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It feels like there are a few more value plays than usual this week — even with four teams on bye. How about we see if I can maintain my high batting average on picking players for you. Let’s run through some guys at each position who stand out as good bang for the buck for DFS use by using the modeling tool at FantasyLabs.com. All scoring projections/rankings are from their cash model for Week 7.
Mitchell Trubisky, Bears vs. New England — $11,200
Has Trubisky turned some kind of corner? Is he joining the burgeoning ranks of the NFL’s gunslingers that produce giant stats almost weekly? Sources say, “Probably not. Slow your roll.” However, this shapes up as a second straight game in which the Bears will be doing more passing than running – this time in order to keep pace with the mighty Patriots. With 670 yards passing and nine touchdown passes plus 100 rushing yards over his last two games, just go with it. Mitch is less expensive than 13 other quarterbacks according to Fantasy Draft pricing for Week 7.
Baker Mayfield, Browns at Tampa Bay — $10,900
Assemble any collection of your co-workers and – given five minutes to practice and stretch out — chances are good that your crew could move the ball against this Buccaneers defense. Now, let’s not be ridiculous, you probably won’t get that kind of opportunity. However, the Browns will this week and I am therefore expecting a big from Mayfield, who is passing more than 40 times every week. Tampa is allowing the most fantasy points to quarterbacks, so he won’t have a softer game this season.
Tevin Coleman, Falcons vs. NY Giants — $10,500
By now you have no doubt heard the unfortunate news on Devonta Freeman and his trip to Injured Reserve for the purposes of groin surgery. I’ll pause here to allow you to collect yourself. I realize the words “groin” and “surgery” are always tough to hear in the same sentence, especially right together in that order. Okay, let’s continue. Tevin Coleman is the beneficiary of Freeman’s malady, and at $10,500 it’s a value worth considering. Indeed, he is rated as Fantasy Labs’ top running back value in the cash game model this week. And if there somehow isn’t enough room in the budget for Coleman, do consider his teammate, “Judge” Ito Smith at a paltry $7,200.
Carlos Hyde, Browns at Tampa Bay — $9,200
As noted above, the Buccaneers defense is not what you would call “adequate.” They’ve been worse against the pass than they have been against the run, but that’s about as faint as praise can get. Game flow suggests another healthy dose of Hyde (and Duke Johnson) this week, with Nick Chubb watching on from the sideline. Apparently, Chubb will get his chance the next time Cleveland has a game that doesn’t call for a lot of passing. Don’t hold your breath.
Kareem Hunt, Chiefs vs. Cincinnati — $13,900
The Chiefs refuse to stop moving the ball and scoring points, and Hunt is almost becoming overlooked in their ridiculous success story centered on Patrick Mahomes. Yet, I am still a bit gobsmacked (that’s right, I said gobsmacked) at the notion that there are seven other running backs that will be more expensive than Hunt on Fantasy Draft this week – with four teams on by no less. It must be because the Bengals have been so good against the run this season — hold on, I’m being told their 4.6 yards-per-carry allowed ranks 23rd in the NFL. But at least they also rank 23rd in scoring defense at 26.3 points allowed per game. Yeah, you should load up on a bunch of Kareem Hunt shares this week.
Tyler Boyd, Bengals at Kansas City — $13,300
I’m starting all the Tyler Boyd I can this week against the generous Chiefs pass defense. His numbers have been eye-opening this season. Boyd ranks top-20 in receptions, top-15 in receiving yards and top-10 in touchdown receptions while averaging 8.7 targets per game. With the Chiefs gunning for 40-plus points every week, Andy Dalton will be airing it out. Dalton has attempted over 40 passes in four of six games this season. He’ll likely top 50 attempts this week in an effort to keep pace with the Chiefs’ offensive juggernaut.
Robby Anderson, Jets vs. Minnesota — $8,800
Now that Quincy Enunwa is sidelined by a high ankle sprain, Robby Anderson steps into the Jets’ top receiver role with Jermaine Kearse also seeing the big uptick in snaps. This is a swing-for-the-fences pick against a Vikings defense that seems to be rediscovering its form but lost first-round pick, cornerback Mike Hughes, for the season last week with an ACL tear. With their secondary depth compromised, the Purple could be prone to a bomb or two this Sunday, which is Anderson’s forte.
Taylor Gabriel, Bears vs. New England — $9,200
Here’s your Trubisky stack. Would you believe Gabriel leads the Bears in receptions and receiving yards? His consecutive 100-yard games have coincided perfectly with the emergence of gun-slinging Mitch. It would seem there’s some chemistry here, and as I pointed out above, the Bears will be playing to keep pace with the Patriots in this matchup. Game flow meets a hot trend with a fairly cheap price tag. That’s a good DFS mix.
O.J. Howard, Buccaneers vs. Cleveland — $7,000
I’ll say it: I was wrong about O.J. Howard. I was a doubter and he’s become a legit top-10 fantasy tight end. Isn’t it refreshing to know that some of us in the fantasy football industry aren’t afraid to own up to the times we swing and miss? That’s why we open every Fantasy Football Party podcast with a segment called “Immediate Regrets” in which we try to learn from our mistakes. That’s where I’m at with Howard. Although my misperception of him led to zero shares on any of my season-long leagues, I can still start him in DFS lineups. Jared Cook is the only TE1 the Browns have faced this season, and he went off for eight receptions, 110 yards and two touchdowns. Can Howard replicate those stats this week? Who am I to doubt him?
Evan Engram, Giants at Atlanta — $7,100
Out of sight, out of mind. Engram has not been on the fantasy football stage for nearly a month now due to his knee injury. The absence has dropped his price tag $1,000 on Fantasy Draft. However, it appears he is trending toward starting on Monday night against the Falcons. Two caveats to emphasize: Eli Manning appears to be just north of washed up and we might not know if Engram is playing until Monday. Having said that, if he gets clearance by the weekend, he’s worth a shot at this price. Atlanta ceded two tight end touchdowns at home last week to the Bucs.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Buffalo — $6,100
Yes, I cheered when Nathan Peterman threw a touchdown pass last week. I feel sorry for him after all the interceptions and subsequent social media bashing he’s endured. Having said that, I will be more than happy to use the Colts D in DFS against his replacement. The Derek Anderson-led Bills offense should scare nobody. This feels like automatic points.
Detroit Lions at Miami — $4,600
The Lions had a bye last week so they’ve had two weeks to prepare for Brock Osweiler. That in and of itself is enough reason to like their chances of making a fantasy difference this week. And if you need more reason to consider them, with 14 (read: catorce) more expensive defenses on Fantasy Draft, the Lions are the No. 5 team defense value at FantasyLab in the cash game model for Week 7.
There is an endless trove of additional data plus incredible tools for modeling, lineup building and more at FantasyLabs.com. If you play DFS, FantasyLabs will make you a better player. Use the code 50OFF to get half off a trial membership.
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