What do you call it when a bunch of teams are on BYE, Christian McCaffrey is traded, and J.K. Dobbins is gonna miss half the year? I dunno. You’re gonna have to speak louder because the sounds of my sobbing are drowning you out. 

Much like our esteemed Thursday Night Football writer Hobbs once wrote, “Fantasy football is nasty, brutish, and short.” Civilization is breaking down at the seams and we’re all in our natural state, foraging for running backs wherever we can find them.

Let’s jump in and see if we can avoid any pitfalls this week. Also, because I’m super nice, I’m going to toss in some quick take analysis on the more significant roster moves.  

The following players are OUT at the time of writing: 

Name Team Pos
Carson Wentz WAS QB
Baker Mayfield CAR QB
Logan Wilson CIN LB
Charles Harris DET DL
J.K. Dobbins BAL RB
Dustin Hopkins LAC K
Rashad Fenton KC DB
Denzel Ward CLE DB
Shaquille Leonard IND LB
Jonathan Greenard HOU DL
Shaquill Griffin JAC DB
Zach Cunningham TEN LB
Kwity Paye IND DL
Josh Palmer LAC WR
Azeez Ojulari NYG LB
Kadarius Toney NYG WR
D.J. Chark DET WR
Akiem Hicks TB DL
Randall Cobb GB WR
Julio Jones TB WR

Week 7 Injury and Roster News

Christian McCaffreyOff to the 49ers to keep the RB1 spot warm until Elijah Mitchell returns from injury. I kid! But seriously, how many running backs do we need here? Y’all exploded your FAAB reserves snagging Jeff Wilson. Eli Mitchell isn’t far away from return. Deebo Samuel is the de facto RB2…or, at least he was up until this week. And Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t exactly known for his stellar game management, the kind of which would enable CMC to get oodles of rushing attempts. So, most sources think McCaffrey will get some end zone touches this week while he learns the playbook. Jokes on you — the 49ers getting close to the end zone? Hah! CMC’s good enough to get, maybe, 10 touches this week. Like, it’s not hard to tell the guy to run into the flat and see if Jimmy can turbo-boost the ball to him somehow. CMC’s an RB2/FLEX for me this week, and a staple of contrarian DFS plays. Jeff Wilson remains the same RB2/FLEX that he always was, and is probably a good DFS investment given his small expected exposure. Sorry about that last phrase — I’m trying to get the SEO to associate us with one of those Dateline shows. ACKSHUALLY, one more thing: if you were IR’ing Eli Mitchell, you can drop him and open up that spot. Sure, CMC’s tendons will fall apart like a fine pressure-roasted chicken. But given the way the 49ers are looking, it’ll take 3+ injuries for Mitchell to get meaningful reps. 

Marquise BrownFoot broken. Cardinals high. Pass deep into coverage. Play was never there, just like your father. Broken foot. The metric system. The crown down, the Cardinals high. /fin. Whad’ya think of my post-modern soliloquy? ENYWHEY. Somewhere between a month and the rest of the year for Hollywood’s foot to heal. Sounds like the same time frame for how long my diet will last! DeAndre Hopkins is back, which is nice, but Kyler Murray is still somehow a better Call of Duty player than a fantasy quarterback right now. I kid, I kid. Kyler’s a top 10 fantasy QB, because 9th overall is in the top 10. I can do math! Still, that sucks because you probably drafted Murray as QB2 and now some undrafted schlub like Geno Smith is starting for your team. ENYWHEY. Cardinals receivers are all high volatility this year, and you can keep Hollywood Brown on your IR. No need to add guys like Greg Dortch (swoon!) as replacements. 

Jonathan TaylorWent from Out to no designation this week. What a recovery! Taylor practiced in Week 6 but ultimately got Sunday off as Deon Jackson ran his butt off around the field. Jackson was never a threat to Taylor’s time, but Nyheim Hines is another story. Hines is also supposed to return this week, but after Jackson put up more yards in one game than Hines has put up basically all year, there should be plenty of coach interest in seeing what Jackson can do in a greater role. You know who’s the 12th highest-paid RB in the NFL? Nyheim Hines. Hines makes four times as much as Taylor. Hines makes more than Austin Ekeler. Wild, eh? And Hines is kinda cheap to cut in the off-season or even to get out of the contract. I know I’m just an armchair analyst drinking some weird chocolate-infused dark beer, but it seems rational — maybe even likely — that a coaching staff might want to save upwards of $5 million a year by using a guy like Deon Jackson instead of Nyheim Hines. If you’re the gambling type, you might want to keep Deon Jackson on your team as the FLEX reliever to Jonathan Taylor

J.K. DobbinsLast week we watched in stunned awe as Kenyan Drake charged to RB1 status for the first time in…basically forever. Remember when Drake was a first-round pick, and the guy had never even been RB1 on his own team for a season? Good times. ENYWHEY. Dobbins is going to miss 4-6 weeks while undergoing knee surgery. The rational move is that the Ravens leave Dobbins in a backup/support role for the rest of 2022 — he missed all of 2021 and the first couple weeks of 2022, and now he’s already back under the knife. In the meantime, Gus Edwards is the likely pickup that you want to target. Sure, you might get Drake and have to live with that, but a healthy Edwards has enough upside to be an RB2/FLEX in a 12-team league. Drake will likely be the lead Ravens back for Week 7 and Edwards will likely return for Week 8. 

Darren Waller: On Friday night, the Raiders marked Waller out for Week 7, which basically ruined my Chinese takeout. I lie. Nothing can ruin a magnificent bowl of rice and Mongolian beef, except maybe tabasco sauce. While you’re waiting for Waller, go grab Robert Tonyan, who’s available in 50% of leagues and is the TE10 on the year. Tonyan taken? Daniel Bellinger is next up, although you’re gonna have to cross your fingers that Daniel Jones knows how to throw the football. 

Elijah MooreAsked to be traded off the Jets. Me too, Elijah, me too. The Jets refuse to trade Moore and expect him to be a team player, so they’re benching him and sending him to his room until he learns a lesson. Denzel Mims is active, but none of these receivers in the Jets hangar make sense. Breece Hall is taking all the action, and Zach Wilson‘s best game is with Stifler’s mom. You can probably drop Moore because this situation might be at an impasse for a while. 

D’Andre Swift / Josh Reynolds / Amon-Ra St. BrownEverybody’s favorite and totally expected trio of fantasy All-Stars seem like they’re lined up for starts this Sunday. Josh Reynolds is available in a ton of leagues and is a fantasy WR2 on the year, so he’s actually a freebie start for most of you. Lose Moore? Use Reynolds wrap to save your team! 

Carson WentzGonna miss a month but whatever; Ron Riviera was doing everything possible to get him out of the starting QB spot. Taylor Heinicke takes command, which might be a welcome relief for Terry McLaurin fans. Heinicke is a hugely variant QB, capable of putting up big number games and disappearing faster than hot wontons put in front of me. I’d generally avoid the Commanders offense — I mean, haven’t we been doing that for years? — but would advocate for a couple extra contrarian DFS stacks with Taylor Heinicke / Terry McLaurin / Curtis Samuel this week. 

Mac JonesAnkle seems to be back on those straw legs and the scarecrow is ready to stand in the pocket again. Jones returning behind center seems somewhat likely this week, although that’s not notable for your fantasy team. What’s more notable is that Bailey Zappe — the only quarterback in the Super Bowl era to start out his career with 2 wins and a 100+ QB rating — would be sitting, and our hopes of a Jakobi Meyers revolution are dashed. The Patriots play Monday Night against the Bears, and there’s every chance that Belichick gets up by a touchdown and just has Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson run 50 times. Oh, Harris is back too, but they’ve always been a 1A/1B combo so don’t be surprised if they go back to being, you know, a committee. Wasn’t this blurb supposed to be about Mac Jones? Who edits these things? Oh, c’est moi. Sit those Patriots receivers this week — so many bad signs, you’d imagine this was an M. Night Shyamalan movie. 

Melvin Gordon: You ever lose your job in the middle of the day? Like, you’re sitting there at the widget maker, doing your widgety best, and suddenly the maker just stops. Yet you sit there, waiting for widgets. Bob across from you gets widgets. Stacy sitting next to you? Widgets everywhere. But you — you’re just standing there. Melvin Gordon — the guy who was splitting time with Javonte Williams — suddenly got demoted below Latavius Murray last week. Murray hadn’t even played a down for the Broncos and suddenly he was King Shirt, out-fashioning our favorite RB2 (that’s MelGor, bee-tee-dubya). Gordon got the media-friendly “he’s our guy” statement but that’s pretty meaningless. The Broncos were already a fantasy nightmare, and now DangeRuss has a Subway commercial where he’s eating the wrapper. [puking sounds] This is so bad I’m gonna tell you to take a backup Panthers RB: If you need a RB, D’Onta Foreman or Kenyan Drake can get you through the week. 

Cam AkersAfter a “football issue” benched him last week, it seems like every alphabet site thinks Akers is destined to be traded. The Rams are on BYE this week, but it looks like Cam Akers is useless for your fantasy team until after the trade deadline. Maybe you can grab Darrell Henderson, who is still available in 30% of leagues, and stash him on BYE. 

All right friends and fans! Let me know your questions going into week 7! Have an awesome weekend, and I’ll see you on Monday.