I can’t complain too much about this weekend, even if Sunday was…well, we’ll get to that.
Friday night saw my Astros advance to their third World Series in five years. And before you mention buzzers or cheating just know that I fully embrace the villain role with my team and happily decorated my own personal trashcan. And quite handsomely, I must say.
I also got to play golf with my son Saturday and as soon as we drove out of the parking lot it started to rain. Then, the Dodgers lost that night, so it started out being a very solid weekend.
Worst. Week. Ever
How do you spoil National Tight Ends Day? Easy, by having a terrible Sunday. Additionally, most of the premier tight ends must have been hungover because the Week 7 leaderboard contains names like Foster Moreau, MyCole Pruitt, and Durham Smythe.
I guess that probably worked out for the numerous fantasy football managers who were forced to go to the waiver wire and just plug in random names to fill out starting slots. Props to you if that worked.
Another takeaway from this disaster of a week was the intricacies of scoring. Somebody was forced to start the Jets defense and got tagged with a (-11) hammer. Superflex scoring can be especially brutal. Imagine thinking you’re ok with Sam Darnold and Zach Wilson in your two starting spots and coming away with a sizzling 4.4 points.
Worst. Week. Ever.
When we all reviewed the 2021 NFL schedule, we knew Week 7 was going to be an issue. And it makes no sense, either. Why are six teams off this week but only two teams are absent in Weeks 8, 11, and 12?
And don’t get me started on having byes as late as Week 14 when many leagues are opening their playoffs. Imagine getting through the gauntlet of the crazy 2021 season only to not be able to start Jonathan Taylor because, well, he’s off.
The one positive about this slate is many teams may have stacked their bye week players and should now by close to 100% for every other week. Even if it was an accident, just take credit for your genius bye stacking if that was you.
For the rest of us, we’re on to Week 8.
Where We Were Right
On National Tight Ends Day we boosted Foster Moreau up to TE13 once we heard that Darren Waller was questionable to play on Sunday. Moreau snagged all six of his targets for 60 yards and a touchdown and posted even better numbers than that.
We were wary of Washington RB Antonio Gibson, ranking him outside of our top-20 backs. This is doubly impactful when you realize the brutal bye week took six starters out of the mix. Part of our trepidation was the shin injury that Gibson is nursing but also we projected a lot more passing down work would go to J.D. McKissic. Gibson was held to 51 rushing yards on 14 attempts and is currently outside of the top-30 PPR backs this week.
Anticipating a shootout, A.J. Brown was out No. 3 wideout and Brown delivered his best performance of the season. It could have been even better if the Titans were forced to keep gunning the ball, but we’ll take an 8/133/1 outing for an overall WR4 finish.
Where We Were Wrong
Our initial projections liked Sam Darnold quite a bit in this slate going against a New York Giants’ secondary that had allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterback prior to Week 8. I’m glad I tweaked the projections down to where Darnold was just QB15, but even that ended up being way too high. Darnold managed to get outscored by Chad Henne, Mike White, Brian Hoyer, and even his own teammate, P.J. Walker. Ouch.
Can we just say Chiefs? The Tennessee/Kansas City tilt had a whopping 57.5 over/under but was a one-sided disaster for the Chiefs. In what was probably the worst pro game of Patrick Mahomes’s career, the only good news that came was that apparently, Mahomes avoided a concussion on his final play, which involved a scary blow to the head. Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Darrel Williams….nothing went right for KC in what was a brutal miss all around.
Kudos to the Lions for pulling out all the stops and playing the Rams much tougher than we’d anticipated. Our projections thought Darrell Henderson would get a ton of second-half carries in an effort to run out the clock, but instead, Matthew Stafford had to keep passing the ball and Henderson had a muted 15-carry, 45-yard effort and is outside the top-25 backs for the week. Far lower than the top-5 area we projected.