Week 7: Fantasy Football Player Upgrades
Flacco is another QB who has been red-hot. In the last three games, Flacco has totaled 868 yards, eight touchdowns and just one interception. Next week, he hosts the Falcons, who really struggle to defend every facet of the game on the road. Flacco looks like the quarterback we all expected him to be last year after winning the Super Bowl. He should still be considered a QB2 for the bulk of the season. But for the next few weeks, Flacco could be a nice desperation QB1 play. The rejuvenation of the Ravens' No. 1 WR, Steve Smith, has been a major factor in Flacco's production as has the sudden reemergence of Torrey Smith. Injuries and bye weeks make players like Flacco necessary to win matchups. He may not be ideal, but he'll get you by in your time of need.
Hoyer has been on a bit of a roll. He has managed to make Browns fans forget about Johnny Manziel. In five games, he has totaled more than 1,200 yards, seven TDs and just one interception. He does not have the superstar name, but the schedule is more than favorable. In Week 7, the Browns face the miserable and winless Jaguars, who have given up 12 passing touchdowns. The only other winless team in the league is Oakland, the Browns' Week 8 opponent. The Raiders are not terrible against the pass, however, that's because they are even worse against the run and always getting blown out. If they can hang around against a mediocre Browns team, Hoyer could excel. Following the winless duo, Hoyer and the Browns take on the lowly Buccaneers. Tampa is in the bottom ten when it comes to allowing fantasy points to QBs and allowed Joe Flacco to throw five TDs on Sunday. Many are very skeptical of Hoyer due to his lack of weapons. Nonetheless, he is a fantasy asset for the upcoming weeks.
With both A.J. Green and Marvin Jones dealing with injuries, the Bengals will have to lean heavily on Bernard. There is no doubting his talent, but the increased opportunity makes him an elite RB1. Against a talented Panthers front Sunday, he rushed for 137 yards, including an 89-yard touchdown burst. He added four receptions as well. The 22 touches were the second-most of his season, and he would have received even more work if he hadn't missed some game time due to a shoulder injury. Next up for Gio are the Colts, who allowed 6 yards per carry to the Ravens in Week 5 and were picked apart by Arian Fosterlast Thursday. He will also face the Jaguars and Browns in Weeks 9 and 10, respectively. Bernard is always a must-start, but with Green sidelined and not expected to play until Week 8 at the earliest, his value has increased. He will also be a great start in daily leagues as well.
Since returning in Week 5 from a knee injury, Tate has looked great. In those two weeks, he ran for more than 200 yards on 47 carries and scored twice. He is clearly the top back in Cleveland despite facing some serious competition from Isaiah Crowell. Cleveland's next three opponents, as mentioned earlier, are the Jaguars, Raiders and Bucs. You already know they aren't very good at stopping QBs. The same holds true against running backs as all three are below average against the run, and the Raiders and Bucs rank in the bottom eight. A few huge weeks are in store for Tate, who is averaging a stellar 4.6 yards per carry. He could injure himself at any given time, but until then, get him in your starting lineup.
In his last two games, Holmes has totaled nine receptions, 195 yards and three TDs. He has taken full advantage of the opportunity presented to him after Rod Streater was put on short-term injured reserve a few weeks ago. Holmes was clearly the Raiders' go-to receiver against the Chargers as he saw a team-high eight targets and recorded a 20-plus-point day in fantasy. Over the next three weeks, the Raiders will take on the Cardinals' league-worst pass defense, the Browns' 23rd-ranked pass defense, and the Seahawks, who have suddenly fallen to 19th in pass D. Matchups and opportunity have brought upon the perfect storm for Holmes. There is no reason he can't continue his recent run. Sometimes the best option on a terrible team is still the best option available.