Week 7 – DFS Strategy & Picks – Real Deal Fantasy HQ

Well here we are in Week 7 and I want to start out with some headlines here:

Michael Thomas is out. Emmanuel Sanders is out. Alvin Kamara will SMASH and he will be the most owned play across Draft Kings and Fan Duel today. TreQuan Smith will likely follow him closely as an extremely chalky play. I might consider utilizing Jared Cook in a stack with Brees and Kamara or Brees and Smith (both will be very popular too). Cook will garner some ownership but it will most likely pale in comparison to Kamara and Smith. If you are mass multi entering, having a share or two of Deonte Harris and/or Marquez Callaway might be a good idea too. Both are mint price – which also helps. Additionally, make sure Latavius Murray is in your player pool as well. In lineups without Kamara or even (if you can stomach it) in place of Kamara, Murray will have opportunities in this game and you can take advantage of that.

Joe Mixon is out. Giovanni Bernard is in. Bernard at his cheap price on both DK and FD, will more than likely be the second or third most owned running back on Sunday, second only to Alvin Kamara. Joe Burrow should see some decent ownership as well, especially in stacks with Bernard or Tee Higgins. It comes at a lot of risk, but no one will be looking at playing AJ Green here and stacking him with Burrow may be a contrarian approach. Yes he stunk the last time these two teams met but that was before Higgins became a ‘thing’ and now he is coming off his best week of the season – 95 yards 17 DK points. Green may be a sneaky play, low owned play. Also another interesting way to attack this situation might be to stack Gio Bernard and Tyler Boyd together, fading a somewhat chalky Burrow and including the most likely Bengals to touch the football. If you are mass multi entering having a share or two of either Samje Perine and/or Trayveon Williams might be a good idea too. Both are cheap and will be active and could end up being the ultimate pivot from a chalky Gio.

Aaron Jones is doubtful, Jamaal Williams is healthy. While Jones himself is saying he can play, we have seen how cautious the Packers have been with soft tissue injuries to their stars (see Davante Adams 2020 if you need further reference). So that could mean either Jamaal Williams will get the start or Jamaal Williams will see even more work if Jones is in any way limited. This news has been out for 24 hours, so I would expect the very cheap Williams to also creep into the top tier of running back ownership along with Bernard and Kamara. Don’t let that slow you down though. Because Williams is an adept pass catcher he is fine in a stack with Rogers and Adams or Rogers and MVS and Adams and he can make an inexpensive ‘run back’ on Houston favored stacks you build. If you are mass multi entering, have a share or two of AJ Dillon. Especially if news comes down that Jones is out, Dillon will see some run and I think (especially in this matchup) you’d rather have him on a team than not have him.

San Francisco will play New England. Why is this a headline? A few reasons. First, I rarely completely fade or recommend completely fading a game but I will be mostly fading this one. You have two solid defenses going against each other and one of them (the Patriots) knows their opponents QB better than just about anyone. Next you have the Patriots giving up the fewest fantasy production to the Tight End, going against a team that has their Tight End as their #1 Offensive Target. You also have a team in the 49ers who have really turned it on against running backs over the last 3 weeks going against a team that at best has a 3 man rotation in the position which isn’t the same as a bell cow giving it a go for 20-30 touches. The only two pieces from this game that I really would want to use in DFS would be Cam Newton and George Kittle and their are so many other Quarterbacks in way better matchups I’d rather pay for than Cam and if I’m paying up at TE, I’m just choosing Kelce. If you disagree – have it it and if it burns me it burns me, but I’m very likely not having a piece of this game in any lineup I build. Take a chance on Deebo, Edelman or Byrd (Cheap) if you want… I won’t be though.

Let’s get into games that I am targeting DFS Plays from:

Green Bay Packers vs Houston Texans

I love a guy with a chip on his shoulder. So Aaron Rogers should eat the Houston Texans alive and I think he is an excellent play this weekend. I think the the Rogers – Davante Adams stack has huge potential to come away as the #1 Scoring Stack of the weekend. It is just too obvious of a play to ignore. The Texans Defense is giving up an average of 250+ passing yards per game on paper but look at the recent history and the story really gets worse. Ryan Tannehill 366 Yards and 4 Touchdowns in Week 6. Gardner Minshew 301 Yards and 2 Touchdowns in Week 5. The reason the Texans are showing the average of 250 was due to the Week 3 & 4 Kirk Cousin 260 and 1 and Ben Roethlisberger 237 and 2. I think Aaron Rogers could put up 400 yards on this team and Adams have 200 of it. Adams is receiving around 20% ownership as of this writing while Rogers is under 10%. I love how this stack will likely be low owned and could smash. The interesting thing here is that whether it’s Aaron Jones or Jamaal Williams getting the start – add them to the stack and make it a three man as both are adept pass catchers. Get all the points from the Packers and get into the Green. I also think sudden TE Robert Tonyon is in play as well. We just saw Jonuu Smith grab a wide open Touchdown grab last week and Tonyon has become a favorite for Aaron Rogers. He also makes for an interesting 3 man stack with Rogers and Adams. The Texans aren’t stopping any one and I don’t mind a shot or two on a guy with a 3 touchdown game already this season. Rogers has the chip on his shoulder stabbing him in the arm. Big Green is coming to play. Look out.

On the other side of this game, Deshawn Watson will be a very popular play (he is every week) especially as there is a common trend in recent Watson games that likely apply here – Watson will be playing from behind. So he will be throwing. Watson is a fine play as well but I also think there are sneaky plays you can take advantage of. First is Brandin Cooks. No one wants to play this guy, but he is my favorite run back on the Rogers – Adams stack. Yes Will Fuller has been excellent over the last 4 weeks, however Fuller will see a healthy dose of the Packers Jaire Alexander who has been lights out against WR1s this season. So give me some Brandin Cooks who himself is coming off strong showings over the last two weeks – 8 for 168 and 1 in Week 5, 9 for 68 and 1 in Week 6. Cooks is hovering around 10% ownership and again – my favorite run back in the Rogers – Adams stack. I also think you have sneaky opportunity with RB David Johnson. The Packers are the 3rd worst team against the run and even in a negative game scipt, Johnson is on the field due to his pass catching. No one wants to play David Johnson and with heavy concentration on Kamara, Bernard, Williams this weekend – Johnson is going significantly under owned for his role on this team. A couple other names to consider at low ownership and cheap prices: Randall Cobb and TE Darren Fells. First with Cobb you have a guy who is virtually unowned and while averaging only 3 targets a game, he is playing 90% of snaps and could be some additional attention if the Packers can shut Fuller down… He has 2 touchdowns this season as well. With Joran Aikins banged up Fells has been a key part of the Texans offense. He is a defensive matchup nightmare at 6’5″ and he has been a target for Watson in the Red Zone. This isn’t me saying you can’t play Will Fuller – anything can happen and Fuller has a touchdown in each of the last 4 games. However I like the sneakier plays on Houston more in this game.

Favorite Stack: Rogers – Adams. Contrarian Stack: Watson – Cooks

Top Plays: Aaron Rogers, Davante Adams, GB Running back, Robert Tonyon

Secondary Plays: Deshawn Watson, Brandin Cooks

Darts throws: Randall Cobb, Darren Fells

Carolina Panthers vs New Orleans Saints

The Saints are at home in the Superdome and there will be fans in the stands. The spector of great Drew Brees performances at home looms. However I have a lot of pause in using Brees this weekend. As mentioned already, he will be without both Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. So who is left. Alvin Kamara will be the highest owned player in DFS this weekend. TreQuan Smith also will be very chalky. As I mentioned I like Jared Cook at around 25% ownership to have a solid game and is worth a target. The reason though I am down on Brees is that the Panther’s defensive strength has been against Quarterbacks this year and I could see them putting pressure on Brees and without two of his trusted targets, I could see the scramble effecting him. There also is the Taysom Hill factor with Hill seeming to have a role on 3rd and long and in the Red Zone. I am not advocating a Taysom Hill sneaky play however – please don’t step on that landmine. I like the pieces of this offense – especially Kamara, Smith and Cook, but I don’t like the stack with Brees. Stacking Kamara, Smith and Cook however will be a contrarian play despite the high individual ownership of the individual pieces. I also like Latavius Murray in this game too as contrarian pivot from Kamara, in lineups where you don’t have Kamara.

On the other side, I think Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers are fully in play. Mike Davis should see plenty of work and again with a heavy concentration of RB ownership elsewhere, Davis is being somewhat forgotten about at under 15% ownership. Robbie Anderson has been a complete surprise and a complete stud for this offense and the Saints secondary doesn’t scare me at all. Anderson is less than 10% owned. Additionally DJ Moore who is seeing about the same amount of targets as Anderson and has continued to show explosiveness in YAC. DJ Moore – 3% owned. Putting together a Carolina Stack around the extremely chalky Alvin Kamara makes a lot of sense to me. Stacking Bridgewater with Anderson and Moore and running it back with Kamara is very intriguing. You have to consider, if Kamara is going to hit his Ceiling, he will need the Panthers to put up points after all. I could actually see the Panthers coming away with a win here, even at a full touchdown underdog.

Favorite Stack: Bridgewater – Anderson – Moore – Kamara

Top Plays: Alvin Kamara, TreQuan Smith, Jared Cook, Robbie Anderson

Secondary Plays: Teddy Bridgewater, DJ Moore, Mike Davis

Dart Throws: Latavius Murray

Detroit Lions vs Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons really put on a show last week. That doesn’t mean Matthew Stafford can’t still come in and carve up this defense. Stafford is in a great position for a Ceiling game here and is fully in play. Stafford has yet to have a game where he isn’t attempting at least 30 passes per game and against the Falcons he has a great opportunity to break the 300 yard mark. Stafford is at the time of this writing is the 10th owned quarterback and he could far out perform that. Kenny Golladay has yet to play a game this season where he hasn’t had 100 yards or a touchdown or both. The Stafford Golladay stack is firmly in play and with Golladay also being severely overlooked at low ownership on both players and because the ownership is so low, I don’t think you need to over think the play. Sure you could also go to Marvin Jones as he is certainly due a good game, but to me that is a gut feel play. Nothing statistically says you should play Marvin Jones this year and if ownership holds and Stafford and Golladay are as low owned as they are, you don’t need to go to Jones to be contrarian. I also like the Detroit run game here and I think both Adrian Peterson and the rookie sensation Deandre Swift are solid one offs too. You can include Swift in a stack with Stafford as he offers passing game work. Swift or Peterson could make for a nice run back on Atlanta Falcons stacks. I also think TJ Hockenson is in a good position for at least a touchdown in this game, but he is priced up and I think there are better plays at Tight End in that same range. Noah Fant in a potential shootout with Kansas City is a hair cheaper than Hockenson. The aforementioned Robert Tonyon also is cheaper than Hockenson and I like his role in the Packers offense more than I do for the big Hock.

The Falcons will be firing on all cylinders to keep the momentum up after their first win. Matt Ryan is the MOST pass heavy quarterback in the league right now and I think you will see Ryan throwing early and often. The interesting thing about that volume is that playing Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley has not shown a negative correlation. The volume of passing is allowing both players to excel in most weeks and both are excellent plays. Due to the amount of attention being paid to other games on this slate (Arizona Seattle and Pittsburgh Tennessee most notably) this may be one of the only weeks where you can play Calvin Ridley at under 15% ownership. Julio as well is garnering only 10% ownership and against the Detroit Lions, I think both Julio and Ridley are elite plays. I think you also should have TE Hayden Hurst in your player pool and Todd Gurley as well. The Lions aren’t stopping Tight Ends and certainly have been a great matchup for Running Backs and especially with Gurley, both these guys are offering Touchdown upside in this game and no one is playing either. Play all the Falcons!

Favorite Stack: Ryan – Jones, Ryan – Ridley, Stafford – Golladay

Top Plays: Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley, Julio Jones, Matthew Stafford, Kenny Golladay

Secondary Plays: Deandre Swift, TJ Hockenson, Todd Gurley, Hayden Hurst

Dart Throws: Marvin Jones Jr, Adrian Peterson

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Tennessee Titans

The Titans offense have just looked unstoppable. It isn’t just Derrick Henry either. Ryan Tannehill is playing at a different level right now. Here is a fun stat – Ryan Tannehill is the #1 Quarterback against pressure, with 7 Touchdowns and 0 Interceptions included in that stat. That is good because the Steelers will bring the pressure. Tannehill will have big AJ Brown healthy and running routes, he gets Corey Davis back from the Covid List too. Adam Humphries (pronounced with the Umphries) came back last week with 100 yards and a score and of course Jonuu Smith is always a threat. If I had to rank these guys it would be AJ Brown, Adam Humphries, Jonuu Smith and Corey Davis – but I think they are all in play. Brown will be the most Chalky of the group but Using Humphries in a stack with Tannehill and Brown is a contrarian approach. All of this means that the Titans don’t need Derrick Henry to win. That also is good because the Steelers have been lights out against running backs this season. Henry is a different kind of player though and the amount of volume he will see also has me interested especially at less than 10% ownership. It may be the lowest ownership on Henry all year. I like the Tennessee passing game though a lot. While the Steelers defensive front has been strong, the Steelers Secondary has proven beatable. Outside of Tannehill and AJ Brown, the other pass catchers aren’t garnering a ton of attention this weekend – take advantage of that.

The Steelers have been interesting to say the least. Big Ben has once again created a star in Chase Claypool and the Steelers have a great chance to put up a lot of points on the Titans Defense. Diontae Johnson will also be back this week and prior to the Claypool breakout it appeared that Johnson was on his way to be Big Ben’s #1 Target. We will see how much Johnson cuts into Claypool’s targets. The odd man out here is JuJu Smith-Schuster who has really not shown us much this season. Anything can happen though and could this be a JuJu game? Sure – but I do prefer staying with Claypool in my Steelers stack and I don’t mind having a share of Diontae Johnson too. Don’t ignore James Connor either. The Titans are middle of the road against the run and Connor has been a solid play so are this season. An interesting stack option would be Ben, Connor, Claypool and I will have at least one lineup with that grouping. Oh yeah and don’t forget Eric Ebron either. As I alluded to with Jonuu Smith, Ebron is always a threat for a touchdown or more.

Favorite Stack: Tannehill – AJ Brown, Roethlisberger – Claypool

Top Plays: AJ Brown, Chase Claypool, Ryan Tannehill, Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson

Secondary Plays: Adam Humphries, Ben Roethlisberger, Jonuu Smith, James Connor, Derrick Henry, Eric Ebron

Dart Throws: Corey Davis, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Anthony Firsker

Arizona Cardinals vs Seattle Seahawks

This game is the Sunday Night Football Game but is being included in the Main Slates on DFS this weekend so take advantage. I don’t see how the Seahawks will be able to stop Kyler Murray and I don’t know how much more I need to say. He has the most likely chance to be the QB 1 this weekend as he offers so much upside between his passing and his running. He is my favorite QB play this weekend and is the 2nd highest owned QB on this slate behind only Russel Wilson. Deandre Hopkins has carried a Q tag this week but he is expected to play. I also don’t see how the Seahawks are going to be able to slow Nuk down. The Kyler Murray – DeAndre Hopkins stack has the best potential to be the #1 stack of the weekend and despite the high ownership on both guys, this stack will be the building block of most lineups I build this weekend. I also like Christian Kirk who had an absolute coming out party last weekend off the Kyler Murray 80 yard Touchdown and both he and Andy Isabella will be running routes and both have a great opportunity against the porous Seattle Defense. I will have a lot of pieces of the Cardinals in my lineups for sure. I will tell you that Kenyan Drake is also coming in with a lot of ownership after last weeks 160 yard performance, but I will not be going back to the well. The Seahawks, for all the struggles in the secondary, is yet to allow a top 5 fantasy performance by Running Backs and I just see the Cardinals getting the job done through the air.

The Cardinals D looked GREAT against Andy Dalton last week but Andy Dalton is no Russell Wilson and I expect Russ will be cookin’ here against the Cardinals. Wilson is the #1 highest owned QB of the week and outside of Deandre Hopkins, the Seahawks are garnering the most ownership in this game. DK Metcalf has emerged as a complete stud and has seemingly taken the #1 Receiver role from Tyler Lockett and I really, really like Metcalf this weekend. That isn’t to say Lockett couldn’t have a solid game as well – he certainly could and so I think both guys are in play. The player though that I am really excited about is Chris Carson who is in a great spot to smash against the Cardinals and surprisingly he is also looking like the player with the least amount of ownership in this game. Much like when Mahomes is on the field, the best way to slow Kyler Murray down is to keep him on the sidelines. Chris Carson is more than capable to do that! He is also a great way to offset the extremely chalky Kyler – Hopkins stack is to un it back with Carson instead of one of the Receivers. Overall this game has the highest implied point total of the week and I’m hard pressed to disagree. I like a lot of pieces in this game to deliver for you.

I’ll have more on this game for my Sunday Night Showdown article coming later today.

Favorite Stacks Murray-Hopkins, Murray-Hopkins-Kirk, Wilson-Metcalf

Top Plays: Kyler Murray, Deandre Hopkins, Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf, Chris Carson

Secondary Plays: Christian Kirk, Tyler Lockett, Kenyan Drake

Dart Throws: Andy Isabella

A few other key plays to target this weekend:

Josh Allen against the Jets. This is the week to take advantage of Allen at less than 5% ownership. The Jets might as well just lay down as they have been rolled over for the last 3 weeks and this will be a ‘get right’ game for Allen and the Bills. With no John Brown this week, Allen – Diggs could prove an elite stack. I also like Devin Singletary here as I see the Bills going up early and running the clock out. It isn’t as sexy as some of the other games this weekend but don’t sleep on the Bills and especially the Bill’s Defense. I will not be playing any Jets.

Browns vs Bengals Round 2. Joe Burrow is pulling a fair share of ownership in his rematch against the Browns. The last time Burrow played the Browns he threw the ball almost 50 times and he could be throwing heavy again here. Additionally with no Joe Mixon, Giovanni Bernard will get the start and he is CHEAP, CHEAP. However he will be an extremely popular play this weekend. So I like fading Gio and paying up for Kareem Hunt in this game at half the ownership. Last time these teams played the Browns had over 200 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns for their running backs. With Hunt now owning this backfield I think he is in store for a MONSTER game. He is my favorite RB 2 to Kamara at RB1 this week. I also like pass catchers here – most notably Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins on the Bengals Side as well as OBJ and Austin Hooper on the Cleveland side. You can make some interesting stacks out of this one and outside of Burrow and Bernard, none of these guys are getting a lot of ownership. This is a sneaky game that could break the slate here, don’t ignore it.

Don’t Fear the Snow in Denver. Patrick Mahomes is quoted as saying “I think I am better in the Snow”. Mahomes and Company roll into Denver in a game that looks like will be 27 degrees at Kickoff. The Chiefs are all very popular plays this week – except for Clyde Edwards-Helaire. I like the running back here, despite Denver being 4th best against the position this season. Mainly for the passing yardage he can produce in a snowy game where Mahomes may be going underneath more than taking deep shots. Kelce and Hill are firmly in play here and I’d also like to highlight Demarcus Robinson who with Sammy Watkins out, out paced Mecole Hardman in snaps last week. Robinson has had big games against the Broncos in the past and he is cheap, low owned and a way to offset a Chalky Mahomes-Kelce or Mahomes-Hill stack. I also like some plays on Denver as well most notably Tim Patrick and Jerry Jeudy. Yes the Chiefs have been better on Defense this year but in a Snow Game all bets are off. Corners and Safetys can slip and coverage can be busted. I also like the Denver Running backs here – Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsey. Both offer upside in the passing games and just like I said for Mahomes, Drew Lock may be looking for a lot of check downs. I like Tim Patrick most as a run back on Chiefs stacks by the way.

Good Luck in your Contests!

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