Week 5 had a majority of the chalk hit for monster games, which resulted in one of the highest scoring slates in recent memory. Week 6 was much more of a struggle to find points in all formats, but a good example is the winner of the Millionaire Maker had about 90 fewer DKFP than last week. While it’s important to adapt to the news throughout the week, it can also be helpful to take an early look at the Week 7 slate.
The Panthers, Browns, Steelers and Buccaneers will be on bye in Week 7, taking Christian McCaffrey off the main slate for the third time this season. The primetime games also take some firepower off the slate — Broncos vs. Chiefs (TNF), Cowboys vs. Eagles (SNF) and Jets vs. Patriots (MNF).
Here are the plays that jump out early:
It’s crucial to have all the latest lineup and injury news when constructing your lineups. Make sure you’re following @DKLive for every update, and also feel free to hit me up on Twitter with any comments or questions — @Julian Edlow.
All lines and odds are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
Deshaun Watson, HOU at IND ($7,000)
There should be a clear-cut top four QBs this week, with Watson, Russell Wilson ($6,600) and Lamar Jackson ($6,800) and Kyler Murray ($6,700) sandwiched between them in salary. While Watson does have a couple of busts in his game log, his upside has been on display more often than not. After 45 DKFP against the Falcons in Week 5, Watson backed it up with another 31.4 DKFP on the road in Kansas City. I’d say Watson makes for a safe cash option in Week 7, but there is slight cause for concern. The Colts are coming off a tremendous defensive performance (also in KC), and divisional games can tend to be more of a grind. I’ll likely pay down, but expect Watson to be popular.
Russell Wilson, SEA vs. BAL ($6,600)
Jackson just posted a 19-152-1 line on the ground last week, so expect him to be a popular play. The Bengals also let Murray run for 10-93-1, so it probably has more to do with the matchup, which gets more difficult in Seattle. That’s why I prefer Wilson, who’s at home against an extremely overrated Baltimore defense. In three home games this season, Russ is averaging over 30 DKFP, and has scored 28 or more DKFP in four of his past five overall. The Ravens really struggle in terms of yards per play on defense, which should lead to another big game here for the cheapest of the top-four options.
Jared Goff, LAR at ATL ($6,200)
I usually like to keep the value plays under $6,000, but this spot stood out too much for Goff. Pretty much every QB that’s faced the Falcons has had their best game of the season, including each of the past three weeks. Goff’s coming off what could be the worst game of his career, and the Rams dropped to 3-3 in the process. They simply need a great showing in this spot, and there’s no better matchup to ask for — Atlanta is allowing the most DKFP per game to QB, and has given up a ridiculous 87 points to opponents in the past two weeks. If Goff can’t get right in Week 7, he’s a useless fantasy option.
Other value options: Daniel Jones ($6,100), Jacoby Brissett ($5,600), Gardner Minshew ($5,400)
Dalvin Cook, MIN at DET ($8,000)
If Saquon Barkley ($8,900) returns this week, it would really shake up the slate, but no CMC or Ezekiel Elliott already makes things interesting. Cook is the most expensive RB we know will play on the slate as of Monday, and faces a Lions defense that’s allowed the third-most DKFP per game to RB (entering MNF). Cook finally had a poor fantasy outing against a stout Eagles run defense, but the passing game was clicking on all cylinders for the Vikings. This matchup dictates getting back to the run, which means a heavy dose of Cook in a good matchup.
Leonard Fournette, JAX at CIN ($7,000)
Getting workhorse RBs at a discount makes for a really safe option, and that’s exactly what Fournette has been. For the third week in a row, Fournette got 20 or more carries, with at least 26 total touches — he has a 72-405-1 line on the ground and a 12-95-0 line through the air during that span. More touchdowns are bound to come with that type of workload, and the Bengals are the perfect matchup to keep feeding Fournette. Cincy’s allowed the second-most DKFP to RBs this season. Chris Carson ($6,500) is another name to consider in a similar role — 22 or more carries for at least 100 rushing yards in three straight games, with nine total catches during that span. He’s another safe floor to target in Week 7, but with just an average matchup against Baltimore.
Derrick Henry, TEN vs. LAC, ($5,800)
Henry matched his season-low in touches against the Broncos in Week 6 and had by far his worst fantasy outing of the season. He gained just 28 yards on 15 carries, and Tennessee had to eventually abandon the run game late to play catchup. The Broncos stacked the box against the Titans, but things should get easier in Week 7 with a home matchup against a Chargers team that’s spiraling out of control. With the QB situation as unstable as ever for Tennessee, look for it to lean on Henry in this matchup at his cheapest price of 2019.
Other value options: Tevin Coleman ($5,600), Matt Breida ($5,300), Frank Gore ($5,200), Josh Jacobs ($5,000)
DeAndre Hopkins, HOU at IND ($7,800)
Remember when Hopkins used to make huge plays down the field and catch a bunch of touchdowns? Well now he’s turned into an efficient target in the short passing game, catching 9-of-12 targets against the Chiefs for a grand total of 55 yards. The 16.5 DKFP were still his best fantasy effort since Week 1, as the nine receptions were a season-high, and he actually did make an appearance in the end zone, but on a two-point conversion. His salary is back up to where it’s been hovering all season, but he’s eventually due for one of those monster games. The Colts rank 23rd in DKFP allowed to WR, so we have to continue considering him again here.
While Will Fuller ($6,200) backed up his historic 56.7-DKFP performance in Week 5 with just 9.4 DKFP in Week 6, we still have to mention his name here. His salary took another small jump without much fantasy production, which could scare people away from him. Fuller makes for a great tournament consideration this week, though. He actually dropped three balls in the end zone last week, which isn’t great, but shows what could have been. Watson targets Fuller in the end zone, and should continue to against the Colts.
Cooper Kupp, LAR at ATL ($7,400)
Speaking of salaries rising after terrible games, Kupp’s up $300 after catching four passes for just 17 yards last week. It was a monster bust for what had been the most consistent fantasy option at WR this season. But we need to chalk this one up to just an all-around bad performance for the Rams, starting with Goff and the offensive line. That should change in a dramatic way on Sunday in Atlanta, which should free up Kupp to be in position to not only return to the production we’d be seeing from him, but carry an even higher ceiling.
T.Y. Hilton, IND vs. HOU ($5,900)
It’s been an odd season for Hilton, who missed Week 4 with a quad injury, then wasn’t himself in Week 5 — he scored a season-low 7.7 DKFP. But prior to the injury, Hilton was averaging over 20 DKFP per game, and has had a chance to get healthy off the bye week. Now he gets a home matchup against a Texans defense that ranks just 30th in DKFP allowed to the WR position, leaving a lot of upside for a player we’ve seen priced much higher.
Other value options: Robert Woods ($5,900), Kenny Golladay ($5,800), John Brown ($5,500), Brandin Cooks ($5,400)
Austin Hooper, ATL vs. LAR (5,300)
If anything’s been working for the Falcons this season, it’s been getting the ball to Hooper. The lack of run game and putrid defense has meant slinging the ball more than any team in the NFL, giving Hooper more opportunities. An 8-117-1 line against the Cardinals last week for 28.7 DKFP brought his season average up to 19.3 DKFP, yet we see only a $300 bump in salary. George Kittle ($6,700) spiked $1,500 this week after scoring over seven fewer DKFP than Hooper last week. This matchup against the Rams is actually the exact one Kittle took advantage of, catching all eight of his targets for 103 yards. Keep eating the chalk on Hooper at this price.
Hunter Henry, LAC at TEN ($4,000)
We didn’t expect much in Henry’s return, but he played a huge role in the Chargers’ offense. He played on 66% of the snaps, and was lined up as a WR on 30 of the 41 snaps he did play. He turned that into an 8-100-2 line, although the scores all came in garbage time. On the road at Tennessee isn’t all that exciting of a fantasy spot, but Henry’s salary is very attractive given the role it looks he’ll have in this struggling offense.
Other value options: Gerald Everett ($3,700)
Bills D/ST vs. MIA ($4,300)
Last week, it didn’t feel like the highest priced defenses were worth paying up for, and that wound up playing out. While it’s never ideal to pay over $4.000 on a D/ST play, this week offers two legit options that could be worth it. The Bills have a very strong defense, and will host the Dolphins as 16.5-point favorites. The 49ers ($4,100) have also proven themselves as a dominant D/ST unit. Averaging 14 DKFP, they’ll face a terrible Washington offense, although on the road.
Redskins D/ST vs. SF ($1,700)
Paying down for D/ST options under $2,000 has worked out nicely on a few occasions since the minimum price dropped, and this could be another one. While I expect the 49ers to beat up on Washington as 10-point road favorites, Washington’s defense isn’t all that bad. It’s scored at least 5.0 DKFP in four straight, including the Patriots. While San Francisco has been terrific this season, the offense just isn’t all that explosive.
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