The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 7 FIRST LOOK
October 18, 2016 | Doug Shain
The Huddle – Opening Statement
Welcome to the FIRST LOOK at the GPP plays for NFL Week 7. If you want to know more about my article and what it’s all about, please click here.
You’re going to find that I will usually have a lot of players listed in my FIRST LOOK article but that will get scaled down for the WEEKEND UPDATE. It’s really hard to know who the public is going to flock to, who the experts are going to tout, and who will be a value this early in the week. Once I get a better read on things I’m able to tighten things up and get a better idea of who belongs in what category for the weekend.
Because of the large number of players on these lists, please understand when I don’t write a blurb about each and every one of them. If you want to know more about a player that I glossed over, or why they are placed into the list I have them in, please feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@bankster17). I respond to everyone who writes to me so you can feel confident that your question will get answered. Enjoy the read for now and make sure to come back this weekend to see who we should be locking into our GPP lineups.
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|Andy Dalton (CIN) vs CLE||Kirk Cousins (WSH) @ DET||Cody Kessler (CLE) @ CIN|
|Matthew Stafford (DET) vs WSH||Ryan Fitzpatrick (NYJ) vs BAL||Tyrod Taylor (BUF) @ MIA|
|Blake Bortles (JAX) vs OAK||Joe Flacco (BAL) @ NYJ||Sam Bradford (MIN) @ PHI|
|Derek Carr (OAK) @ JAX||Philip Rivers (SD) @ ATL||Colin Kaepernick (SF) vs TB|
|Drew Brees (NO) @ KC||Jameis Winston (TB) @ SF||Carson Palmer (ARI) vs SEA|
|Marcus Mariota (TEN) vs IND||Landry Jones (PIT) vs NE|
|Andrew Luck (IND) @ TEN|
|Matt Ryan (ATL) vs SD|
|Tom Brady (NE) @ PIT|
There is a lot to like at the QB position in Week 7, but the one play that stands out to me more than anyone is Marcus Mariota. He’s been on fire the last two weeks and has proven that he’s going to carve up crappy defenses. Not coincidentally, Mike Mularkey has finally taken off the reigns and allowed him to run a bit. I’ve been calling for this for a season and a half now and look how well it’s working. I expect that new offensive philosophy to continue in this dream matchup against the Colts. I know he’s going to be very highly owned, but I don’t want to get too cute; it’s burned me in the past and sometimes it’s best to just play the best matchups. When all is said and done, I can very much see Mariota as my top overall GPP QB play for Week 7. Other high end guys I like a lot are Bortles (bounce-back coming), Carr (same), and Matt Ryan (he’s been so good, and SD is trash defensively). I’m going into full fade mode with Brees off his monster Week 6. He’s just not the same guy outdoors, and I can see him having a very mediocre 250 yards with 2 TD and 2 pick kind of game. Not bad for cash, but that won’t win a GPP.
The Redskins look to have found their groove, and Kirk Cousins has been at the forefront of that (actually, Matt Jones running well has opened up the passing game a lot, but I want to make the case for Cousins, and this my article, so stop yelling, daddy!). While he’s yet to have a monster game, Cousins is on the verge, and a matchup against the worst pass defense in the league is a good place for it to happen. I like the play even more if Jordan Reed is cleared to start, but even if he isn’t I’m pretty much good to go on this one. The 49ers have been terrible against the run this year, but who the heck does TB have running the ball that’s worth anything? Jacquizz Rodgers? Um, pass (more below). I’ll take my chances that TB gets theirs in this game by going to their big guy, Mike Evans. If Evans has a big game, so too will Winston. I’m not totally sold on this line of thinking yet, but I’m warming up to it. Joe Flacco against the Jets’ poor pass D could be really interesting as well.
I have a feeling that Sam Bradford wants to show Philly that they made a mistake to give up on him after only one season. I don’t know if he’s going to have a monster game, but at his price a game of 250 yards and 2 TD is worth something. The potential for a bigger game is out there if Stefon Diggs plays, but even without him there is some real HuLo love lurking in this one. I also could see Chip Kelly fully unleashing Kaepernick in his first home start of the year against a below average TB pass defense. TB can stop the run, so why not go play action or zone read and let Kaepernick do his thing?
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|Matt Jones (WSH) @ DET||Gio Bernard (CIN) vs CLE||Jeremy Hill (CIN) vs CLE|
|Spencer Ware (KC) vs NO||Chris Ivory (JAX) vs OAK||Duke Johnson (CLE) @ CIN|
|Jamaal Charles (KC) vs NO||Devonta Freeman (ATL) vs SD||Melvin Gordon (SD) @ ATL|
|LeSean McCoy (BUF) @ MIA||Jacquizz Rodgers (TB) @ SF||Carlos Hyde (SF) vs TB|
|Jay Ajayi (MIA) vs BUF||Christine Michael (SEA) @ ARI||LeGarrette Blount (NE) @ PIT|
|Terrence West (BAL) @ NYJ||Bilal Powell (NYJ) vs BAL|
|DeMarco Murray (TEN) vs IND|
|Le'Veon Bell (PIT) vs NE|
|James White (NE) @ PIT|
|David Johnson (ARI) vs SEA|
David Johnson is a man among boys. He’s in play in any matchup…always. I can see a lot of people jumping on both of KC’s running backs with the plum matchup they both have against the Saints. If I’m choosing one it has to be Ware until Charles starts getting more carries. I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon. Matt Jones has been a great play in two of the last three weeks with 100 yards and a TD in both of those games. I don’t know if it’s an every week thing, but as long as he’s getting touches he’s a guy to consider at his very low price. A really sneaky stack that I’m considering for this week is Mariota/Murray. Usually I don’t stack QB/RB, but with the way DeMarco is catching passes it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he’s the leading receiver for TEN this week. James White has been a great play ever since Brady took back over at QB. He’s out-snapping Blount and getting much more of the production. I can’t see that stopping any time soon (at least not until Dion Lewis makes his return). Terrance West has been awesome since taking the job in BAL, and the Jets’ defense is a mess. His price is way below what it should be right now. He’s a top play for me this weekend. I’m going to lay off the hot hand of Jay Ajayi against Buffalo, and I’m very much in wait and see mode for a week with the Steelers, so Bell is a hard pass.
At some point the Jags are going to realize that Ivory is a much better player than T.J. Yeldon and those snaps are going to come his way. It’s already happening at the goal line, and, if that trend continues against OAK, then Ivory could be a steal at his current price tag. Gio Bernard seems to have taken over the lead RB role in CIN, and he’s been playing well. He’s facing CLE so you know that the opportunity for a big game will there. SD has a bad run defense and is playing on the East Coast where they struggle. Devonta Freeman continues to be productive and underappreciated. He’ll get a long look from me in Week 7.
The Bengals just gave up two receiving TD to James White, and it’s Duke Johnson who has that same role for the Browns. If Terrelle Pryor is out or even limited for CLE then look for the Duke to get a few more targets in a pretty friendly matchup. Melvin Gordon looked pretty good against Denver last Thursday night. ATL has been susceptible to the run and Gordon is a TD machine. I think the upside is limited, but the touches should be there for a reasonably productive game.
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|A.J. Green (CIN) vs CLE||Marvin Jones (DET) vs WSH||Anquan Boldin (DET) vs WSH|
|Golden Tate (DET) vs WSH||Jamison Crowder (WSH) @ DET||Allen Hurns (JAX) vs OAK|
|Allen Robinson (JAX) vs OAK||Jeremy Maclin (KC) vs NO||Willie Snead (NO) @ KC|
|Amari Cooper (OAK) @ JAX||Jarvis Landry (MIA) vs BUF||Justin Hunter (BUF) @ MIA|
|Brandin Cooks (NO) @ KC||Mike Wallace (BAL) @ NYJ||Rishard Matthews (TEN) vs IND|
|Brandon Marshall (NYJ) vs BAL||Adam Thielen (MIN) @ PHI||Dontrelle Inman (SD) @ ATL|
|Julio Jones (ATL) vs SD||Kendall Wright (TEN) vs IND||Chris Hogan (NE) @ PIT|
|T.Y. Hilton (IND) @ TEN||Tyrell Williams (SD) @ ATL||John Brown (ARI) @ SEA|
|Mike Evans (TB) @ SF||Mohamed Sanu (ATL) vs SD||Antonio Brown (PIT) vs NE|
|Julian Edelman (NE) @ PIT|
|Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) vs SEA|
Julio Jones is at home against a terrible SD pass defense? Where do I sign up? This is one of the best matchups of the season for an elite WR, and it’s going to be hard to pass up. With so many stud WRs not on this slate (OBJ, Hopkins, Jordy, Demaryius) and so many value WR not on this slate (Britt, Meredith, Cruz), you’re going to have to lock down a top play and that play should be Julio. Of course, there are other WRs with good matchups that you can take advantage of like A.J. Green, Allen Robinson, and Amari Cooper. I’m going to be avoiding Brandin Cooks (too inconsistent; NO on the road is not good; Marcus Peters) and Larry Fitzgerald (Sherman) and let them be the problem of my opponents. Golden Tate is an interesting case in that he played well last week and has a good matchup, but he’s been so bad this year up to this point and I don’t know if I want to compete with the rest of the field for ownership when I can probably get Jones and Boldin at a much lower ownership.
If Jordan Reed is out again this weekend it’ll be Vernon Davis and Jamison Crowder filling in that role. Last week both caught TD’s, and this week Crowder gets to face the worst pass defense in the league. He’s not really a safe pick, but he does have the right role (with Reed out) to make him a worthwhile play. If I’m going to be riding the Sam Bradford train, then I’m going to take Adam Theilen along with me. He’s developed a nice rapport with Bradford over the last few weeks and gets to be the default #1 WR if Stefon Diggs is once again out of the lineup. If you want to get the same matchup advantage that Julio Jones has but don’t want to pay the price, then look toward Mohamed Sanu. He’s been a favorite target of Matt Ryan and won’t cost you nearly as much as a top line WR. Mike Wallace is back in the good graces of Joe Flacco and draws a great matchup against a Jets team that’s given up the most long plays to WRs on the season. If Travis Benjamin is out this week (he didn’t practice Monday), then Tyrell Williams makes for a nice target. He is one of the most targeted WR in the league in the red zone and, at some point, he’s going to start converting those targets into TD.
Justin Hunter only has three targets in his last two games, but he’s scored in both of them. He was a good talent coming out of college and was one of those WR that was always just about to break out but then never did. Reshad Jones is done for the season for Miami meaning the deep ball is going to be there for the Bills. Their play action should work great with how well they are running the ball. Hunter is a big downfield receiver. Besides, who else does Buffalo have to throw the ball to anyway? It’s possible that Antonio Brown is under 5% owned this week with Big Ben injured. Everyone remembers how bad AB was with Vick last season, but they seem to forget that he had 6 catches for over 100 yards with Landry Jones in at QB. I mean, it’s Antonio Brown; isn’t he worth a play in one of your lineups? If Allen Robinson continues to disappoint, it might be time for Bortles to turn his attention to Allen Hurns. This is a great matchup for him, and he’s priced right to use as a lottery ticket type of play.
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|Coby Fleener (NO) @ KC||Kyle Rudolph (MIN) @ PHI||Delanie Walker (TEN) vs IND|
|Hunter Henry (SD) @ ATL||Jack Doyle (IND) @ TEN||Ladarius Green (PIT) vs NE|
|Rob Gronkowski (NE) @ PIT||Martellus Bennett (NE) @ PIT||Charles Clay (BUF) @ MIA|
|Jimmy Graham (SEA) @ ARI||Dennis Pitta (BAL) @ NYJ|
|Travis Kelce (KC) vs NO||Julius Thomas (JAX) vs OAK|
More than any other position, TE is a place where we can feel pretty confident that the bigger names will be the most widely owned players. Gronk is Gronking, and we don’t see 5% ownership on him again this season (barring injury). Jimmy Graham is back on track and facing a Cardinals team that’s historically pedestrian against TE. Coby will be a popular play after his big game last week, but I think Kelce will be the TE to play in that game. Hunter Henry owns that TE job in SD, and I don’t think he’s giving it back. He’s about to be an elite TE play. I love him as long as his price remains around where it’s currently at.
I think as the week goes on you’re going to hear a lot about Dennis Pitta and his plethora of targets without a touchdown (47 targets on the season). He’s kind of due and the Jets are not a very good pass defense. He’s well priced and one of the better non-elite options. Another player in the same category of decent non-elite options is Julius Thomas. He’s going up against a bad OAK secondary and should be ready to be a full part of this offense in Week 7. If Dwayne Allen is out this week then Jack Doyle could see a big role with all the injuries at wideout for IND.
Charles Clay isn’t getting much red zone love, but he’s a 5 target a game guy that isn’t scoring. With Reshad Jones hurt for the Dolphins, the middle of that field could be wide open for Clay. Let’s not forget the “guy playing his old team” narrative in this one as well. IND has been getting thrashed by the TE position (actually, any pass catcher), and Delanie Walker is one of the best. He burned a lot of teams in Week 6, but I find it hard to believe he’ll do the same in Week 7.
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|Minnesota Vikings @ PHI||Buffalo Bills @ MIA||Kansas City Chiefs vs NO|
|Arizona Cardinals vs SEA||Seattle Seahawks @ ARI||Philadelphia Eagles vs MIN|
|New England Patriots @ PIT||Cincinnati Bengals vs CLE||Atlanta Falcons vs SD|
|Tennessee Titans vs IND|
I would love to come out here and pump the Vikings up as an overlooked defense this week against the Eagles, but I’m sure the public is way too smart to have them underowned this weekend. MIN has shut down many a good offense this year (dare I say they ruined CAR and GB??) and scored big in doing so. The Eagles, while seemingly potent, are still starting a rookie QB. If you don’t think that Mike Zimmer is going to be going all out at this kid then you don’t know Mike Zimmer. I’m going to be all over the Vikings if I can afford to pay up for defense. NE will probably be a popular pick with Landry Jones in for Big Ben, but I’m going to probably avoid that matchup. NE isn’t dominant on D and gave up enough points to BUF, CLE, and CIN to move me off them. It’s looking more and more like the Houston game was an aberration rather than a beginning of a trend.
You’re going to hear a lot about the Titans defense this week. They’ve been sacking teams like crazy (6 in each of the last two games); this week they face Andrew Luck (almost 4 sacks per game). Look, I get the love and I’ll definitely have them in my rotation of defenses, but I’m not going overboard here either. Andrew Luck can still put up a big game and, if I’m going to gamble a little on D, I’d rather do it with a team that has a little more upside (more on that below). The Bengals are your weekly “defense that everyone will play against CLE and then wish they hadn’t” team. You’ve been warned.
My big upside defensive play this weekend is the Kansas City Chiefs. They are a very solid defense and get the benefit of facing Drew Brees on the road and outdoors. Brees just isn’t the same QB in the elements, and I can see a game of 2-3 sacks and a couple of turnovers for the KC defense. There’s risk, of course, but KC has shown that they can shut down big offenses before, and they are a very good home team. The Eagles are always in play because of their special teams but I just have a feeling that Bradford is going to want to stick it to them this weekend.
Best of luck this week! I hope you all kick some butt and make a ton of money. Make sure to check out all the great content at The Fake Football including the Cheat Sheets (of which I have a part in writing). You’ll find a ton of analysis, data, and sample lineups. It’s well worth the cost of subscription.
Your feedback is always welcome. You can find me on Twitter @bankster17. I’m around all the time for questions, advice, and comments. I answer every single person that sends me a Tweet.