Each week I plan to give you what I feel are the best FanDuel plays at each position, as well as the plays that I am staying away from. My DFS methodology is a little different than the typical player. I don’t make separate cash and tournament lineups. I simply make the best possible lineup that I can, period. I feel like it distracts me too much to make different lineups for different contest types. I end up splitting up plays I really like for the sake of qualifying a guy as cash or tourney. Therefore, I put together the best lineup I can with the best plays, and that’s what you will see reflected in this article. With that said, I primarily enter GPPs, with anywhere from one to four lineups each week on with a mix of my core plays.
If you’re looking for DraftKings plays, check out Neil’s GridIron Gang article which posts every Thursday.
Week 7 NFL FanDuel Plays
As we move into Week 7, pricing is getting much tighter on FanDuel. For me, the choices at quarterback this week are coming down to two different approaches.
The first approach is to pay up for Tom Brady ($9,100). The angry Brady train continues to roll on as he has thrown three touchdowns in both games for over 790 yards with no interceptions. We don’t need a lot of analysis here. There seems to be some value opening up this week and it’s not a horrible idea to start every lineup with Brady this week if you enter multiple lineups. Might give you the best possible chance to find the right combination of guys with him to win big.
The second approach I’m taking is paying down. After Brady, I don’t find myself wanting to click on anyone until Blake Bortles ($7,400). Bortles might go overlooked this week after a mundane performance in Week 6, and that’s the only thing keeping me from clicking Brady and moving on. In the last four weeks Bortles has played against two top-10 pass defenses in terms of yards allowed and two bottom-10 pass defenses. Against the two top-10 teams he’s averaged 13.2 FanDuel points. However, against the two bottom-10 teams he’s averaged 23.22 FanDuel points per game. This week he will face the team that is dead last in yards per game, the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are giving up 312 yards per game which is over 10 yards more than the second worst team. Bortles is a strong play in all regards.
Last week was a week to pay up for running backs, and this week looks like a week to pay down. The top guys are getting expensive. One of my first considerations if I pay up is DeMarco Murray ($8,700). Murray was quiet in Week 6, but he still received 21 carries. While some people will be scared to roster him again this week, we’ll stay the course since his usage is still there. He has a great matchup against Indianapolis Colts, who give up the 2nd most yards per attempt on the ground at 4.8.
David Johnson ($8,500) is playing on a different level than anyone else so far this year. He has multiple touchdowns in three of his six games and over 110 total scrimmage yards in EVERY SINGLE GAME. He does have a tough matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. I’m not going to let that scare me off of him, though. He is matchup proof and something has to give here. The Seahawks have not played anyone close to Johnson, so they may be in for a rude awakening. For all the catches (20) and receiving yards (265), he hasn’t found the end zone yet through the air. There are 64 players who have more receiving yards than Johnson and only five of those players haven’t found the end zone yet. The percentages are in his favor to find paydirt through the air, and I predict that will happen this week.
After Johnson, I find myself scrolling all the way down to James White ($6,100). I think White is underpriced compared to those around him. With Brady back, I think we can safely say White will see 5-10 targets per game and also rush the ball between 5-10 times. Ask yourself this: if there was a receiver (with Tom Brady as his QB), who only cost you $6,100, and was going to see 5-10 targets and run the ball 5-10 times, would you be interested in him? Of course you would! Everyone would be clamoring to roster him. That’s what we have with White, in probably the most dangerous offense in the NFL. Sometimes we get these situations where we have to think outside of the box, and this is one of those situations. When we look at the situation from this angle, it makes a lot of sense.
As we continue down the list there is one very intriguing cheap option: Jacquizz Rodgers ($5,600). Rodgers ran the ball 30 times for 101 yards in their previous game against the Carolina Panthers. He also caught five balls on six targets for 28 yards. With Doug Martin out again, we can expect to see similar usage this week in a much better matchup. He faces the leagues worst rush defense by a mile. The San Francisco 49ers have given up 174 yards per game, over 25 yards more per game than the 2nd worst team. They also have given up the 2nd most rushing touchdowns with nine.
If that’s not enough, they’ve given up the most yards per carry at five. On top of all that, we’ve seen the Buccaneers reel back Jameis Winstons’ pass attempts the past two weeks and focus on the run. He threw for 45 less passes in Weeks 4 and 5 than he did in Weeks 2 and 3. FORTY FIVE. I just wanted to spell it out to let that sink in. That’s 22.5 fewer passes PER GAME over his last two games. They lost one of those games by 20 points and won the other by three, so that was not game flow based. They are making a concerted effort to run more and pass less. Back to Rodgers. He’s almost in must play territory.
Based on Bortles being high on my QB list, Allen Robinson ($8,400) is my favorite receiver. He’ll probably be severely overlooked and that’s a mistake. You can save $600-$800 from Julio Jones and Antonio Brown, and get access to the same upside.
I’ve been preaching Amari Cooper ($7,900) to you for the past two weeks and hopefully you’ve been listening. He’s caught 16 balls on 25 targets for 267 yards and a touchdown. I mentioned two weeks ago he should be in the $8,000-$8,500 range and he’s almost there, but there’s still time to get a discount and he’s an excellent stack candidate with Bortles and Robinson. The Jaguars have been pretty good against the pass, but I’ll continue to tell you what I have the past couple weeks. Cooper is an exceptional talent – to the level of Brown/Jones/Green/Beckham Jr. Don’t be surprised if he’s talked about in that same breath by next year, if not sooner. Go ahead and continue to get access to him while he’s priced over $1,000 less that the top-tier.
I won’t spend a lot of time on him, but if Theo Riddick is out again, take a look at Golden Tate ($6,600). Even after his blowup game in Week 6 (8-165-1), I still don’t think he’ll be popular. Most people will still be scared to roster him because of the floor he’s shown in previous games. However, he fills in well in the Riddick role and as we’ve seen so far; that is a very important and fantasy friendly role. If Eric Ebron is ruled out again too, he becomes an even stronger play.
Due to the value at running back, I’m not sure how far down I will go. If I am looking for value, though, I will look at Kendall Wright ($5,000). We don’t know what to make of Wright’s 8-133-1 performance in Week 6 because he wasn’t on the field very often. Was it luck? I don’t know. But Wright is a talented playmaker who seems to be fully over his hamstring issue. I expect the Titans to be able to move the ball through the air and Wright should be plenty involved in that. At his price, that merits come consideration.
Rob Gronkowski ($8,500) is fully healthy and has the best quarterback in football throwing him the ball again. He is the premier play. Good luck affording him though. If you can, good for you.
For those of us who may not be able to, let me give you a couple more options. If Tyler Eifert ($6,000) is able to practice in full before Sunday I will have interest in him. He’ll go overlooked, and he’ll also have a great matchup.
Kyle Rudolph ($5,400) has a difficult matchup on paper, but he’s underpriced and has been a top target of Sam Bradford. He seems like the way to go if you pay down at tight end.
Defense is easy. Are the Minnesota Vikings ($4,900) playing? Yes. Then play them. They’ve gone over 16 points three times, 21 points twice, and they scored 8 FanDuel points in their worst outing. Just find a way to play them.
The only reason I could see paying down is because Landry Jones is playing quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. That makes the New England ($4,400) an interesting play. If you absolutely must have the extra $500, go for it.
Just pay down at kicker and save your money there. Josh Lambo ($4,600) is the first guy that caught my eye toward the bottom. He’s been consistent and has three games over 10. If you have the $300 left over, just roster Adam Vinatieri ($4,900). He’s been in double digits in five out of 6 games with a high of 23 points. His worst performance was eight FanDuel points.
Week 2 Stay Aways
We always start with Aaron Rodgers… Just kidding! He’s not on the main slate this week, but hopefully you continued to listen to me last week when he turned in a measly 13.5 FD points.
The quarterback I actually am staying away from on the main slate shouldn’t surprise you, though. It’s Drew Brees ($8,500). I shouldn’t have to go into it too much as my past articles should have it instilled in your brain. Don’t play Brees on the road. If that’s not enough. DON’T play Brees on the road in Arrowhead. He won me a lot of money last week, but he was at home. Brees is averaging 30.6 FD points per game at home and just 14.19 in two games on the road. The splits are real. Arrowhead is a very tough place to play, so these splits even mean more this week.
I wanted to caution you to stay away from LeSean McCoy ($9,000) when I first saw his price, but now there are injury concerns so you should definitely skip over him. He’s performed well, but this is a perfect letdown spot, assuming his injury is nothing that keeps him out. If he does end up out, I’ll be very interested in Mike Gillislee ($5,300).
I won’t play Melvin Gordon ($8,000) at his price. He had a typical Melvin Gordon type game in Week 6 with 27 carries for 94 yards. He’s just priced too high. If he finds his way back down to the low $7,000’s or high $6,000s, I’ll be interested again.
I think some people will be tempted to roster Jay Ajayi ($6,400) after his huge game last week, but I’ll wait to see more. His price is enticing, but I’m not sold on the usage, and they have a tough matchup against the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have been stout against the run, only allowing 78.67 yards per game.
I’ve nailed Antonio Brown ($9,000) every week this season. I’ve recommended Brown every week, except for two. In those two, he had 5.9 and 6.5 FD points. In every other game he had 18 or more. This is a week I think we should stay away. I don’t think Landry Jones is a good NFL quarterback so I don’t want to pay $9,000 for a receiver who will rely on Jones for production. I can see Brown being involved, and not having near as bad a game as he has the other two times I mentioned to stay away, but that’s not enough to pay off his salary. I could see something like 5-80-0. Even if he posted that line with a touchdown, it’s still not ideal for that price.
It’s hard to ever recommend against Mike Evans ($8,000), but if I ever was going to, it may be this week. I have a feeling Evans is going to have a few mediocre weeks, letting his price drop making him an exceptional play again. Now, I’m not necessarily telling you to “stay away”. I know that’s odd because he’s in this section. I’m just telling you to be cautious. He could have a huge game, but what I mentioned about J. Rodgers and Winston above, could limit his ceiling. He’ll get plenty of targets, but if he ends up with something similar to what I mentioned with Brown above, we’ll be ahead of the field.
Well, that’s it for this week. Be sure to follow me on twitter if you want to get any updates from me on which way I’m leaning on some of these plays once Sunday gets here. Follow @mrclutchdfs
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