by ANDREW HORN
Survive and advance. That is all my team seems to do. Seven wins is a decent season. Seven wins in seven weeks is a great start, although, normally first place is a curse in our league. The season is in its most critical part: if you want any shot of making the playoffs, you need to win your next three games. That only happens if you know who is a Week 7 winner and loser.
Winner: Kirk Cousins (WAS)- 46.4 points
Yes Kirk Cousins, we like that fantasy performance. The eccentric third-year quarterback had his best game of the season, throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for another. What makes Cousins’ performance even more impressive? No turnovers. This is a huge development in his game. If Cousins can string a few games like Sunday together, the Redskins may be able to think about the playoffs. Only a small number of quarterbacks have had great success before their respective bye weeks. The ones that did continued to have success. Week 9 in New England will be very telling of Cousins’ potential this season.
Loser: Colin Kaepernick (SF)- 6.2 points
Kaepernick was not good on Thursday. He wasn’t even average and not good enough to be bad. Throwing for only 124 yards with no touchdowns for one of the most athletic quarterbacks in the league is not how the 49ers will win. Kaepernick needs to make a decision: rise up or fall off. Champions rise through adversity. Kaepernick can rise up Week 8 against division rival St. Louis. He shouldn’t rise into your starting lineup.
Winner: Lamar Miller (MIA)- 42.6 points
In two games under new coach Dan Campbell, the Dolphins have scored 82 points. In those two weeks, Miller has 62.4 fantasy points, nearly triple of his total in his previous four games. The new Dan Campbell Dolphins are worth a start at every position.
Loser: Arian Foster (HOU)- 26.5 points
Say what you want about how you won Week 7 because of him, but the injury plagued Foster is done for the year with an Achilles injury. This adds to the doubt of Foster’s value for the Texans. A healthy back is always more valuable than an injured one. It will be interesting to see how Foster comes back next season. Be careful about which back you pick up to replace Foster, but Alfred Blue appears to be the favorite to take the starting job.
T.Y. Hilton, Amari Cooper, Dwayne Harris, Stefon Diggs and Jarvis Landry all scored more than 18 points. Hilton scored 34 on just four catches. Diggs had what could be the catch of the year on his 36-yard touchdown catch. Even Dwayne Harris, a player with only one touchdown this season, contributed with a kickoff return for a score. In order of the their listing: Play Sit Sit Play Play.
It was an oddly quiet day for some of the league’s biggest name receivers. Odell Beckham Jr, DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson all had five points or fewer. This happens every so often where the guys you wouldn’t expect have career games and the ones you count on throw in duds. Start them all next week and hope this doesn’t become a problem.
Winners: Jordan Reed (WAS)- 21.2 points
This is what the Redskins envisioned for their tight end position when they drafted Reed. His 11 catch performance on Sunday show how dynamic Reed can be in the offense. The Cousins/Reed connection is one that works. If Reed continues to work well with Cousins, it might almost make people forget there isn’t running game. Reed just needs to stay healthy. Take the risk and start him after the bye week.
Loser: Free agent acquisitions.
Julius Thomas, Charles Clay and Jordan Cameron all switched teams in the offseason to pursue more money and better offensive opportunities. Thomas can’t stay healthy, Clay hasn’t scored since Week 3 and Cameron has only made it to 10 points once this season. These are three good second-tier tight ends that need to step up soon, or their teams will draft somebody that will. Sit all three of them if you can.
New York Giants- 40.9 points
If there was ever a time for the Giants defense to step up, this was the game to do it. Four turnovers and two touchdowns propelled the Giants to a 27-20 win. The NFC East is clouded in mediocrity right, meaning big plays are bound to happen. Between the Eagles’ defensive problems, the Redskins inability to control time of possession and the Cowboys quarterback problems, the Giants defense looks good enough to be a consistent fantasy option. Having Jason Pierre-Paul helps too.
St. Louis Rams- 33 points
For the fourth time in six games, the Rams defense put up more than 20 points and the third time the defense forced 3+ turnovers. The Rams might have the most fearsome front seven in football, thanks to the RGIII trade a few years ago. The Rams aren’t just a good option, they are good enough to consider trading for.