Well, that was fun. It started with a tough Thursday night game, then a rough Sunday slate. We wrap up the week with a tough matchup between the Saints and Seahawks were, like as not, the miracle most people are looking for is simply for the good players on those teams to actually play. But before we dive into Monday’s game it’s time to look at a few key takeaways from the action in the rest of Week 7.
The Chiefs are in Trouble
The Chiefs are the defending AFC Champions. The Chiefs have been in the Super Bowl each of the past two seasons and in the AFC Championship Game three years in a row. Most thought we’d see more of the same in 2021. Instead, the Chiefs are 3-4, in the cellar in the AFC West. The Chiefs lost to the Bills, Chargers, Ravens and Titans, all teams that are atop divisions in the AFC. That’s not a great sign. Patrick Mahomes has made some amazing plays, already throwing for 18 touchdowns. But he also has nine interceptions, including at least one in nine straight games. And the Chiefs’ defense, which has never been the strength of the team, is struggling mightily. There is still time in the season but it doesn’t look like there are any easy answers for the 2021 Chiefs.
Sam Darnold is Fading
Maybe it’s lacking Christian McCaffrey. Maybe it was the early schedule but the Panthers have gotten a rough reality check in October. After a 3-0 start, the team has slumped to 3-4 with four straight losses. And in many of those losses Darnold has struggled. On Sunday, returning to the stadium where he played three years for the Jets, he looked lost at times, ending up benched in a 25-3 loss. The Panthers’ offense needs McCaffrey but it also needs Darnold to play more like the leader he was in the first three weeks of the season.
The Raiders have Rallied
Some, including me, thought the Raiders would struggle in the wake of the scandal that led to Jon Gruden resigning. It’s a lot of a team to take, especially in the middle of the season. At the time, the Raiders were in a two-game losing streak and facing what seemed like a tough matchup with the Denver Broncos. The Raiders rolled out and rolled to a win in that game, then followed it up with another double-digit victory over the Eagles Sunday. Now, Derek Carr and the Raiders sit at 5-2 and in first place in the AFC West and again look like potential playoff contenders.
And now, let’s look at tonight’s game.
Monday Night Preview
The Saints (3-2) are coming off a bye week and facing the Seahawks (2-4), a team that really need a win to stay in the race in the NFC West. The Saints have been up-and-down, and so have the Seahawks. But an injury to Russell Wilson has the Seahawks coming in off two straight losses, sitting at 0-2 at home this season.
In terms of fantasy, the best player for the Saints is Alvin Kamara. He’s a sure-fire start. In a week slate for quarterbacks there’s a temptation to play Jameis Winston but it’s not without caution. He’s been up-and-down this season, and that’s hurt in terms of finding a consistent play at receiver. The best option is Marquez Callaway but that’s more of a deep league flex dart throw.
For the Seahawks, Geno Smith is in at quarterback. He tried to rally the team when he came in during the Week 5 game and kept the Seahawks close with the Steelers in Week 6, with a late fumble ending the game in overtime. Despite that, you’re playing D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. There is too much talent there. The backfield, however, is a mess. Alex Collins was decent last week but is banged up. Rashaad Penny has been activated and Deejay Dallas is there as well. I’m not confident starting anyone.
I think this might be an ugly game, as so many have been in Week 7. At the end of the day, I think the Seahawks drop to 0-3 at home and the Saints get the win.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.