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Week 7 DraftKings Advice

By Jared Smola 11:10am EDT 10/20/16


It was all about the RBs last week.

David Johnson, LeSean McCoy and Lamar Miller all topped 35 DraftKings points. Christine Michael and Ezekiel Elliott paid off. And Jay Ajayi came out of nowhere to post the 3rd most DK points.

It won’t be that way every week. But, in general, RBs have presented better value than WRs on DraftKings this season. That’s true again in Week 7 (although not to the extent it was last week).

Here’s who you should be considering at RB and the rest of the positions this week …


QB

Play of the Week: Andy Dalton, Bengals ($6,000)

There are tons of strong and cheap QB options this week. (We’ll touch on a couple more in the value and tournament sections below.) Dalton is my favorite.

He’s at home, and his team has a 27.75-point implied total — 3rd highest of the week. Dalton’s squaring off against a Browns squad that’s allowed the 2nd most DraftKings points to QBs. All 6 QBs to face Cleveland so far have posted at least 18.3 DK points. Three of them have scored 25+. And the last 2 have exploded for 32.6 and 28.8.

Dalton sits a solid 13th among QBs in DraftKings points per game so far — despite throwing just 6 TDs. There’s positive TD regression coming for a guy ranked 3rd in passing yards. His TD projection would get a nice boost if TE Tyler Eifert is able to return this week.

Pay up for: Philip Rivers, Chargers ($6,500)

Tom Brady and Matt Ryan are nice plays if you have the cash, but Rivers looks like the best value among the higher-priced QBs.

He’s proven capable of capitalizing on positive matchups, even without WR Keenan Allen. Rivers scored 24.8 points against the Jaguars (21st vs. QBs), 22.8 against the Saints (30th) and 31.4 against the Raiders (28th).

Now comes another plus draw against Atlanta’s 29th-ranked QB defense. The Falcons have allowed 3+ passing scores in 4 of 6 games.

Chargers-Falcons has the week’s highest over/under at 53.5 and features a pair of teams ranked among the top 12 in Football Outsiders’ situation-neutral pace. Translation: This should be a shootout.

Value option: Marcus Mariota, Titans ($6,000)

Mariota nearly garnered Play of the Week honors. He’s the same price as Dalton and sits 7 spots higher in our Week 7 QB Rankings.

Dalton got the nod only because his floor feels a bit higher. Mariota has failed to reach 30 pass attempts in 3 straight games. It might become 4 straight against the Colts on Sunday, a matchup that could be dominated by DeMarco Murray and the running game.

But Mariota boasts big upside, as he’s shown with 30.5- and 28.8-point performances over the last 2 weeks. He tossed 3 scores in both of those games. And, more importantly, he carried 7 times in both, tallying 60 and 64 rushing yards.

Mariota draws a Colts squad this week that ranks 23rd in DraftKings points allowed to QBs. Tennessee’s 25.5-point implied total is the 6th highest of the week.

Tournament target: Kirk Cousins, Redskins ($5,900)

The Lions just gave up 321 passing yards and 4 total TDs to Case freakin’ Keenum. They’ve now yielded a top 8 QB in 4 of 6 games.

Cousins rolls into this one with multiple TDs in 3 of his last 4. But he should still have some positive TD regression coming considering he’s sitting 6th in passing yards but just 10th in TDs.

Most folks will be focused on the Chargers-Falcons and Saints-Chiefs games this week. But Redskins-Lions also has a big 49.5-point over/under. Washington has a 23.75-point implied total — 11th highest of the week.


RB

Play of the Week: Jacquizz Rodgers, Bucs ($4,300)

Doug Martin’s setback gives us a chance to get a piece of the 49ers run defense at a dirt-cheap price.

Regular readers of this article know all about this matchup. LeSean McCoy last week became the 5th straight lead back to rush for 100+ yards against the ‘Niners. They’ve allowed 5.1 yards per carry to RBs. And that number has jumped way up to 6.6 in about 2-and-a-half games without LB Navorro Bowman.

Tampa is looking to cut back on QB Jameis Winston’s volume and has handed the ball to its RBs 54 times in the last 2 games. That includes a whopping 30-attempt outing for Rodgers. The Bucs clearly aren’t afraid to saddle this guy up with a big workload.

Pay up for: DeMarco Murray, Titans ($7,200)

Murray’s 1st dud of the season came at a good time (at least for those of us who didn’t play him last week). It’s dropped his price by 500 bucks for a pristine Week 7 matchup vs. the Colts.

Only 2 teams have allowed more DraftKings points to RBs than Indy. And it’s been a steady barrage. Four different RBs have scored 23+ vs. the Colts, and they’ve allowed at least 15.7 to a RB in all 6 games.

Don’t let last week’s disappointing line make you forget about just how good Murray has been this season. It was the 1st time he failed to reach 21.5 DK points.

Value option: Spencer Ware, Chiefs ($5,800)

Ware certainly isn’t cheap but still represents nice value.

He played 62% of the offensive snaps and handled 26 of 40 RB touches (65%) last week. Now, the carries were just 10 to 9 in favor of Ware over Jamaal Charles with 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Then Ware received the final 14 totes with Kansas City sitting on a comfortable lead.

The Ware/Charles split probably won’t be as drastic going forward as it was in Week 6. But Ware does look like the lead back for the time being. And he deserves to be. He’s averaging a strong 5.3 yards per carry and a silly 17.8 yards per catch.

Not much needs to be said about the Saints matchup, but here goes anyway: They rank dead last in DraftKings points allowed to RBs, 30th in Football Outsiders’ run defense DVOA and have allowed a league-high 11 RB TDs.

Tournament target: Jamaal Charles, Chiefs ($5,700)

As noted above, I’m expecting the Chiefs backfield to lean closer to a 50/50 split this weekend. Somewhere between 12 to 15 touches sounds right for Charles.

That’s not enough to make him a safe DraftKings play. But it’s certainly enough to give him big upside in this matchup.

On top of the Saints RB defense numbers from above, they’ve also allowed a pair of 40+ yard runs — tied for most in the league. It only takes 1 big one for Charles to pay off.


WR

Play of the Week: Mike Evans, Bucs ($7,800)

Flash back to 2015. In the 6 games Evans played without Vincent Jackson, he averaged a whopping 12.5 targets. That number dipped 8.1 when V-Jax played.

Evans has averaged 12 targets through his first 5 games of 2016 — with Jackson. His volume could reach absurd levels now that Jackson is sidelined.

Now couple that with a prime matchup against San Francisco. The ‘Niners actually rank 8th in DraftKings points allowed to WRs. But that’s largely because they’ve faced the 9th fewest pass attempts. Football Outsiders ranks the 49ers dead last in coverage of opposing #1 WRs.

Pay up for: Julio Jones, Falcons ($9,200)

Antonio Brown ($9,300) is as cheap as he’s been all year, but he’s risky even at that price with Landry Jones chucking him the rock.

Save 100 bucks and grab Jones instead. He’s had 2 duds this season, but they came when he was playing hurt in Week 3 and when he faced the Broncos in Week 5. His stat lines in the other 4: 8-66-1, 5-106-1, 15-300-1 and 9-139-1.

Jones should be in for another big one this Sunday against a Chargers secondary that figures to again be without its top 2 CBs.

Value option: Tyrell Williams, Chargers ($4,400)

Williams predictably struggled vs. a stout Broncos secondary last week, mustering just 3 catches for 28 yards. He also saw a season-low 3 targets.

Williams was on the field for 73% of the offensive snaps, though. That was well ahead of Travis Benjamin, who played just 38%. Benjamin then missed practice on Wednesday with a knee injury.

Williams looks like the best bet among Chargers WRs heading into a plus matchup against Atlanta. The Falcons have allowed the 14th most DraftKings points to WRs and sit 23rd in Football Outsiders’ pass defense rankings.

Tournament target: Allen Robinson, Jaguars ($7,300)

Robinson is coming off a 7.9-point dud. That’s lowered his price by $500 and figures to have him lower-owned than he should be this week.

The only other time A-Rob failed to reached 13 DraftKings points this season, he came back the next week and tallied 24.7. Expect a similar bounce back this Sunday in a juicy matchup against the Raiders’ 32nd-ranked WR defense. Oakland has already allowed 5 WRs to reach 24 DraftKings points.


TE

Play of the Week: Delanie Walker, Titans ($4,900)

If you told me Marcus Mariota threw for 284 yards and 3 TDs last week, I’d have been convinced that Walker had a huge game.

Nope. One catch for 21 yards.

Walker’s 2 targets tied for his fewest in 50 games as a Titan. He’s averaged 7.1 in those games and seen at least 6 in 62% of them.

I’m willing to chalk up Week 6 as a fluke. Especially with a beautiful Week 7 matchup against the Colts, who sit 23rd in DraftKings points allowed to TEs and 32nd in Football Outsiders’ TE coverage rankings. Walker’s last 4 lines vs. Indy: 9-94, 7-68, 7-43 and 5-84-1.

Pay up for: Travis Kelce, Chiefs ($5,300)

Rob Gronkowski’s price has climbed to $7,200. That’s WR1 territory. A healthy Gronk is never a bad play — especially in tournaments — but Kelce presents better value.

Last week was his 1st time this season with fewer than 7 targets. That came in a game in which QB Alex Smith attempted a season-low 22 passes. He averaged 42 over his first 4 games. Smith could head back toward that number this Sunday in what could turn into a shootout against the Saints.

New Orleans ranks 20th in fantasy points allowed to TEs, but even that’s flattering. They weren’t tested by legit TEs in any of their first 3 games. In the past 2, they’ve yielded a 4-61-1 line to Hunter Henry and 6-94 to Greg Olsen.

Value option: Jack Doyle, Colts ($2,500)

Here’s a minimum-priced TE who’s starting for the league’s 12th-ranked passing offense.

Dwayne Allen is expected to miss Sunday’s game against the Titans, leaving Doyle as the lead TE. In 23 games with Dwayne Allen sidelined from 2012 to 2015, Coby Fleener averaged 6.4 targets.

That’s a fair projection for Doyle this weekend. And enough to make him a good bet to return value at his dirt-cheap price. Doyle has been efficient this season, hauling in 87% of his targets, averaging 10.2 yards per catch and scoring on 15% of his grabs.

Tournament target: Julius Thomas, Jaguars ($3,900)

After a nice start to the season, Thomas has disappointed in his last 2 outings. Sunday’s matchup against the Raiders presents a nice bounce-back opportunity.

Only 5 teams have allowed more fantasy points to TEs than the Raiders. Football Outsiders ranks Oakland 26th in TE coverage.


DEFs

Play of the Week and Value option: Titans ($2,500)

Picking on the Colts offense has worked well so far. Indy has allowed a league-high 23 sacks, turned it over 6 times and allowed 3 defensive TDs.

The Titans defense has been sneaky-good this year. They rank 5th with 18 sacks and 6th with 6 INTs. They’ve gotten a bit unlucky with 0 fumble recoveries and 0 TDs so far. Tennessee also sits a solid 12th in points allowed per game.

Pay up for: Broncos ($3,800)

“There's no ill will toward Brock. I am happy he got paid. But it's competition. We want to kill him.”

That was Broncos LB Brandon Marshall earlier this week on Monday night’s meeting with Texans QB Brock Osweiler, who bolted Denver for a big paycheck this offseason.

Not that the Broncos defense needed extra motivation after 2 straight losses. They’re at home this week, where they’ve tallied 10 sacks, 4 takeaways and 2 TDs in 3 games this season.

Tournament target: Chiefs ($2,600)

The Saints are not the same offense on the road as they are at home. Check out the numbers since 2014:

The Chiefs defense, meanwhile, always boasts upside at home. They racked up 8 takeaways and 2 TDs in their last game at Arrowhead. They’re now averaging 3.2 sacks and 1.6 takeaways per game at home since 2014.

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