What We Saw: Week 7

The QB List staff catches you up on everything you missed during Week 7 of the 2020 NFL season.

Lions @ Falcons

 

Matthew Stafford threw his first touchdown pass of the day on the last play of the day as the Detroit Lions stole away a remarkable 23-22 victory from the Atlanta Falcons, who only had themselves to blame once again. In what was an otherwise dour affair at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta an inspired Stafford marched down the field with just 1:04 left on the clock and connected with tight end T.J. Hockenson in the end zone for the game-winning play. It could have (and should have) been different if Falcons running back Todd Gurley had managed to keep himself out of the endzone on this play, which resulted in a touchdown but left too much time on the clock for Stafford to stage his 4th quarter comeback win. The sight of the Lions defense celebrating the touchdown was comical, to say the least.

 

 

Detroit Lions

 

Quarterback

 

Matthew Stafford: 25/36, 340 yards, 1 TD, 2 sacks | 1 carry, 8 yards

 

The promise of a return to the kind of form he showed at the start of last season has haunted Matthew Stafford (18.40 fantasy points on Yahoo!) so far this campaign. Another sluggish display against this poor Falcons defense did nothing to encourage fantasy owners who showed faith in him coming off an injury. If not for the final drive, owners would have been looking to the waiver wire for a quarterback for next week. Stafford wasn’t helped by another pedestrian display from his rushing attack, and despite sharing time of possession evenly, 4 out of the Lions’ 10 drives failed to yield more than 10 yards. He did come through with a clutch final drive that reminded us just what he is capable of.

 

  

Running Backs

 

Adrian Peterson: 11 carries, 29 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 1 yard

D’Andre Swift: 9 carries, 27 yards, 1 TD | 5 targets, 4 receptions, 21 yards

 

Just hand the rushing game over to D’Andre Swift (14.80 fantasy points) already, geez! Fantasy owners continue to be frustrated by Adrian Peterson (4.00 fantasy points) receiving the majority of the carries in Detroit, and I have no idea why. The aging Peterson is still a decent enough runner but the Lions picked Swift in the second round and should be featuring the dynamic talent out of Georgia in this offense. Swift showed his prowess in the redzone once again by notching his 3rd TD in the last 2 games, as seen below:

 

 

Swift is a solid low RB2 and flex option going forward.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Kenny Golladay: 7 targets, 6 receptions, 114 yards

Marvin Jones Jr.: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 80 yards

Danny Amendola: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 62 yards

T.J. Hockenson: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 59 yards, 1 TD

 

The Lions’ conservative gameplan meant that Stafford relied on his two primary receivers most for most of the day – Kenny Golladay (17.40 fantasy points) and Marvin Jones (13.00 fantasy points) saw a half of the targets (13) come their way. We know what we are getting with Golladay, a No.1 receiver with top 10 ability and promise. This was only his 4th appearance of the season but he has either scored a touchdown or eclipsed 100 yards in each of those games. The trick for Golladay is to put them together. 100+ yards and a score changes the landscape for this offense. On the other hand, Jones has been a huge disappointment this season, especially given Golladay has missed 2 games. Plagued by drops, Jones has always been a steady if not spectacular fantasy asset. This was his best showing of the season but there is no guarantee that he builds on this going forward.

The big win for fantasy owners was that last-second grab by T.J. Hockenson (16.90 fantasy points). Hockenson has now scored 4 TDs in 6 games and currently sits as the TE12 after this week’s games. Not only is he the 2nd or 3rd favorite option for Stafford, but he sees a lot of targets in the red zone.

 

 

Atlanta Falcons

 

Quarterback

 

Matt Ryan: 31/42, 338 yards, 1 TD, 1 fumble lost

 

After a huge day against the Vikings last time out, fantasy owners were likely fooled into thinking it would happen all over again for Matt Ryan (17.52 fantasy points). Wrong! Ryan did most of the leg work for his side but it was on the ground where the touchdowns happened. He still managed to connect with Calvin Ridley for a second-time lucky score after a first attempt was chalked off as Ridley stepped out of bounds in the endzone. Ryan remains a low-end QB1.

 

 

Running Backs

 

Todd Gurley: 23 carries, 63 yards, 2 TDs | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 19 yards

Brian Hill: 2 carries, 3 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 27 yards

 

It was a bittersweet week for lead back Todd Gurley (22.20 fantasy points) – he was productive as a rusher and hit paydirt twice, however, it was his gaffe for the second that left the door ajar for Stafford to complete a stunning comeback victory for the Lions. Gurley has provided good value as a runner this season, looking more like the commodity that the Rams thought would lead their backfield for years to come. He is also seeing plenty of carries despite the Falcons often falling behind in games. It was encouraging to see Gurley being trusted on 3rd & Goal at the goal line too.

 

 

Brian Hill and Ito Smith have both struggled with fumbles and are fantasy irrelevant in Atlanta.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Julio Jones: 9 targets, 8 receptions, 97 yards

Calvin Ridley: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 69 yards, 1 TD

Hayden Hurst: 7 targets, 6 receptions, 68 yards

Russell Gage: 7 targets, 6 receptions, 54 yards

Brandon Powell: 2 targets, 1 reception, 4 yards

 

The Falcons have 4 legitimate receiving options that should be started every week in fantasy. Led by the mercurial Julio Jones (17.70 fantasy points), who just fell short of yet another 100-yard performance, and the next-greatest-NFL-receiver in Calvin Ridley (19.90 fantasy points), this passing game is both exciting and productive. In fact, Ridley is the current No.1 fantasy receiver in Yahoo! leagues. Another score today, his 6th of the year, cements his place as the must-have receiver in this offense, officially transplanting the veteran Jones. Want to know why? Watch this!

 

 

Russell Gage (11.40 fantasy points) is the perfect flex option for fantasy owners. He is averaging over 6 targets a game this season, something that owners can only dream of in their flex. He was once again efficient out of the slot today. But, let’s show some love to unheralded tight end Hayden Hurst (12.80 fantasy points) on National Tight Ends Day! The forgotten man in Baltimore after the emergence of Mark Andrews, Hurst has revived his career as a fantasy-relevant tight end this season with the Falcons. Hurst is currently a top 10 TE and his ability to make plays out of nothing was on show once again today. He is a solid, every week start at the position.

 

 

— Benjamin Haller (@benjaminhaller1 on Twitter)

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