Carson Wentz: vs CAR (DK 6000; FD 7600)
While the Panthers have been more effective at shutting down running backs at home, Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood shouldn’t pose a serious threat for the Carolina defense on the road this week. It places Carson Wentz in a position to throw the ball in order for the Eagles to be effective on offense. He has performed well since returning from an ACL tear posting multiple touchdown games in three of four games as well as 300+ passing yard games in two of those four. James Bradberry and Donte Jackson aren’t major factors in the secondary as Wentz will look to his trusted weapons in Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz to move the ball downfield. Add in his ability to scramble and it sets up for a nice start at a reasonable cost.
Baker Mayfield: at TB (DK 5800; FD 7100)
Jameis Winston sits in a good spot as well in this game but if I’m going to pick between him and Baker Mayfield this week, I will take the road quarterback as the Browns have a slight ability to play defense; defensive coordinator Mike Smith was just fired for Tampa Bay’s inability to do so. In fact, the Buccaneers have allowed 3+ touchdown passes in four of five games as well as every quarterback throwing for 300+ passing yards, something to keep in mind on DraftKings.
Mayfield has been erratic as he maneuvers through the highs and lows of his rookie season but this spot is as good as it gets for him against this depleted Buccaneers secondary. He wasn’t listed on the initial injury report on Wednesday as it seems the sore ankle shouldn’t limit him on Sunday but keep an eye out once the final injury reports release on Friday afternoon.
C.J Beathard: vs LAR: (DK 4800; FD 6400)
Jared Goff should fare much better this week now that he is removed from the freezing conditions in Denver against a 49ers team allowing multiple touchdown passes in all but one game. I want the $1800 and $1900 in savings on DraftKings and FanDuel respectively to jam in the expensive pieces I know will produce this week. The Rams have given up the 9th fewest FPA to quarterbacks through six weeks but part of that is due to facing Derek Carr’s inept offense and Sam Bradford’s lifeless one.
Since those games, the Rams defense has allowed multiple touchdown games in four straight and 300+ passing yards in two of those four. Enter C.J Beathard who is averaging 20.46 FPPG since Jimmy Garappolo tore his ALC with multiple touchdown passes in all three games. Vegas sees points in this matchup as it has the highest total on the main slate and given his solid performance on Monday night, it’s a discounted way to get exposure to this game as the sites couldn’t adjust his inexpensive salary due to it being released on Sunday night.
Todd Gurley: at SF (DK 9800; FD 10200)
It doesn’t matter if the Rams crush the 49ers as 11-point favorites or if they slip up on the final game of their three-game road trip, Todd Gurley’s role in this offense is solidified. Even if the Rams unexpectedly fall behind in this game, Sean McVay will ensure his best offensive weapon will remain part of the gameplan out of the backfield. He’s touching the ball 25 times a game and few running backs are as reliable as Gurley has been this year. Pay up for the 25 point floor and let Friday’s injury reports and Sunday’s inactives create the value you need at other positions to roster this elite talent.
Ezekiel Elliott: at WAS (DK 8100; FD 8400)
Some players simply perform better against certain teams. Kareem Hunt has slaughtered the Patriots in two career starts while Rob Gronkowski has been a nightmare for Steelers fans throughout his career. Redskins fans cringe knowing Ezekiel Elliott plays against their team twice a year when he’s averaging 110 yards and 1.66 touchdowns on the ground through three career games against them thus far. Him seeing one target against Jacksonville shouldn’t be of concern as he was seeing 5.8 targets per game before week 6. Cole Beasley was the focal point of the Dallas offense last week but it’s no secret who this offense truly revolves around.
Kerryon Johnson: at MIA (DK 4500; FD 6500)
The Detroit coaching staff has finally figured out that Kerryon Johnson is the most talented back they have on their roster. Hopefully the Lions coaching staff begins to give him a workload reflective of that following their bye as he’s only carried the ball more than 15 times once back in week 3 despite his respectable 5.72 yards per carry. The Dolphins have been shredded by running backs on the ground, allowing 90+ rushing yards in five of six games and giving up 1.5 touchdowns per game to the position. It’s hard to imagine Brocktoberfest continuing for another week as Osweiler has been madly inconsistent during his time in the league. If that holds true and Brock falls apart, the Lions can go into Miami and win this game with Johnson as an integral part of the gameplan.
Peyton Barber: vs CLE (DK 3800; FD 6100)
After debating who would see more touches between Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones, it’s now hard to pass up the running back that touched the ball 17 times against the Falcons at his $3800 salary on DraftKings. Especially when his opponent was slaughtered by Melvin Gordon to the tune of 132 yards and three touchdowns on the ground last week. The total currently sits at 50 at the time of this writing, the second highest total of the games on the main slate, as both offenses should find success moving the ball against one another. As long as Barber sees the volume he did last week, returning value on DK should be an easy proposition in this spot.
Adam Thielen: at NYJ (DK 8600; FD 8700)
All he has done is post double-digit targets and 100+ yards in every game this year and now faces a Jets team that is surrendering the 3rd most FPA to slot receivers. Adam Thielen is in a smash spot regardless if Buster Skrine returns from injury or Parry Nickerson fills in once again. Enjoy him below $9000 for the final time as he continues to manufacture performances like the one he should display in this juicy matchup.
Robert Woods: at SF (DK 7000; FD 7700)
With Cooper Kupp warming the bench, his 6.83 targets per game including two each week in the red zone need to be distributed between the other pass catchers. Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods all look to benefit from Kupp’s absence as both have favorable cornerback matchups this week and both average 1.16 red zone targets a game. It’s tough to go wrong on either one of these options but the receiver that has seen 8.5 targets per game feels like the safer option. Five catches for 80 yards has been the minimum for Woods each game since week 2 and is a solid floor in a game that he should see more targets. The tight end is all but irrelevant in the Rams offense in terms of moving the football and against a 49ers defense allowing two receiving touchdowns per game, it narrows down the options to Cooks and Woods as the receivers to bring in those touchdowns. Of course, Todd Gurley could always vulture those TDs as he has twice this year.
Taylor Gabriel: vs CHI (DK 4700; FD 5900)
He played an important role in Atlanta’s run to Super Bowl 51 but saw declines in receptions, yards, and touchdowns in 2017. Now, Taylor Gabriel is playing the second most snaps of the Chicago wide receivers and is solidifying a role for himself in this much improved Bears offense. The Patriots secondary was torched by Tyreek Hill last week and it’s safe to assume that Matt Nagy took notice of his former receiver and should utilize Gabriel in the same manner. Getting behind defenses is certainly in his skillset and if he can do so as Hill did last week, he could be in for his third straight game over 100 receiving yards.
Willie Snead: vs NO (DK 4000; FD 5400)
As long as the Saints continue to roll out P.J. Williams in the secondary, we’ll continue to roll out the slot receiver that lines up opposite him. Michael Crabtree will spend a good amount of time dealing with Marshon Lattimore that it will give both Willie Snead and John Brown additional looks from Joe Flacco in favorable matchups. Snead saves $1600 and $1100 on DraftKings and FanDuel respectively and should be extra-motivated as he squares off against his former team. He’s seeing eight targets per game over the last three weeks and is an affordable option in a good spot that can help toward paying up for the expensive week 7 options.
Zach Ertz: vs CAR (DK 7100: FD 7500)
Gronk’s salary has dipped to its lowest point in a few years as he’s had only one game of eight or more targets thus far in 2018. He is $100 more than Zach Ertz on FanDuel and $1000 cheaper than him on DraftKings. Give me the tight end that has seen almost double the targets than Gronk has. Ertz faces a Panthers defense that is surrendering a touchdown to the tight end position in each road game so far and the 6th most FPA to the position. The chemistry between Carson Wentz and his tight end has blossomed since the quarterback entered the league in 2016. Don’t be fooled by Gronk’s cheaper salary, Ertz is the expensive tight end that needs to be rostered in week 7.
David Njoku: at TB (DK 4200; FD 5700)
The Cleveland receivers getting injured keep increasing by the week as Rod Streater and Derrick Willes were placed on IR and Rashard Higgins isn’t expected to suit up this week. It leaves David Njoku as one of the few reliable options that Baker Mayfield has in his arsenal. He’s averaging 10 targets per game since Mayfield assumed the starting duties and faces a Buccaneers defense that allows the most fantasy points to the tight ends and has given up at minimum 70 yards and a touchdown to the position in their last three games.
Njoku isn’t going to face much competition from the other tight ends on the roster in terms of targets as he’s seeing 83% of them since the switch at starting quarterback. His salary on both sites is very affordable given the juicy matchup and expected volume he should see in a game with the second highest total on the week 7 main slate.
O.J. Howard: vs CLE (DK 3600; FD 5800)
Cleveland has fared much better against tight ends this year compared to 2017 when it was a weekly ritual to roster tight ends playing against either the Browns, Giants, or Broncos. Jameis Winston loves targeting his tight ends in the end zone as evidenced by 12 of his 19 touchdown passes last year as well as two of four last week.
He played fewer snaps than he had prior to the injury but O.J. Howard played through his MCL sprain en route to one of those touchdowns against the Falcons. On DraftKings, the price is too cheap given Winston’s propensity towards finding Howard or Cameron Brate and maybe for another week, the Browns return to the 2017 defense that hemorrhaged fantasy points to the position as they did against the Raiders three weeks ago.
Jacksonville: vs HOU (DK 3600; FD 4400)
Jacksonville faces a Houston offense that has two or more turnovers in four of six games as well as a porous offensive line that has allowed 3 sacks or more in five of six games. The Jaguars simply didn’t show up to AT&T Stadium last week and that won’t happen again as these teams battle it out for first place in the AFC South.
Indianapolis: vs BUF (DK 3300; FD 4100)
Derek Anderson isn’t much of an improvement over Nathan Peterman as the surrounding offensive cast is lacking in talent. One thing the Indianapolis defense has done well is sack the quarterback at a 3.3 sack per game clip. Add in the fact that the Bills offensive line allows four sacks per game and it sets up well for possible turnovers and defensive touchdowns, something the Buffalo offense has shockingly allowed just once despite giving up the most fantasy points to opposing defenses.
Philadelphia: vs CAR (DK 2600; FD 4200)
There’s something to be said about playing at Lincoln Financial Field. The Philadelphia defense allowed a -10.2 point differential at home en route to a Lombardi Trophy in 2017 and this year, that differential stands at -6. Despite that horrid secondary that has continued to plague them, the Eagles simply keep teams off the scoreboard in South Philadelphia. They’re priced as a bargain on DraftKings and it’s a good spot to pay down in order to pay up at other areas of need.
Each week, I will identify what players are bargains based on the salary cap percentage difference they represent on the respective site. Here are the notable week 7 bargains from both sites:
NOTABLE DRAFTKINGS BARGAINS
RB Peyton Barber: 2.33
RB Kerryon Johnson: 1.83
TE O.J. Howard: 2.46
TE Trey Burton: 1.4
DEF Philadelphia: 1.8
NOTABLE FANDUEL BARGAINS
RB TJ Yeldon: 1.47
WR Jarvis Landry: 3.77
WR Brandin Cooks: 1.87