Week 7 daily fantasy advice: Previewing the week in DFS
Week 6 has only just come to a close, but it’s time to start previewing Week 7 in DFS. You can never prepare too early. As noted last week, this weekly column will provide some early-week thoughts on players, salaries, matchups or anything else I find noteworthy in my initial pass through the players on DraftKings and FanDuel.
Week 7 features plenty of fantasy-relevant players suiting up Thursday (Bears-Packers) and Monday (Texans-Broncos), so I’d expect the Thursday-Monday slate on both sites to be fairly popular this week. Additionally, the late-afternoon games on Sunday and Sunday night game feature Atlanta, San Diego, New England, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Seattle and Arizona, so there’s no “sweating” allowed until late on Sunday. There will be fireworks all day long.
At first glance, the Raiders-Jaguars game is an early favorite for “give me a lot of exposure to that game,” but there are no other 1 p.m. games that jump off the page as must-buys. We also lose a game, due to the fact the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams are playing in London on Sunday morning. Although, that might actually might be a good thing, because it will force people to not chase Odell Beckham Jr.’s points.
There’s the 10-foot view of Week 7. Let’s get more granular. Remember, this is not meant as a comprehensive, refined list of players I love, like, or hate each week. These are early-week musings.
(Note: I’m providing only DraftKings and FanDuel salaries as I live in Florida, where Yahoo does not operate.)
The mid-range seems to be where the best plays are this week. There are plenty of good quarterback matchups to choose from yet again, and there are some clear avoids as well. The difficult part will be actually choosing which quarterback to roll with, since there are so many I think I like this week.
Tom Brady is the most expensive option on both sites by a fairly wide margin. Given the plethora of mid-range quarterbacks this week, coupled with the fact Ben Roethlisberger is hurt — which means the Pittsburgh-New England game may not be as high-scoring as one would like — might keep Brady’s ownership rates down on both FanDuel and DraftKings. Plus, he has dominated the Steelers throughout his career. (So has Rob Gronkowski.)
It’s had not to love Jameis Winston’s price on DraftKings ($5,900). He was above $6,000 the first three weeks of the season, and in two of those games, he scored over 25 DraftKings points. His salary was understandably lower against the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers ($5,400 and $5,800, respectively) but it didn’t get as much of an increase as I would have expected. Winston draws the San Francisco 49ers, who have been simply miserable on defense this season.
As expected, Drew Brees was brilliant in Week 6, but I’ll likely fade him this week against the Kansas City Chiefs — in Kansas City. Brees is riding a high, so his ownership rate may be higher than usual, and the Chiefs boast a top-10 passing defense and have given up just four passing scores on the year. Brees is one of the three most expensive quarterbacks on both sites. I’m finding myself looking elsewhere.
I was tempted to pay up at running back last week — and ultimately did, for the most part — and that might be the case again this week. Although there are a lot more mid-range options to choose from in Week 7, so it will be easier to save at running back this week than it was in Week 6.
I might have 100 percent exposure to DeMarco Murray on DraftKings this week, and that’s not a joke. He has more than 19 touches in every game so far this season, and he has scored over 20 DraftKings points in all but one game. He’s the second-most-expensive option on FanDuel, but he’s somehow only the fourth-most-expensive running back on DraftKings, at $7,200 — inexplicably $500 cheaper than Week 6. And he has a cake matchup against the Indianapolis Colts, who have been gouged by running backs all year long.
Spencer Ware as the 11th-most-expensive running back on FanDuel ($7,000) against the terrible New Orleans Saints defense is intriguing. Jamaal Charles saw more action in Week 6, but he was still out-touched by Ware 11-to-26. The gap in touches may shrink in Week 7 and beyond, but Ware is clearly the safer player and should be good for 20-plus touches. Both Ware and Charles are options this week, although I mean lean Ware, as his ownership rates may be suppressed because of Charles’ presence.
Jacquizz Rodgers at $5,600 on FanDuel will be extremely tempting if Doug Martin — who didn’t practice on Monday — doesn’t play in Week 7. Rodgers had 35 touches in Week 5, and while it’d be silly to expect anywhere close to that many touches again in Week 7, he would have a juicy matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, who have been gashed on the ground this season, most recently by LeSean McCoy in Week 6. Martin’s health is definitely one to monitor throughout the week, and if he plays, he’ll likely be worth starting as well (although Rodgers wouldn’t be).
Duke Johnson at only $3,900 is one of my favorite value plays of the week. The Browns are and will continue to be bad, so second-half targets and garbage time work is always in the cards for Johnson. He’s tied with Theo Riddick for second-most targets among all running backs (31), and while he hasn’t had a good fantasy game yet, he did see some goal line work in Week 6. Additionally, the Bengals — Johnson’s Week 7 opponent — just got worked by James White out of the backfield.
In my initial pass through receivers, I’m most interested in some of the names at the top of the list and some in the middle tier. However, you usually need to fit in at least one cheaper receiver, and there are some great options below $4,000 this week as well.
Julio Jones is pricy on DraftKings — he checks in at $9,200 — but he is only $100 behind Antonio Brown, so there’s a chance Jones won’t be as highly owned as he should be. Our projections have the Falcons-Chargers game slated to be one of the highest-scoring affairs of the weekend, and Jones figures to be a big reason why. Of the top wideouts, he’s my early-week favorite on DraftKings.
I love T.Y. Hilton at $7,800 as the seventh-most-expensive wideout on FanDuel. He’s coming off a bad Sunday night game in which he caught a season-low three passes for only 49 yards, but it was also the first game this season in which Hilton didn’t see at least 10 targets. That might turn some people off, but I’ll likely stick with Hilton in Week 7 as he faces a suspect Titans pass defense, which has given up the ninth-most yards per reception so far this year.
Chris Conley ($4,700 on FanDuel and $3,500 on DraftKings) is my favorite value wideout in Week 7. He is fixing for a breakout game. He led the team with four targets last week despite running a season-low 17 pass routes. He has averaged 38 pass routes run per game so far this year. Against the terrible Saints pass defense, Conley could do some serious damage. He has a great shot to far outplay his salary.
Breshad Perriman is another value play worth taking a look at this week — particularly on DraftKings, where he only costs $3,500. He tied Mike Wallace for the Baltimore team lead in targets last week, with eight. Perriman has only caught 46 percent of the passes thrown his way so far this season, so he’s definitely not a core DFS player, but he’s a cheap option who could strike gold against a Jets defense that has given up several long touchdowns to wideouts this season.
This looks like a week where you can go any which way with tight end. There’s no Greg Olsen due to a bye week for the Panthers, so Rob Gronkowski is the lone expensive option at the top. But as noted above, his good matchup still makes him viable. And if you want to save at tight end, that’s easy to do this week, as there are a ton of great matchups to target.
Delanie Walker will be low-owned after his dud of a game in Week 6, but he’s a good rebound candidate against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7. The Colts were just torched by C.J. Fiedorowicz, and they rank in the bottom half of the league in fantasy points given up to tight ends. Walker is only the fourth-most expensive option on FanDuel and the fifth-most expensive tight end on DraftKings. I think I’ll be going back to the Walker well this week.
Hunter Henry is getting more love on FanDuel, and he’s the ninth-most expensive tight end on Sunday’s main slate, at $5,800. He’s still cheaper on DraftKings, where he’s the 11th-priciest tight end with an attractive $3,600 price tag. Henry has scored in three straight games, but his DraftKings price tag has only increased $300 over the past three weeks. The Atlanta Falcons have been terrible at defending tight ends all season long, so Henry is definitely an option this week.
I also like Gary Barnidge this week, and he costs only $5,200 on FanDuel and $3,200 on DraftKings. Barnidge has not scored and he has not put together a big game, so people are largely off of him at this point in the season. But he has seen at least five targets in every game since Week 2 and at least 50 yards in every game since Week 3, and with Terrelle Pryor reportedly banged up, Barnidge may see even more work. He’s also playing the Cincinnati Bengals, who left Gronkowski wide open on several occasions in Week 6.