FanDuel Picks: Week 7 Edition
Welcome to the weekly “one stop shop” for all things DFS. n tout my favorite plays of the week after breaking down all of the games, looking at matchups, and considering all relevant weekly and season-long injuries/suspensions. As a guide, you can think of the “Top Plays” sections as cash game recommendations and the “Under The Radar” sections as GPP tournament recommendations. Confused on the difference? Check out a recent DFS Strategy article I wrote. However, I refuse to specifically title the sections in that way because I believe it boxes in the picks. Many players can and do fall under both categories in any given week. I delve more into that in the article linked above as well. When reading, keep that in mind. Now let’s get to it, starting with my top Bonanza candidates.
Domination Bonanza Candidates: New England Patriots blowing out the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals blowing out the Cleveland Browns
Back and Forth Bonanza Candidates: San Diego Chargers at Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins at Detroit Lions, and Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
Top QB Plays Of The Week
Matt Ryan vs SD, $8,700
Matt Ryan has been one of the best QBs in the NFL this season and currently ranks 3rd in passing yards per game (345.8) and 2nd in pass TDs (15). After playing good football on the road against the Broncos and Seahawks the past two weeks, Ryan now gets to return home and face a bad Chargers secondary. San Diego is giving up the 9th most passing yards per game, is tied for the 11th pass TDs given up (10), and is without their star CB Jason Verrett for the remainder of the season. Ryan could also benefit from game flow in this one as it has the potential to turn into a Back and Forth Bonanza.
Tom Brady vs PIT, $9,100
Tom Brady has averaged 391 passing yards and 3 TDs per game in his first two starts this year. He now gets a Pittsburgh Steelers defense giving up the 3rd most passing yards per game in what could become a Domination Bonanza. Ben Roethlisberger is out and I expect Landry Jones to struggle in this one meaning Brady will have the ball in his hands plenty. TDs are coming.
Blake Bortles vs OAK, $7,400
Blake Bortles is in a great spot this week at home against a Raiders defense that is giving up the most passing yards per game and that is tied for the 7th most pass TDs given up (12). With a struggling running game, the Jaguars offense has run through Bortles. He is averaging the 6th most pass attempts per game and that volume should help him take advantage of this favorable matchup.
Kirk Cousins vs DET, $7,300
Kirk Cousins has a phenomenal matchup this week against a Lions defense giving up the 10th most passing yards per game and that has also given up the most pass TDs (17). Even worse, they just allowed 321 yards and 3 TDs to Case Keenum (gasp). This game also has the potential to become a Back and Forth Bonanza and Cousins could benefit from the favorable game script.
Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar QB Plays
Colin Kaepernick vs TB, $6,500
I wouldn’t make Colin Kaepernick my first choice but if you’re looking to save money at the QB position this week he is definitely in play. Rushing production from your QB can be fantasy gold and that’s exactly what you’re looking for when rostering Kaepernick. He already carried 8 times for 66 yards in his first start last week and those numbers could increase with Carlos Hyde looking like he is going to miss this game due to injury. The matchup isn’t a bad one either as he’s at home facing a Buccaneers defense that is giving up the 14th most passing yards per game.
Top RB Plays Of The Week
DeMarco Murray vs IND, $8,700
DeMarco Murray has seen 90%, 82%, and 84% of the RB touches in Tennessee the last three weeks. Volume is not an issue for Murray and he should have no problem taking advantage of a favorable matchup against a bad Colts defense this week. Indianapolis is giving up the 8th most rushing yards per game and just allowed 149 yards and a TD to Lamar Miller a week ago.
Spencer Ware vs NO, $7,000
Spencer Ware handled 65% of the Chiefs RB touches last week as the Chiefs continue to slowly bring Jamaal Charles along in the offense. Ware should once again handle the majority of the touches in a dream matchup this week at home against the Saints. New Orleans has given up the most rush TDs (11) and the 7th most rushing yards per game as well. Ware benefits from playing in one of the most RB friendly offenses in the league and should be able to exploit this matchup.
Devonta Freeman vs SD, $7,500
Devonta Freeman has handled 72% and 71% of the Falcons RB touches the past two weeks despite Tevin Coleman’s involvement in the offense as well. Freeman is a very talented RB and should benefit from a Back and Forth Bonanza game where plenty of points should be scored. The matchup is also a favorable one as the Chargers are tied for the 3rd most rush TDs allowed (8) this season.
Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar RB Plays
Jacquizz Rodgers vs SF, $5,600
It was assumed that Doug Martin would return from injury after the Buccaneers bye week but he reportedly had a setback in his recovery and will not play in this game. Jacquizz Rodgers is my favorite RB play of the week. He touched the ball 35 times in the Buccaneers last game and gets a 49ers defense giving up the most rushing yards per game and the 2nd most rush TDs (9). LeSean McCoy just dropped 140 yards and 3 TDs on them a week ago.
Mike Gillislee vs MIA, $5,300
There have been conflicting reports about LeSean McCoy’s availability this week. He reportedly practiced on Friday so it looks like he has a chance to play. However, if his hamstring injury doesn’t allow him to play, Mike Gillislee becomes a very good play against a Dolphins defense giving up the 2nd most rushing yards per game. Monitor the injury report this weekend. Gillislee has scored a TD in back to back weeks and is a good way to save some salary cap money, if McCoy sits.
Top WR Plays Of The Week
Julio Jones vs SD, $9,200
Julio Jones leads the league in receiving yards per game with 109.3 and gets a favorable matchup against the Chargers at home. San Diego is giving up the 9th most passing yards per game, is tied for the 11th most pass TDs given up (10), and is without their star CB Jason Verrett for the remainder of the season.
A.J. Green vs CLE, $8,500
Here are A.J. Green’s target shares per game this season starting with Week 1: 43.3%, 14.8%, 39.3%, 38.7%, 20.5%, and 32.3%. He currently ranks 3rd in the league in targets with 62. Volume hasn’t been an issue for Green and he gets a Browns defense that has given up the most pass TDs (16) this season and the 7th most passing yards per game. Even better, the Browns best CB Joe Haden might not even play. If he sits out, then Green becomes an absolute must play. Monitor the injury report.
Allen Robinson vs OAK, $8,400
This feels like a get-right game for Allen Robinson who will face a Raiders defense that is giving up the most passing yards per game and that is tied for the 7th most pass TDs given up (12). Robinson has posted double-digit points in all three home games this year and now gets his most favorable matchup yet. Multiple TDs are in his range of outcomes.
Mike Evans vs SF, $8,000
Here are Mike Evans’ target shares per game this season starting with Week 1: 21.2%, 34%, 23.2%, 31.4%, and 40%. Evans is currently tied for 5th in targets with 60 and he has already had his bye week. Volume hasn’t been an issue for Evans and now his WR running mate Vincent Jackson was just lost for the season freeing up even more targets in this offense. Evans has already caught 4 TDs this year and he gets to face a 49ers defense that is tied for the 7th most pass TDs given up (12).
Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar WR Plays
Jeremy Maclin vs NO, $6,800
Jeremy Maclin hasn’t produced like some expected so far this year. Yet, if there was ever a game for him to turn it around, playing at home against the Saints might just be it. New Orleans is giving up the 2nd most passing yards per game and if the Saints offense can put some points on the board, the game script might just allow Maclin to have a huge day.
Pierre Garcon vs DET, $6,100
Washington’s passing offense should find success against a Lions defense giving up the 10th most passing yards per game and that has also given up the most pass TDs (17). What we have to try and figure out though is who will be catching Kirk Cousins’ passes? Jordan Reed and DeSean Jackson both missed practice on Thursday. Monitor the injury report and if they both sit, Garcon all of a sudden becomes a solid option that doesn’t come with a very expensive price tag.
Top TE Plays Of The Week
Rob Gronkowski vs PIT, $8,500
No surprise here. Brady is back and Rob Gronkowski is finally healthy again. The matchup is a favorable one against a Pittsburgh Steelers defense giving up the 3rd most passing yards per game in what could become a Domination Bonanza.
Delanie Walker vs IND, $6,500
Delanie Walker had a down game last week but he could easily bounce back at home against a Colts defense that is giving up the 4th most passing yards per game. This game also has the potential to become a Back and Forth Bonanza.
Travis Kelce vs NO, $6,300
The Saints defense is not good. Someone on the Chiefs is going to have a very good fantasy day. New Orleans is giving up the 2nd most passing yards per game so why couldn’t it be Travis Kelce? We’ve seen him have huge games in the past and he could have another one if the Saints offense is able to put points on the board and force the Chiefs to keep up with them.
Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar TE Plays
Julius Thomas vs OAK, $5,500
Julius Thomas missed Week 4 due to injury, Jacksonville had their bye in Week 5, and the entire Jaguars offense struggled in Week 6. Not many people will play Thomas just because we haven’t seen him produce recently. However, that doesn’t mean he’s not capable of having big games. We know that he is and the matchup is a favorable one that could help him do just that. The Raiders defense is giving up the most passing yards per game and is tied for the 7th most pass TDs given up (12).
Jack Doyle vs TEN, $4,700
Dwayne Allen won’t play in this game meaning Jack Doyle will be the Colts unquestioned starting TE. Doyle is currently tied for 12th in catches (20) and tied for 2nd in TDs (3) amongst all TEs in the league and he put up those numbers while sharing time with Allen. FanDuel hasn’t caught up. He’s priced as the 27th best TE this week. That would be egregious even if Doyle was still sharing time with Allen. Doyle is a phenomenal cheap TE option and will allow you to pay up at other positions.
Top Kicker Plays Of The Week
Stephen Gostkowski vs PIT, $5,100
Landry Jones is the starting QB for the Steelers and I expect him to struggle in this game. The Patriots are a Domination Bonanza candidate and that greatly benefits Gostkowski as well. Look for him to attempt multiple field goals and extra points on Sunday.
Matt Bryant vs SD, $4,700
Matt Bryant is perfect on the year. He hasn’t missed a single field goal or extra point and is tied to the best offense in the league. The Falcons are first in points per game with 33.2 and have a favorable matchup at home against a suspect Chargers defense. Bryant should get multiple opportunities to add to his perfect streak on Sunday.
Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar Kicker Play
Mike Nugent vs CLE, $4,600
Mike Nugent is tied for 4th with 13 field goals made this year and should have another solid day on Sunday. The Bengals are at home and should put up plenty of points on a bad Cleveland Browns defense.
Top Defense Plays Of The Week
Minnesota Vikings vs PHI, $4,900
The Minnesota Vikings are allowing the 2nd fewest yards per game to opposing offenses this season and are tied for 3rd in sacks with 19. They’ve been the best defense in the league to begin 2016 and are in play once again this week.
New England Patriots vs PIT, $4,400
Landry Jones is not a good QB and I expect Bill Belichick to confuse him enough to force at least a couple of turnovers. Once the Patriots get up in this game and Jones is forced to throw even more, the points could come in bunches.
Cincinnati Bengals vs CLE, $5,100
Already without Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman, the Browns offense could be without Terrelle Pryor on Sunday as well as he nurses a hamstring injury. Rookie QB Cody Kessler has been pretty impressive so far but he might struggle this week with inexperienced weapons around him. The Bengals defense has struggled some this year but this is a good spot for them at home.