How is it possible that we are already in Week 7? For in-season leagues, you are at the halfway point. For those of us doing the DFS grind, it is just another week at the office. Week 6 proved very profitable, especially on the Primetime-Only slate. We will continue to feature our small-slate advice for the evening games through the end of the season.
The Evening Slate:
Sunday night, Philadelphia and their JV defensive backfield face off against Dallas and Dak Prescott. You shouldn’t even ask who is the top QB play on this slate. I’m even happy to not use Tom Brady versus the Jets, with this easy of a play. I’ll also pass on Carson Wentz, although it isn’t a horrible matchup. With Dak as The QB to play, it makes sense that you want to stack him with Amari Cooper (if he plays) and/or Michael Gallup (a MUST-START if no Cooper). I could even see stacking him with Jason Witten and/or Randall Cobb (if he plays). If Cobb sits out, seriously consider using Tavon Austin as a FLEX or WR3. On the Eagles’ side, I could see playing Alshon Jeffery or Nelson Agholor, but neither is a must-start, despite the Cowboys getting burnt by the Jets in Week 6. If Desean Jackson can somehow make it back, I would be 100% on him at WR2. I just don’t believe he is ready yet. Zach Ertz is the most proven TE on the slate, but he is also the priciest. I almost feel safer just using Jason Witten and saving a few bucks. Ezekiel Elliott has a tough matchup, but you aren’t going to be the only owner to not have him on your roster. Aaron Jones and Saquan Barkley are the only two RBs to put up huge stats against the Cowboys this year. I could see using one of Jordan Howard or Miles Sanders at FLEX, but I’ll likely pass. Dallas’ defense would be my second choice, but I have to role predominantly with the Patriots first.
Monday night, Sam Darnold gets a real test as he hosts the Patriots. Needless to say, I’m using the Patriots’ defense. I’m all for the Jets going forward, just not this week. The Pats will shut down Robby Anderson, so Jamison Crowder is really the only passing game option I’d consider. He could be your WR3/FLEX, but I’d only use him if Desean Jackson does not play. Chris Herndon is a game-time decision at best, leaning towards not playing. So, he is an easy pass – as is anyone else New York wants to trot out at TE. Ben Watson is back with the Patriots. I don’t love him this week. I also am not high on their current tight end Ryan Izzo. I suppose you could throw one of them a bone, if you cannot afford Ertz or Witten. I doubt I will though. Julian Edelman is a gimme at WR1 if you cannot use Amari Cooper due to injury. He also is a gimme at WR2, if Desean is out. I’d also watch Phillip Dorsett’s practice schedule this week. He could be a sneaky FLEX play if he suits up. Tom Brady is option B at quarterback, and I will do some stacks with him, just to hedge my Dak usage. James White is my likely RB2. I will lean back and forth between him and LeVeon Bell. I could also use both and place one at FLEX. I’m not going with Sony Michel (except for on FantasyDraft). As for Brandon Bolden and Rex Burkhead, I’ll let you deal with that headache of a choice.
The Main Slate:
There just isn’t a ton to love at QB this week. Deshaun Watson has an ok matchup, as do Aaron Rodgers, Jimmy Garoppolo and Daniel Jones. That said, none of them scream must play. The three names that jump out at me as sure things are the running trio of: Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray and Josh Allen. I will feature one of these three in most of my lineups. There are three value options that I will have some exposure to: Gardner Minshew, Jacoby Brissett and Andy Dalton. The three running QBs will cost me less than 14% on either site. The three value options will run me 11% on DK and 12% on FD. So, I am more likely to use them on DK than on FD.
Leonard Fournette needs to be your RB1 this week. He is set for a huge output against one of the worst run defenses in recent history. The pivots that I would consider are David Johnson and Dalvin Cook, but they are each pricier. Chris Carson and Marlon Mack could also be options if you don’t want to eat the chalk. RB2 will be a choice between: Derrick Henry, Devonta Freeman, Kerryon Johnson, one of the Bills, Malcolm Brown (if Todd Gurley doesn’t play), one of the Niners, or Josh Jacobs (my favorite). I will also use one of these options at FLEX in many lineups (if I don’t go double-TE). Chase Edmonds is a possible punt, but only if David Johnson sits out. I also would consider Duke Johnson as a cheap FLEX option. With Fournette and Jacobs, I will spend 24% on DK and 24.3% on FD. If you pull your FLEX from that list as well, add another 11% or 12%.
Julio Jones will be a lock if Jalen Ramsey isn’t ready to start this week. If Ramsey suits up, Jones is still viable, but not ideal. In that case, Calvin Ridley makes a great WR2. Cooper Kupp is a strong WR1 option on a slate full of question marks up top. If I spend up for anyone it will probably be him. I will likely pair him with two off of this list: Larry Fitzgerald, Golden Tate, T.Y. Hilton (DK Only based on price), D.J. Chark, John Brown, or the afore-mentioned Ridley. Some of the cheaper options that I Like include: Dede Westbrook, Cole Beasley, Auden Tate, Taylor Gabriel and Allen Lazard. One of them may make my team as a WR3 or FLEX, if I need to save some money elsewhere. Kupp will cost me 15% on DK and 13% on FD. WR2 & WR3 should cost no more than 24% on DK and 21% on FD. I’m not big on using a FLEX here this week, but if I did, I’d keep it under 10%.
I’ve always been a fan of doing the Double-TE. This may be just the week to roll it out. You could make a great argument for playing any of the top seven TEs based on price. When there is that much parity up top (and all at reasonable prices), I’d rather put an Austin Hooper or Darren Waller or Mark Andrews into my FLEX slot. At that point, you are getting them instead of your RB3 or WR4, for roughly the same price. I’m not going to get overly cute here, but if you want to ignore the obvious value up top here, consider Jared Cook, Dawson Knox or Darren Fells (on DK only based on price). Going with two of the top-7 will cost you 24% on 23% on FD. If you choose just one, you are maxing out at 13.5% on DK and 12% on FD.
Buffalo and San Francisco defenses will be chalk. Either one is a legit play here. For variance try the Chargers or Bears. There isn’t an obvious punt, but the Rams might be in play if Jalen Ramsey suits up. At only 8.6% on DK and 9.2% on FD, I’ll probably just pay up for one of the obvious two.
Here are my recommended lineups.
At DK: $6.8K or less at QB for Lamar Miller, Kyler Murray or Josh Allen. $12K total for Josh Jacobs and Leonard Fournette. $12K or less, total, for two of: Calvin Ridley, Cooper Kupp, Larry Fitzgerald, Golden Tate, T.Y. Hilton, D.J. Chark, John Brown, Cole Beasley, Auden Tate, Robert Woods or Brandin Cooks. $4K or less for one of: Taylor Gabriel, Corey Davis, Darius Slayton or Allen Lazard. $12K or less total for two of: George Kittle, Evan Engram, Austin Hooper, Mark Andrews, Darren Waller or Hunter Henry. $3K for the Bears defense.
At FD: $7.7K for Murray or Allen. $7.9K for Fournette. $6.7K for either Derrick Henry or Josh Jacobs. $7.8K for Cooper Kupp. No more than $12K for two of the WRs listed above. No more than $13K for two of the TEs listed above. $5K for the Niners defense.
At Fanball (includes Sun Night): J. Allen, Fournette, Jacobs, Kupp, Tavon Austin, Hooper, Engram, either Malcolm Brown or Frank Gore, and Bills defense.
At Fantasy Draft (includes Sun Night): Gardner Minshew, Fournette, David Johnson, Kupp, Michael Gallup, Hooper, Jacobs, D.J. Chark, Buffalo defense.
|Gardner Minshew II||$5,400||$6,900|
Weekly strategy – This is the week that we need to go all-in on the rushing QBs. Josh Allen, Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson are my primary options. I will also have limited exposure to Andy Dalton, Daniel Jones and Jacoby Brissett. I will also put together a few lineups featuring Gardner Minshew.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Lamar Jackson, Ravens @ SEA ($6800 DK, $8400 FD)
Seattle hasn’t allowed a ton of QB rushing yards this season, but they have allowed QB rushing touchdowns in two of the last three weeks. Plus, lesser quarterbacks such as: Teddy Bridgewater, Andy Dalton and Mason Rudolph each threw for multiple TDs against this defense. Lamar Jackson is always capable of rushing for 100 yards, on top of his passing performance. In fact, there are only seven running backs with more rushing yardage than him.
Josh Allen, Bills vs. MIA ($6500 DK, $7700 FD)
Speaking of rushing quarterbacks, Josh Allen would also be considered one. Of course, he is not on the same level as Lamar Jackson, but he has three rushing scores already this season. Another is on the docket for this week, as Miami cannot stop anyone on the ground. Plus, Miami cannot stop anyone through the air either. Three total TDs is the floor for Allen.
Deshaun Watson, Texans @ IND ($7000 DK, $8300 FD)
Deshaun Watson is not a running quarterback like the above two, but he does score a lot of rushing TDs, much to the chagrin of Carlos Hyde owners. Only five running backs have more rushing TDs than Watson. The Colts have faced three upper-echelon QBs, and each has topped 300 passing yards. Expect more of the same here, with a minimum of two total scores.
Jared Goff, Rams @ ATL ($6200 DK, $7800 FD)
Atlanta has allowed 13 passing touchdowns over their last four games. Jared Goff is licking his chops. With questions still looming about Los Angeles’ running game and Todd Gurley’s health, expect the team to lean more heavily on Goff’s arm. Last week, Goff suffered his worst start as a pro. That was against a very good San Francisco defense. Atlanta’s defense will appear Pop Warner-esque after facing the Niners.
Jacoby Brissett, Colts vs. HOU ($5600 DK, $7300 FD)
This game shapes up to be a shootout. If so, Jacoby Brissett will be forced to throw to keep the Colts in the game. Ironically, the only game this season where Brissett has not thrown for multiple scores was the supposed shootout with the Chiefs. The Texans have allowed seven total quarterback touchdowns over the last two weeks. If this one devolves according to assumption, we should see them give up another three-pack.
Gardner Minshew, Jaguars @ CIN ($4500 DK, $6900 FD)
Cincy’s defense wasn’t good, to begin with. Now they will be without their top two cornerbacks and possible one of their two starting safeties. Gardner Minshew had a rough Week 6 when Marshon Lattimore shut down his favorite target, D.J. Chark. This week will be decidedly different. The Minshew-Chark stack may finish with the most total points on this slate.
|Mark Ingram II||$6,600||$7,500|
|Todd Gurley II||$6,400||$7,100|
|Melvin Gordon III||$5,900||$6,600|
|Wayne Gallman Jr.||$5,500||$5,900|
Weekly strategy – David Johnson and Saquan Barkley will be heavily owned against each other assumed each gets a clean bill of health for this week. I’m not sold on either of them because I feel they may both be limited on their snap counts. I won’t completely ignore them, but I’m going to be more on board with Leonard Fournette, Josh Jacobs, Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry, the Niners, the Bills, and Marlon Mack. The only punts I am interested in are Chase Edmonds and Malcolm Brown, and then only if David Johnson or Todd Gurley is out for the game.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Leonard Fournette, Jaguars @ CIN ($7000 DK, $7900 FD)
As bad as Cincy’s pass defense is now, their rushing defense has been epically worse all season. Opposing RBs are averaging 193 combo yards per game against these stiffs. Meanwhile, Leonard Fournette has started to receive more touches. Over the last two weeks, only Chris Carson has more touches than Fournette. If Leonard gets 25+ touches this week, 200 yards and multiple scores are realistic numbers.
Saquan Barkley, Giants vs. ARI ($8900 DK, $8600 FD)
The Cardinals are horrible against the pass, they are only mostly bad against the run. Saquan Barkley will be involved enough through the air to offer a solid return in his return game. That said, I’m concerned that he might get assigned a snap count in his first game back. This is one of those matchups where you want to have some exposure to Barkley because of his slate breaking capabilities, but you also don’t want to risk putting too many eggs into his high-priced basket. I’ll put him on 100 total yards and a score, anything more would be nice.
Dalvin Cook, Vikings @ DET ($8000 DK, $8300 FD)
The Lions have given up 170 combo yards per game to opposing RBs. Plus, they have allowed at least one RB score in every game this year. This sets up nicely for Dalvin Cook, who is equally involved on the ground and through the air. Cook’s price is finally up where it should be, which reduces his shine slightly. Nevertheless, I will have some exposure to him and may need to get creative to fit his salary alongside Fournette.
David Johnson, Cardinals @ NYG ($7800 DK, $7400 FD)
This is another situation where we need to have some concern that David Johnson may see reduced touches this week to save wear and tear on his injured back. New York has given up 496 yards to opposing RBs over the last two weeks, so the yards will be there. If Johnson suffers a setback this weekend, Chase Edmonds becomes a must-start. Edmonds will likely have value anyways since New York will give up another 200 total yards on the ground this week too.
Frank Gore, Bills vs. MIA ($5200 DK, $6000 FD)
Start your RBs versus Miami. Last week, Washington only netted 160 total RB yards against them. That was the best performance these losers have shown all season. Every other team posted well over 170 yards against them. Frank Gore and Devin Singletary should approach 200 combined yards here. They may need to break out the oxygen tanks for the old guy.
Josh Jacobs, Raiders @ GB ($5000 DK, $6700 FD)
The Packers are allowing nearly five yards per carry to opposing RBs. They have also allowed eight running back touchdowns over their last five games. Josh Jacobs had his breakout game Week 5 against a staunch Bears’ defense. This week should be much easier.
|Will Fuller V||$6,200||$6,300|
|DJ Chark Jr.||$6,000||$6,600|
|Allen Robinson II||$5,500||$7,000|
|Marvin Jones Jr.||$5,000||$5,600|
|Paul Richardson Jr.||$4,200||$4,600|
|Willie Snead IV||$4,200||$4,600|
|Ted Ginn Jr.||$3,600||$5,300|
Weekly strategy – I’m off of most of the high-priced WRs this week. Where I can, I will get Cooper Kupp into my lineups, but his salary is going to be slightly hard to navigate. If I cannot fit him in, I will assuredly have some exposure to either Brandin Cooks or Robert Woods. D.J. Chark and Golden Tate are two of my favorite plays. I also will mix in a few shares of Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Ridley and John Brown (assuming he plays). My goal would be to have three players from that group, but I know that this will be hard to achieve financially. In reality, I will probably have two of those guys paired with one from this list: Auden Tate, Allen Lazard, Cole Beasley, Dede Westbrook, Darius Slayton, or my personal favorite Taylor Gabriel.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Cooper Kupp, Rams @ ATL ($7400 DK, $7800 FD)
Cooper Kupp is the safest of the high-priced options this week. Non #1-WRs have dominated the Falcons. Kupp is essentially the top option for Jared Goff, but he is technically their WR3. Kupp ranks second among WRs in receptions, fourth in receiving yards, and sixth in receiving TDs. I have a hard time imagining anything less than 10-120-1 here.
Michael Thomas, Saints @ CHI ($7900 DK, $8100 FD)
It doesn’t matter who he is facing, Michael Thomas is unstoppable. His 8-89 performance last week almost seems like a letdown. On the year, he is averaging 9-105, despite facing a couple of top-10 pass defenses. Chicago is just outside of the top-10, and guess what…they won’t be able to slow him down either. I’m a little concerned about Teddy Bridgewater’s career struggles outside, but if the weather in Chicago isn’t too awful, Thomas should post his standard line.
DeAndre Hopkins, Texans @ IND ($7800 DK, $8000 FD)
The Colts have faced two stud WRs this year: Julio Jones and Keenan Allen. Those two combined for 16-251-2. DeAndre Hopkins hasn’t scored since Week 1. This is surely eating at him (and his fantasy owners). The targets are still there, as are the receptions, so the scores will come.
D.J. Chark, Jaguars @ CIN ($6000 DK, $6600 FD)
I would not be surprised to see D.J. Chark post the highest WR point total this week. Cincy will be without their top two CBs and perhaps one of their starting safeties. Last week, Chark struggled as he was shadowed by Marshon Lattimore. Throw out that game and he is averaging 5-97-1.
Golden Tate, Giants vs. ARI ($5800 DK, $6100 FD)
New York gets back Saquan Barkley and Evan Engram, but Sterling Shepard will likely miss another game. Only twelve other WRs got more targets last week than Golden Tate, and only six had more receiving yards. The returning players may lower his output slightly, but against a rotten Arizona defense, he still will have a field day.
Auden Tate, Bengals vs. JAX ($4500 DK, $5900 FD)
Take advantage of DK before they get their algorithm to reflect Auden Tate’s true value. Only ten other WRs have more targets since Week 3 than Auden Tate. Jacksonville still has A.J. Bouye, but he will likely be tasked with stopping Tyler Boyd. This should make sledding easier for Tate.
Weekly strategy – It is officially Double-TE season. With seven reasonably priced options up top. Choosing just one seems too tough. If I had to go just one, it would be either Evan Engram or Austin Hooper. That said, I look forward to having lineups featuring both. I will also use: Darren Waller, George Kittle, Mark Andrews and Hunter Henry. The only punt options I like are: Jared Cook, Darren Fells, Dawson Knox and Luke Willson, but I won’t have much exposure to any of them.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Evan Engram, Giants vs. ARI ($6500 DK, $6800 FD)
Five of six teams to face Arizona have netted in excess of 75 tight end receiving yards. Those same five teams have all scored at least one TE touchdown against them. On the year, teams facing the Cards are averaging 7.7-100 with the position. That is Engram’s floor and may be his first half numbers.
Austin Hooper, Falcons vs. LAR ($5300 DK, $6600 FD)
This is why I want to go Double-TE. Engram’s matchup is sick, but so is Austin Hooper’s. The Rams have allowed 20-271-1 to the position over the last three games. This includes huge games by Will Dissly and George Kittle. Hooper leads all TEs in receptions and he is behind only Travis Kelce in yards. Jalen Ramsey cannot cover Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Hooper. This is why I think Hooper absolutely beasts this week.
George Kittle, Niners @ WAS ($6700 DK, $7100 FD)
Washington is giving up 5-57 per game to opposing TEs. This is not nearly as juicy as Hooper and Engram’s matchups, but it is still ripe for the picking. George Kittle is arguably a better TE than both of them, let’s see if he continues his rise up. 7-70 sounds like his floor, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see him top 100 yards again (as long as his groin holds up).
Mark Andrews, Ravens @ SEA ($4900 DK, $6700 FD)
Gerald Everett and Ricky Seals-Jones have posted back-to-back solid lines against this defense. I trust Mark Andrews and his 5.7-68-0.5 average a lot more than either of those guys. Andrews will likely be my third TE option this week if I get crazy and do Triple-TE on Fanball or FantasyDraft.
Jared Cook, Saints @ CHI ($3600 DK, $5800 FD)
Several marginal TEs have posted solid lines versus Chicago already this year. Jared Cook should continue his recent scoring streak with a reasonable 5-50-1 line. That isn’t sexy, but it is efficient. Especially, when you consider his DK price.
Hunter Henry, Chargers @ TEN ($4000 DK, $5700 FD)
Hunter Henry has boom/bust potential every week going forward, at least until he gets injured again. Tennessee has given up only one big yardage performance to the position (Austin Hooper in Week 4), but they have allowed TDs to opposing TEs in four of six games. His price is considerably cheaper than the top four at FD, making him a nice Double-TE option there.