If you regularly read this newsletter then you know we haven’t spilled too much ink on the Deshaun Watson trade rumors, which have persisted throughout the season despite there being no reason to believe we’re actually anywhere close to anything happening.
Yesterday, the Houston Chronicle reported that the Dolphins and Texans agreed to terms on a trade…but the Dolphins want clarity on his legal issue before going through with it.
Haha, ya. And I’ve agreed to retire to the Maldives and sip pina coladas for the rest of my life, just need to get some clarity from my wife and accountant before going through with it.
Every single Watson trade rumor has a giant hanging chad like this that undercuts the validity of the rumor in the first place. So consider this my retirement from discussing it until we get something actually relevant to pass on.
Let’s get to the biggest signals and noise from Week 7, as well as Waz’s early Week 8 ranks with notes on the Packers situation heading into tomorrow night.
💥 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 7…
Cordarrelle Patterson — season-high 73% snaps, season-high 24 snaps either out wide or in the slot, also got 16 of 21 RB touches
Michael Carter — 72% snaps, 59% routes (both easily season highs coming out of the bye, while Tevin Coleman was inactive)
Marquise Brown — 321 air yards (most by any player in a game this year, and by a lot)
Dallas Goedert — routes on 88% of dropbacks (previous season high: 71%)
D’Ernest Johnson — ran well, but I don’t see him having a substantial role once Nick Chubb is back (Chubb mostly dominated the backfield in early 2019, and Kareem Hunt mostly dominated it when Chubb missed four games last year)
Myles Gaskin — looked like lead back, but Malcolm Brown started and got four touches on game’s first five snaps before leaving with injury, so it’s not clear what the split might have been
Courtland Sutton — five targets, 61 air yards (windy game, Bridgewater had a season-low passing aDOT by nearly three yards)
Zach Ertz — impact on offense (the 47-yard TD is obviously noise, and he only ran routes on 56% of dropbacks which didn’t actually cut into the WRs as much as it might seem, including Rondale Moore whose route share was right at his season average)
To see all of Gretch’s biggest signals and biggest noise analysis from Week 7, subscribe to his substack.
🥇WAZ'S .5 PPR RANKS
Here are the early Week 8 rankings from Rob Waziak aka "Waz" along with a couple notes on Thursday Night Football guys:
All eyes will be on the availability of Davante Adams (WR69) tomorrow night. On Monday, he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and would require two negative test results 24 hours apart to be eligible to return. Allen Lazard is already ruled out, so the Packers will be looking to Randall Cobb (WR46), Equanimeous St. Brown (WR68), Robert Tonyan (TE17), and Amari Rodgers (WR77) to fill the void. If Adams were to miss tomorrow night’s game, all of those players would benefit, but it’d be challenging to expect success out of anyone not named Aaron Jones (RB7). I consider the odds of Adams playing very low and suggest having a contingency plan ready. If he makes the deadline, he’s a Top 10 wide receiver option against the Cardinals’ 2nd ranked pass defense.
Monitor DeAndre Hopkins’ (WR13) practice designation today. He’s been dealing with a hamstring injury and didn’t practice Monday or Tuesday. It’s likely that Hopkins was given a pair of rest days for the short week and will log at least a limited session today. He’s only missed two games in his nine-season career and I don’t expect that streak to end tomorrow. Still, I think it’s likely that Christian Kirk (WR36), Chase Edmonds (RB29), A.J. Green (WR45), Zach Ertz (TE9), and Rondale Moore (WR55) all see increased looks.