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Stats Perform’s Fantasy Football Outliers vs. Consensus: Week 7

By: Gabe Schmittlein

The biggest fantasy football story of Week 7 may have already happened Thursday night when Pat Mahomes suffered a dislocated kneecap on a QB sneak.

The news was met with dread from NFL fans. The Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback has captured the eyes of the league with a fresh, gunslinger playstyle and confidence that amazes. Fortunately, it now seems that Mahomes could be back in just three weeks, having suffered no ligament damage. NFL fans – and fantasy owners – may take a sigh of relief… and turn their attention to some other significant storylines.

We’ve got a high-leverage NFC East rivalry matchup on Sunday night, with the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys playing for first place in the division. The Eagles are still uncertain on whether DeSean Jackson will play (it seems unlikely) while the Cowboys’ Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb are both questionable.

Elsewhere, fantasy owners will see the return of Saquon Barkley in New York and be hopeful that Todd Gurley follows suit with a return from injury for the Los Angeles Rams, while Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints isn’t likely to play against the Chicago Bears. To help you pick through these fantasy football dilemmas, and others, Stats Perform’s fantasy projections are here.

Stats Perform has pinpointed players at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end in a standard-scoring format that we project are either higher or lower than other experts’ rankings. For the consensus rankings, we’re using FantasyPros, which aggregates major fantasy sites’ picks, to compare our projections with others in the industry.

Here are Stats Perform’s top undervalued and overvalued players for Week 7:

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones rolls out to pass against the New England Patriots Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass.

Quarterback – Undervalued:

Daniel Jones, New York Giants

After a fast start that earned him a hailstorm of media attention and a catchy new nickname, Jones (or Danny Dimes) has fallen back to earth in the past two weeks with losses to the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots. We’re willing to give Jones a pass for those performances, though. He was facing two of the toughest defenses in the league and was without Saquon Barkley.

Against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 7, both of those scripts will be flipped. The Cardinals’ defense is bad. They’re allowing 296 passing yards per game, 2.67 passing touchdowns per game and have yet to record an interception. Meanwhile, Barkley looks primed to return from his ankle injury. This game should yield a lot of points and a lot of plays, giving Danny Dimes ample opportunity to shine.

Stats Perform Ranking: 8

FantasyPros Ranking: 13

Quarterback – Overvalued:

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens grind teams down. They play slow, possession football, giving Lamar Jackson every opportunity to make plays with his arm and his feet. They’re first in offensive touches per game (59.3 touches per game) and first in rushing first downs per game at 11.8 (Colts are in second at 9.4).

The problem is, the Seattle Seahawks are just as slow. The Seahawks are third in offensive touches per game and seventh in rushing first downs. Expect a short game with fewer touches for Jackson than fantasy owners would like.

Stats Perform Ranking: 7

FantasyPros Ranking: 1

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) past Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (59) Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz.

Running Back – Undervalued:

David Johnson, Cardinals

Johnson has had a nervy start to the season. He’s faced injury problems, has yet to surpass 100 yards on the ground, and is facing legitimate competition for carries at the hands of Chase Edmonds. Still, somehow, our projections are as confident as ever about Johnson entering Week 7.

He has solidified himself as one of Kyler Murray’s favorite targets in the passing game, averaging 6.83 targets per game. He lined up out wide regularly against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 6 and even caught a touchdown out of the slot. As long as he’s healthy, he’ll also continue getting about 13 rushes per game, which should yield some great production against a Giants defense that is 24th in the league in rushing yards allowed per game.

Stats Perform Ranking: 5

FantasyPros Ranking: 7

Running Back – Overvalued:

Le’Veon Bell, New York Jets

Against any other defense, we would probably like Bell and the rest of the Jets suddenly exciting offense. But the Patriots defense is not to be messed with right now.

The Pats have allowed just two rushing touchdowns through six weeks. They’ve also allowed only seven rushes of 10 or more yards on the season. We expect Bell’s usage to still be fairly high, but the touchdowns and yardage will be tough to come by in this difficult matchup.

Stats Perform Ranking: 19

FantasyPros Ranking: 8

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs catches an 11-yard touchdown pass in front of Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Craig James Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Minneapolis. 

Wide Receiver – Undervalued:

Stefon Diggs, Vikings

Diggs’ early-season usage complaints may not have fallen on deaf ears after all. He broke out for a huge game in Week 6 to the tune of seven receptions for 167 yards and three touchdowns. Granted, that was against a porous Eagles secondary, but we feel good about his role in the offense moving forward.

The targets are trending in the right direction – Diggs has received 7.33 targets per game over the past three weeks, compared to 4.0 over the first three. He’s also averaging 18.3 yards per reception, good for fourth in the league, and has established himself as the premier deep threat on the Vikings. As long as Diggs continues in this role, with average usage and potent deep-play ability, he’ll be an effective fantasy option.

Stats Perform Ranking: 8

FantasyPros Ranking: 22

Wide Receiver – Overvalued:

T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts

After a touchdown-filled start, Hilton has struggled with injuries recently and was an afterthought in the Colts’ Week 5 win over the Chiefs. So it shouldn’t be surprising that we project him as a middling fantasy option in Week 7, especially with the direction that the Colts offense is moving (run, run, and run some more).

While it might be tempting to start Hilton because of a seemingly promising matchup against a Houston Texans defense that has allowed 289.3 receiving yards per game, but those yards are inflated by the Texans’ tendency to funnel pass attempts to opposing running backs. Running backs are averaging a league-leading 8.17 receptions and 67 yards against Houston. Expect another week where Hilton stays on the periphery of the offense.

Stats Perform Ranking: 19

FantasyPros Ranking: 6

New York Jets’ Blake Cashman, right, tries to tackle Dallas Cowboys’ Jason Witten Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J.

Tight End – Undervalued:

Jason Witten, Cowboys

That aforementioned Eagles defense that was gouged by Diggs and Kirk Cousins? Yeah, we like any pass offense that’s going against them. That includes the Cowboys offense that’s coming off a disappointing defeat to the Jets.

Witten seems likely to be featured in the Cowboys’ plans after having a season-best seven targets, five receptions and 57 yards against the Jets in Week 6. Witten also might not have to compete for targets with Cooper and Cobb questionable to play.

Stats Perform Ranking: 8

FantasyPros Ranking: 15

Tight End – Overvalued:

Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers

Henry’s breakout campaign may be officially underway after a knee injury had kept him out for several weeks. Henry exploded for 100 yards and two touchdowns in Week 6. Still, we’re tempering our expectations for now.

Henry faces a tough matchup against a stingy Titans defense that is strong up front and allowing opposing tight ends just 45.83 receiving yards per game. Expect Rivers to be under pressure in a low-scoring game – two things that don’t bode well for Henry’s fantasy outlook.

Stats Perform Ranking: 15

FantasyPros Ranking: 7