These are some of my favorite plays of the week that you can use for your seasonal and DFS lineups.
Josh Allen, BUF ($7.7K)
Allen has the second-highest price tag on the slate, but it is certainly not due to his Week 6 performance against the Chiefs when he was incredibly inaccurate and only threw for 122 yards. Nothing fixes a team quite like playing the New York Jets, who have one of the worst pass rushes in the league. When these teams met in Week 1, Allen carved them up for 312 passing yards and 2 TDs, plus another 57 yards rushing and a TD. He easily could put up similar stats in this game.
Patrick Mahomes, KC ($7.4K)
It seems strange to see Mahomes' name as the third-highest salaried QB on DraftKings, but when someone gives us a gift, what should we do? Say thank you and make money! Denver has one of the stingiest run defenses in the league, which should mean that Mahomes will be throwing for much of the game. There are reports about expected bad weather in Denver on Sunday. Please don't panic about that and never forget that bad weather favors the offense as they know where they are going.
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT ($6.6K)
Playing Roethlisberger intrigues me for a few reasons: 1) fantasy football managers watched the Titans play exceptional football in recent games, which will scare some away from playing him; 2) they were also let down by Roethlisberger in what seemed like a smash spot in Week 6 against Cleveland; 3) Lions QB Matthew Stafford is cheaper in what seems like the play of the week. All that analysis leads me to one thing: playing Roethlisberger! The Titans' major weakness is their secondary, and Ben has all his weapons at his disposal with Diontae Johnson back from injury. Best of all, I think he comes in at about 2-3% owned.
Matthew Stafford, DET ($6.5K)
I look at this matchup against Atlanta and think that even Matt Patricia should not be able to screw this one up. Atlanta has been the most generous team in the league to opposing QBs, and it's not even close. This is the best cash game spot on the slate, and I would treat it as such. If you are playing in GPPs, it will be tougher to differentiate your roster enough if you stack this game.
Teddy Bridgewater, CAR ($5.8K)
The revenge narrative is in full effect here as Bridgewater goes back to New Orleans to play the Saints. The Panthers offense struggled considerably against the Bears, but the Saints defense has been very generous to opposing QBs, and Bridgewater should be able to take advantage. If Teddy B can hit his open receivers in space, there could be some very big plays in this game.
Kyle Allen, WAS ($5.2K)
A very popular DraftKings strategy is to use the top cheap QB play of the slate so that you can stack expensive skill players into your lineups. Allen plays the hated Dallas Cowboys, who rival Atlanta for defensive ineptitude. The downside with this strategy is that it's hard to imagine Allen putting up 300+ passing yards and 3TDs in any game, but if it's going to happen, this might be the week it does.
Alvin Kamara, NO ($7.9K)
Saints WRs Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders were both ruled out for Week 7, which leaves Kamara as a must-start in any format. Carolina gives up a ton of receptions to running backs out of the backfield, which plays directly into Kamara's vast skill set. Even at a steep price, he could return close to 4x.
Kareem Hunt, CLE ($6.8K)
With the Browns needing to mitigate the damage that QB Baker Mayfield can cause, look for them to fire up Hunt to the tune of 20+ touches. Hunt was a major disappointment against Pittsburgh, but the game got out of hand early, and at that point, the Browns coaching staff did the right thing by pulling their starters. The Bengals are very soft against the run, and Hunt will be needed to control the clock.
Todd Gurley, ATL ($6.K)
I have gone on record that I am not a big Gurley fan, but I think he's in a terrific spot for success against Detroit. The Lions are the fourth-worst team against the run, and Gurley is the team's first option by the goal line. Strategically in DFS, Gurley might be one of the top leverage plays of the slate if he can find the end zone.
D’Andre Swift, DET ($5.4K)
The one thing the Falcons do reasonably well on defense is stopping the run. This should negate the Adrian Peterson lovefest that can sometimes occur during Lions games. The better fit for this matchup is Swift, who is a good receiver out of the backfield and who has the speed to break off long runs. I am not sure that Swift has made believers of all fantasy managers, but I think after this week's game, it will be clear who the best RB is for Detroit. Oh--and one more thing--Swift played his college ball at Georgia, so if you were looking for another narrative, this would be it!
Gio Bernard, CIN ($4.5K)
With Joe Mixon out, expect Bernard to lead the team in touches out of the backfield. While I expect second-year RB Trayveon Williams to be activated and finally see some carriers, Bernard is the better pass catcher and offers more in pass protection.
Jamaal Williams, GB ($4K)
Packers starting RB Aaron Jones popped up on the team’s injury report on Friday and is considered very questionable for Sunday’s game. There is a lot of buzz about rookie RB A.J. Dillon getting his opportunity to start, but I think it's Williams who will be more effective and score more fantasy points.
Note: Jones’ ownership on DraftKings immediately plummeted when the news of his injury came out on Friday. However, if he is active for the game, I still expect his ownership to be low as most DFS players hate to take a chance on a player deemed questionable. This normally creates a buying opportunity and great value for Jones.
Stefon Diggs, BUF ($7K)
The only CB in New York who can cover Diggs is James Bradbury, and he plays for the Giants and not the Jets. With John Brown out, Josh Allen will be targeting Diggs early and often. Diggs has two TD upside in this expected blowout.
Kenny Golladay, DET ($6.7K)
The single biggest WR/CB mismatch in Week 7 is Detroit WR Kenny Golladay vs. Atlanta CB Kendall Sheffield. It's hard to imagine how Golladay doesn't dominate this game as he is the best athlete on the field. Etch him into your seasonal and DFS lineups.
Terry McLaurin, WAS ($5.8K)
McLaurin showed a lot of moxie by going 7 for 74 (on 12 targets) in Week 6 against one of the toughest CBs in football. In Week 7, the matchup doesn't get any better than the Dallas Cowboys. With Isaiah Wright and Antonio Gandy-Golden out, Washington will have to lean even more heavily on McLaurin to spur their offense, which will only increase his gaudy numbers.
Brandin Cooks, HOU ($5.2K)
The Green Bay Packers are riddled with injuries in their secondary as CB Kevin King and S Darnell Savage are unlikely to play. This leaves Packers star CB Jaire Alexander in a one-on-one matchup with Will Fuller, but it also means that Brandin Cooks will face third-year pro Josh Jackson, who does not have the speed quickness to keep up with Cooks. Texans QB Deshaun Watson has played at an extremely high level since the firing of Bill O'Brien. Look for that to continue with some deep passes to Cooks to challenge an undermanned Packers secondary.
Mecole Hardman, KC ($4.5K)
Hardman was a monumental disappointment to fantasy managers last week who were expecting him to dominate with Sammy Watkins not playing. By now, you should all know that just because a player screwed your team one week does not mean that he will do it the very next week. I think most people assume that he will--which is exactly why I think Hardman scores on a long-distance play against Denver.
Russell Gage, ATL ($4.4K)
In my Visionary article last week, I gave you Keelan Cole, telling you how bad the Lions are at covering slot receivers. Nothing has changed in a week, with the exception that Gage will be overlooked because of the presence of Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. Don't be afraid to use Gage in either seasonal or DFS if you are looking for a cheap, deep flyer.
T.J. Hockenson, DET ($5K)
Atlanta is almost epically bad at covering tight ends. Hockenson has a great chance to find the end zone, but it is annoying that he has only eclipsed five targets in a game only once this season.
Hunter Henry, LAC ($4.5K)
Jacksonville is the fifth-worst team against opposing tight ends, which makes Henry a top play. Even more so is the fact that Henry has had seven targets or more in four out of the team's first five games. He has the highest floor of any tight end not named Kelce.
Noah Fant, DEN ($4.8K)
Fant is finally back after missing the last couple of games with an injured ankle. He hasn't had much practice with Drew Lock, but we know his talent and how involved he is in Denver's offense. If you are running with the Mahomes stack on DraftKings, Fant is a great bring-back option.
Jared Cook, NO ($4.3K)
Anyone who follows me knows that it would take a lot to have me recommend starting Cook. With WR Michael Thomas out with a hamstring injury and WR Emmanuel Sanders out on the COVID-19 reserve list, Cook becomes a much bigger part of the team's offensive scheme against Carolina.
Darren Fells, HOU ($4.1K)
With Texans TE Jordan Akins out yet again, Fells will start against the Packers on Sunday. Fells has been sensational in his opportunity as a starter, catching eight of nine targets for 142 yards and 2 TDs since Akins went out with an injury. Tight ends have been very productive against Green Bay, including Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski, who dominated them for 78 yards and a TD in Week 6. Green Bay/Houston is the DK Sportsbook’s highest over/under game of the week. Playing Fells gives you a way to get cheap exposure to a high scoring game.
Logan Thomas, WAS ($3.5K)
It's hard not to like Thomas. He gets a ton of snaps and is involved in most of the team's dropbacks. The problem is that he's highly inconsistent. I am hoping that the inconsistency tag was more due to Dwayne Haskins than to Thomas himself. He's in a great spot against Dallas, who is the tenth-worst team against opposing tight ends. If you're looking for a cheap leverage play off the heavy McLaurin chalk, Thomas gives you exposure to the Washington offense at a discounted price.