My picks in Week 7 was one of the better weeks in DFS for me. My cash team didn’t do anything special, but I was able to cash in a DraftKings’ Super Booster tournament, which comes with a nice $1,000 payday for just a $27 entry. It’s one of my favorite contests at DraftKings.
The only disappointment we had last week at the quarterback position was Cam Newton. The Panthers had this game well in hand by the second half, which forced Carolina to take their foot off the gas. Both Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer had good nights though Palmer left a bit to be desired based on the matchup. I pivoted to Phillip Rivers in several of my contests, so that helped.
Last week sucked for running backs, simply because I didn’t roster Lamar Miller. He had a 40+ point day at pretty much every site. Although, Gurley also had a massive day with over 130 yards and two touchdowns – he was highly owned. Freeman and Latavius Murray were close to cash game value and ultimately did not kill us.
Wide receiver is the position I had changed the most before the clock struck at 1pm on Sunday. I stuck with Hopkins, who put up his first real dud of the season, but pivoted to Keenan Allen and Moncrief. This turned out to be a better play than going with Snead and Brown.
As for tight ends, Gates was ruled out, and I made the move to Lardarius Green, who paid off with about 60 yards and a touchdown. Delanie Walker had a strong day as well, and Travis Kelce had 80 yards receiving but continues to see 6 or fewer targets a game.
The Rams defense exploded for a huge day, which I had in every single lineup last week. The Cardinals’ defense had a lousy day as they seemed to bleed points to the Ravens’ offense.
If you’re missing the Thursday game below, it’s because I decided to opt out of the Thursday slate for this article and focus on the weekend’s games. There’s a lot more information available when we publish on Friday, versus Wednesday or Thursday evening.
Cash Games and Tournaments
In this article, we’ll go position by position regarding my favorite picks for the week. I also will be mentioning if I like a player more in cash games or tournaments. This is standard daily fantasy lingo and is simple to understand.
Cash games are contests where you have to beat a few other players, such as head-to-head or 50/50 contests. In these games, you only need to beat your opponent or place in the upper half of the field to cash. Cash games could also extend to 3-man contests or triple ups, or even larger contests. In these types of games, we want players who have an excellent floor of points and aren’t necessarily looking for upside (though, it certainly helps).
Tournaments are large field prize pools that consist of hundreds of players to thousands of players. For example, the Week 1 Millionaire Maker has over 500,000 thousand available entries. In large fields, it pays to be more contrarian. For tournaments or GPPs (guaranteed prize pools), we’re looking for players who are lesser-owned and have high upside or ceilings.
In summation, in cash games, we’re looking for high floors and per point value and in tournaments, high ceilings, and low ownership percentages.
Now, onto the plays for Week 8.
Phillip Rivers (FanDuel: $8,500 DraftKings: $6,600)
Rivers doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of love from the DraftKings’ algorithm. The guy is consistent as it gets and he gets another excellent matchup this week against a Ravens’ secondary that has been among the poorest in the NFL. The Ravens are -3.5 favorites at home, but the Chargers still have a strong team total at just over 23 points.
Most importantly, however, is the San Diego’s atrocious run defense that is ranked 31st in the league according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. This has caused the Chargers to nearly always be behind and for Ravens to rack up the rushing attempts.
San Diego also can’t run the ball themselves and have major issues with their offensive line. The Ravens defense is still rather stout against the run but has been woeful against the pass this season, ranking 25th in DVOA against opposing passing attacks.
All in all, this game sets up perfectly for Rivers and the Chargers’ passing attack. He is still majorly under-priced, particularly at DraftKings. He has all the upside you could want for tournaments (although, his ownership levels will be high) and the safety for cash games.
Cam Newton (FD: $8,000 DK: $6,800)
I include Cam Newton here, but I’m still unsure about how much exposure I’m going to have to him this week. I don’t think he will be my cash game quarterback unless something changes, as I am too locked in on Rivers this week to consider going elsewhere.
The Panthers are expected to score 27 points and are -7 favorites over the visiting Colts, which gives Indianapolis an implied team total of 20 points. Carolina’s defense has been fantastic, and it is rumored that Josh Norman will shadow Luck’s favorite target in T.Y. Hilton all over the field on Monday Night.
Indianapolis has been middling against the run and pass but is slightly better against the run. However, this game comes down to if you think the Colts can give Carolina a game. Cam Newton isn’t going to do more than he has to, and with the way Andrew Luck has looked lately, he may have a hard time moving the ball against this defense.
Although, the total is still 47 points, which is among the highest of the week. I’ll have some exposure to Newton in tournaments, but I think he might be a little too risky for cash games with so much value below his price range this week.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (FD: $6,600 DK: $5,000)
Fitzpatrick is a guy that most people won’t be talking about this week, but I think he’s an excellent cash game play at both DraftKings and FanDuel based on his low price.
The matchup also bodes well for his success. Few realize that the Raiders have been quite stout against the run this season. They’re ranked 11th in DVOA against the run. The Jets may need to go to the air for their scoring in this one and with Fitzpatrick’s price so low – he won’t need much to pay off his price tag in cash games.
The Jets are -7 favorites and are expected to score just over 23 points. I’m not sure that Ivory will be able to shred the Raiders like he has with other front sevens this season. He is battling an injury as well but is expected to play. If the Jets score 28-30 points or the Raiders somehow get a lead, we could see a big day for Fitzpatrick throwing the ball.
Todd Gurley (FD: $8,100 DK: $6,300)
Gurley made everyone who played him last week happy, and there is little reason to fade him this week, despite the price increase. St. Louis is at home once again, and they are facing a bad San Francisco team that may be without their starting running back in Carlos Hyde.
They’re -8 favorites in the game and the 49ers are expected to score just under 16 points. This is the lowest team total on the board by a large margin. San Francisco’s rush defense is a bottom five unit, and the Rams’ defense should force some turnovers, giving Gurley plenty of short fields.
Gurley is an easy play for your cash games at both sites, and despite his ownership levels, an easy play in tournaments due to his 4x upside.
Justin Forsett (FD: $6,900 DK: $6,100)
Forsett has seen his production and snaps both rise with Lorenzo Taliaferro put on injured reserve. He looked spry in last week’s game against the Cardinals where he scored a touchdown but was fazed out of the game as the Ravens got heavily behind.
This week, Forsett gets a prime matchup against a San Diego rush defense that is basically the worst in the league. They are second to last in rushing defense DVOA. The Ravens have an excellent team total at nearly 27 points.
Forsett should notch at least one touchdown in this one and has the upside for more. He also plays in the passing game, which keeps him unless the game gets way out of hand. This isn’t likely with Baltimore has -3.5 favorites. Roster him without hesitation in both cash games and tournaments.
Darren McFadden (FD: $6,400 DK: $3,800)
Darren McFadden is a guy that debating including in this column heavily. I still am not sold him in cash games, but I do love him in tournaments. Joseph Randle has been ruled out for Week 8 with a strained oblique. McFadden should get all the work he can handle.
Unfortunately, this massive workload comes against Seattle. The Seahawks head to Dallas as -5.5 favorites. Their defense has lost a step this year, but they are still top 10 against the run and the pass.
McFadden will still be involved, however, even if they get behind. He got 29 carries last week against the Giants, which he turned into 152 yards and a touchdown. That’s an average of 5.2 yards per carry. He also had a whopping nine receptions against New England.
He’s got an every down role with the Cowboys until further notice. We’re talking about a minimum of 20 touches with upside for more. Dez Bryant looked great in practice this week, and though I don’t suspect he goes, the field would be opened up much more for McFadden if he suits up and is not just a decoy.
Alshon Jeffery (FD: $7,700 DK: $6,400)
Jeffery isn’t on the radar for much of the public because of his injury-plagued season so far, but he is easily my favorite play this weekend at wide receiver. The Bears are slight favorites in a game that has an extremely low total. Chicago’s offense is expected to score 22 points.
However, Jeffery’s targets, production, and matchup all align perfectly for him to have a big game.
He has seen 11 targets in both games he had played this season. He hauled in 8 of those in Week 6 for 147 yards and a touchdown. Jeffery will likely face off against Vikings’ cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who has struggled mightily this season. He will also have no trouble with Terrance Newman, where he has a 4-inch height advantage over the veteran cornerback.
Jeffery is an excellent cash game and tournament play. He may not score a touchdown due to the Bears being mostly healthy all over, but he should see plenty of volume and reach 100 yards easily. He also has that 2-3 touchdown upside we love in tournaments.
Antonio Brown (FD: $8,400 DK: $7,800)
Brown is in a similar situation to Jeffery, but instead of injury, he has had quarterback issues. Since Ben Roethlisberger got injured, Brown has been seen his production drop heavily, along with his price across the industry. With Michael Vick and Landry Jones throwing him the ball, that was bound to happen.
He’s now a bargain at FanDuel and DraftKings with Big Ben ready to take the field this Sunday. The matchup against the Bengals isn’t great, but Brown is a matchup problem for every defense he faces. Ben will look to feed his number one receiver early and often to get him back into the game as well.
The Steelers are slight favorites at -1.5 points and have a 25 team total. That’s plenty to go around, even if Le’Veon Bell has a huge game on the ground. Brown is a borderline must-play in cash games and is an elite tournament play.
Larry Fitzgerald (FD: $7,700 DK: $7,700)
With news of John Brown likely sitting out against the Browns, Larry Fitzgerald turns into an elite play at both DraftKings and FanDuel if he sits. Brown has not practiced all week, and head coach Bruce Arians has already hinted that he will sit Week 8.
We’ve seen Fitzgerald’s price rise due to his fast start, but tail off recently. He was one of my favorite plays last week against the Ravens but ended up catching three balls on five targets for just 39 yards.
Arizona is moderate -5.5 favorites over the Browns and has a team total of almost 26 points. The Browns are last in run defense this season, but Arizona goes to the air more than the ground. I also noticed that Joe Flacco and his “weapons” were able to move the ball easily against the Cardinals defense.
Josh McCown isn’t anything special, but he has put together a solid season and has more weapons than Flacco (albeit, it’s close). The Browns also have an elite offensive line. This one may be close than most think.
Fitzgerald also has a substantial height advantage over all of the Browns cornerbacks. He’s 6’3” and the tallest Browns’ cornerback is 6’0”. Fitz has six inches on K’Waun Williams and four inches on Joe Haden.
He’s a top play in cash games and tournaments. We also may get some lower ownership percentages as he disappointed a lot of people last week.
Lardarius Green (FD: $5,300 DK: $3,000)
There isn’t much explanation needed for Green. Gates will almost certainly be ruled out once again this week with a sprained MCL, and Green should enjoy the spot start at tight end against a poor Ravens’ defense.
Even if Gates is not ruled out, I still like Green, because Gates will likely be heavily limited if he suits up and is at a major risk of in-game injury. Baltimore’s cornerbacks did a good job last week on Arizona’s receivers, and Green should see a lot of work underneath.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (FD: $5,200 DK: $2,800)
ASJ may not play this weekend, but there are conflicting reports on his status. Coach Lovie Smith said that he is “not there yet”, but he participated in practice fully with the other tight ends, despite the limited tag.
Tampa Bay is missing Vincent Jackson and Louis Murphy and with Mike Evans likely to see a dose of Desmond Trufant – ASJ could see a lot of targets underneath. If he’s active, I like him as a play in both cash games and tournaments. He shouldn’t have any issue paying off his near minimum price tag on DraftKings and has upside for much more.
Delanie Walker (FD: $5,400 DK: $4,100)
Walker continues to be underpriced across the industry. He’s one of my favorite plays of the weekend at tight end. He regularly leads the Titans in targets and though Houston is above average at defending the tight end – Walker will be in play for me until his price rises. He is due for some touchdown regression as well. He only has one on the year, but with the Titans facing a poor Texans defense, I like him to get a lot more chances this week to punch one into the endzone.
St. Louis Rams (FD: $5,100 DK: $3,200)
We don’t need to go into great detail with the Rams. They’re facing Colin Kaepernick at home. They have an awesome running game to burn clock, and the 49ers have the lowest team total of the week. They’re my favorite defense by far. They should, at the bare minimum get several sacks and an interception or two, but have the upside for much more.
Green Bay Packers (FD: $4,800 DK: $3,300)
Peyton Manning has now become a guy to target in daily fantasy. It’s a sad day, but that’s the reality. The Packers defense is borderline elite this season, similar to the Broncos’ unit. That’s the only reason Denver is 6-0 this season. This might be more of a tournament play because it makes much more sense to pay down for the Rams in cash, but there’s nothing wrong with rostering Green Bay with the way Manning has been throwing the ball to defensive backs lately.
Author: Joseph Falchetti (twitter)
Copyright: 2015 OnlineBetting.com