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Remember: All positional breakdowns are open to the PUBLIC. Here they are:
Welcome to Week 7 Cheat Sheet! This is a feature that will be released every Friday throughout the season. It will be a fluid article (so check back often!) that will encompass everything you need to set your lineups for the NFL. We will go game by game, discussing the most relevant players on each team.
If you are interested in reading last week’s Cheat Sheet, here it is for Week 6.
DraftKings strategy and pricing is front of mind, but these can also help you set your season long lineups. I love action, so we will go in order of Vegas point totals, highest to lowest! Let’s do it!
BYEs: Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver & Green Bay
Indianapolis (-4.5) vs. New Orleans o/u 52
Andrew Luck ($7,600) relieved a lot of concern as he threw the ball 50 times and racked up 30.98 DraftKings points last week. Luck seemed a little rusty, but didn’t show any signs of still being injured. Luck now gets the dream matchup of facing New Orleans and their porous secondary. The Saints have allowed the 2nd most DraftKings points to opposing QBs. Luck might have the highest floor of any QB this week.
We talk about Frank Gore ($4,900) all the time, but for good reason. He is a clear RB1 and is never priced like one. Unfortunately for Gore, his value is directly tied to gameflow. Take last week for example, Gore was great, running for 78 yards on 13 carries. The problem was, he only got 13 carries. The Colts had to move to a pass heavy offense to play catchup against New England. That shouldn’t be the case this week as the Colts are favored against the Saints. Gore should see upwards of 20 touches against the 5th worst rush defense in the league, in the highest o/u of the week. All very positive factors for Gore.
There is this weekly battle of trying to figure out if you should roster TY Hilton ($6,500) or Donte Moncrief ($5,200). Quite honestly, I lean towards Moncrief almost weekly. They are close enough in targets, Hilton with 61 and Moncrief with 49 on the year. Moncrief has flashed more upside than Hilton and he’s usually cheaper, as he is this week.
I am just waiting for the breakout Drew Brees ($7,000) game and this feels like it might be the week. Brees is always an intersting cash play because he’s nearly a lock to throw for 300 yards. He has thrown for at least 312 yards in all but one game this season (255). His upside comes from throwing TDs, which he hasn’t done a ton of this season. Brees has not thrown for more than two TDs in any game this season. There are some really nice factors in play for Brees this week. He will be playing on turf, after a long week to prepare against the 5th worst pass defense in the league. Throw in the fact that they are a slight underdog should provide plenty of opportunity for Brees to throw the ball.
There will be plenty of owners who flock to Ben Watson ($3,300) this week after a massive 31.7 point game on National TV last week. That performance is probably an outlier as Watson hauled in 10 catches for 127 yards. Watson only had 15 catches total in the previous five games of the season. He’s still somewhat interesting since he won’t need a big day to pay for himself, but I am not expecting much from him this week.
The interesting pass catcher is Willie Snead ($4,300) who now has five straight games of 4+ catches. That type of production provides him a solid floor for his price tag. The Colts have been gashed through the air this season, so expect Snead to keep his streak alive.
New England (-9) vs. NY Jets o/u 48.5
I might regret this, but I am fading Tom Brady ($8,500) this week. He has been QB1 this season and hasn’t scored less than 25 points in any game, but that streak might be in serious risk this week. The Jets defense has been outstanding this season, only surrendering an average of 11.39 points per game to opposing QBs. That’s the second fewest in the league. In the last two seasons, the Jets have caused Brady some serious issues. In their last four meetings, Brady has averaged only 13.26 DraftKings points per game while averaging 18.7 DraftKings points versus every other opponent. Throw in the added factor of Darrelle Revis on the opposite site of the ball and there is too much risk for me to be confident at his huge price.
I love love love Julian Edelman ($8,200) but I have concerns this week. I am down on Brady as the Jets have really given him trouble in the last few matchups and the Jets defense is legit. Unfortunately for Edelman, it looks like he’s going to get the Darrelle Revis treatment as many around the industry believe that Revis will shadow Edelman this week. Edelman is another beneficiary of a ton of targets, but he’s going to have his work cut out for him this week. I think his upside is significantly capped.
You’re probably noticing a trend here with Patriots players, but Rob Gronkowski ($8,100) is much too expensive for me this week. His price has skyrocketed after two straight subpar outings (by his standards). The Jets are stout against tight ends, but the real concern is the trend of targets that Gronk is receiving. Check this out:
Another example of great opportunity will be Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,100). The Jets are listed as a 9 point underdog against the Patriots, so it’s safe to assume that they will have to throw a ton to stay in this game. Fitzpatrick has been very solid for the Jets and is coming off a 26.22 DraftKings point performance versus the Redskins. Fitzpatrick has never returned his owners less than 3x value this season and the matchup with the Patriots is very good. The nature of their games have allowed the Patriots to surrender the 4th most DraftKings points to opposing QBs.
Chris Ivory ($5,800) is a machine right now! He’s played four games this season and has scored 23+ in three of them, including 312 rushing yards over his last two games. As much as I love this guy, it’s going to be really hard to roster him liberally this week. His price has now jumped $1,000 in the last two weeks and he should run into matchup and gameflow problems. The Patriots have surrendered the 6th fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs this season. Also, as discussed, the Jets are significant underdogs and will most likely have to abandon the run at some point.
The mid-tier of WR is an absolute wasteland, but Eric Decker ($5,300) stands out. He’s been really solid this season and has returned at least 3x value in each of his last three games. He has a knack for finding the endzone as he has scored in all four of his games this season. There should be plenty of targets to go around this week as the Jets are significantly underdogs and will have to throw the ball all over the yard to stay in this game. That might not be a sound NFL strategy, but it’s perfect for fantasy purposes.
Arizona (-7.5) vs. Baltimore o/u 48.5
The only guy with a better matchup than Luck? Well, that would be Carson Palmer ($6,700). Palmer continues to be incredibly efficient, averaging 0.59 points per dropback (6th best in the league). He’s also a bomber and has the deepest average depth of target this season. The Ravens have been miserable and have allowed opposing QBs to put up 25+ points on them, four out of six week this season.
Speaking of safe WRs, Larry Fitzgerald ($7,400) has cooled off from his hot start but is still putting up solid fantasy numbers. Fitzgerald leads the Cardinals in targets and is converting at a massive 78%. He has a great connection with Carson Palmer and you can expect that to continue this week against the dismal Ravens pass defense. Fitzgerald is another WR who has a very high floor and should have no problem reaching 15 points.
Ugh! This is a really bad matchup for the Ravens. Arizona is extremely stingy and has only allowed 18.8 points per game this season. The Ravens have done just about everything wrong this season and their best playmakers in Justin Forsett ($6,100) and Steve Smith ($6,200) are banged up. Ravens players make for GPP plays only, but don’t expect massive returns.
Atlanta (-4.5) @ Tennessee o/u 47.5
There is this really weird love for Matt Ryan ($7,200) by the guys who set the prices at DraftKings. Ryan is priced at QB3 this week despite hitting 3x value in just two games this season. Ryan’s last three games have resulted in outputs of 14.14, 9.16 and 19.8 DraftKings points in some very favorable matchups. Ryan has only cracked the magic number of 300 yards, and earning the bonus, once this season. Outside of a banged up Julio Jones, Ryan doesn’t have a lot of weapons. That’s why the Falcons have relied so heavily on Davonta Freeman. I have little reason to believe he can score 21+ points to pay for himself on the road against a decent TEN team.
Speaking of Davonta Freeman ($7,900)…what an animal! No less than 35.7 DraftKings points in any game in the last month! He already has more TDs this season than Le’Veon Bell had all of last season. I continue to say that his success rate in unsustainable. Combining his price and ownership, he’s becoming a fade in GPPs but almost a must-play in cash games. The Falcons are using him in all facets including 25 catches over the last four weeks. That’s providing him such a solid floor that he’s hitting value with ease.
There’s some decent buzz around Dorial Green-Beckham ($3,200) this week. He’s been praised by the coaching staff and it looks like he is in-line for some increased usage thanks to the injury to Harry Douglas. DGB flashed some decent skills last week, hauling in three catches for 57 yards. They are not eye-popping numbers by any stretch, but he is dirt cheap and should be the beneficiary of a significant rise in opportunity.
Delanie Walker ($3,900) continues to fly under the radar at the TE position. He’s clearly Mariota’s favorite pass catcher and saw 10 targets last week. Walker has scored 13+ points in three of the four games he’s played this season. That’s plenty of points for his price this week. I like him even more if Mariota suits up for this one, since it’s clear they’ve forged a nice relationship.
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