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NFL DFS Week 7: Picks, Plays & Values

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After researching the NFL player pool at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end each week over the past few seasons, I will go on a new path for the daily games in 2021. Looking at this week’s projections, this baseline will be used to identify possible values at each position during the season.

In the daily games, we see each week players with low salaries post difference-maker scores. The key to winning is mixing a core of studs with some undervalued options that post impact scores for their price point.

Depending on the format, the goal is to find players that will score three or four times their salary to have a shot at GPP (grand prize pool).


Top Tier: Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals ($8,500/$8,700)

After starting the season with two impact games (309/5 and 431/4), Murray averaged only 23.30 fantasy points in four-point touchdown leagues over his last four starts. Over this span, he also struggled to make plays in the run game (27/65/1 – 2.4 yards per rush). His yards per pass attempt (8.9) remain at a career-high level, but Murray has regressed in this area over his previous matchups (11.1, 9.3, 8.4, 7.7, and 7.6). Over six games, he averages 28.11 fantasy points (fourth).

The Texans come into this game with the 20th-ranked defense against quarterbacks (23.26 FPPG), with risk defending the run (179/848/11 – 4.7 yards per carry). Josh Allen had 10 carries for 51 yards and one touchdown against Houston in Week 4, and two other quarterbacks scored on the ground. They allow 8.4 yards per pass attempt, but offenses only threw the ball 135 times (27 per game) vs. the Texans over the past five weeks. In Week 1, in a chaser game, Trevor Lawrence passed for 332 yards and three scores. Offenses have 20 touchdowns and 11 field goals against Houston over their 66 possessions.

Murray has the weapons to air the ball out in this matchup, and he should end his three-week slump with no rushing touchdowns. However, I don’t expect Houston to put up a fight on the scoreboard, so most of his stats need to come in the first half. He ranks as the top quarterback in Week 7 (projected 386 combined yards with 3.75 touchdowns).

More: Patrick Mahomes – 34.60 fantasy points

Value: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons ($5,700/$7,300)

Over the last four games, Ryan had a floor of two touchdowns while averaging 42.25 passes. He gained 641 combined yards with six scores over the past two matchups. Kyle Pitts flexed his stud upside in Week 5 (9/119/1), and Cordarrelle Patterson continues to be a factor in the passing game over his past four contests (23/282/4). When adding Calvin Ridley back into the equation, Ryan has the tools and opportunity to shine at his discounted price in the daily space.

Since beating the Patriots on the road, the Dolphins have allowed 19 touchdowns and 161 points over their five straight losses. Tom Brady lit up their defense for 452 yards and five scores. Miami struggled with wide receivers in three of their past four matchups (13/259/1, 23/349/4, 18/232/1). In addition, the Dolphins played last week’s matchup without their two starting cornerbacks (Xavien Howard and Byron Jones). Miami listed both players as questionable for their matchup vs. the Falcons.

More: Joe Burrow – 23.90 fantasy points

Oct 10, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) dives for the end zone during the second half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 10, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) dives for the end zone during the second half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Running Back

Top Tier: Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans ($9,200/$11,000)

The run for 2,000-plus yards for Henry is on. He’s gained over 100 yards in his last five games (35/182/3, 28/113, 33/157/1, 29/130/3, 20/143/3). Over this span, Tennessee gave him 158 touches (31.6 per game). He is on pace for 2,085 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns over 16 games (2,215/28 over 17 matchups) while also seeing the most action of his career in the passing game (16/138 – projected for 45 catches for 391 yards over 17 weeks).

The Chiefs rank 24th in running back defense (26.23 FPPG). Backs gained 841 combined yards with seven touchdowns and 39 catches. Even with a look of distress vs. the run, Kansas City has allowed fewer than 100 yards rushing to running backs in their previous four matchups (18/61, 11/56, 17/62/1, 19/94).

Henry has a high salary, which requires over 35.00 fantasy points to fill his salary bucket. However, his matchup has upside--even with the Chiefs improving against running backs in the run game over the past month.

More: Alvin Kamara – 25.75 fantasy points

Value: J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team ($5,000/$5,700)

Antonio Gibson came out of last week’s game with a calf issue that may cost him the start against the Packers. Washington only had him on the field for 39% of its plays in Week 6. As a result, McKissic had a season-high in touches (16), leading to 110 combined yards with eight catches. His opportunity/role should be similar against the Packers if Gibson can’t play.

Running backs have 33 catches for 193 yards and two touchdowns against Green Bay, with some success in the run game (509/5). Overall, the Packers are about league average defending the running back position (23.92 FPPG – 15th).

McKissic is only a value play in the daily games if Gibson doesn’t play. Look for his projections to be updated later this week after the injury news comes out on Friday.

More: Miles Sanders – 16.34 fantasy points

Sep 26, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) jogs towards the locker room after the Packers defeated the San Francisco 49ers 30-28 at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 26, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) jogs towards the locker room after the Packers defeated the San Francisco 49ers 30-28 at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Wide Receiver

Top Tier: Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers ($8,900/$9,000)

Touchdowns (2) have been more challenging to come by for Adams in 2021 after setting a career-high in 2020 (18). However, he has two elite games (12/132/1 and 11/206/1) this season when he received a combined 34 targets. The Packers played four of their first six games on the road, pointing to better play by Aaron Rodgers and Adams at home. Half his starts fell into the steady category (5/56, 6/64, 4/89) in the season-long contests but landed in the donation bucket in the daily space.

Washington dropped to 31st in wide receiver defense (99/1,275/9) while struggling in four matchups (24/278/1, 23/277/2, 8/185/3, 19/239/2). Only one wideout (Keenan Allen – 9/100) has 100 yards receiving, but six other players (Mike Williams – 8/82/1, Sterling Shepard – 9/94, Cole Beasley – 11/98, Emmanuel Sanders – 5/94/2, Marquez Callaway – 4/85/2, Tyreek Hill – 9/76/1) had productive games.

Adams accounts for 27.9 percent of Rodgers's completions and 45.7 percent of his yards. When his game gets going, Adams turns into a target hog. He has multiple-touchdown upside this week, but Washington must have a pulse offensively to keep this game competitive for four quarters.

More: Tyreek Hill – 30.61 fantasy points

Value: A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans ($6,300/$7,000)

Over his five games played, Brown only has 17 catches for 221 yards and one touchdown on 34 targets. He sits 65th in wide receiver scoring (45.40) in PPR formats while showing a pulse in the second half against the Bills (7/91). Fantasy owners respected his game enough to draft Brown as an upside WR1 this summer in the season-long leagues.

Kansas City worked its way to 10th against wideouts (61/850/7) after holding Washington’s wide receiving corps to eight catches for 54 yards on 18 targets in Week 6. Three wideouts (Marquise Brown – 6/113/1, Mike Williams – 7/122/1, DeVonta Smith – 7/122) gained over 100 yards.

It appears Julio Jones won’t play this week, giving Brown a bump in chances. His downside comes from more attention placed on him in coverage. Kansas City needs to stop the run first. If they don’t, Ryan Tannehill will have some chances to make big plays off play-action passes.

More: Ja’Marr Chase – 20.51 fantasy points

Tight End

Top Tier: Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs ($7,600/$8,200)

Kelce remains the top tight end scoring (18.13 FPPG), but he has scored under 18.00 fantasy points in each of his past four starts despite having 10 or more targets in three of those matchups. His best output (6/76/2) came in Week 1.

The Titans shut down the tight end position over the first four weeks (ARI – 0/0, SEA – 1/3, IND – 3/34, NYJ – 1/8) thanks to each opponent rarely looking for their lower-tier options (16 targets). However, Tennessee allowed 12 catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 12 targets to tight ends over the past two weeks.

Mahomes should get his star player a touchdown. This game should be competitive offensively, creating a bigger window for Kelce to have success.

More: Darren Waller – 18.94 fantasy points

Value: Zack Ertz, Arizona Cardinals

A mid-week trade to the Cardinals should lead to a more consistent role for Ertz. Over his last four games with the Eagles, he had 27 targets, leading to 15 catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns. Ertz only has six 20-yard catches over his last 17 games.

Houston allowed 20.00 or more fantasy points in four games (7/70/1, 5/37/2, 11/107, 8/102/1) in PPR leagues. They have the worst tight end defense (18.97 FPPG) in the NFL despite not facing a stud player.

Ertz helps Arizona’s scoring ability in the red zone and over the middle third of the field at the goal line. Kyler Murray already produced two value games (7/94 and 5/66/1) for Maxx Williams despite receiving only 3.4 targets per game. Ideally, a fantasy owner would like Ertz to receive six to seven targets per week.

More: Mike Gesicki – 15.89 fantasy points

The Week 7 projections are up at Sports Illustrated, with a second update coming Saturday morning after all practices close Friday night. 

More fantasy coverage:


Senior analyst Shawn Childs is a multi-sport, high-stakes fantasy legend with lifetime earnings in the high six-figures. He has been providing in-depth, analytical breakdowns for years all while helping his subscribers to countless titles and winnings across season-long & DFS. An inaugural inductee of the NFBC Hall of Fame, Shawn can teach you how to prep like a champ!

Follow @Shawn__Childs on Twitter


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