NFL Week 7 scouting notebook: Rousing return for Darrell Henderson, Rashee Rice’s rise continues and more

Lots to unpack in Week 7, so let’s forego the preamble…

The mighty Dolphins have played three decent defenses and have averaged 342 yards and 20.3 points, including the defensive TD tonight. Very vincible.

Darrell Henderson was one of those late-breaking guesses that turned more solid as the weekend progressed. Royce Freeman was fine, too. Maybe they’ll keep splitting the snaps, in which case they’re both fine plays. If one gets it — I suspect that would be Henderson — he’s easily a Top 10 RB. Henderson is the goal-line and primary third-down back.

Diontae Johnson is maybe a WR2? That would cause George Pickens to be downgraded into the middle of that tier, too.

Puka Nacua crushing Cooper Kupp was not expected. Tutu Atwell, despite the TD, is the odd man out. Tyler Higbee is back to nowhere again.

I don’t know how long Zach Charbonnet is going to be out with his hamstring injury but Ken Walker looked good (mostly) and got all the work.

Jake Bobo was undrafted but made a hell of a catch for a touchdown that was originally ruled incomplete. I’ve noticed him a few games in a row now. If DK Metcalf has an extended absence, Bobo’s worthy of an add.

Jordan Love is not going to make it. If he was a true rookie, I’d be worried about him. But with three years of an apprenticeship under his belt? This is unacceptable. He can’t throw the ball downfield with any accuracy. The downfield passes mostly aren’t close.

I thought Javonte Williams was a RB3 but he got the action of a RB2. Maybe he needs positive game scripts, which probably will be infrequent for Denver. Even minus his long run, Williams was effective.

Christian Watson seemingly hurt his knee at the end of the game so you have to monitor him, though he’s the NFC’s Kadarius Toney.

Justin Herbert is a weird player in that he started out great for a rookie but then just stagnated. He’s regressing now. I know this is a slow team but he just collapsed in the second half. I’m not saying he’s at the crossroads, but he can see the crossroads. He’s probably going to get another coordinator fired (with the head coach). There is some blood on his hands, let’s be fair.

Only the Chargers would let the Chiefs do the one thing they want to do, but that no one lets them do uncontested — throw to Travis Kelce.

The bigger/more actionable story in this game is Rashee Rice.

Sam Howell is so terrible with the sacks but the Commanders seem set on sticking with him. He was dumped six times. That’s an average day for him. Since 2021, through Week 6, teams are 27-115 when they get sacked at least five times. When sacked exactly six times, they are 7-29. The Giants came into the game with five sacks all season.

Howell’s inability to sustain drives (sacks cause punts/FGs) is killing Brian Robinson’s value. The Commanders had 14 first downs. Robinson is a low-end RB2 again. He’s not going to be a difference maker with this QB.

Tyrod Taylor loves sacks almost as much as Howell and was dumped four times himself.

No one talks about it, but if you get out-sacked, you usually lose.

This is the sell window on Darren Waller. Remember, Washington can’t cover anyone.

Tyson Bagent: two sacks in 45 dropbacks (4.4%)

Justin Fields: 24 sacks in 186 dropbacks (12.9%).

My stat — Sack rate plus INT rate (argue with me, I dare you):

Bagent: 6.7% of dropbacks

Fields: 15.1%

(This isn’t me saying Bagent is going to be something, but rather me saying Fields is not.)

We add this to the body of work for all non-Fields QBs in the Fields era and it’s such a stinging indictment that his faults lie in himself, not in the stars or the coaching or the offensive line.

D’Onta Foreman ran great even besides the three TDs (one receiving). His success rate now for the past two weeks combined is 56%, according to TruMedia. All RBs average 37% (success rate is getting a first down or effectively setting up the next down).

Jakobi Meyers out-targeted Davante Adams again. The (son of a billionaire) Arthur Smith virus that turns coaches into mindless zombies seems to be spreading.

The Browns offense self-destructed after Deshaun Watson was concussed. Kareem Hunt is obviously the goal-line back though. You can’t have a better test than that, with the whole game on the line on one play. That’s the way you do it, too. The run was the play on all the downs but you save it for fourth down because the first three (with no timeouts left) are free if you pass. The Giants probably would have beaten the Bills last week if they could have figured out this basic math.

Zack Moss has Jonathan Taylor hamstrung. It’s three weeks and they’re splitting carries. Taylor is way better, but he still needs the totes.

The Colts had 456 yards, proving again that very few defenses can effectively control outcomes. They were 7-for-15 on third down. They averaged 10.7 yards per pass. They deserved to win the game, and to win it easily. Gardner Minshew, who was bad last week, looked fantastic.

The Bills were outgained by the Patriots — who maybe have the worst offense in football — and even worse, let the Patriots go right down the field to win the game after the Bills pulled off a miracle comeback.

Josh Allen was terrible, netting just 6.1 yards per pass play. Gabe Davis just disappeared again. He only averages five targets per game. Going into the week, I said he’s the most overrated player in fantasy football given his crazy/unsustainable TD efficiency.

The Bills defense is an easy mark now given all the Buffalo injuries. Forget about the brand name. They are going to get eaten up. Von Miller, predictably (given every injury model for a 34-year-old having his second ACL on the same knee) is like 1975 Joe Namath out there.

I don’t know what was wrong with Bijan Robinson. Dog house? Headache? Injured? Used UPS instead of FedEx?

Make it make sense.

But Arthur Smith won again. (Yes, Kyle Pitts, one target more than Jonnu Smith, made the game-winning play.)

We’re really going to keep doing this with Rachaad White as the primary RB? Now, White did make plays as a receiver. I give him that. Tampa Bay backs, almost all of this White, average a league-worst 2.8 yards per carry. The Rams found two RBs on the street this week and Foreman was on a practice squad but the Bucs can’t replace White?

Take those Jared Goff MVP tickets and burn them in the street. My video retrospective of Week 7 for the Lions is titled, “Sometimes the Kneecaps Bite Back.” Yet somehow not only Amon-Ra St. Brown but also Jahmyr Gibbs had great fantasy games. In a 38-6 loss.

Lamar Jackson had a perfect rating and the Detroit defense is at least good, so that is really saying something. I’ve made fun of the expectations that the Ravens were going to alter their approach to being more pass-oriented with Todd Monken. But this is a game where they actually did that.

I guess Gus Edwards is the back in Baltimore. Forget about everyone else. He somehow had an 80-yard catch. (It was a blown coverage because who in their right mind worries about Edwards catching a pass?)

(Photo of Darrell Henderson: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

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