Week 7 DFS Lessons Learned


We hope you're enjoying this old content for FREE. You can view more current content marked with a FREE banner, but you'll have to sign up in order to access our other articles and content!

Week 7 DFS Lessons Learned

If Week 6 was easily the worst week for DFS calls, Week 7 was easily the best, so some of my lessons learned this week were not about the players I listed. Instead, they were about players I did not list.

Each week, I’m trying my best to cherry-pick the best plays that I see based on a wide variety of factors, most of which I’ve covered in my various DFS articles this year (player, matchup, vibes, ownership %, etc). There will always be surprises that cannot be predicted, but pending MNF, and it’s a bad matchup for the QBs in Chi-LAR, three of the top four QBs in Week 7 were in the article, with Justin Herbert (QB1) Kyler Murray (QB2) and Joe Burrow (QB4). Burrow was the most useful pick, since he was the top QB listed and also the cheapest. I also feel good about my Teddy Bridgewater (QB13) call, since he delivered 3X his cost. I wrote that “multiple TDs should be very doable: and that “If he gets 2 TD passes, he’s almost a lock because he’s otherwise averaging 260 yards passing,” and he got the 2 TDs with 254 yards passing.

Matt Ryan (QB19) was listed as an expensive guy I liked, and he was not a win, but not a bad loss, either, throwing for 338/1. Ryan’s had some problems with TDs this year, especially the last month, so I will consider that going forward because he wasn’t particularly cheap last week. Also profiled as an expensive guy I liked was Deshaun Watson (QB10), who was also a win with 24+ points.

I listed only one primetime QB, and he was a big winner in Kyler Murray, the QB2 for the week with 38 points.

It’s hard to be right all the time in this business, so I’m pleased, but the QB lesson learned is pretty clear. I already knew it, but I don’t always enact this very simple rule: It’s probably wise to only pay for expensive QBs if they run. You can’t always count on the rushing for Russell Wilson, which is the main reason he didn’t make the cut this week.

Granted, pocket guys Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees were all top-8 guys this week and they combined for 3 rushing yards, but guys like those three will be more volatile because they don’t usually run (see Rodgers in Week 6). We did have Rodgers ranked as the QB6 for the week, so I probably should have listed him, given the opponent with Watson on the other side capable of making it a game until the end. I did think it would be high-scoring, but what I didn’t know was that CB Bradley Roby, who’s been excellent this year, would go out with an injury early in the game, so Rodgers and Davante Adams crushed them. I also think I passed on Rodgers because Week 6 really highlighted for me their garbage receiving corps outside Adams. I love Bobby Tonyan for what he is, but he was also hurt going into the game. I might consider Brady going forward, though, especially if/when Antonio Brown is playing for them, since Bruce Arians DGAF and he will keep throwing late in games when they are cruising with a lead.

Otherwise, there was no way in hell I was going to say anything good about the week’s QB6, Baker Mayfield, given his issues recently. And I was actually pleased that I passed on Matthew Stafford, Ben Roethlisberger, Josh Allen, and Ryan Tannehill because I seriously considered all of them.

The RB position is usually a little tougher for me, and I suppose most, so I’ll take the solid picks I posted and call it a good week. Alvin Kamara (RB3), Jamaal Williams (RB6), Gio Bernard (RB7), and Kareem Hunt (RB8) were all good.

On the negative side of things, I found myself listing Mike Davis, which was a fail. I knew the matchup was tough and even mentioned that, but I was still attracted to his huge role. I got his receiving projection almost exactly right (5/24, I had him with 5/27), but I thought he would get solid volume as a runner, since the Saints were down their top two wideouts. That didn’t happen. Davis was $2200 cheaper than Hunt, for example, so he was hard for me to pass up. I guess I should not write up RBs that I’m compelled to open his blurb with “It’s really not a good matchup.” But as I mentioned, I did think maybe his tough matchup would scare people off him a little. Instead, his lack of production was downright scary.

I also got hosed with my lone primetime RB, Chris Carson, but I think that would have been a win, since the RB12 for the week was Carlos Hyde, who had to fill in for the injured Carson.

Looking back, I don’t have a ton of regrets. Listing James Robinson would have been nice, but I did at least have him as the RB12 for the week--pretty high--and our Scott Barrett was all over the team’s RB situation with Chris Thompson out, which is exactly what pushed Robinson up into our top 12. I had him with 4.5 catches, a higher total, and he got 4, but it was hard for me to totally back him, given his recent rushing struggles. The Jags are so week-to-week, but Robinson’s role is still massive. I’ve listed Antonio Gibson twice recently in the article, with poor results, so I couldn’t do it it again, yet what we saw was exactly what I’ve been looking for, a breakout performance in which he actually gets rushing volume. I’ll consider him again now as soon as his next game, since Kyle Allen has been an upgrade for the whole offense.

Before I wrapped up my RB calls for the week, I seriously considered James Conner and Ronald Jones, and I’m glad I left them off, although Conner could have easily gone off and just missed at least one TD that I saw.

If you look at the RB leaders this week, you can see why getting the RBs right is so hard. Jeff Wilson, Chase Edmonds, Leonard Fournette, and Melvin Gordon were likely unpopular for obvious reasons, yet they were each top-20 guys this week (pending MNF). Only 9 of the week’s top-20 RBs were locked into owning their backfield touches (Kamara, Robinson, Gurley, J. Williams, Gio, Hunt, David Johnson, Henry, and Conner), so that’s a good example of how tough the RB position can be.

One thing I’ve tried this year but have had mixed results with is to push an option who’s in a committee or is seriously sharing snaps and touches, but one who is also more affordable because of that. I really did like Chase Edmonds this week, as I wrote on Sunday, but I’ve not fared that well listing secondary guys, and guys like Gibson. Of course, Kenyan Drake did get hurt, but my analysis on the Cardinal backfield was correct. Guys who are, let’s say, $5500 or cheaper on DK are appealing because they don’t need to do much to come through, but I maybe I should think more about the upside, since Edmonds was cheap but also the RB5 for the week, so he was a weekly winner. Can you accept 3-4 losses for one weekly winner? I’m not sure, and easier said than done finding those guys. But I’ll be looking.

The WR position was also successful in Week 7, but I listed first a fail in Stefon Diggs. I was all in on Diggs, and being all-in on some choice WRs has worked well for me this year, but not Diggs this week. It was a huge week for production, yet Diggs was still tied for 10th in the league with 11 targets, but the Jets defense came to play and Josh Allen was not ready to get out of his funk. I really did like and consider Cole Beasley, and I wish I listed him. With John Brown and Dawson Knox out, and with teams forcing Allen to stay patient and dink-and-dunk, I should have given Beasley a try. I did rank him somewhat aggressively as the WR28 for the week.

The one that kills me was Tyler Lockett, who I actually planned on listing but forgot to. I don’t know where everyone else had him, but I did like him and ranked him as WR14 for the week and he was my top guy covered in my Sunday Night Football Preview on DirecTV on Sunday. That sucked. I was also very high on Tyler Boyd this week and had him at WR16 for the week, but he wasn’t enough of a value for me to include, with AJ Green showing signs of life in Week 6. Green rolled that over to Week 7, but there was enough production to go around for not only Boyd and Green, but also for Tee Higgins. I’ve not yet listed Higgins, but wish I have. It’s just been hard for me to expect success since he’s still really the #3. But the Bengals can clearly support three 15+ point WRs, especially when Joe Mixon is out. Obviously, I wish I listed Davante Adams, but the presence of Roby scared me off. Roby, of course, got hurt early in the game. DeAndre Hopkins would have been nice, but I didn’t want to list two Cardinal WRs (maybe now I will). I also really did seriously consider DJ Moore, but I was concerned that the Saints would clear up some of their issues with pass defense during their bye. They did not. I also really wish I listed AJ Brown, as I did last week. I did like him more than usual, as outlined in my Sunday column, but I didn’t plug him into the article. Now I know: if the Titans are going up against a team with a very good offense and also a very good defense capable of slowing Derrick Henry down, then that’s potentially a great spot for Brown, as we saw. I probably also should have listed Chris Godwin (WR8), who I ranked as WR12 for the week. I figured someone here was going to show out with AB coming town, and Godwin did (along with Scotty Miller).

I did take two flyers on two cheaper guys, and neither worked out with Mike Williams missing out on the fun this week with Justin Herbert instead firing TDs to dudes no one’s ever heard of, but I was at least on the right track. Something very similar happened to Tre’Quan Smith, as well as some guy named Marquez Callaway out-producing Diggs, Will Fuller, Robby Anderson, and other WR dignitaries. Oh well, I took a shot.

As for the good calls, none were better than our guy Diontae Johnson (WR3 for the week), but Terry McLaurin (WR12), Kenny Golladay (WR23), and my guy Christian Kirk (WR13) were also good.

It was a strong week for WR calls, but I should have found at least 1-2 more to list (but again, I forgot about Lockett), because I didn’t list many.

And finally, it was a really good week for TEs, other than the most expensive guy on the board in Travis Kelce and also Hunter Henry, who got hurt and was bogarted for TWO scores by freakin’ Donald Parham Jr., who name sounds like an insurance rep or something, and Virgil Green, who I forgot existed. But if you recommend a TE and he gets hurt and two other TEs on his team score, it’s hard to feel too bad.

I have gone on and on for seven months about Harrison Bryant, but he was impossible to trust with his QB struggling and David Njoku there. But man, that would have been the call of the year.

I did feature Rob Gronkowski (TE2), TJ Hockenson (TE4), and Jared Cook (TE9), so it was a good week. It’s not easy handling TE, as we saw this past week with 10+ super-scrub options landing in the top-20 for the week.

That’s all I got for Week 7!

Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Famer John Hansen has been an industry leader and pioneer since 1995, when he launched Fantasy Guru. His content has been found over the years on ESPN.com, NFL.com, SiriusXM, DirecTV, Yahoo!, among others outlets. In 2015 he sold Fantasy Guru and in 2020 founded FantasyPoints.com.