Draft Kings NFL Week 7 Preview
By Rocco Minsk It seems that every week I am complaining about how the DFS landscape gets tougher and tougher. The issue is that it takes Draft Kings pricing a solid two to three weeks to catch up to a player’s performance. Once that player is priced to perfection, it makes it difficult to pay the top price for the player unless they are a consistent beast. This year, there are very few consistent top options that will perform from week to week. Todd Gurley and Leonard Fournette had become those options, but now there is concern about their work in the passing game.
In terms of our picks last week, they tended mostly to the good. We nailed the TE picks and called out a Saints defense that had a great week against the Lions. I usually tend to go with a value quarterback so I whiffed on Kevin Hogan, but was good enough to earn a split in my cash games.
This week, the tried and true strategy of stacking four studs and filling in around them does not work because of the lack of studs this week. I am likely going to spread my big dollars around among five players instead of 3-4 this week. Without further ado, here are our picks for the week. Our value picks and fades will appear in separate articles.
Dak Prescott ($7300) Prescott has been remarkably consistent this year and his point total has gone up each week. Granted, last game against the Packers, he hit the rarified 30 point air which quarterbacks rarely hit, but this week he has among the best matchups a fantasy quarterback can ask for against the 49ers defense, who always seems to force a couple of turnovers in between points yielded. The matchup alone makes Prescott worth the investment.
Carson Palmer ($6600) Actually having a running game bodes well for Palmer as he put up 21 points against the Bucs last week. Of course, the Bucs have a terrible defense and the matchup gets tougher this week against the Rams, but this is a decent price point for a consistent quarterback.
Melvin Gordon ($7000) Your top running back should ideally be a three down back who is involved in the passing game and Gordon fits that bill. I will say that running back pricing in general makes little sense this week – it is almost as if the Draft Kings algorithm made a conscious choice to make all RBs more expensive. Back to Gordon, he drew 12 targets last game and averages 6.5 targets per game. He has gone for 36 plus points in his last two games and the Giants proved that it is possible to run on Denver.
Mark Ingram ($6700) Ingram went up from $4100 to $$6700 on the strength of his monster performance against the Lions last week. The Saints have become more of a traditional football team this season and are running their offense more through their RBs than in the past. Green Bay is vulnerable to opposing RBs and Ingram does not have to score 34 points again to return value at this price.
Jerick McKinnon ($6300) The second RB in the giant price hike duo who is still worth the increased price. McKinnon adds a whole new element to the Vikings offense that it missing with a downhill plodder like Latavius Murray so much so that Mike Zimmer stuck with him even after a first half fumble in an un-Belichikian sort of way. The Vikings figure to play a grind it out game again with Sam Bradford and possibly Stefon Diggs down.
Adrian Peterson ($5800) How quickly we jump back on the bandwagon. I will be a lemming if it is profitable to do so. There is obviously some gas left in the tank and the Rams get gashed by the run as Leonard Fournette proved last week. 28 points is probably not realistic for a RB who did not draw a target in the passing game, but 15-18 points is and returns value for this price.
Antonio Brown ($8900) Brown’s value usually yo-yo’s between the 8000s and the 9000s depending on whether he has had a good week the week prior. Brown went off at $9300 last week yet his price went down this week and for that reason alone, he becomes a great play this week. On paper Cincy has a good pass defense, but that is more a function of them being matched up against terrible pass offenses thus far.
Jordy Nelson ($6800) This drop in price reflect the obvious, but you should not be afraid of playing Nelson with a backup quarterback. The Saints defense is good, but they still yield points to opposing WRs and if anything, the lack of Aaron Rodgers means that Hundley will focus on his top two targets. This price is an overreaction to the Rodgers injury and is reasonable for a WR of Nelson’s caliber.
Adam Thielen ($6700) Stefon Diggs continues to miss practice and if Thielen is the only big option for Case Keenum, it should be mean a near 20 point game again. Thielen came agonizingly close to the 100-yard bonus (which would have put me over the top in all of my cash games) when the Vikings offense was firing on less than full cylinders and if Diggs continues to miss practice, Thielen becomes a great play.
Pierre Garcon ($5800) Garcon finally gets a quarterback who has a better chance of throwing him the damn ball (I will focus on Chase Beathard in the value plays article). Since the quarterback switch last week, Garcon actually started to convert on some of his targets. Garcon will draw double digit targets, if he can pull in seven of them, he becomes a great play here.
Austin Sefarian Jenkins ($5000) The price keeps going up on ASJ every week, but it is still worth it for he who has ultimately become the Jets’ number one receiver who draws red zone targets. He was a botched replay call away from a monster week against the Patriots and draws a friendly matchup against Miami.
Evan Engram ($4400) The main beneficiary of the Giants’ WR mash unit turned out to be Engram. Manning needs a red zone target and Engram surfaced to find the end zone against Denver. The volume will be there to make Engram a good option from week to week.
Tennessee Titans ($3400) This has nothing to do with the Titans’ defense and everything to do with the Browns’ offense. Deshone Kizer should be good for two turnovers and at least four sacks. I usually hesitate to recommend a high priced defense, but Cleveland is just that bad.