Top Draftstreet Football Values for Week 7
We have now hit the midway point of the 2013 fantasy football season. Unlike previous years, so much has gone wrong for those who were considered top-tier fantasy options prior to the season. The latest injury is my No. 1 overall fantasy player through the first five weeks, tight end Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints. He was held without a single catch last week against the New England Patriots before injuring his foot. While New Orleans is on a bye this week, there is no telling when Graham will be available moving forward.
Elite running backs have struggled, Calvin Johnson hasn’t put up No. 1 wide receiver numbers and Julio Jones is lost for the season with a foot injury. Rob Gronkowski has yet to suit up for a game, while the likes of Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson have struggled from a fantasy perspective.
If you want a chance to win $2.5 million in guaranteed prizes on Draftstreet this year, you are going to have to get creative. The idea here is to find values up and down the board to fill out your weekly rosters so that you are able to actually pick up a couple of the elite fantasy options that remain in Week 7.
In what has been a weekly article here at Pro Football Focus, we will be providing readers with the top Draftstreet football values in weekly leagues.
For the purposes of these articles, I will utilize Draftstreet cap numbers and base them off total cap numbers of $100,000 per team.
Last week’s version turned out nicely for those who followed my recommendations. Jay Cutler, Andy Dalton and Nick Foles all finished Week 6 as QB1 options, while A.J. Green returned to form for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Let’s take a look at the players we recommend as Draftstreet’s top values for Week 7.
As a reminder, check out their qualifier league that enables 40 Players qualify for the Championship Event.
Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles ($12,066)
Foles, who has compiled seven total touchdowns in less than two full games of action this season, will likely get the start against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Michael Vick’s hamstring is still ailing and he has indicated another week off would do him wonders. Going up against a Cowboys’ defense that has yielded the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season will do wonders for Foles’ fantasy production. He was the No. 2 fantasy quarterback last week and finished as a top-tier QB2 despite playing less than three quarters the week prior.
As the 14th-most expensive quarterback in Draftstreet leagues, this really isn’t a difficult decision to make. You can even go with Foles as your QB1 in two-quarterback formats and expect to get top-seven production. Talk about value.
Chad Henne, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars ($8,063)
No I haven’t done lost my mind, but this is the second consecutive week that I have recommended a Jaguars’ player. Last week it was Maurice Jones-Drew at under $5,500 and he performed much better than that price tag indicated. Let’s double down here.
Henne provides the only upside at the quarterback position for Jacksonville and will be going up against a San Diego Chargers defense that we rank dead last in pass coverage this season. This is a unit that has also given up the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. For his part, Henne puts up solid yardage numbers (269.2 per start this season) and has a true play-making wide receiver on the outside in the form of Justin Blackmon. As the 29th-most expensive quarterback this week, Henne could act as a cheap QB2 in Draftstreet formats while enabling you to spend the big bucks elsewhere. Draftreet guarantees 2-3 qualifiers per week. Week 1 through Week 14 of the NFL season. Imagine the bragging rights you will earn if Henne helps you obtain that goal.
Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco 49ers ($10,406)
Don’t look now, but Gore is currently fifth in the NFL in rushing yards and tied for sixth in rushing touchdowns. He’s also been a true RB1 option through the first weeks of the season. While formats like Draftstreet continue to sleep on him, you can use that to your full advantage. Gore is the eighth-most expensive running back this week, but is going up against a Tennessee Titans defense that is yielding an average of nearly 150 total yards to opposing running backs this season. Take into account the fact that Tennessee boasts a strong pass defense, which should limit San Francisco’s air attack, and you have the makings for a ground-and-pound game from Gore. The cost for Draftstreet Qualifiers range from $22 to $420. I’d be willing to put that up on Gore placing among the top-five running back production this week.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina Panthers($8,968)
Talk about flying under the radar. Williams is on pace for nearly 1,600 total yards this season and is averaging 4.8 yards per touch thus far. The reason Williams is likely a sleeping giant in fantasy football is because he’s yet to score a touchdown this season. With consistent touches moving forward and improvements in Carolina’s rushing attack, this should change in short order.
The Panthers go up against a St. Louis Rams defense that has been a dumpster fire against opposing running backs this season. Their last four opponents are averaging 165 yards per game on the ground. That’s reason enough to utilize Williams a cheap RB1 considering he’s the 16th-most expensive running backs in Draftstreet leagues.
Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams ($6,851)
Daryl Richardson had his opportunity and he failed at every turn. Isaiah Pead may have the talent, but he’s yet to prove he can make an impact in the NFL after being selected in the 2012 draft. With that, Jeff Fisher and Co. turned to this former Vanderbilt star against a tough Houston Texans defense last week. Stacy responded by putting up 90 total yards on 20 touches. He’s likely going to get the bulk of the work in the backfield against Carolina this week.
While Carolina ranks as the 12th-best fantasy defense against running backs this season, Stacy’s pure volume of touches should enable him to put up decent RB2 numbers in this one. It’s all about getting shots in the red zone and coming away with six. If he’s able to put up a score and tally triple-digit total yards, somewhat likely scenarios,Stacy will be an absolute steal as Draftstreet’s 31st-most expensive running back this week.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts ($9,025)
Hilton has been inconsistent this season, which raises some questions about his viability in fantasy football. He has two 100-yard games which has seen him compile 264 yards and two scores. In Hilton’s other four games combined, he has 121 yards and zero scores. The good news about weekly leagues is that we can pick and choose matchups.
Just look at how receivers have performed against the Broncos this season…
|Victor Cruz||New York (G)||8||118||1|
|Hakeem Nicks||New York (G)||4||83||0|
Hilton and the Colts go up against a Denver Broncos team that has yielded the third-most fantasy points to opposing receivers and grades out as our 11th-worst pass defense through six weeks. Justin Blackmon torched them for 190 yards on 14 catches last week, while Terrance Williams and Dez Bryant combined for nearly 300 receiving yards the week prior. As the 22nd-most expensive rookie in Draftstreet leagues, Hilton should easily find himself performing much better than his cost. Look for top-tier WR2 production here.
Brandon LaFell, WR, Carolina Panthers ($5,944)
It was just a matter of time before LaFell took over for Ted Ginn as the Panthers’ true No. 2 receiver behind Steve Smith. While he has been listed that way on the depth chart, the LSU product struggled making a consistent impact in his first three games. Despite scoring two touchdowns in a Week 3 destruction of the New York Giants, LaFell put up a total of 113 yards in those three games. He was able to tally 113 yards and a score against a poor Minnesota Vikings pass defense last week.
LaFell and the Panthers go up against a St. Louis Rams defense that ranks in the bottom 12 of the NFL against fantasy receivers this season. In addition, he’s likely to draw a matchup against either Trumaine Johnson or Cortland Finnegan in this one. Johnson is the better of the two options at this point, but common sense seems to indicate that Jeff Fisher will go with Finnegan at this point if he’s healthy. If so, LaFell has an obvious matchup advantage. Finnegan grades out as our seventh-worst cover corner through six weeks. At under six percent of your cap hit, LaFell could offer WR2 upside in this one.
Jarrett Boykin, WR, Green Bay Packers ($5,135)
With Randall Cobb out of action until at least Week 14, Boykin will play a much bigger role in the Packers’ passing game. Add into the equation James Jones and his questionable status for this upcoming week against the Cleveland Browns and it appears Boykin may get the start opposite Jordy Nelson. Despite struggling with drops and lackluster route running last week against the Baltimore Ravens, this Virginia Tech product has a ton of upside. With Joe Haden set to go up against (and likely shut down Nelson) we can expect Boykin to see a nice amount of targets here. Cleveland No. 2 cornerback Buster Skrine grades out as an average cover guy. Considering the likelihood that he will see double-digit targets in this one, five receptions for 70 yards and a score isn’t out of the question here. Not bad for someone who is valued as a decent FLEX option.
Scott Chandler, TE, Buffalo Bills ($5,696)
With Jimmy Graham on a bye and his status uncertain for the foreseeable future and Rob Gronkowski still sidelined, there really aren’t any consistently elite fantasy tight end options. The closest we can get to that is Vernon Davis, who has been anything but consistent in San Francisco since Colin Kaepernick took over at quarterback last October. On that note, it’s becoming increasingly important to find ridiculous value at tight end in weekly leagues in order to spend money elsewhere. That’s what my recommendation has been all along.
Chandler represents that value to a T. No matter who is starting for Buffalo this upcoming week, Chandler will receive the necessary targets to be in the TE1 conversation. He’s caught 70 percent of the passes thrown in his direction thus far this season, which indicates that he’s going to make a play when he gets an opportunity.
Buffalo is also going up against a Miami Dolphins defense that has yielded the second-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. That along with the possibility that Matt Flynn might get the call in this one leads me to believe Chandler could end up being the Bills’ leading receiver. Not bad for the 16th-most expensive fantasy tight end in Draftstreet leagues.
Tim Wright, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($5,245)
Raise your hand if you had heard of Wright prior to his breakout Week 6 performance against the Philadelphia Eagles. The undrafted rookie free agent from Rutgers found a solid rhythm with fellow rookie Mike Glennon last week, going for 91 yards on seven receptions and finishing as a TE1 option. As with most young quarterbacks, Glennon seems comfortable going with his safety valve between the hashes. This won’t change moving forward.
Wright and the Bucs go up against an Atlanta Falcons defense that is giving up an average of 50 yards and a score to opposing tight ends this season. That ranks them in the bottom 10 of the NFL against fantasy tight ends. Look for another borderline TE1 performance here.
– Qualifier winners receive flight and accommodations to Las Vegas on December 15th for Championship Event
– December 15th is Championship Sunday where players draft for $1,750,000 in prizes.