DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Primer: Week 7
In this DFS preview, I'll focus on the Sunday main slate and group players into two categories based on their DraftKings salaries: players to build around and value plays.
Players to build around are those with high salaries but even higher production ceilings, making them worth prioritizing in your lineup. Value plays are guys with lower salaries and typically come with some risk, but adding them to your lineup will help you afford the more expensive players on the slate.
Players to Build Around
QB Russell Wilson, Seahawks ($8,000) vs. ARZ
The Arizona Cardinals are giving up just 17.4 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, but it's easy to dismiss that number when looking at their opponents (listed below). Wilson has reached at least 24.9 fantasy points in every game, including three games over 30 points. Given the Seattle Seahawks' defensive issues -- they've allowed at least 23 points in every game -- this is likely to be a high-scoring game, allowing Wilson to put up another strong fantasy performance.
QB Kyler Murray, Cardinals ($7,100) vs. SEA
The Seahawks defense has only held one quarterback under 25 fantasy points this season (Kirk Cousins). Kyler Murray's fantasy floor has been 24 points. That combo makes Murray an ideal cash game play and also gives him an elite ceiling in this potential shootout. Stacking Murray with other offensive weapons in this game could pay off.
QB Deshaun Watson, Texans ($6,800) vs. GB
This is a tough matchup for the Houston Texans, but there's no reason to avoid their fantasy weapons against a weak Green Bay Packers defense. According to Sports Info Solutions, Green Bay ranks dead last in pressure rate at just 26.8 percent. When kept clean this year, Watson is completing 72.7 percent of his passes for 9.7 yards per attempt, which should set him up for a big week in this potential shootout.
RB Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys ($7,800) vs. WSH
Given his well-publicized issues with fumbles and the Dallas Cowboys offensive issues in their first game without Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott might be considered a contrarian play this week. However, despite some struggles on the field, he remains an elite fantasy weapon. Among healthy running backs, Elliott is the fourth-highest scoring player on this slate and has topped 20 points in four of six games. He's also likely to benefit from the game script in this matchup with the Washington Football Team. Dallas runs the ball 57 percent of the time when leading, the fourth-highest rate in the league.
RB Kareem Hunt, Browns ($6,800) vs. CIN
When playing with the lead, the Cleveland Browns run the ball 60 percent of the time, the third-highest rate in the league. In their first meeting, the Browns ran 48 plays with the lead against the Cincinnati Bengals, and it helped generate 29.3 fantasy points for Nick Chubb -- who is now on the IR -- and 24.1 points for Kareem Hunt, who has taken over as the lead back in Chubb's absence. With the possibility of a similar game script, Hunt has an attainable ceiling north of 20 points again.
WR DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals ($8,200) vs. SEA
Anytime you're rostering Kyler Murray, you need to consider pairing him with DeAndre Hopkins, who has a 31.7 percent target share. His ceiling is particularly high against Seattle's struggling secondary, which has allowed eight different receivers to top 20 fantasy points through just five games.
WR Will Fuller, Texans ($6,800) vs. GB
After a bizarre game against the Baltimore Ravens in which he didn't see a single target, Will Fuller has reestablished himself as the leader of the Texans receiving corps with a 23.8 percent target share over the last three games. During that span, 32 percent of his targets have been 15 or more yards downfield. Houston will likely need to air it out to keep pace with the Packers offense, and that could lead to a big game for Fuller. According to Sports Info Solutions, Green Bay ranks 24th in the NFL allowing a completion rate of 51.7 percent on throws 15 yards downfield.
WR Kenny Golladay, Lions ($6,700) vs. ATL
Since returning from injury, Kenny Golladay has been remarkably consistent, generating fantasy point outputs of 16.2, 17.5, and 17.7. That level of production should be easily achievable against an Atlanta Falcons defense that has given up 17 or more fantasy points to eight different receivers through six games, including four games over 20 points. Only the Green Bay Packers, who were without Davante Adams, have failed to get a receiver over 17 points against Atlanta.
QB Kyle Allen, Football Team ($5,200) vs. DAL
It looks like the high-salaried quarterbacks are the way to go this week, but if you're taking a contrarian approach to building a lineup, you could gamble on Kyle Allen. So far, it's proven to be a profitable strategy to target quarterbacks going up against the Cowboys defense. Facing a similarly weak New York Giants last week, Allen threw the ball 42 times and posted 18 fantasy points, proving he's capable of putting up acceptable numbers in the right matchup. It's also worth pointing out Allen reached at least 17 fantasy points in 7 of 13 starts for the Carolina Panthers over the previous two years, so despite on-field struggles, he has a relatively productive track record in fantasy.
RB Zack Moss, Bills ($4,300) vs. NYJ
In three games this year, Zack Moss is averaging just 5.5 points, so he's clearly nothing more than a tournament dart throw. However, in a potential blowout against the New York Jets, inserting Moss' cheap salary into your lineup could pay off. Moss is more of a downhill, between-the-tackles type runner than Devin Singletary, so it makes sense that he's seen 68 percent of his carries when the Buffalo Bills hold a lead. During the Bills season-opening win over the Jets, Moss was on the field for 45 percent of their offensive snaps and reached 11.7 fantasy points, so there's already precedent for him having success in this scenario.
RB Frank Gore, Jets ($4,300) vs. BUF
It's hard to justify rostering any Jets players right now, but it's worth at least mentioning Frank Gore based on a potentially advantageous matchup against the Bills. While the Bills defense has been strong overall, they're giving up 5.2 yards per rush attempt when the offense is in 11 personnel (one running back, one tight end), which ranks 26th in the league, according to Sports Info Solutions. 60.5 percent of the Jets rush attempts come in 11 personnel, which potentially creates a favorable matchup for Gore. In their first meeting, the Bills built an early 21-0 lead, so the Jets abandoned the run. That outcome could repeat itself, but on the chance New York manages to hang around, throwing a dart at Gore could pay off.
WR Christian Kirk, Cardinals ($4,900) vs. SEA
10 different receivers have reached 15 fantasy points against Seattle through five games, so you can confidently roster both Hopkins and Christian Kirk in this matchup if you're interested in a Cardinals stack. According to Sports Info Solutions, Seattle is allowing a completion rate of 61.6 percent on throws 10 or more yards downfield, the third-worst rate in the league. 60 percent of Kirk's targets have come at that distance, potentially elevating his ceiling in this matchup.
TE Hunter Henry, Jaguars ($4,500) vs. JAC
The Jacksonville Jaguars are giving up 15.7 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, the eighth-worst rate in the league. But that probably doesn't do justice to how poor their defense has been. According to Sports Info Solutions, Jacksonville is allowing a league-worst 12.2 yards per target to tight ends. Hunter Henry hasn't had a breakout game yet, which has kept his salary low, but he's seen at least seven targets and reached double-digit fantasy points in four of five games.