DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 7
Not only does numberFire offer multiple DFS articles (like this one) each and every week, we've also got the tools you need to build lineups and sort through projections that are specific to the scoring system used by DraftKings. And there is perhaps no better way to quickly see the big picture of how the slate is shaping up than by viewing the Matchup Heat Map. In addition to all the written content and awesome tools, numberFire also has podcasts that will preview all the upcoming action.
The Week 7 main slate is only 10 games and features a number of very good offenses on the road against stout defenses. While it's perfectly fine to test Defense Doesn't Matter theories in tournaments -- especially since DraftKings discounts players in more difficult matchups -- we've got plenty of options to steer away from those tricky spots in cash games.
Cam Newton ($5,900): Despite playing on the road with an implied total that's near the bottom of this 10-game main slate, it's not hard to envision rolling Cam Newton out in cash this week. That’s despite the opposing Philadelphia Eagles having only allowed two quarterbacks to throw multiple touchdowns against them in six games. Thankfully, Newton has accomplished that in four consecutive games. And of course Newton's floor is insulated by rushing yards. Newton is averaging nearly 42 rushing yards per game and has been credited with eight or more rushing attempts in five of his six starts. Additionally, Newton is throwing the ball at a nearly 66 percent completion rate, a full seven points above his career average. Among all starters on this slate, Newton is third in DraftKings points per game yet is seventh in salary. He struggled passing the ball in this matchup last year, yet scored twice and added 71 rushing yards.
Baker Mayfield ($5,800): Even though Baker Mayfield can put a ball between three defenders like on this throw, he's taken too many sacks -- 10 over the last two weeks -- while his receivers have put too many balls on the ground. Among quarterbacks with at least 100 drop backs, Mayfield has seen nearly 10 percent of his accurate throws get dropped, as charted by ProFootballFocus. The biggest culprit has been Antonio Callaway. ProFootballFocus has charged Callaway with four drops since Week 3, including this missed touchdown opportunity last week. Thankfully, Tampa Bay has been a blow-up spot for literally every quarterback they've faced. Our schedule-adjusted metrics have Tampa as the second-worst pass defense in the league as they give up more than 360 passing yards per game. In only five games they've allowed 16 passing touchdowns while coming down with only one interception.
C.J. Beathard ($4,800): The San Francisco 49ers are 10-point home underdogs while the visiting Los Angeles Rams carry an implied total of over 30 points. That means a lot of pass attempts as well as opportunities to scramble for C.J. Beathard, who is posting impressive passer efficiency numbers over the three games. The game charting done by PlayerProfiler places Beathard ninth in true completion percentage, which factors out drops and throwaway passes. He's also third in the site's accuracy rating while the 49ers receivers have been eighth in target separation when getting looks from Beathard. Since losing Aqib Talib, the Rams pass defense is 20th in success rate and 25th in allowing explosive pass plays since Week 4, according to Sharp Football Stats. All told, Beathard looks severally underpriced and someone to target heavily in tournament lineups. The ceiling is massive with a healthy Marquise Goodwin coming off a big game. Turnovers (7 in 3 games) are an issue, however, and endanger Beathard's floor in cash games.
Todd Gurley ($9,800): At this point it's hard to think of entering any lineup without Todd Gurley in it. Through six games his lowest score has been whopping 25.6 DraftKings points. And with so much value at wide receiver, it's really easy to afford Gurley. More importantly, the top of the running back pricing structure is void of other strong options. Our projections have Gurley scoring 30 points while Ezekiel Elliott (24.3 points) is the only other running back projected over 20 points. Against other notable running backs faced this season, the 49ers were able to limit both David Johnson and Kareem Hunt in terms of yardage, yet each player scored a pair of touchdowns. Melvin Gordon totaled 159 yards of offense and scored while Austin Ekeler added another 56 yards. Gurley – who doesn’t have any such competition for backfield touches -- takes up nearly 20 percent of the salary cap yet is absolutely worth it. Gurley has our highest raw points projection and is the top points-per-dollar play.
Tarik Cohen ($5,100): Nothing about Tarik Cohen suggests that he's a typical cash game play this week against the New England Patriots. Yet Cohen is absolutely a cash game-viable play this week, because of that matchup. That's especially true given the lack of compelling options for the RB2 and Flex spots in the player pool. Over the last two games, Cohen has 17 targets, 14 receptions and 211 receiving yards. Meanwhile, the Patriots have seen opposing teams target their pass catching running backs -- notably Corey Grant (7 targets) and Nyheim Hines (9 targets) -- prior to last week's 105 receiving yards -- including this big touchdown -- to Kareem Hunt. As a rusher, Cohen has only seen more than five carries in a game once all year, but those are almost a bonus given the wide receiver-level targets over the last two weeks and pass-heavy nature in which the Bears will likely need to play to compete with the Patriots.
Marlon Mack ($4,400): It's easy to see why the projections have Marlon Mack as a top-10 value at running back this week. After missing multiple weeks with a hamstring injury, Mack returned to carry the ball a dozen times for 89 yards in Week 6 against the New York Jets. In a negative game script Nyheim Hines would a serious threat to Mack's usage. However, the Indianapolis Colts are big home favorites and have the fifth-highest implied total on the main slate. While the Buffalo Bills have yet to allow an individual running back to reach 80 rushing yards against them, eight different backs have recorded nine or more carries against them in only six games. Mack is too cheap given the number of carries he should see, assuming the Colts lead for the majority of the game.
Robert Woods ($7,000): With Cooper Kupp (knee) ruled out for what could be multiple weeks, Robert Woods is projected to move into the slot. Kupp's absence means more opportunity means Josh Reynolds, an intriguing fourth rounder from last year's draft. However, Reynolds may end up being used as something of a pawn to occupy the resurgent Richard Sherman. It's also possible the team looks to tight end Gerald Everett, a second rounder that was also selected last year. If Woods does take over in the slot he'll likely draw K'Waun Williams, who has seen very mixed results through six games. While the Rams are heavily favored, their leaky defense can keep the 49ers in the game and result in copious targets for Woods and Brandin Cooks. Both are excellent plays and are projected as top-six wide receivers this week. However, Woods as the slot receiver offers the safer – yet still very high -- cash game floor.
Jermaine Kearse ($4,100): One of the top wide receiver values this week is Jermaine Kearse. Steeping into the slot for Quincy Enunwa, Kearse caught nine of 10 targets for 94 yards last week against the Colts. The Jets will play their third consecutive game at home as they host a Minnesota Vikings pass defense that ranks among the bottom 10 pass defenses by our metrics. Rookie quarterback Sam Darnoldis barely top 20 in air yards per attempt on PlayerProfiler while also a mere 30th in deep ball completion percentage. Clearly, we should every reason to believe Darnold continues to play it safe with higher percentage throws into the shorter areas of the field which gives Kearse a great floor at this price.
Willie Snead ($4,000): Not only is Willie Snead playing at home in a revenge game against his former teams, the New Orleans Saints, but he's played more snaps than John Brown in each of the last two games. Snead has also been a very sneaky source of consistency with double-digit DraftKings points in five of his six games. Reaching that mark again looks like a solid bet as the Saints pass defense is the fourth-worst by our metrics. According to Sharp Football Stats, New Orleans is also dead last in success rate against the pass yet inside the top-five against the run. That fits the way Baltimore is playing at the moment, as Joe Flacco is second only to Andrew Luck in pass attempts.
George Kittle ($5,000): Over the last three weeks with college teammate CJ Beathard starting at quarterback for the 49ers, Kittle is second on the team in both targets and receiving yards while being tied for the lead in receptions. After the Rams were beaten by Jared Cook for 120 yards on nine receptions and 12 targets back in Week 1 they've seen three tight ends reach 45 or more yards against them in five games, but still none have found the end zone. Yet Kittle has hit 79 or more receiving yards four times in six weeks, and could be forgotten about in tournaments if he continues to carry the questionable tag due to a minor knee issue following a disappointing Week 6.
David Njoku ($4,200): Since Baker Mayfield made his first start in Week 4, David Njoku has led the Cleveland Browns in targets, receptions, and receiving yards. The Buccaneers pass defense struggles against everyone, including tight ends. Tampa has seen 36 of 45 passes completed to the position for 486 yards, second-most in the league. That's really bad given the Bucs have already had their bye week. Over the last four weeks the opposing team's leading tight end has averaged 8 targets, 6.5 receptions, and more than 90 yards per game. Njoku should be highly owned in all formats.
Indianapolis Colts ($3,300): It's not a great week for cheap defenses this week, so paying up for the Colts is fine in cash games. They'll be playing at home against the newly-signed Derek Anderson which means the price tag is reasonable as the fourth-highest option on the slate. The Colts began the season with 17 sacks in their first four games and were a terrific value up until Week 4 where their level of play decreased against better competition. The price point isn't ideal, but the value is there at flex and at wide receiver to take the safe option here at defense.
New York Jets ($2,100): The fun play at defense this week is the Jets for close to the minimum salary. Even though they are hosting the Vikings, they've proven to be a team that can be generous at times to the opposing defense. Minnesota has lost a fumble in five of six games and a shaky offensive line has allowed four sacks in three of the last four games. Minnesota has explosive weapons, but is middle of the pack in scoring offense. Our projections have the Jets as the top value at defense this week, despite a forecast that has them surrendering more than 375 yards of offense.