What a heartbreaking loss for the Dolphins on Sunday, but then those are the breaks in the NFL. You win some, and you lose some. I was at the game in the stands and get to meet a bunch of wonderful Dolphins fans that are diehard and bleed Dolphins from their veins. The Dolphins did make some noise in the fantasy world as WR Brandon Gibson hauled in two touchdowns on the day, both of which I got on film and are up on my Facebook page.
Ryan Tannehill finished as a top 15-17 fantasy QB depending on your scoring thanks to his 3 TDs. But, the lack of yardage (194), 2 INTs and 1 lost fumble is what kept him from being a QB1; Gibson was a top 7-10 WR; Charles Clay finished as a low-end TE1 play because he scored a touchdown, which is enough to make a TE worth playing.
The big news of Sunday night had to be Rams QB Sam Bradford tore his ACL and is done for the season. All the Rams pass catchers can be downgraded with Kellen Clemens now the starter, and upgrade Zach Stacy slightly. In other injury news, Packers TE Jermichael Finley had to leave the field immobilized on a stretcher after a scary head/neck injury. You can count him out for week 8 and grab Jordan Reed from the Redskins to fill the slot if he is available.
Andy Dalton – QB Bengals: I’ve been SCREAMING that Dalton is one of the most underrated fantasy QBs in the NFL, and he proved me right this weekend against the Lions. Dalton put up #2 overall QB stats with his 372 passing yards, 3 touchdowns with no turnovers. Dalton came into week 7 ranked #15 for QBs on NFL.com, but that number is sure to jump this week with 27.48 fantasy points added to the total.
Matt Ryan – QB Falcons: Ryan showed that he can in fact produce with, or without, Julio Jones and Roddy White in the line-up. On Sunday Ryan threw the ball all over the field and finished with 273 yards passing and 3 TDs. Ryan finished with top 6-7 QB numbers and it isn’t something I would have bet on if I were to throw down money. In the end, Matty Ice came through for the 63.1 percent of people brave enough to continue to start him on NFL.com.
Andrew Luck – QB Colts: Replacing a future Hall of Fame player is never an easy thing to do, and replacing a QB of that caliber can be ever harder as the QB drives the offense and is often either the hero, or the scapegoat when things go wrong. But, Luck has come into Indianapolis and made the transition seamless with play. This week he took on Manning and put up just 228 passing yards, but added 4 touchdowns (3 passing, 1 rushing)
Roy Helu – RB Redskins: Helu ranked out as NFL.com’s #2 RB this week thanks to his 3 TDs and 41 yards rushing. Before you run out to pick him up, understand that this was FAR more of a fluke than a sign of things to come. If you are one of the 1-2 percent of people who own Helu, and actually played him, then you should either stand up and take a bow, or have your team taken away from you because you put yourself in a position where you had to start Helu!
Jacquizz Rodgers – RB Falcons: Rodgers wasn’t a factor in the running game (16 yards), but he earned his paycheck in the passing game as he hauled in 8 passes for 46 yards and 2 TDs. As we know, touchdowns are kind in most fantasy leagues, so even the limited yardage doesn’t mean that much when you score 2 TDs. Rodgers finished as an NFL.com top 5 fantasy RB in standard scoring formats in week 7.
Harry Douglas – WR Falcons: The Falcons new #1 WR came up HUGE this week as he reeled in 7 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. Douglas showed he can be worth playing as a flex option even when White returns, but most of his damage was done in the first half and he wasn’t covered by Darrelle Revis. So, take these stats with a grain of salt and don’t go crazy with Douglas just yet.
Jarrett Boykin – WR Packers: Any WR that has Aaron Rodgers throwing to him is already one step ahead of the game. Playing in Randall Cobb‘s old role within the offense, Boykin hauled in 8 passes for 103 receiving yards and a touchdown. With all the injuries the Packers are dealing with these days, Boykin has a chance to continue to be a big part of the passing game and is worth picking up and playing in the WR3 or flex spot.
Brandon Gibson – WR Dolphins: Gibson came up big for the Dolphins on Sunday as he snagged 5 passes for 40 yards and 2 TDs, one of which he went up and over several defenders to score. Gibson had a top 5-7 WR day, but he isn’t truly a fantasy asset unless you are in a deeper league with multiple flex spots. No matter what, I had to throw him in here because he deserved the credit.
Jordan Reed – TE Redskins: Reed is going to be the most picked up player in fantasy football when waiver wires open up on Tuesday after he finished week 7 with 9 receptions for 134 yards and 1 TD. Reed is for real; more importantly, he has the truth of the coaches and the QB. There is no reason Reed should be on the waiver wire after Wednesday.
San Diego Chargers defense: As I told people, the Chargers defense put up top 3 numbers for fantasy defenses this week as they held the Jaguars to just 6 points while racking up 6 sacks and 1 INT. These days it is just a safe bet to play whoever is playing the Jaguars that week, so just shadow them to finish the season and you will do better than most people will.
Jay Cutler – QB Bears: In a game where all the experts were projecting the Bears to put up good stats against the Redskins iffy defense, Cutler managed to LOSE fantasy owners points in week 7. As rare as it is, Cutler finished with -0.88 fantasy points on NFL.com fractional scoring due to his 1 INT with just 28 yards passing. Cutler left with a groin injury, and is almost sure to miss some time. The Bears back-up QB situation is one of the worst in the NFL, so if Cutler is in fact out, you can downgrade everyone involved in the passing game until Cutler is back.
Nick Foles – QB Eagles: NFL.com players went crazy picking up Foles this week following his week 6 performance of 296 passing yards and 4 TDs (3 passing, 1 rushing). The worst case scenario came true to fantasy owners on Sunday as Foles remembered he is Foles and finished with just 80 yards passing (11-of-29 throwing), and added 25 rushing yards. All totaled, Foles finished just 5.70 fantasy points on NFL.com, and was the 2nd worst QB (Cutler was the worst) in week 7.
Tom Brady – QB Patriots: I warned people about putting their faith in Brady in the pre-season rankings, so when he goes out and throw for 228 yards with no TDs and an INT, it doesn’t truly shock me. But, that is what he did today. The good news is that Rob Gronkowski is back and will be more comfortable next week, which should help his fantasy numbers as he is a target monster.
C.J. Spiller – RB Bills: Spiller managed just 11 yards rushing and -4 yards receiving against the Dolphins in week 7. Spiller seemed to tweak his hamstring early in the game, but that didn’t matter as the Dolphins D-Line was tuned into him all day. Spiller scored a total of 0.70 fantasy points this week, which was dead last for all RBs who either start or split carries.
Arian Foster – RB Texans: Foster was never someone you wanted to play this week with a 3rd string QB starting, and facing the Chiefs top ranked NFL defense. With that said, Foster was forced from the game with a hamstring injury and finished with just 11 yards rushing. The Texans have a bye next week, then face the Colts in week 9. Foster started slow, but has picked up speed the last few games and is currently ranked in the top 10 on NFL.com.
Trent Richardson – RB Colts: Not all was well with the Colts as Richardson managed just 37 yards rushing and was benched after losing a fumble. It looks like even with a legitimate running back like Richardson, the Colts just aren’t a running team. Richardson’s value is going to be extremely sketchy in the second half of the NFL season unless the Colts figure out how to balance their pass and run.
Miles Austin – WR Cowboys: Despite being owned in 70.2 percent of NFL.com leagues, Austin is started in just 9.0 percent of them. Why? Because when the Cowboys opened the game in a three-wide receiver set, Austin wasn’t a part of it. Austin was held without a catch and played limited snaps as Terrance Williams continues to emerge as his replacement. I wouldn’t cut Austin unless Boykin from Green Bay is available, but I also don’t think he has much value in fantasy leagues anymore either.
Kenbrell Thompkins – WR Patriots: Thompkins is someone I don’t personally own in any of my fantasy leagues because he drops too many passes, and is a true boom-or-bust play each and every week. This week he caught just 2 passes for 16 yards with no endzone visits. Thompkins is a redzone target, so he has some WR4/5 value in standard scoring formats. But those in PPR league could probably find better options out there on the waiver wire.
Tony Gonzalez – TE Falcons: For all the success that Ryan had this week, Gonzalez was on the receiving end of very little of it. On just 4 targets, Gonzalez caught just 2 of them for 30 yards and no TDs. He will do better next week against a Cardinals defense that has been generous to TEs all season long.
Cincinnati Bengals defense: The Bengals defense is owned in 84.1 percent of NFL.com leagues, and went into the season as a top 5-7 fantasy defense. This week they ran into a Lions offense that put up 24 points on the scoreboard. The bad news is that they failed to put up even a single sack, interception, fumble recovery, or defensive stat to help fantasy owners. Because of the points and no defensive stats, the Bengals finished with 0.00 fantasy points. So, while they didn’t hurt you, they also didn’t help you. They should do better against the Jets next week, but I would still go with the week-to-week defensive strategy.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.