Rob Sullivan | Dec 7, 2018 | 0
Week 7 Studs and Duds, Carlos Hyde, David Njoku, Baker Mayfield
Lengthy intros are boring, and frankly, you don’t care. So…
Baker Mayfield at TB
If you’ve been keeping up with me over the past few weeks, you know I haven’t been able to shut up about Baker. It hasn’t really come to fruition for him yet but he’s been dealing with a 9.8% drop rate this season. To give you some perspective, the next highest drop rate comes in at 6.8% for Blake Bortles and the Jaguars. There will be some positive regression for him there but regardless of the drops, I’m all in on Mayfield’s breakout coming this week against a Bucs defense that continues to prove it’s ineptitude against the pass every week. Allowing an average of 28.6 fantasy points per game, Tampa Bay remains the undisputed champion of the NFL in terms of worst defense against the quarterback position. Mayfield has QB1 written all over him this week.
Frank Gore vs. DET
Old man river simply will not go away quietly. He’s sharing the backfield work with Kenyan Drake but the carries have favored Gore in recent weeks. Over the past three games, Gore has out-carried Drake 38 to 22. He hasn’t scored but he’s gaining 5.4 yards per tote and has the trust of Adam Gase. After Drake’s miserable fumble on the goalline last week that should have cost the Dolphins the game, I think Gore will get the first crack at the goal line opportunities on Sunday. With Brock Osweiler under center again, I expect Miami will want pound the ball and control the clock if at all possible. I have Gore finishing as an RB2 against a porous Lions run defense this week at home.
Willie Snead at NO
I love Big Willie Style going up against his former team this week. I know he’s the number three receiver in Baltimore but it’s not by much. His 43 targets trail John Brown by just 4 and Michael Crabtree by 12. He’s also been Joe Flacco’s most efficient target this season with a 69.7% catch rate. It does have a lot to do with his average depth of target (aDOT) being only 8.5 yards (John Brown has an absurd 19.7 aDOT) but he’s made the most of it with a team-leading 122 yards after the catch. The Saints defense has been great against the run this season, allowing a measly 3.1 yards per carry. That sets the table nicely for the short passing game Snead has been relied upon in. I also think the Ravens could deliberately attack the Saints with Snead in typical revenge game fashion. I like him for 6/65/1 at home this week.
David Njoku at TB
See Baker Mayfield above. It should come as no surprise that the worst team in the league against quarterbacks also rates as the worst against TEs. They’ve been torched by Austin Hooper, Trey Burton, Vance McDonald, and Zach Ertz. The only TE the Buccaneers have faced this season that hasn’t exceeded 15 fantasy points in PPR scoring was Ben Watson in Week 1. Njoku is also shaping up to be Baker Mayfield’s favorite target. In games Mayfield has started, Njoku has commanded and team-high 23% target share. He’s a top-5 TE this week.
Drew Brees at BAL
Brees is a first ballot Hall of Famer but for whatever reason, he has always had his struggles in outdoor games. The one game the Saints have played out in the elements this year was against the Giants and he posted 8.58 point turd. Well, this game is going to be played outdoors and it’s against arguably the best defense in the league. The Ravens are currently ranked number one in total defense and allowing a stingy 12.8 points per game. Brees needs to be riding the pine Week 7.
Carlos Hyde at TB
I know what you’re thinking, “How is Hyde a dud if the Buccaneers defense is so bad?”. Their pass defense is atrocious but their run defense has actually held up quite well. They’ve held opposing rushers to 3.8 yards per carry this season, which is tied for 5th best in the NFL. It’s hard to say if this stat is a trend or a mirage but the numbers don’t lie. Running backs have still fared pretty well against Tampa but it has been through the air, not on the ground that they’ve done the most damage. Hyde is a fine receiver but the Browns haven’t really used him in that capacity this season. He has only caught six balls this season for 29 yards. If Cleveland doesn’t get up and stay up, this could easily turn into a Duke Johnson game.
DeAndre Hopkins at JAX
What an unfortunate draw for the Texans…. They get a Jacksonville team that that was just humiliated by the Cowboys and in desperate need of a win if they want to make another playoff appearance. This defense didn’t show their true colors last week and they are going to be out for blood on their home turf against a division rival. Jalen Ramsey will be highly motivated to make an impression on Sunday, and I don’t like that one bit for DeAndre Hopkins. If Deshaun Watson even has enough time to get rid of the ball, it’s not going far. Keep your distance from Hopkins in DFS against the Jags.
Corey Davis at LAC (In London)
I’m headed straight back to the Corey Davis well to drown myself in the melancholy his fantasy owners are experiencing. Again, he’s the focal point for opposing defenses and it’s showing up on the stat sheet. It’s especially evident when the opposing defense has a shutdown corner that can be attached to Davis’ hip. That’s going to be the case once again this week in London. Casey Hayward is one of the best cornerbacks in the league and the Chargers can probably afford to roll a safety over the top of him for the majority of the game as well. Don’t do it. Just don’t.