DFS First Look: Week 7

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DFS First Look: Week 7

Week 7 has its fair share of games that pop right away as game stacks. Three games sit at 56.5 over/unders that are games to focus on and decide how to play them. If the games go as expected they will be tough to fade and win this week. In this piece, I will be highlighting the players that stand to benefit from matchups and recent trends. Also a few players to consider fading.

This will be a source for you to get all the necessary information that you might not recognize quickly looking through the slate early in the week. The goal of this first look is to help leave no stone unturned before the week kicks off. Being able to project for different potential outcomes of players and games is a crucial trait to have as a DFS player. Here is my first look and deep dive on the Week 7 slate:

Game Script Targets

Lions +2.5 (@ ATL)

WR Kenny Golladay

WR Marvin Jones

One of the most attractive game stacks this week is the Lions Falcons *limited defense* matchup. Both teams have been Top 5 in neutral game pace so it is a dream game environment. Despite the Vikings offense being stuck in neutral the majority of the first half, we saw Justin Jefferson break the slate with 9 catches for 166 and 2 TDs against the Falcons.

It is tough to project for the Lions getting down as big as the Vikings did, but Golladay is expected to see Kendall Sheffield in coverage who was at the mercy of Jefferson’s big game. On just four targets, Sheffield allowed 4/111/1 in coverage. Sheffield has stood out as a weak point of the Falcons defense. Among CBs w/ at least 20% of the snaps, Sheffield has been targeted at the highest rate (3.8 snaps/target). Golladay has been very efficient with 2.57 yards/route. A faster pace game with the potential positive game script (2.5-point underdogs) will give him more fantasy scoring chances.

A GPP pivot from Golladay or stack with him is Marvin Jones. The peripherals are not great with only a 14.7% target share on the year, but he is a player who has shown a unique high ceiling despite a low ceiling in the past. He has yet to have the blow-up game this year and this would be the best matchup yet to come through.

Cardinals +3 (vs. SEA)

WR DeAndre Hopkins (ARI, vs. SEA)

QB Kyler Murray (ARI, vs. SEA)

This just stands out as a no brainer stack this week. The Seahawks have been the top pass funnel defense (+4.8%) and allow the most schedule adjusted FPTS/game to WRs. DHop leads the league in target share (32.1%) and Kyler Murray should pepper him again this week considering how bad their CB play has been. On top of that, Murray has one of the best weekly floors in fantasy football. In a game against the Cowboys where his accuracy was off, he still finished with 28.9 fantasy points. He is second in rushing FPTS/game among QBs with 12.2 FPTS/game. The rushing attempts and rushing fantasy points are more sticky week to week as he is third in designed rushing attempts (34) so we can expect that to continue.

The game environment will be ideal with the Cardinals 2nd fastest in neutral game pace and the Seahawks 8th. The over/under of 56.5 is tied for the highest on the slate as well.

Packers -3.5 (@ HOU)

RB Aaron Jones

Aaron Jones has been a very painful player to not have exposure when he goes off. Since Week 5 of last year, he has 6 games of 30+ fantasy points. This season he ranks 3rd in average XFP (22 XFP). He gets a matchup against the Texans where he can reach that huge ceiling he has shown. Texans allow the 2nd most schedule adjusted FPTS/game to RBs. Most notably other workhorse backs like Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook were able to reach season-high fantasy totals against them (Henry 43 DK | Dalvin 28.6 DK). Packers should give him rushing attempts this week in a positive game script (3.5-point favorites) after just 10 last week in comeback mode. Davante Adams also draws a tougher matchup against Bradley Roby. Roby ranks Top 20 in both fewest yards/snap allowed and targets/snap highlighting his prowess in coverage thus far (CBs w/ 50%+ snaps).

Early Targets

WR Terry McLaurin (WFT, vs. DAL)

The talent and ability for Terry McLaurin is not a question. He is stuck in one of the worst offenses in the league, but against a matchup like the Cowboys it is a lot easier for him to take over the game. The Football Team have 18 PPG (30th), however they see a 30% increase in their implied total of 23.5 points. He has been receiving elite usage which will translate nicely here. He has the 2nd highest percentage of team air yards (45.1%) and a 27.6% target share (6th highest for WR). Has the 4th most routes run among WRs as well. The usage is not the question at all and his price of WR19 on DraftKings seems like a misprint. The Cowboys are allowing the 5th most schedule adjusted FPTS/game to WR. McLaurin could easily finish as the top value at WR this week especially on DraftKings.

RB Kareem Hunt (CLE, @ CIN)

It was the worst fantasy game for Hunt on the season this past week. That was expected however. The Steelers have been elite at limiting running backs and allowing 3.3 YPA in the run game (2nd fewest). In comparison, the Bengals are allowing 5.1 YPA (2nd most). The Browns were also without their best run-blocking Offensive Lineman in Wyatt Teller. Teller is an injury I will be monitoring through the week as if he plays Hunt will get a major boost. PFF has him graded as the #1 run blocking OL this year. Working behind Nick Chubb in their first matchup against the Bengals Hunt was able to score 24.1 DK points on 12 touches. It will be an improved game environment for the Browns offense too. The Bengals are Top 5 in neutral game script pass rate (61%). They also run the 10th fastest neutral game pace. The Browns offense has been one of the most matchup dependent offenses under Baker Mayfield. This is a spot I want to have exposure to Hunt with that in mind.

RB JaMycal Hasty (SF, @ NE)

After Raheem Mostert’s injury in Week 6:

JaMycal Hasty: 9 rushes, 1 target, 15 snaps

Jerick McKinnon: 3 rushes, 2 targets, 13 snaps

It is tough to fully project out how the distribution will work this week against the Patriots but the tea leaves seem to show that the 49ers do not want to commit to McKinnon as a lead back. Jeff Wilson does sound more than likely to return this week which does put a wrench into the situation. However, Wilson was used as the backup to McKinnon when Mostert was out and did not impress with 2.4 YPA. Wilson is a known commodity for Kyle Shanahan and they seem intrigued by the upside that Hasty would give the offense over him. If McKinnon continues to struggle as he has in recent weeks, Hasty could see 10+ touches and is very cheap ($4,200 DK, $4,600 FD). As we saw with Darren Waller in Week 3 (2 catches for 9 yards) against the Patriots, they look to take away your main target in the pass game. George Kittle could see some double teams here and to counter that we should see a run-heavy approach from the 49ers if the game stays close.

Early Fades

RB Derrick Henry (TEN, vs. PIT)

Off his huge game in Week 6, I am fading Henry this week. It is basically a complete 360 in terms of matchup difficulty. The Steelers have allowed the fewest rushing yards to RBs whereas the Texans have allowed the most. The Offensive Line is severely undermanned now in comparison to what Henry was working with last year. He had one of the best Tackle duos in football with Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin. Lewan is now out for the year with a torn ACL and Conklin is now a Cleveland Brown. Henry should struggle to consistently get to the second level where it causes the majority of his damage. He averaged under 4.0 YPA in 3 of his first 4 games and I am expecting another struggle here.

WR Will Fuller (HOU, vs. GB)

I was on Will Fuller the past two weeks, but with a Jaire Alexander shadow on the radar, those plans have quickly changed. In 5 games Alexander has allowed just 122 yards in coverage despite primarily shadowing the number one receiver. That is the 6th fewest among CBs and has the 8th fewest yards/snap allowed. Fuller has yet to see an elite cornerback in coverage this year outside of the Ravens game where he was said to be battling a hamstring injury. For what it is worth, Fuller had 0 catches in that game.

WR Amari Cooper (DAL, @ WFT)

The Cowboys offense is not going to have the same huge weekly ceiling in the passing game with Andy Dalton at QB. Dalton had 4.9 YPA and Dak Prescott's lowest YPA game through the first five games was 6.8. That further magnifies the issue that is the Cowboys have a lot of mouths to feed in the passing game. CeeDee Lamb has shown to be NFL ready in his rookie season and Michael Gallup is very capable as a third receiving option. Cooper has a below-average target of 23% compared to other high-salary WRs. That was boosted by the extremely pass-heavy approach the Cowboys had and were forced into. With an over/under of 46 points and more run-heavy approach with Dalton, the ceiling is not there for Cooper. The Cowboys had a pass rate of 63% in neutral game scripts the first 5 weeks. This past game the pass rate dipped to 57%.

Pace of Play

Upgrades

Jaguars (@ LAC) - Jaguars slowest neutral game script pace -> Chargers 12th fastest

Browns (@ CIN) - Bengals 11th fastest neutral game pace -> Browns 18th fastest

Steelers (@ TEN) - Titans 3rd fastest neutral game pace -> Steelers 13th fastest

Downgrades

Chargers (vs. JAX) - Jaguars slowest neutral game script pace

Bengals (vs. CLE) - Browns 50% run rate in neutral game script and 18th fastest pace

Projected Fast Pace Game:

Cardinals vs Seahawks - Both teams Top 10 in neutral game script pace (Over/Under of 56.5)

Falcons vs Lions - Both teams Top 5 in neutral game script pace (Over/Under of 56.5)

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