5 NFL FanDuel Value Plays to Target in Week 7
Studs with sizable salaries are frequently an integral part of winning money in daily fantasy football at FanDuel. However, to fit them under the salary cap, it's imperative to locate under-salaried players who overdeliver.
A good place to start when attempting to unearth undervalued players is our projections tool. The tool offers a value option for sorting, showcasing who offers the most bang for your buck. In addition to matchups impacting projections, injuries do, as well. On that note, players replacing injured starters are often among the top values. So, staying abreast of injury news and inactives until the start of games is a must with that in mind.
With the tone set for this piece, let's move on. The following quintet of players is among my favorite cap-friendly options in Week 7.
Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals ($7,200)
Things have been changing lately for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Namely, they're taking the reins off Joe Burrow. According to Sharp Football Stats, over the last three weeks, when the offensive scoring margin ranges from trailing by seven points to leading by seven points, Cinci is passing at the fifth-highest rate (64 percent).
Further, Burrow is rewarding the club for the play-calling shift. Over the last three weeks, he's tossed seven touchdowns, three interceptions, and averaged 300 passing yards per game. Unfortunately, there is a pace concern for Burrow. According to Football Outsiders, the Baltimore Ravens are playing at the 24th-fastest situation neutral pace, and the Bengals bring up the rear.
Nevertheless, Baltimore's pass defense is a mid-pack group with highs and lows, evidenced by putting the clamps on Justin Herbert last week after getting lit up by Carson Wentz the week before. As a result, there's volatility attached to Burrow, rendering him a GPP option instead of a cash game lock.
Mike Davis, RB, Atlanta Falcons ($6,300)
The Atlanta Falcons are coming off of their bye. Unfortunately for Mike Davis, I believe that increases the risk of Atlanta increasing Cordarrelle Patterson's usage at Davis's expense. Patterson's valuable versatility means he could see an uptick used at receiver in addition to carving out more carries. Further, the Falcons could continue to deploy the backfield duo as they have.
The uncertainty surrounding how they'll divvy up touches in the wake of their bye creates a risk for Davis. However, this is a get-right spot against the Miami Dolphins if Davis maintains his to-date usage in 2021.
According to our snap counts, Davis has played 61.6 percent of the snaps in his last three games, and he played 64.1 percent of the snaps in the pre-bye contest. In addition, according to Pro Football Focus, Davis has run 126 routes compared to 75 for Patterson.
Davis has carried the ball 12 or more times in four of five games and hauled in multiple receptions in every game.
As for the matchup, it's a plus. We rank the Dolphins as the 10th-worst run defense in our power rankings. Further, according to Pro Football Reference, Miami's allowed the seventh-most rushing yards (677), ninth-most receiving yards (274), and 9 touchdowns to running backs in 2021.
Finally, the Falcons should play in a neutral to favorable game script, as our heat map lists them as 2.5-point favorites with an implied total of 25.0 points that's the eighth-highest on the main slate.
Devontae Booker, RB, New York Giants ($5,800)
The New York Giants are banged up on offense. To that end, Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, and Kadarius Toney weren't spotted at practice on Wednesday. Thus, I'm operating under the assumption they'll be out this week. As a result, Devontae Booker projects to serve as an every-down back again this week.
Filling in for Barkley last week, Booker dominated the backfield in carries, routes, and receptions. Even in a blowout loss, Booker carried the rock 12 times for 41 yards and hauled in 4 receptions for 28 yards. Thankfully for Booker's outlook this week, Big Blue is only a three-point underdog against the visiting Carolina Panthers.
Therefore, Booker should be treated to a better game script this week, potentially paving the way for around 20 touches against Carolina's lackluster run defense. The Panthers are the eighth-worst run defense in our power rankings. Finally, our projections love Booker, awarding him the highest value score -- a measure of points per thousand dollars of salary.
Mecole Hardman, WR, Kansas City Chiefs ($5,400)
Mecole Hardman is back in this space again this week. The Kansas City Chiefs have the third-highest implied total (31.50 points) on the main slate, and the game's spread of 5.5 points favoring Kansas City isn't outlandish. Further, Kansas City's horrendous defense should force the Chiefs to keep their foot on the accelerator.
Thus, I prioritize exposure to the Chiefs this week. Hardman's a cheap piece of the action against a leaky Tennessee Titans' pass defense that just lost rookie cornerback Caleb Farley to injury in Week 6. The Titans rank as the 10th-worst pass defense in our power rankings. Even more promisingly for Hardman, they're ceding the most FanDuel points per game to receivers, per Pro Football Reference.
Hardman's produced his two highest receiving yardage totals the last two weeks. In that stretch, he's converted 17 targets into 13 receptions, 138 receiving yards, one 6-yard rush, and a fumble. Hardman's stellar play lately should keep him in the mix for usage in a high-octane, Patrick Mahomes-led offense. So, sign me up for using him in FanDuel contests in a projected shootout at a low salary.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Los Angeles Rams ($5,400)
DeSean Jackson wraps up this week's value plays as a GPP choice.
The Los Angeles Rams have the highest implied total (33.0 points) in Week 7 against one of the worst pass defenses in the league. The Detroit Lions rank as the third-worst pass defense in our power rankings. Undoubtedly, gamers will and should love Cooper Kupp this week. Further, I expect Robert Woods to be semi-popular after hauling in a dozen passes for 150 yards in Week 5 and reaching paydirt last week.
However, I love D-Jax as a pivot. Yes, he is risky. According to Pro Football Focus, Jackson has run only 60 routes. Thankfully, he's a home-run hitter in a matchup tailor-made for his skill set and usage. Among receivers and tight ends targeted at least 10 times, Jackson's average depth of target of 22.1 yards is the deepest in 2021, per Sports Info Solutions. And, according to Sharp Football Stats, the Lions have allowed the highest average explosive pass rate (15 percent).
D-Jax's floor is literally zero points if Matthew Stafford misses on his limited deep balls. Still, the matchup is drool-inducing, so I'll be overweight in GPP exposure to the veteran speedster this week.
Joshua Shepardson is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Joshua Shepardson also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username bchad50. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.