FUN FACT #1
Feel like making an imminent blockbuster offer to Alvin Kamara’s owner?
Well, if you’ve been pondering a 3-for-1 or 4-for-1 swap for Kamara — the top-ranked fantasy tailback this season (162.6 points through five games) — now’s the time to make such a bold move.
Before Sunday at 1 p.m. EST.
Why is that?
****Kamara’s the runaway leader, among tailbacks, with catches (38), targets (45), receiving yards (395), total yards (676) and total touchdowns (7).
****Opposing backs are averaging 4.85 yards per carry versus Carolina.
****The Panthers rank either 30th, 31st or dead-last in rushing touchdowns, catches, targets and receiving yards surrendered to opposing running backs.
****Looking down the road, Kamara’s Saints have three juicy matchups with the Falcons (Week 13), Chiefs (Week 15) and Vikings (Week 16) during the December playoff period.
WEEK 7 PREP WORK
QB RANKINGS: Mahomes, Allen, Wilson highlight the Week 7 passers
RUSH TO GLORY: Kamara, Hunt, Henry, Mixon lead the PPR backs
PLAYING CATCH: Golladay, Adams, Boyd, Diggs fuel the WR rankings
BIG & BAD: Kelce, Kittle, Engram headline Week 7’s PPR tight ends
IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS: 10 Super-Fun Facts to ponder for Week 7
FUN FACT #2
In normal fantasy circles, we’d be aghast by a receiver posting a catch-to-target ratio of 25 percent against one of the NFL’s weakest defenses (Cowboys).
However, DeAndre Hopkins has done more than enough to earn a free pass from last week’s two-catch, eight-target, 73-yard outing … in a game where Arizona hung 38 points on Dallas.
What makes us so confident, moving forward?
b) Tailback Kenyan Drake (notoriously streaky fantasy asset) has caught fire once again, rolling for 224 total yards and three touchdowns since Week 5; and fellow receiver Christian Kirk scored twice against the Cowboys last week.
These mini-breakouts should theoretically create more route-running room for Hopkins, heading into November and December.
c) The Seahawks have given up the most catches, targets and receiving yards to opposing wideouts. They also have a bottom-5 ranking with touchdowns allowed to the same position.
FUN FACT #3
Giants tight end Evan Engram has been waiting three long years to encounter the rival Eagles.
(Seriously, Engram missed all four grudge matches for 2018-19.)
Along those lines, Engram has had to endure the 2020 season without scoring a single touchdown … since two were called back against the Cowboys, due to penalties (and other stuff).
Bottom line: The Giants don’t have enough playmakers to ignore Engram (two 100-yard outings last year) much longer.
Enter the Eagles, who currently own bottom-5 rankings with catches, receiving yards and touchdowns allowed to opposing tight ends.
FUN FACT #4
The Bills have looked out of sorts in their last two games, a pair of low-scoring defeats to the Titans and Chiefs (average of 16.5 points).
But all is hardly lost from a fantasy perspective, when discussing quarterback Josh Allen.
For starters, Allen has racked up multiple touchdowns in all six outings this season (19 overall); and in his last three complete games against the rival Jets, the MVP candidate owns stellar averages of 323 total yards and two touchdowns.
Here are two more things to celebrate:
****In 2020, opposing quarterbacks boast a staggering completion rate of 71.7 percent versus New York.
****The Jets curiously own bottom-10 rankings with passing yards and passing touchdowns allowed, despite suffering five blowout defeats of 10 points or more (usually a recipe for clock-draining runs).
FUN FACT #5
Last week, Steelers tailback James Conner became the first player to rush for 100-plus yards against the 2020 Browns.
If Conner hadn’t been the first to accomplish the above feat, Bengals tailback Joe Mixon would have been a strong follow-up bet.
Charting his last five meetings with Cleveland, Mixon holds elite-level averages of 131 total yards and 0.4 touchdowns.
What’s more, citing his last seven games at Paul Brown Stadium, Mixon boasts averages of 126 total yards and 0.9 TDs.
FUN FACT #6
James Robinson owners have been consistently giddy this season, drawing six consecutive outings of double-digit scoring (when using ESPN.com’s PPR system) … from an unknown rookie who was a late-round or free-agent afterthought during the August/September drafts.
Which begs the question: Should owners be leery of starting Robinson against the Chargers, the only NFL defense that has yet to surrender a rushing touchdown to a tailback?
Ordinarly, the answer would be a resounding ‘yes.’ But let’s factor in a few other nuggets:
a) Among tailbacks, Robinson currently ranks 3rd in receiving yards, 7th in catches, 11th in targets and tied for 7th in receiving touchdowns.
c) Since Week 2, Robinson has posted five consecutive games of four or more targets.
d) This season, the Chargers have endured bottom-10 rankings with catches, targets and receiving yards allowed to opposing tailbacks.
e) Rhetorical question alert: Would anyone be shocked if the Chargers opened up a sizable first-half lead, obliging the Jaguars to throw their way back into contention after halftime?
FUN FACT #7
This Sunday should be an interesting test case for Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, considering how the Broncos have yielded the second-fewest passing touchdowns (seven in five games).
Of course, Denver has yet to encounter Mahomes this season. Which brings us to this:
Mahomes has accounted for multiple touchdowns in 11 of his 12 games (including the playoffs). That run of good fortune extends to the 2018 NFL MVP’s previous four road outings.
One more thing: Mahomes has eclipsed the 300-yard passing mark in his last three complete outings versus the Broncos.
FUN FACT #8
Say hello to this year’s version of the Irresistible Force meets the Immovable Object.
Tennessee’s Derrick Henry has amassed the most rushing yards of any back this season, despite playing only five games to date.
The NFL’s reigning rushing king has also found the end zone six times, lagging second only to the Vikings’ Dalvin Cook (553 total yards, 7 TDs).
The Steelers, in turn, have allowed the second-fewest team rushing yards, holding opposing backs to minuscule averages of 3.22 yards per carry.
So, how to interpret the Sunday showdown in Nashville?
Well, Henry probably won’t be a candidate for 200 rushing yards — an otherworldly strata he’s reached three times since 2018; and the Alabama product failed to hit end-zone paydirt in his only career meeting with the Steelers (2017).
On the plus side, Henry has racked up 100 rushing yards and/or one touchdown in 13 of his last 15 games (postseason included).
So, don’t be afraid to start him in Week 7, with full impugnity.
FUN FACT #9
There’s a tangible temptation to include Detroit’s Matthew Stafford among this week’s top-five quarterbacks, given how the Falcons rank dead-last in completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns surrendered.
However, we’re a tad hesitant to go all-in on Stafford (No. 11 ranking for the week), citing a few notables:
a) Stafford has an ongoing streak of five straight games with less than 300 yards passing. (Unfortunately, this trend shows up a lot during September/October from previous years.)
b) Lions wideout Marvin Jones hasn’t crossed the 60-yard receiving mark in nine straight games; and of equal mediocrity, Jones has averaged only four targets since Week 2.
c) Tailback D’Andre Swift enjoyed his best day as a pro last week, gouging the Jaguars for 123 total yards (116 rushing) and two touchdowns.
(If that sounds like a ho-hum stat, just remember Barry Sanders was the last Lions rookie to rush for 100 yards/two TDs in the same game … way back in 1989.)
And last but not least …
FUN FACT #10
Packers wideout Davante Adams seems like a good bet for monster numbers against the Texans, citing three key reasons:
a) With opposing receivers, the Texans are a bottom-10 defense in the categories of receptions and touchdowns allowed.
b) Citing his last 14 games (including the playoffs), Adams has collected 12 outings of double-digit targets and nine touchdowns.
c) Adams has notched 100 yards receiving and/or one touchdown in his last nine games played indoors (dating back to 2017).
For this prolific stretch, the Mississippi State product absurdly averaged 8.5 catches, 99 yards and 1.1 TDs.