Thursday Night Football is back for Week 7 with the New York Giants heading to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles. Here’s how the two teams breakdown from a fantasy football standpoint.
Daniel Jones, fantasy’s QB27 in scoring, is looking down the barrel of a generally tough outing on Thursday night. Jones’ 0.5% Completion Percentage Above Expectation tells us he’s completing the throws that are given to him and not much more. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett is simply incapable of scheming up open receivers while Jones develops which bodes very poorly for the quarterback’s ability to produce. Jones has made it through just one game this year without throwing an interception. On the bright side, Jones has seen a big uptick in rushing attempts in three of the last four weeks, which could turn him into a savvy streaming option. The downside though, is that Jones has a propensity for fumbling—he’s put the ball on the ground four times this year already, just a hair behind his 2019 pace in which he totaled 12. He’s just a QB3 this week.
The Giants’ best receiver, Darius Slayton has a tough match-up on his hands as he’s likely to see quite a bit of cornerback Darius Slay’s coverage. Making matters worse, wide receiver Sterling Shepard has a shot at returning from Injured Reserve this week which would invariably hurt Slayton’s target total. Slayton is just a boom/bust flex option. Shepard is far too much of a risk to start.
Although slot receiver’s like Cooper Kupp (Week 2) and Tyler Boyd (Week 3) have had nice outings against the Eagles’ lacking slot coverage, Golden Tate’s WR75 .5PPR total in the five games he’s played proves he’s an extremely risky flex start.
Jason Garrett has been trying to force tight end Evan Engram into a Jason Witten-type role this year. Witten was one of the best two-way tight ends, capable of pass catching as blocking with the best of them. Engram is just a supremely talented, jumbo-sized receiver but Garrett can’t tell the defense. His usage is unacceptable.
Jason Garrett is currently feeding this athletic freak the TE position's single-lowest average target depth pic.twitter.com/wYWRL1RLMP— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) October 21, 2020
That said, Philadelphia’s defense has been a wellspring for opposing tight ends. Logan Thomas post four catches, 37-yards, and a touchdown on them in Week 1. Tyler Higbee caught all five of his targets for 54-yards and three scores in Week 2. George Kittle caught all 15 of his targets for 183-yards and a touchdown in Week 4. The Ravens’ backup tight end Nick Boyle even caught three of three targets for 33-yards and a score last week. If you have Evan Engram, this is the time to start him.
Devonta Freeman’s dead legs racked up a bellcow-level 73% snap share last week, ending all speculation as to whether or not he’s the team’s real starting running back. Philadelphia’s front-seven has given up a league-high 10 rushing scores on the year, locking Freeman in as a high-end flex option.
Like his Thursday night counterpart, quarterback Carson Wentz has suddenly found himself with a fantasy-friendly rushing floor. Although his passing play hasn’t been great, given the rushing touchdown-upside and the absence on Miles Sanders, Wentz has a lot of usage on his fantasy plate this week. Given his erratic passing and the Giants’ surprisingly good pass defense though, Wentz is just a mid-tier QB2 though.
Travis Fulgham has erupted as a real-deal NFL receiver since his Week 4 breakout. .5PPR’s overall WR2 since then, Fulgham needs to be locked into fantasy lineups despite his upcoming date with the Giants’ studly cornerback, James Bradberry. In last week’s Rundown, we touched on Jarad Evans’ box score compilation of No. 1 receivers to have faced Bradberry’s coverage and that culminated in a six-catch, 70-yard “best of” receiving line. Terry McLaurin, Bradberry’s Week 6’s foe, set season-best marks for those facing the CB with a seven-catch 74-yard outing. Expectations for Fulgham should be dropped a tad but he does have a number of anti-Bradberry factors going for him. His 25.5% slot snap share will get him away from the corner’s perimeter coverage for a decent number of snaps—an area that Fulgham has led the receiving corps in totality over the last two weeks (104 total snaps). During that span (Week 5 and 6), Fulgham has become the team’s most targeted player, while notably racking up a team-high three red zone targets in their most recent contest. That usage is too good to be scared away from deploying Fulgham this week. Start him confidently as a WR2.
A wrench has been thrown into rookie speedster John Hightower’s decent match-up with the return of downfield veteran DeSean Jackson. Hightower had racked up the NFL’s deepest targeted air yards mark (21.3-yards) during Jackson’s multi-game absence. Without knowing how healthy Jackson is, Hightower is still worth a boom/bust flex start though. Jackson is too risky to be trusted outside of some sort of Hail Mary situation.
With tight end Zach Ertz expected to miss a month of action (ankle) and Dallas Goedert still a week from returning—add him if in need of a good tight end next week, and beyond—number three tight end Richard Rodgers and slot receiver Greg Ward now have reduced target competition as the primary slot route runners. Rodgers is worth a start as a streaming option and Ward can be flexed as evidenced by slot-sters Cooper Kupp and CeeDee Lamb finding box score success in Weeks 4 and 5, respectively. Given the overall state of the Eagles’ offense though, the likelihood of Ward producing a true ceiling game is low.
Running back Boston Scott saw far more snaps than number three back Corey Clement did after Miles Sanders went down with a knee injury last week, a juxtaposition from their Week 1 Sanders-less deployment. Scott’s previous success against the G-Men bodes well for his Week 7 outlook. John Paulsen articulates the Clement aspect well, below, but the aforementioned snap share brings needed (and hopeful) clarity.
Boston Scott’s two best games last season came against the Giants.— John Paulsen (@4for4_John) October 20, 2020
W14: 16 touches, 128 yards, TD
W17: 23 touches, 138 yards, 3 TD
2020 W7 opponent: NYG
* Corey Clement was not on the team last season