When I’m looking into the DFS slate each week, I like to go game by game and identify players or situations that intrigue me. In every game, on every team, there’s a situation that’s relevant for DFS purposes, either positive or negative reason. It informs us of how we should be attacking each slate.
Spread: +10.5 @ New Orleans | Total: 48.5
Chase Edmonds ($6,200) was the play in Week 7. He saw a bump in usage over the last three weeks after not really factoring in over the first four weeks of the season. Edmonds exploded with 35 DK points last week.
It’s looking more and more likely that David Johnson will miss this week. If that happens, Edmonds is in play despite the price hike. He had the second most opportunities of any running back in Week 7 with 27 rush attempts and six targets.
Spread: +3.5 vs Seattle | Total: 54
It’s becoming more and more difficult to trust the Falcons. I could not have been any more incorrect than I was last week in discussing Matt Ryan as he submarined plenty of team’s in Week 7. Despite the QB situation, Austin Hooper ($5,500) remains in play week in and week out.
Hooper has been a revelation this year in a lost season. He’s put together six TE1 weeks already and is literally Top 10 in every relevant category among TEs.
Spread: -2.5 vs Philadelphia | Total: 43.5
There was some concern last week that the Bills would blow out the Dolphins, rendering Josh Allen ($6,500) useless. The Dolphins played them close and Allen put up 21.3 DK points, which was good enough for a QB1 finish on the week. Now he faces a defense that has made Kirk Cousins and Dak Prescott look like Greek gods over the past couple of weeks.
He’s efficiency might1 always be an issue, but the floor that his rushing provides is valuable. And, you can always stack him up with John Brown ($5,900) and hope they connect on a deep shot or two.
Spread: +5.5 @ San Francisco | Total: 43
Kyle Allen ($5,200) will make the start again this week as the Panthers head across the country to take on the stout defense of the 49ers. Going against San Francisco’s defense is a tall task, but that shouldn’t scare you off of Christian McCaffrey ($9,200).
With the exception of YPC,2 CMC is no worse than sixth in any relevant category among running backs. He’s one of just two running backs in the top ten of expected points among offensive players.
Spread: -4 vs Los Angeles Chargers | Total: 41
It’s a shame that Allen Robinson ($6,000) has dealt with such mediocre QB play over the course of his career. If he had a consistent signal-caller, I truly believe he’d be closer to $7,000. He’s averaging 9.7 targets per game, good for eighth among WRs.
Robinson’s last two games have been WR1 performances and he has three games this year with at least 20 DK points.
Spread: +13 @ Los Angeles Rams (London) | Total: 49
Death, taxes, and Tyler Boyd ($5,100) in cash. It seems impossible that the guy with the 3rd most targets and 4th most receptions in the league could be the WR31 in PPR points per game. Andy Dalton ($5,000) doesn’t care about your perception of what’s possible, though.
The volume is there and will continue to be. He’s averaging over 10 targets per game but has just two WR1 performances. Boyd will continue to be cash viable with that volume, though. Much to the chagrin of fantasy players everywhere.
Spread: +13 @ New England | Total: 45.5
Odell Beckham ($6,500) will barely be owned this week. Public sentiment about the Browns offense, the Patriots defense, and which direction these two teams seem like they’re heading are all conspiring to suppress Beckham’s ownership.
Beckham’s ranks among WRs aren’t up near the levels we’re used to seeing, but they’re better than some might expect. His weighted opportunity rating (WOPR), especially, is encouraging. At some point, the Browns have to get this figured out. Right?
Spread: +6 @ Indianapolis | Total: 43
Courtland Sutton ($5,300) is another wide receiver that continues to see volume. His situation improved, as well, with the shipment of Emmanuel Sanders out to San Francisco. It’s tempting to raise expectations a lot when these things happen. Truth be told, though, the move probably signals more of a long term bump for Sutton than an immediate increase in usage. He’s already seeing between seven and nine targets a game. It would be great if that increased a bit, but it isn’t realistic to think that he all of a sudden turns into a 13-14 target guy. Sutton’s already 10th in the league in targets. It will certainly raise his floor but this price was absurd before the trade. He’s cash viable this week, and likely will be moving forward.
Spread: +7 vs New York Giants | Total: 50
With Kerryon Johnson on IR, the Lions backfield is up for grabs. If the split that happened when Johnson exited the game continues, then we’re looking at a 60/40 or 70/30 split for TY Johnson ($4,900) and J.D. McKissic ($3,900). I’d prefer avoiding the situation until we get more clarity, but if the value is too enticing for you, Johnson feels like the safer play.
Spread: -7 vs Oakland | Total: 51.5
Deshaun Watson ($7,100) is in play every single week. He’s averaging over 26 DK points per game and has been a QB1 in four of seven games this season.
Watson is 10th in both air yards attempted and air yards completed. He’s getting points on the ground, as well. He’s gone over 30 rushing yards in four of seven games which significantly raises his floor.
Spread: -6 vs Denver | Total: 43
T.Y. Hilton ($6,100) is a prime example of how narratives can get out of control. He “has the Texans number” so he eclipses 30% ownership last week and pushes towards one of the most owned WRs on the entire year. Hilton was $5,900 last week. He’ll likely see about one-third of the ownership in Week 8. This is after scoring almost 20 points on 11 targets. Hilton is firmly in play this week in all formats.
Spread: -6 vs New York Jets | Total: 40.5
Leonard Fournette ($7,800) is still underpriced relative to his workload. Fournette is 1st in opportunities. He’s seen more rushing attempts than anyone in the league and the 7th most targets among running backs. Looking at it another way, Fournette has the most valuable rushing share in the league and has just two fewer targets than Darren Waller.
He also sits way down at 123rd in FPOE per game. Positive regression, etc.
Los Angeles Chargers
Spread: +4 @ Chicago | Total: 41
Mike Williams ($4,000) week is going to happen at some point and I’d really prefer not to miss it. He’s seeing just about the same expected points as guys like Courtland Sutton and Kenny Golladay who are much more expensive and will likely be higher owned.
The targets have been excellent for a $4,000 price tag, and when he gets targets, they’re valuable. So far this year the production has been so-so but if Keenan Allen were to sit or if he sees more red-zone targets he could be in for a big week.
Los Angeles Rams
Spread: -13 vs Cincinnati (London) | Total: 49
Jared Goff ($6,200) is back in a big way. He came roaring back from his devastating Week 6 performance, scoring over 25 DK points in Week 7. Goff has played 15 of his 45 games as a touchdown or better favorite. During games that fit that criteria, he averages nearly 25 points compared to 19 in other contests.
Goff has also been on the wrong side of TD variance so far this year. He’s top six in attempts, completions, and yards, but only 16th in touchdowns.
New England Patriots
Spread: -13 vs Cleveland | Total: 45.5
Julian Edelman ($6,900) is a WR1 this year and has been a steady option in the carousel that is the Patriots wide receiver corps. No matter what the situation, Edelman rarely eclipses 8-9% ownership in any contests.
So far, he’s averaging over 10 opportunities per game and hasn’t seen fewer than seven since before Antonio Brown went back to school.
New Orleans Saints
Spread: -10.5 vs Arizona | Total: 47.5
We love game-script proof running backs, but Michael Thomas ($8,000) is the rare QB-proof wide receiver. The Saints are refusing to push the ball down the field. His aDOT is 8.5 which is good for 87th at the position. Because of the volume he’s getting, though, Thomas still has the seventh most air yards.
Thomas is a locked and loaded play every single week no matter who is taking snaps at QB.
New York Giants
Spread: -7 @ Detroit | Total: 50
Saquon Barkley ($8,900) was on the field for 61 of 71 snaps last week. He finished with 17 DK points in his return to action after missing three weeks.
His workload didn’t go anywhere. Barkley tallied 23 opportunities — his second-highest total on the season. He’s viable in all formats, though I prefer him in GPPs over cash this week.
New York Jets
Spread: +6 @ Jacksonville | Total: 40.5
Le’Veon Bell ($6,900) continues to hold one of the busiest roles in the NFL. As things stand, he’s eighth in opportunities among running backs. Bell has accounted for 45% of the Jets offensive plays which is second only to Christian McCaffrey.
Bell is averaging nearly 23 opportunities per game and is 118th in FPOE per game. Something has to give at some point, and we could see Bell explode at some point when the Jets start clicking and stop seeing ghosts.
Spread: +6.5 @ Houston | Total: 51.5
No matter which way you look at it, Darren Waller’s ($5,900) workload and role in the Oakland offense is elite.
Oakland is passing at the fifth-lowest rate in the NFL but Waller has a big piece of that pie. Through the first seven weeks, Waller has accounted for 14% of the Raiders’ opportunities on offense. As far as tight ends go, that’s only second to Evan Engram. Without a material change in circumstances, there’s no reason Waller would fall out of someone’s GPP pool.
Spread: +2.5 @ Buffalo | Total: 43.5
Zach Ertz ($5,100) is far too cheap this week. He is just the sixth-most expensive TE on the slate. By almost any measure, you’d think that Ertz should be in the top two or three.
He’s in the top six of the following categories:
- Targets (1st)
- Receptions (5th)
- Yards (5th)
- Air Yards (2nd)
- WOPR (4th)
- EP/Game (3rd)
After all of that, though, he’s 104th in FPOE per game. Slate breaking positive regression is incoming at some point…it’s just a matter of when.
San Francisco 49ers
Spread: -5.5 vs Carolina | Total: 42
It’s a lower total game, but with the 49ers as reasonably large favorites at home I have interest in Tevin Coleman ($5,000) again this week. Since getting eased back in during a rout of the Browns, he’s been in on 60% of the snaps and has seen 33% of the team’s opportunities. That percentage puts him around Le’Veon Bell and Marlon Mack over that time span.
He’s been on the wrong side of touchdown variance so far this year. Coleman is 117th in FPOE/gm among running backs. There’s some risk in the timeshare, but $5,000 is a palatable price for his ceiling in tournaments.
Spread: -3.5 @ Atlanta | Total: 54
The Falcons are spiraling towards losing their coach and they’re already selling off pieces before they hit rock bottom. Atlanta is one of the best defenses to face when you’re looking to get things back on track.3 Chris Carson ($7,000) is in a great spot in this game. He was an automatic play in Rashaad Penny’s ($4,200) absence a few weeks ago but even after Penny returned, Carson saw all the work. Penny only managed to get on the field for two snaps in his return last week.
Carson was inefficient last week but they fell behind last week. The Seahawks don’t seem to be in much danger of that this week, even on the road.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Spread: +2.5 @ Tennessee | Total: 45.5
With the exception of Weeks 1 and 3, Chris Godwin ($7,100) has seen at least nine targets in each game. He’s been one of the most efficient WRs in the league.4 Godwin ranks just 13th in the league in targets but he has the 2nd most yards and touchdowns at the wide receiver position. The two games where he scored below 20 DK Points, the Bucs were favored and he saw little volume. As an underdog, Godwin is averaging an absurd 30.96 PPR points per game compared to just under 11 points when the Bucs are favored.
Spread: -2.5 vs Tampa Bay | Total: 45.5
A.J. Brown ($4,100) is shaping up to be a popular play this weekend. A few weeks ago, against Atlanta, he was a WR1 in DK Scoring on just three targets. Since then, he disappeared for two weeks, totaling just six targets in Weeks 5 and 6 combined.
Both the Titans and Buccaneers are in the bottom-third of the league in pace during neutral game scripts. They’re also bottom-third in pass percentage during those situations. With a close game on tap, we can expect a slow5 game. The volume will be there but I’m not sure about his ceiling.