Well, we have officially arrived at the midpoint of the fantasy football season. If your team is 7-0, 6-1, or even 5-2, congrats! That is no easy feat, and your team is sitting very nicely for the playoff push. However, most of us are stuck in the middle at either 4-3 or 3-4. This is where some deep soul searching needs to occur. How do you REALLY feel about your roster? Positions you can improve? Any extra assets at positions you are deep in, and can make a trade to improve the overall makeup of your roster? How about some guys on the waiver wire that are poised for some second half action? In short, you really do not have that much time left to improve your roster before the trade deadline passes in a few weeks. If you can make a move, now is the time to do it. Seven weeks down, seven (regular season fantasy matchups) to go. Now is the time to take action, and, as always, overthink every single fantasy decision you make. Let’s dive in.
Cardinals 42, Saints 34
Cardinals top performer(s): In a game that featured many scores from non-fantasy stars, two players delivered that were probably in lineups. First was Eno Benjamin, who had close to 100 yards rushing and a score. He continues to provide flex level production and should, as long as James Conner is out. The other player was none other than Deandre Hopkins. For those of you that have been stashing Nuk on your bench for the season thus far, you have to be pretty happy with the results. 10 catches for over 100 yards on an insane 14 targets. No other Cardinals player got more than 5 targets. I expect the targets to even out somewhat, but Nuk is back and should continue to produce at a high level, as long as he stays healthy. Lineup lock.
Saints top performer(s): While the box score indicates Andy Dalton had a pretty strong game with 361 yards passing as well as 4 TDs, let’s not forget he also threw 3 INTs, with 2 of them being pick-sixes. Not going to win many games when that happens. The bright spot from the Saints was the return of Chris Olave from a concussion he sustained, and he had over 100 yards. As long as Olave stays healthy, he belongs locked into lineups as well. The Saints season is slipping away from them, and they really need some players to get healthy (i.e. Jameis Winston, Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, Marshon Lattimore, among others) in order to turn their season around.
Bengals 35, Falcons 17
Bengals top performer(s): After the Bengals slow start, their offense seems to be clicking on all cylinders now. All 3 WRs (Chase, Higgins, and Boyd) all had solid games. Joe Mixon found the end zone as well, even though he was only able to muster less than 60 yards rushing. However, his production was not needed when Burrow threw for over 300 yards in the first HALF. Continue to roll with the Bengals with confidence.
Falcons top performer(s): Tyler Allgeier was the fantasy "star" in this one for Atlanta. Kyle Pitts was another no show in this one, with only 3 catches for 9 yards. At this point in the season, Pitts belongs on benches for the foreseeable future. I'm not sure any Falcons players are worth playing at this point. Marcus Mariota can only elevate this offense so far. If the offense continues to struggle, will they turn the keys of the offense over to Desmond Ridder?
Cowboys 24, Lions 6
Cowboys top performer(s): In a game that many of us thought could be a high scoring affair, a total of 30 points was scored. Very disappointing. Tony Pollard continues to look fantastic, however Zeke continues to vulture his goal line carries. Zeke was able to score twice on the ground, and his goal line touches certainly elevate his status to weekly flex tier. Now that Dak is back, I expect this offense to perform better offensively each week. **Update: Zeke is expected to miss this week against the Bears. Start Tony Pollard and please don’t overthink it. Top 15 play.
Lions top performer(s): What a disappointing week from the Lions. Sound familiar? The Lions running game had over 100 yards rushing, with Jamaal Williams attaining roughly 80 of those yards. That was about it. You could tell it was going to be a rough day when Amon-Ra St Brown left the game early due to going through the concussion protocol.
Titans 19, Colts 10
Titans top performer(s): King Henry continues to eat after a sluggish start. Keep rolling with him without hesitation and with strong confidence. As he goes, so does the Titans offense. No other players worth considering for lineups at this time.
Colts top performer(s): The Colts offense has to be the most disappointing offense in football. Well, at least one of the most disappointing, since there are plenty of others to choose from as well. Looking at you, Tom Brady, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The star of this one for Indy was Parris Campbell who scored. JT continues to struggle, and now they turn the keys of the offense to Sam Ehlinger. I mean, it can't get any worse, right? Right??? Until I see something, I can't play any Colts, outside of JT, but JT has been a massive disappointment for those that selected him #1 overall.
Commanders 23, Packers 21
Commanders top performer(s): Scary Terry welcome to the 2022 fantasy season! For those who have been patient with Terry McLaurin, it was a refreshing sight to see him so heavily involved in their win against Green Bay. Based on his production last week as well as last year with Taylor Heinicke, I would continue to start Scary Terry, as well as Brian Robinson Jr. Curtis Samuel belongs on benches, for now.
Packers top performer(s): Aaron Jones was the fantasy star for Green Bay in this one due to his 9 receptions. Another massively disappointing offense. Until Aaron Rodgers shows some improvement, I'm not sure you can start anyone outside of Jones on this offense.
Panthers 21, Buccaneers 3
Panthers top performer(s): In a game where most folks, myself included, thought the Panthers would get absolutely demolished, they held the Bucs out of the end zone. Go figure. The stars of this one were Chuba Hubbard and D'Onta Foreman. Both looked really good running the ball against the Tampa Bay defense. DJ Moore had a solid game as well, which is nice to see, especially for those of us who drafted him early in drafts. I don't expect both running backs to play this well every week, and I have no idea who is going to end up with higher volume. But, if either guy is on the waiver wire, they are worth an add. DJ Moore finally cracks the lineup as a flex player this week.
Bucs top performer(s): Mike Evans had 9 catches for 96 yards. Frankly. I'm not sure how you can start any Bucs players with confidence at this point. Tom Brady looks lost. The offensive line looks subpar. I understand starting Fournette on a weekly basis, as well as Mike Evans, but it's hard to bank on solid production from this offense right now. I know it's the GOAT and this offense dominated the last two years, but the results just have not been there lately. Don't overthink it too much. If they aren't producing, they do not belong in lineups.
Giants 23, Jaguars 17
Giants top performer(s): The Giants continue to find ways to win ball games. This time, they rushed for close to 250 yards as a team. This included another strong performance from Saquon Barkley, and the first 100 yard rushing game from Daniel Jones. Barkley is obviously a no brainer starter, and I would even venture to say Danny Dimes deserves to be in lineups as well. The rest of the Giants? Stay put on benches for now, but I'm keeping a close eye on Wan'Dale Robinson's usage. He could belong in lineups sooner than later.
Jags top performer(s): While the Jags did lose this game, Travis Etienne SZN is in full effect. I wrote about this the last few weeks, but now that James Robinson has been traded to the Jets following Breece Hall's injury, but Etienne is now a locked in RB1. Weekly starts from this offense include Etienne and Christian Kirk.
Ravens 23, Browns 20
Ravens top performer(s): All aboard the GUS BUS! In his first game action since suffering an ACL tear last year, Edwards had 66 yards rushing and 2 TDs. Now, the Baltimore backfield will probably fluctuate weekly, but I like Edwards, so scoop him up if you can. The rest of the Baltimore offense did not perform great, but Lamar and Andrews are clearly weekly starts. That includes this week, even though it is a short week against a tough defense. Just temper your expectations.
Browns top performer(s): The Browns just keep finding agonizing ways to lose a ball game. The one constant has been the strong play from Nick Chubb and Amari Cooper. David Njoku was having a solid game as well prior to his injury. Assuming he is playing this week, all three belong in lineups.
Jets 16, Broncos 9
Jets top performer(s): A moment of silence for Breece Hall. Okay, that might have been a little much, but you gotta feel for the guy. He's been taking the league by storm the last few weeks, then the unfortunate ACL injury happens. Brutal. Just when it was looking like it was Michael Carter's turn to be RB1, the Jets went out and acquired James Robinson from the Jags. Great move on their part, and it's a welcome sight for Robinson owners. Robinson is back into the weekly start tier, without question. Don't overthink it.
Broncos top performer(s): Jerry Jeudy had a nice game with close to 100 yards receiving. Jeudy's name has been mentioned in recent trade talks, as have some other Broncos. Will be interesting to see if anyone gets moved by next Tuesday's deadline. Again, until I see more from this offense, I'm benching all Broncos players. Regardless of who is playing QB.
Raiders 38, Texans 20
Raiders top performer(s): Josh Jacobs needs to be talked about more this season. Some were down on him entering this year, unsure of how McDaniels and the new regime would utilize him. He's responded in a huge way each week, and none more than last week. Over 100 yards and 3 TDs. Continue rolling with him and Davante Adams with the utmost confidence.
Texans top performer(s): Dameon Pierce. That's it. Just going to copy and paste this sentence for every future Texans game. Not really, but you get the point.
Seahawks 37, Chargers 23
Seahawks top performer(s): Kenneth Walker II is starting to show off his talents and just how high his ceiling can get. Another monster performance against an awful Chargers running game. DK Metcalf injured his patellar tendon in this one, and may miss time. Who will step up? Well. Tyler Lockett for starters. Also, Marquise Goodwin had 2 TDs and I could see him benefiting from Metcalf's targets.
Chargers top performer(s): Austin Ekeler looks like he might end up as THE RB1 this fantasy season. Doing it all. PPR monster. Ekeler and Mike Williams are weekly starts. Keenan Allen returned from his hamstring injury, but was held to 2 catches for 11 yards. He belongs in lineups when LAC return from their bye.
Chiefs 44, 49ers 23
Chiefs top performer(s): The Chiefs offense continues to be a juggernaut, regardless of who they are playing. Juju Smith-Schuster and MVS both went over 100 yards receiving, but I would still have a hard time trusting them in my lineups. The RB situation is murky at best, but I like rostering Pacheco if you have a roster spot available. He could continue to see more work once the Chiefs return from their bye week.
49ers top performer(s): George Kittle, THIS is what we have been waiting for! Finally had a breakout game, and let's see if it's going to continue. But, you're starting him regardless due to how terrible the TE position has been. CMC will continue to get acclimated with this offense and will be providing RB1 production soon.
Dolphins 16, Steelers 10
Dolphins top performer(s): Pretty strong performances in this one from Raheem Mostert, Jaylen Waddle, and Tyreek Hill. I expect Tua to look better each week, and you can continue to start all 3 of those guys with confidence. I'm also keeping an eye to see if Miami does indeed trade Mike Geisicki, which would elevate his fantasy prospects.
Steelers top performer(s): Pat Freiermuth and George Pickens had nice games, and Pickens continues to show a strong rapport with Kenny Pickett. You almost have to keep rolling Najee Harris out there, but I think it's safe to say he will end up as a pretty big first round bust this year (from a fantasy standpoint).
Bears 33, Patriots 14
Bears top performer(s): This is EXACTLY what Bears fans wanted to see from Justin Fields. Was pretty solid throwing the ball, and scored a rushing TD as well. Gave me Jalen Hurts vibes from last year. Both David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert played well in this one, and I can see a scenario where both can be inserted into lineups on a weekly basis.
Patriots top performer(s): The QB situation is one to monitor, but the Patriots have something in Rhamondre Stevenson. This guy just continues to produce. I expect some of his volume to decrease with Damien Harris probably getting more work this week, but you still have to play Stevenson.