Fantasy

Week 7 Fantasy Football Recap/Look Ahead

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Blount not fading away

Once Tom Brady returned from his four-game suspension, the prevailing thought was LeGarrette Blount would immediately lose fantasy value.

Not so fast.

In New England’s last three games, Blount has scored four touchdowns, including a huge outing against a relatively soft Pittsburgh front. The Patriots’ primary power back chewed up 127 yards on 24 carries with two touchdowns against the team that cut him in November 2014.

Traditionally, Patriots running backs have been maddeningly inconsistent. And yes, James White (two catches on five targets for 32 yards and a touchdown) will have a role and may be the better bet long-term in PPR formats. But, Blount – the NFL’s fifth-leading rusher, by the way – should be considered a borderline RB1. Only David Johnson (146) has more carries than Blount’s 143.

Montgomery granted RB eligibility

ESPN’s Matthew Berry tweeted Monday afternoon that Green Bay’s Ty Montgomery will be granted eligibility at both running back and wide receiver for the remainder of the 2016 season.

Of the muddled mess that is the Green Bay backfield, I’d prefer Montgomery’s ability to catch passes and create mismatches on short routes. Knile Davis still needs to learn the playbook, and Don Jackson carried the ball only twice for 6 yards.

Montgomery’s true value comes in deeper PPR formats, but he should be rostered for leagues of 10-12 teams. Against the Bears, the second-year man from Stanford caught 10 balls for 66 yards in addition to 60 yards on the ground on just nine carries.

Booker outtouches Anderson

C.J. Anderson enjoyed a very successful Monday night outing with 106 rushing yards and a touchdown. However, rookie Devontae Booker continues to see a noticeably expanded role.

Booker played 35 snaps in the Broncos’ win over Houston compared to Anderson’s 28, according to Pro Football Focus’ Nate Jahnke. Not to mention, Booker, who was seemingly put in the doghouse after an opening-night fumble against Carolina, added 83 yards and a touchdown.

If Booker’s out there, he’s worth grabbing. Anderson averages 3.5 yards per carry, not good enough to stay in Gary Kubiak’s good graces for long.

Torrey Smith trade talk

Several media outlets reported late Monday that the Eagles and 49ers are discussing a potential deal involving wide receiver Torrey Smith ahead of the Nov. 1 trade deadline.

Smith, in the second year of a five-year, $40 million deal, has just 13 receptions on the season. Not all of that is his fault, however. Blaine Gabbert rarely looked his way, or anywhere outside of the hashmarks. And while Colin Kaepernick certainly possesses the arm talent to involve Smith, his accuracy leaves way too much to be desired.

Philadelphia acquired Dorial Green-Beckham from Tennessee via trade during the preseason. No Eagles wide receiver has more than 25 receptions or two touchdowns, although Jordan Matthews has seven catches of at least 20 yards.

Trades are notoriously fickle in the NFL, especially around the deadline, though this could be a rumor that has some legs. Chip Kelly constructed a sizable portion of the Philadelphia roster. One name to watch in return for San Francisco? Former first-round pick Nelson Agholor.

Both players will be readily available across most waiver wires, though neither should be considered priorities if and when a deal goes down.

Injury report

A warning to all fantasy owners, avoid starting players with hamstring injuries at all costs.

Sure, the Bills played it close to the vest in regards to LeSean McCoy’s health status this week. And Terrelle Pryor made it through Sunday’s game for Cleveland. But both players clearly were not ready for a full workload.

As for Week 8…

Ian Rapoport reported Monday afternoon that Jets quarterback Geno Smith will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL, thus all but certainly ending his tenure in the Big Apple. Ryan Fitzpatrick, the man who called out Jets management and coaches in a post-game presser, is expected to reclaim the starting role. Obviously, this is a boon for Brandon Marshall and Quincy Enunwa. The Jets’ ground game has been fleeting at best.

Tevin Coleman will likely sit out Atlanta’s home game with Green Bay. Devonta Freeman excelled when Coleman went out of the lineup for much of 2015, but the matchup is fairly gruesome. Green Bay possesses the No. 1 run defense in the NFL.

Meanwhile, Bears coach John Fox said Jay Cutler is cleared to return from a thumb injury in time for Monday’s road trip to Minnesota. Brian Hoyer was placed on injured reserve with a Avoid Cutler at all costs, but Alshon Jeffery owners should be excited. The ball’s coming his way again, regardless of how many defenders surround him.

Tyler Eifert made a somewhat unheralded debut in Cincinnati’s win over Cleveland, playing only 15 snaps. Marvin Lewis said his role will expand beyond the red zone and third down, both of which are favorable positions for Eifert to see his share of targets.

Arian Foster calls it a career

And finally, we salute Arian Foster for a fine NFL career.

Undrafted out of Tennessee and once regarded as the league’s most complete back, Foster announced his retirement at the age of 30 on Monday night. He returned to action two weeks ago for the Miami Dolphins, but Jay Ajayi’s consecutive 200-yard rushing efforts rendered him essentially useless.

A four-time Pro Bowl selection in eight years, Foster ran for 6,527 yards, added 2,346 more through the air and scored 88 touchdowns in his career.

Ajayi, shockingly now ranked sixth in the NFL in rushing, will be the bellcow in Miami going forward with Damien Williams – a touchdown scorer each of the last two weeks – spelling him with some additional value near the goal line.


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