2023 Fantasy Football Week 7 Usage Report

by Joe Bond
2023 Fantasy Football Week 7 Usage Report

And we're back with your Week 7 of the 2023 Fantasy Football Usage Report.

The NFL has been turned upside down the last two weeks. 49ers have lost two in a row now. The Browns defense allowed 28 points to the Colts after shutting down said 49ers the week before. Bills can't win the "easy" ones. The Lions got stomped by the Ravens. I could go on.

Just goes to show that when you think you know something, don't get too confident cause it can change quickly. That is exactly what happens with usage on teams and why I'm writing the 2023 Fantasy Football Week 7 Usage Report and doing to every week.

Of course, make sure you check out our Week 7 Waiver for both offense and IDP.

2023 Fantasy Football Week 7 Usage Report

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Running Backs

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Atlanta Falcons

OK what the hell is going on? I know I wasn't the only one watching this Falcons game early on and wondering why Bijan Robinson was not even on the field.

We finally got an answer and it was due to him not feeling good. OK, fine, a bit strange since we did not hear anything about it pregame, but fine we'll deal with it and move on.

However, we then see Bijan on the field for the last drive of the game and he even got a carry. Arthur Smith finds new ways to piss off Falcons fans and Fantasy Managers every week.

Arizona Cardinals

Definitely confused now. First game without James Conner we saw Emari Demercardo lead the team in snaps, but only receive four carries. This week he leads the team in snaps again but receives 13 carries. He also caught four passes.

Maybe even more confusing is Damien Williams was the only other running back to get any work, meaning Keaontay Ingram is going saw zero snaps this game.

I want to say we can trust Demercardo more going forward, but it is not with a lot of confidence honestly. Can James Conner just come back?

Detroit Lions

As I mentioned on the Sunday Social Show with David Montgomery out, this was Jahmyr Gibbs backfield.

Last game Montgomery missed Gibbs out-snapped (38-19), out-rushed (17-4) and ran more routes (17-9) than Craig Reynolds. It was even more of a difference in this game. Granted the fact that the Ravens were blowing out the Lions might have had something to do with Reynolds not being on the field, but still noteworthy.

Gibbs performed well too, catching 9-of-10 targets along with his rushing total. This kind of performance might put him in prime position to get more involved when Montgomery returns. Could be good for Montgomery as well as it could keep him healthier.

Los Angeles Rams

What a mess this situation was heading into Sunday. With no Kyren Williams, unfortunately now on IR, we were left guessing which running back out of Zach Evans, Royce Freeman and Darrell Henderson was going to lead the way.

Early Sunday morning we got a bit of a hint with reports saying Evans was going to play backup to Freemand and Henderson. And that he did, seeing zero snaps all game.

What we got from the other two was 60-40 split in workload, in favor of Henderson. It makes sense with Henderson having been on the team just as of last season.

Was Henderson great, no, but he did find the endzone so there is that. Freeman was actually the more productive runner, rushing for a 5.5 ypc compared to 3.4 for Henderson. Still, volume will play here and while Kyren Williams is out Henderson is the one to trust more.

Other Running Backs

  • Ravens - Both Gus Edwards and Justice Hill are going to split snaps pretty evenly. Edwards is going to get the rushing work, while Hill is going to get the majority of the passing down work. We've seen this trend of three games now.
  • Bears - No Khalil Herbert or Roschon Johnson, so it was D'Onta Foreman and Darrynton Evans again. This week it was a fairly even workload, but Foreman who produced, scoring three touchdowns. He is the one you want to use moving forward if Herbert and Johnson miss time again. If Johnson returns I would think they would utilize him more.
  • Browns - Jerome Ford was playing well this game, unfortunately, he went down with an injury. We don't know the extent of it, but I do know that Kareem Hunt did not take over the bulk of the work for the backfield. Pierre Strong outsnapped him and ran more routes. He did get less carries, but only by two. If Ford misses time, I believe Strong takes over more of the role Ford has, while Hunt stays about the same. I will add this though, Hunt is getting lots of redzone/goalline work regardless, so that should keep him ahead of Strong in projections.
  • Broncos - Two weeks removed from his injury, Williams was back to easily seeing the bulk of the work. He seems to be sharing the carries with Jaleel McLaughlin but passing down work mostly with Samaje Perine. But both are a distant second to Javonte right now.
  • Colts - Do we have a full-blown 50/50 split committee here? I thought for sure another week back and Jonathan Taylor would get more of the work over Zach Moss finally. We did not see that. Good news is he had the far more productive day, rushing for more yards, catching more passes and finding the endzone.
  • Chargers - This might be a great buy-low time for Austin Ekeler. He has disappointed in his first two games back from injury. He even saw just two targets this past game. I firmly believe that he will get back to the old Ekeler we are accustomed to.
  • Saints - Jamaal Williams was back and this was the first time we got to see him and Alvin Kamara on the field together. Williams didn't see a lot of work, just 19 snaps compared to 63 for Kamara. It could have been gamescript, as they were playing catchup all game, or perhaps they wanted to ease him back into things.
  • Commanders - Brian Robinson salvaged his day with a touchdown but don't look now this might be turning into more of a committee than it has been this early season. This past week Chris Rodriguez saw nine carries, compared to just eight for Robinson. Facts is Robinson has not been efficient this season averaging just 3.8 yards per carry and it been even worse over the last three with a 2.6 ypc. Rodriguez has been better with a 4.4 ypc on the season so we could see more of him if this continues. Perhaps worth a stash in deeper leagues.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

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Seattle Seahawks

No DK Metcalf and it wasn't Tyler Lockett who benefitted, it was Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

I discussed him last week due to seeing his role increase recently, but this week was his biggest role yet, seeing seven targets (on 30% of his routes run). The raw number of snaps and routes run was down, but that was the case for everybody since they ran less offensive plays in general. I'm paying attention to percentages in that case.

Jake Bobo saw a huge increase in usage running 86% of routes and being targeted the same as Lockett. I expect Metcalf's return to mean Bobo goes back to a fourth WR, but if he misses time, he could be a sneaky flex play.

Philadelphia Eagles

DeVonta Smith is simply disappointing. He has five targets in four of seven games this season. He has also only caught more than five twice. Has only one over 100 yards once and has not gotten into the endzone since Week 2.

Fact of it is we have seen his usage decline as far as targets per route run as the season has progressed, while A.J. Brown and Dallas Goedert's have increased. I'm likely still trotting him out there in 3WR leagues, but I'm not feeling great about it right now.

Detroit Lions

We know the passing attack is centralized to Amon-Ra St. Brown and Sam LaPorta. I'll be honest though I was shocked just how much it was. In the last two weeks, ARSB has seen 33 targets, LaPorta 18. Everybody else a total of 22 combined.

A noteworthy change though is the addition of Jameson Williams. This has changed the third option to him from Josh Reynolds. This week Williams ran less routes, but did run the most he has all season and saw twice as many targets as Reynolds. We've seen the third option perform in this offense before so perhaps it is time to cut bait on Reynolds and move to Williams if he is out there in your leagues.

Other Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

  • Browns - Just when we were all excited to see Amari Cooper back with Deshaun Watson, Watson goes and gets injured early in the game. P.J. Walker steps back in and yes Cooper, Elijah Moore and David Njoku all saw a good number of targets (8-9-7), nobody was especially productive with them. This is going to be the life of the Browns pass catchers if Watson misses more time.
  • Packers - The Packers disappointed everybody this week as there was a lot of hope that things could get back on track facing arguably the worst defense in the NFL this season. Instead not even Christian Watson, who many thought could build off a seven target, 91 yard day against the Raiders in Week 6, only caught 2-of-5 targets this week. It is going to be hard to trust anyone from this team until they show something.
  • Jaguars - At this point, Calvin Ridley cannot be ranked ahead of Christian Kirk until he shows more consistency. And to be honest I'm not sure its going to happen. Ridley is getting the snaps and targets (usually), but simply not producing. Christian Kirk and Evan Engram are far more consistent.
  • Raiders - Hard to take much away from this game with backup Brian Hoyer under center. That said it was good to see Davante Adams heavily targeted and Jakobi Meyers was heavily involved as well, per usual. For the Tight Ends, Michael Mayer still ran plenty of routes, but Austin Hooper is still involved limiting his upside. Also with Adams and Meyers seeing so many targets it is going to be hard for Mayer to be productive. consistently.
  • Steelers - Diontae Johnson returned and looked good. He saw a bit less work than George Pickens, but that is to be expected after missing six weeks. Still, though six targets in his return is solid. Safe floor play as usual.

Hope the 2023 Fantasy Football Week 7 Usage Report was helpful. Don't miss out on the rest of the great Fantasy Football content here at Fantasy Six Pack!

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