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.

Paul George grabbing a rebound in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals

Barry Gossage/Getty Images

In a must win game for the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George was finally able to look like the best player on the floor in a playoff game.

After a slow start, George poured it on in the second half on his way to a game high 41 points in Game 5. The performance elevated the Clippers over strong outings from the likes of Devin Booker and Chris Paul as L.A. outlasted Phoenix 116-102.

The Clippers don't have much time to bask in their win however as they have to turn around and play two more elimination games just to make it out of the West. The Suns jumped out to a 3-1 series lead as Los Angeles struggled to find their identity without Kawhi Leonard. If the Clippers are to stave off elimination any longer, George has to continue this level of play.

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Ben Simmons disappointed in the playoffs this season

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Following a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers and coach, Doc Rivers, are questioning if Ben Simmons is the right guy to be running their offense through moving forward.

Offense being the key word here.

Simmons is an all-world defender possessing the ability to guard virtually any opponent on the court from the perimeter to the rim. But it was his lack of offensive help throughout this playoff season that stood out beyond any accomplishments this year. Simmons joined Rudy Gobert as unanimous selections for the NBA's All-Defensive First Team this year and also finished fifth in the NBA in assists per game with 8.8 per contest.

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The Lakers looked lost in the Valley

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns are just a win away from sending LeBron James home in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in the King's illustrious career.

After stating that "These shoulders were built for a reason," James referring to facing the challenge of taking on added responsibilities after Anthony Davis was ruled out for Game 5, the Lakers and LeBron disappointed in a big way Tuesday night. L.A. started off hot jumping out to a 10-5 lead behind a couple shots from James and a three from Davis' replacement Markieff Morris. But it didn't take long for the wheels to completely fall off for the defending champion Lakers as they spent most of the first half trying to remember how basketball works.

LeBron James LeBron looking on during Game 5Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Two numbers stick out in the Game 5 loss for the Lakers and those are 34.5 and 12. Los Angeles shot 34.5% from the field on Tuesday night and were minus 12 in turnover ratio. No matter who's on your team, if you can't shoot and you can't protect the ball, the outcome is already determined.

The Suns weren't simply beneficiaries of a poor performance however as the Suns put it on the Lakers early and often and they never let their foot off the pedal for 48 minutes. Phoenix ended with 15 more assists, had seven more combined steals and blocks, and outscored L.A. in the paint by 12 points. Devin Booker and Cameron Payne were spectacular and they seemed to hit big shots every time the Lakers appeared to threaten a comeback. Mikal Bridges was effective on both sides of the ball adding three steals and two blocks to help electrify his team with the defensive effort.


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