The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 7 WEEKEND UPDATE
October 22, 2016 | Doug Shain
The Huddle – Opening Statement
Welcome to the Hail Mary WEEKEND UPDATE where I look at our GPP plays for NFL Week 7. You can check out my First Look article to see what I was thinking on Tuesday night but this is my most up to date thoughts on the weekend slate. I’ll be using ownership data from the Fantasy Aces Thursday slate to help me determine public and HuLo plays. Public plays will be the players who were 10% owned or more on those slates unless otherwise noted. These have been pretty accurate over the last few weeks and have gone a long way in helping to find value we might not have realized existed.
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|Andy Dalton (CIN) vs CLE||Kirk Cousins (WSH) @ DET||Cody Kessler (CLE) @ CIN|
|Tom Brady (NE) @ PIT||Matthew Stafford (DET) vs WSH||Tyrod Taylor (BUF) @ MIA|
|Blake Bortles (JAX) vs OAK||Landry Jones (PIT) vs NE||Sam Bradford (MIN) @ PHI|
|Colin Kaepernick (SF) vs TB||Derek Carr (OAK) @ JAX||Joe Flacco (BAL) @ NYJ|
|Marcus Mariota (TEN) vs IND||Jameis Winston (TB) @ SF|
|Philip Rivers (SD) @ ATL||Drew Brees (NO) @ KC|
|Matt Ryan (ATL) vs SD|
– The public seems to be really on top of their game this week because they are all over my top 5 QBs (Dalton, Bortles, Mariota, Ryan, and Kaepernick). I’m not shocked on Bortles, Ryan, and Mariota, but I will admit to being a little surprised at the love being shown for Dalton and Kaepernick. I can’t argue with those plays though as they are both extreme bargains given their matchups this weekend. I’m really not looking to go contrarian at QB, so I’m quite good with using any of those five plays despite the ownership issues. All five have stacking options that make them solid GPP targets.
– The further we get into the week the more I’m getting comfortable with the idea of using Kirk Cousins at QB. He doesn’t crack my top 5, but he’s the guy I’d look to first (maybe 2nd behind Tyrod Taylor) if I wasn’t going to go with a public play. He’s been solid, if unspectacular, all season and a matchup in Detroit is about as good as it gets. I think it’s hard for me to be as high on Jamison Crowder and Vernon Davis as I am this week without having some love for their QB. I think a lot of experts are going to go with Landry Jones as they are quick to point out that Antonio Brown’s poor numbers last year came with Michael Vick at QB, not Jones. I’m not going to run to use him against New England.
– I will be the first person to tell you how average Drew Brees is on the road. A game in KC is no walk in the park, but at 2% ownership Brees is the kind of player you throw into one of your lineups in case he does go off and does Brees things. If I’m only using one or two lineups this week though, they won’t have Brees in them. Like Cousins, I’m starting to warm more to Tyrod Taylor as the week has progressed. Miami isn’t playing good defense, and they just lost their best player in the secondary. With LeSean McCoy likely out (though not 100% certain yet), I don’t see all of the running responsibility falling onto Mike Gillislee. Some of those opportunities are going to go to the arms and legs of T-Mobile. If you want to play the ownership game then he’s the guy I’d want to target with the hopes that he remains under 3% owned. I still think that Sam Bradford will have a good game against his former Eagles team this week, but he’s definitely a step below “my guys”.
My guys: Matt Ryan, Marcus Mariota, Andy Dalton, Blake Bortles, Colin Kaepernick, Kirk Cousins, Tyrod Taylor
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|Jacquizz Rodgers (TB) @ SF||David Johnson (ARI) vs SEA||Gio Bernard (CIN) vs CLE|
|Spencer Ware (KC) vs NO||Jamaal Charles (KC) vs NO||Chris Ivory (JAX) vs OAK|
|Devonta Freeman (ATL) vs SD||Le'Veon Bell (PIT) vs NE||Matt Jones (WSH) @ DET|
|Mike Gillislee (BUF) @ MIA||Melvin Gordon (SD) @ ATL||Terrance West (BAL) @ NYJ|
|DeMarco Murray (TEN) vs IND||Matt Forte (NYJ) vs BAL|
|James White (NE) @ PIT||Mike Davis (SF) vs TB|
– I was way off on my projection of Jacquizz Rodgers as he was far and away the #1 RB on the Thursday slate over at Aces. While I’m not sure he’s going to reach the 60% ownership mark that he had in that tournament, he should end up very highly owned. He’s got a lot going for him: he’s cheap, he doesn’t compete for touches, he can run and catch, and he has one of the best matchups on the slate. I really want to fade him because of the high ownership, but it’s going to be so hard because of the flexibility he gives you with the rest of your team. When push comes to shove, I’m going to use him because I think I can make up the ownership elsewhere. I was shocked that Ware wasn’t more highly owned, but maybe some of the Jamaal Charles folks are keeping his ownership in check. I think Ware is the guy to own until further notice, and he’s a guy I’ll be sure to have in a lot of lineups. Devonta Freeman and Mike Gillislee are also both affordable, have good matchups, and should easily outperform their price tags. Again, the ownership is going to be an issue, but I still don’t see a problem using these guys.
– Murray is the best high-priced RB on the slate with a matchup against IND, but I might be more comfortable using him in cash rather than GPP. I don’t want to pay up AND deal with ownership issues. If I’m going to pay up in a GPP I’d much rather use David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell at considerably lower ownership rates. Both have the talent to overcome their matchups, and it’s such a rare occurrence that we can use them without having to share their points with 20%+ of our competitors.
– Terrance West is by far my #1 RB play this weekend. He’s cheap, he’s playing well (18-98-1 average in his last 3 games), he’s got a good matchup, and he was only 2% owned on the Thursday Aces slate. I could not believe that number when I saw it. He’s going to be the guy I use to combat the high ownership of my other players (QB, Jacquizz, Freeman, etc). If he can get me a game that hits his 3-game average, I’m going to be in a great position to do very well in my GPP. I think this might be the week that Chris Ivory starts to establish himself as the lead back in Jacksonville. His price is so low that all you really need is a TD for him to be worth your while. I’ve added Matt Forte to the HuLo list with Geno Smith in at QB for the Jets. I don’t think they are going to want him to throw a lot so it wouldn’t shock me if they rode their RB early in this one. I won’t be using him in my lineups but at least I could make a case for why I should.
My guys: Terrance West, Spencer Ware, Jacquizz Rodgers, Devonta Freeman, David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell, Mike Gillislee, DeMarco Murray, Chris Ivory
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|A.J. Green (CIN) vs CLE||T.Y. Hilton (IND) @ TEN||Anquan Boldin (DET) vs WSH|
|Mike Evans (TB) @ SF||Tyrell Williams (SD) @ ATL||Allen Hurns (JAX) vs OAK|
|Allen Robinson (JAX) vs OAK||Jeremy Maclin (KC) vs NO||Brandon Marshall (NYJ) vs BAL|
|Julio Jones (ATL) vs SD||Golden Tate (DET) vs WS||Justin Hunter (BUF) @ MIA|
|Marvin Jones (DET) vs WSH||Amari Cooper (OAK) @ JAX||Torrey Smith (SF) vs TB|
|Antonio Brown (PIT) vs NE|
|Jamison Crowder (WSH) @ DET|
|Mohamed Sanu (ATL) vs SD|
|Jarvis Landry (MIA) vs BUF|
|Mike Wallace (BAL) @ NYJ|
|Adam Thielen (MIN) @ PHI|
– 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 and Allen Robinson. If I was ranking them it’d be in that order: Julio, Green, ARob. I do like Mike Evans a lot this weekend, but for only a little more I can get A.J. Green, and I’ll probably make that choice about 80% of the time.
– Outside of the big boys, there really isn’t a guy that the pros are touting too highly. Obviously Cooper has a good matchup and he’s not too expensive for a top guy, so they like him a bit. I have heard more about Alex Smith than I have Maclin, but, really, who else do we expect Smith to throw to? I will personally be on the running game in KC a lot more than the passing game. I do like Tyrell Williams a lot in ATL, but he won’t make a ton of my lineups since I’ll be using Hunter Henry in most of them and don’t trust the SD passing game enough to use 2 of their players. In my Gronk or Delanie Walker lineups I’d have no issue using Williams.
– There are a lot of solid options lurking in the 6% and lower range this week. Mike Wallace and Torrey Smith are playing defenses that are susceptible to the long ball so I’ll gladly be looking to use them. I prefer Wallace over Smith except if I’m using Kaepernick or if I needed the cap relief. Another cap relief guy I have a gut feeling about is Justin Hunter. He’s scored in 2 straight weeks for the Bills and should know their playbook pretty well by now. He’s a talented kid that never got it straight in Tennessee, but Tyrod has shown trust in him and he’s at min price. I definitely have some exposure to him. Jamison Crowder is looking solid with Jordan Reed still not cleared to play and DJax banged up, and Mohamed Sanu is a guy I’ve been using when I want to take advantage of ATL’s matchup but don’t want to pay up for Julio Jones. The most interesting case on the Week 7 slate is that of Antonio Brown. With Roethlisberger out of action, Brown’s ownership on the Thursday Aces slate was sitting at 1%. I know he’s got Landry Jones throwing to him, but the last time they started together he did get 6 catches and over 100 yards. This is by no means a lock, and it’s an expensive risk to take…but it’s Antonio Brown. If you he does go off, and he’s more than capable of doing so, you’re going to be kicking yourself if he’s not in at least one of your lineups. I’d honestly do a Brees/Brown lineup and load up on value to take advantage if both of them do their thing.
My guys: A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Allen Robinson, Tyrell Williams, Justin Hunter, Torrey Smith, Jamison Crowder, Mohamed Sanu, Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Mike Evans
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|Delanie Walker (TEN) vs IND||Vernon Davis (WSH) @ DET||Julius Thomas (JAX) vs OAK|
|Hunter Henry (SD) @ ATL||Travis Kelce (KC) vs NO||Kyle Rudolph (MIN) @ PHI|
|Rob Gronkowski (NE) @ PIT||Jimmy Graham (SEA) @ ARI||Charles Clay (BUF) @ MIA|
|Jack Doyle (IND) @ TEN||Tyler Eifert (CIN) vs CLE||Dennis Pitta (BAL) @ NYJ|
|Coby Fleener (NO) @ KC|
– Just as I’d expected, it was Gronk and Hunter Henry leading the way as the two most widely owned WR on the Aces Thursday slate. I’ve got Henry in about 80% of my lineups as I find him to be underpriced considering his upside. He’s been great since he’s been the starter, and he’s not giving that job up anytime soon. ATL is a solid matchup for him. Delanie Walker is another guy I really like against a Colts team that can’t stop anyone. He burned a lot of people last week but they apparently have short memories, as well they should. He should hit value in this one.
– Jordan Reed is out this weekend, and I really like Vernon Davis. He was actually a good TE at one point and last week Cousins made him look like one again. DET is one of the worst teams in the NFL at defending opposing TE, so I expect Davis to be well targeted and have his number called in the red zone. Is this the week I’m finally right about Tyler Eifert playing? If he starts for CIN you kind of have to think about him at a low ownership. Even if he’s only used around the goal line, he could totally hit his value against a bad Browns team.
– Charles Clay continues to be a guy that is getting overlooked due to his lack of touchdowns. He’s had exactly 5 catches in each of his last 3 weeks and that’s more than enough production to maintain value. If he does happen to get one in the end zone (an event with increased probability due to the injury to Rashad Jones) then he’ll crush value at a very low ownership. Dennis Pitta is in the same boat as Clay except he’s been a little more productive during his touchdown-less season. I say that changes this week. He’s my #2 TE for GPPs behind Hunter Henry.
My guys: Hunter Henry, Dennis Pitta, Delanie Walker, Vernon Davis, Charles Clay
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|Baltimore Ravens @ NYJ||Minnesota Vikings @ PHI||Kansas City Chiefs vs NO|
|Denver Broncos vs HOU||Seattle Seahawks @ ARI||Philadelphia Eagles vs MIN|
|New England Patriots @ PIT||Cincinnati Bengals vs CLE||Atlanta Falcons vs SD|
|Tennessee Titans vs IND|
– Baltimore came out of nowhere to be one of the most widely owned defenses after the news broke that Geno Smith was starting for the Jets. I think that New York is smart enough to keep the number of throws to a minimum in this one, and that limits the opportunities for BAL to pay off their price. I’m going to be avoiding them in this one. One of my favorite teams to use this week is the Broncos on Monday night. I know that you can’t use them on the main slate of FD/DK, but if you’re on FantasyDraft the Monday night slate is a part of those games, and I’ve got DEN everywhere. They are a monster on defense and Brock Osweiler struggled (until the end) against IND. What do you think he’s going to do against Von Miller? Let’s not forget that this is a revenge game for DEN after Osweiler took the money and bolted after the Super Bowl. They’re going to crush him (machka!). 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.
– 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. 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) and 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 they 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.
My guys: Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs
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. I write the Fantasy Draft and Yahoo sheets and my sample lineups have taken down a GPP in each of the last two weeks at Fantasy Draft. 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.