DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 7
The daily fantasy football games offered on FanDuel and DraftKings have many similarities, but one distinct difference is that DraftKings uses full PPR scoring. Much like you would in season-long leagues, that means we must evaluate players slightly differently on each site. In this space, we'll help you on the DraftKings side of the equation.
Be sure to pay attention to inactives prior to Sunday's games. Similar to late scratches in the NBA, injuries can have a huge impact on playing time, and great values can open up for you at the last minute. At a position like running back, a low-priced backup can suddenly find his way into 15-20 carries in a feature role and crush his value.
Also, be sure to use numberFire's premium tools at your disposal! In particular, the heat map is a great way to get a general overview of the slate's implied team totals, and every team's strengths and weaknesses.
Now, let's check out the top plays on this week's DraftKings main slate.
Marcus Mariota ($6,900):
Marcus Mariota is
practicing in full this week, a great sign that he's getting over his hamstring injury and could be back to using his legs against the Cleveland Browns. The Browns defense ranks 31st in Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play, plus they allow the 4th-most DraftKings points per game to quarterbacks. Add in the fact that the Cleveland defense also ranks 8th against the run by our schedule-adjusted metrics, and we have a nice pass funnel situation on our hands. Even if Mariota isn't quite ready to do his running thing come Sunday, it's hard to see him failing in this pristine matchup.
Tyrod Taylor ($5,100): There's a good chance that Tyrod Taylor is the chalk value quarterback on the slate, and rightfully so against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that's allowing the 2nd-most DraftKings points per game to quarterbacks. A lack of weapons in the Buffalo Bills offense limits his ceiling, particularly with Charles Clay out, and possibly Jordan Matthews as well. Still, he's playing at home, and his rushing ability gives him a solid floor, making him an ideal cash game play in a week where it might be hard to pay up at quarterback.
Brett Hundley ($5,100): Priced identically as Taylor -- although Brett Hundley will be making his first NFL start -- it will be hard to choose between the two if you're looking to go cheap. Last week, Hundley didn't perform well after Aaron Rodgers went down, but getting thrust into duty on the road against a tough Minnesota Vikings defense is no easy task. This time around, he'll enjoy the confines of home after a full week of first team reps, although the New Orleans Saints aren't looking like the pushovers on defense we've seen in years past. Even so, there's a lot to like about Hundley, as he showed plenty of rushing ability at UCLA, is an elite athlete, and inherits a plethora of weapons on this Green Bay Packers offense. Adding it all together, Hundley arguably has a higher ceiling than Taylor, but when considering matchup and experience, Taylor is the safer play.
Le'Veon Bell ($9,100): Le'Veon Bell is averaging 27.3 touches per game, and his 45.17% market share of total opportunities is tops in the league. The matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals isn't ideal, and he'll cost you a good chunk of change, but the guaranteed volume doesn't get any better than this.
LeSean McCoy ($7,400): LeSean McCoy is still looking for his first touchdown this year, but the good news is that's dropped his price, making this the ideal time to buy low. McCoy is getting 22.8 touches per game and is heavily involved in the pass game, averaging 6.4 targets, a nice boost to his floor. And with the injuries to the Bills' pass catchers, in their last game against the Bengals, McCoy led the team with 9 targets, effectively making him both their top rusher and top pass target. The touchdowns will come, and it could very well start this week against a Buccaneers defense that just got gashed by Adrian Peterson. In the same price range you can also consider Mark Ingram ($6,700), whose salary is on the rise, but his touches have increased in every game this season.
Derrick Henry ($5,500): DeMarco Murray hasn't practiced this week due to his recurring hamstring issues, and now there's a very real chance he sits out against the Browns. If Murray is out, that pushes Derrick Henry into a feature role, making him a near lock for 20-plus touches on the cheap. As noted earlier, the Browns rush defense isn't the best matchup, but with the Titans likely leading for most of this one, the game script should heavily favor Henry. With a bye week right around the corner in Week 8, it makes a lot of sense for the Titans to rest Murray, so keep an eye on Sunday's inactives.
Jarvis Landry ($6,800): Despite seeing a lot of targets, Jarvis Landry is usually an unexciting, low-ceiling player because of a lowly 5.9 yard average depth of target (aDOT) and a lack of touchdowns. However, with DeVante Parker out last week, Landry's already high target share jumped to over 42% (14 targets), and he scored a touchdown for the second straight week, now surprisingly leading the Miami Dolphins in red zone targets. Parker is reportedly "feeling much better", but hasn't practiced all week, so he's trending towards being out against the New York Jets. While the minuscule aDOT still makes Landry an unlikely candidate to crack 100 yards, if Parker is once again sidelined, the boost in volume is enough to consider Landry in cash games.
Adam Thielen ($6,700): Similar to Landry's situation, Stefon Diggs doesn't sound like he will play, which would leave Adam Thielen to reap the benefits. Thielen has been incredibly consistent this season, averaging 5 or more receptions in every game, and seeing at least 8 targets in five of six. But with Diggs out last week, his targets jumped to 13, on his way to 9 catches and 97 yards. Expect double-digit targets once again, and although touchdowns have eluded Thielen so far, he's seeing usage in the red zone, and it's only a matter of time until he hits pay dirt.
Demaryius Thomas ($5,800): With Emmanuel Sanders out, that should mean a boost in targets for Demaryius Thomas. (Notice a trend here?) With Sanders going down last week, Thomas had his biggest game of the year, catching 10-of-14 targets for 133 yards. Some will be scared off by a potential shadow situation with Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward, but there's reason to think it's not as as unfavorable as advertised.
Jimmy Graham ($4,900): We love our tight ends against the Browns, but Delanie Walker is priced up at $5,800, so you might have a hard time fitting him in. But fear not, because we also have Jimmy Graham against the New York Giants, who have allowed the most DraftKings points per game to tight ends. Graham is coming off a bye week and has seen at least 6 targets in four of five games, so he could be in line for a ceiling performance. You can also look on the other sideline at Evan Engram ($4,400), who will see heavy volume the rest of the year due to a decimated Giants receiving corp.
George Kittle ($3,600): It might be hard to find punt options you feel confident in at other positions, so starting two tight ends is a potential strategy this week. George Kittle's usage is on the rise, as he's seen 17 targets across the past two games, and played 92% of the snaps last week. Oh, and if you like your narratives, Kittle was roommates at Iowa with new starting quarterback C.J. Beathard.
Minnesota D/ST ($3,300): The Baltimore Ravens have been a trainwreck on offense this year, so it's not surprising they have a poor 17.25 implied team total on the road in Minnesota. Joe Flacco is averaging just 167.2 yards per game, and has just 4 touchdowns to 8 interceptions. If the Vikings can get a lead and force Flacco to throw, they could be in for a field day.
Los Angeles Chargers D/ST ($2,400): Defense is a high variance and difficult position to predict in DFS, so it's incredibly valuable when you can find one you feel comfortable paying down for. The Chargers are at home and face a Denver Broncos team with a hobbled quarterback who's missing one of the team's top weapons in Emmanuel Sanders. They shouldn't have any problem getting pressure, and won't need to do much to hit value at this price tag.
Kenyatta Storin is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Kenyatta Storin also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username yatters. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.