Fantasy Football Believe It or Not: Trade Todd Gurley, start Joe Burrow, flex Ronald Jones


As we complete the seventh week of the NFL season, your Fantasy rosters should be rounding into midseason form. Though if you built your team around the Dallas Cowboys that’s probably not how you’re feeling on Monday. Fantasy managers who thought Josh Allen and Ronald Jones were their answer may be a bit queasy as well. Yeah, we’ve reached the point in the season where we have re-evaluate the things we thought we knew. Starting with the production of one top-eight running back.

You need to trade Todd Gurley in the next two weeks.

Gurley faces the Panthers on Thursday night football, so you don’t have to trade him immediately, but the clock is ticking. The Fantasy production has been great, but it is almost entirely touchdowns. Sunday was Gurley’s fifth game out of seven with fewer than 75 rushing yards. He has one game with more than 20 receiving yards. An early down back on a one-win team is not a guy I want to count on down the stretch. Especially with his schedule getting ready to turn difficult.

Verdict: Believe it.

It’s not just that the yardage totals or catches are so bad. Gurley hasn’t been efficient either. He’s averaging below 4 yards per target  and he’s been below three yards per carry in four of his past six games. Now, the one game where he was wildly efficient (14 carries, 121 yards) was his first game against the Panthers. If you want to wait one more week, I get it. After that it’s Denver, Bye, New Orleans.

Who should you trade Gurley for? I’d rather have D’Andre Swift for the rest of the season. And you could almost certainly upgrade a second position in that deal. I’d also check in to see what you’d have to add to Gurley to get Christian McCaffrey, Nick Chubb or Miles Sanders. If their Fantasy manager is under .500 they have to be getting impatient. 

He’s a top-10 back in all formats, so you shouldn’t give him away, but you should definitely do your best to move him.

The FFT crew breaks down Week 7’s winners and losers and previews MNF on the Fantasy Football Today podcast. Follow all of our podcasts and subscribe here

Joe Burrow is a starting Fantasy quarterback rest of season.

Burrow threw for 406 yards and three touchdowns against the Browns. He ran for another 34 yards and a score. He’s now gone over 300 passing yards in five of his past six games. His wide receivers seemingly get better every week, and his defense is doing the opposite. Burrow looks locked in for 40 pass attempts per game and he’s athletic enough to score with his legs when the opportunity presents itself. He’ll be a top 12 Fantasy quarterback at the end of the season.

Verdict: Believe it.

Things just keep looking better and better for Burrow’s situation .We knew what Tyler Boyd was, but Tee Higgins has emerged as a downfield threat and A.J. Green is looking more and more like A.J. Green. The Bengals are just good enough offensively to stay close in games as their defense hemorrhages points. Burrow will be tough to trust in his two remaining starts against the Steelers, but outside of that there’s not a game I foresee sitting him.

It’s time to be worried about Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper.

It was one thing to trust the Cowboys with Andy Dalton under center. It’s quite another with Ben DiNucci. I’ll wait until you go check and make sure Ben DiNucci is a real NFL quarterback. He is. At least until Dalton recovers from his Week 7 concussion. The Cowboys offense just put up three points against the Washington Football Team, and it will be tough to trust anyone in this offense moving forward.

Verdict: Don’t believe it.

Maybe I just don’t want to believe it, but I’m not panicking on Elliott or Cooper. Cooper has been below 15 Fantasy points just once all season and I’m not going to bet against him in Week 8 against the Eagles. After that comes the Cowboys’ bye, and then hopefully the return of Andy Dalton. 

As for Elliott, his problems are slightly more concerning. The drops/fumbles continue to pile up, and it’s clearly impacting him. The Eagles run defense has been outstanding and it will have no reason to respect DiNucci and the passing game. Still, what are you going to do? Bench Ezekiel Elliott? I cannot. He’s still currently a top-five running back in all formats! Sunday was his first game all season with fewer than 20 touches.

Maybe most importantly, I do not want to sell low on Elliott or Cooper. Elliott specifically. I know you want to do something, but holding is the only action I can suggest.

Leonard Fournette is a problem for Ronald Jones again.

Who could have seen this coming? On Sunday Fournette took 44% of the team’s rush attempts and out-targeted Jones seven-to-two. He played more snaps too. Jones salvaged his Fantasy day with a goal-line touchdown, but this was a clear loss for his value. There’s no way you can start him as anything more than a flex in Week 8 against the Giants

Verdict: Believe it.

I suppose we all should have expected it, but it was alarming how quickly it happened once Fournette was healthy. If there’s any consolation for Jones’ managers it’s that I don’t actually believe Fournette is ‘the guy’ or even close to being ‘the guy’. This is a full-blown hot hand situation, only the hot hand is defined by Bruce Arians and/or Byron Leftwich. In other words, expect both Jones and Fournette to be ranked between RB24 and RB30 most weeks. In Week 8, Jones will be higher.

Josh Allen’s early-season breakout was a fake-out.

In the first four games of the season, Josh Allen averaged 331.5 passing yards per game and threw 12 touchdowns to just one interception. In three games since that average has dropped to 230.7 and he’s tossed four touchdowns to three interceptions. He also lost another fumble on Sunday. While there’s no taking that first month away from Allen, it’s becoming more clear that was an aberration, not something we should expect moving forward.

Verdict: Believe it.

Of course it was an aberration, Allen was playing like the best quarterback in football. What will be really interesting will be Week 8 against a Patriots team that looks as though it might be on its last legs. This is a chance to deliver an early knockout punch in the division. For Fantasy purposes, it’s a chance for Allen to get back on track against a defense that is better than it showed in Week 7.

In fairness to Allen, while he’s not the elite quarterback he was the first month of the season, he is certainly a very good Fantasy starter. If his Fantasy manager is discouraged by his recent production, you should make a move. Allen should be a solid top-seven quarterback rest of season.





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