NFL DFS Deep Dive: Week 7

Week 6 Review

What an absolute peach of a week for the column. Terrible week for me to be too busy to play virtually any DFS when almost every player I liked went off. I was in London for the Jaguars win over the Dolphins and combined with driving almost six hundred miles that day, there just wasn’t enough time to focus on setting lineups. However, enough about me, let’s get back to what actually matters. At Quarterback Taylor Heinicke didn’t live up to what we’d hoped for, managing just 10.28 points after a bright start against the Chiefs. Carson Wentz did much better however and at just $5400 turned in 17 points to give you both a solid floor and plenty of salary relief. Running Back is where things really got going though, with Joe Mixon (RB2), Darrell Henderson (RB4), Khalil Herbert (RB9) and D’Andre Swift (RB12) all returning at least three times their salary/cost ratio. Sadly Kareem Hunt got injured after posting 10.8 points and the only bright side was how heavily owned he came in, which meant it probably didn’t kill your team. At wide receiver, my boy, Hollywood Brown, had a quiet game that could have been oh so much better if he’d timed a jump for a touchdown just slightly better. Christian Kirk at just $5000 was the WR11 on the week with low ownership and I apologise profusely for suggesting DeSean Jackson might be an interesting dart throw. 1.6 points is not the kind of dart throw anybody wants! Lastly, tight end was a clean sweep of excellent plays with Mark Andrews (TE3), Ricky Seals-Jones (TE4) and Jared Cook (TE7) all providing excellent value. 

Results for the season:

Great Plays (3x$) – 32 (45%)

Good Plays (2x$) – 15 (21%)

Bad Plays (<2x$) – 23 (32%)

Week 7

The Bye-pocalypse is here and it’s brutal. If you play deep dynasty leagues I’m sure you can relate. For DFS it’s reduced our main slate down to ten games and six of those games feature a heavy favourite. It’s a tricky week for finding value and you’ll notice my likes are condensed to a few core games. On weeks like this, I will gravitate to those games and stack heavily, aiming to need to get fewer things correct.

As usual, I’m always available on Twitter to answer questions and my DM’s are open. Check out nflbestball.co.uk for my Stack of The Week article. No Bankroll Challenge update this week, due to far too many hours spent travelling to the London game.

Quarterbacks

Matt Ryan $5700 @ Miami Dolphins – 47.5 over/under

The Falcons return to the United States following a successful trip to London and a week six bye. After facing the Jets they now face similarly weak opposition in the Miami Dolphins, who are not exactly showing themselves in a good light with recent headlines. The Dolphins have taken the rare step of forgoing a bye after an international game and will be desperate to get their second win of the season. Historically defensive performance fails to carry over from one season to the next and we’re seeing the Dolphins take a drastic step backwards this season, through five games they allow the 12th most points to quarterbacks. The Falcons meanwhile average the second-most targets per game with 40.2. Typically the Falcons are scoring their touchdowns through the air, rather than with their lacklustre ground game, with a pass to rush touchdown ratio of 5:1. This should give us confidence that the points the Falcons put up on Miami will be involving Matt Ryan. Across the last three games, the Dolphins have allowed an average of 26.17 Draftkings points to Quarterbacks. Put Matt Ryan into your lineup with confidence. 

Via Adam Levitan and Establish The Run on Twitter https://twitter.com/adamlevitan/status/1450875605709312001?s=20

Justin Fields $5300 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 47.5 over/under

My confidence level in this play isn’t as high as I’d like it to be but everything I see on paper leads me towards it working out nicely. Maybe that leads to it being a good tournament play this week, after all, if you’re not uncomfortable with your tournament lineups, are they any good? Fields comes into this matchup off the back of career-high pass attempts (27) and rushing yards (43). Chicago has been held back at times by slow play-calling, with the lowest neutral pass rate in the league (44%). Tampa Bay, however, play at the joint second-highest rate (65%). With the Buccs favoured by 11.5 points, it should force the Bears into a pass-heavy script. Tampa allows the 8th most fantasy points to quarterbacks, with an average of over 20 in their last three games, and by now the book is out that they are a poor passing defence. Justin Fields league-leading 10.2 Average Depth of Target should fit well in this scenario. 

Derek Carr $6000 v Philadelphia Eagles – 49.0 over/under

The Raiders washed away the foul stench of Gruden quickly enough last weekend, dispatching a Broncos side that should have been a tougher test, but overly-sensitive Vic Fangio seems to be struggling to get the best out of his defence. Carr’s price has jumped up by $400 to the second-highest price of this season, and given that in week 6 he threw a career-high 12.6 yards per attempt, up from his season average of 8.4, it seems deserved. However, that price isn’t high enough to put me off playing Carr in week 7 as he takes on an Eagles side that likes to play fast and has been involved in some high scoring games. Both the Raiders and the Eagles play at the joint-fourth highest neutral pass rate, so we should see plenty of plays. Carr has played with a sense of freedom and trust we’ve rarely seen before, leading the league in big-time throws (23). 

Tua Tagovailoa $5500 v Atlanta Falcons – 47.5 over/under

I first noticed this matchup for Tua early on in the week and was all over it until the Wednesday news leaks regarding DeShaun Watson. The Dolphins lack of faith in Tua seems undeniable at this point. Whether that’s ownership or coaching, it’s very difficult to see Tua being able to change their minds anymore. Personally, I thought Tua looked good in week 6 and whilst I don’t believe his ceiling is high, I prefer to be on the morally decent side of things where possible. 

Enough about that though, let’s find some positives whilst Tua is still a Dolphin. In London, Tua matched a career-high in passing touchdowns and put up his second-highest yardage total (329) of his career. The Dolphins ground game is fairly miserable and if they are to score touchdowns it feels fair to say it’s more likely to come through the air against a disappointing Atlanta secondary. The Dolphins have been a tough watch so far this season, but the difference between Brissett and his 3.8 yards ADOT, compared with Tua’s 9.1, was very noticeable. I’m backing Tua to try and spin some positive news for himself this weekend. 

Honourable Mention

Daniel Jones $5400 v CAR – NYG 7th in yards per drive. 51 pass attempts v LAR in wk6 was a career-high. CAR allow 15th most points to QB’s. NYG have 9th most tgts/gm 37.3. Giants allowed 3rd most real points this season. 

Running Backs

Damien Harris $5700 v New York Jets – 49.0 over/under 

Damien Harris has become a regular in this column, and he fits neatly into an area of pricing that tends to never get heavy ownership. Many users choose to pay up or go lower than this and as such using these mid-tier backs can be good leverage. The Patriots face the Jets for the second time this season having beaten them 25-6 just over a month ago. Now the Jets are on the road and will face a tough task to improve on that performance with the league’s worst rushing defence, allowing the most points to running backs so far. Harris is as expensive as he’s been but his usage still makes him the clear back to roster currently. Despite Stevenson mixing in more in week 6, Harris out-snapped him 50%-32%, out carried 18-5 and averages a far better average of yards per carry with 4.1-2.8.

James Conner $5600 v Houston Texans – 48.0 over/under

Coming into the season I was more Team Chase than Team Conner, however, it seems that the two can co-exist in a fairly effective manner. Chase gets the passing down work along with rushes between the twenties and Conner picks up all the near to goal work. It’s not an ideal situation for us to try and make use of in fantasy but it is one that can work in certain weeks. James Conner will find himself in a game against the Houston Texans, where the Cardinals are favoured by a whopping 17 points. With Kyler Murray banged up I can’t see the Cardinals wanting to work him any harder than necessary. If the Cardinal’s go up early, as you’d expect the leagues most efficient offence to do, then I really like the idea of Conner seeing heavy usage. In Week 6 Conner out-snapped Edmonds 54%-36%, whilst out rushing him 16-4. After Jonathan Taylor scored over 30 points against Houston last week, I’ll be hoping Conner can do something similar this week.

Miles Sanders $5100 @ Las Vegas Raiders – 49.0 over/under 

When I opened up the Draftkings prices for this week I was very surprised to see 5100 next to Miles Sanders name. That’s down by $1800 from his highest price this season. You’d have to have to be living under a rock to have not noticed Sanders poor form this year, but I don’t believe his 9.9 points per game stems from issues with him, rather usage and game scripts. On the season Sanders averages 4.7 YPC, which ranks him 15th amongst RB’s with 10 or more attempts. Sanders also has the fourth-highest target share amongst running backs with 24.7%. Sanders has averaged a disappointing 9.5 attempts per game this year, down from 13.7 in 2020. Sanders usage against the Buccaneers did give us signs of hope though, particularly with how well he ran against a very tough defence. Box scores have stayed low for Sanders due to a failure to get into the end zone, but he continues to be trusted with high-value touches and averages 3.8 targets per game. Whilst Gainwell may have flashed, and Hurts has vultured touchdowns, I’m hopeful that Sanders can take advantage against a Raiders defence that’s allowed the 8th most rushing yards (784), and the joint-fifth most rushing touchdowns (7). Eagles OC Shane Steichen was quoted as saying “We have to get him going” on Wednesday when asked about Sanders.

Honourable Mentions

Chuba Hubbard $6100 v NYG – CAR 5th most rush TD’s. Panthers play 6th most plays per game (68.7). CH Outsnapped RF 66%-29. 61-1 carries. 3-0 tgts.  NYG 8th most points allowed to pos. CAR 20.2% tgts to RB’s. CH Avg 3.9ypc (same as CMC). 15 high value touches. 3.0 tgt/gm. Most expensive he’s been. Henderson just gashed this defence.

Michael Carter $4800 v NE – NYJ just 4.6 YPP, ranks 29th. Jets have 4th fewest plays per game. NE 17th most allowed to pos. NE allowing avg of 47.3 ypg to RB receptions. 47 rush attempts vs 26-21 Ty J/Tev C. Avg 9.4 p/g. Leads backfield in receptions, targets and routes run. Price All time high.

Sony Michel $4200 v DET –  Hendo coming off career-high attempts. Detroit Most points allowed to pos. Price lowest it’s been. Possible sees uptick in touches in blow out?

Wide Receivers

Chris Godwin $5900 v Chicago Bears – 47.5 over/under

Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski were ruled out on Friday afternoon. Godwin’s price is at it’s lowest this season and there is no doubt he will become a chalky play. Last time Brown missed a game for Tampa Godwin scored 19.6 points in a tough matchup with L.A Rams. Godwin saw his route participation jump to 96.7% when Brown missed time and it’s probable he’ll see a near every down workload again. Whilst Godwin is the best priced amongst the Tampa players, Tyler Johnson at $3000 and O.J Howard at $3400 will attract some attention and Mike Evans will make a nice pivot play.

Sterling Shepard $5600 v Carolina Panthers – 43.0 over/under

Removing the week 3 game where he was injured early on, Sterling Shepard has scored 27.3, 17.5 and 17.6 points in his appearances. Shepard averages 11 targets per game and leads the team in routes run with 81.6% and leads the team in target share with 23.8%. Despite the injury, only one other receiver on the Giants has played more than Shepard’s 214 snaps (Kadarius Toney with 240). The team is depleted of skill and options which should help push Daniel Jones to old reliable Shepard. Whilst Carolina can be a tough matchup for receivers, allowing just the 22nd most points to the position, they do allow a very healthy 1.2 touchdowns per game to wide receivers. It’s a play that will be particularly attractive if Toney is ruled out and Dante Pettis at $3000 will also come into consideration.

** Friday Update** – On Friday afternoon it was reported Shepard suffered a setback with his hamstring injury. Without Shepard Pettis will become a great punt play at $3000 as one of the only healthy receivers for the Giants. In Week 6 with Toney leaving early for injury and Slayton and Golladay ruled out, also with injuries, Pettis saw 22.9% target share, second only to Shepard. Daniel Jones targeted Pettis on 11 throws.

Rashod Bateman $3400 v Cincinnati Bengals – 47.0 over/under 

Last week we were expecting a real shoot-out in Baltimore with the L.A Chargers coming into town, but sadly they weren’t up to the task and let a lot of fantasy players down. The Ravens didn’t need to do a whole lot to make anyone stand out on the fantasy leger, but a divisional game against a plucky Bengals side might spur some better returns. Rashod Bateman made his NFL debut and immediately forced the Ravens to play him more than they intended. The talk coming out of Maryland had been Bateman would see a ramp-up period, but with no Sammy Watkins Bateman slipped effortlessly into a dependable roll, seeing 41 routes on 45 snaps, with a 22% target share and picking up a first down on every catch he made. Bateman might not have scored highly but bigger games are ahead. The Bengals allow the 9th most targets to the position and the Ravens boast the 2nd most explosive pass rate in the NFL. I’ll be attacking this game heavily this weekend and at $3400 Bateman is hard to pass up. 

Van Jefferson $3500 v Detroit Lions – 50.5 over/under

Finding a cheap way into this potential slaughter could be a great way to free up salary whilst also leveraging points. By playing Van Jefferson you would be gambling that the points would land on Van Jefferson rather than the more chalky Kupp or Woods. Now they’re clearly the stronger options here, but if we’re looking to game-stack that matchup or just find a cheap way in, Van Jefferson becomes an interesting option. Through six games he is third amongst Rams wide receivers in snaps played (70.8%), and also third in targets per game (4.3). Van Jefferson is used deeper down the field than Woods or Kupp, with an ADOT of 13.1. Against a depleted Lions secondary, with Matthew Stafford facing Detroit, I can’t help but feel like he will enjoy taking deep shots against a Lions team that allows league highs in yards per pass attempt (9.8).

Honourable Mentions

Jaylen Waddle $5600 v ATL – ATL 9th most points allowed to pos. ATL allow 1.4 TD per game to the position. JW Only MIA WR with over 17 receptions 37. Leads team in RZ targets (5). ADOT jumped from 6 to 8.5 with Tua’s return.

Darnell Mooney $4600 v TB – 5th most concentrated passing game in NFL. TB 3rd most points allowed to position. TB Joint most targets allowed to WR’s 148. Allow a league-leading 1.7td per game to WR’s. Mooney Leads team in receptions/gm 4.2 (A-Rob 3.5). Leads team in yrd/gm 51.0-39.0 A-Rob.

Hunter Renfrow $4800 v PHI – Phi 31st most points allowed to pos. 1.2 TD per game to the position. Leads LV WR in receptions with 31 (no others over 20). 5.2 receptions/gm. 5 RZ targets. No other WR has more than 1. 

Tight Ends

Dallas Goedert $4600 v Las Vegas Raiders – 49.0 over/under 

Fantasy owners of Dallas Goedert rejoiced when Ertz was traded to the Cardinals. Finally, this position was Goedert’s alone. So far this season the Eagles have thrown the seventh-most targets to tight ends of any team, at a rate of 25.8%. Goedert will be hoping to absorb a majority of the vacated targets and show the Eagles he deserves a contract that puts him close to the likes of Andrews and Kittle. The Raiders allow the second-most yards to the position (407) and in the last three weeks have given up an average of 19.2 points to the position.

Hunter Henry $4100 v New York Jets – 43.0 over/under 

New England’s skill position groups aren’t exactly a great place to be loading up on players right now, but it’s the Jets. If in doubt, always attack the Jets. New York’s boys in green allow the tenth most points to the position and New England throw the eight-most targets to tight ends (25.6%). In weeks 4-6 Henry has been by far the better option compared to Jonnu Smith. Henry’s ADOT is 9.1, compared to Smith’s 2.4. Henry on average, out-targets Smith by 40% per game over the last three. It’s not my favourite play, but it’s a reasonable one at a cost that would create leverage.

Ricky Seals-Jones $3700 v Green Bay Packers –  49.0 over/under

Three weeks in a row Ricky Seals-Jones finds his way into this column and he’s yet to let us down. Since taking over the TE1 position in Washington, whilst Logan Thomas is injured, Seals-Jones has had a workload like no other. In the last two weeks, Seals-Jones has missed just one snap. Despite only being featured in two games he equals Terry McLaurin as the team leader in red-zone targets with four. Green Bay allows the fifth-most targets to the position and in a game, Washington will need to pass in, RSJ could see consistent volume and be a nice bring-back to Davante Adams.

As usual, I’m always available on Twitter to answer questions and my DM’s are open. Check out nflbestball.co.uk for my Stack of The Week article. No Bankroll Challenge update this week, due to far too many hours spent travelling to the London game.

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