FanDuel Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 7
Welcome to our weekly FanDuel NFL primer, where we give you an overview of the Sunday main slate to help you get started on your research.
As always, we recommend checking out all of numberFire's daily fantasy tools at your disposal. In particular, our weekly projections can help you nail down who might be the slate's top scorers and best values, while the heat map is a great way to get a general overview of the slate's implied totals and every team's strengths and weaknesses.
Now, let's run through some of this week's top plays of the slate.
This is the right spot to get on track against the Browns, as well. While this game rates as the week's third worst in pace, per our Brandon Gdula, the Ravens are 6.5-point home favorites with a top-five implied team total (26.00). Per numberFire's metrics, Cleveland ranks 28th in adjusted pass defense and 31st in adjusted rush defense.
Despite struggling as a passer of late, Jackson could get wide receiver Rashod Bateman back this week, and he's still doing his usual thing with his legs, averaging 9.3 carries for 75.2 rushing yards per game. Jackson is projected for the most FanDuel points at the position, per numberFire's model.
Right after Jackson, Patrick Mahomes ($8,500) is the next guy who naturally stands out, but he has a tough road matchup against San Francisco, giving him a more difficult path to a spike week. That being said, the 49ers' defense is banged up, and this is Mahomes we're talking about, so he's very much in the tournament conversation -- particularly if it looks like he'll have a low roster percentage.
Justin Herbert ($8,100): Herbert is coming off an unproductive performance against the Broncos, inexplicably failing to throw for a single touchdown on 57 pass attempts. While that doesn't inspire confidence, he should bounce back in what should be the most fantasy-friendly game of the week.
On paper, this matchup has everything going for it. The Seahawks and Chargers are combining for the slate's highest total (51.5), and this contest rates first in pace and second in pass rate, per Gdula. Both teams are top-12 in adjusted offense while simultaneously being bottom-12 in adjusted defense.
But Herbert should especially be able to feast against Seattle's 31st-ranked pass defense that's given up the 10th-most FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks.
Although efficiency is more important when it comes to passing, it can't hurt that Herbert is averaging the most pass attempts per game among starters (42.8), and he should be able to do far more with that volume this weekend. He's pegged for the second-most FanDuel points among quarterbacks.
Geno Smith ($6,800): Speaking of passing efficiency, despite an underwhelming Week 6 result, Smith is still averaging the fifth-most Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back and is second in Passing Success Rate.
And last week was close to being so much more for Geno, too. Seattle's scoring plays ended in field goals of 39, 27, 34, and 32 yards, and their lone offensive touchdown went to running back Kenneth Walker III. The Cardinals didn't hold up their end of the bargain, either, scoring just nine points off a field goal and a defensive touchdown.
While the Chargers' offense has had its share of missteps, they've taken advantage of plus matchups against bottom-third defenses, scoring 24, 34, and 30 points against the Raiders, Texans, and Browns, respectively.
Another positive for Smith is that we've begun to see him run the ball more, logging just under 50 rushing yards in two of the last three games. With just the 16th-highest salary at quarterback, he's a clear value in such an inviting spot.
Josh Jacobs ($8,600): There were question marks surrounding Jacobs' role entering the season, but the Raiders have now made him the focal point over the last two games. He's averaged 184.0 scrimmage yards, 1.5 touchdowns, 24.5 carries, 5.5 targets, and an 85.4% snap rate during this two-week stretch.
Given that Las Vegas earned their first win and narrowly lost to the Chiefs in those games, it stands to reason that they'll continue to lean on Jacobs out of the bye. They'll have even more incentive to do so against the Texans, a team that ranks 29th in adjusted rush defense. Houston has also allowed the most FanDuel points per game to opposing backfields.
Add in that the Raiders are 7.0-point home favorites, and it all points to a great week to roster Jacobs.
Joe Mixon ($7,400): Among running backs with salaries below $8,000, Mixon projects as the best value on Sunday.
While he's failed to score over 16 FanDuel points in any game yet, Mixon's workload remains among the league's best, averaging 17.3 rushes and 5.3 targets per game with a 74.3% snap rate. In terms of adjusted opportunities (carries plus 2x targets), he's one of just six players averaging 28 or more per game, yet he has the 13th-highest salary on the board.
Although Mixon only has one rushing touchdown, he also has one of the NFL's better red zone roles, logging 70.8% of the Bengals' carries inside the 20.
And then there's the matchup. Cincinnati is a 6.5-point home favorite over Atlanta, a team that's 25th in adjusted rush defense.
Kenneth Walker III ($7,300): While Austin Ekeler ($9,500) has multi-touchdown upside in what could be the week's best game environment, his slate-high salary will make him a tougher fit in a lot of lineups. But we can also hop over to the Seahawks' side to gain access to a viable running back.
Walker didn't disappoint in his first game as Seattle's lead back (18 FanDuel points), predictably earning season-highs in rushes (21) and snap rate (70.8%). While DeeJay Dallas should continue to remain involved as a pass-catching back, Walker was the only back to see any targets (3), and the two players ran roughly the same number of routes (36.1% to 33.3% route rate).
The Chargers are vulnerable to the run, as well, sitting 24th in adjusted rush defense while allowing the 4th-most FanDuel points per game to running backs.
CeeDee Lamb ($7,700): Quarterback Dak Prescott is expected to be back this week, and while it remains to be seen how targets will shake out compared to backup Cooper Rush, this can only be a net positive for Lamb. The wide receiver has enjoyed a voluminous role in this Dallas offense this year, soaking up a 33.3% target share and 40.6% air yards share.
In addition to Prescott coming back, it's the matchup that really puts Lamb over the top. He gets to go up against a Lions defense that's 32nd in adjusted pass defense, and the Cowboys have a slate-best 27.75 implied total as 6.5-point home favorites.
Tee Higgins ($7,100): This feels like a good time to "buy low" on Higgins, as his numbers have been affected by various injuries this season. But if we look at the four games where he's played over 50% of the snaps, he's logged a 26.1% target share and 37.2% air yards share that's pretty much identical to Ja'Marr Chase ($8,500) and his usage despite the massive gap in salary.
While Chase got all the glory in Week 6, Higgins only saw one fewer target (9) than Chase, and it was the first time since Week 2 that he played over 80% of the snaps.
Now practicing in full, this is the healthiest Higgins has been in weeks, and he now gets the opportunity to go against an Atlanta team that's 26th in adjusted pass defense and has coughed up the sixth-most FanDuel points per game to wide receivers.
D.K. Metcalf ($6,900): Metcalf and Tyler Lockett ($6,800) should both excel in this prime spot against the Chargers, but the latter has missed practice this week, so his status could be up in the air. Whether or not Lockett sits, Metcalf is a standout option with a 27.2% target share and 37.4% air yards share.
However, while the two wideouts have mostly split their usage and production down the middle, Metcalf has a significant advantage inside the 20. He leads the team with a 42.9% red zone target share and 64.3% end zone target share, and no other player on the team comes close.
Romeo Doubs ($5,800): Things tend to get dicey once we dip below $6,000 at wideout, but we might be able to talk ourselves into Doubs despite his lackluster production the last couple of weeks.
Since Doubs saw a boost in snaps, he's now logged a 92.0% snap rate, 93.2% route rate, 20.1% target share, and 25.9% air yards share over the last four games. He's seen eight or more targets three times over that span, and the continued absence of Randall Cobb should only further help him remain involved.
This low-total game against Washington (41.5) doesn't scream upside, but this theoretically sets up as a spot where the Packers will want to throw. The Commanders rank 23rd in adjusted pass defense compared to 2nd against the run. Washington has also given up the fourth-most FanDuel points per game to wide receivers.
Mark Andrews ($8,500): Andrews continues to see absurd volume at a position where we're often grasping at straws to talk ourselves into players. He's enjoyed a 33.1% target share and 38.1% air yards share that most wideouts can only dream of, and he's also logging a 41.4% red zone target share. The result has been 18-plus FanDuel points in four of six games.
Greg Dulcich ($4,000): Dulcich wasted no time bursting onto the scene on Monday, catching a 39-yard touchdown pass in his first NFL game. While he would ultimately go on to see only three targets, his 70.9% snap rate and 81.3% route rate are very encouraging signs for his role moving forward.
Whether it's a hobbled Russell Wilson or backup Brett Rypien under center, the floor is probably close to zero for Dulcich in this lethargic Broncos offense against the Jets. But at minimum salary, the rookie tight end opens up a world of possibilities for the rest of your lineup.
Green Bay D/ST ($4,500): The Packers' defense is projected for the second-most points at the position in an advantageous spot against Taylor Heinicke. As a starter in 2021, Heinicke recorded the NFL's seventh-most sacks and third-most interceptions.
Green Bay has been one of the better teams at generating pressure, and despite being on the road, they're 4.5-point favorites. The only question is whether the offense can get back on track to help put the defense in a game script that encourages pass attempts from Washington.
Las Vegas D/ST ($4,000): The Raiders are favored by a touchdown at home, and it wouldn't be surprising to see them get out to an early lead over the Texans. That could mean an increase in passes for Davis Mills, who's averaged the third-worst Passing NEP per drop back ahead of just Baker Mayfield and Justin Fields. In five games, Mills has only thrown 5 touchdowns while tossing 4 picks and getting sacked 12 times.