Week 7 marks the start of the second half of the regular season for most Fantasy Football leagues. As the push for the playoffs continues to heat up with each passing week, making sound Fantasy Football strategy decisions becomes all the more important. It may be time to bench an underperforming draft choice and play the matchups. It may be time to sell one of your stars high in order to round out the rest of a middling roster. Perhaps you have depth to spare and are interested in pursuing said stars to elevate you from playoff contender status to championship contender.
Whatever your Fantasy Football strategy goals are this week, Hank’s Bank is here to help. From the cash play of the week to buy-low/sell-high trade advice and a helpful streamer pick, this week’s edition is as packed as ever. Combine a strategic approach with a bit of luck and I assure you that your team will be in a good position come Fantasy Playoffs time. BANK THAT!
Hank’s Bank Vocabulary Key
Asset: Trade Target
Transfer: Trade Away
Invest: Free Agent Acquisition
Loan: Weekly Streamer
Week 7 Banking
Cash: Mike Williams | WR | Los Angeles Chargers
Week 5 saw Mike Williams return from a nagging hamstring injury and immediately become the top target for rookie quarterback Justin Herbert when Keenan Allen was forced out of the game with back spasms. Williams made the most of the situation, hauling in 5 of 8 targets for 109 yards and 2 touchdowns, 27.9 Fantasy points in typical PPR-scoring leagues. Fantasy managers who overreacted to Williams’ slow start were left scrambling to add the 26-tear old back to their rosters. Allen is back following the team’s bye for this week’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the matchup makes both of L.A.’s wideouts viable Fantasy options in my eyes.
Based on numbers alone, the Jaguars rank near the middle of the league in terms of Fantasy points allowed to wide receivers at 36.35 per game. At the same time, however, Jacksonville ranks dead last in adjusted defensive efficiency against the pass, per Football Outsiders. This stat alone makes me more than comfortable fading the Jaguars secondary when it comes to Fantasy Football strategy. Rookie first-round pick C.J. Henderson starts opposite Tre Herndon at the cornerback positions, and both are likely to see time covering Williams given the 6’4” receiver’s tendency to line up on both sides of the field. With so much youth and inexperience in the secondary, it’s no surprise that the Jaguars are allowing over 270 passing yards per game. Call me crazy, but I’d rather start Williams over D.J. Chark on the other side of the ball in this very game.
Deposit: CeeDee Lamb | WR | Dallas Cowboys
This call could come back to haunt me but considering how I see the Cowboys’ Week 7 game against the Washington Football Team playing out, the Fantasy Football strategy play is to downgrade Dallas receivers in Fantasy. The obvious angle on this game is that Andy Dalton is the permanent Cowboys quarterback following Dak Prescott’s injury. Perhaps the angle less noted by casual Fantasy players is the struggling Cowboys offensive line. The Cowboys have experienced turnover on the interior of the line and also lost star tackle, Tyron Smith, for the season. It showed last week against the Cardinals. Despite being without their top pass rusher Chandler Jones, Arizona sacked Dalton three times and held the Cowboys rushing attack to 97 total yards.
Enter Washington’s defense. The front lines of the unit are just bursting with talent, most notably in the form of edge rushers Chase Young and Montez Sweat. Both players could very well be living in the Dallas backfield on Sunday, and the Washington defensive front as a whole is capable of taking over and dictating a football game. Their pass rushers are a big reason why Football Team is allowing 27.37 Fantasy points per game to wide receivers, the lowest such mark of any team. There’s a chance that due to being under heavy fire Dalton looks to Lamb in the slot, but I would argue for tight end Dalton Schultz to be the more likely benefactor on shorter routes over the middle. All Cowboys receivers get a downgrade for me this week, with Lamb falling below WR2 status.
Asset: D’Andre Swift | RB | Detroit Lions
Buckle up Fantasy managers because the Detroit Lions have finally found a running back! Rookie second-round pick D’Andre Swift has impressed mightily despite playing in a three-way timeshare alongside Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson. He has flashed sound receiving skills to go alongside his rushing abilities. Last week’s 116 yards on 14 carries (8.29 yards per carry), 2 rushing touchdowns, and 3 receptions buoyed Swift to the biggest Fantasy performance of his young career to date. His 27.3 points ranked him the RB3 for Week 6. Now is the time to implement this Fantasy Football strategy call and acquire Swift before another monster game.
Swift has now produced nearly an equal amount of PPR production as both Peterson & Johnson combined, despite seeing a lot less volume through 5 games
Swift: 68.9 FP, 46 touches
AP+Johnson: 70.2 FP, 102 touches
— Matt Hicks (@TheFF_Educator) October 21, 2020
Earlier this week, Matt Hicks of The Dynasty Draft Room sent out the tweet above, offering a breakdown of Swift’s Fantasy points and volume of touches compared to those of Peterson and Johnson. There is clearly an explosive back in this offense. Swift has another terrific matchup this week against an Atlanta Falcons defense that is allowing the 10th-most points per game to RBs. Looking ahead, Detroit’s schedule offers plus matchups for the Fantasy Playoffs as well. Play up the timeshare in trade talks, knowing full well who the most efficient Lions back is.
Transfer: Todd Gurley | RB | Atlanta Falcons
After a slow start to the season, Todd Gurley has rebounded nicely in terms of Fantasy Football production in the last few weeks. Prior to last week, Gurley had found the end zone in three straight games. His 4.3 yards per carry on the season is plenty serviceable, and he has also mixed in some contributions as a pass-catcher. Despite having 20 carries last week, Gurley finished with only 47 rushing yards. That performance was more similar to his struggles in each of the first two weeks. Unfortunately, there could be plenty more coming thanks to a daunting schedule ahead.
Atlanta’s game this week against the Lions and next week against Carolina are two of the best matchups Gurley will see for the rest of the season. Week 9 starts a gauntlet that sees him face the Broncos, Saints (twice), Chargers, and Buccaneers in five of his next six games. A single positive matchup against the Raiders and a bye week are not enough to warrant holding Gurley if you can net a positive return for him now. Your postseason fate could hinge on this Fantasy Football strategy call.
Invest: Tim Patrick | WR | Denver Broncos
Let’s make it clear that there is nothing sexy about the Broncos offense. Despite this fact, receiver Tim Patrick is producing in a big way. With top weapon Courtland Sutton out for the season, the Broncos have needed other pass-catchers to step up. While Jerry Jeudy and tight end Noah Fant are the most heralded of the two, Patrick has quietly been the most impressive weapon in each of the last two weeks.
Patrick had 6 receptions for 113 yards and a score in Week 4 with Brett Rypien playing quarterback and followed it up with another 100-yard game last week with Drew Lock back under center. The target share has been encouraging as well. Despite all this, Patrick is still only owned in 23.9% of ESPN leagues. Sound Fantasy Football strategy would be to make sure yours is one of them. Patrick will fit in well as bench depth and could even be a viable starting option in the coming weeks as the NFL bye cycle progresses.
Loan: Cleveland Browns | D/ST
The Browns defense is a tale of a very differing front and back. The defensive line that Cleveland has assembled, headlined of course by end Myles Garrett, is intimidating and knows how to generate a pass rush. Unfortunately, through a combination of injuries and lack of depth, the secondary has not been quite so scary to the offenses that have lined up opposite Cleveland. The numbers aren’t anything special. The Browns rank 20th in adjusted defensive efficiency and 30th in opponent points per game (31.2). Yet the defense has still managed to accumulate 37 Fantasy points on the season, good for 13th.
Sunday’s matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals puts Cleveland in a great spot. Given the weak state of the Bengals’ offensive line, the Browns should have no trouble getting pressure on Joe Burrow, registering sacks, and forcing a turnover or two. Only owned in 43.5% of ESPN leagues, the Browns are still widely available and ripe for Fantasy Football strategy streaming purposes this week.