NFL DFS Week 7 Picks
INJURIES!!!! It’s a love/hate relationship when it comes to injuries in the NFL. Injuries sometimes allow for salary relief via a cheap back-up that goes bonkers, or forces sub-optimal lineups due to the belief that a back-up can generate the same kind of fantasy value as the injured starter(s). But worst of all, injuries that are considered game-time decisions just put roster construction in flux since you have to wait until an hour or two before the games start to truly build. Thankfully, that’s why having the handy dandy DailyRoto Optimizer tool can help mitigate such lineup building problems. The great DR team handles all updates LIVE while adjusting the projections accordingly, or in some cases, they will have already predicted such an occurrence as if they were channeling their inner Cleo. It’s a great tool to have to be able to spit out lineups in the blink of an eye without worrying about time constraints. In the meantime, be sure to check out all the free/paid content over on DailyRoto dot com to immerse yourself into a fantasy wonderland where every single person you roster will have a career day! Remember, it’s all a simulation anyway.
Ryan is going for a record 7th straight game with at least 300 passing yards which hadn’t been done by any QB to start the season. The jury is out on whether newly acquired CB Jalen Ramsey plays on Sunday (probably will) and if he fits into the scheme/shadows Julio Jones all game. Whatever happens with Ramsey likely won’t affect Ryan’s fantasy output too much against a Rams 20th DVOA pass defense that continues to get torched on a weekly basis. Talib is officially on IR which puts Troy Hill and some street FAs on the field for the Rams’ secondary. Ryan has been lighting it up without a big Julio Jones blow-up game (23/202/0 last three games) thanks in part to Hoop Daddy and the resurgence of formerly dead RB Devonta Freeman. Ryan’s playing up to his previous MVP campaign and the stats have shown that (3rd best completion rate, top ten in YPA/QB rating). It all comes down to how effective the ATL OL can protect Ryan as he’s been the 5th best QB with a clean pocket but 14th when under pressure. Chances are Ryan will still light it up in the highest implied total game of the week.
For as well Ryan has played for a bad team, Wilson has truly put in an MVP season thus far. He’s smashing every QB metric (1st in kept clean/under pressure, 2nd best completion/YPA) that he’s becoming match-up proof at this point. He’ll get a Ravens defense that’s been underwhelming thus far partly due to injuries and new faces still trying to gel together. The recent trade for Marcus Peters shows that the Ravens know their pass defense has been an issue. I doubt Peters helps out a 21st DVOA BAL pass secondary enough to downgrade any QB facing them. As long as Wilson is playing at an elite level, he’s always going to be a must-play against any defense that ranks below the top ten, especially those that struggle against the run to help set up the play-action (Wilson is also 1st in QB rating on PAs, just an FYI!).
Brissett has filled in for the retired Andrew Luck brilliantly thus far. He’s believed in the Frank Reich scheme and lets his playmakers do the job without turning the ball over. He’s prone to low output games depending on the gameplan and if the Indy defense plays tough. In games where he’s been forced to pass more often and get points on the board, he’s performed well above his price. In the 3 games when the Colts had to score 20+ points, Brissett has combined for a 765/7/1 passing stat-line. Chances are against the high-flying Texans offense, the Colts will have to take advantage of a bottom ten Texans secondary to keep up if they want any chance at winning the division. PFF has the Texans pass coverage as the 7th worst overall graded, so the opportunity is there for a high ceiling game from Brissett. Having a healthy T.Y. Hilton (and his ridiculous career numbers against the Texans) certainly bolsters his floor as well. Roster with confidence!
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THE MUSTACHED VILLAIN IS BACK! He had a dreadful week against a burnable secondary but much of that game can be attributed to teams catching up on the wily rookie. That’s okay though, as he gets the worst defense in the league that’s still actually trying (*stares intently at the Dolphins*). The Bengals defense has been an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions thus far, with possibly the worst LB corps in the league and a secondary that seems more interested in checking out the cheerleaders than the opposing WRs’ routes. They’re ranked 30th DVOA in pass defense, grades out as the 4th worst secondary and only compounds that grade even more with the 5th worst pass rush. It’s a blow-up spot for Minshew at a low price that just might make it worth being overweight compared to the field. There’s always going to be volatility with Minshew in regards to the Jaguars just being typical bad Jaguars and/or Fournette taking every single TD. I’m not gonna boost him up any further since the projections already like him enough as a solid value, but I’ll definitely crank up the volatility to around 40 since I do like Fournette as the better play while still grabbing that potential 30+ point ceiling from Minshew.
Lenny just pops immediately in the projections as the truly ELITE RB play on the slate. As mentioned before, the Bengals defense is a garbage heap full of….well, garbage. Not only are they atrocious versus the pass, they just might be worse against the run (27th DVOA, 5th worst graded run defense, most fantasy points allowed to opposing RBs). Fournette has been one of the most fed RBs in the league, touching the ball a combined 26, 27, and 32 times in the last three games. He’s also now outpaced McCaffrey on routes run among RBs, bolstering Lenny’s floor even further with his steady pass-work (16 targets last 3). The Bengals have absolutely gotten decimated by pass-down RBs, giving up the 2nd most receiving yards and most touchdowns. Everything about this spot just screams SMASH DAY for Lord Lenny. Will you bend the knee for your king?
With plenty of mid-tier options that aren’t really eye-catching, it seems prudent to just pay up an extra tier in better match-ups. I do like Jacobs’ price and opportunity as a potential under-owned value RB play. The Raiders have made it clear that they do not care about your opinions on their receivers. They want to play smash-mouth football and RUN THE DAMN BALL! They’ve been the 5th run-heaviest team in the last three weeks, and the results have been great for Jacobs. He’s now seen 19 and 29 touches in the last two games, almost double the touches he had received in the two games prior. It’s clear the Raiders have realized their best path to victory – control time of possession, feed Jacobs, and let Carr keep it short on passes (1st in completion rate but 6th lowest YPA). It’s been a winning formula surprisingly enough for crazy Jon Gruden and something that should continue against a Packers defense that’s been lights out versus the pass at the cost of the run. The Packers appear to be a true run-funnel defense, ranking 5th DVOA against the pass but 26th DVOA against the run. PFF backs up that data with the 3rd worst run defense grade. Tack on more useless stats like the 2nd most fantasy points given up to opposing RBs (partly due to T-most TDs allowed). Jacobs has a stranglehold on the redzone touches (15, next closest is Tyrell at 6) while owning nearly all of the redzone carries. It’s a good spot for a 20+ point game at significantly lower ownership than most of the RBs priced around Jacobs.
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I had Henry in the same spot last week in a similar situation, but that was just a complete bust in a horrendous game that eventually got Mariota benched. Ryan Tannehill is now the new incumbent starter which probably means more of the same for the Titans’ boring offense. Henry should keep his bell-cow role under Tanny’s guidance and gets a Chargers run defense that’s been getting gashed all season due to the myriad of injuries on defense. It’s a similar situation as last week against a beatable Broncos defense, but the lack of cohesion on offense and an antsy Mariota saw the highest percentage of loaded fronts for poor Henry. The Chargers very well could do the same thing, but I have my doubts that the Chargers run defense can still be effective with a severe lack of talent behind the injured starters. Tannehill is a competent enough QB that he should be able to dissuade loaded fronts for Henry, but I won’t hold my breath regardless. Henry is still in line for 20+ touches against a defense that’s bottom ten in most RB categories, so I’ll roll the dice once more with Henry in a game the Titans are somehow favored in. No boost needed but I’ll tinker with volatility to 30 since Henry probably won’t blow up too much even in a good gamescript.
Kupp seems like the obvious WR of choice in a shoot-out game all things considered. He’s still leading in target market share, has a 32% MS of the redzone targets, and has one of the best match-ups among CBs. Granted, so does fellow WRs Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods but Kupp simply has Goff’s trust which is all that matters. He’s been the most consistent weapon for Gofful’s errant passes and should be able to throttle past ATL’s primary nickelback in Kazee (8th most yards surrendered to slot WRs). Woods would be my only worry as far as taking away targets from Kupp but they’ve both thrived together in blow-up spots, and taking the more redzone friendly WR would be the more prudent move for DFS. Either way, Kupp still projects as one of the best overall WR plays any way you slice it.
As I alluded to earlier, Brissett seems to perform better as a fantasy QB in higher-scoring games. Hilton has an impeccable track record against the Texans in his career, so chances are the duo should hook up plenty of times in a shoot-out on paper. Hilton’s been battling a quad injury for a couple of weeks before returning against the Chiefs in an upset victory. He didn’t do much in the win but managed to play on 82% of the snaps. His average YPC has taken a hit due to the heavy run gameplan the Colts typically use, but his YPR/R has still been steady near his career numbers alongside his air yards in the games played. The potential is high for Hilton against a Texans secondary that’s burnable everywhere Hilton may line up at. He’s also the clear target hog of the team (25% MS/T, 35% MS redzone targets) and should be well-rested coming off a bye. The Texans secondary is fighting through injuries (and being bad) which is great news for Hilton since they were already near bottom five in catches/yards/TDs allowed to opposing WRs. Lock him in for a BIG GAME!!!
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I do think Ramsey eventually does play and full shadows Julio Jones to prove that he’s still the best CB in the league. That leaves both Sanu and Ridley as the next man up for Ryan. Sanu very well could be the more consistent WR, but he just doesn’t have the ceiling that Ridley has in a smash spot. Ridley’s 4th in the pecking order in terms of MS/T (15%) and barely ever gets redzone targets (13% MS/T) but still operates as the de-facto deep threat for the Falcons. He’s gained the 15th most air yards and is only behind fellow teammate Jones by a mere 130 yards. If Ramsey indeed does “lock-up” Jones, Ridley would then gain all the explosive plays that are typical of a big Julio game. It’s a matter of whether or not Ridley’s target numbers go up that will directly affect his fantasy ceiling. He’s still got a 72% snap count average and should have a very favorable match-up against Troy Hill and whatever mannequins the Rams toss out there. Risky play but you don’t get the biscuit without risking it!. Boost him up a tad with a 10 and crank volatility to the MAX with a nice 50 burger. Yum!
Do I even have to explain anymore? Just start every TE that can muster a footstep against the worst TE coverage the NFL has ever seen. Practiced in full and shouldn’t be bracketed with Golden Tate available and Barkley on pace to suit up.
With Marquise Brown on the wrong side of questionable, it appears Andrews will once again serve as Jackson’s primary read. The Seahawks have largely ignored the TE position most week which has resulted in the 4th most yards, 6th most catches, and the 3rd most fantasy points allowed to opposing TEs. Andrews still operates as a top 5 TE in routes ran, YPP/R, targets, blah blah blah. You get the point. As long as Jackson is the QB and Andrews has two working legs, he’ll get his target share. Andrews is a screaming TE value on the slate and the unquestioned redzone savant of the Ravens offense. It’s gonna be like on most TE slates with the same ol’ people being mentioned. DEAL WITH IT!
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Yeah. I got nothing. It’s all dart throws when you get past the Waller/Andrews/Engram tier and ponder Hooper/Henry’s prices. It’s an absolute punt if you aren’t willing to shell out the BIG BUCKS for the aforementioned TEs. I shudder at the thought of choosing a TE as a punt this week. SHUDDER!