Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers
Start: Marquise Goodwin, Brandin Cooks in DFS
Goodwin finally looked healthy last week for the first time this season, impressing while ripping off 126 yards and two scores. He saw the 11th most Air Yards on just five targets and should be more involved now that he’s healthy and with San Francisco having to throw frequently as near double-digit underdogs Sunday. C.J. Beathard looks competent in Kyle Shanahan’s system, and the Rams’ secondary has proven plenty beatable this season. Fire up Goodwin with confidence this week.
The Rams will be without Cooper Kupp, the 49ers are much better against the run than pass, and both teams run a fast pace, so this is a good week to pay up for Cooks in DFS. He’s on pace to record 1,347 receiving yards despite not seeing double-digit targets in a game this season.
Start: Josh Gordon in DFS, Taylor Gabriel
Gordon led the Patriots in targets last week and continues to see a big increase in route run percentage with New England. The Bears shut down the run but have ceded the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers, so I have Gordon as a top-20 WR this week.
Allen Robinson is banged up and would be shadowed by Stephon Gilmore if he suits up anyway. This leaves Gabriel to soak up targets in a game when Chicago figures to pass more than usual. Over the last two weeks, Gabriel has secured 12-of-12 targets for 214 yards and two scores. Anthony Miller is also a sleeper if Robinson sits, as New England has been vulnerable to the slot this season (sixth-most fantasy points allowed).
Carolina Panthers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Funchess saw eight targets despite Greg Olsen’s return last week, and the Eagles have yielded the second-most fantasy points to his primary side this season.
Clement outgained Wendell Smallwood by 18 yards (and scored) on five fewer touches at less than full strength last week. He’s now had 10 days to get closer to 100 percent. Clement isn’t a workhorse, but Philadelphia’s offense is improving along with Carson Wentz’s health and with Jay Ajayi on IR, he has top-15 RB upside down the stretch.
Tennessee Titans vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Start: Mike Williams
Sit: Marcus Mariota
Williams has disappeared over the last three games, but he’s likely to be matched up with the struggling Malcolm Butler this week. The Titans have allowed the most fantasy points to WRs on his primary side.
Mariota has a 5:14 TD:INT over his last 10 games away from home since the start of last season, and the Chargers’ defense is playing better lately (allowing just 27 points over their last 11 quarters).
Cleveland Browns vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Start: Jarvis Landry in DFS, O.J. Howard
Landry has struggled to find a connection with Baker Mayfield (just 3.8 yards per target) but the volume has been there. The Bucs present the perfect combination a potent offense (with a fast pace) and the league’s worst defense (which might now be missing Gerald McCoy) that’s been burned for the most fantasy points against the slot this season. Damion Ratley and Antonio Callaway (12th in Air Yards!) are good fliers in deep leagues this week, as well, with Rashard Higgins sidelined.
Howard looked good in his return last week, and Cleveland’s coverage is weakest at safety and linebacker. He should be treated as a clear TE1 moving forward.
Detroit Lions vs. Miami Dolphins
Start: Kerryon Johnson, Kenyan Drake
Both teams’ strengths are their secondaries (whereas both defenses are bottom-five in fantasy points allowed to RBs), so expect this game to feature plenty of rushing attempts. Johnson, who ranks fifth in “true yards per carry,” should see more work (as we’ve been waiting for) with Theo Riddick possibly out, while Drake still has more upside than Frank Gore (who’s another option in this matchup).
Buffalo Bills vs. Indianapolis Colts
Start: Marlon Mack
Sit: LeSean McCoy
It’s tough to rely on any Indy back, but Mack impressed during his return last week and he’s going to be given an opportunity to take the lead in a home matchup as more than touchdown favorites. Buffalo’s secondary is its team strength, so the Colts should focus on their ground game and defense facing Derek Anderson, who was just signed last week. It also helps that the Colts are running the fastest pace in football.
McCoy will get volume, but the Bills are 7.5-point road underdogs starting their third-stringer at quarterback, and Indy sports the No. 8 ranked run defense DVOA.
Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Jets
Start: Adam Thielen in DFS, Jermaine Kearse
What Thielen is doing to start the season is nothing short of amazing, and Scott Pianowski has him atop his wide receiver rankings (along with AB) for the rest of season. No argument here, and Thielen gets an extremely inviting matchup this week against a Jets secondary getting destroyed by the slot this season. Pay up for him in DFS.
The slot is also where the Vikings have been most vulnerable (fifth-most fantasy points allowed), where Kearse will be running most of his routes in Week 7 with Quincy Enunwa out.
Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Start: T.J. Yeldon in DFS
Sit: Will Fuller
With byes (and tough matchups), there are fewer strong RB starts than usual this week, and Yeldon should be looking at 20+ touches after returning to practice Thursday. I like the Jags to roll in this spot.
Fuller is still battling his hamstring issue and Jacksonville’s secondary is the toughest in the league on the outside. Look for Houston to attack underneath with Keke Coutee like Dallas did with Cole Beasley last week.
New Orleans Saints vs. Baltimore Ravens
Start: John Brown in DFS
Sit: Michael Thomas in DFS
Brown is coming off a couple of quiet games, but he ranks third in the NFL in Air Yards (sandwiched between DeAndre Hopkins and Tyreek Hill) and gets a Saints defense that’s allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. Baltimore already runs a fast pace and should pass even more this week in a rare Ravens game with an over/under approaching 50 points.
Thomas gets a near-opposite matchup as Baltimore has ceded the second-fewest fantasy points to wideouts and an NFL-low 6.0 YPA this season. Thomas should return to double-digit targets after seeing just nine total over the last two weeks, but his matchup makes it tough to pay his DFS price ($35).
Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins
Sit: Alex Smith, Cole Beasley
Smith has gotten just 7.0 YPA during a season in which passing stats have exploded, and Washington’s receivers remain banged up (Paul Richardson is iffy for Week 7 and Jamison Crowder has already been ruled out). Moreover, Washington’s pace is one of the slowest in the league and Dallas has held quarterbacks to the eighth-fewest fantasy points. Last year’s version of Smith feels like ages ago.
Beasley is coming off a big game in which he recorded 100+ yards and scored twice, but he was the focal point of Dallas’ offense thanks to Jacksonville’s main vulnerability being the slot; a position Washington has shut down this season.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Start: C.J. Uzomah, Kareem Hunt in DFS
Uzomah saw seven targets last week as he’s slowly replacing Tyler Eifert as Cincinnati’s starting tight end. Kansas City has been gashed for the second-most fantasy points by the position this season.
Hunt saw a season-high six targets last week, and the Bengals bring in the No. 25 ranked run defense DVOA. Sunday’s flexed game has a high total (58.5 points), and Hunt has already scored six touchdowns this year despite playing only two home games. He’s well worth paying up for ($31) in a week with so few top RB options.
New York Giants vs. Atlanta Falcons
Start: Eli Manning, Austin Hooper
Manning has actually played well away from home this season (8.3 YPA, averaging 300.7 passing yards over three games), and he faces an Atlanta defense that owns the 31st ranked DVOA, has allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, and most importantly, struggles to pressure the QB. Evan Engram is also back to practicing fully, so Manning has a strong complement of weapons to throw to in the projected shootout.
With Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu both banged up, Hooper should continue to see big targets (he’s suddenly seen 22 over the last two weeks after totaling 15 over first four contests) from a QB who’s gotten 9.9 YPA with a 15:1 TD:turnover ratio at home this season.