The 2018 NFL season rolls on, and we’re still on pace for a record-breaking campaign with an average of 24.1 points per game per team. We could be in for another week of high scoring with a 10-game main slate that kicks off on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 1 p.m. ET.
With four teams on bye, two in London and six in prime-time games, we are without the following quarterbacks:
- Thursday Night Football: Broncos (Case Keenum) at Cardinals (Josh Rosen)
- International Series (London): Titans (Marcus Mariota) at Chargers (Philip Rivers)
- Sunday Night Football: Bengals (Andy Dalton) at Chiefs (Patrick Mahomes)
- Monday Night Football: Giants (Eli Manning) at Falcons (Matt Ryan)
- Byes: Packers (Aaron Rodgers), Raiders (Derek Carr), Steelers (Ben Roethlisberger) and Seahawks (Russell Wilson)
For analysis on the smaller slates, consult Chris Raybon’s premium strategy guides (released throughout the week).
In writing this piece, I’ve relied primarily on the FantasyLabs Models. This breakdown is less of a comprehensive analysis of each quarterback and more of an introduction to this week’s players via our large suite of analytic DFS Tools. We’ll start with three high-priced quarterbacks, follow with three passers at the top of our individual Pro Models and finish with the rest of the slate’s starting quarterbacks.
For updates on Vegas spreads and over/unders, check out The Action Network Live Odds page.
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This week, three quarterbacks have top-five positional salaries on DraftKings and FanDuel.
- Jared Goff: $6,600 DraftKings; $8,300 FanDuel
- Andrew Luck: $6,200 DraftKings; $8,200 FanDuel
- Tom Brady: $6,100 DraftKings; $8,700 FanDuel
Jared Goff: Los Angeles Rams (-10) at San Francisco 49ers, 52 Over/Under
The Rams have hit their implied Vegas totals in an NFL-high 16-of-22 games under beard model and head coach Sean McVay since last season. Even though the Patriots are surging, the undefeated Rams are entrenched as the No. 1 team in The Action Network’s NFL Power Rankings, and Goff has 300-plus yards passing in 8-of-14 regular-season starts since last season’s Week 8 bye. He leads all starting quarterbacks with 10.0 adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A). Deployed in a high-efficiency, fantasy-friendly way, Goff has used play action on a league-leading 39.3% of his attempts.
He’s one of only two quarterbacks this season to be at worst a league-average passer to each section of the field. The other is Rodgers.
Although Goff completed just 50% of his passes in Week 6 for 201 yards and no touchdowns — throwing one interception and taking five sacks — we shouldn’t read too much into that performance. Born and raised in California, where he attended college and now plays professionally, Goff is a warm-weather passer who had to deal with a 25-degree game-time temperature in Denver last week. He won’t have to battle the elements this week in San Francisco.
Goff has a great matchup against the 49ers, who are dead last in the league with a dreadful Pro Football Focus coverage grade of 38.5. Other than rookie Josh Rosen (Week 5), quarterbacks have had no problem producing against the 49ers: Every non-Rosen passer to face the 49ers has hit his salary-based expectations this season.
- Kirk Cousins in Week 1: 20.4 DraftKings points, 244-2-0 passing
- Matthew Stafford in Week 2: 28.7 DraftKings points, 347-3-0 passing
- Patrick Mahomes in Week 3: 28.3 DraftKings points, 314-3-0 passing
- Philip Rivers in Week 4: 22.7 DraftKings points, 250-3-1 passing
- Aaron Rodgers in Week 5: 31.4 DraftKings points, 425-2-0 passing
On average, the 49ers have allowed an exploitable +7.62 DraftKings Plus/Minus to veteran quarterbacks. Even if running back Todd Gurley has another offense-leading performance this week, there could still be enough gold in that mine for Goff to hit pay dirt multiple times. Goff will likely be without his primary red-zone target, Cooper Kupp (knee), but the Rams have enough receiving talent on the roster to compensate for the wide receiver’s absence.
Historically, road teams have been profitable against the spread in division games (744-670-44), and that trend has applied to both favorites and underdogs. On top of that, the Rams have seen their road games turn into shootouts under McVay with an 8-3-0 over/under record overall and a 4-0-0 record within the division (per Bet Labs). It’s less than ideal for the Rams that they are playing their third consecutive game on the road, but they should still be able to put up points.
The Rams lead all teams with their 31.25-point implied Vegas total, and this game has the slate’s highest over/under. Goff has position-high floor projections in our Models.
Andrew Luck: Indianapolis Colts (-7.5) vs. Buffalo Bills, 43.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/20): Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (chest, hamstring) was not listed on the final injury report. He will play in Week 7. Tight end Jack Doyle (hip) is out.
In his return from a shoulder injury that cost him the entire 2017 season, Luck leads the league with 186 completions and 288 pass attempts — on pace shatter the single-season records of 471 completions (Drew Brees, 2016) and 727 attempts (Matthew Stafford, 2012).
Luck’s eight interceptions are tied for most in the league, but five of those came in the past two games, in which he’s been without his favorite options in wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (chest, hamstring) and tight end Jack Doyle (hip). Even without them, Luck has managed 28.2 DraftKings points per game, and it’s possible Hilton or Doyle could return this week.
What’s notable about Luck is that, as the season has progressed, he’s shown more of a willingness to test his arm strength. In Weeks 1-3, he had a league-low 5.6-yard average depth of target (aDOT), but over the past three weeks, he’s been top 10 at the position with a 9.4 aDOT, just behind Rodgers (9.8).
It’s still too early to say that Luck has regained his old form, but his recent downfield aggressiveness is in line with what we’ve seen out of him in the past.
- Luck’s 2016 aDOT: 8.9
- Luck’s 2015 aDOT: 10.2
- Luck’s 2014 aDOT: 9.2
- Luck’s 2013 aDOT: 8.4
While Luck hasn’t been efficient with his passes — his 6.1 yards per attempt ranks 30th in league — he’s been a producer in the red zone, leading the league with 48 attempts and 14 touchdowns within the 20-yard line. When the Colts get close, they put the ball in his hands and trust him to make a play. He’s second with 22 targets to the end zone and first with 288 yards passing and 10 touchdowns on such targets. Interceptions aside, Luck is making the most of his passes.
The Bills pass defense is second in Football Outsiders’ DVOA with a -19.7% mark. Second-year first-round cornerback Tre’Davious White has allowed a catch rate of just 55.0% in his coverage, and safeties Jordan Poyer (73.6) and Micah Hyde (76.5), along with linebacker Matt Milano (79.3), all have above-average PFF coverage grades and could provide reasonable resistance to dynamic tight end Eric Ebron.
On top of that, former Colts edge rusher Jerry Hughes (#RevengeGame) could play well enough to disrupt Luck in the pocket. (Hughes’ 90.5 PFF pass-rushing grade is first at the position.) It’s not a great matchup for Luck.
But that might not matter. Even though the Bills score a league-worst 12.7 points per game and will be without starting quarterback Josh Allen (elbow), the Colts have allowed opponents to score 30 points per game — the third-highest average in the league. The Bills could conceivably keep this game close, which could cause the Colts to lean on the pass, which they are already predisposed to do: They lack a clear lead back and have a league-high 70.7% pass rate.
If you roster Luck in guaranteed prize pools, you might want to use our Lineup Builder to stack him with wide receiver Chester Rogers, who has 10-plus targets, a red-zone opportunity and 14+ DraftKings points in each of the past three games. In Week 6, Luck and Rogers were together in just 2.03% of Millionaire Maker lineups. Since 2014, NFL quarterbacks on average have had no more than a 0.50 correlation with their wide receivers. The sample is small, but with Rogers, Luck has a personal-high mark of 0.91.
On the Wednesday edition of The Action Network NFL Podcast, PFF’s Jeff Ratcliffe mentioned Luck as his potential cash-game quarterback for the week.
On Sunday morning, I will probably look for the over on Luck’s pass attempt prop. He’s thrown 40+ passes in 5-of-6 games. To find the best bets in the props market, use our Player Props Tool, which is powered by our industry-leading projections. Since Week 1, the props with a bet quality of 10 have gone 137-64-4, which is good for a 67% win rate.
Without question, you should supplement your DFS action with player props.
Tom Brady: New England Patriots (-3) at Chicago Bears, 49 O/U
UPDATE (10/20): Tight end Rob Gronkowski (back/ankle) did not travel with the team to Chicago. He is officially questionable but fully expected not to play. Right tackle Marcus Cannon (concussion) is out.
For the first three weeks of the season, Brady struggled to an average of 16.1 DraftKings points per game, failing to hit 300 yards in any start. In the three weeks since, he’s been so productive that his 2018 numbers are now almost in line with what he did on a per-game basis over the two previous seasons.
- 2018 (six games): 21.2 DraftKings points, 266.5 yards and 2.17 touchdowns passing, one interception
- 2016 and 2017 (28 games): 21.9 DraftKings points, 290.4 yards and 2.14 touchdowns passing, 0.36 interceptions
It’s probably not a coincidence that Brady’s play improved with Josh Gordon making his Patriots debut in Week 4, and improved even more with the return of wide receiver Julian Edelman in Week 5. What we saw out of Brady in Weeks 1-3 is probably not representative of what we should expect to see from him in near term.
But Brady’s matchup is tough this week. The Bears defense ranks first overall and first against the pass with -21.2% and -20.3% marks in DVOA. The Bears were embarrassed by Dolphins backup quarterback Brock Osweiler, who scored 31.0 DraftKings points on the strength of a 380-yard and three-touchdown performance last week. But Osweiler’s strong showing was almost certainly an anomaly: The northern-based Bears were on the road in Miami, playing in a slate-high 87-degree game-time temperature with a thick 66% humidity. Additionally, they were coming off their bye week and perhaps a little rusty from the rest. Most importantly, they had prepared to face starter Ryan Tannehill (shoulder), not the Wizard of Oz.
At home, the Bears defense could be back to its dominant self.
Since 2014, Brady has struggled mightily in the second half of the season — and the Patriots and Brady are known for their league-average September performance.
- September (14 Games): +0.15 DraftKings Plus/Minus, 50.0% Consistency Rating
- Second Half (32 Games): -2.52 DraftKings Plus/Minus, 37.5% Consistency Rating
In fact, the only time of the season in which the modern-day Brady has been a strong producer has been October — after the Pats have worked out their early season issues but before Brady’s age has caught up with him.
- October (19 Games): +5.22 DraftKings Plus/Minus, 73.7% Consistency Rating
Brady has historically been better at home and in division (29.5 DraftKings points per game) than on the road and out of the division (22.7) during October. But he has still done well enough in that situation to warrant consideration.
I almost certainly won’t be bold enough to roster Brady against the Bears, but we’re projecting him for a single-digit ownership rate in GPPs, and sharp and public bettors are backing the Patriots. Given his recent form, Brady could hit 300 yards and three touchdowns.
Brady has a position-high 99% Bargain Rating on DraftKings, where he’s the top quarterback in the Koerner Model.
Besides Brady, there are three quarterbacks atop the individual Pro Models that Jonathan Bales, Peter Jennings (CSURAM88), Adam Levitan, Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon, Kevin McClelland (SportsGeek) and I have constructed.
- Cam Newton: $5,900 DraftKings; $8,200 FanDuel
- Joe Flacco: $5,400 DraftKings; $7,500 FanDuel
- Blake Bortles: $5,200 DraftKings; $6,500 FanDuel
Cam Newton: Carolina Panthers (+5) at Philadelphia Eagles, 45.5 O/U
While there were concerns at the start of the season about how well offensive coordinator Norv Turner would be able to adapt his Air Coryell system to Newton, the 2015 MVP is on pace for career highs with his 65.9% completion rate and 9.0 carries per game. He’s also being sacked at a career-low rate of 4.5%. Even though he doesn’t have a true No. 1 alpha receiver, he does have:
- An elite pass-catching running back in Christian McCaffrey
- A reliable (when healthy) middle-of-the-field option in tight end Greg Olsen
- A contested-catch playmaker in wide receiver Devin Funchess
- A veteran field-stretcher in wide receiver Torrey Smith
- Two dynamic and versatile young-and-developing offensive weapons in first-round rookie D.J. Moore and second-year second-rounder Curtis Samuel
Newton has the players around him to succeed. In his five healthy seasons, he’s been a top-four fantasy quarterback, and he’s looking to accomplish that feat again with his average of 24.4 DraftKings points per game.
Unsurprisingly, a large portion of Newton’s value comes from his rushing production. On a per-game basis, he leads all starting quarterbacks with 5.3 expected fantasy points and 2.5 points over expectation as a runner (per the RotoViz Screener).
First on the team with three rushing touchdowns and second with 45 carries and 208 yards rushing, Newton is basically his own short-yardage back, which isn’t surprising: He’s first among all quarterbacks in league history with 57 rushing touchdowns and second to only Michael Vick with 39.8 yards rushing per game. Newton is viable in almost any game environment because of his running ability.
What’s perhaps most amazing about Newton’s recent performance is how he’s been able to overcome the roster issues around him. Continuity is crucial along the offensive line, and three of last season’s starters are not on the field: Left tackle Matt Kalil (knee, IR) and right tackle Daryl Williams (knee, IR) are both out, and 2017 All-Pro left guard Andrew Norwell is on the Jaguars. Even so, Newton is on pace for one of the best passing campaigns of his career.
Regardless of his circumstances, Newton produces.
Newton has a position-high ceiling projection on FanDuel and is the No. 1 quarterback on DraftKings in the Bales, Levitan and Raybon Models.
Joe Flacco: Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) vs. New Orleans Saints, 50 O/U
UPDATE (10/20): Left guard Alex Lewis (neck) has been ruled out and right tackle James Hurst (back) is questionable and should be considered a game-time decision. Without them, Flacco’s pass protection could suffer.
Regression will come for Flacco at some point, but right now he’s pacing for a career-best 4,768 yards thanks to new wide receivers John Brown, Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead, all of whom are above-average players in their given roles. Brown leads the team with 424 yards receiving and 924 air yards, Crabtree is first on the team with 55 targets as a possession receiver and Snead (along with Crabtree) is tied for first with 30 receptions, giving Flacco his most reliable slot receiver since Anquan Boldin in 2012.
And although the Ravens have an unsettled rotation of four tight ends (two of whom are rookies), the group is third in the league with 6.7 receptions per game. This might be the most complete receiver group Flacco has had since he won a Super Bowl.
Flacco hasn’t been giving opposing defenses the full-on Cask of Amontillado treatment, averaging just 18.5 DraftKings points per game, but that has been accompanied with a +3.18 Plus/Minus and 1.4% ownership rate in large-field GPPs. Even though this week marks the fewest quarterbacks we’ve had this season on a main slate, we’re still projecting Flacco for less than 5% ownership against the Saints, who have allowed quarterbacks to score the third-most DraftKings points per game (27.1) and are 30th in pass DVOA (35.8%).
It’s fair to wonder whether the Saints pass defense is as bad as those numbers suggest. After all, in 3-of-5 games, the Saints have held opponents to fewer than 20 points and quarterbacks to fewer than 16 DraftKings points with a 0% Consistency Rating. In those games, the 2017 defense that was fifth in pass DVOA (-11.3%) looked almost present.
But here’s the thing: Those three games were against the underachieving trio of Tyrod Taylor (Week 2), Eli Manning (Week 4) and Alex Smith (Week 5) — and those three collectively failed to hit their salary-based expectations by an average of just 0.98 DraftKings points. So in the aggregate, three subpar quarterbacks came very close to doing what their salaries suggested they would do — and in the other two games the Saints were destroyed by above-average but not elite quarterbacks.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick (Week 1): 45.3 DraftKings points, 417-4-0 passing, 12-36-1 rushing
- Matt Ryan (Week 3): 43.2 DraftKings points, 374-5-0 passing, 4-12-0 rushing
In the post-Ray Rice era, Flacco has had notable home/away and favorite/underdog splits.
- At home (31 games): 18.0 DraftKings points, 250.0 yards and 1.61 touchdowns passing, 0.65 interceptions
- On road (33 games): 15.3 DraftKings points, 250.7 yards and 1.15 touchdowns passing, 1.09 interceptions
- As favorite (44 games): 17.2 DraftKings points, 251.8 yards and 1.56 touchdowns passing, 0.87 interceptions
- As underdog (20 games): 15.2 DraftKings points, 247.0 yards and 0.95 touchdowns passing, 0.89 interceptions
- As home favorite (29 games): 18.3 DraftKings points, 250.8 yards and 1.66 touchdowns passing, 0.59 interceptions
In an ideal situation, with the best receivers he’s had in half a decade and facing a defense that has been punished by competent quarterbacks, Flacco is intriguing. He’s losing a few opportunities per game to first-round rookie project Lamar Jackson, but Flacco is still second in the league with 264 pass attempts. He has smash potential.
Flacco is the No. 1 DraftKings quarterback in the CSURAM88, SportsGeek and Freedman Models.
Blake Bortles: Jacksonville Jaguars (-5) vs. Houston Texans, 41.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/20): Running back Leonard Fournette (hamstring) is out for Week 7. The Jags traded a 2019 fifth-round pick to the Browns for Carlos Hyde, but he’s not likely to play this weekend.
As unbelievable as this might be, Bortles is the No. 1 FanDuel quarterback in all of our Pro Models. Every. Single. One.
Why? He’s cheaper than every quarterback on the slate except for Osweiler, the Buffalo duo of Nathan Peterman and Derek Anderson and 49ers backup-turned-starter C.J. Beathard — and since 2015, Bortles is the No. 12 fantasy quarterback with 19.8 DraftKings points per game. The process is normally ugly, but when Bortles plays, he tends to score a lot of points for a bad quarterback.
And he’s undoubtedly a bad quarterback. Bortles handily “leads” the NFL with 72 interceptions since entering the league in 2014. Betting the over on his interception prop every Sunday morning is one of life’s purest pleasures. He’s coming off a 15-completion, 149-yard passing performance that saw the Jags score just seven points. If all 32 teams right now held a redistribution draft involving every player in the league, Bortles might be the last starting quarterback chosen. He’d perhaps even be selected after a handful of backups.
But running back Leonard Fournette (hamstring) hasn’t practiced or played in more than two weeks. He seems likely to miss this week’s game, and Bortles has had strong Fournette-based splits since last season.
- With Fournette (15 games): 17.0 DraftKings points, 33.4 attempts, 222.4 yards and 1.27 touchdowns passing, one interception
- Without Fournette (seven games): 21.4 DraftKings points, 37 attempts, 288.3 yards and 1.57 touchdowns passing, 0.86 interceptions
Against quarterbacks who aren’t Blaine Gabbert and Allen/Peterman (backup-caliber players), the Texans have allowed 23.9 DraftKings points per game with a +6.97 Plus/Minus to opposing passers.
It’s hard to trust Bortles, but he’s in a decent spot, volatile enough to have a 300-yard, multi-touchdown day and projected for almost no ownership. In his 16 career games as a home favorite, Bortles has averaged 20.7 DraftKings points per game with a 75% Consistency Rating. He deserves strategic exposure.
Here’s a quick look at the remaining starters on the slate.
Kirk Cousins: Minnesota Vikings (-3) at New York Jets, 46.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/20): Running back Dalvin Cook (hamtring) is out.
- $6,400 DraftKings; $8,000 FanDuel
The $84 million man is having the best season of his career with a personal-high 71.2% completion rate and 320.2 yards and two passing touchdowns per game. Of all quarterbacks with more than two starts this season, only Mahomes has a Consistency Rating higher than Cousins’ 83.3% mark on DraftKings. Although Cousins has attempted passes of 20+ yards on just 8.8% of his throws, he has an NFL-high eight deep-passing touchdowns as well as a league-best 140.9 quarterback Rating on such attempts.
The Jets could be without three starting defensive backs this week in free safety Marcus Maye (hand, out) and cornerbacks Trumaine Johnson (quad, questionable) and Buster Skrine (concussion, questionable), both of whom missed last week’s game. Playmaking wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs will run the majority of their routes against backups. With one of the best receiving tandems in the league, Cousins has given the Diggs-Thielen combo an NFL-high 141 targets.
Jameis Winston: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) vs. Cleveland Browns, 50 O/U
- $6,300 DraftKings; $7,800 FanDuel
Winston had a position-high 24.32% ownership rate in the high-stakes MEGA Millionaire Maker on DraftKings last week, and we’re expecting him to be popular again this week. Winston is hardly the paragon of on-the-field consistency and off-the-field respectability, but last week he led all quarterbacks with his 35.9 DraftKings points on 395 yards and four touchdowns passing. He’s not a must-play cash-game option, but he’s on the short list.
With perhaps the league’s top collection of pass-catching talent in wide receivers Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries and tight ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate, the fourth-year passer has position-high median projections in our Models.
Carson Wentz: Philadelphia Eagles (-5) vs. Carolina Panthers, 45.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/20): Left tackle Jason Peters (biceps) and right tackle Lane Johnson (ankle) will both play. Running back Darren Sproles (hamstring) is out.
- $6,000 DraftKings; $7,600 FanDuel
Since his mediocre Week 3 return from a season-ending double-ligament knee injury, Wentz has rounded into form with 24.8 DraftKings points per game and a +7.74 DraftKings Plus/Minus. The Panthers don’t have one defensive back with a PFF coverage grade of even 70.
Matthew Stafford: Detroit Lions (-2.5) at Miami Dolphins, 47 O/U
UPDATE (10/20): Running back Theo Riddick (knee) is out.
- $5,800 DraftKings; $7,500 FanDuel
Stafford has been the best version of himself since 2014, when wide receiver Golden Tate and offensive coordinator (then quarterbacks coach) Jim Bob Cooter joined the Lions, averaging a 64.7% completion rate and a 7.4 AY/A.
The Dolphins pass defense could be vulnerable due to the inconsistency of No. 1 cornerback Xavien Howard (66.8 PFF coverage grade) and the potential absences of slot corner Bobby McCain (knee, questionable) and top edge rusher Cameron Wake (knee, questionable).
Baker Mayfield: Cleveland Browns (+3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 50 O/U
UPDATE (10/20): The Browns have traded running back Carlos Hyde to the Jaguars for a 2019 fifth-round pick. In his absence, 2018 second-round selection Nick Chubb will start and change-of-pace back Duke Johnson could see additional touches.
- $5,800 DraftKings; $7,100 FanDuel
Mayfield (ankle) suffered an injury in Week 6, but he played through it and is expected to start against the Bucs, who are dead last in the league against the pass with a 47.5% DVOA. Mayfield has 40+ attempts in each of his three starts and offers value on FanDuel, where he has a position-high 62% Bargain Rating.
Drew Brees: New Orleans Saints (+2.5) at Baltimore Ravens, 50 O/U
UPDATE (10/20): Left guard Andrus Peat (concussion) is out. Without him, the offensive line play could suffer.
- $5,700 DraftKings; $8,600 FanDuel
Priced up at FanDuel, Brees is significantly discounted at DraftKings.
NFL Week 7 Salary Analysis for Drew Brees …
DraftKings: “Let’s price him at $5,700 as the QB10. The Ravens are a tough matchup.”
FanDuel: “$8,600. QB2. Defense doesn’t matter.”
— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) October 15, 2018
The Ravens have held quarterbacks to a league-worst 13.8 DraftKings points per game, and Brees has been consistently worse outdoors (64.7% completion rate, 7.1 AY/A) than in a dome (69.5% completion rate, 8.2 AY/A) throughout his career. Even so, Brees is slaying right now with a league-high 77.9% completion rate and 85.9% accuracy rate from a clean pocket.
Mitchell Trubisky: Chicago Bears (+3) vs. New England Patriots, 49 O/U
UPDATE (10/20): Wide receiver Allen Robinson (groin) is questionable but expected to play, although he’s unlikely to be at full strength.
- $5,600 DraftKings; $7,500 FanDuel
Trubisky is a scripted quarterback with a 9.3 AY/A in the first quarter and a 7.7 AY/A thereafter, but he’s coming off back-to-back games with 30+ DraftKings points and now faces a Pats defense that — despite its second-overall 85.2 PFF coverage grade — has allowed 717 yards and seven touchdowns passing over the past two weeks.
Deshaun Watson: Houston Texans (+5) at Jacksonville Jaguars, 41.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/20): Tight end Ryan Griffin (illness) is out.
- Deshaun Watson: $5,500 DraftKings; $7,500 FanDuel
Watson hasn’t been as dynamic as he was last season, but in his nine games with wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller, he’s averaged 28.6 DraftKings points per game. The emergence of rookie slot receiver Keke Coutee has added another dimension to the passing attack, but Fuller (hamstring) and Coutee (hamstring) have recently been limited with soft-tissue injuries, which has diminished the explosiveness of the offense.
The Jags have limited passers to a league-low five touchdowns through the air in six games and held quarterbacks to a bottom-four mark of 16.1 DraftKings points per game, but they did just give up 29.5 DraftKings points to Dak Prescott in Week 6. Watson has a position-high eight Pro Trends and 96% leverage score on DraftKings.
Dak Prescott: Dallas Cowboys (+2) at Washington Redskins, 41.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/20): Wide receiver Tavon Austin (groin) is out. The spread has moved to -2 Cowboys.
- $5,300 DraftKings; $6,900 FanDuel
Prescott is on the wrong side of his career-long home/away (18.5 DraftKings points vs. 16.5), favorite/underdog (19.7 vs. 13.5) and non-division/division (19.0 vs. 14.5) splits, so he’s pretty much in the nut-low worst position possible against a Redskins defense with a top-eight PFF coverage grade (78.2).
His performance as a divisional road dog has been so poor that I don’t even want to type the number — so I’ll copy/paste instead: -6.44 DraftKings Plus/Minus.
Ryan Tannehill & Brock Osweiler: Miami Dolphins vs. Detroit Lions (-2.5), 47 O/U
UPDATE (10/20): Tannehill (shoulder) is out for Week 7. Brocktober continues.
- Tannehill: $5,200 DraftKings; $6,600 FanDuel
- Osweiler: $4,700 DraftKings; $6,500 FanDuel
Nothing really matters. Anyone can see. Nothing really matters. Nothing really matters, to me.
Alex Smith: Washington Redskins (-2) vs. Dallas Cowboys, 41.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/20): Wide receiver Jamison Crowder (ankle) is out. Wide receiver Paul Richardson (shoulder, knee) is doubtful and expected to sit out. Running back Chris Thompson (ribs) is questionable but expected to play.
- $5,100 DraftKings; $7,400 FanDuel
This year, 29 quarterbacks have at least one game of 300+ yards passing — and Smith isn’t one of them. For his career, Smith has averaged 16.0 fantasy points across 131 games without wide receiver Tyreek Hill but 21.3 in 30 games with him. Smith doesn’t have a Hill-esque receiver on the Redskins.
Sam Darnold: New York Jets (+3) vs. Minnesota Vikings, 46.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/20): Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (ankle) is out. Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (groin) is doubtful and expected not to play. Running back Isaiah Crowell (foot) is questionable but expected to play.
- $4,900 DraftKings; $6,800 FanDuel
Darnold will likely be without No.1 wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (ankle, doubtful), but the Vikings could also be down two starting defensive backs in slot cornerback Mike Hughes (knee, IR) and free safety Anderson Sendejo (groin, questionable), who missed Week 6. Even so, the Vikings have held rookie quarterbacks Josh Allen and Josh Rosen to an average of 218 yards and 0.5 touchdowns passing per game.
C.J. Beathard: San Francisco 49ers (+10) vs. Los Angeles Rams, 52 O/U
UPDATE (10/20): Wide receivers Pierre Garcon (knee, shoulder) and Trent Taylor (back) are questionable. Garcon is likelier than Taylor to play. Wide receiver Dante Pettis (knee) is out. Running back Matt Breida (shoulder, ankle) was not on the final practice report and will play.
- $4,800 DraftKings; $6,400 FanDuel
This game has the highest total on the slate, and the Rams have allowed 24.0 DraftKings points per game to quarterbacks ever since cornerbacks Aqib Talib (ankle, IR) and Marcus Peters (calf) exited Week 3 early with injuries. Beathard has been a serviceable passer in his three 2018 starts with 22.1 DraftKings points per game, and No. 1 wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (4.27-second 40 time) should be able to speed by the hobbled Peters, who has allowed a league-high five touchdowns in his coverage.
Beathard is a high-upside, low-cost GPP quarterback this week.
Derek Anderson: Buffalo Bills (+7.5) at Indianapolis Colts, 43.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/20): Anderson is still better than quarterbacks Josh Allen (elbow) and Nathan Peterman (interceptions).
- $4,300 DraftKings; $6,300 FanDuel
Josh Allen (elbow) has been ruled out and Nathan Peterman (interceptions) has been deemed incompetent.
Any way the wind blows.
Positional Breakdowns & News
Be sure to read the other Week 7 positional breakdowns.
• Running Backs (on Thursday)
• Wide Receivers (on Friday)
• Tight Ends (on Saturday)
For more in-depth NFL analysis information, check out The Action Network.
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Pictured above: Jameis Winston
Photo credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports