If you’ve attempted to set your starting lineup for Week 7 already (and let’s be honest, if you’re reading this newsletter—you have) then you know there is a brutal number of fantasy studs on bye this week.
We don’t have Josh Allen and the Bills, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys, Dalvin Cook and the Vikings, Austin Ekeler and the Chargers, Najee Harris and the Steelers, or Laviska Shenault and the Jags. Sorry on that last one, it’s a coping mechanism.
We’ll have to get creative on the waiver wire and potentially some trades to make it through. Fortunately, we have Ben Gretch’s signals and noise insights and Waz’s early Week 7 rankings to steer us in the right direction...
💥 SIGNALS & NOISE
Ben Gretch (@YardsPerGretch) writes the terrific Stealing Signals newsletter where he does a weekly deep dive into the previous week and shares his biggest signals (players who could sustain their production) and biggest noise (performances that were likely fluky). Here are some of his observations from Week 3…
Jonathan Taylor — season-high snap share by 10 percentage points, season-high 61% routes, four of Marlon Mack’s five touches came late in the fourth quarter
Khalil Herbert — 89% snap share, 83% routes, every RB touch for CHI
D’Ernest Johnson — 12 snaps in backfield, best bet to lead Browns in rushing in Week 7 (Demetric Felton — playing more WR, 0 backfield snaps in Week 6)
Rashod Bateman — routes on a solid 67% of dropbacks (strong for a debut), tied for team high with six targets
Myles Gaskin — reading too much into these Miami RB usage splits isn’t likely to provide any answers (Gaskin remains a decent “long view” bet if he can be acquired cheaply)
Kenyan Drake — two-TD game, six touches for 73 yards (only played 12 snaps total; role could grow, but it wasn’t much here)
Mike Williams — 5-2-27 receiving (limited due to injury, missed a potential 47-yard TD on a bad pass, and also got tackled on the 1-yard line on another play)
Terry McLaurin — 4 catches, 28 yards (volume was strong with 8 targets, 159 air yards, and had at least one near miss on a deep shot)
To see all of Gretch’s biggest signals and biggest noise analysis from Week 6, subscribe to his substack.
🥇WAZ'S .5 PPR RANKS
Here are the early Week 7 rankings from Rob Waziak aka "Waz" along with a couple notes on Thursday Night Football guys:
* After reaggravating his left shoulder injury last week, Baker Mayfield (QB23) could miss tomorrow night’s game. If he does, Case Keenum (QB27) will earn the start. If Mayfield is your only quarterback, be prepared to scoop a replacement from the waiver wire.
* Nick Chubb has been ruled out for Week 7, and Kareem Hunt (NR) was placed on injured reserve yesterday. Look for D’Ernest Johnson (RB17) and Demetric Felton (RB37) to spearhead the Browns rushing attack against a Broncos defense that ranks 20th in Rush DVOA.
* Odell Beckham Jr. (WR31) suffered a shoulder injury last week but returned to the game. The expectation is that he will play, but a lot is riding on the quarterback situation as well as the potential return of Jarvis Landry (WR56). If Beckham Jr.’s injury worsens or Landry misses his fifth-straight game, Donovan Peoples-Jones (WR50) would be in store for an increased target share. Over the past two weeks, Peoples-Jones has caught 9 of 11 targets for 171 yards and two touchdowns.
Waz is a fantasy football analyst who competes in draft and season-long expert rankings competitions. He's consistently been at or near the top of all industry-wide leaderboards since 2017. He’ll be back on Saturday with an update.
- Pete Overzet