drubbing of the Washington Football Team. San Francisco isn’t as bad as Washington, but they are plenty banged up, especially on defense. L.A., averaging 27.2 points per game, should be able to score almost at will after the Miami Dolphins hung 43 on the 49ers defense.
San Francisco is 0-3 at home and 2-3 against the spread and just had their starting quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, benched for throwing two picks and taking several sacks. In his defense, it was his first start since suffering an ankle injury. Working against him is the Rams defense is worlds better than Miami’s surprising bunch. An early Rams lead could spell quick doom for a 49ers team undoubtedly looking to run it a lot in this one.
One team has looked playoff-ready most of the season and are laying just 3.5 points to a team that has looked disjointed and is certainly in diminished form. San Francisco looked decent against the New York Giants a couple of weeks ago but the Miami game is probably closer to what we should expect from their defense. That spells trouble against Los Angeles. The over has been hitting for the Rams but the expected emphasis on the run from the 49ers could suppress the score so the under looks more attractive here.
Kansas City Chiefs (4-1) -4 vs Buffalo Bills (4-1)
These two teams should come into this one pissed off. Both suffered embarrassing losses in Week 5. The Kansas City Chiefs watched the Las Vegas Raiders beat them 40-32 in Arrowhead playing their own game as Derek Carr threw touchdowns of 59 and 72 yards. Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills got shellacked by the Tennessee Titans on Tuesday. Perhaps they wouldn’t have won the game anyway, but losing 42-16 wasn’t in anyone’s forecast.
Allen was the clubhouse leader for MVP but his performance surely allowed Russell Wilson to at least close the gap. More concerning is how simple he was rendered ineffective by the Titans. Playing a bunch of zone coverage, they limited Buffalo’s ability to stretch the field with Stefon Diggs and kept Allen from breaking off any big runs. Patrick Mahomes was harassed all game by the Raiders so Buffalo will have to pressure him better than they did Ryan Tannehill or they’ll suffer the same fate.
Both teams have the same records straight up (4-1) and against the spread (3-2) so nothing immediately jumps to mind. If it simply comes down to who do you have more faith in, it’s hard to vote against the guy who already won an MVP against a guy chasing his first. To be honest the only thing we might have any comfort in is the under hitting; 57.5 is fairly high.
Arizona Cardinals (3-2) -1.5 vs Dallas Cowboys (2-3)
The Arizona Cardinals are still a team in transition. They have victories over the lowly New York Jets and Washington Football team one top of their surprise win over the 49ers in the opener. Their losses have come against the Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers, teams whose offensive talent is closer to that of the Dallas Cowboys than any of the opponents Arizona beat. The x-factor in this one will be Andy Dalton who takes over for the Cowboys at quarterback following Dak Prescott’s ankle injury.
Kyler Murray was the preseason favorite in this space for MVP but he has been inconsistent. and turnover prone. He’s thrown a pick in all but one game this season and threw three against the Lions in Week 3. Dalton steps into a role that had Dak breaking records for passing yards to start the season. There aren’t many better backups in the NFL, as evidenced by his completing nearly 82 percent of his passes in a comeback win against the Giants last week.
Dallas laying any points (+1.5) at home is funny when you think of where we thought this team would be. But Arizona is a challenging foe capable of taking advantage of a suspect Cowboys defense that’s allowed no fewer than 24 points in any game this season. Dalton should have time in the pocket after the Cardinals lost Chandler Jones for the season, but will he be as effective as most think he can be in this offense? It’s hard to confidently bet on a team switching quarterbacks, especially with Dallas 0-5 against the spread this season at full strength. It still feels like people are undervaluing the rest of the talent on the Cowboys and overvaluing the Cardinals. Take Dallas plus the points even if you expect Arizona to win outright.
Week 5 came and…well that’s it because at the time of this writing, the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans had yet to play their matchup. It was rescheduled for Tuesday after the Titans had a self-inflicted outbreak of COVID. Similarly, the New England Patriots had their game against the Denver Broncos pushed from Week 5 to Week 6.
That’s all besides the point though because we’re here to find some help for out ailing fake football teams. Injuries have the quarterback of a high-octane offense, a rookie wide receiver that looks like a tight end, and a backup running back making the case for more time all available on the wire.
Dallas Cowboys – QB – 99.8% Avail
First and foremost, let’s send wishes for a speedy recovery to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. While trying to fight for more yardage on a scramble he suffered a compound fracture and will miss the rest of the season. He has a long recovery ahead and the Cowboys will have to try and regroup with their backup.
Fortunately for them, Andy Dalton has nine years worth of starting experience in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL, the AFC North. Dalton threw just under 3500 yards in 13 games last season with a far less talented group. Putting him under center may not cure what ails the Cowboys (hint: it is ailments) but he could do wonders for you if you’re hurting at QB.
Dalton hasn’t been a top-12 fantasy quarterback since 2016, but this is by far the most offensive talent he’s played with. He also doesn’t need to be elite, just get you through a bye week. But the fact that a 30-something quarterback carries the kind of upside Dalton does in this offense is rare for a backup quarterback.
Minnesota Vikings – RB – 58.4% Avail
Dalvin Cook is one of the most talented backs in the NFL right now. Unfortunately, staying healthy has been his biggest hurdle. That’s why the Vikings took Alexander Mattison out of Boise State in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. All he did in relief was take 20 carries for 112 yards against the Seattle Seahawks in a losing effort.
Cook is expected to miss Week 6 against the woeful Atlanta Falcons with his abductor injury; a predictable move given the Vikings Week 7 bye. Cook becomes a plug-and-play option in this situation. He’s only averaging 68 yards in the five games he’s handled double-digit carries, a figure aided by his output last week.
Still, Atlanta is 0-5 and dealing with an interim head coach while Minnesota is third in rushing yards and fourth in attempts as a team. There is a risk this becomes a shootout, and Mike Boone is a threat to vulture any week. But finding 18-plus carries on the wire isn’t anything to sneeze at, even if it’s likely only for one week.
Arizona Cardinals – RB – 53.5% Avail
We head to the desert to find another back on the wire. This one carries more long-term potential but is far more speculative. Whereas a Cook injury opens a brief window for Mattison, it’s the ineffective play of Kenyan Drake that has many hoping that Kliff Kingsbury opts to move on from a player they’re paying $8 million on the transition tag.
Arizona’s big-money, short-term commitment plodded his way to 60 yards on 16 carries against the lowly New York Jets, scuffling to 3.3 yards per carry; up from 2.7 the week before. Edmonds only had 36 yards (and a touchdown) on three carries but that’s 12 yards per tote. The former Fordham runner also had five catches for 56 yards, another aspect of Drake’s game that’s been lacking.
Again, this is speculation with a hint of hope. Drake was a part-time player in college and with the Miami Dolphins. It would make sense that Edmonds at least eats into his workload regardless. But the Alabama alum might be forcing his coach’s hand. Even though an injury didn’t knock Drake out of last week’s game as some had expected, his poor play just might.
Pittsburgh Steelers – WR – 91.2% Avail
Ok, so maybe you don’t need this guide to realize that Chase Claypool should be added. Anytime a receiver goes for 110 yards on seven grabs and three touchdowns you take notice. When that player also gets three carries and scores a rushing touchdown you make them a priority. And when that player is but a rookie you get the types of hyped headlines we have seen this week.
Claypool stepped in for Diontae Johnson (back) and proceeded to shine so brightly he overshadowed Philadelphia Eagles wideout Travis Fulgham who had 10 catches for 152 yards and two scores of his own. His 11 targets were nearly double those of the next pass-catcher, Eric Ebron. They were also the second-most looks a Steelers receiver has gotten in a game this season.
It was Ebron’s drops, a recurring issue throughout his career, that made way for Claypool who looks more like a tight end than a receiver. Johnson’s injury seemingly opened the door for Claypool and Ebron being himself held it there. It was the rookie’s own performance though that could have him looking like a modern version of Plaxico Burress.
Los Angeles Chargers – WR – 65.4% Avail
From one big-bodied wide receiver to another, Mike Williams was a popular player before the season but early passing struggles and a strong ground attack left Williams’ owners feeling burned. Perhaps his two touchdowns and 109 yards on five catches will get some investors back in the fold.
Williams has battled injuries and he actually got hurt at the end of Monday Night Football but was able to walk off the field under his own power. Just keep an eye on it. He wasn’t the only receiver to go down as top-option Keenan Allen also left early with a back injury. If Williams was just banged up, he could be in for a big role if Allen (who has also battled injuries) misses time.
The injury risk this season has been devastating and even worse for the Chargers. Keep that in mind with Williams. But even if he misses time, he could be useful as we continue through the bye weeks. Any concerns about the offense should have already been laid to rest with the announcement that Justin Herbert would start at quarterback the rest of the season.
Green Bay Packers – TE – 51.4% Avail You may have forgotten but the last time we saw the Green Bay Packers they were being carried by third-year tight end Robert Tonyan. Okay, “carry” may be too strong for an offense featuring Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones. Tonyan put on a show nonetheless. Six grabs, 98 yards, and three touchdown catches is one way to get your name out there.
What was most notable about Tonyan’s performance was that it was his third-straight game with a score and second with 50-plus receiving yards. He’s just one target shy of his 2019 total and has already surpassed his catch and yardage totals from last season. Aaron Rodgers playing lights out right now is the cherry on top.
The elephant in the room here is Davante Adams. He missed the game against the Falcons and left early in Week 2 against the Detroit Lions. His imminent return will put a dent into Tonyan’s production. But, despite investing draft capital at tight end in each of the past two drafts, Tonyan appears to be the best option the Packers have at the position.
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