Is It Legit? Week 7: Slowly but Surely
(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
Is It Legit? Week 7
It’s Week 7 and I have realized why putting together this list is getting more and more difficult! I think coaches are slowly getting smarter. Sure, there are still teams, like the Buccaneers, Dolphins, and 49ers who still split their carries among their running backs, however the smart coaches have decided to pick one running back to carry the team. The Colts, Lions, and Texans all had successful weeks and it was largely because they finally STOPPED SPLITTING CARRIES. They gave their starting running backs the keys to the game and it undeniably paid off. This theory also holds true, for the most part, in the passing game. There have been significantly less break-out weeks because teams are relying on their stars to rack up 7-10 receptions a game. This all might have to do with the fact that defenses are largely nonexistent this year and those with talent on offense are able to shine, but I believe that my selections for this list will continually get slimmer. Without further ado, the Week 7 shockers:
Tyrell Williams (Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Chargers)
One could argue that Tyrell Williams should have been on this list last week, however I held off on writing about him because it was his first week of true fantasy production. After back to back impressive weeks I decided it was time. Last week, he scored two touchdowns, his first appearance in the end zone since Week 1 against the Chiefs, and yesterday he added another score. Each of the last four weeks, Williams has caught at least 3 passes. It seems that in the last two weeks, they are running him for deeper route concepts; this has allowed for his increase in fantasy production. With all of that being said, he is still 4th on the team in targets which makes this two week tear fairly unsustainable. Williams cannot be played as a consistent wide receiver, but if you need to gamble on someone to find some points, he is not a bad option.
Trey Burton (Tight End, Chicago Bears)
Another week, another Bears player to write about. The last three weeks the Bears have played, one of their players has made an appearance in this list. In Week 4, I wrote about Tarik Cohen, whose production has not wavered. Last week I wrote about Taylor Gabriel, who the Patriots took out of the game yesterday. This week it is Trey Burton‘s turn, who shredded the Patriots for 9 receptions, 126 yards and a touchdown. In a year where tight end play is weak, Burton is a solid starter due to his touchdown consistency. Although he is 4th on the team in targets, he is their leader in touchdowns; he has a touchdown in each of the team’s last three games. Start him if you have him.
Nick Chubb (Running Back, Cleveland Browns)
After the Browns traded their starting running back, Carlos Hyde, they bumped their 2nd round draft pick to the top of the depth chart. This was absolutely fantastic news for Nick Chubb owners who had stashed him for the past few weeks, and disappointing news for Hyde owners who I had told to play him in confidence. From this point forward, Chubb will be a regular top 10 running back in non-PPR leagues and top 15 in PPR leagues. If he could learn how to catch, he would be a 3-down back on a team that is 4th in the league in rushing. That would vault him in to the top 10 in every ranking that exists, but for now, he can be the steal of your league.
Tajae Sharpe (Wide Receiver, Tennessee Titans)
Let me start by saying I hate the Titans’ offense. Tajae Sharpe finished the game with 7 receptions for 101 yards, but they have been the most frustrating team to try and figure out. I have decided it is impossible. This season, Marcus Mariota and Blaine Gabbert have combined to throw for 4 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. The team only has 3 rushing touchdowns. I do not understand how they win any games. Corey Davis, the team’s leading receiver, has been thrown to twice as many times as anyone not named Dion Lewis, but he has only caught 54% of those targets. What I am saying is, STAY AWAY. Even though Tajae Sharpe had a solid day, it is impossible to predict what Titans offense shows up.
The “My Coach Finally Played Me and Not That Other Guy” Group
Coaches have slowly but surely, figured out that if your best players are actually on the field, and they are more involved than their backups, your team might be better.
Marlon Mack (Running Back, Indianapolis Colts): 19 rush, 126 yds, 1 TD. 2 rec, 33 yds, 1 TD
Lamar Miller (Running Back, Houston Texans): 22 rush, 100 yds, 1 TD
Kerryon Johnson (Running Back, Detroit Lions): 19 rush, 158 yds. 2 rec, 21 yds
Mack had been hurt much of the year, however in the games he has been active, the Colts continually spread the ball between their three different running backs. Mack averages 6.1 yards per carry, and in just 3 games that he has played, leads his team in rushing. If you picked him up, or waited his injury out, lucky you.
Miller shined this weekend with a season-high, 22 carries. Prior to yesterday, he had never rushed more than 15 times in a game, and thus far, he had not been significantly more successful than Alfred Blue when carrying the ball. However, if they continue to give him the ball, he will produce far better than Blue. Miller has a significantly higher ceiling and should get the bulk of the carries.
Johnson is infinitely more talented than LeGarrette Blount. I have absolutely no idea why Johnson has just 12 more carries than Blount, but he is averaging 6.4 ypc to Blount’s 2.9. Keep Blount on the sidelines. Please.