Week 7 Review: Running Away from the Abyss
We are now halfway through the NFL fantasy season. Some teams and players have surprised in a good way. Then others have been less than mediocre.
Based on injury or other issues, there have been plenty of big stars who have disappointed. The question now is what to do with them. Should we run away from them and get out now? Or should we hold tight and hope things get better.
Let us look at three players and decide what to do with them on a case by case basis.
Cam Newton |QB| New England Patriots- When Newton came to the Patriots, the common thought was that Belichick had his next star QB, and everyone would forget about Tom Brady. To this point, no one has forgotten about Brady in New England. Including Belichick, who may be regretting not only the loss of Brady but also not keeping Jimmy Garoppolo. Yes, it is so bad the Patriots would want a different mediocre QB back instead of Cam Newton.
Week 7 did no favors for Newton Truthers. It was the first game this season in which he did not have at least nine rushes. He also threw three interceptions on less than 20 attempts before being replaced by Jared Stidham. Not good, Bob. You can blame a lot on the surrounding team. Not everything, though. Newton is clearly not the QB he was in the past. Not even close.
If you are holding him in hopes, things will get better. He may not be washed. But this season is for the Patriots. This means more than likely, at some point, Stidham will be inserted. If not to find out what they have in him before the draft. If you can trade him on the name, do so. This is unlikely, though. So, if you need to drop someone, he should be the first to go.
D.J. Chark |WR| Jacksonville Jaguars- Oh, what could have been. Chark is a good player. On a lousy offense. He is also coming off various injuries that have hampered him all season. Now dealing with a Week 8 bye, this is the time to get out from under him.
I am not saying to drop him. This is too dramatic. He is still solid. But if you can trade him, this is the time to do it. Even if you have to trade him for someone else who is also on a bye this week. Getting out of the Jaguars offense is a good option.
The only player on this team you want a part of is James Robinson. Not just because he is a running back in a year of injury. Also, because he is the offense. Scoring 30 fantasy points this past week against the Chargers just reiterated this point.
Gardner Minshew is a wonderful story. He has even had some good moments. However, the bad moments are far starting to outweigh the good. This will continue to affect the 6’4 225-pound Chark as Keelan Cole, and Laviska Shinault Jr. continue their ascension. This means counting on Chark for anything but a high ceiling, low floor WR two from here out is not something you want to do. So, prepare ahead and try to get someone more consistent for that late-season playoff push. D.J. Moore, perhaps.
Juju Smith-Schuster |WR| Pittsburgh Steelers- Before the season started, many analysts thought this would be a comeback year for Juju. After two TD in week 1, many of those were already doing a victory march all over Twitter. Oh, what a difference a month can make.
Since his Week 1 performance, Juju has been an evident disappointment. He is seemingly on his way out of Pittsburgh, which has led the team to focus more on their young core of receivers set to return in 2021. This includes getting rookie Chase Claypool involved as well as second-year receiver Dionte Johnson.
Johnson, who will likely take over the number one role next season, has also had an up and down season. But in the games he has played, he has looked much better than Juju has. We were all concerned about how he would play with no Antonio Brown there, and we have found out this season that the results for Juju are not good.
Whether or not he has a resurgence next season, this does not help us for the remainder of this season. Going from a top-three round pick in August to barely inside flex consideration halfway through the season is quite a fall from grace for the star receiver. Clearly, the second option and sometimes third in the passing game means his upside the rest of the way is severely hampered. Should Johnson or Claypool miss some time, he has the talent to pop. If all three of them continue to remain healthy, Ben Roethlisberger is no longer the QB who will throw 50 times a game. At this point, he is more of a game manager. And this means limited targets to spread around the offense. So be careful.
Much like Chark above, if you can trade Juju based on name value, you will want to make this move quickly. Not knowing from week to week what to expect from him is frustrating enough as it is. Add in the remaining schedule, including two games against the Ravens, and you have another reason to try to get out while you can.
If you are stuck with him and unable to move him, stick him in your flex and hope, he has one of his boom weeks. Do not expect too much, and you will not be disappointed. Kind of like being a fan of a team that repeatedly lets you down. Lions, Jets, Browns fans. You know what I mean.