Week 7 is nearly tucked in and ready for bed, with a matchup between Arizona and Baltimore waiting on Monday night. Sunday was full of action with 12 games providing a healthy supply of fantasy excitement and heartbreak, so let’s jump right in and check out a few of the most notable fantasy storylines in Monday's Daily Dose.
The most significant development from Sunday was the devastating injury to Houston running back Arian Foster, who suffered a torn Achilles and will miss the remainder of the 2015 season. Despite the brutal performance from Houston on Sunday, Foster was performing up to his usual lofty standards and provided fantasy teams with a boost after returning from a groin injury that sidelined him for the first three weeks of the season. Now with Foster out, fantasy owners will be scrambling to replace the production of this top-tier running back.
The leftover options at running back in Houston are not breathtaking by any means, but can help in a pinch as teams move through the bye week portion of the NFL calendar. Alfred Blue, Chris Polk, and Jonathan Grimes are the candidates on the Houston roster but figuring out which back will lead the way with Foster out is tricky. We can rule out Grimes, as he has not touched the football since Foster’s return. That leaves Blue and Polk, who have seemingly swapped roles since Foster’s 2015 debut in Week 4. With Foster out, Blue averaged 15.7 touches per game to Polk’s nine touches per game. However, with Foster healthy, Blue touched the ball just four times per game compared to Chris Polk, who received six touches per game as Foster’s apparent backup. What does this all mean? I would lean toward Polk as the priority pickup, although Blue will also likely play a role in this running game moving forward. Stay tuned to Rotoworld this week for more in-depth coverage of this unfortunate situation.
Miami Stays Hot
The Miami Dolphins continued their hot start under interim coach Dan Campbell, crushing the Houston Texans 44-26 on Sunday. This game was well out of hand by halftime with Ryan Tannehill and Lamar Miller providing buckets of fantasy points in just two quarters. This outburst came on the heels of a 38-10 drubbing of Tennessee in Week 6 and marks a significant turnaround for a franchise that was struggling mightily before coach Joe Philbin was fired. The key to the sudden improvement is likely the commitment to running the ball and the stellar play of the Miami defense. The Dolphins have averaged 214 rushing yards per game since Campbell took over, compared to 69.3 rushing yards per game in four contests under Philbin this season. On the other side of the ball, the Miami defense allowed 160.5 rushing yards per game under Philbin and has limited opposing teams to just 67 rushing yards per game in two outings under Campbell. The sample size is a bit small of course, but this team looks significantly better under Campbell and Miami has managed to salvage the 2015 season in South Beach.
Fantasy heartthrob Christine Michael was rumored to be in line for an “increased” workload heading into Week 7, so the fantasy football world was eager to see if their bench stash and dynasty obsession would finally find a role in Dallas. Conditions couldn’t have been better for a potential Michael breakout, as fellow Dallas running back Joseph Randle left Sunday’s game early with a back injury after just two carries. However, it was our old pal Darren McFadden who stole the show, leading the Cowboys’ backfield with 31 touches. McFadden was impressive with his workload, tallying 162 yards and a touchdown on his 31 opportunities (5.2 yards per touch). Michael was given just five carries, which he turned into 18 yards in what looks to be McFadden’s backfield for the moment. No news has been released regarding Randle’s status, but it appears that McFadden is the preferred back to own in this situation and Michael might not get a chance to see significant work anytime soon.
Injury Quick Slants
Dez Bryant (foot) worked out before Dallas’ Week 7 game and although he did not play on Sunday, he looks to be a decent bet to suit up in Week 8 against Seattle. ... Josh McCown (shoulder) left Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury and did not return. Johnny Manziel was 4/5 for 27 yards in relief. More details about McCown’s status will surface on Monday. … Chris Ivory (hamstring) looked to be slowed by a bad hamstring early on Sunday but still tallied 53 total yards and a score. Keep an eye on Ivory’s progress before the Jets travel to Oakland in Week 8. ... Dion Lewis (abdomen) did not play on Sunday, but with Tom Brady leading the Patriots in rushing yards, Lewis’ role will be safe when he returns. .. Melvin Gordon (ankle) was questionable on Sunday and ended up being labeled “active” although he didn’t receive a carry until the third quarter of San Diego’s loss to Oakland. It is entirely possible that Gordon is still in trouble with his coaches for past fumbling issues. … Phillip Dorsett (ankle) fractured his ankle on Sunday and will miss 4-6 weeks, leaving the struggling Andrew Luck with one less target. ... Leonard Hankerson (hamstring) did not register on the stat sheet before being ruled out for the day with a hamstring injury on Sunday. Julio Jones soaked up even more attention from Matt Ryan after Hankerson’s departure, but Roddy White could see more use if Hankerson misses time.