Week 7 was full of unexpected outcomes. From disappointing performances from superstars to surprising outings from forgotten names, here are my takeaways from Week 7.
Patrick, “I wanna go home”
Is this the end of the world? Is Mercury in retrograde? There has to be some explanation of why Patrick Mahomes has looked so bad this season. Mahomes is tied for the league lead in interceptions, has thrown the most interceptions of his career, and it’s only Week 7!
Even though he is QB5 on the fantasy season, we need to take a look at his underwhelming performance on Sunday.
Prior to his fourth-quarter injury, Mahomes was having a “no good, very bad day.” He struggled mightily while posting his season-low completion rate (57%) and season-low passing yards (206) along with an interception. Also, the 27-3 loss to the Tennessee Titans was the largest loss-margin of his career. To sum it up, it was the worst fantasy game of his career, finishing QB22 with only 8.7 FP.
Sunday, Patrick Mahomes did not score a passing or rushing TD. This has only happened two other times in his starting career.
🔹Week 4 in 2019 against DET
🔹Week 17 in his rookie year (his first start ) pic.twitter.com/FeP34WGXiE
— Troy King🧙🏾♂️✨ (@TKingMode) October 25, 2021
Despite his struggles, you shouldn’t be too worried about Mahomes going forward.
Yes, he gets a cake matchup in Week 8 against the 23rd-ranked New York Giants, but there are other reasons to remain confident in Mahomes for the rest of the season. He is still ballin' out, currently in the top five in passing yards per game (299) and passing touchdowns per game (2.6). Also, he is continually doing his old-man jogging, currently top-10 in rushing yards per game (31.3). Yes, he needs to stop turning the ball over, but outside of that, he has been great. Granted, his standards are otherworldly, but it’s his fault for spoiling us. There is no need to panic, however, about Mahomes for fantasy purposes; continue to start him with confidence.
A+ J BROWN
HALLELUJAH! A.J. Brown is looking like A.J. Brown again. He is finally healthy, averaging 7.5 receptions on 9 targets and 112 yards a game over the past two weeks, ranking as the WR4 over that timeframe. You would think he has magnetic hands as he is commanding a massive 35% target share during that span. His Week 7 performance stood out for various reasons, even more so than his good Week 6 game.
Brown was unstoppable as he caught 8 of 9 targets for a season-high 133 receiving yards and a touchdown, finishing as the WR4. He made quite the statement as he had more yards in Week 7 than he did in Weeks 5 and 6 combined (129). What’s also shocking is that it was his first performance over 100 yards since Week 17 of last year. Brown having a big game was not unexpected, but what was fascinating was his involvement despite the blowout victory.
— NFL (@NFL) October 24, 2021
Going into this matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, there were expectations of a shootout given the high-powered offenses and terrible secondaries. Apparently only the Titans were informed of this. Normally, this would be a “Derrick Henry” game script, but the Chiefs’ run defense held Henry to his lowest yards of the season (86) and didn’t allow him to score a single touchdown. Henry’s lack of production definitely allowed for more opportunities for Brown, but regardless he will still be heavily involved independent of game script. As long as Brown is healthy, he will be a borderline WR1 for the rest of the season, even in Week 8 against the 11th-ranked Indianapolis Colts’ defense. Protect A.J. Brown at all costs.
Now that’s what I'm talking about, rook! Rashod Bateman had a solid performance in the second game of his career coming off injury. Bateman actually tied Marquise Brown with a team-leading 80 receiving yards and did it on eight fewer targets. Interestingly enough, he also led the team in yards per reception (26.7). Unfortunately, he only had three receptions and did not score, which led to him finishing as the WR33 on the week.
While in some ways it was a promising performance, there are some concerns that need to be noted.
Rashod Bateman averaged 26.7 yards per catch yesterday with three going for 80 total yards. All seven of his first NFL catches have picked up first downs. pic.twitter.com/ZAEWq2DCq3
— Sarah Ellison (@sgellison) October 25, 2021
First off, Bateman saw a dramatic decrease in target share as he went from 22.2% in Week 6 to only 14.6% in Week 7. Bateman was fighting for attention as he was third in target share behind Brown (34.1%) and Mark Andrews (17.1%). Also, Lamar Jackson had more passing attempts (31) and more passing yards (257) than the previous week, which also raises concerns for Bateman’s lack of involvement. It’s possible Bateman will always be third in the pecking order, but game script could affect his future impact.
For example, the Ravens boat-raced the Chargers in Week 6, which may be the reason Bateman saw a higher target share. The Ravens were attempting to come back in Week 7 however, so Jackson favored his more trusted weapons down the stretch.
Time will tell if this trend continues for Bateman’s future usage.
Patience is a virtue though, as Bateman is on bye next week. However, I’m impatient, so let's fast forward to Week 9 when he'll face the 13th-ranked Minnesota Vikings defense. Even though it's a tougher matchup, there is still room to be optimistic. Bateman will be coming off a bye, which means he will be more prepared for this matchup and with more time to integrate himself into the offense. Also, Brown should command tougher coverage, which should work in Bateman’s favor in terms of facing an easier cornerback matchup. He will be a solid flex play in Week 9 and, hopefully, will continue to see more targets as the season goes on.
Am I missing something? Did a time warp take us back to 2018? Because Zach Ertz is relevant again and needs to be discussed. Last week, Ertz was traded to the Arizona Cardinals as a result of Maxx Williams being out for the year due to injury. Surprisingly, Ertz brought a different dimension to the offense and made an immediate impact in his debut Sunday.
He was one of the stars of the show as he had 3 receptions on 5 targets and 66 receiving yards and a touchdown, finishing at TE5. You would think Ertz had been on the team all season as he tied for second in target share with Christian Kirk (17.9%) and tied for first in receiving yards with AJ Green. He even showed off with a rushing attempt for a grand total of 4 yards, which is insignificant, but still cool to see that utilization. Even though it was a one-game sample size, we need to do a quick before-and-after look concerning 2021 “Eagles” Zach Ertz versus “Cardinals” Zach Ertz.
— NFL (@NFL) October 24, 2021
In his past life with the Eagles this season, Ertz averaged a 16% target share, 31 receiving yards a game, and 10.5 yards a reception. In just one game with Arizona, Ertz had several season-highs in his debut which included receiving yards (66), yards per reception (22), and fantasy points (16).
In short, the Cardinals were making it a point to get Ertz involved, especially downfield.
However, Ertz gets a tougher matchup in Week 8 against the Green Bay Packers’ defense as they are 21st in fantasy points allowed. Despite the matchup, he still has the upside to put up top-12 numbers in the league's fourth-ranked offense. It may be hard to predict consistency as the Cardinals have several capable offensive weapons, but Ertz’s involvement was very inspiring for his first game with a new team.
I believe with his new scenery, Ertz can easily finish the season as a top-10 fantasy tight end.