Fantasy football Week 7 recap and top waiver wire picks

Week 7 had its share of disappointing performances, with three teams being shut out, but there were some big days by the usual suspects.

Ezekiel Elliott finally put a complete game together as the Cowboys trounced the 49ers 40-10. Elliott rushed 26 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He only had one catch out of the backfield, but he took it 72 yards for a score as he tight-roped the sideline and cut back to get into the end zone. Despite having the top performance of the week, Elliott’s future remains very much in question. He’s going to play Week 8, but after that his status is up in the air.

RELATED: Fantasy football Week 8 rankings.

In that same game, Dak Prescott accounted for four touchdowns. Prescott threw for 243 yards and three touchdowns. He ran four times for 26 yards and another score. He’s a must-start every week at this point in his career. If Elliott can stay on the field, Prescott’s value will stay high.

The quarterback that had the best week played on Thursday night. Derek Carr threw for 417 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those scores went to Amari Cooper, who finally had a big game this season. He caught 11 passes for 210 yards.

Amari Cooper #89 of the Oakland Raiders scores a 38-yard touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 19, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Raiders kept their season alive with a big win and it could possibly spark better play all around. Tight end Jared Cook is starting to earn a reputation as a big-play receiver. He had six receptions for 104 yards, including a big sideline catch to set up the winning score. Michael Crabtree continued to play well, scoring the game-winning touchdown.

The biggest disappointment for the Raiders was Marshawn Lynch, who rushed just twice for nine yards before he left the bench during a dust up and put his hands on an official. He’s been suspended for a week, making Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington possible waiver pick ups.

Also playing Thursday night, Tyreek Hill continued to put up nice numbers. He caught six passes for 125 yards and a touchdown.

A week doesn’t go by without Kareem Hunt gaining over 100 yards from scrimmage. He became just the second NFL player to reach 1,000 scrimmage yards in his first seven career games, joining Eric Dickerson.

Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) is forced out of bounds by Oakland Raiders cornerback T.J. Carrie during the first half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

LeSean McCoy, Aaron Jones and T.J. Yeldon all had big weeks from the running back position as well. McCoy totaled 122 yards and scored twice. Jones rushed for over 100 yards, including a 46-yard score, for the second time in three weeks as he continues to be the go-to back for the Packers.

Yeldon put up great numbers when it was expected that Chris Ivory would be the beneficiary of Leonard Fournette missing the game. Ivory was decent and had the bulk of the carries, but Yeldon rushed just nine times for 122 yards and a touchdown. That said, there’s really no reason to pick up Yeldon with the Jaguars’ bye week coming up and Fournette expected back in Week 9.

Speaking of the Jaguars, their defense pitched a shutout, as did the Rams and Chargers. Jacksonville recorded 10 sacks against a terrible Colts offense. The team is in shambles without Andrew Luck, but even if he returned tomorrow, they would still be in trouble with that offensive line. The Chargers shut out the Broncos while making five sacks and picking off one pass. The Rams blanked the Cardinals and severely jeopardized Arizona’s season as they knocked Carson Palmer out of commission with a broken arm.

The Palmer injury will be a big blow to the value of Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald had just three catches for 29 yards Sunday. It also makes me wonder if the Cardinals will hold out David Johnson once he’s healthy if their season is beyond saving.

T.Y. Hilton had a terrible day as well, catching two passes for 27 yards. The Colts are 2-5 and with Luck’s recent setback, it seems like a lost season for the Colts and its skill players.

The worst nightmare came true for fantasy owners of the Packers receivers. Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson combined for five catches and just 40 yards a week after Aaron Rodgers went down to injury. Anyone who picked up Brett Hundley thinking he’d be somewhat adequate were severely disappointed. He threw for 87 yards and one interception. Hundley did rush for 44 yards and a touchdown.

Another disappointing quarterback this week, though unexpectedly, was Matt Ryan. He had a great matchup with a struggling Patriots defense and only managed 233 yards passing and a touchdown. Ryan’s regression is real and he’s looking like he did before his big year last season.

On the bright side, Alex Smith, Russell Wilson and Jameis Winston are all healthy and each had outstanding performances. Smith threw three touchdown passes in a losing effort while Wilson had a big second half to beat the Giants.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Rich Barnes)

Even Josh McCown, a suggested streaming quarterback from last week, had a great day, throwing for 209 yards and three touchdowns.

Winston hooked up well with rookie tight end O.J. Howard for the first time this season. Howard caught all six of the passes sent his way, gaining 98 yards and scoring twice.

Another rookie tight end who keeps playing well is Evan Engram. He caught six passes for 60 yards and a touchdown. The Giants are a mess offensively, but Engram is probably the only quality start.

Top waiver wire picks

Jalen Richard, RB, Raiders: 9 rushes, 31 yards; 4 rec., 45 yards.

Kenny Stills, WR, Dolphins: 6 rec., 85 yards, 2TDs. He’s played well with quarterback Matt Moore in the past.

Ted Ginn, WR, Saints: 7 rec., 141 yards. He’s had two quality games in a row and Drew Brees can utilize a speedster.

Latavius Murray, RB, Vikings: 18 rushes, 113 yards, TD. Jerick McKinnon was the hot name last week, and the duo were virtually even in touches, but Murray had the most success.

Deonte Thompson, WR, Bills: He hasn’t been with the team for a week yet and he’s already proving to be valuable. He caught four passes for 104 yards Sunday.

Matt Moore, QB, Dolphins: Jay Cutler is out and Moore can be productive as a streaming QB.

O.J. Howard, TE, Buccaneers: 6 rec., 98 yards, 2 TDs.

Contact Cat Vasquez at 512-445-3677. Email cvasquez@statesman.com. Twitter @AAS_Cat.

Week 7 recap and waiver wire suggestions

Last year it was Tim Hightower.

Two years ago it was Odell Beckham Jr.

There’s always that midseason revelation that smart owners either stowed away early or picked up as a free agent to take their team from a contender to a champion. Will it be Jay Ajayi this year?

Ajayi, a second-year running back, turned in just the fifth back-to-back 200-yard rushing performance in NFL history on Sunday. He joined Earl Campbell, O.J. Simpson, who did it twice, and Ricky Williams as the only other backs to accomplish that feat. You’ve got to believe he’s solidified himself as the lead running back in Miami now that Arian Foster has announced his retirement. Ajayi’s had two straight weeks with at least 25 carries, including 28 for 214 yards on Sunday. If for some reason he’s not owned in your league, snatch him up ASAP.

Among the many running backs that had big weeks Melvin Gordon cashed in the most, scoring three times while amassing 121 yards of offense.

Melvin Gordon #28 of the San Diego Chargers rushes away from Deion Jones #45 of the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on October 23, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Melvin Gordon #28 of the San Diego Chargers rushes away from Deion Jones #45 of the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on October 23, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Matt Forte, who I admit to giving up on, turned in a great game as he rushed for more yards than he had in the three previous weeks combined. He also scored twice.

Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson continue to be the best dual threats around. Bell totaled 149 yards, including 10 receptions while Johnson amassed 171 total yards to go with 8 receptions.

Another great performance came from Jeremy Hill who rushed for 168 yards and a touchdown on just nine carries. But does it really count when it’s done against the Browns? I suppose it does.

One semi-surprise performance came from LeGarrette Blount, who rushed 24 times for 127 yards and two touchdowns against the Steelers. It was thought he’d make a smaller impact once Tom Brady made his return, but the big back has been used to protect, and even expand, leads for the Pats.

New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (29) is upended by Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Vince Williams (98) during the first half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)
New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (29) is upended by Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Vince Williams (98) during the first half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)

DeMarco Murray, Spencer Ware, Latavius Murray and Jacquizz Rodgers also had big weeks. Jordan Howard, Ryan Mathews and Christine Michael all disappointed. LeSean McCoy teased owners when it was determined he was healthy enough to play, only to reaggravate his hamstring early in the game.

At wide receiver, your usual suspects had great weeks. A.J. Green, Mike Evans and Julio Jones all performed as you’d expect. T.Y. Hilton bounced back from a subpar week and scored his fourth touchdown in his last five games. Davante Adams was outstanding on Thursday night for Green Bay, catching 13 passes for 132 yards and two scores.

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) catches a 37-yard touchdown pass as he is defended by Tennessee Titans cornerback Jason McCourty (30) in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) catches a 37-yard touchdown pass as he is defended by Tennessee Titans cornerback Jason McCourty (30) in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

Kenny Stills surprised with a 5-catch, 100-yard performance to go along with a touchdown. Michael Thomas, Tyrell Williams and Mike Wallace all had 100-yard games as well.

Amari Cooper, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery all stunk up the field. Even Odell Beckham had a bad week. And it’s time to realize that Jeremy Maclin and Allen Robinson are just not going to get it done this year. Some blame goes to their quarterbacks.

Blake Bortles couldn’t even be successful against a bad Oakland defense. Russell Wilson, Eli Manning and Carson Wentz all had forgettable games as well.

Outside of those signal callers, the ones you expected to do well did. Special recognition goes out to Tyrod Taylor, Alex Smith and Marcus Mariota for exceeding expectations.

Waiver wire suggestions:

Running backs

Payton Barber, Tampa Bay (12 touches-84 yards, TD)
Chris Thompson, Washington (19-113)

Wide receivers

Ty Montgomery, Green Bay (19-126)
Russell Shepard, Tampa Bay (5-77, TD)

Tight ends

Jack Doyle, Indianapolis (9-78, TD)

Fantasy football Week 7 preview

Fantasy owners already know who their must-start players are, but everyone has a few decisions to make when it comes to setting a lineup. We’re here to help with those tough decisions.

Each week this space will be dedicated to whom you should start or sit for your upcoming fantasy matchups.

Starts

Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals — When looking for a quarterback to stream in any given week, first ask yourself, “Is he playing the Browns?” Dalton is playing the Browns this week. He’s performing well this season, but lacks the number of touchdown passes you want out of a starter.

Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins — Cousins hasn’t been bad this year for fantasy, and he gets to face Detroit, a team that gives up the most points to quarterbacks.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans — He’s coming off two monster games so he should be able to produce against the Colts defense, which is 26th in points allowed to quarterbacks.

Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Buccaneers — Doug Martin suffered a setback and is out for this week, and Rodgers gets to face the 49ers rushing defense that allows more than 170 yards per game.

Jacquizz Rodgers #32 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs the ball against Robert McClain #27 of the Carolina Panthers in the 1st quarter during the game at Bank of America Stadium on October 10, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Jacquizz Rodgers #32 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs the ball against Robert McClain #27 of the Carolina Panthers in the 1st quarter during the game at Bank of America Stadium on October 10, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs — Not to say Jamaal Charles will have a bad game, but Ware will have ample opportunity to put up big numbers against the Saints defense as well. They are last in points allowed to running backs.

Mike Gillislee, RB, Bills — This comes with a major caveat. If LeSean McCoy is healthy enough to go, you won’t want Gillislee starting. If McCoy’s hamstring keeps him out, however, Gillislee is coming off his most productive performance.

Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars — You were hoping he would be at least a top-10 performing receiver when you drafted him, but he’s been disappointing so far. Start him against the Raiders since they allow the second-most points to wideouts.

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Chiefs — Consider him a decent start, but he really should do well against the Saints defense. If he doesn’t get it done against them, only use him as a bye week replacement afterward.

Jeremy Maclin #19 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs after a catch against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 16, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Jeremy Maclin #19 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs after a catch against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 16, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals — Again, you have to make sure he’s playing, but if he gets the nod, he should be a solid play against the Browns, who are last in points allowed to tight ends.

Sits

Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals — He was a start last week but performed poorly. The Cardinals are in the midst of changing identities, possibly riding the success of running back David Johnson for the rest of the season. Not to mention they face the Seahawks.

Matt Forte, RB, Jets — In Week 2 he had 30 carries and 3 touchdowns. It’s the last time he scored and his numbers have gotten steadily worse. The Ravens are second-best at limiting running backs in scoring.

Ryan Mathews, RB, Eagles — He’s had no more than 11 carries in each of his past four games and he faces a great Minnesota defense that has had two weeks to prepare.

Running back Ryan Mathews #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles is tackled by defensive end Trent Murphy #93 of the Washington Redskins in the third quarter at FedExField on October 16, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Running back Ryan Mathews #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles is tackled by defensive end Trent Murphy #93 of the Washington Redskins in the third quarter at FedExField on October 16, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Michael Floyd, WR, Cardinals — Three touchdowns in his past five games have inflated his production a bit. He probably won’t fare well against the Seahawks.

Will Fuller, WR, Texans — He didn’t play against the Colts last week and he faces the Broncos this week. This matchup is too tough for you to expect positive results.

Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots — The targets and opportunities are there, but the production hasn’t been. Facing the Steelers, who are ninth best in points allowed to receivers, won’t help. His past four games have been stinkers.