Week 6 basically came down to whether or not you played Derrick Henry. And that ignited more debate about Henry’s viability on DraftKings.
Yes, we want RBs who catch passes on DK. No, that doesn’t mean we should never play guys who don’t project for big target volume. Price and matchup are also important variables. And Henry at $7,300 vs. 1 of the league’s worst run defenses was always a lock for me.
Henry helped us run our record to 5-1 in cash games through 6 weeks. Let’s stay hot in Week 7.
I’d love to get up to Kyler Murray ($7,100). He’s averaged 12.2 DraftKings points per game just with his rushing production this season. And the passing ceiling is elevated this week vs. a Seahawks squad sitting 29th in Football Outsiders’ pass defense rankings and 31st in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs.
It’s certainly doable to make Murray fit, especially with Gio Bernard ($4,500) now available. But the way I’m planning to build my cash lineup this week, I’m looking to go cheap at QB with …
Joe Burrow, Bengals ($5,500)
Burrow has been unlucky in the TD department so far this season. He ranks just 25th in passing scores despite sitting 1st in attempts, 2nd in completions and 8th in yards.
Still, Burrow has averaged a solid 19.2 DK points per game — and even that’s dragged down by a 6-point dud vs. Baltimore. Burrow has scored 20+ points in 3 of his last 5.
He gets a favorable matchup on Sunday vs. the Browns, who rank 19th in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA and 20th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs. Losing RB Joe Mixon hurts a bit. But Bernard is a capable pass-catcher, and Mixon’s absence might just push Cincinnati further toward the pass.
Gio Bernard ($4,500) now pops as the top dollars-per-point value at RB. He tallied 27 carries, 13 targets and 3 TDs in the 2 games Joe Mixon missed back in 2018, scoring 19.6 and then 25.6 PPR points.
It’s definitely worth messing around with Bernard lineups. But I’m gonna struggle going to battle this week without these 3 stud RBs in great spots:
Alvin Kamara, Saints ($7,900)
The #1 RB in DK points per game gets a Lions defense that’s allowed the 2nd most DK points to RBs.
Don’t make this game harder than it needs to be.
Aaron Jones, Packers ($7,200)
Jones gets the defense this week that Derrick Henry just ran over for 212 yards and 2 scores. Houston is coughing up 5.9 yards per carry to RBs and has allowed a 100-yard rusher in 4 of 6 games.
Jones has that upside on the ground — and is also averaging 5.6 targets per game this year.
UPDATE: Jones suffered a minor calf injury on Thursday and is expected to be a game-time decision. That unfortunately knocks him out of cash-game consideration and makes Bernard a top-3 RB play in cash.
Kareem Hunt, Browns ($6,800)
Hunt just faced 2 of the best run defenses in the league. The Colts rank 6th in Football Outsiders’ run defense DVOA; the Steelers rank 1st.
Now Hunt gets a Bengals squad sitting 23rd. Cincinnati is allowing 5.2 yards per carry to RBs on the season. And the Browns have a lot to do with that. Hunt and Nick Chubb combined for 210 yards and 3 TDs on 6.6 yards per carry in their 1st meeting back in Week 2.
Hunt will soak up the majority of that opportunity this weekend. He’s handled 33 of the Browns’ 49 RB carries and 7 of 9 RB targets over the last 2 games. And even those shares probably sell Hunt’s role short. He left late in Week 5 with cramps and was pulled early in last week’s blowout loss to the Steelers.
Keenan Allen, Chargers ($6,200)
Allen is woefully underpriced for the volume he’s seen from QB Justin Herbert: 40 targets in 3 full games with the rookie.
Now he gets a juicy matchup vs. a Jaguars defense that ranks dead last in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA and 21st in adjusted fantasy points allowed to WRs.
Just keep an eye on the back issue that knocked Allen out of the Chargers’ last game. He was limited in Wednesday and Thursday’s practices. If he’s limited again on Friday and listed as questionable, you might want to look elsewhere. (Potentially to teammate Mike Williams at $4,700.)
Terry McLaurin, Washington ($5,800)
I wrote in our latest Buy/Sell/Hold Report about the brutal schedule McLaurin has faced so far this season. That stretch ends this weekend against the Cowboys, who rank 31st in DK points allowed to WRs.
Despite the tough schedule, McLaurin has averaged 16.2 DK points per game. And the usage has been awesome. He ranks 5th among WRs in targets and 10th in air yards.
Diontae Johnson, Steelers ($4,200)
I’m breaking my rule of not playing guys coming off injury in cash. But Johnson was a full-go in practice all week, isn’t listed on the final injury report and is just too cheap for his projected volume and matchup.
We’ll see exactly what Pittsburgh’s WR corps looks like with Johnson back and Chase Claypool’s emergence. But I’m expecting Johnson to remain a big part of the passing game. He racked up 23 targets over the season’s first 2 weeks.
Sunday brings a matchup vs. a Titans defense that’s allowed the 5th most DK points per game to WRs.
Austin Hooper was gonna appear here. But he had to go and get an appendicitis on Friday, knocking him out of this weekend’s game vs. the Bengals.
That makes TEs David Njoku ($3,000) and Harrison Bryant ($2,500) viable punt plays. In their 3 games together this season — alongside Hooper — Njoku ran 28 routes and saw 7 targets, while Bryant ran 34 routes with 5 targets. They figure to share pass-catching duties on Sunday, but the matchup is great vs. a Cincinnati defense ranked 23rd in adjusted fantasy points allowed to TEs.
But the move this week might be to pay up for Travis Kelce ($6,300). He’s not only the top dollars-per-point value among TEs, but also the 4th-best value among all TEs, WRs and RBs.
Kelce is averaging 19.3 DK points per game this season, with 17+ points in 4 of 6 outings. He’s scored and/or topped 100 yards in 6 of his last 7 games vs. the Broncos.
In the mid-range, Hunter Henry ($4,500) looks like the top play. He’s seen 7+ targets and caught 4+ balls in 4 of 5 games this season and gets a plus Week 7 draw vs. a Jaguars defense sitting 23rd in Football Outsiders’ TE coverage rankings.
The Football Team stands out as the clear top value this week. They rank 3rd in adjusted sack rate and get an injury-wrecked Cowboys offensive line. QB Andy Dalton obviously adds upside to the matchup.