DraftKings Pick’Em Breakdown – Week 7
Welcome back for another week of daily fantasy football. The decisions are really starting to get interesting no matter the format you are playing as injuries are starting to pile up across the league. The good thing about the Pick’Em contests on DraftKings is that the decisions are not nearly as difficult. Let’s jump in and break down the players in each Tier along with my favorite picks in each.
Rookie Leonard Fournette is neck and neck with Todd Gurley when looking at fantasy points per game this season. Fournette has the edge in rushing as he trails only Kareem Hunt in rushing yards with 596(4.6 per carry) while Gurley has 521 yards(4.2 per carry). Gurley has the slight lead in PPR points per game due to his 5.0 targets per game and 245 receiving yards while Fournette is averaging 3.3 targets per game with 145 yards receiving. Of the two backs, I lean Gurley as Fournette is questionable with an ankle injury and even if he plays could be limited as Chris Ivory looked good as his backup last week. If you are looking to go a bit off the board, LeSean McCoy is likely going to be lower owned than Gurley and has out targeted both the other backs averaging 6.4 per week. It makes sense as Tyrod Taylor doesn’t really have many targets these days. He gets a matchup vs. the Bucs who could be without Jameis Winston this week which should help with the game flow giving McCoy some extra opportunities if the Bills can get ahead early.
The second tier gives us three target monsters all on the road. Fitzgerald has been the most productive this season averaging 10.3 targets per game with 465 yards and three touchdowns but has the toughest matchup of the bunch vs. the Rams who rank 7th overall in Draftkings Points per game allowed to wideouts and will see a lot of Nickell Robey-Coleman who has graded out as a Top 30 cornerback via Pro Football Focus. Mike Evans has yet to break 100 yards in a game and comes with a ton of risk if Jameis Winston should sit out. He also gets a tough matchup vs. the Bills who do sit in the middle of the pack when looking at the DraftKings points per game but rank 3rd overall when looking at DVOA defense vs. the pass. Michael Thomas trails both in targets per game(8.6) but gets the best matchup facing the Packers who rank 20th in DraftKings points per game and 19th when looking at DVOA defense vs. the pass. He also has the highest upside quarterback throwing to him in Drew Brees.
Right off the top, I will be fading both Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston for injury reasons. I already discussed Winston’s questionable tag as he is dealing with a shoulder issue and did not attempt any passes in Wednesday’s portion of practice. Mariota is working on a short week after returning for the Monday night game and was limited in the sense that he remained in the pocket for the majority of the game and only attempted two rushes for zero yards. For me this week, it is either Carson Palmer or Drew Brees depending on who you chose in the tier before between Thomas or Fitzgerald. I will be splitting my exposure between them and favor Brees slightly as he gets the better matchup vs. the Packers who rank 19th in DVOA defense vs. the pass this season.
In the fourth tier, we get some middle of the road quarterbacks and all but Josh McCown face a defense that rank outside the Top 25 in DraftKings points per game to the position. Looking at the matchup and the weapons available to each, I favor Jared Goff in this tier who not has been the most productive but also sees a large gap in offense vs. defense as the Rams rank 5th in DVOA offense while the Cardinals rank 24th in DVOA offense. Alos, looking at Vegas lines, the Rams have the highest projected point total at the moment at 25.5 with Jaguars and Blake Bortles up next with 23.5 but I don’t trust Bortles one bit without his top wideout, Allen Robinson who was lost for the season. My second choice in this tier would be Tyrod Taylor who faces a Bucs defense that ranks 31st in DVOA defense vs. the pass and DraftKings points per game allowed to the position. He also adds the ability to rush the ball as he has done so 32 times this season for 121 yards.
For the record, I am a die-hard Vikings fan but will be avoiding both McKinnon and Thielen this week as this game has one of the lowest point totals of the week at 40. Not only that but the Ravens have allowed under 190 yards passing to their opponents and rank 2nd when looking at DVOA defense vs. the pass. When looking at the other two receivers, I prefer Jarvis Landry who has been Jay Cutler’s favorite option and sits second to only Antonio Brown with 11.4 targets per week. Kelvin Benjamin also sits with a questionable tag after leaving Wednesday’s practice with another knee injury. We are then left with two running backs who were teammates just two weeks ago but with Peterson being traded to the Cardinals, opens up more touches for both of them. In his first game with the Cards, Peterson went far and above expectation rushing 26 times for 134 yards with two touchdowns and looked like the “All Day” of old. While Ingram and the Saints have the edge when looking at Vegas(-5.5 favorites & 26.5 point projection), Peterson has the matchup edge as the Rams rank dead last in DraftKings points allowed per game to the running back position. I honestly don’t think you can go wrong with either this week.
The selection in tier six gets bigger but is not short of tough decisions. It starts with the injuries as Devonta Parker, DeMarco Murray, and Stefon Diggs all missed practice on Wednesday and are questionable to play on Sunday. Then we have a pair of wideouts who come with a ton of risk. It starts with Jordy Nelson who leads the league with six touchdown catches but lost his MVP quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, for the foreseeable future. Then we have last season’s receiving yards leader, T.Y. Hilton, who faces one of the toughest matchups in the league against a Jaguars team who has limited opponents to 166 yards per game and rank #1 when looking at DVOA defense vs. the pass. For me in this tier, it comes down to one of the three other running backs and I am torn between Jay Ajayi of the Dolphins and Christian McCaffrey of the Panthers. Ajayi has the preferred matchup vs. the Jets who rank 25th in DVOA defense vs. the rush and 26th in DraftKings points allowed to running backs while McCaffrey has been a PPR beast as he leads all backs with 8.3 targets per game and has totaled 293 yards and two touchdowns. It comes down to personal preference and for me, I will be splitting them and constructing multiple Pick’Em lineups.
The next tier gives us our first look at some tight ends and both have excellent matchups. Delanie Walker will be the lowest owned of the two as he is having a disappointing season, reaching the end zone just once through a rush. He gets an elite matchup vs. the Browns who rank dead last in DraftKings points per game to the position. Seferian-Jenkins has been targeted 19 times over the last two weeks, catching 14 of them and has scored a touchdown in both games. I think both make nice separation plays with the chalk picks in the other tiers but my favorite play in this tier is easily Davante Adams who was targeted 10 times by Brett Hundley last week after Rodgers exited the game and scored a touchdown. With most of the attention paid to Jordy Nelson, like most weeks, Adams should once again see a high target share vs. the Saints who rank 26th in DraftKings points per game allowed to wideouts.
The final tier is another tough one and to start off, I will be avoiding Sammy Watkins who is likely going to draw shadow coverage from Patrick Peterson of the Cardinals. I think this is going to open up rookie Cooper Kupp in the slot to see possibly a team-high amount of targets this week in a much better matchup. I also really like the matchup for Duke Johnson this week facing a Titans team that ranks 25th in DVOA defense vs. the pass and the Browns have been using him almost exclusively as a receiving option. He is likely lower owned as well coming off a down week where he rushed for 40 yards and caught just three of five targets for -1 yards. This week it will be Deshon Kizer back behind center who he has been much more comfortable with this season.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions leading up to Sunday morning lineup lock, be sure to hit me up on Twitter(@Jager_Bombs9). Good luck everyone!
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