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Fantasy Football Start'Em, Sit'Em: Week 7

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Saturday, October 23rd

The decision on which player to start, or sit, largely comes down to the options on your roster (and/or possibly the players available on your league's waiver wire).

As an example, Derek Carr is listed below as a "start" for Week 7. And I'd certainly be comfortable going into Week 7 with him as my starting quarterback.

Then again, Carr may be a "sit" for your team.

In other words, if you roster both Patrick Mahomes and Carr, you should start Mahomes and, in turn, bench Carr.

For a more direct answer on whether we would start Player X over Player Y, check our Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings. Instead of making those direct comparisons, the goal here is to highlight players that we like, or dislike, for the week.

Week 7 Fantasy Football QB Start'em, Sit'em

Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders (vs. PHI)

Bouncing back from a couple of modest outings, Carr threw for 341 yards and two touchdowns against the Denver Broncos in Week 6. It was the fourth time in six games where Carr threw for more than 340 yards and multiple touchdowns. Entering Week 7, Carr ranks second in the NFL in passing yardage (1,946, 324.3/G).

With his bounce-back performance last week, Carr has now finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in four games this season. Carr is one of just six quarterbacks to have as many QB1 performances this season.

Based on implied totals from Vegas odds, the Raiders are projected to score the eighth-most points in Week 7. Given that there are six teams on bye including top quarterback options like Josh Allen, Dak Prescott and Justin Herbert, Carr sits inside the top 10 of my weekly fantasy quarterback rankings.

Continue reading our Week 7 Fantasy Football QB Start'em, Sit'em

Week 7 Fantasy Football RB Start'em, Sit'em

Darrell Henderson Jr., Los Angeles Rams (vs. DET)

For the majority of fantasy managers, Henderson has become an every-week starter regardless of matchup. In our Rest-of-Season (ROS) Fantasy Football Rankings, Henderson is the RB14.

Some of the running backs on bye this week include Austin Ekeler, Najee Harris, Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott and more. A week of rest for those elite backs means that Henderson catapults into our top three with a mouth-watering matchup against the Detroit Lions.

Favored by more than two touchdowns at home, the Rams should be feeding Henderson all of the touches that he can handle. In fact, it would not be a shock for Sony Michel to get a flex-viable volume of touches in garbage time.

In a 27-point win on Sunday, Henderson had a season-high 23 touches, but he has a minimum of 16 touches in every game that he has appeared. Yet to finish any worse than RB19 in half-PPR scoring, Henderson ranks top 12 in fantasy points despite missing a game this season.

In addition to having the week's highest implied total, the Lions have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. The Lions have allowed a league-high 12 touchdowns to opposing running backs, a league-high 93.1% catch rate, 9.44 Y/R (third-most) and 4.58 YPC (eighth-most). Regardless of how you slice it, this matchup gives Henderson RB1 overall upside.

[Note: If you roster Henderson, the good news is the Rams have another dream matchup (Houston Texans) in Week 8.]

Continue reading our Week 7 Fantasy Football RB Start'em, Sit'em

Week 7 Fantasy Football WR Start'em, Sit'em

Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins (vs. ATL)

Waddle had the best game of his young career last week in London. The first-round rookie converted 10-of-13 targets into a career-high 70 yards and scored his second and third NFL touchdowns.

Especially if DeVante Parker misses another week, Waddle should be peppered with as many targets as he can handle. The Atlanta Falcons have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.

Continue reading our Week 7 Fantasy Football WR Start'em, Sit'em

Week 7 Fantasy Football TE Start'em, Sit'em

Ricky Seals-Jones, Washington Football Team (at GB)

Topping our list of fantasy football waiver wire options at tight end, Seals-Jones is still only rostered in 50% of Yahoo! leagues as of Saturday morning. If you still need a bye-week replacement, RSJ could be a viable option.

Against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6, Seals-Jones had four catches for 58 yards and a score on six targets. It was his second consecutive solid performance with Logan Thomas on IR. In those two games, Seals-Jones almost never came off the field with 99% and 100% snap rates, respectively, and had a minimum of 15% target shares in both games.

The Green Bay Packers have allowed three top-five fantasy TE performances this season -- Juwan Johnson (Week 1, TE5), T.J. Hockenson (Week 2, TE3) and George Kittle (Week 3, TE4). As we head into a week with six teams on bye, RSJ is a plug-and-play option for at least one more week.

Continue reading our Week 7 Fantasy Football TE Start'em, Sit'em

2021 NFL Power Rankings: Week 7

Updated: Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will update our consensus NFL Power Rankings from a variety of national sites.

Below you will find a table of our NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 7, sorted by their average ranking. The table also lists their respective rankings at various sites.

+ Previous: 2021 NFL Power Rankings: Week 6

[Note: Positive number in Change column = week-over-week improvement in ranking. Negative number = week-over-week decline.]

RankTeamRecordAvg.Chg.ESPNNFLThe
Athletic
CBSUSA
Today
1Arizona Cardinals6-01+0.411111
2Tampa Bay Buccaneers5-13.2+0.643243
3Los Angeles Rams5-13.6+0.637332
4Buffalo Bills4-24.6-2.422478
5Dallas Cowboys5-14.8+0.654654
6Baltimore Ravens5-15.4+2.265565
7Green Bay Packers5-15.6+0.476726
8Los Angeles Chargers4-28.2-2.688889
9Kansas City Chiefs3-39.4+19991010
10Tennessee Titans4-210+1.4101010137
Full Week 7 Consensus NFL Power Rankings

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 7

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Monday, October 18th

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short and/or long term.

For a player to be listed, he must be rostered in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire. Of course, your league's size and settings could significantly impact whether these players (or better options) are available in your particular league(s).

With that said, here are some waiver-wire options to consider heading into Week 7 (Yahoo! % rostered in parenthesis):

Fantasy Football QB Waiver Wire

1. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (16%)

Tagovailoa returned to the field and proceeded to throw it 47 times for 329 yards, two touchdowns and an interception and added 22 rushing yards. If you're looking for a streamer, Tagovailoa could be a viable option as the Dolphins return from their trip across the pond to face the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

The Falcons have allowed three top-six weekly quarterbacks in their five games played this season. In those three games, they allowed a total of 11 passing touchdowns with zero interceptions.

Continue reading our Fantasy Football QB Waiver Wire

Fantasy Football RB Waiver Wire

1. D'Ernest Johnson / 4. Demetric Felton, Cleveland Browns (2% / 9%)

Not only was Nick Chubb (calf) already out in Week 6, but Kareem Hunt left Week 6 with an injury of his own that puts his status for Week 7 in doubt, especially as the Browns face a short turnaround. If neither Chubb nor Hunt are available for Thursday Night Football against the Denver Broncos, both Johnson and Demetric Felton (RB/WR) will assume larger roles.

I expect Johnson to get the larger share of the carries and overall workload, but Felton should be more involved as a receiver. Given that fantasy managers will have to deal with six teams on bye and a number of high-profile running backs (Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Chubb, etc.) dealing with injuries, both Johnson and Felton could be viable streamer options in Week 7 despite a challenging matchup against the Broncos.

Denver has allowed 3.75 YPC (ninth-lowest) to opposing RBs and only a league-low 48.48% catch rate to the position as well.

Continue reading our Fantasy Football RB Waiver Wire

Fantasy Football WR Waiver Wire

1. Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears (44%)

Good news first, here are Mooney's per-game target shares this season: 17.5%, 34.78%, 20.0%, 41.18%, 25.0% and 32.0%. On the year, the second-year wideout has a team-high 26.9% target share. In addition, Mooney leads the Bears in all receiving stats -- receptions (25), yards (306) and touchdowns (one).

So, what's the bad news?

Only the Saints (120, 24.0/G) have fewer pass attempts this season than the Bears (149, 24.83/G). While Mooney has a couple of strong performances (WR13 in Week 4 and currently WR18 heading into MNF), he's also finished as fantasy's WR107 and WR68 in Justin Fields' two other starts.

With a matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on tap in Week 7, the Bears are nearly two-TD underdogs. Could that lead to a significant uptick in pass attempts, especially given how stout the team's run defense is?

If the game script leads to more pass attempts and Mooney maintains a target share north of 20%, it's possible that he has another solid outing in a top-eight fantasy matchup.

Continue reading our Fantasy Football WR Waiver Wire

Fantasy Football TE Waiver Wire

1. Ricky Seals-Jones, Washington Football Team (29%)

Seals-Jones had four catches for 58 yards and a score on six targets (15.38% share) against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. With Logan Thomas (hamstring) on IR, RSJ had a second-consecutive solid performance. With a target share of at least 15% in back-to-back games, Seals-Jones now has nine catches for 99 yards and a score on 14 targets over the past two weeks.

Assuming the every-down presence that Thomas had, Seals-Jones has played 99% and 100% of the team's offensive snaps in the past two games, respectively. Next up for WFT are the Green Bay Packers, who have been middle of the road in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends. That said, they did although three consecutive top-five fantasy TE performances to start the season against Juwan Johnson (Week 1, TE5), T.J. Hockenson (Week 2, TE3) and George Kittle (Week 3, TE4).

As we head into a week with six teams on bye, RSJ will be a viable streamer for at least one more week.

Continue reading our Fantasy Football TE Waiver Wire

2021 Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule

Fantasy football strength of schedule helps fantasy managers determine which teams and players have favorable (or unfavorable) schedules for the 2021 NFL season.

Based on each team's scheduled opponents for 2021, we have tallied the average fantasy points allowed by each of their opponents to the position.

While strength of schedule should not be the sole factor in determining who to draft/add, it could help potentially break a tie between two players that you may view as comparable.

The strength of schedule (Weeks 7-17) for quarterbacks is below:

RankTeamPlayerFantasy SOSPlayoffs
1Las Vegas RaidersDerek Carr19.17353.78
2Denver BroncosTeddy Bridgewater19.03557.29
3Dallas CowboysDak Prescott18.79565.93
4Philadelphia EaglesJalen Hurts18.78677.35
5New York GiantsDaniel Jones18.73357.31
6Tennessee TitansRyan Tannehill18.44161.46
7New Orleans SaintsJameis Winston18.35664.43
8Carolina PanthersSam Darnold18.3151.19
9Houston TexansDavis Mills18.30465.33
10Arizona CardinalsKyler Murray18.19763.77
View full Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule (SOS)

Note: Fantasy SOS = Average fantasy points per game allowed of each team's remaining 2021 opponents through Week 17.
Playoffs = Cumulative total for Weeks 15 to 17.

More positions:

Fantasy Football Sleepers 2021

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Saturday, September 4th

Ask 100 people and you're likely to get 100 different answers.

Not only does no universal definition of a fantasy football sleeper exist, many would argue that there is no such thing as a sleeper in today's age of year-round fantasy football content published on the interwebs.

While that may be true, our definition of the term for this post will be a player that we are targeting in the double-digit rounds of 12-team leagues. Of course, our fantasy football rankings will list the players we prefer in sequence, but the goal of this post is to highlight later-round players that you should know for your upcoming drafts.

So, in other words, the fantasy football sleepers referenced in this article have an average draft position (ADP) greater than 108 (nine rounds times 12 picks).

Some players that just missed the cut based on our self-imposed ADP requirement include A.J. Dillon (ADP: 81), Laviska Shenault Jr. (ADP: 92), Michael Pittman (ADP: 99), Tyler Higbee (ADP: 106), among others.

Fantasy Football Sleepers for the 2021 NFL Season

Here are ten sleepers for the 2021 season with their Fantasy Football ADP in parenthesis (N/A = currently undrafted):

QB - Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers (ADP: 120)

Look at 2020's top 10-scoring fantasy quarterbacks and you'll notice a common theme. Almost all of them are prolific runners. The average top-10 quarterback had a rushing line of 79.5/416.5/5.1.

To highlight the importance of rushing production, look no further than the G.O.A.T. (Tom Brady). Of course, Brady isn't known for his rushing prowess (six rushing yards in 2020). But in his first season in Tampa, Brady threw 40 touchdowns (second-most of his Hall-of-Fame career) and 4,633 yards (fifth-most). Even so, Brady only finished as fantasy's QB8. Winning from the pocket used to be enough -- Brady has nine seasons where he finished as a top-seven fantasy QB.

Nowadays, quarterbacks that are exclusively pocket passers need to have career-type seasons to warrant a high ranking. On the other hand, QBs with elite rushing upside can be mediocre passers (on a good day) and still be strong fantasy plays.

So, while the rookie version of Lance won't have the passing success that Brady (or Aaron Rodgers) will have in 2021, his elite rushing upside puts him squarely in the top-10 mix (or better) once he becomes a starter. Lance is more talented than Philadelphia's Jalen Hurts, as an example, and Hurts was the QB7 from Weeks 14-17 last season after the team benched Carson Wentz.

Especially considering that he was a redshirt sophomore that played only one game in 2020 at the FCS level in such an unusual year, it may be a lot to expect him to start Week 1. Lance may not start Week 1 (although I wouldn't rule it out). PFT's Mike Florio ponders a Jimmy Garoppolo release before Week 1. The 49ers have the earliest possible bye (Week 6) and that could be a natural transition point to this year's No. 3 overall pick (if he's not the starter sooner).

One of the common things I've often done in a fantasy football mock draft is pair someone like Joe Burrow, on my list of undervalued players in fantasy football, with Lance for two high-upside options.

Continue reading our 2021 Fantasy Football Sleepers

2022 NFL Mock Draft

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Monday, May 10th

Now that the 2021 NFL Draft is in our rearview mirror, it's time to look ahead to the upcoming NFL and college football seasons and even further ahead to the 2022 NFL Draft.

The pre-draft process should be more typical (fingers crossed) in 2022 with the NFL Scouting Combine, private workouts, etc. returning.

Perhaps the on-location draft weekend in Las Vegas will be anything but normal; I mean that in the best way possible. I'm looking forward to seeing the spectacle of a Vegas draft week(end)!

Speaking of Vegas, the draft order for this mock is based on the inverse order of Super Bowl odds from Bovada.lv. Minimal adjustments were made to account for proper playoff structure.

With that said, here is my way-too-early 2022 NFL Mock Draft:

1. Houston Texans: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

Offseason trade demands and ongoing legal issues make Deshaun Watson's future with the Houston Texans anything but certain. If Houston is picking first in the 2022 NFL Draft, the organization could use this opportunity to draft a quarterback.

Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux will top my initial 2022 big board, but Howard is my QB1 a little less than a year out and a potential top-five pick. Like Watson, Howell has the ability to elevate the play of those around him and he's been one of the best deep passers in college football since his freshman season.

2. Detroit Lions: Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma

If the Lions are picking this high in 2022, it's possible that they could look to reset at quarterback. The Lions would only incur a $10 million cap hit if they moved on from Jared Goff next offseason. In addition, Lions general manager Brad Holmes recently said they "would have had to strongly consider" a quarterback at No. 7 if Penei Sewell weren't their highest-ranked player available.

Since 2018, two Sooner quarterbacks (Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray) have been selected first overall and another (Jalen Hurts) was a second-round pick. If there's a quarterback that will challenge Howell for the honor to be 2022's QB1, it's most likely Rattler. Based on props from Bovada, Rattler (11/2) is the early favorite to win the Heisman Trophy over Clemson's D.J. Uiagalelei (6/1), who's not eligible until the 2023 NFL Draft.

3. Cincinnati Bengals: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

Arguably the top college football recruit in 2019, Thibodeaux has lived up to the hype so far with 12 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss over 21 games in his first two seasons. In a pair of Pac-12 Championship Games, he's been virtually unblockable -- 18 QB pressures, 4.5 TFLs and 3.5 sacks in those two games combined.

Current Oregon (and former Texas A&M) DC Tim DeRuyter has compared Thibodeaux's explosiveness to that of Von Miller, one of DeRuyter's former players, as he said that Kayvon is "probably the first person that I've seen in a while who has that explosiveness off the edge like Von" [Miller].

The Bengals (17) ranked last in the NFL in sacks last season. Even though they signed Trey Hendrickson to a four-year deal, Carl Lawson (team-high 5.5 sacks) departed via free agency.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

Although not as dominant last year as he was in 2019, Stingley's true freshman season was as good as it gets for any defensive back regardless of level of experience. When the Detroit Lions selected Jeffery Okudah third overall in 2019, ESPN's Ryan Clark said that some coaches agreed with him that Stingley "would've been the number one cornerback drafted in that draft" at only 18 years old. Given his elite combination of size, speed and ball skills, Stingley will be a top-five pick in 2022 (or whenever he declares).

Even though the Jaguars have selected C.J. Henderson (2020) and Tyson Campbell (2021) with top-33 picks in back-to-back drafts, I don't think that precludes them from passing on a talent like Stingley.

5. New York Jets: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

No safeties were drafted in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but Hamilton will hear his named called early in 2022 and potentially inside the top-five picks. Leading Notre Dame in tackles last season, Hamilton has tremendous size and length (6-4, 219) at safety with the versatility to impact the game in a variety of ways.

Continue reading Kevin Hanson's 2022 NFL Mock Draft

2023 NFL Mock Draft

We are more than two years away for the 2023 NFL Draft, which will be held in Kansas City, MO.

While we have posted a 2021 NFL Mock Draft and 2022 NFL Mock Draft, we've decided to take a way-too-early look at how the top of the 2023 NFL Draft could play out.

For our 2021 (and 2022) mock draft(s), we know which prospects have declared early (or decided to return for another season). For the pool of players for our early top-10 mock draft for 2023, we've limited our pool of prospects to only players that will become draft-eligible beginning in 2023.

The draft order used is based on the inverse order of NFL wins over the past decade.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama

As noted in our 2021 NFL mock draft, the Jaguars own the rights to their first-ever No. 1 overall pick, which they will undoubtedly use on Clemson's Trevor Lawrence. More than likely, the Jags won't be picking first again in 2023 given their treasure trove of draft picks and ability to spend in free agency.

Nonetheless, they have the first pick based on our criteria for determining the draft order and get a disruptive edge rusher in Anderson. Among SEC defenders, only Georgia's Azeez Ojulari and former teammate Christian Barmore had more sacks in 2020 than Anderson had as a true freshman. Only the Cincinnati Bengals (17) had fewer sacks than the Jaguars (18) in 2020.

2. Cleveland Browns: Bryan Bresee, IDL, Clemson

The No. 1 recruit in the 247Sports Composite (2020), Bresee enjoyed immediate success for the Tigers. The ACC Defensive Freshman of the Year and First-Team All-ACC performer finished his true freshman season with 6.5 tackles for loss including four sacks and 33 tackles. With a rare combination of first-step explosiveness for a man his size, Bresee has the versatility to line up at various alignments along the defensive line.

3. New York Jets: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

Murphy stepped onto the Clemson campus with NFL-ready size and athleticism. As a true freshman, Murphy led the Tigers in tackles for loss (12.5) and forced fumbles (three), had four sacks and was as good as it gets against the run.

Continue reading our way-too-early Top-10 2023 NFL Mock Draft

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