NFL: Denver Broncos at New England Patriots

Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

As the mid-way point draws near, Week 7 revealed that some of the biggest names in football are verifiable busts this fantasy season.

It's not their fault, or even a reflection of their talent: some teams simply drew short straws when it came to coronavirus and injuries. Although the COVID-infested Titans are 5-1, and the Saints are winning without what we thought was their entire offense, teams like the Cowboys and Patriots have had stroke after stroke of bad luck.

Although these teams have all but struck out of the playoff picture, there are still plays to be made in your fantasy league that could get you the win in Week 8. Here are the best drops, swaps and shops that will make your week a boom rather than a bust.

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Drop

Julian Edelman

NFL: Denver Broncos at New England Patriots Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

It was heartbreaking to watch the bromance between Tom Brady and Julian Edelman dissolve this season, but what's even more heartbreaking is that the Patriots' top receiver isn't putting up justifiable numbers for any fantasy roster.

To be clear, the 34-year-old receiver's still got it—he put up a 179 yard game in Week 2—but that was against the hole-ridden Seahawks secondary. In the four weeks since, he's put up 13.32 total points, which makes him a non-starter. If you have trouble letting go of Jules, keep him on your bench for another week in case he finds redemption against the Bills.


Michael Gallup

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys are lighting the way in the NFC East… as a brightly-lit dumpster fire in an abysmal division. Despite the losses, Cowboys receivers were hot at the beginning of the season, but with Dak's departure, Michael Gallup's fantasy value went with him. Andy Dalton hasn't delivered since throwing Gallup a few surprise passes in Week 5, and besides a 22-point outlier scored against the Seahawks, he hasn't broken 10 points all season. With an upcoming Steelers matchup followed by a bye, Gallup's a WR3 that belongs on the wire.


Noah Fant

NFL: Denver Broncos at New York Jets Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, Noah Fant is the 12th-ranked fantasy tight end and the unequivocal starter for the Denver Broncos. But if you look closely at Fant's numbers, you'll see that in his past four games, he's gotten five or less targets for under 50 yards. His first two weeks were fantastic, but if Fant isn't getting touchdowns, he's not getting enough points to start on your roster. If you're not ready to drop Fant, at least start looking for a replacement as you wait and see.


Swap

Ezekiel Elliott

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Ezekiel Elliott clearly wants to be fed—he's trying to trademark "Feed Me" after tattooing it on his stomach—but that doesn't change the fact that Zeke now runs in an opportunity-starved offense. The Cowboys are a sinking ship, meaning it might be time to jump and trade the prolific running back to save your season.

It could just be two bad games in a row, it could be a sign of a dismal season to come, but Zeke is still a huge name with a lot of pull on the trading block. If you're feeling uncertain about his future production, at least see what you can pull for the hungriest RB in the game.


Ronald Jones

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Las Vegas Raiders Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A surprising star in a refurbished offense, Ronald Jones is the 12th-ranked running back that's been getting an average 13.2 fantasy points per game this season. However, the arrival of Leonard Fournette in a constantly-shifting offense could spell trouble for this dynamic back. Jones will likely remain a fixture in the Bucs offense, but now is the time to sell high before Fournette steps in for more carries.

Terry McLaurin

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

If you can afford to trade for "Scary Terry" during his Halloween bye week, he's a player worth having for the rest of the season. McLaurin has shined on a struggling offense—he's scored at least 10 points in five games, despite only scoring two touchdowns during that whole stretch. McLaurin makes the most of what he gets, and with an increased target share (he's kind of Washington Team's entire passing offense), expect McLaurin to remain solid as the season progresses.


Shop

Nelson Agholor

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Las Vegas Raiders Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe all Nelson Agholor needed was a change in scenery—since leaving the Eagles, Agholor's more than made up for the negative reputation he developed while there. In the absence of a preseason, Agholor's been developing a rapport with Carr over the past two months, which is finally coming to fruition: he's scored a touchdown in his last three games. Agholor even fared well against a tough Bucs defense, and with Waller drawing attention from secondaries, Agholor stands to see more targets for the remainder of this season. Somehow, he's only rostered in three percent of ESPN leagues, but don't expect that to be the case for too long.

Rashard Higgins

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Although the Browns' Dream Team 2.0 never really happened, there are some fantasy-worthy players to be found in that offense. In the absence of Odell Beckham Jr., Rashard Higgins stepped up his game this week, catching six targets for 110 yards against the Bengals. OBJ is out for the season, which means that Higgins should be in your waiver wire bids alongside teammate Harrison Bryant.

Brandon Aiyuk

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The disaster capitalism that has allowed some to profit from coronavirus also applies to fantasy rosters: every injured starter represents an opportunity for someone new. Rookie receiver Brandon Aiyuk has benefitted from the dilapidated 49ers roster, as he notched a season-high 115 yards in a win against the Patriots. As the 49ers face off against that aforementioned Seahawks secondary in Week 8, you could potentially flex Aiyuk and see where it goes from there.

© Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Unless you're the Pittsburgh Steelers, chances are your team is still uncertain about making the playoffs.

The Packers lost, yet the Saints won. The Seahawks won, but so did the Rams. The NFC is in a frenzy, while the Steelers sit atop the AFC waiting for everyone else to catch up. With only five weeks left, the playoff picture is a little fuzzy, but it clarifies with each game.

Likewise, fantasy playoffs are just on the horizon, and unless you're undefeated, there's a strong chance you're still clamoring for a spot.

If you need to make some moves for a playoff berth, here are some suggestions in this week's drops, swaps and shops.

Note: For ESPN Leagues, all public leagues must submit trades before the trade deadline on Wednesday, November 25th at 12 ET. Rules vary within leagues, but this could be your last week for swaps.


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Top draft picks Joe Burrow and Chase Young during Sunday's game that saw Burrow go down with a season ending injury

Geoff Burke - USA TODAY Sports

As Ferris Bueller might say: The world of sports moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around at least once a week, you could miss it.

Here we'll review what you might have missed in the past week all in one place. Why spend hours scrolling through Twitter to catch up on the news you want? We've already done that for you, so remember to check back every Monday to get your dose of weekly sports review.

Taysom Hill, Andy Dalton, and P.J. Walker all lead their teams to Week 11 victories filling in for injured starting QBs. Cleveland moved ahead of the Ravens in the AFC North with their win over the Eagles while Baltimore fell to the Titans. The Steelers continued to roll and now sit at 10-0 atop the NFL. The Colts outlasted the Packers in an overtime thriller as Indianapolis is now positioning themselves as a team nobody wants to see come playoff time as they boast the best defense in the NFL.

Joe Burrow was injured in the Bengals' game against Washington and he miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury. This should make Justin Herbert the odds on favorite to win Rookie of the Year if you're interested in a futures bet.

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Russell Wilson scrambles in a win against the Arizona Cardinals.

Joe Nicholson/USA Today

At this point, I may never bet on the NFC West again.

Week 10 Vibe Check (2-2)

At this point, I may never bet on the NFC West again. After losing to the Rams last week, Seattle turned around and beat the Cardinals on Thursday night. Every matchup in that division is a heavyweight bout and it's hard to justify betting on one when they can all throw a haymaker at any time. Meanwhile, the Bengals weren't ready for a D like the Steelers and the QB of the future looked stuck in the present reality for the time being.

As for our wins, in a shocking turn of events, betting against the Chargers WORKED! Or, perhaps, I should say betting on the Dolphins worked. Brian Flores looks more and more like he was the true key to the Patriots defensive success in recent years. He took on two NFC teams back to back and cruised against the poor, befuddled Chargers. Tua coming into his own has certainly helped, as well.

Brandon Aiyuk tallied a whopping seven catches down in New Orleans, even as the 49ers completely sputtered and blew a chance to upset a Drew Brees-less Saints. This continues a month long streak of calling player props, which is almost certain to end this week after pointing out its existence. *Fingers crossed* *No jinx* *Reverse jinx*


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