I had a terrible week seven after topping 100 points in each of the first six weeks. My trades for Maurice Jones Drew and Emmanuel Sanders didn't help matters, reminding me that sometimes the best trades are the ones you don't make. We get one great fantasy team (New Orleans) back this weekend and one not so great (Oakland). Week eight brings the largest numbers of teams on bye so far this season with six taking the week off. Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego and Tennessee with a bye this week, obviously effecting fantasy lineups in a big way. The Thursday night game this week features the Tampa Bay Bucaneers hosting the Carolina Panthers.
Your fantasy depth will really be tested this week with a full fledged bye week. Doug Martin, Alfred Morris, Le'Veon Bell and yes, Adrian Peterson owners muct find other options, at least for one week. Fantasy nation gets Carolina and Green Bay players back this week from bye and they are good to go for the remainder of the season. Four teams have week five off, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, PIttsburgh and Washington. Is Eddie Lacy healthy enough to start or are you a Jonathan Franklin believer. DeAngelo Williams remains a solid start, at least until Jonathan Stewart returns in a couple of weeks. Who had a breakout performance in week four? and who cost your team a win? Time to take a look in this week's report.
How you look at running backs depends largely on the scoring in your particular league. Leagues that use PPR (Points Per Reception) pay much greater attention to their running back's involvement in their team's passing game. Much of the same can be said for tight ends, perhaps even more so. A good indication of how involved your player can be is the amount of targets (or looks) he is getting from the quarterback(s). Backs like Detroit's Reggie Bush may actually score more points receiving, while others like Seattle workhorse Marshawn Lynch get the majority of their production from the ground game.
Note to self- Do whatever it takes to get both Ray Rice and LeSean McCoy on my fantasy football teams in future seasons. Arian Foster you ask? Injury concerns and the Ben Tate presence are a slight distraction with Marshawn Lynch the only running back worthy of argument. Dreams aside, Jamaal Charles appears fully recovered from injury and is the next best all-around bet along with Maurice Jones-Drew. The sleeper of the year remains Alfred Morris, who has quietly been nearly as important to the resurgent Redskins offense as Rookie of the Year Robert Griffin III. Jason Witten owners are feeling a bit better this week, actually a lot better after he was targeted more than any tight end in week four, catching 13 of 14 Tony Romo attempts (with the rest going to the Bears).
With the dreaded running back by committee plauging the NFL, fantasy owners need to find added value at the position. Receiving yards and touchdowns is an obvious option and futher to that, the number of times a player is targeted by his teams quarterback. The NFL is a copy cat league and more and more teams are going to the double tight end formation to try and duplicate the great success in New England at the position.
Some new faces surfacing in the passing game among running backs. The new faces emerging gaining opportunity due to injury and unfortunately only for the short term. We also saw some old reliable backs not getting their usual “looks” but for the most part they made up for it in the ground game.
As we head into Week 7 of the 2011 NFL season there are a number of things to keep in mind. First, the numbers really begin to have meaning as one or two week wonders are falling from the big pictures. Also, with some of the teams already having had their bye weeks, their season totals need to be adjusted to take note of such. Lastly, while targets are a key component of a player’s involvement in his team’s game plan, of equal importance is how many of the attempts are actually completed.
Are you continuing to search for hidden gems at running back and tight end? Most ball carrying backs are long gone, but upside remains for backs in the passing game. As NFL teams employ more double tight end sets, along with H-Back’s, new solutions emerge each week as new targets surface. In our first of two installments, we take a look at the rising and falling running backs and tight ends. Later in the week we will provide insight on movers and shakers at wide receiver.