Fantasy Football Booms and Busts: Bengals hit the jackpot against Falcons in Week 7

The first NFL window on Sunday in Week 7 wasn't particularly fantasy friendly. Five of the seven games went under the total. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers couldn't handle the hapless Carolina Panthers. The Green Bay Packers still look broken. The Detroit Lions carnival might be dead.

But let's give thanks for Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. They want us to be happy.

Burrow went bananas against the Falcons, chucking for 325 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone. Burrow ultimately settled for 481 yards on the day, adding a fourth touchdown on the ground. He's separated himself as the No. 1 quarterback of the week.

When Burrow has a big game, it means several fantasy options are going to pay off. The Bengals have a condensed target tree. Ja'Marr Chase broke the game for the second straight week (8-130-2) while Tyler Boyd added 8-155-1. Tee Higgins didn't have his signature game, but a 5-93-0 return is fine. And we'll take 6-48-0 from Hayden Hurst, given how ugly tight end is this year.

Joe Mixon was held to 3.4 yards a carry, but he still collected 20 touches, 91 yards and a score. That's fine. Backup Samaje Perine touched the ball just four times.

Cincinnati started the season slowly, perhaps because of Burrow’s summer appendectomy or the addition of several new offensive linemen. Burrow was sacked 13 times in the first two games, both losses. But things have jelled nicely since, in part because the protection has improved, while Burrow has sharpened his game.

The schedule looks fun, too. Cleveland and Carolina come the next two weeks — below-average defenses. This is a wheels-up offense going forward. The Bengals then take their bye in Week 10.

The Falcons don't have a bye until Week 14, but Arthur Smith could use a timeout right now. The Atlanta head coach has no idea how to unlock the downfield playmakers in his offense. Although the Falcons trailed for almost a full three hours at Cincinnati, Marcus Mariota attempted just 13 passes.

Some of the blame is Mariota's of course — he took three sacks, and his limited upside is why the Falcons insist on being so run-heavy. But given the game script, it's a sin to give Drake London just one target. Kyle Pitts was thrown to five times, but they didn't amount to much (three catches, nine yards).

No one in the Atlanta backfield had much running room Sunday, though Tyler Allgeier made the most of his volume (16-50-1) and took a roll of touchdown deodorant. The lone passing touchdown was a fluky 75-yard pass to Damiere Byrd.

In a year with more fantasy bricks than right answers, the Falcons look like another one of the wrong-answer teams.

Stay tuned for more fantasy booms and busts to come ...