NFL Week 7 wraps up with a Monday Night Football contest between the Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Bears at 8:20 p.m. ET.
If you’re unfamiliar with the single-game NFL DFS format, it differs a bit on DraftKings and FanDuel. On DraftKings, you have one “captain” spot and five flexes. The captain will score 1.5x fantasy points, but he also costs 1.5x salary. That means if you want to roster Jared Goff at captain and take advantage of the scoring boost, you’ll have to pay $15,600 as opposed to $10,400.
FanDuel’s single-game format features one “MVP” spot and four flexes. The MVP also scores 1.5x fantasy points, but he doesn’t cost any additional salary. That takes away a bit of the strategy and makes the goal simple: get your highest-scoring player in the MVP spot.
New NFL DFS Trial Offer: Try our new football subscription for $4.95 and get access to our industry-leading tools and projections.
Not all slates are created equal. We had an abundance of stud options to choose from for last night’s contest between the Seahawks and Cardinals, but pickings are a lot slimmer tonight.
Goff is the most expensive option on the slate, and he leads all players in our NFL Models and median and ceiling projection. That said, he’s been very hit or miss to start the year. Goff has recorded three games with 23.98 DraftKings points or greater and three games with 15.92 DraftKings points or less.
One thing that stands out with Goff is his massive splits when under pressure. He’s posted a Pro Football Focus grade of 91.8 when unpressured this season thanks to a 9.7 YPA and eight touchdowns to just two interceptions. When pressured, his YPA drops to just 3.2 and his PFF grade plummets to 46.4.
Luckily, Goff has the luxury of playing behind one of the best offensive lines in football. The Bears have a solid pass rush, but Khalil Mack is currently listed as questionable. If he gets ruled out, Goff should be able to stand in the pocket and pick the Bears apart. Mack did get in a limited practice on Saturday, so his status will be important to monitor before lineup lock.
Allen Robinson is the most expensive player on the Bears’ side, and you have to feel bad for him at this point. He’s one of the best receivers in all of football, yet he has never played with a competent NFL quarterback. Still, he has received at least nine targets in every game this season, and he’s logged 13 or more in two of his past four games. That makes him very appealing on a full PPR site like DraftKings.
Nick Foles has taken over at quarterback for Mitchell Trubisky, but it’s fair to question if he’s been an upgrade up to this point. The Bears have managed to win some games with Foles under center, but his numbers suggest those wins have come despite some dreadful performances. His adjusted yards per attempt 5.4 is the fifth-lowest mark among qualified QBs this season.
Things haven’t been much better for Foles from a fantasy perspective. He’s logged 17.32 DraftKings points or fewer in each of his three starts, resulting in an average Plus/Minus of -1.52. His matchup vs. the Rams doesn’t look all that bad on paper – he owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +0.8 on DraftKings – but I think that undersells the quality of the Rams’ defense.
The Bears are going to have their hands full with Aaron Donald since their starting center is on the IR, and Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams both own top-20 grades at the cornerback position per Pro Football Focus. That makes Foles a very risky option at his current salary.
Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods could very easily be considered midrange plays on most slates, but I’m including them as studs today. They should serve as Goff’s primary pass catchers, and both players logged at least nine targets last week vs. the 49ers.
Unfortunately, these guys have a negative correlation with each other (-0.13), so I would give the slight edge to Woods if choosing between the two. He saw 38.7% of the Rams’ air yards in Week 6 compared to just 26.33% for Kupp.
David Montgomery headlines this area of the pricing spectrum for the Bears. He hasn’t exactly dominated from a fantasy perspective this season, posting a negative Plus/Minus in four of his first six games, but he has operated as the Bears’ clear bell-cow back recently.
He’s coming off 19 carries and five targets last week vs. the Panthers, and his involvement as a receiver makes him virtually game script-proof. He’s logged at least five targets in each of the past three weeks, which coincides with the injury to Tarik Cohen.
The Rams have been solid against RBs this season, giving Montgomery an Opponent Plus/Minus of -0.1, but he still stands out at this price tag.
On the Rams side, it’s much tougher to decipher who the clear RB to target is. They’ve used a committee strategy to start the season, but Darrell Henderson appears to be the preferred option at the moment. He led the Rams in snaps last week and garnered most of the rushing attempts. He didn’t see any targets in the passing game, but he did receive four targets the week prior.
I would recommend targeting at least one of the Rams backs in this contest. This looks like one of the biggest mismatches in this contest thanks to the Rams dominant offensive line. They currently rank first in adjusted line yards, and the Bears have been much better at defending the pass than defending the run. I expect someone in the Rams’ backfield to have a good game, and Henderson is the most likely candidate.
Both teams also have a tight end target in this price range. Jimmy Graham is tough to get behind at his current salary on DraftKings, but his $9,500 salary on FanDuel comes with a Bargain Rating of 88%. He will likely need a touchdown to pay off his price tag, but he’s scored in three of his first six games this season.
Tyler Higbee is a bit more reasonably priced, but he’s not even a lock to play today. He’s questionable after going through a limited practice on Saturday. Higbee hasn’t been very productive when on the field either, posting a negative Plus/Minus in five of six games.
That said, Higbee would be my preferred choice if I was going to play one of the two tight ends in this price range. He should garner virtually no ownership thanks to his injury designation and finding low-owned plays is always difficult in the single-game format.
Finally, both defenses are priced like midrange options today. It might be tempting to grab one or both of them given the Vegas total of just 44.5, but it’s going to be tough for either unit to pay off their price tag. Low scoring games are not as beneficial to defenses as you may think since racking up sacks and turnovers is more important that keeping points off the scoreboard.
Values & Punts
- Gerald Everett: $4,800 on DraftKings, $6,500 on FanDuel – Everett is overpriced on DraftKings if Higbee is able to suit up, but he has some appeal at his current price on FanDuel. The Bears rank just 16th in DVOA against TEs this season, so Everett’s matchup isn’t as difficult as some of his teammate’s.
- Darnell Mooney: $4,400 on DraftKings, $8,000 on FanDuel – Mooney appears to have overtaken Anthony Miller as the Bears No. 2 WR since he’s played on more snaps this year. That hasn’t necessarily led to much production but getting on the field is the first step towards scoring fantasy points.
- Kickers – The kicking options for both teams make a lot more sense than the defenses. Low scoring games do typically mean more field goal attempts, and both kickers are cheaper than the defenses as well. That said, it’s important to make sure your lineups are still correlated, which can be tough with a kicker. Make sure to utilize the correlations tab in our NFL Models to avoid rostering players that will cannibalize each other’s fantasy value.
- Malcolm Brown: $3,400 on DraftKings, $10,000 on FanDuel – Brown saw just two carries last week, but he did serve as the Rams’ primary receiving back. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how much value that will have vs. the Bears, who currently rank first in pass DVOA vs. the RB position.
- Josh Reynolds: $2,800 on DraftKings, $7,000 on FanDuel – Reynolds played on 83% of the Rams’ offensive snaps last week, which is a very solid number considering his price tag. He’s way down on the pecking order in terms of targets, but he definitely has a path to fantasy relevance.
- Anthony Miller: $2,200 on DraftKings, $7,500 on FanDuel – Miller is still technically the Bears starting No. 2 WR, and he played virtually the same number of snaps last week as Mooney. With that in mind, he might be the preferred target on DraftKings given the wide gap in salary.
- Cam Akers: $1,000 on DraftKings, $7,000 on FanDuel – Akers had a mini-breakout in Week 5 but played on just one snap last week. He should garner minimal ownership, but he still has the potential to factor into the equation after being drafted in the second-round last year.
- Demetrius Harris: $400 on DraftKings, $5,000 on FanDuel – If you want to go with a pure punt, Harris could make some sense at $400. He saw three targets last week, and he has two red zone targets on the year.
Pictured above: Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams
Photo credit: Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images