We’re to provide you with the best matchups and players as you set your Fantasy Football DFS lineups for Week 7.
This week we will be without a top-tier quarterback (Cam Newton), running back (Ezekiel Elliott) and tight end (Greg Olsen). While some people might view this as a negative all it really is, is an opportunity to find value in certain players and positions.
Each position will be broken into three separate categories:
1. High-tier – These are your “heavy-hitters”. If you play season long fantasy football, they more than likely the players who went in the first few rounds. They will cost you a pretty penny but in the end, it’ll be worth it.
2. Mid-tier – This is where a majority of the players will be located. The key is finding the players with the most favorable matchups and in turn, exceeding the dollar amount placed upon them.
3. Low-tier (value) – These are your bottom-of-the barrel players in terms of pricing, but not necessarily in ability or situation. Not only should these players outperform their salary; they should crush it.
At the end, I’ll provide you with two lineups (one for FanDuel and one for Draft Kings). These lineups should be used for you to use as a base while you plug in some different players you may prefer.
Tom Brady, New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (FD $9,100/DK $7,900): In his only two games in 2016 Brady is averaging 391 passing yards, 3 touchdowns and zero interceptions per game. The Steelers defense isn’t bad but it’s certainly not the Steelers defense so many feared in the early 2000’s.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons vs. San Diego Chargers (FD $8,700/DK $7,200): Last week Ryan threw for 335 yards and 3 touchdowns on the road against one of the best defenses in the NFL. This week he plays at home against a Chargers defense that ranks bottom-ten in stopping the pass. If you get to church before this game on Sunday make sure you say a prayer for the Chargers DBs.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns (FD $8,100/DK $6,000): I love Dalton this week but I especially love him in DraftKings. In FanDuel his pricing is kind of “high-tier” while in Draftkings his pricing is shockingly near the “low-tier”. In four straight games an opposing quarterback playing against the Browns has thrown three touchdown passes. During that four week span quarterbacks have also averaged 298 passing yards. If Dalton falls short of those averages and “only” throws for 275 yards and 2 touchdowns you’ll take that all day at his DraftKings price.
Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts (FD $7,900/DK $6,000): Just like with Dalton, Mariota’s pricing and value is A LOT better in DraftKings. In back-to-back favorable matchups Mariota has delivered. In each one of those games he has thrown for three touchdowns and added 60+ rushing yards. He gets another favorable matchup this week against the Colts who have given up multiple touchdown passes in three straight games.
Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins vs. Detroit Lions (FD $7,300/DK $5,900): Any defense that makes Case Keenum look like an elite NFL quarterback is a defense I want to attack. Last week the Lions let this former UDFA throw for 321 yards and 3 touchdowns. In “case” (you get it?!? Because his name is Case and I said…nevermind) you didn’t know, the last time he threw for 300 yards in a game came back in 2013 against the Colts. The time before that was when he was in college in 2011. Over Cousins last four games he is averaging 251 passing yards and 2 touchdowns so there’s reason for optimism here.
Brian Hoyer, Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers (FD $6,700/DK $5,900): In four straight games Hoyer has 300+ passing yards and zero interceptions. In three out of those four games he has two touchdown passes. The Packers will be without their top three cornerbacks for Thursday Night Football. Ignore Hoyer’s name and underwhelming NFL resume and treat him like a stud fantasy quarterback. He very well could turn back into a pumpkin but until that happens, why not keep throwing him out there at his modest pricing?
DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts (FD $8,700/DK $7,200): In every game this season Murray has 100 total yards and/or a touchdown and his 21+ touches in five straight games puts him on “workhorse” status. There has been only two games this season where the Colts haven’t given up a rushing touchdown to an opposing running back. However, in those two games they have given up 100+ combined rushing yards to the opponents running backs.
Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots (FD $8,600/DK $8,000): With Ben Roethlisberger out, Bell in theory should see more touches. The guy is already averaging 23 DraftKings points per week and he’s yet to score a touchdown. I still believe the guy is matchup proof despite the absence of Big Ben.
Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers vs. Atlanta Falcons (FD $8,O00/DK $6,400): Last week was the first time Gordon did not reach the endzone in any game this season but he still rushed for 94 yards. Even if the Falcons get out to a huge lead Gordon should stay on the field for majority of the snaps without Danny Woodhead being available. I mean, come on. What are they going to do? Trot out Dexter McCluster?
Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs vs. New Orleans Saints (FD $7,000/DK $5,800): Despite Jamaal Charles being the healthiest he’s been in over a year last week, Ware still set a season high in carries (24) and rushing yards (131). The Saints defense might be the worst in the NFL so even if Ware sees half as many touches as he did last week, that could be enough. However, I still believe he’s a good bet for at least 15 touches in this one.
James White, New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (FD $6,100/DK $4,600): For the record, I like White more for DraftKings where you get a full point per reception. White has averaged six receptions in the two weeks Brady has played and he’s set new season highs in carries, rushing yards, receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns during that span. The passing-down RB in the Patriots offense always has value and that’s White.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Francisco 49ers (FD $5,600/DK $4,300): The Buccaneers starting RB Doug Martin was supposed to return this week but that’s not going to happen. The last time Rodgers was the starting RB for the Bucs he had 35 total touches in Week 5. The 49ers defense has surrendered just over two rushing touchdowns per game over the last four weeks.
Mike Gillislee, Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins (FD $5,300/DK $3,000): This is if and ONLY IF LeSean McCoy is inactive which he might be. Gillislee would be the No.1 RB in an offense that wants to run the ball. The Dolphins defense isn’t horrible against the run but at his price with his expected volume, he’s great value.
Dec 6, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) catches a reception for a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons vs. San Diego Chargers (FD $9,200/DK $9,200): The Chargers secondary isn’t good and has allowed a wide receiver to catch a touchdown pass in four straight games. Julio has a touchdown reception in four out of six games and is an elite talent.
Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants vs. Los Angeles Rams (FD $8,600/DK $8,900): After a slow start, Beckham has had solid games in back-to-back weeks. The Rams defense gave up four touchdowns to four different Lions wide receivers just last week. Beckham is dealing with a hip injury so it’s very important to keep an eye on that.
A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns (FD $8,500/DK $8,600): Green is an elite talent who has had two monster games so far in 2016. The Browns on the other hand are awful who have given up multiple touchdown receptions to opposing wide receivers on four separate occasions.
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Francisco 49ers (FD $8,000/DK $7,800): The Buccaneers No.1 WR is basically a lock for double-digit targets and he has a touchdown reception in four out of five games this season. The 49ers defense has given up multiple touchdown passes to opposing WRs in four out of six games this season.
Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (FD $7,900/DK $7,900): Cooper heads to Jacksonville coming off back-to-back performances with 129+ receiving yards. The Jaguars are coming off a game in which they allowed the Chicago Bears wide receivers to combined for 260 receiving yards.
Cameron Meredith, Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers (FD $5,900/DK $4,700): The Bears new No.2 WR has has averaged 10 receptions and 122 receiving yards over the last two games. As mentioned before, the Packers will be without their top three cornerbacks so he has a good chance to keep this pace up on Thursday Night Football.
Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears (FD $5,600/DK $3,000): Last week Montgomery broke out with for 10 receptions, 98 yards and even had three carries. He saw a majority of those receptions coming out of the backfield. Considering the Packers will be without Eddie Lacy for this game, he has a good chance of making that happen again.
Oct 16, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) spikes the ball after scoring a touchdown during the third quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (FD $8,500/DK $7,200): Since Brady returned, Gronk has averaged 6 receptions and 136 yards. He’s basically over the hamstring injury that nagged him to start the season. He’s on a tier of his own and for good reason.
Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts (FD $6,500/DK $4,900): Even though he’s only had two good weeks this season, he can have a big game at any moment. Over the last two games opposing tight ends have averaged 8 receptions and 95 yards against the Colts so this could be one of those games.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs vs. New Orleans Saints (FD $6,300/DK $5,300): Although the Saints offense is a lot better at home, this could still be a shootout. If it is, Kelce should be heavily involved in the passing game.
Martellus Bennett, New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (FD $5,800/DK $4,500): If you don’t want to pay up for Gronk, Bennett also has the luxury of catching passes from Brady. As we all saw in Week 5, he can certainly go off.
Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Francisco 49ers (FD $5,200/DK $2,900): With Vincent Jackson on IR, Brate has a great chance to be the Buccaneers second-most targeted player. The 49ers defense isn’t good at a lot of things and that includes covering the tight end.
Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans (FD $4,700/DK $2,500): With Dwayne Allen expected to miss this game, Doyle will take over starting tight end duties for the Colts. He was already the better fantasy football tight end out of the two but Allen’s absence should only increase his value.
Aug 27, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) reacts to his sack of Los Angeles Rams quarterback Sean Mannion (14) (not pictured) during the first quarter of a preseason game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos vs. Houston Texans (FD $5,000/DK $3,800): The Broncos will be playing at home in a prime time game against their former teammate Brock Osweiler. The Texans quarterback has thrown at least one interception in every game this season and let’s face it: This defense is going to make an extra effort to get after him.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns (FD $5,100/DK $3,600): The very bad Browns offense will be playing on the road. Call it a hunch but I don’t see them turning it around anytime soon.
Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Jets (FD $4,800/DK $2,800): The Jets offense is so bad they are turning to quarterback Geno Smith for answers. Smith hasn’t been a good NFL QB for most his career and that probably won’t change in this game.
New York Giants vs. Los Angeles Rams (FD $4,400/DK $2,700): I just have no faith in QB Case Keenum despite his big game last week.