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NFL Week 7

The Hard Bargain: Pulling Your Weight

by Dave Stewart

The Hard Bargain” is a year-round column by Dave Stewart offering parenting advice and weekly fantasy football advice for deeper (16+ team) leagues. Dave brings over a year of experience writing this column to NFL Week 7 and will be here to help provide lineup recommendations throughout the fantasy football season.

Underwhelming Results

NFL teams did not exactly light up the scoreboard in Week 6. Only four of the week’s contests surpassed the over/under total on a busy day for both punters and place-kickers. Chances are good that your fantasy team also failed to meet scoring projections. It is time to take responsibility for your squad’s struggles as we prepare to enter NFL Week 7 and, if need be, clean house.

Cleaning House

When it comes to cleaning house, I have some experience. As a stay-at-home father, the majority of the housekeeping is my responsibility. The house is only ever as clean as I can make it. So, it’s messy.

Now that my twin daughters, “the Sneaky Girls,” are approaching eight, I expect them to shoulder a portion of the load. My wife and I want everyone in the family to take part in maintaining our home. For our daughters, that mostly means cleaning up messes that they make.

The War Against Clutter

Their bedroom is a frequently cluttered area of the house. I recently explained to them that they needed to clean up and gave them daily reminders. On their own, they accomplished very little. After badgering them for weeks, they accomplished a little more. At one point, I simply stopped allowing them to play with their friends until it got done. It still took four more days. Whatever I have been trying is not working.

A New Approach

The girls have had a chores checklist for quite some time now, and they are offered a monetary reward when they complete their list. I have only had to pay that reward a handful of times.

Over the weekend, my wife and I decided to refresh the chore list. Many of the chores remained the same with a particular focus on cleaning their room and learning areas, along with feeding the pets.

A Well-Meaning Effort

This morning, something curious happened. When I came down the hall to ensure the girls were awake, one of them informed me they were already dressed and working on cleaning their room. I don’t know what happened or who that kid was, but I was not going to complain about the room getting cleaned. The dogs had already been fed, and my other daughter was preparing to feed the cats. I returned to my room to get ready for the day.

Leaving my room, I was met by two meowing hungry-sounding cats. It appeared my dog had made short work of the cat food, but the girls pleaded ignorance. I had to educate them that they needed to ensure the cats eat their food. Otherwise, they haven’t fed the cats; they have just fed the dogs twice

Lessons will need to be learned along the way, but I am proud of them for owning some responsibility for the house.

Developing Character

Due to my love of sports, the girls have long understood teamwork and cooperation to reach a goal. It helps me to illustrate the way they play a role in our family’s shared goals. 

I believe children should be given responsibility and asked to contribute around the house. It builds character and helps them recognize that others are counting on them. I feel like it helps them to be good humans and not become selfish. Taking care of their things also allows them a chance to be grateful for what they have.

Fantasy Football Housecleaning

Fantasy managers, too, need to take responsibility for their things: namely, their lineups. It’s time to make sure players on your roster are all pulling their own weight.  This deep into the season, you have a pretty good idea if you are managing a playoff contender or not. If you are on the verge, it may be time to take significant action to ready the ship. Hit that waiver wire or send a trade offer if you need to.

NFL Week 7 Deep-League Starters

Now that bye weeks are in full swing, filling lineup holes is even more difficult. Thankfully, I am here to help you solve these issues.

I was not very successful in Week 6. My quarterback, Daniel Jones, fell just outside the top 16. His yardage was low, but he threw two touchdowns. Still, he did not find the success on the ground that I had predicted. I am pretty sure I saw Mike Boone on the sideline a few times. Jakobi Meyers was efficient again, if not prolific; he caught all four of his targets for 60 yards. Still, he had no touchdowns and fell outside the top-32 receivers. Tight end Will Dissly caught one pass for 12 yards. The matchup was good, but teammate Noah Fant was the more productive tight end.

Without further adieu, here are my NFL Week 7 selections.

Marcus Mariota (QB, Atlanta Falcons)

Week 6 was Marcus Mariota’s biggest fantasy day of the season. He only threw the ball 14 times but was productive with his legs. Mariota scored his third rushing touchdown of the year and also reached 50 yards rushing for the third time. He has totaled 111 rushing yards in his last two contests. Mariota is the seventh leading rusher among quarterbacks, and only Jalen Hurts has more rushing touchdowns.

In Week 7, Mariota will face the Cincinnati Bengals. He should be expected to pass more in this contest, as the Falcons will likely be trailing. Quarterbacks facing the Bengals average 37 attempts per week. When you factor in the rushing production, he has a significantly higher ceiling this week.

Kenyan Drake (RB, Baltimore Ravens)

Kenyan Drake picked up 119 yards on 10 carries in Week 6. He scored a 30-yard rushing touchdown. It was his best output of the year to date. Reportedly, Drake was given extra duty as J.K. Dobbins dealt with stiffness in his knee. Regardless, Drake took advantage of the opportunity, rushing for six first downs.

This was the second time this season that Drake’s opportunity share exceeded 60 percent. Even in limited work in Week 5, Drake was efficient, totaling 25 yards on only four carries. He has a role in this offense, and if Dobbins’ knee remains an issue, that role could be substantial.

Alec Pierce (WR, Indianapolis Colts)

The rookie caught his first career touchdown pass in Week 6. Overall, he collected 49 yards on three catches. Alec Pierce has seen a minimum of six targets in each game over the past four weeks. He saw seven on Sunday. Pierce has seen 9.3 Yards Per Target (YPT) this year and has four receptions of 20-plus yards.

The Colts travel to Tennessee for a critical AFC South matchup. The Titans allow the second most fantasy points to wide receivers. With a favorable matchup and running backs Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines dealing with injuries, Pierce should have plenty of opportunity. 

Daniel Bellinger (TE, New York Giants)

Daniel Bellinger found the end zone for the second time this season in Week 6. He has seen 16 targets over the past four weeks. He appears to have developed a rapport with Jones. His five catches on Sunday were his season-high and his 20 percent target share matched a season-high.

When looking for a replacement tight end, reliable targets can be hard to find. Bellinger certainly appears to be increasing his role in the offense. Subsequently, Bellinger makes for an interesting option with four usable tight ends on bye this week.

Life is hard, but it gets a little easier when we learn to lean on each other. Find me on Twitter @DaveFantasy for more life and fantasy sports content for NFL Week 7 and beyond.

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