Welcome back to 5 Thrive, 5 to Dive. In this weekly write-up, we try to predict which players will outperform their weekly FantasyPros rank (Thrives) and those who will underperform (Dives). This isn’t a start-sit piece. It’s simply telling you who has a chance to do what this week. For the sake of honesty, my Thrives and Dives last week were the following with their finishes:
- Baker Mayfield – FantasyPros Week 6 Rank: 16 Actual Finish: 21 Result: LOSS
- Tevin Coleman – FantasyPros Week 6 Rank: 20 Actual Finish: 20 Result: PUSH
- Ronald Jones – FantasyPros Week 6 Rank: 42 Actual Finish: 47 Result: LOSS
- Keenan Allen – FantasyPros Week 6 Rank: 12 Actual Finish: 27 Result: LOSS
- Chris Godwin – FantasyPros Week 6 Rank: 39 Actual Finish: 20 Result: WIN
- Deshaun Watson – FantasyPros Week 6 Rank: 5 Actual Finish: 29 Result: WIN
- Zeke Elliott – FantasyPros Week 6 Rank: 4 Actual Finish: 10 Result: PUSH (still a RB1)
- LeSean McCoy – FantasyPros Week 6 Rank: 19 Actual Finish: 19 Result: PUSH
- Adam Thielen – FantasyPros Week 6 Rank: 6 Actual Finish: 7 Result: PUSH (ok, LOSS)
- Allen Robinson – FantasyPros Week 6 Rank: 21 Actual Finish: 17 Result: LOSS
So yeah, not a great week. Shit happens though, right? Let’s have a bounce back week.
5 to Thrive
Baker Mayfield, QB Cleveland Browns (FantasyPros Week 7 Rank: 14)
Let’s go back to the well with the number one overall pick. Last week, I put Mayfield on my Thrives list and he was a big disappointment, which Browns fans are all too familiar with at Quarterback. But this week, he gets the Buccaneers, who, and maybe you’ve heard this, #suckbutts on defense, especially through the air. I mean they fired their defensive coordinator this week and things aren’t just magically going to get better because they kicked Mike Smith to the curb. Tampa’s secondary has given up the most fantasy points to QBs this year and is more charitable than the Salvation Army through the air. They allow a completion on 77% of attempts by the opposing teams QBs. Yikes. Hue Jackson being a dipshit doesn’t help our call here, but even he should be able to construct a solid gameplan against Tampa’s pass defense. Jarvis Landry, David Njoku and even Antonio Callaway, who is filling Josh Gordon’s role of WR/burner for the Browns should have big days this week. Mayfield finishes the week as a QB1 in 12 team leagues.
Kerryon Johnson, RB Detroit Lions (FantasyPros Week 7 Rank: 20)
Please, sweet Lord, let Matt Patricia and Jim Bob Cooter realize that Kerryon Johnson is legit this week. Please. Let them realize that LeGarrette Blount is a useless turd who is better off staying on the sidelines picking up hairs that fell out of Patricia’s beard. Let them realize that this Johnson is gonna Kerry them On to brighter pastures. I know this is a lot to ask, but at some point the Lions have to realize that Johnson is so much better than anything they have at the position. Theo Riddick might not play this week either so Kerryon could be getting the passing game work this week as well. The Dolphins give up the 6th most points to fantasy RBs and Kerryon ranks 3rd in the league in efficiency ratings. All that means is he gets the ball and doesn’t fuck around with it. He sees a hole and he hits it. That’s the kind of guy I like. And that’s the kind of RB I like. Detroit, let this Johnson out on Sunday.
Ito Smith, RB Atlanta Falcons (FantasyPros Week 7 Rank: 35)
I swear this article isn’t just about rookies. But the young guns have nice matchups this week and it’s their time to shine. Judge Ito Smith is about to step into a much larger role with Morgan Freeman’s long lost grandson Devonta out for the year. In Freeman’s absence this season, the rookie from Southern Miss has carved out a nice role for himself in the Falcons high flying offense. Hey, Falcons fly. Cool. Anyways, the Falcons look like they want to split the backfield between that douchebag named Tevin (watch I Love You, Man. Nothing against Tevin Coleman) and Smith. ElIto has week to week upside and appears to be the Falcons preferred red zone RB as he ranks 12th in the league in carries inside the 20 with 12. It also helps that he’s gonna be going against the Giants defense this week who have given up the 7th most rushing yards this season. Ito Smith should be comfortably used as a flex this week.
Josh Gordon, WR New England Patriots (FantasyPros Week 7 Rank: 27)
Let’s get high with this guy! We were so close to the Josh Gordon blow up game last week on Sunday night. And even though, Gordon didn’t go off, you have to be encouraged by his usage. The new Pats’ WR played 81% of the snaps and saw 9 targets. He’s gaining Tom Brady’s trust. I mean, if the GOAT is making fucking Instagram posts about him, then yeah, it’s safe to say he likes him. And I’m #here for this. The former Browns’ WR (thank God, they traded him) is the most explosive weapon Brady has had in sometime and the Patriots are getting their offense going now. The Bears might look like a scary matchup, but in reality, it’s not too bad. They give up the 6th most fantasy points to the WR and might be without Khalil “Not Lawrence Taylor” Mack on Sunday which will give Brady even more time to dissect the Bears D and go downfield. Give me all the Josh Gordon this week.
Chris Godwin, WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers (FantasyPros Week 7 Rank: 36)
I wrote about Godwin last week and this dude still can’t get no respect. He’s scored a TD in 4 of 5 games for the Bucs and looks to be the number 2 option behind Mike Evans. Tampa Bay has an explosive passing offense and with the skrong one, Jameis Winston, back in the fold, should continue to be a solid passing offense. Rookie Denzel Ward has been fantastic for the Browns this season but opposite corner, EJ Gaines will be out Sunday with a concussion, giving Godwin even more of an opportunity to thrive. The second year WR out of Penn State is just starting to show what he can do when given an opportunity and should continue to blossom into a trustworthy fantasy option. The Browns-Bucs game has sneaky shootout potential (every game with Tampa does). I may have written about him last week, but I’ll continue to do so until this dude gets the respect he deserves.
5 to Dive
Cam Newton, QB Carolina Panthers (FantasyPros Rank: 4)
Picking a Dive at QB in this day and age of football is so damn difficult. And picking Cam as my Dive this week will more than likely blow up in my face. Wham Bam Thank You Cam faces a difficult road matchup this week against the defending Super Bowl Champs whose defense has been much better the last 4 weeks after a very shaky and shitty start to the season. The Panthers more than likely won’t be able to move the ball on the ground against the Eagles stout front 7 which could make Carolina very one dimensional. That doesn’t benefit Cam. Beyond Christian McCaffrey, the Panthers weapons shouldn’t impose too much of a threat to the Eagles’ D. Greg Olsen is back but he’s definitely still banged up. Devin Funchess can’t create separation on his routes which makes Newton’s job even more difficult because he has to fit the ball into tighter windows. Cam Newton is one of my favorite players to watch in the league, but I don’t see him finishing in the Top 5 this week.
Zeke Elliott, RB Dallas Cowboys (FantasyPros Week 7 Rank: 5)
I swear that I’m not just looking at my list from last week and putting the same guys down. Elliott had a nice week against the Jags this previous Sunday and comes into Week 7 ranked number 4 according to FantasyPros. But, I do not expect Zeke to have as much success this week against the division rival R-words. No, not that R word. Washington has been solid against the run and fantasy RBs this year, ranking in the Top 10 in both fantasy points against and yards per carry against. And does anyone really expect the Cowboys offense to perform how they did last week? That was so weird. Dak looked like he did his rookie year, Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan kinda looked like they knew what they were doing and the Jags forgot that they’re supposed to have the best defense in the league. Last week, Zeke was eating and eating well. Like steak and shrimp well. This week, he’s gonna have to take a step or two down from that meal and settle for some Ramen (yeah, yeah I know I’m reaching).
Mark Ingram, RB New Orleans Saints (FantasyPros Week 7 Rank: 15)
In Week 5, Ingram came back from his 4 game suspension for Peformance Erectile Dysfunction (PEDs) hard against the R-words going for 73 total yards and 2 TDs. He and Alvin Super Kamara form what is probably the best 1-2 punch in the backfield in the league. However, the Saints have to travel to Baltimore this week to take on the Ravens and their very aggressive defense. Historically, the Saints do not perform as well on the road as they do at home in the SuperDome. And on top of that, these dirty, vile birds (sorry, I’m a Steelers fan) are the toughest team against the RB in fantasy only giving up around 10 points per game to the position. I think that Mark “I Can’t Get Hard” Ingram will struggle to finish as a mid-level RB2 this week. Am I not getting what PED stands for right? Have I been saying I struggle with PEDs and been using it wrong my whole life?
DeAndre Hopkins, WR Houston Texans (FantasyPros Week 7 Rank: 6)
This call has nothing to do with Hopkins the player. If you have him, you start him, even if he’s going to see Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye for the majority of the game. This call has more to do with the Texans offense as a whole. Deshaun Watson has been taking a beating this year thanks to his O-line, who apparently don’t realize that they’re supposed to protect their QB. And it’s not going to get any better this week against a Jaguars defense that should be pissed off and fired up at home. Watson will more than likely be running for his life again this week and this will have a very negative impact on Nuk. The Jags got surprisingly lit up by the Cowboys last week, but every now and then a blind squirrel finds a nut. Even with that shit performance against Dallas, Jacksonville allows a completion on only 60% of the throws against them which ranks 3rd in the league. Hopkins could struggle this week in a game that the Jags need.
Kenny Golladay, WR Detroit Lions (FantasyPros Week 7 Rank: 17)
It absolutely pains me to put Kenny G and his smooth routes (shoutout FFBallers) on this list. Babytron (shoutout JJ Zachariason) has been terrific to start the season and has emerged as a go to weapon for Matt Stafford and the Lions. He looks like a young AJ Green and that’s a hell of a compliment. I’ve seen it, you’ve seen it, everyone who cares about football has seen it. But you know who else has seen it? Xavien Howard and the Miami Dolphins. Howard is developing into one of the premier shutdown corners in the league and if the Dolphins are smart (I know, big if from a team that refuses to give Kenyan Drake substantial playing time) then they’ll have their stud CB follow the Lions breakout WR. The Lions also can spread the ball around to their other playmakers if Howard is shadowing Kenny G. They won’t force the ball to the second year wideout if Howard is on him.
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