After winning all three of my DFS football contests in Week 6, I was feeling pretty lucky. For a while, I worried I might not get a DFS football article in this week. But it turns out Las Vegas has good internet, so here you go.
Quarterback: Taylor, Mariota, and… McCown again?
For those of you using your prime dollars for a stud quarterback, the two best options could be in the same game. Tom Brady and Matt Ryan both really want to win this week and they will throw all day to make it happen. Atlanta has already said they will finally start feeding Julio Jones again, which would make this a fairer duel.
Tyrod Taylor has a prime matchup against the Tampa Bay team that let Carson Palmer throw with impunity last week. The problem with Taylor is target acquisition. But the Bills are coming off a bye week, so I trust they have settled on a plan to cover the losses of Jordan Taylor and Charles Clay. Taylor’s running potential raises his floor and makes him worth his cost.
Marcus Mariota gets to play against Cleveland this week. Good enough?
But your bargain basement value is a repeat of last week. Josh McCown and the Jets face Miami at home this week. Yes, it is true the Dolphins effective shut down Matty Ice and Falcons for a half last week, but they also allowed Atlanta to jump out to a 17-0 lead. The Jets are more likely to pass effectively against Miami than they are to run. Look for a short-passing, ball-control strategy that gives McCown another error-free, middle-yardage, two-touchdowns stat line.
Running back: McCoy makes a comeback, Hyde romps
If you are spending the big bucks on a runner, Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley, and Leonard Fournette remain your top three candidates. But for slightly less than his early season expectations warranted, LeSean McCoy will regain his status as a premier fantasy star against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There is nothing wrong with McCoy except a new offensive strategy. Coming off the bye with receiving weapons limited, I expect McCoy to gain as many yards in the air as on the ground, making him a great stack with Tyrod Taylor for Week 7.
Meanwhile, in Dallas…
Dallas might get Sean Lee back this week which has their fans all excited about their defense. But even with Lee in the lineup, Dallas has not been shutting down good running backs. The 49ers will continue to lean on Carlos Hyde and short passing options. For the price, Hyde is a good pickup in Week 7.
Alvin Kamara and Orleans Darkwa still underpriced
Alvin Kamara picked up 87 yards in relief of Mark Ingram last week. That was with Drew Brees having a bad throwing day. It makes sense to think that on a good Brees day. Kamara’s role in the passing game makes him much more valuable than his RB3 price point.
Meanwhile, DFS is showing no love for Orleans Darkwa’s new RB-1 status. He is still priced like a backup runner on a bad running team. The secret is this; even before Week 6, Darkwa averaged 5.8 yards per carry. Seattle is expected to concentrate on shutting down the run against the Giants. But so did Denver, and they are much better run defense than Seattle. My value of the week is Orleans Darkwa.
Wide receiver: Julio Jones with Bennie Fowler, John Brown, or Robert Woods
Atlanta’s coach Dan Quinn announced that the Falcons would force the ball more to Julio Jones going forward. That’s good enough for me to use some prime dollars on him. I wouldn’t mind having Antonio Brown, AJ Green, or Larry Fitzgerald this week, either. But who will you pair your star up with?
Bennie Fowler is my top choice despite a shaky quarterback. Fowler will line up in the slot position for Emmanuel Sanders against the Chargers, one of the most generous NFL fantasy defenses for slot receivers. Siemian’s favorite target is usually Sanders, so he will look at Fowler a lot in this game. If Demaryius Thomas can’t play Sunday with his injured lower leg, Fowler will be the principal receiver with a WR3/4 price tag.
John Brown only saw four targets from Carson Palmer last week, but that was the second most on the team after Larry Fitzgerald’s 12. Brown is healthy this week. Take advantage of his price and cross your fingers he stays that way because when healthy, he is a great deep target for Palmer. Even with a more balanced game plan, Brown can make an impact worth his price.
Robert Woods should take advantage of not being covered by Patrick Peterson this week. Arizona continues to give up as many yards to wide receivers as anyone, even with the primary receiver erased by Peterson. Look for Woods to have a nice game with Jared Goff.
Josh Doctson is another receiver whose coach says he wants to use him more. One long catch makes Doctson worth his WR4 price tag. No other wide receiver in Washington seems willing to take on a bigger role. Doctson could step up in the pecking order this week.
Tight ends: Kyle Rudolph primed, Graham, Walker sure things
Minnesota’s Kyle Rudolph got lost in the shuffle early in the season with the change at quarterback. Case Keenum finally looked Rudolph’s way these past two weeks, although the tight end has not caught a high percentage of his targets. That changes this week, especially with Stefon Diggs and Michael Floyd hobbled.
Jimmy Graham gets the Giants in Week 7 while Delanie Walker lines up against the Browns. You can put each of them down for a touchdown right now and wait to see how many yardage points they tack on to that.
D/ST: Chargers, Minnesota take advantage
The Los Angeles Chargers come into this week with some momentum and face a distraught Denver team that might be without its top four wide receivers. The results will not be the same as when the Giants did it against Denver.
Baltimore lists three wide receivers, two tight ends and their starting running back on their injury list. The Ravens offense barely runs at full power. Minnesota could have their first ten-plus point D/ST game.
There are your bargain DFS football picks for this weekend. If you would like to ask about DFS or NFL fantasy, send your question to us at [email protected] Then look for the answer in our weekly NFL Fantasy Mailbag every Wednesday.
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