NFL Week 7 Recap: Immediate fantasy football takeaways from Jaguars-Saints Thursday Night Football

2T2J0XM New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara tries to score but is run out of bounds at the 1-yard line by the Jacksonville Jaguars defense in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Travis Etienne Jr. scores twice early in the game: The Jaguars drove the ball down the field on two of their first three drives, both resulting in an Etienne touchdown. However, he didn’t do much over the rest of the game.

Alvin Kamara remains a PPR king: Kamara reached double-digit receptions for the second time this season. No other running back has more than eight in a game.

Calvin Ridley is held to one reception: Much to the dismay of many fantasy managers, the Jaguars’ top outside receiving option was a non-factor in this game. But that might not be a sign of things to come.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

PFF's fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2023.

WR:CB Matchup Chart

Jacksonville Jaguars @ New Orleans Saints

  • Travis Etienne Jr.: 14 carries, 53 yards, 2 touchdowns; 3 receptions, 24 receiving yards
  • Alvin Kamara: 17 carries, 62 yards; 12 receptions, 91 receiving yards

Jamaal Williams returns to New Orleans: The Saints running back spent the last four weeks on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.

  • Before the injury, Williams was the clear starter in Weeks 1 and 2 as Alvin Kamara served his suspension. This was the first game Kamara and Williams had played together.
  • The Saints used the two interchangeably. Kamara played a few snaps, and Williams then joined for a play or two.
  • Williams was used as an early-down back in Detroit, primarily in short-yardage situations. He was used more in clear passing situations than in most other situations in this game.
  • This meant a clear decline in offensive snaps for Kamara. It didn’t hurt his fantasy production in this game because his target share has been ridiculously high. If his target rate ever regresses, his fantasy value will take a hit.
  • Kamara leads all running backs in receptions this season at 35. The next-closest back has 26. He’s accomplished this despite missing the first three weeks of the season.
  • Third-round rookie Kendre Miller was demoted to RB3 on the depth chart. He played only a few snaps but got no opportunities with the football. He can be cut in shallower leagues.

Calvin Ridley is held to one reception: Ridley’s playing time was the same as it’s been all season, but he wasn’t a priority in the passing game until late in the fourth quarter.

  • This may have been part of the Jaguars' game plan, with Trevor Lawrence entering the game with a knee injury. 
  • Lawrence’s 5.2-yard average depth of target through three quarters was the lowest it’s been all season, while his 2.32-second average time to throw was below average.
  • Ridley had by far the highest average depth of target among Jaguars active players coming into the game, at 13.3. The closest player was Jamal Agnew, at 9.7.
  • Ridley led the team in targets on passes with a time to throw of 2.1 seconds or longer, but both Evan Engram and Christian Kirk had more targets on sub-2.0-second passes coming into the week. Engram had 27, Kirk 18 and Ridley 13.
  • Part of the problem was that the Jaguars were playing with a lead, while the Saints dominated time of possession, so the Jaguars didn’t pass much.
  • He received one target over the first 55 minutes. Once the game was tied late in the fourth quarter, Ridley received a handoff on one play and was targeted on the following two.
  • Lawrence’s injury probably factored more into the low target share than the Saints cornerbacks. Marshon Lattimore hasn’t shadowed any wide receiver all season, which continued in this game.
  • Ridley should be a buy-low candidate. While his play in some games has been disappointing, he should at least rebound from this game after Lawrence has some time to rest.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Derek Carr was clearly dealing with an injury over the last few minutes of the game, but he kept playing through the injury. This will be something to monitor for next week.
  • Zay Jones missed his fourth game in five weeks with a knee injury. Christian Kirk continues to take his spot in 12 personnel, while Jamal Agnew was the primary replacement in 11 personnel.
  • Agnew left the game to be checked for a concussion, but he returned shortly after and continued his usual role for the rest of the game.
  • Second-round rookie tight end Brenton Strange out-snapped Luke Farrell for the first time last week, catching his first career touchdown. That was just a one-week anomaly rather than a sign of things to come, as Farrell was back ahead of Strange this week.
  • The Saints were without Juwan Johnson (calf) for the fourth straight game. We saw more Foster Moreau and less Taysom Hill this week than last, but any fantasy manager who took a risk on Hill was still rewarded thanks to a 1-yard touchdown run.
  • Evan Engram and Michael Thomas entered this game as the only two players with 30-plus receptions but no touchdowns. Thomas ended that streak in the fourth quarter, but Engram remains touchdown-less.

Table Notes

Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.

Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.

Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.


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