Week 7 Advanced Matchups

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Week 7 Advanced Matchups

Dealing with four teams on a bye is easy enough. Week 7 schedules six teams for a week of rest. Devoting our efforts toward rostering the highest-owned individuals in Cash/Single-Entry (SE) will be of the utmost importance, and differentiating our lineups in GPPs will be more difficult. Digging into every matchup on the slate to reduce the number of names on our list, the reduced number of teams does nothing to devalue the benefits of concentrating the focus of our DFS investment.

You’ll see a number of coverage metrics throughout this series. The following chart provides the full names for the acronyms and the average numbers for each position group:

If you’d like to learn more about/refresh yourself with each of the defensive coverage shells mentioned throughout this series and other relevant schematic details, utilize the following resources:

  • Fantasy Shells: Coverage Glossary

  • Fantasy Shells: Cover 1

  • Fantasy Shells: Cover 2

  • Fantasy Shells: Cover 3

  • Fantasy Shells: Cover 4

ATS Picks

*18-20 (47%); 4-3 in Week 6

Denver Broncos (+3.5) at Cleveland Browns
Washington Football Team (+9.5) at Green Bay Packers
New England Patriots (-6.5) vs. New York Jets
Tennessee Titans (+5.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs
New York Giants (+3.0) vs. Carolina Panthers
Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) at Miami Dolphins
Philadelphia Eagles (+3.0) at Las Vegas Raiders
New Orleans Saints (-4.5) at Seattle Seahawks

Game Totals

*14-15 (48%); 3-5 in Week 6

Atlanta Dolphins at Miami Dolphins (Over 47.5)
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (Over 47.0)
Carolina Panthers at New York Giants (Over 43.0)
Philadelphia Eagles at Las Vegas Raiders (Under 49.5)
Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Over 47.0)
New Orleans at Seattle Seahawks (Under 43.0)

Moneyline

*23-7 (77%); 8-3 in Week 6

Denver Broncos (+145) at Cleveland Browns
Green Bay Packers (-450) vs. Washington Football Team
New England Patriots (-320) vs. New York Jets
Baltimore Ravens (-275) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Tennessee Titans (+200) vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Atlanta Falcons (-140) at Miami Dolphins
Los Angeles Rams (-900) vs. Detroit Lions
Philadelphia Eagles (+150) at Las Vegas Raiders
Arizona Cardinals (-1500) vs. Houston Texans
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-720) vs. Chicago Bears
San Francisco 49ers (-210) vs. Indianapolis Colts
New Orleans (-235) at Seattle Seahawks

Matchups to Target

Aaron Rodgers, GB ($7.5K DK | $7.9K FD) vs. Washington’s Cover 1 | 4

For obvious reasons, the coverage algorithm loves the Packers’ passing offense above all others this week. Washington is permitting the most FPG to entire offenses (112.5), QBs (27.0), and second-most to opposing WR groups this season (46.3). Over the last four games, they’ve also given up the second-most FPG to RBs (31.4). But the formula is not simply favoring Aaron Rodgers with the highest QB score of the week based on what WFT has allotted to QBs. For reasons that I cannot comprehend, DC Jack Del Rio has flipped his rotation from using Cover 3 at the ninth-highest and Cover 1 at the 21st-highest rate last season to using Cover 1 at the ninth-most and Cover 3 at the 18th-most this season.

A high rate of Cover 1 is a luxury that has been afforded to Rodgers this season. In every single game where the opposing defense featured a Cover 1 last season, Rodgers led the Green Bay offense to scoring at least 30 points and an average of 35 PPG. Rodgers has curated 0.51 FPs/dropback (sixth-best), a 106.5 passer rating (fifth), and 34 TDs to three INTs against Cover 1 over the last three campaigns. Washington also utilizes Cover 4 at the fifth-highest rate. And, against it over the last three seasons, Mr. Rodgers ranks second-best with 0.40 FP/Db, with an 11% increase in YPA, and 24% increase in air yards/attempt. The only factor standing in his way is a top-three pass rush.

Robert Tonyan, GB ($3.5K DK | $5.1K FD) vs. Kamren Curl, WAS

Who? Robert Tonyan has been one of the biggest TE flops of the season. No way to sugarcoat it. He’s scored three FPs or fewer in five-of-six games. Green Bay’s offense running the ninth-fewest plays/game (60.7), running the ball at the 11th-highest rate (41.5%), and Davante Adams garnering a 37% target share have left little for “Bobby Onion.” For clarity, the algorithm loves him this week. With Tonyan’s pricing dropping 17% below his opening day salaries, I am in agreement. Washington’s scheme rotations is a collection of coverage shells that fits perfectly with Tonyan’s profile: Cover 1, 3, and 4 that will account for three-fourths of all snaps. Priced as the TE18/19, Tonyan offers a low-priced secondary stack, potentially overlooked, to the Rodgers-Adams chalk.

Taylor Heinicke, WAS ($5.2K DK | $6.9K FD) vs. Packers’ Cover 4 | 6

Taylor Heinicke’s ownership was between 10-15% in GPPs last week. That’s a lot of peeps burned, including myself, in a spot against the generous Kansas City defense where he should’ve blown up. Keep in mind that Washington only trailed 13-10 when Antonio Gibson injured his calf. From my viewpoint, the issue wasn’t with Heinicke, it was in Washington being forced to abandon the run. At halftime, Heinicke was on pace for 19 FPs. But, in the second half after the Gibson injury, he was only able to tack on a single FP. The fact that his air yards/attempt plummeted by 67% as the Chiefs went Cover 3 Zone-heavy following Gibson’s departure is eye-opening. After targeting his receivers 17 times in the first half, Heinicke targeted his RBs eight times compared to three for his receivers in the second half.

A full week of practice for WFT to develop a game plan without Gibson may not deliver the victory on Lambeau Field, but it will at least present the young QB with a collection of plays attacking the second- and third-levels of the Green Bay defense. We’ll still see Heinicke check down to J.D. McKissic, but that will not be the focus of attack. Heinicke will face a Green Bay defense featuring the fifth-highest rate of Cover 4 this season. And it just so happens that Heinicke ranks fifth-best with 0.38 FP/Db vs. Cover 4 during his career. That production is the second-highest FP/Db bump (19%) among all QBs starting in Week 7. And he leads all QBs against Cover 4 with a 64% spike in air yards/attempt.

J.D. McKissic, WAS ($5.0K DK | $5.7K FD) vs. Packers’ Cover 4 | 6

Combining the five games last season after Antonio Gibson injured his foot and last week when he hurt his calf, J.D. McKissic has posted 17.4 FPG on an average of 15.8 touches/game. It’s a shame that Gibson will miss Week 7, my coverage formula projected him for the fifth-highest RB output. McKissic does not offer the rushing upside of Gibson. To the point that we can expect him to split the carries with Jaret Patterson this week. But McKissic will be the tertiary, at worst, focus of a passing attack expected to play from a negative script with the fourth-highest spread of Week 7. The Packers are coming off 12.0 pure receiving FPG to RBs (13th-most) this season.

Final notes on Washington

We will need to see some significant progress from Antonio Gibson ($5.9K/$6.6K) to give us any sort of exposure confidence. I can personally attest to how easy calf damage can be re-aggravated. For that reasoning alone, I will have zero shares of Gibson this week. It’s possible that Ryan Fitzpatrick could return from his hip injury next week. And you can guarantee Taylor Heinicke is fully aware. If Heinicke wants to make his case for keeping the starting role and his team from falling to 2-5, getting the ball into Terry McLaurin’s ($6.9K/$7.2K) hands must be a top priority.

The factor keeping Scary Terry from being listed as a bona fide Target: 2021 first-rounder Eric Stokes. They will cross paths on enough snaps to make a difference. He’s limited his coverage to 1.12 YPCS (36th-best), 0.25 FP/CS (38th), 0.39 AY/CS (49th), and a 74.4 TPR (16th). Far from shutdown numbers, but Stokes has played better since a poor Week 4. If F1 McLaurin is unable to get going, Dyami Brown ($3.6K/$4.9K) doesn’t appear to be quite ready for a significant role, and Adam Humphries ($3.1K/$5.0K) is completely unreliable. Back-to-back solid games from Ricky Seals-Jones ($3.7K/$5.4K) sets up as the only threats to McLaurin and McKissic’s workloads.

Final notes on Green Bay

Aaron Jones ($7.5K/$8.5K) is going to put up FPs. Count on it. But can he do more than 22.5/21.3 with AJ Dillon ($4.6K/$5.4K) taking 35-40% of the carries? Dillon didn’t see any targets last week — Jones only saw an 8% share, but Dillon did run routes at a 20% increased rate last week over his season average. The formula is calling for Jones to fall short of floor value. Davante Adams ($8.9K/$9.0K) is priced as the WR1/1. The projection is calling his salaries on both slates as the top value at the position, especially on FD. If he doesn’t blow up here, it would be the biggest surprise of Week 7.

Allen Lazard ($4.2K/$5.5K) scored a fluky Jet Sweep TD last week. While he did get a 24% target share (five), it resulted in merely a 3/27/1 line. Extremely difficult to trust. And Randall Cobb ($4.0K/$5.4K) might be Rodgers’ bestie, but it’s a relationship that’s only been rewarded with route percentages above 50% in two games, and the same goes for his target shares.

Matchups to Target

Damien Harris, NE ($5.7K DK | $6.8K FD) vs. Jets’ Cover 1 | 3 | 4

After games with 15% and 14% target shares wasted on Brandon Bolden, Week 6 welcomed signs that his role might decline. Even though Damien Harris was only provided with a 5% target share, at least Bolden only touched the ball twice. In most weeks, the desired approach is to fade the plodders. Harris attended high school right down the road from my home. I know for a fact that he is a skilled receiver. So, while I personally feel Harris is being unfairly phased out of the passing game, this is a game where the Patriots are going to stomp a trail directly over the Jets in Foxboro.

At the time of this writing, New England is listed as 6.5-point favorites. It’s the only no-brain wager I placed this week. Easy money. The Pats just cruised past New York 25-6 in Week 2… on the road. Harris put up 13.4 FPs in that game. Sans impossible matchups against the Saints and Buccaneers’ run defenses, Harris is averaging 14.2 FPG. That would rank him 13th-best overall. And the Jets are surrendering the most FPG to opposing RBs overall (32.8), over the last four games (34.0).

Jakobi Meyers, NE ($5.3K DK | $5.7K FD) vs. Michael Carter II, NYJ

As long as Jakobi Meyers is priced the same in the easier matchups as he is in the difficult ones, expect to see him listed as a Target. Meyers essentially never leaves the field and owns the 13th-highest target share. If he made a couple stops in the end zone — he had a big TD grab called back on a hold in Week 7, his PPR upside would make him a weekly play. And it’s the consistent volume that elevates him over his WR teammates. New York continues to utilize a rookie as their nickelback, Michael Carter II. The ‘21 fifth-rounder is licensing 0.92 YPCS (15th among slot CBs), 0.22 FP/CS (20th), and an 81.1 TPR (11th). And you want to target your receivers on the inside against NYJ since they are closing down production outside at only 9.1 FPG (the lowest).

Matchups to Avoid

Zach Wilson, NYJ ($5.1K DK | $6.4K FD) vs. Patriots’ Cover 1

Zach Wilson has made some strides over the previous two games against Cover 1. Enough to pull his FP/Db out of the negative. But he is still light years from being someone to trust against a defense that features Cover 1 at the highest rate this season. When facing the single-high scheme, Wilson ranks 31-of-32 QBs starting in Week 7 with 0.10 FP/Db. That’s a 56% decrease in his already weak average. His passer rating (43.4) is only a hair above simply spiking the football, and he’s thrown zero TDs compared to three INTs.

Final notes on New York

Michael Carter ($4.8K/$5.6K) is still the leader of the RB rotation. He’s one of only two lead backs priced under $5K on DK (Mark Ingram II). With Wilson projected for the lowest output of Week 7, Corey Davis ($5.2K/$5.9K), Jamison Crowder ($4.9K/$5.8K), Keelan Cole ($3.0K/$5.1K), and Elijah Moore ($3.6K/$4.9K) are hard-capped in the upside department.

Final notes on New England

Even when Mac Jones ($5.3K/$6.8K) led his offense to 29 points in an overtime loss to Dallas, he only managed to provide one FP over floor value. That’s not to suggest we should discount his play in any way. There is no doubt that Jones is the future at QB for the Patriots. But his game-managing playstyle is not going to result in DFS usefulness for quite some time. That’s far from the case for Rhamondre Stevenson ($4.7K/$5.6K). The clock is ticking for Damien Harris to miss a game. When he does, Stevenson is going to be an instant exposure candidate.

Nelson Agholor ($3.7K/$5.5K) should not have left Las Vegas. The Kendrick Bourne ($4.4K/$5.3K) TD last week was a complete anomaly. Look elsewhere. The other Patriot to consider is Hunter Henry ($4.1K/$5.7K). He has clearly moved ahead of Jonnu Smith ($2.8K/$4.9K), doubling him up in team routes, and target share. And he’s collected a TD in each of the last three.

Matchups to Target

Joe Burrow, CIN ($6.2K DK | $7.2K FD) vs. Ravens’ Cover 1 | 6

I’m well aware of what happened last season when Joe Burrow traveled with his team to Baltimore in Week 5. It was a performance that stands as the worst of his early career, posting just 4.3 FPs. But Burrow will have three things in his favor that he didn’t possess when he faced the Ravens last season:

  1. An improved O-line
  2. Ja’Marr Chase
  3. C.J. Uzomah

Without an O-line able to withstand Baltimore’s constant all-out blitzes from a Cover “Free” scheme (Cover 0), Burrow wasn’t provided with enough time to take advantage of the Ravens’ high Cover 1 and Cover 6 rates. After standing as the worst O-line in the NFL last season, the Bengals’ unit has limited the opposition to the fewest QB pressures/game this season. Take a moment to consume that turnaround. It’s a level of improvement that my old eyes have never witnessed.

I’ll discuss both Chase and Uzomah below. For Burrow, during his career, he ranks third-best with 0.56 FP/Db against Cover 1, and he’s thrown 10 TDs vs. a single INT. He ranks third-best with a 112.4 passer rating, with a 19% spike in YPA, and 21% bump in air yards/attempt. On 23% of dropbacks vs. Cover 1 over that time, he’s thrown for 28% of his yardage and 37% of his career TDs. The Ravens aren’t using Cover 1 at the same rate without Marcus Peters, but still rely on it at the 10th-highest rate.

Baltimore shifted all of those Cover 1 percentage points to Cover 6 at the eighth-highest rate. While Cover 6 is a scheme that extracts the very worst out of most NFL QBs, Burrow ranks 11th-best with 0.37 FP/Db. He’s been so comfortable working across from the shell that splits half of the defense into a Cover 4 and the other into a Cover 2 (4 + 2 = 6) that Matthew Stafford is the only other QB during the last three years to throw for at least 10% of total yards against the scheme. NFL defenses average 17.1 QB pressures/game. The ‘21 Ravens are averaging 17.2, with 10-or-fewer in four games. If they can’t get consistent pressure on Burrow, upset action will be brewing in the pot.

Ja’Marr Chase, CIN ($6.2K DK | $7.5K FD) vs. Anthony Averett, BAL

Ja’Marr Chase is only a rookie. Someone needs to remind him. The fifth-overall selection in the ‘21 draft is 6-foot-0, 200-pounder with 4.34-speed, a 41-inch vertical, and 132-inch broad jump — all three above the 90th percentile when adjusted for size — currently ranks sixth among all wideouts with 19.7 FPG. One of the concerns brought up as to whether Chase will manage to keep the pace going is only ranking 39th with 6.67 targets/game. And further that Cincinnati is running the ball at the sixth-highest rate. That high rushing rate leads us to our counter-answer in both regards. Cincy has found themselves in late clock-killing situations in three-of-six games (Minnesota, at Pittsburgh, and at Detroit). In those three games, the Bengals outscored their opponents 65-21 over the first three quarters.

In the other three games, they neither led or found themselves behind by more than a TD. All of that said in order to state that Cincinnati has only found themselves down by double-digits once this season. And Burrow responded by looking to Chase for a 42-yard TD in Week 2 at Chicago. Chase is going to produce. The main reason we haven’t seen him blow up further is game script-related. We’ve yet to see the ceiling of his potential. A game where Cincy finds themselves down big early enough could be the date. And the Ravens are currently favored by six points.

Chase ranks first among all WRs this season with 0.97 FP/Rt and 4.61 yards/route run (YPRR) vs. Cover 1. On 22% of his routes, he’s found the time to bring in 33% of his receptions, 34% of his yardage, and 40% of his TDs. When facing Cover 6, he ranks fifth-best this season with 0.56 FP/Rt, fourth with 3.00 YPRR, and third with 17.0 yards/target (YPT). The coverage algorithm likes two wideouts head-and-shoulders above everyone else in Week 7: Davante Adams and Chase.

Final notes on Cincinnati

It took five games, but Joe Mixon ($6.5K/$7.2K) finally submitted another 20-plus FP performance (26.3) against Detroit. The Ravens have permitted the 10th-most FPG to RBs overall (26.3), but that number plummets to 17.6 over the last two (11th-fewest). Samaje Perine ($4.7K/$5.4K) has actually been the more impressive of the two when we factor in average yardage after contact (aYAC), negative run rate, and yardage before contact. I had envisioned a three-way split between Chase, Tee Higgins ($4.9K/$6.1K), and Tyler Boyd ($4.7K/$5.8K) prior to the season. That was before Chase decided to go all Justin Jefferson on us. Higgins will be dealing with Marlon Humphrey on too many snaps for my taste. Boyd will have the best matchup in Tavon Young after Averett on Chase. For C.J. Uzomah ($3.0K/$5.2K), he ranks 15th with 0.32 FP/Rt and fifth with a 118.8 TPR against Cover 6 over the last three seasons.

Final notes on Baltimore

You’ll likely have noticed that no Raven is listed with a Matchup to Target in a game where they are favored. While my formula actually projects more FPs for Burrow, Lamar Jackson ($7.4K/$8.4K) is always a consideration, as his pricing (QB5/3) implies. It seems Baltimore is able to pull any veteran off the street to play RB for them with Latavius Murray ($5.8K/$5.8K), Le’Veon Bell ($4.5K/$5.2K), and Devonta Freeman ($4.4K/$5.7K) providing shades of success. Don’t be fooled. Without Jackson’s elite rushing ability, this backfield would be garbage.

The issue with Marquise Brown ($5.8K/$7.3K) is having to deal with Chidobe Awuzie’s coverage. Awuzie may not seem like a tough matchup with surrendering 1.12 YPCS (37th), 0.28 FP/CS (56th), and 0.40 AY/CS (54th) to his coverage. But a couple big plays are built into those numbers. He’s been targeted at the third-lowest rate this season (22%) and ranks 15th-best with a 72.6 TPR. Rashod Bateman ($3.4K/$5.3K) was thrown directly into the fire in his debut. He ran 67% of team routes and took on a 24% target share. Sammy Watkins ($4.5K/$5.5K) is still not practicing with a hamstring injury. And that kind of volume for Bateman will be DFS gold at his pricing if Cincinnati is as game as I believe they’ll be. With Bateman on the field, Devin Duvernay ($3.6K/$5.2K) is not a target. Mark Andrews ($6.0K/$7.5K) is now packing price points that are in line with his recent play.

Easy buttons rarely exist in the DFS world. When they do pop up (i.e., last week when Tua Tagovailoa was priced at $4K on DK), the field pounces. If you want Patrick Mahomes II, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, or Derrick Henry from this matchup, you need to devote 15-to-18% of your cap. When you commit to one, they had better produce or no cash.

Matchups to Target

Ryan Tannehill, TEN ($6.4K DK | $7.6K FD) vs. Chiefs’ Cover 1 | 2 | 6

Why would I recommend a QB that has only topped 20 FPs in one game this season, has only averaged 15.6 FPG over his last three, and has fallen short of floor value in each? When the Titans defeated Buffalo on Monday Night Football, they positioned themselves with an 87% chance to make the playoffs. Tennessee will close out the rest of the season with the fifth-easiest schedule. And they’ll welcome two of their three most significant remaining tests at home. That includes this one against Kansas City. I can appreciate why the money would expect the Chiefs to pull this game out. We all know what they’ve accomplished the last two seasons. Take caution in tailing that money.

With both offenses working at a frantic pace, these teams combine for the highest average pace of play for Week 7 at 137.2 plays/game. Kansas City is utilizing a watered down scheme rotation to what they used last season. They field the fifth-highest rate of Cover 2 and the fifth-highest rate of man coverage. When KC puts their Cover 2 in action, they’ll be met with the seventh-highest FP/Db from Tannehill over the last three campaigns (0.40). During that time frame against Cover 1, Tanny ranks eighth with 0.47 FP/Db. Between the two coverages, Tannehill has thrown 34 TDs compared to 12 INTs. Kansas City is authorizing the fifth-most FPG to opposing offenses (103.6) and second-most to opposing QBs (25.0).

Mecole Hardman, KC ($4.3K DK | $5.4K FD) vs. Elijah Molden, TEN

With a 57.5-point implied combined total, we will all want a piece of the action in this matchup. The big hitters are all going to be chalk. But one individual I’ve been bearish on in the past has pieced together some consistency, especially over the last two weeks. More than anything, the rapport between Mecole Hardman and Mahomes has been clear as day. There is no doubt that OC Eric Bieniemy has drawn up plays specifically designed to quickly put the ball into Hardman’s hands. The interchangeable slot-to-outside rotation between Hill and Hardman envisioned when he was drafted has been set in motion. Hardman is averaging 13.2 FPG over the last two weeks with 17 total targets.

Tennessee recently lost corners Kristian Fulton and Caleb Farley to injury. For a defense hemorrhaging FPs to receivers out of the slot (second-most at 27.0), defending Hill and Hardman will fall on the shoulders of ‘21 third-round nickelback Elijah Molden and dimeback Chris Jackson. Molden is permitting 1.33 YPCS (30th among slot CBs), 0.33 FP/CS (36th), 0.28 AY/CS (31st), and a 153.0 TPR (43rd) that borders on perfect. Molden has been the sixth-most targeted slot corner this season. Jackson has better metrics than Molden this season. And that is likely to land him across from Hill when DC Shane Bowen has a say.

Final notes on Kansas City

With values such as Hardman available, lineups featuring Patrick Mahomes II ($8.4K/$8.8K), Tyreek Hill ($8.6K/$8.5K) OR Travis Kelce ($7.6K/$8.2K), and with a Henry runback are entirely in play. But we definitely should not forget about Darrel Williams ($5.8K/$6.7K). Scoring a pair of TDs against a stout Washington front was impressive. When working against eight-or-nine in the box, Williams leads all RBs with 2.07 FPs/attempt (FP/Att). The Titans are stacking the box at twice the rate (13th-most) than they did in either of the last two seasons. Just when it seems that Demarcus Robinson ($3.4K/$5.3K) is finally being phased out of the offense, he’s provided with six targets, and scores a TD. Superior in every way imaginable, Byron Pringle ($3.3K/$5.2K) will eclipse 30 years of age before Bieniemy finally realizes Robinson is the least efficient WR in the NFL.

Final notes on Tennessee

If Derrick Henry ($9.2K/$11.0K) can put 143 yards and three TDs on the Bills, no defense is safe. King Henry is going to roll back the modest improvements the Chiefs have made against the run over the last four weeks. KC is still permitting 133.2 rushing YPG (sixth-most), 5.2 YPC (second), a 3.23% 20-yard run rate (sixth), 33.5% rushing first down rate (the highest), and 1.5 TDs/game (second). Henry is always a problem. He is going to be the problematic factor that leads to an “upset” in Nashville.

It’s quite amazing to see the level of difference A.J. Brown’s ($6.3K/$7.0K) presence makes for the Tennessee offense when he’s on the field. And Julio Jones ($6.1K/$6.9K) also plays a massive role. This is a spot against a generous defense where Brown will likely be expected to do well. But KC utilizes too many Cover 2 and Cover 6 reps for me to invest in AJB. Jones would be the superior target but, yet again, Julio is dealing with a soft tissue injury. If Brown (illness, expected to play) and Jones miss Week 7, Tannehill would be eliminated from consideration with Chester Rogers ($3.4K/$5.3K) and Anthony Firkser ($3.1K/$4.9K) as his top two options.

Matchups to Target

Daniel Jones, NYG ($5.4K DK | $7.0K FD) vs. Panthers’ Cover 1 | 4

The tendency is for the field to shy away from QBs after brutal outings, even when they faced difficult matchups. In the case of Daniel Jones, his ownership was higher than it should have been facing a nasty Rams’ defense due to the interest in Kadarius Toney. Everything appeared to be golden when Toney threw together a 3/36/0 line on the opening drive until he aggravated his ankle injury. We can’t hold his Week 5 performance (4.82 FPs) against him after being forced out with a scary concussion. And we can only blame ourselves for rostering Jones against Los Angeles. But those back-to-back duds did lead to $600/$400 salary discounts.

Both of the schemes the Panthers feature just happen to be Danny Dime’s specialities. Carolina is fielding the sixth-highest rate of Cover 4 and 11th-highest of Cover 1. Against those two coverages, Jones has connected on a combined 17 TDs vs. four INTs. When opposed by all other coverage types: 22 TDs vs. 22 INTs. Jones ranks 10th-best with 0.34 FP/Db when he’s faced Cover 4 during his career. He also has the fifth-highest passer rating (97.6) and the fourth-highest TD rate (10.3%).

When defenses have fielded a Cover 1 during his career, he ranks 15th-best with 0.38 FP/Db. His YPA increases by 10% (seventh-most), air yards/attempt by 22% (fifth), and passer rating by 7% (sixth). While Jones’ prospects would skyrocket if Toney and/or Saquon Barkley were cleared to play, even if they are both ruled out, the pricing on Jones as the QB20/18 provides outstanding salary relief.

Sterling Shepard, NYG ($5.6K DK | $6.5K FD) vs. A.J. Bouye, CAR

Even entering a plus spot, ownership numbers tend to fall under the expectation when the QB that has burned the field in multiple previous weeks. Jones fits that profile to the letter. Sterling Shepard has really stepped forward when healthy this season, producing numbers in line with his opportunities. In three healthy games, he’s generated a 8.7/94.3/0.3 line on 33 total targets for 20.8 FPG. And so many DFS degenerates were catfished by Toney that a good number are likely completely unaware of the fact that Shepard caught 10 passes in Week 6. As with other volume plays, the coverage algorithm falls short of identifying that type of upside.

A.J. Bouye has been okay in coverage this season. He’ll need to be far better than okay in defense of Shepard. Among slot corners, Bouye ranks 36th in YPCS, 35th in FP/CS, 34th in AY/CS, and 23rd in TPR. In Week 6, Bouye permitted an 11/123/0 line on 13 targets.

Final notes on Carolina

The final numbers show Sam Darnold ($5.9K/$7.7K) fell just shy of his floor with 17.1 FPs last week. At the end of the third quarter, Darnold had 95 passing yards, one INT, and zero rushing yards. He collected 84% of his FPs in the fourth quarter. Should we care when a QB puts up his numbers? No. But we should care about the path taken to those numbers. And Darnold’s path teetered ever so close to a wheels-falling-off result. I was very close to listing Chuba Hubbard ($6.1K/$7.3K) as a Target. It’s a great spot against a run defense permitting the fifth-most FPG to RBs (29.1). Keep him on your list this week.

That’s now back-to-back duds from DJ Moore ($7.1K/$7.7K). But we should not be placing the blame on his shoulders. Robby Anderson ($4.8K/$5.5K) has become a distraction. Sideshow Bob — I just made it up and I’m locking it in — just finished off one of the worst three-game stretches of play that I’ve ever witnessed. His recent juvenile hissy fit led to receiving 28 targets over those three games. He only caught 10 (36%), dropped four, and averaged a pedestrian 2.4 YAC/reception. That’s 0.65 YPRR for the kids back at home.

The data tells us that both Moore and Robinson should thrive against James Bradberry and Adoree' Jackson, respectively. The Giants are surrendering the second-most FPG to receivers aligned on the perimeter this season. Should we trust either? I have faith in DJM, but the pricing needs to come down. It’ll be quite some time before Anderson comes anywhere near my lineups. It should be pretty obvious that Terrace Marshall Jr. ($3.2K/$4.8K), Brandon Zylstra ($3.0K/$4.9K), Tommy Tremble ($2.7K/$4.7K), and Ian Thomas ($2.9K/$4.5K) should not be on the menu.

Final notes on New York

Saquon Barkley’s ($6.7K/$6.5K) presence would be a welcomed sight for New York. My first instinct is to sympathize with the Giants being forced to feature Devontae Booker ($5.5K/$5.8K), but they made their own bed when they signed him to the roster. If both Kadarius Toney and Kenny Golladay are ruled out — which is expected, we’ll likely see Dante Pettis ($3.0K/$5.2K) against the breakout coverage of Donte Jackson. For whatever reason, Pettis worked ahead of John Ross III ($3.1K/$5.1K) last week. If Darius Slayton ($4.0K/$5.5K) is cleared, he’ll be opposed by ‘21 fifth-rounder Keith Taylor, and relegate Ross to the fourth chair. It sure would help out Jones if Evan Engram ($3.6K/$5.0K) stepped up with just a portion of his talent. Anything beyond an acrobatic 11-yard reception is likely asking too much.

Matchups to Target

Matt Ryan, ATL ($5.7K DK | $7.3K FD) vs. Dolphins’ Cover 1

Am I on Matt Ryan this week because he’s opposed by the defense that just lost to the Jaguars? Is it because he’s averaged 23.1 FPG over his last four games? Would it be because he’s thrown 14 TDs vs. four INTs against Cover 1, the same scheme Miami features at the second-highest rate? Some say, when you beat the best, you become the best. Does that extend to the result of losing to the worst? Miami’s coaching staff made some bone-headed mistakes that cost them the game in the United Kingdom last week. But the fact that Jacksonville accumulated 396 total yards had less to do with poor sideline decision-making, and more to do with the personnel.

Just when it seemed Ryan might have ingested too many Roethlis-burgers, he bounced back with some impressive showings. He threw down 342 passing yards without Calvin Ridley in Week 5, and used the occasion to feed Kyle Pitts with his first cornerstone performance. The ‘Phins are now tolerating the second-most FPG to opposing offenses (107.6). They are gift-wrapping 21.0 FPG to QBs overall (10th-most), 23.6 over the last four (third), and 29.5 over the last two (second). It started with bleeding FPs to RBs. Now the floodgates have opened. Every single skill position (QB, RB, WR, and TE) is averaging top-five production overall, in the last four games, and/or the last two. Week 7 offers far more options than those rostered by Kansas City and Tennessee.

Cordarrelle Patterson, ATL ($6.3K DK | $8.0K FD) vs. Dolphins’ Cover 1

You have two options:

  1. RB Alpha is garnering 23.0 touches/game (fourth-most), a 20% target share (second), drawing a 21% target rate when on the field (34th), generating 18.0 FPG (eighth-best), 8.9 pure receiving FPG (seventh), 0.76 FPs/touch (61st), and 1.13 YPRR (47th)
  2. RB Beta is garnering 13.8 touches/game (32nd), a 14% target share (fifth), drawing a 37% target rate when on the field (first), generating 20.4 FPG (third-best), 15.7 pure receiving FPG (first), 1.48 FPs/touch (first), and 3.93 YPRR (first)

Perhaps you’ll choose the volume over the efficiency. If you did, you’d have Alvin Kamara slotted into your lineup. And nobody could make an overwhelming argument against the decision. The point isn’t to devalue Kamara, it’s to speak to the underappreciation for Cordarrelle Patterson’s value.

It was all about the money targets for Patterson until Week 5. Money targets and otherworldly efficiency. But Week 5 provided another wrinkle. For the first time this season, Patterson overtook Mike Davis in the backfield share — 48% to 45%, respectively, and route percentages — 52% to 43%, respectively. And Cordarrelle was also provided with his highest target share at 19%. The pricing has caught up to the production on FD. But we still have a window for Patterson exposure as the RB12 on DK.

Jaylen Waddle, MIA ($5.6K DK | $5.9K FD) vs. Darren Hall, ATL

In the three games Jaylen Waddle has played with his former Alabama teammate, Tua Tagovailoa, under center, he’s created 18.3 FPG. Waddle has found the end zone three times, all when working with Tagovailoa, and the only three TD passes thrown by Tua this season. Waddle is seeing a target share of 0.8% less than DeVonta Smith, but he’s producing 2.2 more FPG. In order for Waddle to succeed this week, he’ll need to buck the trend of Atlanta giving up the most FPG to receivers stationed outside (23.5), fourth-fewest from the slot (14.8). And it appears that Waddle will mostly be the responsibility of ‘21 fourth-rounder Darren Hall. With only 17 coverage snaps, Hall fails to qualify among slot corners. Overall, the Dirty Birds are permitting the 10th-most FPG to opposing WRs. More than enough data points directing us toward some Waddle in Week 7.

Final notes on Atlanta

It would be unwise to expect Mike Davis ($5.2K/$6.3K) to exceed floor value as the 1B in Atlanta. It’s going to be big for Ryan to have Calvin Ridley ($6.6K/$7.3K) and Russell Gage ($4.0K/$5.2K) on the field at the same time while he’s playing so well. And Kyle Pitts ($5.9K/$6.1K) will only need a couple more big games until he’s exceeded the vast majority of his position. Eric Rowe has been checking opposing TEs this season. He did well in coverage on Darren Waller to 10.4 FPs in Week 3, but Waller has not shown out like we’ve come to expect. Pitts has as much upside as any at the position, but it does seem a bit premature to see his pricing already reaching TE4/6 levels.

Final notes on Miami

It’s extremely poor timing from Miami’s camp to be shopping Tua Tagovailoa ($5.5K/$7.1K) around a few days after losing to the Jaguars. What happened in Week 6 was not Tua’s fault in any way. It really speaks to the Dolphins’ scouting shortcomings that they are already unhappy after 10 NFL starts. This spot against Atlanta is a near-guarantee for profit over value from Tua. And the algorithm agrees. Tagovailoa has generated consistent results within 0.3 FP/Db against each of the five most common coverage schemes. That highlights future stud potential in my eyes.

I warned last week about trusting Myles Gaskin’s ($5.3K/$5.6K) big Week 5. A three-headed rotation with Salvon Ahmed ($4.0K/$5.1K) and Malcolm Brown ($4.0K/$5.2K) is a death sentence for the lot. If DeVante Parker ($5.0K/$5.6K) and/or Preston Williams ($3.1K/$5.2K) take the field, it’ll be a boost to Tagovailoa, but I’ll be fading both. Mike Gesicki ($4.7K/$6.0K) has emerged as the No. 2 option for Miami. Even after three TE1 games in his last four, Gesicki is still priced as the TE9/7.

Matchups to Target

Matthew Stafford, LAR ($7.1K DK | $8.1K FD) vs. Lions’ Cover 2 | 3 | 6

My approach to dealing with players facing their former teams leans more to the side of the emotion of the experience doing more harm than good in their performance. But running out of steam is not an issue at QB. And we rarely see big-time QBs in these situations. Tom Brady ran into some issues in Foxboro in Week 4. But I fully invest in the narrative of Bill Belichick keeping an unhealthy catalogue of New England practice tape when The GOAT was a Patriot as playing a significant role in that outcome. Matthew Stafford will not have to deal with any Detroit coach accumulating his practice film since their tenures are extremely short.

The Lions are featuring the ninth-highest rate of Cover 6, intermingled with top-15 rates of Cover 2 and 3. Stafford “only” ranks 12th in FP/DB against Cover 3, but he’ll be a plump Augustus in a chocolate factory when Detroit fields their Cover 2 and 6. During the previous three seasons, Stafford is pacing all QBs with 0.43 FP/Db against Cover 2. His 105.4 passer rating is fourth-best and he’s tossed seven TDs without an INT. During that precise period of time, Stafford is also leading all QBs with 0.49 FP/Db when facing Cover 6. He’s fabricated a 113.0 passer rating (the best), with a 31% increase in YPA (second). The fact that the Lions traded Stafford to a top-five team guarantees that no bad bad blood between the two will exist. And therein lies the ultimate risk. When the Rams build a significant lead, count on Stafford taking his foot off the gas.

Darrell Henderson Jr., LAR ($6.6K DK | $8.0K FD) vs. Lions’ Cover 2 | 3 | 6

While the passing offense of Los Angeles may ultimately take it easy on Detroit in the fourth quarter, do not expect the same decency from the rushing attack. The Lions are obliging the second-most FPG to RBs overall (31.9), sixth-most over the last four games (29.1), and fourth-most during the last two (38.3). With Vegas money pushing the spread toward the Rams giving 15.5 points to the Lions (second-most). LAR has been opposed by the seventh-most difficult schedule to date. Yet, the Rams have still managed to claim the fifth-highest chance of earning a playoff bid.

With a top-five O-line sealing off lanes, Los Angeles is handing the ball off at the ninth-highest rate (42.4%). The populace feared the worst when Cam Akers ruptured his Achilles. But Darrell Henderson Jr. has not missed a beat in his place. Even though he’s only averaged 16.2 attempts/game (10th-most), Henderson has still produced 12.2 pure rushing FPG (fifth). My coverage algorithm is only projecting Henderson for fewer points than Derrick Henry in Week 7. I’d even go as far as stating that, health permitting, the floor for Henderson this week is higher than that of Henry.

Matchups to Avoid

T.J. Hockenson, DET ($5.1K DK | $6.2K FD) vs. Jalen Ramsey, LAR

It’s a fool's errand attempting to decipher a pattern from Jalen Ramsey’s weekly alignment. Rather than tagging him as a slot or outside corner, it appears as though Ramsey is basing his location on the alignment of the most significant threat on the opposing offense. However, that theory is not meant to imply that Ramsey has returned to his shadowing ways. It is entirely clear — at least through six weeks — that DC Raheem Morris does not want Ramsey tailing a single receiver. If I were to venture a guess, I’d say Ramsey is basing his alignment on the alignment averages of each opposing offense's most significant threats. To date, he has stationed himself in the slot on just under 50% of snaps, and on the perimeter on just under 40%.

As anticipated, it only took two receptions from Kadarius Toney on the opening drive until Ramsey shifted across from the ‘21 first-rounder until his injury. It would’ve been nice to see if he would’ve broken the shadow “rule” if Toney had managed to remain in the game. For Week 7, unless Ramsey plans to keep a close eye on D’Andre Swift, T.J. Hockenson will present as the most significant receiving threat to the Rams. It’s important to understand that the implication is not for the 6-foot-1 Ramsey to eliminate the 6-foot-5 Hockenson from the game. Rather, positioning himself in the region of the field where Hock will be expected to attack at the highest rate. The possibility of Ramsey roaming within Hockenson’s area of attack on even a third of his routes is enough for me to cross his name off my Week 7 list.

Final notes on Detroit

Unlike Stafford and the Lions, bad blood exists between Jared Goff ($5.0K/$6.7K) and the Rams (Sean McVay, specifically). It would be a major surprise if we don’t see Goff fired up in an up-tempo, attack mode throughout this game. That approach may not be the best for Goff’s individual numbers against this defense, but it could pay off big for D’Andre Swift ($6.0K/$7.1K), Kalif Raymond ($4.7K/$5.5K), Amon-Ra St. Brown ($4.1K/$5.4K), or even Hockenson. Nothing new on the Jamaal Williams ($4.6K/$5.3K) front. He’s a plodder, playing plodder reps. Is anyone even slightly surprised that the Tyrell Williams thing became a complete disaster? Detroit resorted to distributing a combined 46 Week 6 routes between KhaDarel Hodge ($3.0K/$4.9K) and Geronimo Allison ($3.0K/$4.5K).

Final notes on Los Angeles

The ground game for Los Angeles may be so fruitful this week as to support a bit of production for Sony Michel ($4.2K/$5.3K). Matthew Stafford will enter a matchup where he should be a Cash/SE no-brainer. But the uncertainty on how long he keeps his foot on the gas has me concerned. It’s for that singular reason that I’ll be keeping a Stafford-Cooper Kupp ($8.4K/$8.8K) stack to a single large-field GPP lineup. At a $2K discount, Robert Woods ($6.4K/$6.8K) should be easier to trust, but he shouts TD-dependency in my view, and Kupp will have the superior coverage scheme match. Short of Detroit scoring with the Rams, I’m unable to envision a scenario where Van Jefferson Jr. ($3.5K/$5.5K), DeSean Jackson ($3.4K/$5.4K), or Tyler Higbee ($4.5K/$5.5K) command anything close to their typical workload.

Matchups to Target

Jalen Hurts, PHI ($6.9K DK | $8.3K FD) vs. Raiders’ Cover 3

With a collection of intriguing QBs with pricing under $6K/$8K this week, spending up at QB should be reserved for the clear locks. If I had to pick a lock for profit over value after Mahomes, it would be Jalen Hurts. Wait, aren’t the Raiders limiting QBs to the 10th-fewest FPG this season? That is correct. The league’s highest rate of Cover 3 that DC Paul Guenther installed this season has held every opposing QB to under 22 FPs — a list that includes Lamar Jackson and Justin Herbert, and an average of 16.8 FPG. But Hurts is a different beast altogether. During his young career, Hurts leads all QBs in passer rating (119.7), FP/Db (0.55), and YPA increase (46.2%) against Cover 3.

Nobody should try to claim that Hurts offers anything on the ground superior to Jackson. But, like Lamar, Hurts is particularly effective with his legs when facing his coverage specialty. And you essentially begin every game with a 10-point floor with Hurts rostered. That floor is the product of the fact that, in his first 10 NFL starts, Hurts has scored eight rushing TDs, and has averaged 10 pure rushing FPG. But Hurts’ Cover 3 prowess would not hold viable upside without multiple receiving options with their own Cover 3 potential. I’ll discuss each below, but Hurts will enter Week 7 with three receivers offering Jalen everything he’ll need to succeed.

Kenyan Drake, LV ($4.9K DK | $5.5K FD) vs. Eagles’ Cover 2 | 6

Would it be easier to recommend Josh Jacobs and his ~70% share of the backfield? Absolutely. But the jury is out on how long Jacobs manages to maintain that high number. Particularly after Kenyan Drake flipped six Week 6 touches into 73 total yards, two TDs., and 21.3 FPs. If that performance against the top-three defense of Denver isn’t enough for interim HC Rich Bisaccia and OC Greg Olson to provide a healthy bump in Drake’s workload, we may as well stick a fork in Kenyan now. If it’s going to happen, this will be the week. And the opposing defense on deck offers the perfect test subject.

The Eagles are alloqinf the sixth-most FPG to opposing RBs overall (28.6), third-most over the last four games (31.3), and seventh-most over the last two (33.7). That includes handing out 4.83 red zone touches to RBs this season (10th-most) and 3.5 goal-to-go touches over the last four (the most). It’s shocking that Las Vegas has resisted providing Drake with more touches. His 1.17 FPs/touch only trails Cordarrelle Patterson, J.D. McKissic, and Austin Ekeler.

Final notes on Philadelphia

Even in the best of weeks for Miles Sanders ($5.1K/$5.9K), Philadelphia’s slow pace (58.8 plays/game is the sixth-fewest) and they are designing runs at the second-lowest rate (29.7%). Needless to say, Kenneth Gainwell ($4.2K/$5.2K) is not an option. When heading into his beloved Cover 3 matchups, Hurts is blessed to have Dallas Goedert ($4.6K/$5.9K), DeVonta Smith ($5.4K/$5.8K), and Quez Watkins ($3.9K/$5.3K). Goedert’s 0.46 FP/Rt is the fourth-best mark among all TEs against Cover 3 during the last three seasons. He’s managed that number by posting 2.09 YPRR (eighth-best), a 111.9 TPR (16th), and forcing a 24% target rate (seventh).

The Raiders are authorizing 17.6 FPG to opposing TEs overall (sixth-most), 23.3 over the last four games (the most), and 33.1 over the last two (the most). When choosing an option to stack with Hurts, Goedert is the guy. We need to collect larger sample sizes on Smith and Watkins. But Watkins has collected a third of his career receptions and yardage on only 16% of his routes against Cover 3. And we have enough from Smith to see that his FP/Rt improves by 63% against Cover 3. Jalen Reagor ($3.8K/$5.2K) will have better stylistic matchups in the future.

Final notes on Las Vegas

Derek Carr ($6.0K/$7.4K) appeared to be a man on a mission in his first game post-Jon Gruden. That said, it was actually a return to the stellar form he showcased in seven consecutive healthy starts from Week 13 of 2020 through Week 3 of this season. Touting Drake should not be construed as a recommendation to fade Josh Jacobs ($6.2K/$6.9K). Jacobs possesses the known workload, facing off with the porous Philadelphia run defense.

Absolutely love the work out of Henry Ruggs III ($5.5K/$5.7K) this season. That said, he will find those third-level opportunities few-and-far-between against an Eagles’ Cover 2 and 6 that has only permitted completions on 7.7% of throws traveling 20-or-more yards (second-lowest rate). Carr is likely to attack the areas of the field the defense surrenders, putting plenty of looks onto Darren Waller ($6.7K/$6.8K), and, to a lesser extent, Hunter Renfrow’s ($4.8K/$5.6K) plates. This should be the game where Waller hits double-digit receptions and over 100 yards. But I’d be lying if I stated I had any intentions in paying for it to happen. Bryan Edwards ($4.1K/$5.2K) has fallen well behind Las Vegas’ three top receiving options.

We have a matchup for a second consecutive week without a single compelling matchup that presents a player in a smash spot or negative light. The final notes will provide the details on the more than obvious considerations from the Cardinals’ offense. As is always the case, based on the potential for profit over floor, how DK managed to finalize the pricing of eight other DSTs higher than Arizona’s $3.1K is quite the head-scratcher. It’s just about the easiest path to 15 FPs that we’ll find this season in defense of the Davis Mills-led Houston offense.

Final notes on Houston

Just not enough Cover 1 snaps to contemplate Davis Mills ($4.9K/$6.4K) as a punt option. Compounding the matter, the Arizona defense and DC Vance Joseph are seated all by themselves on my no-trust list. They are clearly utilizing similar coverage analytics to my own, flipping their Cover 1 rate on-and-off based upon the matchups. The coverage algorithm projected Mark Ingram II ($4.4K/$5.4K) for one point under value last week. He came in two points under, boosting my confidence a tad in the formula. With David Johnson ($4.3K/$5.0K) undercutting Ingram’s floor, this backfield is seated alongside the Jets’ with the lowest value.

Brandin Cooks ($6.0K/$6.5K) has been the intended receiver on 49-of-138 (36%) targeted passes since Week 2. Will Cooks be peppered with volume? No question in my mind. Will it be enough to profit against a defense limiting WRs to the fifth-fewest FPG (30.6) and outside receivers to the second-fewest (12.1)? Nowhere near enough confidence in Mills to find out. The remainder of the passing “volume” will be distributed between Chris Moore ($3.6K/$5.2K), Nico Collins ($3.2K/$5.1K), Chris Conley ($3.3K/$5.0K), Jordan Akins ($2.6K/$4.6K), and Pharaoh Brown ($2.6K/$4.5K). Yowsers!

Final notes on Arizona

Kyler Murray ($8.5K/$8.7K) and DeAndre Hopkins ($7.7K/$8.0K) are going to generate excellent numbers. What else is new? It only took six week for the Chase Edmonds ($5.6K/$6.2K) is my lead back — in the snootiest of voices — nonsense to be tossed aside. Congratulations Arizona! You are now headlining James Conner ($5.6K/$6.5K). The least efficient RB from the ‘20 season. Best of luck, you’ll need it. We need a bit of the queen’s luck with Christian Kirk ($5.3K/$6.2K), A.J. Green ($5.1K/$5.6K), and Rondale Moore ($4.4K/$5.8K) this week. None stand out against either Cover 1 or Cover 2. If you want my gut call, it would be Moore. And I have no idea what we can expect from Zach Ertz ($3.9K/$5.3K) this week.

Matchups to Target

Chris Godwin, TB ($5.9K DK | $6.7K FD) vs. Xavier Crawford, CHI

Making his feature debut last week, 2019 sixth-rounder (Texans) Xavier Crawford played a decent game manning the slot against the Packers. He limited his zone to a 3/22/0 line on four targets. That’s the good news for Crawford. The bad news is, rather than Allen Lazard, Crawford’s going to deal with Chris Godwin on far too many snaps for his mental health in Week 7. Posting less than 15 FPs in each of the last three games, Godwin is going to enter this spot starving for volume.

Chicago features the second-highest Cover 6 rate, and the sixth-highest combined Cover 2 and 6 rate this season. Godwin leads all wideouts with 0.54 FP/Rt vs. Cover 2. I’ve requested patience with Godwin in Week’s 4 and 5 facing the two highest Cover 1 rates this season. A showdown with the Eagles on TNF appeared to be the spot for Godwin. His output fell nearly 50% under value. Week 7 will present a defense using an even higher rate of Cover 2 and Cover 6. I’m counting on a get-right performance from Godwin.

Matchups to Avoid

Khalil Herbert, CHI ($5.2K DK | $6.0K FD) vs. Buccaneers’ Cover 2 | 4

It looked like Damien Williams SZN when David Montgomery hit IR. That ultra-short SZN lasted all of a single game when Williams hit the COVID-19 list. No worry, Khalil Herbert has proven himself to game for the added responsibility, rushing for 172 yards and a TD over the last two games. It’s time to hit the brakes on Herbert. Tampa Bay is only consenting to 4.9 pure rushing FPG to RBs this season. And that number has reduced further over the last four (3.4).

Final notes on Chicago

Since nobody has been able to do anything on the ground against the Bucs, every bit of the offensive production has been collected through the air. If the theory holds, Justin Fields ($5.3K/$6.5K) should be a decent play. Tampa Bay is allowing 21.7 overall (seventh-most), 18.7 pure passing FPG to QBs (second). Unlike the resulting sequences in each of Fields’ last three starts, the Buccaneers are likely to build a significant lead that will force Fields into an early, up-tempo script. We will just need to keep our fingers crossed if we take the plunge with exposure. Particularly since Allen Robinson II ($5.1K/$5.8K) has resisted all opportunities to establish a connection with the ‘21 first-rounder. Darnell Mooney ($4.6K/$5.9K) has the juiciest matchup across from 2018 UDFA Dee Delaney.

Final notes on Tampa Bay

I’ll always point out the particularly alluring games for Tom Brady ($7.7K/$8.0K) exposure. But The GOAT is always worthy of consideration, independent of the matchup. The Bears are tough against the run. That said, Leonard Fournette ($6.4K/$7.0K) has been receiving enough volume through the air that he is forcing himself into the weekly consideration category himself. Mike Evans ($6.5K/$7.1K) is about as close to facing a matchup to avoid as it gets, provided by Jaylon Johnson. He’s limited his coverage to 1.08 YPCS (31st), 0.17 FP/CS (seventh), and a 60.0 TPR (seventh). The yardage allowances kept me from categorizing Evans.

If Antonio Brown ($6.3K/$7.4K) plays, always, his coverage success history sets him up as an option. And Kindle Vildor is not going to put up much of a fight. I’m anticipating that Rob Gronkowski will be ruled out for one more week. Even facing the defense donating the fifth-fewest FPG to TEs (8.2), screen game work would still set O.J. Howard ($3.4K/$5.2K) up nicely. But Howard is dealing with an ailment. Cameron Brate ($3.3K/$4.6K) is the exact type of TE that Chicago has been shutting down on the reg.

With a dedicated focus on studying game film and a faithful commitment to metrics & analytics, Huber’s specialties include DFS (college and NFL), Devy & Dynasty formats, and second-to-none fantasy analysis of high school prospects.

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