NFL DFS Week 7 Value Plays & Best Picks For Sunday
Jim Coventry | 9 mins
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Defenses are still ahead of the offenses this year. They have gotten better at defending the run while often using fewer bodies in the box. Against the pass, zones and pass-rush schemes have gotten more complex. This has led to offenses struggling for consistency.
This week, we’ll focus on the most-exploitable matchups to gain our daily fantasy sports advantage.
NFL DFS Week 7 Main Slate, Ranked by Over/Under
- Seahawks vs Chargers - 50.5
- Lions vs Cowboys - 49
- Chiefs vs 49ers - 49
- Falcons vs Bengals - 47
- Browns vs Ravens - 46
- Texans vs Raiders - 46
- Giants vs Jaguars - 43
- Colts vs Titans - 42
- Packers vs Commanders - 41.5
- Buccaneers vs Panthers - 39.5
- Jets vs Broncos - 38.5
Highest Implied Team Totals
- Chargers - 29
- Cowboys - 28
- Bengals - 27
- Chiefs, Bucs, Raiders, Ravens - 26
- Packers - 24
- 49ers, Seahawks, Jaguars, Titans - 23
- Falcons, Lions - 21
- Browns, Colts, Giants - 20
- Broncos, Commanders, Jets, Texans - 19
- Panthers - 15
NFL DFS Week 7 Quarterbacks for FanDuel & DraftKings
Joe Burrow - Bengals vs. Falcons - DK $6,900 FD $8,300
What have we learned about Burrow this year? When he faces opposing defenses with a strong pressure rate, he struggles. But when he faces a defense that struggles to get pressure, he thrives. Matchups don’t get much better than this week against the Falcons. They have the second-lowest pressure rate in the league, per Pro Football Focus. In addition, Atlanta’s second-best cornerback, Casey Hayward, was injured last week and will miss this contest. Playing on their home field and coming off a 300-yard game that resulted in four total TDs, Burrow may be ready to go on a hot streak. And it’s unlikely that the Atlanta defense has the ability to slow him down.
Tom Brady - Buccaneers at Panthers - DK $6,300 FD $7,400
Brady laid an egg last week. In that game, he faced a Pittsburgh defense that was missing four of the best five players in their secondary. Not only was Brady uncharacteristically inaccurate in that game, but the game plan was terrible. Tampa foolishly went with a run-heavy approach which attacked the one strength of the opposing defense. This week, it’s unlikely that Brady allows the coaching staff to make the same mistake. He’ll face a Carolina defense that has a bottom-10 pressure rate (per PFF) and they are below average in defending WRs. That’s not a good recipe against Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Also, each of the Panthers’ top-three corners are on the injury report. This is the get-right spot the Bucs need, especially coming off an embarrassing loss. That should result in a big game for Brady.
Jimmy Garoppolo - 49ers vs. Chiefs - DK $5,500 FD $7,200
After starting the season slowly through Week 4, Garoppolo has gotten on track. He’s thrown two TD passes in each of his last two games while averaging 275 passing yards. His success has coincided with the 49ers defense suffering injuries, which has forced San Francisco to be more aggressive on offense. Although they may get some of their injured defensive players back this week, this is still a unit at less than full capacity. They’ll be facing the elite offense of the Chiefs. That should lead to the 49ers having to put the game on Garoppolo’s shoulders. He has three elite weapons in Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle, and the team just added the best screen-game receiver in the NFL when they acquired Christian McCaffrey. Although the Chiefs have an above-average pass rush, the 49ers are expected to get back all-world left tackle Trent Williams. In a likely shootout, Garoppolo has big upside.
Also Consider - Justin Herbert, Dak Prescott
NFL DFS Week 7 Running Backs for FanDuel & DraftKings
Dameon Pierce - Texans at Raiders - DK $6,400 FD $7,700
Pierce has gone over 100 total yards and a TD in each of the Texans’ last three games. He’s handled at least 20 touches in each of those games. After not being expected to be a factor as a receiver, he’s been targeted 11 times over the last two games. His snap share has been going up by the week, and before the Week 6 bye, he played a season-high 79% of the snaps. He’s facing a Raiders defense that’s been average against the run. Pierce will likely benefit from positive game script. The Houston coaching staff has kept the defense disciplined, so that they’re able to keep games close in most weeks. That should allow Pierce to see enough work to have both a high floor and ceiling.
Ken Walker - Seahawks at Chargers - DK $5,800 FD $7,300
Since Rashaad Penny was lost for the season in Week 5, Walker has instantly become a star RB. He’s averaging over six yards per carry in the past two games. In his first start last week, he handled 21 carries while being targeted three times. He showed excellent elusiveness and playmaking ability. He’ll have an excellent matchup against a Chargers defense that’s one of the weaker units in the league against the run. They allow 5.83 yards per carry, which is a full quarter yard per carry more than any other team in the league. And even though the passing attack of the Seahawks has been strong, coach Pete Carroll typically prefers to run his offense through the rushing attack. Nothing about this matchup should deter him from leaning on Walker, which should result in a big fantasy performance.
Nick Chubb - Browns at Ravens - DK $8,000 FD $8,900
Chubb had 70 yards last week against the Patriots. It was the first time he had fewer than 104 yards in a game this year. He also went into that game having scored in his previous four games, resulting in a total of seven TDs. In most years, his matchup against the Ravens would be one to avoid at all costs. However, this version of the Ravens defense is different than any we’ve seen in a number of years. They are allowing an above-average number of fantasy points to opposing RBs. Baltimore is also giving up over 4.5 yards per carry. Chubb is playing at an elite level, and while he’s always been matchup proof, seeing Baltimore on the schedule could scare off much of the field. That should make Chubb an excellent contrarian play this week.
Also Consider - Josh Jacobs, Ezekiel Elliott, Sony Michel
NFL DFS Week 7 Wide Receivers for FanDuel & DraftKings
Amon-Ra St. Brown - Lions at Cowboys - DK $7,100 FD $7,500
St. Brown played limited snaps in Week 5 as he returned from an ankle injury. With that game in the books and a bye week to further heal up, he should be back at full strength. Although Dallas presents a brutal matchup for opposing offenses due to their pass rush and pass coverage, St. Brown is positioned for success. Since he operates in the middle of the field, he should be the primary outlet for Jared Goff. In the two games he was fully healthy this year, he was targeted 12 times in each. And Dallas has allowed the 18th-most fantasy points to opposing WRs. Their strength is their outside corners, leaving St. Brown against overmatched defenders in the interior.
Mike Evans - Buccaneers at Panthers - DK $6,900 FD $7,600
Evans was a massive disappointment last week. Facing a Steelers defense that was without its top-three corners, he was targeted just four times. Of course, he caught each of them, but his 42 yards was uninspiring. He only ran 39 routes on 65 snaps as the Bucs took on too much of a run-heavy approach. Coming off a loss, the Bucs will want to get their offense back on track. Since Week 3, the Panthers have given up at least 80 yards to four different WRs, and two of those have gone over 100 yards. Look for Evans to flirt with double-digit targets against overmatched corners. He has an excellent chance of going over 100 yards with at least one score.
Mike Williams - Seahawks at Chargers - DK $7,200 FD $7,800
We’ve had to learn to deal with the peaks and valleys with Williams. There are games that he simply doesn’t see targets. Last week, he posted just two catches for 17 yards. Of course, he was locked up by Broncos star corner Patrick Surtain II. As a result, Justin Herbert chose not to challenge the tight coverage. On the season, Williams has three games with at least 10 targets, seven catches and 113 yards. Although he’s facing a Seattle defense that allows the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing WRs, they have not faced anything close to an elite QB this year. Also, WIlliams’ size should prove to be problematic for the young Seattle corners. Herbert should have little reason to avoid targeting his best downfield receiver often in this matchup.
Also Consider - Nico Collins, Ja’Marr Chase, Brandon Aiyuk
NFL DFS Week 7 Tight Ends for FanDuel & DraftKings
George Kittle - 49ers vs. Chiefs - DK $5,300 FD $6,600
Going into last week’s game, Kittle had been targeted between four and six times in each game. The main reason is that the defense was playing at an elite level and the 49ers offense was able to take on a conservative approach. Last week, injuries caught up with the defense. That forced the offense to be much more aggressive. The result was Kittle seeing a season-high 10 targets and posting 83 yards. In this week’s game, he’ll face a Chiefs defense that’s given up four TDs and the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing TEs. Also, the 49ers may have to keep up on the scoreboard. Although they may get some of their injured defensive players back, they still are not close to being at full health. Expect Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to put up plenty of points. Look for Kittle to have another busy and productive week.
Cade Otton - Buccaneers at Panthers - DK $2,700 FD $4,900
Unfortunately, Cameron Brate suffered a neck injury last week, and he’s now had two injuries above the shoulders this season. It seems unlikely that he’ll play, but if he does, it makes sense that he’ll have a lessened role. Otton has become a part of the passing game. Over the last three games, he’s averaging four catches and 32 yards. Those aren’t earth-shattering numbers. But he’ll face a Carolina defense that’s given up at least 47 yards to an opposing TE in two of their last three games. In addition, after being embarrassed by a depleted Steelers secondary last week, Brady will likely be in attack mode through the air. There should be plenty of work for Otton to easily earn value as a salary-relief option in DFS.
Also Consider - Evan Engram, Robert Tonyan