Week 7 Sleeper Picks
October 20, 2017
By Craig Bengel
DFS Best Bets - Week 7
The Gainsayer – Week 7 Sleeper Picks for Draft Kings GPP’s
gainsayer. Noun. (plural gainsayers) One who contradicts or denies what is alleged; an opposer.
As we approach the mid-point of the 2017 season there are a few surprising statistics I would like to point out:
-- Julio Jones has 0 TD’s through 6 weeks and 367 total yard of offense.
-- Joe Flacco’s averages 5.42 yards per attempt with a QB rating of 66.1, only DeShone Kizer is worse.
-- Golden Tate is the 5th ranked receiver according to PFF; currently outperforming Mike Evans, Jordy Nelson, and DeAndre Hopkins amongst others.
-- Kareem Hunt is averaging 5.8 yards per carry, 102.4 yards per game, and has 8 rushes for 20 yards plus.
-- Jared Goff is 4th in yards per attempt at 8.02.
-- If Travis Kelce was a wide receiver, he would rank 10th in yardage and also top 10 in DK scoring.
The most surprising statistic for me is the fact that Julio Jones is performing at career lows in all statistical areas. The departure of Kyle Shanahan may be having a negative impact on this offense as a whole. In 2017 they look less explosive and their typical playmakers are simply not making plays. Conversely, I do think this may be a good time to buy-low on Julio for daily and season long leagues, he’s simply too talented to keep up this poor pace. A breakout game is inevitable, and I’ll gladly take a weekly risk on him than miss out when he does explode for a huge game (remember 57 fantasy points? it happened last year in a spot we didn’t necessarily expect). Week 7 is obviously a lucky one… so let’s combine our knowledge, skill and luck for a big win!
Week 7 contrarian selections for Draft Kings
(Complete Sunday slate)
Disclaimer: The players below should not necessarily be the centerpieces of your roster construction when scripting lineups. They should be used to compliment the core players you’ve selected for this week’s slate and as fill-ins when you find yourself gravitating to common chalky plays.
Tyrod Taylor $5100
It’s hard for me to fathom Tyrod Taylor being the 6th best quarterback thus far in the 2017 season, but its true nonetheless. This PFF rating seems to stem from limited turnovers and making the right plays when needed as opposed to hurling the ball downfield with a plethora of TD’s; the latter being what we are used to from our fantasy quarterbacks. Week 7 does present the penultimate matchup for production as he opposed one of the league’s worst defenses, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5 players are poor performers according to PFF, and only 2 are performing above average). The Buc’s run a funnel defense which tends to direct most of the opposing offenses productions to the running back position. Last week showed us just how effective an offense can be when said running back (Adrian Peterson) gets loose for big gains. The result was open Cardinals receivers scoring at will. With a running back like Lesean McCoy in the backfield, they should again struggle to contain play action from Tyrod Taylor. His weapons are limited, but he does have an effective tight end and is one of the few running quarterback we can count on for bonus rushing yards. I do expect Taylor to turn in his first 20 point performance of the season and pay off his very low DK salary of $5100. Note: Hedging with McCoy in other lineups is a very effective strategy week 7.
Jay Ajayi $6200
For me it was a toss-up this week between Jay Ajayi 85.8, Adrian Peterson 83.2, and Christian McCaffrey 76.7 at the running back position. While all are viable options, I feel the lowest owned and highest ranked of the three best suits our choice as a contrarian play. Ajayi is quietly performing as the 3rd ranked running back according to PFF, and comes off a dominant performance against one of the best teams in the NFC in week 6. If you watched the game against the Falcons last week you were sure to notice the way the Dolphins dictated the pace of play and kept the Falcons in check with their ball control offense centered on Ajayi’s punishing run style. It would benefit them to carry that same clock-control mentality into this week’s matchup with division rival New York Jets. The Jets defense, which isn't necessarily terrible, only features one player performing above average according to PFF metrics. He should certainly exceed last week’s 16 DK point performance, and has a ceiling in the low 30’s if everything goes his was week 7.
Devin Funchess $6000
When looking for a weekly receiver option one of our top qualifiers is obviously targets. We can’t 100% accurately predict a receivers production, but we can get a sense of what their ceiling is through their opportunities touching the ball. Devin Funchess targets over the last 4 weeks are 10, 9, 8, and 9. Those are quite high by any measure, considering Julio Jones targets are 5, 7, 3 and 6 over that same time span. Opposite receiver Kelvin Benjamin also comes into week 7 with a questionable tag and if he's held out those targets to Funchess should only increase. Kyle Fuller 54.6 is the likely candidate to cover Funchess 73.1 Sunday, and is severely outmatched by the oversized wide out. $6000 is fair DK price and if he catches a touchdown he will most certainly provide a nice return on investment.
Hunter Henry $4200
Hunter Henry is making back to back appearances in the Gainsayer for the first time, and with good reason. He continues to be ranked the 4th overall tight end but is priced as the 8th ranked tight end on Draft Kings (can anyone tell me why Greg Olsen is still priced above him on injured reserve?). I’m hoping all the ownership funnels to Austin Sefarian Jenkins and Evan Engram this week so we can get a similar performance at lower ownership with Travis Henry. The Broncos are an excellent defense but their strength has come in stopping opposing running backs in 2017. I do expect the “no fly zone” defense of Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr to give opposing receivers fits in coming weeks, which should lead to more check downs and scripted plays for opposing tight ends. Linebackers Brandon Marshall 62.7 and Todd Davis 78.5 are outmatched this week by Hunter Henry 84.6 and should be one of the few places Phil Rivers can find an open look on Sunday.
Minnesota Defense $3300
With 7 of 11 starters ranking above average according to PFF, the Vikings defense is rounding into form and hosts one of the least impressive offenses in week 7. The Baltimore ravens have underperformed in 2017 and look like an offense that lacks any sorry of identity. Mike Wallace 50.6, Breshad Perriman 38.7, and Buck Allen 44.9 are amongst the worst performers at their respective positions and Joe Flacco appears to be lightyears from his former super bowl winning pedigree. It’s not to say it’s impossible for them to turn it around, but we would be hard pressed to expect that turnaround to come in week 7 on the road against a solid defensive unit. The Viking have yet to score a defensive touchdown through 6 weeks (3 interceptions last week was definitely solid though), but this week should be the week they find pay dirt via pick six or sack fumble six.
Other Week 7 Notables: Carson Palmer, Russell Wilson, Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy, Bennie Fowler, Ted Ginn Jr, Antonio Brown, Zac Miller, Tyler Croft, Buffalo Bills, and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Good luck week 7!
Don’t forget to check out the Week 6 RotoQL NFL optimizer if you haven’t already.
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