You don’t often see future Hall of Fame running backs suddenly traded but Adrian Peterson (Arizona) will make his Arizona Cardinals debut this week. You worry if he still has it, and there are offensive line concerns, but Peterson should at least have the chance for starter volume.
The bigger fantasy impact from the Peterson trade is for the remaining New Orleans Saints running backs, Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, who will safely share the workload. Kamara could explode and showed his upside in the Saints’ last game with 10 receptions.
Odell Beckham Jr. was the next major season-ending injury, leaving the Giants’ woefully thin at receiver. This week at Denver is a must avoid for Giants receivers, although Evan Engram (New York Giants) could produce – the Denver defense has been vulnerable against tight ends, allowing the sixth-most fantasy points per game. Roger Lewis (N.Y. Giants) is worth an add.
DeShaun Watson (Houston) is potentially the No. 1 overall fantasy scorer, depending on your scoring rules, after an amazing 10 touchdowns the past two weeks. Cleveland decided to pass on him in the NFL draft and gets to regret it up close this week. Cleveland has allowed at least two passing touchdowns in every game this year, while Houston has scored at least 33 points three weeks in a row.
Leonard Fournette (Jacksonville) also deserves a shout-out as quietly one of the bigger stories of the season. Fournette has scored in every game thus far of his NFL career, helping to lead Jacksonville to a 3-2 record and to first place in the AFC South. He’s a top two back this week.
▪ Kirk Cousins (Washington) is a sleeper for top quarterback of the week. Playing at home, and off a bye week, Cousins gets a San Francisco defense allowing the fifth-most passing yards while Cousins has found his groove throwing five touchdowns in his past two games. Cousins also could be showcasing his talents to San Francisco, a team he is rumored to potentially join after the 2017 season.
▪ Check Sunday injury reports, but if Matt Forte and Bilal Powell are out, then look to get Elijah McGuire (N.Y. Jets) into your lineup. McGuire has played well in limited touches with a 5.2 yards-per-carry average, while New England allows the most fantasy points to opposing running backs.
▪ Jerick McKinnon (Minnesota) gets a healthy boost in this week's rankings coming off a 146-yard effort. He should remain the Vikings’ main running back this week in a good matchup.
▪ Keenan Allen (L.A. Chargers) has been very consistent with at least nine targets in every game this season (one of only two players to be able to make that claim). Keep him plugged in this week – Allen has had 17 receptions in his past two games against the Raiders.
▪ Pierre Garcon (San Francisco) makes his return to Washington after having played there the previous five seasons and would seem due for a touchdown (Garcon has 44 targets on the season without a touchdown, the highest total in the league without a score).
▪ With Mohammed Sanu (hamstring) likely out, tight end Austin Hooper (Atlanta) could be in store for a busy game. Hooper had a season-high five receptions in the Falcons’ last game.
▪ Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh) drops in the Week 6 rankings, playing on the road, where he struggles, at Arrowhead and coming off a five-interception performance.
▪ It’s possible Ty Montgomery (Green Bay) returns, and it’s possible Aaron Jones (Green Bay) starts anyway. Neither are great plays, however, at Minnesota, where the Vikings allow the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs.
▪ Isaiah Crowell (Cleveland) has been a major disappointment, averaging just 3.1 yards per carry and failing to score a touchdown. This looks like more of the same, especially if Houston gets up big (which seems likely given the game’s point spread) and then yielding his time to Duke Johnson.
▪ DeVante Parker (Miami) might be best parked this week, both with an ailing ankle and having to go against 2015 Pro Bowler Marcus Trufant, who has made a successful return after a season-ending injury last year.
Alan Satterlee is in his fourth year of writing about fantasy football for The Charlotte Observer. Find him on Twitter at @Speedkills_DFW.