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An important aspect of fantasy football is getting ahead of the curve in player values. Dave Kluge has listed and highlighted some players who show a change in value and lets you know what to do with them in Week 7's "Three Up, Three Down" article.
Make no doubt about it; the Bears' offense is atrocious. But Justin Fields has been the QB10 over the last two weeks. Over that stretch, he has 20 rushes for 135 yards. In Week 5, he had a 52-yard touchdown run negated on an iffy penalty call that would have padded his output even more. Last week, a perfectly-thrown ball into the end zone was juggled by Darnell Mooney and called just short on the goal line. Leaving those numbers on the table make Fields a sneaky buy-low target in fantasy leagues. By now, we know how much rushing numbers can raise the floor and ceiling for a fantasy quarterback. Whether you want to look back as far as Tim Tebow or as recently as 2021 Jalen Hurts, a quarterback who compiles rushing stats typically fares well in fantasy. Regardless of what he does through the air, his rushing output has been historically elite. He is on pace for 800 rushing yards this season, a mark that only seven quarterbacks in NFL history have eclipsed. In his first five starts as a rookie, Fields had a total of 23 rushing attempts. Matt Nagy tried fitting a square peg into a round hole by asking Fields to stand in the pocket and run the offense as a pure passer. Then, in his sixth and seventh starts, Fields was unleashed for 18 rushing attempts for 148 yards. He was the QB3 over that stretch before getting injured the following week. It seems as if Matt Eberflus is also committed to letting Fields use his legs now, setting the stage for another fantasy explosion. The next couple of weeks will be a struggle as Chicago faces off against New England and Dallas. But after that, the schedule opens up to Miami, Detroit, and Atlanta. If Fields can maintain his rushing output through Week 8, he’ll be a surefire QB1 heading into the softer section of his schedule.
With rumors swirling that Cam Akers’ time in Los Angeles has come to an end, Darrell Henderson is the obvious and immediate benefactor. Cam Akers was on last week’s “Three Down” section, and it’s time to imagine what this backfield could look like going forward. The Rams are on bye this week and have been tied to rumors regarding Christian McCaffrey. It’s possible that a deal will get done before Week 8. But with just $4.7M in cap space and $16M tied to McCaffrey, it’s hard to envision them moving around enough cap in-season to accommodate that. The likely scenario is that we see Henderson take on a more significant workload, just like he did last week. Henderson saw a 48.7% usage rate last week, similar to what he saw last year before getting injured. If you recall, Henderson was the lead back to start the 2021 season. From Weeks 1-12 (before his injury), Henderson averaged 15.7 fantasy points per game, good enough to be RB14 in points per game. Sean McVay likes to utilize a committee of backs, and that should be expected going forward. Malcolm Brown will be an annoying thorn in the side. Rookie Kyren Williams will be returning from an ankle injury at some point. But given Henderson’s history with the team, he projects to take on the majority of the duties. He’s an underrated pass-catcher who currently leads the team in yards per carry. Expect him to see around 15 touches per game, giving you a reasonable RB2 weekly floor with the occasional boom week.
In Week 1, WanDale Robinson saw just one target and five total receiving yards before picking up a knee injury. He missed every game until Sunday’s Week 6 matchup. Although he played just 23 percent of the team’s snaps, his athleticism pops off the screen. The Giants are desperate for an offensive playmaker to pair alongside Saquon Barkley. Sterling Shepard is out for the year. Kadarius Toney has played 35 total snaps all season. Kenny Golladay has caught two-of-six targets on the year. Outside of Barkley, the team has been leaning on Richie James and David Sills V as weekly contributors at the wide receiver position. We’re working with such a small sample size that using numbers to paint a picture feels disingenuous. Sure, Robinson is leading the team in route participation. His yards per route run are nearly double that of the next closest on the team. But really, this is a gut call. Robinson is a shifty rookie who dominated at Kentucky. He’s got a knack for finding the end zone and is extremely hard to bring down in the open field. He ran a 4.44 40-yard dash at the combine. As the NFL starts to accommodate smaller receivers, Robinson could quickly carve out a meaningful role on a roster decrepit of high-end talent. With a draft selection in the early-second round, it’s evident that the Giants want to find a way to use his skillset in this offense. While Barkley will remain the team’s primary weapon, expect to see heavier doses of Robinson in the Giants’ future game plans.
This section pains me to write. Antonio Gibson is one of my favorite players in the league, and I believe he is the best running back in Washington. After Week 1, I was thrilled to feature Gibson in this column’s “Three Up” section. However, that game marked season-highs for Gibson across the board: carries, rushing yards, targets, receptions, and receiving yards. It has been all downhill since. And now, with Brian Robinson back in the fold, expect Gibson’s path to a significant workload to be even bumpier. Gibson saw a season-low in snap percentage and totaled just eight touches in Robinson’s Week 6 debut. Despite being twice as efficient with his touches on the ground, Gibson saw less than a third of Robinson’s carries. There’s a chance that head coach Ron Rivera gave Robinson the starting role and heavy workload as a ceremonious act, considering Robinson's obstacles this year. But with Robinson, Gibson, and J.D. McKissic all vying for touches on a below-average offense, fantasy production will be hard to rely on for any running backs. After seeing Gibson’s usage from Thursday night, it’s tough to trust him in your lineups for Week 7, even in a nice matchup against Green Bay.
There’s a lot to get excited about with Romeo Doubs, and those who snared him off the waiver wire already got a handful of usable weeks from him. But the fourth-round rookie appears to be trending down, and you can probably still get a haul for him on the trade market. Looking at the raw target numbers would make you think that Doubs is on the verge of a breakout. Over the last four weeks, he has seen eight, eight, five, and nine targets. But beyond his 21.3-point Week 3 performance, Doubs has yet to crack 50 yards in any of his five other games. He’s second on the team in target share behind Allen Lazard, but his targets are about as low-value as targets can be. He isn’t being trusted downfield and hasn’t seen a red-zone target in two straight weeks. When looking at yards per reception and average depths of targets, Doubs and fellow rookie Christian Watson rank at the bottom among Packers’ wide receivers. Meanwhile, Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb see the high-quality targets downfield that turn into meaningful fantasy points. Doubs’ role should produce plenty of yards after contact, but he’s also struggling with that, picking up just 5.4 yards after the catch per reception. And considering his short target depth, his 68.4-percent catch rate leaves plenty to be desired. Doubs might fetch you an RB2 on the trade market, and I’d recommend taking that. Doubs will assuredly have a few more decent games this season, but his weekly floor is extremely shaky, and Doubs can’t be relied on in fantasy lineups at the moment.
Jets wide receivers
Joe Flacco attempted 51.7 passes per game in his three-game stint as the Jets’ quarterback. In the three games with Zach Wilson at the helm, they are attempting just 25 per game. That dip in volume has rendered every wide receiver on the Jets useless. Corey Davis is putting up the best numbers of the bunch as WR34, propping that production up with a Week 4 touchdown. After that, Braxton Berrios ranks WR54. Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore sit all the way down at WR75 and WR83. However, the team has yet to lose a game. Their strength is on the defensive end of the ball. And with Wilson under center, Robert Saleh seems content to run the offense through Breece Hall. From a dynasty standpoint, there are no concerns with Wilson or Moore. They are both young and talented wide receivers who will produce eventually. But for the remainder of this year, the outlook is getting bleak. At this point, it’s probably best to move Wilson in a trade if possible. Moore is droppable. Despite leading the team in scoring with Wilson, Davis has averaged just 4.7 targets per game with Wilson. There’s no room for that type of usage on most fantasy rosters. There isn’t a wide receiver on the Jets that you can feel comfortable starting, and depending on how deep your league is, they are all borderline droppable as we head into more bye weeks.