Welcome to Week 7. Week 6 was filled with surprise performances from many players across the league. Offenses continue to dictate the pace of most NFL games and the scoring totals have been giving Vegas fits all season. After a record high for average points per game through six weeks, a bye week for some top offensive teams should result in some temporary regression in scoring for Week 7.
Last week was our best week to date. After scoring an average of 160 points on Fanduel, we cashed in both lineups. Both lineups from Week 6 featured Jameis Winston at quarterback, Todd Gurley at running back, and Tyler Boyd at receiver. The other positions varied due to budget constraints, but the end result for both was a solid cash.
The picks from the column last week yielded our best results thus far. Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, and Jameis Winston had huge weeks. Winston led all quarterbacks with 32.9 points, while our fourth quarterback pick, Andy Dalton, had a decent week, but nothing to go wild about (17 points). Gurley and Conner had massive weeks, amassing 62 points between them. Even James White had a decent week with 11.7 while and Julio Jones had a big week (19) and Julian Edelman performed (14.1). Our tight ends weren’t great as they posted a mediocre average of 7 points. The Vikings defense was great. The Flex picks even came through as Boyd finished with 21.7. Sanu was into double digits before getting injured early in the contest, while Chris Carson and George Kittle were really our only two busts.
With DFS, you always expect swings in performance. Week 6 was a massive week for us, but I’m still expecting us to eventually have a sub-par week. I mean, it has to happen eventually, right?
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A look ahead to Week 7
Our little shootout strategy might have to take a back seat this week, as some of the ideal shootout teams are on bye this week. Quarterbacks aren’t as critical as they have been the past few weeks, as the matchups this week appear favorable for about half the quarterbacks in the league. This week, I’m putting the scope on a limited few running backs. First of all, I love Gurley this week, I just can’t afford his price tag for the variety I want for my lineups this week. If you can afford him, go get him. The issue I see this week lies with the volume of favorable matchups for certain players. There are going to be a surplus of good dart throws this week, so I’m going to go a little out on a limb this week to identify some longshots.
As it is set every week, the prices on FanDuel and DraftKings are listed next to every player in parentheses.
Without further delay, let’s get into the picks for Week 7.
|Colin's Picks For Week 7|
|QB||Jared Goff (DK-$6,600/FD-$8,300)||Cam Newton (DK-$5,900/FD-$8,200)||Andy Dalton (DK-$6,400/FD-$7,800)||Baker Mayfield (DK-$5,800/FD-$7,100)|
|RB||Saquan Barkley (DK-$8,900/FD-$8,200)||Kareem Hunt (DK-$6,800/FD-$7,800)||Tarik Cohen (DK-$5,100/FD-$6,600)|
|WR||Odell Beckham Jr. (DK-$8,100/FD-$8,500)||Tyler Boyd (DK-$6,700/FD-$6,800)||Josh Gordon (DK-$5,600/FD-$6,700)|
|TE||Zach Ertz (DK-$7,100/FD-$7,500)||David Njoku (DK-$4,200/FD-$5,700)||CJ Uzomah (DK-$3,400/FD-$5,400)|
|Defense||Rams D (DK-$3,500/FD-$4,600)||Chargers D (DK-TBD/FD-$4,500)|
|Flex||Robert Woods (DK-$7,000/FD-$7,700)||Taylor Gabriel (DK-$4,700/FD-$5,900)||Phillip Lindsay (DK-$4,600/FD-$6,100)|
Jared Goff (DK-$6,600/FD-$8,300)
Jared Goff had an off week last week against Denver. It’s not as if he was bad or anything. There was a tipped ball for an interception. That kind of stuff happens. What doesn’t typically happen is a running back going over 200 yards on the ground in a game. Todd Gurley was so effective against the Broncos sad rush defense, Goff didn’t have a whole lot to do. This week, the Rams face a defense much better against the run and only 25th ranked against the pass. That should leave Goff with plenty of chances to rack up a plethora of points. This has all the makings of a solid Goff rebound.
Cam Newton (DK-$5,900/FD-$8,200)
Matchups don’t really seem to matter a whole lot against Cam Newton anymore. The Eagles 23rd ranked passing defense is much stronger against the run, but the Panthers are a different animal on offense. Norv Turner will find a way to exploit this Eagles defense. The question this game isn’t about the level of effectiveness Cam will have, it’s about the manner by which he will be effective. I see Cam exploiting a confused defense. If you’re up for a high floor this week, Cam is sitting pretty this week.
Andy Dalton (DK-$6,400/FD-$7,800)
I don’t hold grudges in DFS. Every week is different, and last week was not the best Dalton performance we’ve witnessed this season. Still, it’s hard to sit this man in a matchup against the 31st best passing defense in football. With the game script likely favoring the Chiefs, I expect Dalton to be throwing early and often in this matchup. Tyler Boyd or AJ Green would make for a favorable stack as well.
Baker Mayfield (DK-$5,800/FD-$7,100)
Mayfield’s receivers average double the league average in drops per team. This stat has to regress a little. Hopefully, this week marks a turnaround for Mayfield. The Bucs are dead last in passing defense, so it’s the most promising matchup Baker should have the entire season. With Jameis Winston leading a potent air attack on the other side, the Browns will likely be in for a fast-paced contest.
I like a few players to stack with Mayfield in this one. David Njoku should get a healthy dose of targets to rival those from last week as the young tight end has developed a decent connection with Baker Mayfield. It’s certainly a lower-end stacking option, but it’s one leaving you plenty of funds to go after some higher end roster spots to compliment.
Saquan Barkley (DK-$8,900/FD-$8,200)
To me and many other of the so-called “Saquan doubters”, the performance we saw against the Eagles last week is exactly what we felt Saquan was capable of. I never had him outside of my top-10 rankings before the season, but many of the doubters were on board with the narrative of the “bad offensive line and washed-up quarterback.” Even though I was one of those people I also knew Saquan was a generational talent capable of being the top fantasy running back at some point in his career.
I just didn’t think he’d be in the conversation with a 1-5 team with offensive handicaps each week. All that being said, Saquan has perhaps his greatest matchup of this season. The Giants have been able to move the ball against certain defenses. This hopeless Falcons defense falls into that category. This same defense was torched by Alvin Kamara, beaten by Peyton Barber, and even abused by Gio Bernard. It’s about as safe a pick one could make, especially given Saquan’s usage in the passing game. Fire up Saquan this week.
Kareem Hunt (DK-$6,800/FD-$7,800)
Hunt has been getting stronger as the season has progressed. At first, it was the Pat Mahomes show, with Hunt being used merely as a distraction to the prolific passing groove Mahomes was in. Now, the offense is being run a bit more through Hunt, keeping the linebackers at bay in early down situations. With Hunt becoming more involved in each game, it’s promising and encouraging when you look at their schedule and see a Bengals team ranking 20th against the run and even worse against the pass.
At the very least, Hunt will be used as a counterweight of sorts as Andy Reid looks to continue keeping defenses both on their heels and guessing. Look for Hunt to get the ball in a variety of ways in this one. Hunt will be a strong play this week.
Tarik Cohen (DK-$5,100/FD-$6,600)
There are some really good charts out there right now showing the usage rate of Cohen rising each game. Not only is this very encouraging, but it’s also a promising trend reinforcing words from the Bears coaching staff stating Cohen’s usage would vary by game. In case you’re curious, Cohen’s major emergence this season was in a very similar matchup to this upcoming one against the Patriots.
During Week 3 against the Bucs, Cohen exploded for 27 points while the Bears had scripted their entire first half’s offensive plays based on the idea they would be in a shootout with Tampa. Even though the wheels came off early in that one, the Bears continued to stick to the offensive script, peppering Cohen with a flurry of air targets and rushes. The scripted plays were created to exploit the perceived space Cohen would be working in through a neutral to negative game script. This matchup against the Patriots looks very similar to the Week 3 meeting with the Bucs. I am expecting another heavy workload for Cohen this week.
Odell Beckham Jr. (DK-$8,100/FD-$8,500)
I am not a Beckham fan and I’m not a fan of risky players. The last time I recommended this guy, he had a very lame outing. This matchup against the
Tyler Boyd (DK-$6,700/FD-$6,800)
Boyd came through last week with two touchdowns and decent yardage. More importantly, he is getting a high target percentage this season and doing the most with it. Following a slow start to his career, Boyd is blossoming in 2018, tallying at least 21 points in full-point PPR on four occasions this season. This week, the Chiefs and their dysfunctional secondary will attempt to slow the Bengals potent offense enough for Mahomes to build an insurmountable lead. Not only is it a tasty matchup for Boyd, but the negative game script should also keep Dalton airing it out. Stack Boyd and Dalton if you can.
Josh Gordon (DK-$5,600/FD-$6,700)
This might be the last week you’ll be able to get Josh Gordan for pennies on the dollar. With the Bears sporting the league’s number two ranked defense against the run, the Patriots will be undoubtedly relying on the arm of Tom Brady more this week. Following the nine target (team-leading) performance from Week 6, Josh Gordon will be featured this week as the key weapon to take the top off this Bears defense. Susceptible to big plays this season, the Bears will have to split their focus between Gronk, Edelman, and Gordon. Since the tape on Gordon is limited with the Patriots, expect to see the Patriots use Gordon a healthy amount again this week.
Zach Ertz (DK-$7,100/FD-$7,500)
Has there been a tight end with a ceiling as high as Ertz this season? The answer is, “No.” Ertz has been consistent and dependable in 2018. Though Alshon Jeffrey has been immense since his return, Ertz has still garnered a heavy workload. That should continue this week at home against a mediocre defense. With the tight end landscape being cloudy every week, Ertz is a rock.
David Njoku (DK-$4,200/FD-$5,700)
Njoku’s target share has increased and topped out at 12 last week, leading the team during Week 7. He is facing an impotent defense this week in Tampa. I mentioned he is a strong stacking option with Mayfield and since Tampa is dead last against the pass, I believe Njoku is a great value buy this week.
CJ Uzomah (DK-$3,400/FD-$5,400)
The Bengals lost Tyler Eifert two weeks ago. Their second option at tight end, Tyler Croft, went down a week ago. If you’re slow with math, I’ll help you out on this one. Uzomah is the lone tight end worth anything in Cincy and since he doesn’t have “Tyler” in his name, he’s probably going to be a healthy go for this game. No matter what the perceived game script, the Bengals still love to run Joe Mixon. As Mixon gets more and more touches, Uzomah should be free to exploit the middle of the field on play action. I like his matchup this week and like him as a stacking option to pair with Dalton.
Rams D (DK-$3,500/FD-$4,600)
The Rams seem like a lazy pick this week but it’s not as lazy as it is obvious. If these Rams interior lineman can get enough pressure on Beathard, I like the possibilities that will come from it. I think the Rams will be pressuring the backfield early in this one as they will be working hard to contain Marquise Goodwin and keep the offense in front of them.
Chargers D (DK-TBD/FD-$4,500)
The Titans surrendered 11 sacks last week against the Ravens. If the Chargers can apply even 75% of the same pressure as the Ravens, they’re in for a great game this week. I actually prefer the Chargers as my top defensive pick this week. For the price, you should be getting a good return on your investment.
Robert Woods (DK-$7,000/FD-$7,700)
With Cooper Kupp doubtful this week against the 49ers, Robert Woods should get a healthy dose of action against a team very weak versus the pass. Woods’ big-play ability also gives him a very high ceiling this week, since the 49ers will have to pay a lot of attention to Todd Gurley. Woods is on the higher end of receivers this week, but he’s going to be a factor in this game. Invest wisely in Woods.
Taylor Gabriel (DK-$4,700/FD-$5,900)
Taylor Gabriel’s usage is going up and his output is even more impressive. The Patriots are known for neutralizing teams’ top targets in their matchups. The good news here is that Allen Robinson should be drawing attention away from Gabriel. With the Bears being known for scripting out plays, I expect Trubisky will be very busy spreading the ball around in this one. Expect to hear Gabriel’s name mentioned a lot in this game.
Phillip Lindsay (DK-$4,600/FD-$6,100)
Aside from Denver’s awful rush defense, there isn’t much worse out there than the Cardinals’ 31st ranked rushing defense. Royce Freeman has proven himself effective in the red zone, but Phillip Lindsay has the big play potential that makes him even more dangerous from anywhere on the field. I like the opportunities Lindsay will have in this game. For the price and matchup, Lindsay has one hell of a high floor this week.
Collin is a former Army Intelligence and Logistics officer who got a little too into Football analysis. Since leaving the Army, he’s practically the Jack Ryan of football analysts. But he spends most of his days with his wife and two daughters, so he is clearly a better father than Jack Ryan.
Follow Collin on Twitter @CollinHulbert