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Week 7 - Puff, Puff, Pass


Welcome to week 7 friends. My name is Josh ‘Smokey-Hell’ Nelson (@TNFF_Smokey) and this is “Puff Puff Pass,” my weekly start/sit article where I advise you on which players you should start and "puff" up the points in your starting line-up, or who you should sit and “pass” on down to your bench. Follow along every week to boost your knowledge and to gain an edge on your opponents.

Quarterbacks


Joe Burrow (Cincinnati Bengals)


Aside from one embarrassing outing against the Ravens, Burrow has been a decent starting option this season. Scoring no less than 15 fantasy points per game, he hasn’t killed your fantasy weeks, but everyone has been wanting to see more from the 2020 first overall pick. Enter the Cleveland Browns. Ranking near last in almost every statistical passing defense category, Cleveland has been able to stifle fossils like Big Ben Roethlisberger, and Phillips Rivers, but don’t forget mere weeks ago, Dak Prescott threw for over 500 yards against the Browns. Burrow is in need of a breakout game, and I think this week is it. 350 yards, 2 passing TDs and 30 rushing yards sounds about right. Add on a rushing TD for good measure.

Verdict - PUFF

Kyler Murray (Arizona Cardinals)


Despite putting up some paltry passing yard numbers to date, Kyler is quietly the QB1 on the season. Yes, Russell Wilson was on a bye last week and that helped Murray to become the QB1 overall on the season. Ironically, Kyler is facing Russell and the Seattle Seahawks this week and needless to say, QBs have done exceedingly well against them this year. Kyler finally started connecting with Christian Kirk recently and if he can roll out Kirk along with the elite DeAndre Hopkins, Seattle is going to be in line for a bludgeoning. To sweeten the pot, Kyler is averaging 61.6 rush yards per game, adding a safe floor to his crazy high ceiling. This game might not be the battle for NFL MVP, but it could be the battle for QB1 in fantasy this season.


Verdict - PUFF

Jimmy Garoppolo (San Francisco 49ers)


Welcome back Jimmy! It’s a good thing you performed well last week, because you’re in for a rough one this week. This week Jimmy goes up against the Patriots, whose defense ranks first in plays allowed, passing attempts allowed, passing completions allowed, rushing TDs, red zone TDs … etc. The point is, the Patriots are extremely tough against the pass, so look for Kyle Shanahan to dial up the run game Sunday afternoon. I think Jerick McKinnon will be a great flex play this week (bonus puff!). Regardless, a QB who is only averaging 183.75 passing yards per game is going to get swallowed up like a midnight bag of chips. Jimmy G. is a hard pass for me this week.


Verdict - PASS

Running Backs

Mike Davis (Carolina Panthers)


This might be one of the last true smash weeks for a guy who is the RB6 on the season, despite only playing five games. Christian McCaffrey is due to return sometime soon (ish?) and when he does, the clock will strike midnight for Mike Davis, turning him back into a pumpkin err … valuable handcuff. But for now, while Davis is wearing the Glass Slippers, he is getting plenty of work in the run and passing game. The Saints can be run on and who else is Teddy Two-Gloves going to hand the rock off to? With Robby Anderson able to take the top off a defense, plenty is opened up underneath and I think we’ll see Davis get his third receiving TD on the year against a team ranked 31st in passing TDs allowed.


Verdict - PUFF

J.D. McKissic (Washington Football Team)


The Cowboys’ defense is a heaping mound of steaming crap right now. Do you remember that scene in Jurassic Park, where Jeff Goldblum’s character happens upon a giant pile of triceratops dung? That dung could very well pass for the 2020 Dallas defense! My 85-year old grandmother could put up Priest Holmes-like type numbers against Dallas right now. McKissic is getting the majority of the looks out of the backfield as of late, and that’s all you need to have a productive fantasy day against the Cowboys. Antonio Gibson has been capable with the early down work, but McKissic has been more efficient and I think he is going to explode against Dallas this week. I hope you grabbed him off waivers this week. Flex the hell out of McKissic.

Verdict - PUFF

Damien Harris (New England Patriots)


We all know who the true lead back in New England is. No, not Damien Harris. Not Rex Burkhead. Not James White. Not Sony Michel. It’s Cam Newton baby! We know the talent is there (somewhere) with Harris, but he has had trouble showing it in the NFL, aside from his lone 100-yard game in Week 4. The 49ers have had some bumps in the road defensively, but one area they have locked down is the red zone, ranking top 6 in rushing TDs allowed, red zone attempts allowed and red zone TDs allowed. Don’t expect Harris to do any TD dances this week. As of this writing, Harris is rostered in 55% of Sleeper leagues and thankfully, only started in 14% of them, and probably out of sheer desperation. I get it. We’ve all been there. Forced to start players during bye weeks out of necessity. Heck, father time himself Frank Gore, was a RB1 on one of my teams this season. Regardless of my RB1 issues, Harris is a hard fade.

Verdict - PASS

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Wide Receivers


Stefon Diggs (Buffalo Bills) *Weekly Winner*


A player I was extremely wrong on coming into the year is Stefon Diggs, who has been a revelation in Buffalo. He is a top 5 WR who has scored no less than 14.9 (PPR) fantasy points per game, and unlike his days in Minnesota, he has been remarkably consistent. I know going into battle against a “mental juggernaut” like Adam Gase can be daunting, but Diggs has nerves of steel which should lead him to a boom week against the soon-to-be Trevor Lawrence-led 2021 New York Jets. I think Diggs will score at least two TDs this week, and maybe we’ll even see him do the Griddy on one.


Verdict – PUFF

Mike Williams (Los Angeles Chargers)


Williams gets a cake matchup this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are sitting among the bottom 5 in yards allowed. Justin Herbert has thrown for over 300 yards in two of the four games he has played in this year, and Mike Williams has picked up the slack since Keenan Allen went down. Allen is back now, but Williams is fully healthy and has strung together two great games with Herbert before their bye last week. Look for Williams to put up another 100-yard performance as defenses try to build tape against this new look Chargers.


Verdict – PUFF

Chris Godwin (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)


The Las Vegas Raiders might have lost their entire starting offensive line this week due to Covid-19 protocol, but their defense is still intact. It is a defense that is sitting top 7 in pass attempts allowed, pass completions allowed and passing TDs allowed. The Raiders defense is going to be on Brady fairly quickly and I think this will lead Bruce Arians to lean more on the run game, and ride the hot hand of Ronald Jones (who was one of my hits I puffed on last week!), especially as the Raiders rank bottom three in rushing TDs allowed. To top it off, Godwin has been battling through a hamstring injury and those soft tissue issues can be killers over the course of a season. I just don’t foresee him having a great game this week. Wait until next week when Godwin can feast upon the 1-6 New York Giants.


Verdict – PASS

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Tight Ends

Robert Tonyan (Green Bay Packers)


As I discovered yesterday, Robert's last name is pronounced “Tun-yen” (rhymes with funion) and Aaron Rodgers has also been calling him Bobby. This has zero fantasy relevance, but I love to be the bearer of useless knowledge. How about Paul Tonyan? I could see him donning a toque in the cold Wisconsin winter and resembling a gigantic lumberjack. We’re getting off topic here, unlike Aaron Rodgers and his new favourite TE. Bobby has five TDs to his name so far, including a 3 TD performance against the Atlanta Falcons. Aside from the Packers’ stinker last week, Tonyan has been solid performer, a wonderful come from nowhere story and ranks as the TE6 so far. Fire him up against the Houston Texans.

Verdict - PUFF

T.J. Hockenson (Detroit Lions)


Play it again Sam.” My second TE Puff is the same as it was last week, Mr. Hockenson. Matt Patricia’s job is on the line and the coming out party of D’Andre Swift was as inevitable as his talent is undeniable. I don’t believe the Lions are going to become some run-heavy team now, as that is not how this team is designed. What can we say about Detroit’s opponent this week, the Atlanta Falcons, that hasn’t already been said? Just scroll up one paragraph to where I wrote that Bobby freaking Tonyan put up 3 TDs against these guys! I don’t think Hock Jams will punch in three, but I don’t think one or two are out of the question. I am playing T.J. in every league I have him in this week, some even as a Flex option. That’s how confident I am!


Verdict - PUFF

Jonnu Smith (Tennessee Titans)


I do not trust that ankle injury. Jonnu was seen immediately heading into the team facility after the stretching portion of Wednesday’s practice, but put in a full practice Thursday. I have seen medical reports that say ankles are sort of important to the game of football and having functional ones puts you at an advantage. Sarcasm aside, I am so moved off of Jonnu this week. So much so that I have actually picked up shares of Anthony Firsker this week, especially in light of his stellar performance last week after Jonnu was forced out of the game early on. Oh, I forgot to mention, Tennessee plays the Pittsburgh Steelers this week, who I have confirmed are good at football and have a stellar defense. I think it would be in both Jonnu’s and the Titans’ best interest to sit him out this one and let Firsker take some punishment. Faaaaaaaaade.


Verdict - PASS

Thank you for reading my "Puff, Puff, Pass" article for week 7. Do you agree or disagree with any of my starts and sits? Please leave a comment or let me know @TNFF_Smokey

Editor: Joe Simonetti (@joesimonetti77)

Graphic work: Dan Made Graphics (@DanMadeGraphics)



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