We will need to wait at least one more week before seeing Dez Bryant return to the field, as he was recently ruled out. There are few other significant injury implications for the late slate to worry about. Lets take a look at some of the premier options kicking off at 4pm EST and beyond.
Cam Newton, PHI @ CAR, $6,600 – No QB has done more with less than Newton, who quietly has his Panthers out to a 5-0 start. He rallied his team to a victory in Seattle last week connecting with Greg Olsen for a decisive 26-yard score. Newton’s 50 rushing attempts through 5 games put him on pace for an NFL record 160 rushes at his position. This production on the ground has led to 3 rushing TDs, offering dual-threat value. Despite averaging a solid 22.7 PPG his price comes at a $1,000 discount from where he opened the year. Newton has a much friendlier matchup this week hosting the Eagles as the 8th priced QB salary.
Amari Cooper, OAK @ SD, $6,500 – Cooper’s 28 receptions and 386 yards lead all rookies, despite being out of Week 6 action for Oakland’s bye. He has acclimated quickly to the NFL and is developing a strong chemistry with 2nd year QB Derek Carr. Averaging 9 targets per game, he is a clear focal point of the offense, which will need to throw the ball effectively to keep pace with Phillip Rivers, whose 2,116 passing yards leads the NFL. After being selected 4th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft, Cooper has been as good as advertised. He should have fresh legs coming out of the bye in the divisional matchup in San Diego this weekend.
DeMarco Murray, PHI @ CAR, $6,400 – Murray had begun to get written off after the first 4 weeks, but has been surging ever since. The major difference seems to be the workload, as he is averaging over 25 touches the past 2 weeks, compared to a previous average of just 13 touches. With this volume in Chip Kelly’s high-octane offense, Murray is in a position to thrive. The division-leading Eagles head to Carolina to face the undefeated Panthers in a measuring stick game this weekend. With 246 all-purpose yards the past 2 games, Murray should be heavily involved on Sunday as a key catalyst to the Eagles offense. He is currently priced at a $600 discount from his Week 2 salary.
John Brown, BAL @ ARI, $5,500 – Brown’s 10 catches and 196 yards against the Steelers last week were both career bests. He is having a standout sophomore season as one of Carson Palmer’s top targets, and his 497 yards rank him 13th among all WRs. With 33 catches through 6 games, he is well on his way to eclipsing his rookie total of 48. He has a nice home matchup ahead against a Ravens secondary that ranks 27th in the NFL, surrendering 286 passing yards per game. Brown’s salary this week marks the highest it’s been, priced as the 19th WR for Week 7.
Antonio Gates, OAK @ SD, $5,000 – After missing 4 weeks from suspension, Gates has been instantly featured in the Chargers offense. In 2 games, he has 18 catches on a whopping 27 targets, for 187 yards and 2 scores. Although the Chargers recently indicated he is dealing with an MCL sprain, he looks to be a game-time decision that should be able to suit up on Sunday. Keep an eye out if he is inactive, although with the late game swap feature you can easily plug-in backup Ladarius Green for just $2,900. Either option seems to be a viable play against a Raiders defense that yields a league-worst 299 passing yards per game.
Danny Woodhead, OAK @ SD, $4,600 – After Melvin Gordon fumbled twice last week, he was benched and Branden Oliver entered the fold carrying it 7 times. This situation did not seem to impact Woodhead as the feature back in the passing game, and his role figures to remain the same regardless of what happens on the early downs. His 26 receptions is 4th among RBs, and he has become a reliable safety blanket underneath for Phillip Rivers. He is priced as the 16th RB option this week facing a vulnerable Oakland defense. With injury questions surrounding Antonio Gates and Keenan Allen, he should be a dependable play at home.
More to Consider
Justin Forsett, BAL @ ATL, $6,100
Derek Carr, OAK @ SD, $5,300
Stevie Johnson, OAK @ SD, $3,500
David Johnson, BAL @ ARI, $3,500
Zach Ertz, PHI @ CAR, $3,200
Josh Huff, PHI @ CAR, $3,200