The NFL is an unpredictable beast, as we saw this week with the fortunes of J.K. Dobbins, Travis Etienne, Breece Hall, DK Metcalf, and Christian McCaffrey all taking a sharp turn. While we try to do our best to predict the future, we can’t predict… all that. But, we can give a good idea every week of some things that might happen that might cause some consternation… and tell you that there’s nothing to worry about there. Let’s take a look at four more things that might happen this week (that you shouldn’t worry about)!
Andy Dalton Has Another Big Game
Andy Dalton had himself a heck of a game last week, throwing for over 360 yards and four touchdowns (…and two pick-sixes…). He finished as a top-five quarterback on the week, and I can hear what you’re saying, “but Jeff, the Cardinals are one of the best possible quarterback matchups! You can’t expect that going forward!” Well, the voice of reason, I don’t expect that from Dalton going forward, and I acknowledge that the Cardinals are a top-ten matchup.
While I don’t expect a lot of that from Dalton going forward, I do expect this from Dalton in week eight. The Cardinals made for a tasty fantasy matchup, but he gets an even tastier matchup this week: the Las Vegas Raiders, who allow the most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks on the year. Every quarterback going against them has multiple touchdowns and at least 260 total yards this season, and that includes Davis Mills getting 302/2/1 last week (his only game over 250 yards) and Russell Wilson getting his only multiple-passing touchdown game back in week four. Andy Dalton should continue to feast this week.
The Christian Kirk-aissance is Short-Lived
Christian Kirk had himself a bounce-back game last week. The struggling big-name free agent acquisition of the Jaguars had 7 catches for 96 yards against the Giants. That’s a huge game, and it was doubly great for those who trotted out Christian Kirk because in his three previous games he only mustered 7 catches for 95 yards… total.
Unfortunately, this week he’s taking on the Broncos, who allow the third-fewest fantasy points per game to wide receivers, mostly because they drag the game to a halt and let the defense go hard on the quarterback. They’ve allowed wide receivers just one game over 81 yards, and that was to Davante Adams, who is pretty good at football. They’ve also allowed just one touchdown this year, to Brandon Aiyuk in week four.
Darrell Henderson Owns the Backfield… and Struggles
Kyren Williams isn’t ready to come off of the IR yet, and the Rams & Cam Akers had disagreements (the disagreement was over how good Cam Akers is at football), so it’s looking like Darrell Henderson will have sole control of the backfield this week. Unfortunately, that’s coming up against the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers allow the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs on the season, with Clyde Edwards-Helaire scoring just the fourth running back touchdown against the Niners this year. They also allow the second-lowest yards per touch (3.95) behind just the Bills at 3.71 as the only teams below 4.3 yards per touch to running backs. They also have a corresponding fantasy points domination, allowing the third-fewest fantasy points per touch to running backs (0.53) which is behind just the Titans and the Patriots.
Irv Smith, Jr. Scores (at least) One Touchdown
It hasn’t been a great season for those who believed in Irv Smith, Jr. before the year started. He’s been getting a steady drip of targets (at least four targets in every game for five-straight games). As of right now, he’s fallen into the realm of touchdown-or-bust tight end. And, luckily, he’s taking on the team with the most touchdowns allowed to the position, with six touchdowns allowed to tight ends. Last week, they gave up two to Juwan Johnson, who isn’t nearly as good as Irv Smith, Jr. Even if he doesn’t score, he makes for a decent streamer, as the Cardinals also allow the most receptions and the second-most receiving yards to tight ends. Irv Smith gets enough action that he can take advantage of that.