Fantasy's best and worst: James White the star, Allen Robinson the goat from high-scoring Patriots-Bears game

Chargers are on an upward trend

The NFL Countdown crew breaks down why the Chargers are showing signs of positive growth. (1:39)

As we do each week, we recap the week's best and worst from a fantasy perspective, complete with applicable game and historical data. Check back after the conclusion of the 4 p.m. ET (and, when applicable, Sunday night) games for our picks.

The Best

Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: Sunday's highest scoring player came from the night game, as Hunt scored 37.1 PPR famtasy points against the Cincinnati Bengals. It was the third-best single game point total of his career, and his second game with two receiving touchdowns (also 2017 Week 1). Hunt is in the midst of a great four-week stretch during which time he has totaled 109.5 points. He'll face the Broncos, a defense that allowed a 200-yard rusher in Weeks and 6, next.

Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs: The highest-scoring quarterback from Sunday's games, Mahomes scored 32.8 fantasy points, his second game this season of 30 or greater. With it, he extended his positional lead for the season to 190.9 points, which trails only Gurley among players at all positions. Mahomes now has 201.3 points through his first eight career NFL starts, the most by any quarterback in history through that many starts. His breakthrough season continues with a tougher matchup against the Broncos in Week 8, a team against which he scored 22.9 points in Week 4.

Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts: In what was a career-best game for the second-year running back, Mack set personal bests with his 21 touches, 159 yards from scrimmage and 31.9 PPR fantasy points, that last nearly doubling his previous high of 16.3, set in 2017 Week 5. It was the second consecutive week he put forth a strong effort, as he had 13 touches and 93 scrimmage yards in Week 6. Mack, who remains available in 46.3 percent of ESPN leagues, gets another above-average-to-very-good matchup in Week 8 against the Oakland Raiders, another week in which four teams will be on bye.

Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams: He's in the midst of an absolutely phenomenal two-year run, and in fact, has just completed a three-week span of excellence, during which time he scored at least 30 PPR fantasy points in each. Gurley's 30.6 points were second-most among running backs through Sunday's 4 p.m. ET games, despite his early exit from a 39-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, and that gives him a league-leading (by a lot) 206.6 points for the season. As you can see in the accompanying chart, that's the fourth-most by any player at any position through his team's first seven games of any season since at least 1950. It means Gurley is on an even more phenomenal pace than in his 383.3-point 2017, during which he claimed the league's lead at all positions by more than 35 points. Gurley's play hasn't been simply special -- it's historic.

Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Chicago Bears: Though his game ended in heartbreak, his final completion falling a mere yard short of knotting the score and sending it to overtime, Trubisky's 31.4 fantasy points represented a third consecutive excellent score for our purposes. It was an uneven effort, as he spent a majority of the day with a sub-50 completion percentage -- his final percentage was 52.0 -- and threw a pair of costly interceptions that played a significant part in his team's loss, so it's dangerous to take too much from the performance. Trubisky did, however, manage multiple passing scores for the third consecutive game and fourth time in five contests, and he managed 81 yards and a touchdown on six rushing attempts, the latter continuing to help elevate his statistical floor. Trubisky was started in what was by far a career-high 31.7 percent of ESPN leagues, and that number should only continue to grow when he faces the New York Jets in Week 8.

James White, RB, New England Patriots: One of the Patriots' stars in a hard-fought, 38-31 victory at Chicago, White's 29.7 PPR fantasy points were the second-most among running backs during Sunday's 1 p.m. ET games. He caught a pair of touchdown passes and eight of his 10 targets overall, but the bigger story was that he had a career-high 11 rushing attempts, mostly the product of Sony Michel's early departure due to a knee injury. Season-ending injuries to Rex Burkhead and Jeremy Hill and Michel's issues, which appeared at first glance to be more serious than your typical day-to-day ailment, have left the Patriots precariously thin at running back, and perhaps White will continue to see an elevated amount of rushing work. That might boost him into weekly RB1 status, considering he's already on pace for 328.9 points using PPR scoring and 103 receptions this season.

Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers: While he didn't capture the positional lead in fantasy points, Newton's fourth-quarter comeback against the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles rescued his day from being included in "The Worst" section later in the column, instead placing it as one of Sunday's best performances. Newton generated 19.1 of his 25.7 fantasy points in the fourth quarter, behind a pair of passing scores, more than 200 yards passing and a two-point conversion. It was the 34th time in his 115 career regular-season NFL games that he scored at least 25 fantasy points, which is sixth-most all-time.

Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings: For the seventh consecutive game to begin his season, Thielen reached the 100-yards-receiving plateau, joining Charley Hennigan as the only players in history to do that. That fueled a 26.0 PPR fantasy point total by Thielen, who entered the week the position's top scorer with 153.2 points and only continued what has been a historic pace (see the accompanying chart). Thielen has thrived with Kirk Cousins as his quarterback, and it's fair to debate whether he stakes a claim to the No. 1 spot at his position for the remainder of the season. Thielen will face the New Orleans Saints in Week 8, so there's a great chance he'll rank among next week's leading scorers, too.

Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: While his 21.8 PPR fantasy points represented only the third-best total among wide receivers from the 1 p.m. ET games, he was started in a lower percentage of ESPN leagues (75.3) than either Thielen (99.6) or Jarvis Landry (85.9). It was Jeffery's third game out of four with at least 20 points since his return from a shoulder injury, and it continued his trend of excellent performances in games where Carson Wentz was his quarterback. In 17 games working with Wentz since he joined the Eagles before last season, Jeffery has totaled 258.8 points (15.2 average). The duo faces a considerably tougher matchup in Week 8 against the Jaguars in London, however, so temper your expectations for a repeat (or close to it).

Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles: His 22.8 PPR fantasy points gave him a sixth consecutive week with at least 12 points, and going back to the beginning of last season, he has a pair of streaks of at least that length -- he had eight in a row to start 2017 -- and is the only tight end with a streak at least that long. Ertz has shown similar excellence to the aforementioned Jeffery while working with Wentz, having totaled 263.9 points (16.5 average) in 16 games Wentz played since the beginning of last season. Ertz, at least a week out, looks a little less threatened by that Jaguars Week 8 matchup than Jeffery, considering that Jacksonville has done a better job in 2017-18 defending wide receivers than tight ends.

Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos: He got the week's offensive scoring started with a passing touchdown in the first quarter of the Thursday night game, and added a 64-yard, second-quarter receiving touchdown on his way to a 27.3 PPR fantasy point game. For Sanders, it was his seventh-best score in 122 career games and second of 25 or greater this season (he had 29.5 in Week 1), and he did it despite departing in the fourth quarter due to an ankle injury -- one he claims shouldn't prevent him from suiting up for Week 8 -- that limited him to only 43 of 59 offensive snaps. He now has 140.7 points for the season, which is his most through seven team games in any of his nine seasons in the NFL and 52.5 more than fellow Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (he has 88.2 through seven games).

Tyrell Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers: For the second consecutive week, Williams scored at least 20 PPR fantasy points, only the second time in his career he has done that, as he scored 21.8 points in the Sunday morning game in London. Much of that was the product of his 75-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter, giving him eight touchdown receptions of 40 yards or greater since the beginning of the 2016 season, which moved him into a tie with Tyreek Hill for the most during that 41-week time span. Despite limited weekly target totals -- his four Sunday were third-most on his team and his 27 for the season don't even crack the top 60 wide receivers in the category -- Williams' big-play potential could be useful in deep (think 14-plus-team) leagues. He was started in 3.2 percent of ESPN leagues and rostered in 8.5 percent in Week 7, both of which represented noticeable increases over his Week 6 numbers (0.6 and 2.9 percent).

Denver Broncos defense/special teams: A dominating effort led by a pair of pick-six touchdowns (by Todd Davis and Chris Harris Jr.) as well as two sacks by Von Miller resulted in a 33-point fantasy performance by the Broncos D, the greatest individual point total by any team defense/special teams since the Arizona Cardinals -- ironically, the Broncos' opponent in this game -- scored 35 in 2015 Week 16. It was more of a statement about Arizona's offensive struggles than Denver's defense itself, as the Broncos' 20 points entering Week 7 ranked just 24th in the league, while Cardinals opponents entering the week averaged 10.0 points from their defenses (second-highest in the league). The Cardinals on Friday fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, replacing him with quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich, and the team should improve at least somewhat off a miserable effort. That said, it's still a team to exploit if you're using a streaming defense strategy.

Trey Burton, TE, Chicago Bears: The leading scorer among tight ends through the 4 p.m. ET games, Burton's 27.6 PPR fantasy points represented a new career high. He now has a receiving touchdown in three consecutive games, totaling 56.5 fantasy points in the process. Burton remains a back-end TE1, with Trubisky's improving performance helping boost his tight end's stock in recent weeks.

John Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens: Though his game ended in heartbreak, it was Brown's 14-yard touchdown reception with 24 seconds remaining in regulation that gave the Ravens a chance to tie the score, and that catch propelled him to a season-best 26.4 PPR fantasy points. That was the second-best point total in any of his 63 career NFL games, trailing only his 27.6 in 2015 Week 6 (when he was a member of the Cardinals), and it helped turn around what had been a two-week slump entering Week 7. Brown now has three games of 19-plus points out of seven this season, and he has one of the more favorable remaining schedules among wide receivers, with upcoming games against the Pittsburgh Steelers (Week 9), Oakland Raiders (Week 12), Atlanta Falcons (Week 13), Kansas City Chiefs (Week 14) and Buccaneers (Week 15).

George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers: The fourth most-started tight end in ESPN leagues in Week 7, active in 70.8 percent, Kittle rewarded his managers handsomely with a 20.8 PPR fantasy point total, the third-most at his position through the 4 p.m. ET games. That gave him his second game with at least 20 points in his past four, and it was especially encouraging because both of those have come with C.J. Beathard as his quarterback. Kittle has totaled 65.6 points in the four games since Beathard took over for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo. In a rough season for the tight-end position, Kittle has been a reliable weekly TE1.

The Worst

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys: Only once before in his 32-game NFL career has he endured a worst day in terms of PPR fantasy points than he had Sunday, as his 6.3 points only narrowly edged the 6.2 he had in 2017 Week 2. It was an awful game by Elliott -- he averaged just 2.3 yards per carry -- against an underrated Washington Redskins run defense, and it cost his managers in ESPN leagues dearly, as he was active in 99.8 percent, third-highest among running backs. He has his bye in Week 8, but should rebound in a big way in Week 9 against the Titans' middling run defense.

Duke Johnson Jr., RB, Cleveland Browns: Considering that he was expected to see a boost in rushing work following the trade Friday of Carlos Hyde, started Sunday's game and was facing a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that has been awful at containing pass-catching running backs (NFL-high 2.1 PPR fantasy points per target allowed to the position), Johnson's 5.9 points on five total touches qualifies as one of Sunday's biggest letdowns. Johnson was added in nearly 12 percent of ESPN leagues between Weeks 6 and 7 -- though he had been cut in roughly 7 percent in the week before that -- and started in 15.4 percent, his highest rate since Week 1. Meanwhile, Nick Chubb managed 14.0 points on 18 carries, a sure sign that the team sees him as its workhorse back going forward. Johnson remains only a matchups-dependent flex play in full- and half-PPR formats.

Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans: For the second consecutive week and third time in his seven games this season, Watson turned in a disappointing fantasy point total, his 10.9 scored assuring he'll finish easily outside the position's top 12 -- and perhaps outside its top 20 -- by week's end. He has provided little help with his legs during his recent slump, rushing a combined nine times for 15 yards in Weeks 6-7 combined, though part of that can be explained by the poor protection Houston's offensive line has been providing him. As this game was against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Watson's start percentage in ESPN leagues understandably dropped to 31.7 percent, his lowest such rate (among those games for which he has been healthy) since 2017 Week 4. That should improve, as should his performance, when he faces the Miami Dolphins in Week 8's Thursday night game.

Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears: He entered the weekend questionable due to a groin injury but nevertheless played, causing his start percentage in ESPN leagues to drop to 48.6, a season low. Still, that's a healthy amount of teams sunk by his 1.4 PPR fantasy points on five targets, as Robinson couldn't make things happen on a day where Trubisky struggled as a passer. It was Robinson's second-worst performance in terms of fantasy points behind only his NFL debut in 2014 Week 1 (1.0), but it also shouldn't happen too often, considering his generally healthy weekly target totals. He should rebound in Week 8 against the Jets.

David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals: His 10.0 PPR fantasy points Thursday night was hardly disastrous -- after all, he has had eight worse single-game point totals in his 40-game NFL career, one of which happened this season (6.1, in Week 2) -- but it was a significant disappointment if you consider the strength of his matchup. The opposing Broncos entered the week having allowed back-to-back 200-yard rushers, the first defense in history to do that, as well as the sixth-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs for the season (29.8). Johnson was also started in a whopping 98.5 percent of ESPN leagues, fifth-highest among running backs in Week 7.

Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans: For the second consecutive week, Davis fell short of 5 PPR fantasy points, his 4.0 on Sunday in London coming on the heels of his 3.4 in Week 6. Struggling as a result of a poor matchup against the Chargers and cornerback Casey Hayward, Davis' seven targets weren't even tops on his team, as Tajae Sharpe managed nine of his own. Davis, who was started in 30.6 percent of ESPN leagues, now heads into his bye week. He'll face another below-average (at best) matchup against the Dallas Cowboys when the Titans return in Week 9.

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings: For only the fourth time since the beginning of the 2016 season, Rudolph was held short of 3 PPR fantasy points, his 2.6 on four targets representing a season low. He simply hasn't been getting the looks from Cousins that he did from Sam Bradford in 2016 or Case Keenum in 2017, his 35 targets through the Vikings' first seven games of the season paling in comparison to his numbers in either 2016 (53) or 2017 (40). Rudolph, who was started in a fifth-highest-among-tight-ends 65.8 percent of ESPN leagues in Week 7, does get a bounce-back matchup opportunity in Week 8 against the Saints.

Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints: Though his matchup was one of the toughest on his schedule -- the opposing Ravens had afforded running backs the second-fewest PPR fantasy points entering the week (80.3) -- Ingram's 6.2 points scored on 14 total touches sunk a lot of his fantasy teams, considering he was started in 76.1 percent of ESPN leagues (13th-highest among running backs). He has now averaged 3.0 yards per carry in his two games since returning from suspension, though the 16 and 12 carries he has received in those contests show that his role is sizable enough that he's well worth starting regardless of matchup. He'll face another below-average-to-poor matchup in Week 8 against the Vikings.

Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins: For the third consecutive week, he was held beneath 10 PPR fantasy points, scoring only 6.3 on Sunday. That's only the second time in Reed's six-year NFL career that he has had a streak of that length -- he also went three straight scoring beneath 10 from 2014 Weeks 14-16 -- and it signaled a concern about his reception total, which generally has made him a reliable option for his healthy games. In the team's three games since the bye, Reed has caught just eight of his 15 targets. He's going to need to start reversing that trend during a favorable upcoming part of his schedule (at the Giants, versus the Falcons and at the Bucs the next three weeks) if he wants to keep earning starts on his fantasy teams.