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Lineup options were at a premium due to bye weeks and injuries this week, so let’s review Week 7 takeaways and preview Week 8…

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Lions at Ravens

Lamar Jackson is making his case for his second MVP. Lam Jack went 19/23 for 343 yards with three passing touchdowns and added 26 rushing yards with a TD against a Lions defense who are allowing the 13th fewest points against QBs. Gus Edwards rushed for 54 yards with a rushing TD and 80 receiving yards. Mark Andrews scored two receiving touchdowns with four grabs for 63 receiving yards.

Jared Goff struggled in an outdoor road game, which isn’t surprising, completing 33/53 for 284 yards and one interception. Detroit’s defense didn’t do the Lions’ offense any favors allowing 35 unanswered points through four quarters before the Lions’ first touchdown. Jahmyr Gibbs operated at the RB1, rushing 11 times for 68 yards with a rushing TD and added nine receptions for 58 yards on 10 targets. Amon-Ra St Brown led all WRs in Week 7 with 13 catches and 19 targets while totaling 102 receiving yards.

Takeaway:

  • Baltimore will look to continue their good fortunes on the road in the Battle of the Birds. Arizona allows the fifth-most points to QBs, third-most to RBs, eighth-most to WRs but the third fewest to TEs. Start your Ravens with confidence.
  • Back in the friendly confines of Ford Field, Detroit will host the Raiders. The Lions average 31 points at home, which is nearly 11 more than on the road. Vegas allows the 11th most points to RBs, seventh-most rushing yards to RBs, and the fourth most rushing TDs to RBs, making Gibbs an easy start with top-five potential in Week 8.

Bills at Patriots

New England came away with an upset victory against the Bills, led by Mac Jones’ performance of 25/30 for 272 yards with two passing TDs. Kendrick Bourne was the main beneficiary, with six catches for 63 yards and a TD. Ezekiel Elliot had more carries (11) than Rhamondre Stevenson (9) and ended up with 31 yards and a score. Stevenson was more effective, passing the ball with six receptions for 51 yards.

Josh Allen was great for fantasy yet again, throwing for 265 passing yards with two touchdowns and one interception while adding 17 rushing yards and a rushing TD. Stefon Diggs saw 12 targets, finishing with six grabs for 58 yards and a TD. Dalton Kincaid led the Bills with 75 receiving yards on eight catches.  James Cook paced the Bills rushing attack with 56 yards on 13 carries and added three catches for 46 yards and receiving score.

Takeaway:

  • Bills will have a short turnaround for a Thursday Night Football showdown against the visiting Buccaneers. Tampa Bay is one of two teams not to allow a rushing TD to a running back this season. Cook will look to change that in Week 8, as there has been a rushing score by an RB in five out of seven TNF games in 2023. Tampa Bay allows the seventh most points to WRs, making Diggs an obvious start, but Gabe Davis could have a big game.  
  • The Pats travel to South Beach for another divisional matchup against the Dolphins, who allow the eighth-most points to QBs and the 10th-most passing yards to QBs. Jones is only an option in two-QB leagues, but the matchup provides interesting starts for Bourne and Hunter Henry as the Pats will be playing catch up. Stevenson played well in the Week 2 matchup, and can see him having similar results based on the potential game script.  

Browns at Colts

Cleveland somehow outlasted the Colts in this seesaw matchup. Deshaun Watson started the game but left due to another injury. P.J. Walker finished the game while leading the Browns on the game-winning drive. Jerome Ford started the game with a 69-yard rushing TD but left the game with an ankle injury, finishing the game with 74 yards and two catches for 20 yards. Kareem Hunt scored the game-winning TD and tallied 10 rushing attempts for 31 yards and two scores. Elijah Moore had a Browns-high 59 receiving yards off seven targets, while Amari Cooper saw eight targets, totaling two catches for 22 yards against a Colt defense that allows the 11th most passing yards to WRs. TE David Njoku led all passing options with nine targets compiling five grabs for 54 yards.

Jonathan Taylor and Zack Moss each carried the ball 18 times, but it was Taylor who rushed more yards (75) and touchdowns (1) compared to Moss’s 57 yards. Gardner Minshew threw for 306 yards and two passing TDs. Josh Downs led all Colts WRs with five catches for 125 yards and one TD. Michael Pittman Jr secured a 75-yard passing TD.

Takeaway:  

  • If Ford misses time, Pierre Strong Jr. saw meaningful carries down the stretch and could be a viable waiver add. The Seahawks will host the Browns in Week 8, who allow the fewest rushing yards to RBs this season but allow the third-most points to WRs, making Cooper a nice bounce-back player in Week 8.
  • Indianapolis will host the Saints in Week 8, who allow the third-fewest points to RBs and just allowed the first rushing score by RB this season to Travis Etienne on TNF. Taylor and Moss should see volume with Minshew as QB but will be low-end RB2 with their committee approach. This was the first game JT handled double-digit rushing attempts, so perhaps more to come. Downs may be the top waiver add next week. Downs and Pittman make decent plays as the Saints allow the 12th most points to WRs.  

Steelers at Rams

The Steelers rushing game came alive in the fourth quarter to overcome the LA Rams. Najee Harris carried the ball 14 times for 53 yards with a rushing score, adding three grabs for 15 yards. Jaylen Warren rushed six times for 32 yards and a TD. Kenny Picket threw for 230 yards, with George Pickens catching five balls for 107 yards on a team-high eight targets. Diontae Johnson returned from the IR, hauling in five passes for 79 yards on six targets.

Puka Nacua reclaimed the top WR role after seeing 12 targets, securing eight catches for 154 yards. Cooper Kupp had a forgettable game drawing seven targets tallying two catches for 29 yards. Tutu Atwell caught the lone TD from Matthew Stafford, who finished with 231 passing yards with one interception. Due to Kyren Williams being placed on IR, Darrell Henderson Jr and Royce Freeman are the Rams RB committee. Henderson totaled 61 rushing yards and a TD on 18 carries, while Freeman rushed for 66 yards on 12 carries.

Takeaway:

  • Pittsburgh will host the Jaguars in Week 8. I have a feeling the Steelers passing game will showcase their potential as the Jags allow the sixth most points to QBs and 1tth most to WRs. Pickens and Johnson are solid WR2/3 plays. Jacksonville’s rushing defense is much better, being the eighth stingiest to RBs this season, making Harris an unexciting low-end RB2 due to his volume.  
  • LA Rams will have a stiffer test against the Cowboys’ defense in Jerry World, who allow the second-fewest points to WRs, the sixth-fewest to QBs, and the 12th-lowest to RBs. Both RBs are fine waiver wire adds if available for RB depth for the next three weeks. Puka and Kupp are automatic starters, no matter the matchup.

Chargers at Chiefs

We were graciously given another AFC West shootout, and it did not disappoint. Just when we thought Patrick Mahomes was slipping, he quickly reminded us of who he is. Mahomes finished as the highest-scoring QB in Week 7, completing 32/42 for 424 yards and four TDs with one interception. This marks his first 400-yard passing game of the season, and becomes the third QB (Herbert and Tagovailoa) to do so in 2023. Travis Kelce aided in Mahomes resurgent day by catching their 50th career touchdown together in the second quarter on National Tight End Day. The duos’ 50th TD marks the most in Chiefs history and fourth most in NFL history by a QB-TE tandem. Kelce also posted the highest scoring day for a TE in Week 8 with 12 receptions for 179 yards and one score on 13 targets. Kelce’s 179 receiving yards were the most yards by TE or WR in Week 7.

Rashee Rice drew the second most targets from Mahomes with six, finishing the game with five grabs for 60 yards and a TD. Isiah Pacheco rushed for 32 yards on 13 carries but caught four passes for 28 yards and a receiving touchdown. Pacheco has scored a TD or posted at least 90 all-purpose yards in five straight games.

Austin Ekeler played in his second game following his injury-stint, carrying the ball 14 times for 45 yards and catching one ball for one yard. Joshua Kelley outpaced Ekeler with 75 yards and a rushing score off seven attempts.  Justin Herbert threw for 259 yards with one TD and two interceptions. Joshua Palmer led the Charger WR corps with five catches for 133 yards on seven targets, while Keenan Allen tallied four receptions for 55 yards on nine targets.

Takeaway:

  • The Chiefs will have a Week 6 rematch against the Broncos in Mile High. Start the usual suspects, including the rising Rice.
  • LA Chargers will host the Bears on Sunday Night Football in what should allow many points for the home team. The Bears allow the second-most TDs, the third-most passing yards, and the fourth-most points to QBs. Oddly Chicago allows the 13-most points to WRs but allows the most passing yards and most passing TDs to RBs this season. Get the Chargers in your lineup.   

Dolphins at Eagles

The Eagles soared over the Dolphins on Sunday Night Football, led by A.J Brown, who scored the most WR points in Week 7 with 10 catches for 137 yards and a touchdown. Brown has tallied at least 125 receiving yards in five straight games. Jalen Hurts completed 23/31 for 279 yards with two passing TDs and one interception while adding 25 rushing yards and a score. Dallas Goedert is looking like the number two passing option for Hurts after finishing with five grabs for 77 yards and one TD on five targets. D’Andre Swift carried the ball 15 times for 62 yards, while Kenneth Gainwell toted the ball eight times and got the rushing score.

Miami did not play to their standards, as Tua Tagovailoa threw for only 216 yards with one TD and one interception. Tyreek Hill produced 11 catches for 88 yards and one TD off 15 targets. Jaylen Waddle left with a back injury but returned to the game posting six receptions for 63 yards on six targets. Raheem Mostert paced the rushing game with nine carries for 45 yards.

Takeaway:

  • The Eagles will fly to Washington, DC, which allows the third-most points to QBs and the second-most rushing yards to QBs. The Commanders allow the second-most points to and second-most receiving yards to WRs but all the 13th fewest points to RBs. Another no-brainer starts with Philly players.
  • Miami will host the Patriots in a Week 2 rematch which held Tua and Tyreek under their season averages but allowed Mostert to run all over them for 121 yards and one score. The Pats are a middle-of-the-pack fantasy defense, so look for an angry Dolphins team to score points.

Notables:

  • D’Onta Foreman was RB1 for Week 8 with 16 carries for 89 yards with two rushing scores and three catches for 31 yards with a receiving TD. Bears will face the LA Chargers in Week 8, who allows the 12th most points to RBs should Foreman start again.
  • Bijan Robinson caught an illness before the game before it was announced at halftime. Tyler Allgeier led the Falcons’ rushing attack with 21 carries for 59 yards and three catches for 53 yards. Thanks, Arthur Smith.  
  • Saquon Barkley rushed the ball 21 times for 77 yards and added three catches for 41 yards and a score. Barkley has seen 20+ carries in back-to-back games and will face the Jets, who allow the 10th most rushing yards to RBs this season.
  • Darren Waller had his best game as a Giant with seven receptions for 98 yards and a TD. He’ll look to continue the good times next week as the Jets allow the second-most points to TEs.
  • Jakobi Meyers drew more targets (13) than Davante Adams (12). Meyers finished with seven catches for 50 yards and a TD, while Adams dropped a TD, catching seven passes for 57 yards. Meyers has caught TDs in three consecutive games and has outscored Adams over that stretch.  
  • Aaron Jones returned for the Packers, but it was AJ Dillon who led the Pack rushing attack with 15 carries for 61 yards. Dillon also led the Packers in receiving with 34 yards. Green Bay gets a plus matchup against the Vikings.
  • DK Metcalf was a late scratch, and rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba took advantage with four catches for 63 yards and a TD on a team-high seven targets. Seattle will host the Browns, who allow the second-fewest points to WRs.
  • Kenneth Walker III was the only RB to rush for over 100 yards in Week 7, with 105 yards on 26 carries and added six receiving yards.

Bye Week Update

 🚨 Red Zone TD Scoring Percentage Update 🚨 

  • Miami leads the NFL with 78%. Rounding out the top 10 are Buffalo (71%), New England (70%), SF (69%), New England (67%), Cleveland (64%), LA Chargers (63%), Baltimore (63%), Chicago (63%), Green Bay (63%), Carolina (60%), and LA Rams (60%).
  • The bottom five teams with Red Zone TD Scoring Percentages are the NY Jets (29%), NY Giants (33%), Tennessee (33%), Tampa Bay (38%), and New Orleans (38%).

Thanks for your time checking out Week 7 takeaways. While you are here, check out more fantasy goodness at Razzball. Follow me on Twitter/X @Jefferson__21

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