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Fantasy Football Flashback, Week 7: Josh Jacobs becoming one of NFL's most reliable players

Welcome to the latest edition of the Fantasy Football Flashback, where we celebrate the accomplishments of the week's most reliable players. Week 7 stood out on the schedule as the period that would be most impacted by bye weeks, and as expected, there were plenty of fantasy teams that struggled to field a dynamic lineup. But the players listed below stepped up when needed most and topped the scoring leaderboard.

No. 1: Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals, 39.24 points

Burrow tossed a 60-yard TD during the initial two minutes of the game, found Ja’Marr Chase for a pair of second-quarter scores and finished the contest with 481 passing yards. And to put some icing on the cake, the Bengals signal-caller rushed for 20 yards and a touchdown. Burrow came close to being the third player to log a 40-point fantasy week this season, and he joins Lamar Jackson as the only player in 2022 to lead all players in scoring two weeks in a row.

No. 2: Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders, 35.00

Jacobs is the hottest running back in the NFL, having rushed for at least 140 yards in each of his past three games. And he had a nose for the end zone on Sunday, crossing the goal line three times, which brings his overall TD total to six in as many games. Jacobs is locked into one of the heaviest workloads of any rusher, and those who gambled on drafting him when his stock was down in August are holding a top-5 fantasy RB for the remainder of the campaign.

No. 3: Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers, 30.70

After failing to score a touchdown in each of his initial three games, Ekeler has lived in the end zone in recent weeks. The diminutive RB scored twice on Sunday, which gives him a remarkable eight TDs in his past four games. Ekeler’s most recent effort was also highlighted by 12 catches, and his 53 receptions are 18 more than that of any other running back this season. The 27-year-old’s rare combination of receiving and goal line skills make him a top-5 fantasy RB for the duration of 2022.

No. 4: Andy Dalton, QB, New Orleans Saints, 29.54

From a real-life perspective, Dalton wasn’t great in a Thursday night game in which two of his three interceptions were returned for Arizona touchdowns. But those who grabbed the 34-year-old as a bye-week replacement or superflex option were ecstatic by his final stat line, which included 361 passing yards and four touchdowns. This memorable outing might be Dalton’s last one for a while, as he could give way to returning starter Jameis Winston this Sunday.

No. 5: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals, 29.00

Chase packed a week of ups and downs into one quarter on Sunday when he tallied a pair of second quarter touchdowns before limping off the field shortly prior to halftime. Luckily, fantasy managers were able to relax when Chase returned during the second half and finished the game. With 262 yards and four TDs in the past two weeks, Chase has fully broken out of a slump (53.5 yards per game) that occurred from Weeks 2-5. He continues to be regarded as a top-5 fantasy WR.

No. 6: Kenneth Walker III, RB, Seattle Seahawks, 28.80

Walker was already on his way to a solid fantasy day before putting the exclamation point in an upset road win for the Seahawks by recording a 74-yard rushing score in the fourth quarter. The rookie finished the day with 168 yards and two TDs, which gives him a total of 353 yards and four scores in his past three games. As the focal point in a run-heavy offense, Walker is a solid RB1 for the coming weeks, with his lack of involvement in the passing game being the only reason that he remains outside the truly elite RB options.

No. 7: Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants, 28.78

Jones led the surprising Giants to their sixth win in seven games when he threw for 202 yards and a touchdown while adding in 107 yards and a score on the ground. The Duke alum has mostly been a game manager (175 passing yards per game) but has remained a fantasy factor by averaging 49 rushing yards per contest. With his next three starts set to come against the Seahawks, Texans and Lions, Jones (who is rostered in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues) is a desirable option for those who are searching for a bye-week replacement.

No. 8: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs, 27.92

In a game that was highlighted as Christian McCaffrey’s 49ers debut, Mahomes reminded everyone that superstar QBs generally control wins and losses in the NFL by finishing a 21-point victory with a season-high 423 passing yards and three touchdowns. Mahomes is as steady as they come, having thrown for at least two scores in all but one game and more than 290 yards in four of his seven contests. Those who are tired of using an underperforming passer such as Aaron Rodgers can consider paying up for Mahomes in a trade with the superstar on bye in Week 8.

No. 9: Mecole Hardman, WR, Kansas City Chiefs, 26.00

Hardman stuffed the stat sheet in a variety of ways on Sunday, finding the end zone on both of his rushing attempts while also scoring on one of his four catches. One of the fastest players in the NFL, Hardman is capable of occasionally having a memorable game such as this one, but he remains incredibly inconsistent due to his light workload in a Chiefs offense that boasts many weapons. Fantasy managers would be wise to leave the 24-year-old on waivers in most of the 76 percent of Yahoo leagues where he remains available.

No. 10: Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals, 25.50

The Week 7 Bengals join the Week 2 Dolphins as the only teams to put a QB and two WRs in a single edition of this article. Boyd got the team started with a 60-yard score on their opening drive and finished with 155 yards on eight catches. The 27-year-old has had two noteworthy games this season, but as someone who works in tandem with stars Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, he often lacks the target share to have consistent production. His 65 percent Yahoo roster rate could climb a few ticks, but Boyd is mostly a flex option while managers deal with bye weeks.