This is The Two Minute Drill: Fantasy Musings Week 7!
Travis Etienne SZN Continues
Etienne has frequented this column for three straight weeks now, and for a good reason. He continued his recent touchdown bonanza on Thursday night with 77 combined yards and two TDs. Over the past three games, Etienne has rushed for 244 yards and six touchdowns with ten catches for 100 yards.
Jacksonville has won all three games and is gaining a great deal of momentum. The 5-2 Jaguars head into a big away game in Pittsburgh. Expect to see a lot more Etienne as he has established himself as the focal point of the Jacksonville offense. He is crushing his ADP and providing huge win rates to fantasy managers who started WR-WR.
Jonathan Taylor is Officially Back
Taylor had his breakout performance in Indianapolis’ thrilling 39-38 loss to Cleveland. The Colts re-signed Taylor to a massive contract extension, which ended an offseason stalemate. In Taylor’s third game back, we finally saw the sort of fantasy performance that led him to an RB1 overall finish in 2021. Taylor finished with 18 carries for 75 yards and a TD and added 45 receiving yards on three grabs. The 18 rushing attempts were more than he had combined in his previous two games. Based on the ADP discount that Taylor fantasy managers had when they drafted him, he could turn into the league winner.
Alvin Kamara VOLUME KING
The Saints lost, but Kamara fantasy managers won. Kamara has been a volume monster since he returned from his suspension, and Thursday night was no different. He finished with an insane 29 touches, including 12 catches on 14 targets and 153 combined yards- all season highs.
Since returning, Kamara has had at least 24 touches in every game. After a career-low 14.1 fantasy points in 2021, Kamara is back to performing like a top-10 running back. The 28-year-old is having a fantasy renaissance.
Mahomes-Kelce: 50th Time’s the Charm
The Patrick Mahomes–Travis Kelce combo has struck fear in the hearts of NFL defenses and opposing fantasy managers since Mahomes took over in 2018. The duo was on display on Sunday, as Mahomes had his first four TD/400-yard passing game of the season. Kelce went absolutely nuts. He finished with 12 catches for 179 yards and a TD. Over the last two weeks, Kelce has 21 catches for 303 receiving yards. Taylor Swift, NFL fans, and fantasy managers are all very much enjoying it. Kelce is going to run away with TE1 overall.
The TD catch was significant. It was the 50th time Kelce and Mahomes have linked up. The Mahomes Kelce combination will be one of the best to play the game. Expect many more fireworks this season and plenty of points on the scoreboard and in our fantasy lineups.
D’Onta Foreman: Waiver Wire Hero
Foreman scored a career-high three TDs as Chicago rolled Las Vegas 30-12. He finished with 120 combined yards. Khalil Herbert is on the I.R. Roschon Johnson missed his second consecutive game with a concussion. Fantasy managers who aggressively spent FAAB on Foreman as a waiver wire addition two weeks ago were generously rewarded. Tyson Bagent moves to 1-0 as a starter. Foreman’s strong play earned him a considerable role next week in a plus matchup against the LA Chargers.
Puka Nacua SZN Continues
Nacua’s incredible production continued. The rookie sensation led the LA Rams in targets (12), catches (8) and yards (154). He did this while Cooper Kupp suffered mightily (two catches for 29 yards). Nacua has four games with 100 yards or more. This puts him in rarified air. The record is nine games, which has held up back to 1960. Justin Jefferson had seven. With one more 100-yard performance, he will tie Ja’Marr Chase and Odell Beckham Jr. with five. Nacua has a chance at having the greatest fantasy season ever by a rookie WR.
Last week, Nacua had his lowest fantasy output of the season. Nacua did what we want to see all elite fantasy players do: bounce back from a disappointing week. With ten games left, Nacua is chasing greatness and the record books. Fantasy managers who have him rostered will get to enjoy the ride.
Jahmyr Gibbs Takes a Big Step Forward, while Detroit Takes a Big Step Back.
Detroit suffered a demoralizing loss in Baltimore. They were dominated from start to finish as The Ravens rolled to a 38-6 victory. But Sunday was the sort of fantasy performance to provide optimism and validation for Gibbs managers in redraft and dynasty. He scored his first rushing TD of the season while adding a career-high nine catches. Gibbs finished with 20 touches for 128 total yards. This could be the start of a strong second half for Gibbs.
Lamar Jackson Masterclass
Jackson was dominant, finishing with a season-high 357 passing yards and three TDs. He connected with Mark Andrews on two of them, and the third was an 80-yard dump-off to Gus Edwards. The Lions defense manhandled Tampa Bay last week.
However, they were no match for Jackson and the lethal Todd Monken-led offense. Baltimore’s 38 points were a season high and the first time the Ravens have hit the 30-point mark. Baltimore has won two straight since their loss to Pittsburgh. Look for Jackson to have another chance to put up huge fantasy numbers in Week 8 against Arizona.
Nacua Was Not the Only Rookie to Shine
This rookie class has been terrific all season long, and this week was no different. Dalton Kincaid had season-highs of eight catches and 75 receiving yards. Jaxon Smith-Njigba scored his first TD of the season, and led Seattle in targets and yardage for the first time all season. Josh Downs scored for the second week in a row and finished with a career-high 125 receiving yards. Sam LaPorta and Zay Flowers both contributed. Week in week out, this rookie class continues to deliver.
George Pickens ALPHA
Pickens continued his impressive sophomore year. He finished with 107 receiving yards. This was his third time with 100+ in six games played. Last season, he hit this total only once. Diontae Johnson returned and played second fiddle to Pickens. Johnson tied Pickens for catches (five) but had fewer receiving yards and was targeted six times to Pickens’s eight.
Pickens’s strong start should continue next week against a leaky Jacksonville secondary. He has the No. 2 most PPR points among all second year WRs. What an unfortunate turn of events for the “he can’t separate,” Pickens faders.
A Nightmare Week for Bijan Robinson Fantasy Managers
Bijan Robinson had one touch all game. One touch all game. ONLY ONE TOUCH ALL GAME. Anger at Arthur Smith quickly turned into confusion. Robinson was sick, suffering from a headache that persisted since Saturday night. He tried to get going in warmups but could not. This was one of the strangest injuries we have dealt with all season and Robinson’s near-zero fantasy output sunk many fantasy weeks.
Philadelphia Tops Miami as Tyreek Hill and AJ Brown Shine
The game of the week lived up to its billing as Philadelphia defeated Miami. In the game within, WR1 Overall Tyreek Hill was outdueled by AJ Brown. Each player scored a TD. However, Brown had one less reception (10 to Hill’s 11) but outgained Hill 137-88.
Both players have been fantasy stars, but this game’s result provided some much-needed attention on Brown, who has been sensational this season. Brown has five straight games with 127 receiving yards or more. With 75 targets already, he is set to SHATTER his career high of 145 from last season.