The Player Models are the lifeblood of our NFL product. They house our projections for each player, but that’s just the beginning of what you’ll find inside. After all, a projection is just part of the equation: things like salary, ceiling and projected ownership all factor into which players stand out as the best plays each week.
Let’s dive into our Models and take a look at some of the players with the highest ceilings, value ratings and projected ownership for the Week 7 NFL slate.
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Top Ceiling: Russell Wilson @ ARI — $8,000 on DraftKings, $8,700 on FanDuel
The game between the Seahawks and Cardinals was moved to Sunday Night Football, but it will remain on the main slate for DFS purposes. That’s definitely a positive for fantasy players because this looks like the best game of the week. The total on this game sits at 56.0 points, and the spread suggests it should be a back-and-forth affair.
Wilson is expensive in this matchup, but he leads both DraftKings and FanDuel in terms of ceiling projection at the quarterback position. The Cardinals have been solid on pass defense this year — they rank 10th in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA — but Wilson still owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.90.
It’s also hard to ignore what Wilson has done to start the season. The Seahawks’ coaching staff has allowed him to throw the ball at a higher frequency, and he’s responded by posting an average Plus/Minus of +11.82 on DraftKings through his first five games. He’s also posted a positive Plus/Minus in each contest.
Top Value: Kyler Murray vs. SEA — $7,100 on DraftKings, $8,400 on FanDuel
Wilson may have the edge in ceiling projection, but Murray looks like the better pure value in this matchup. He leads the position in projected Plus/Minus on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
The Seahawks have been absolutely shredded through the air this season, ranking just 29th in pass defense DVOA, and that may undersell how juicy this matchup is from a fantasy perspective. Murray owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +10.0 on DraftKings, which is the second-highest mark at the position.
Murray has also brought more much value to the table as a runner this season than he did as a rookie. He’s increased his rushing production to an average of 61.7 yards per game, which is more than double his mark from 2019. Murray has chipped in six touchdowns on the ground through his first six games. That added ability as a rusher has taken him from a solid fantasy QB to an elite one.
Top Ownership: Deshaun Watson vs. GB — $6,800 on DraftKings, $8,000 on FanDuel
Murray is expected to be the highest-owned QB throughout the industry this week, but Watson is right behind him. He’s slightly cheaper than Murray but is in arguably just as good of a spot vs. the Packers. The total on the game between the Texans and Packers currently sits at 57.0 points, which is the top mark on the slate.
The Packers have also taken a major step back in terms of pass defense this season. Jaire Alexander remains one of the better cover corners in the league, but he can’t guard everyone. Overall, they rank just 25th in pass defense DVOA.
Top Ceiling: Alvin Kamara vs. CAR — $7,900 on DraftKings, $9,300 on FanDuel
The Saints are coming off a bye last week, so this sets up as a potential smash spot for Kamara. He’s been a fantasy monster to start the year, posting an average Plus/Minus of +10.51 through his first five games on DraftKings, and he owns an elite matchup vs. the Panthers. They have struggled to defend RBs in the pass game this season, and that is where Kamara does most of his damage. His Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.5 is tied for the top mark at the position on FanDuel.
Michael Thomas could also remain out for the Saints. He tweaked his hamstring during practice on Wednesday and was unable to hit the practice field on Thursday. Kamara can succeed even with Thomas in the lineup, but he would be a very tough fade if Thomas is ultimately ruled out.
Top Value: Kareem Hunt @ CIN — $6,800 on DraftKings, $7,100 on FanDuel
The Browns are coming off an embarrassing showing vs. the Steelers last week. They lost by 31 points, and Baker Mayfield ended up getting benched for Case Keenum in the second half. Mayfield has been dealing with a rib injury, but he is expected to be back in the lineup after getting in a full practice on Thursday.
The good news for the Browns is that they may not need the former No. 1 overall pick to do much vs. the Bengals. They torched the Bengals on the ground in their first meeting this season, racking up 215 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns in a 35-30 win.
Hunt and Nick Chubb combined for most of that production in that contest, but Chubb remains out with a knee injury. If the Browns can duplicate their success this week, odds are that Hunt will be doing most of the damage. This is an excellent buy-low opportunity.
Top Ownership: Aaron Jones @ HOU — $7,200 on DraftKings, $8,500 on FanDuel
There are a bunch of RBs expected to command significant ownership this week. Hunt and Kamara will likely be the two most popular options, while Jones, Mike Davis, and Justin Jackson fall into the second tier.
It’s easy to see why people are gravitating to Jones this week. The Packers lead the slate with an implied team total of 30.25 points, and Jones has historically posted a Plus/Minus of +11.22 on DraftKings in eight games with a comparable total (per the Trends tool). The Packers also remain thin at wide receiver, so expect Jones to command a solid workload in the passing game as well as the rushing game.
Of course, this only matters if Jones is actually able to suit up. He was recently added to the injury report, and head coach Matt LaFleur called him a “game-time decision.” If Jones is ruled out, expect A.J. Dillon to become the chalk value play at the position.
The Texans have also been an excellent matchup for RBs to start the season. They rank just 28th in rush defense DVOA, giving Jones an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.9 on DraftKings.
Top Ceiling: Davante Adams @ HOU — $7,900 on DraftKings, $8,900 on FanDuel
If you don’t want to target Jones for the Packers, Adams makes for an excellent alternative. That said, those players have a correlation of -0.22 on DraftKings and -0.25 on FanDuel, so it seems like playing both in the same lineup is probably not the best option.
Adams is coming off a subpar game last week vs. the Bucs, but he still managed to see 10 targets in that contest. He’s now seen double-digit targets in seven straight games dating back to last season if you exclude the game he left early with an injury. That easily gives him one of the highest target market shares in the league.
He is expected to be shadowed by Texans cornerback Bradley Roby in this contest, but that shouldn’t intimidate him in the slightest. Roby has been a solid corner this season, but Adams still owns a significant advantage according to Pro Football Focus.
Top Value: Terry McLaurin vs. DAL — $5,800 on DraftKings, $7,100 on FanDuel
McLaurin looks like an absolute steal this week at his current salary on DraftKings. He’s priced at just $5,800, and McLaurin has historically posted an average Plus/Minus of +2.51 with a comparable price tag.
He’s coming off a solid 14.4 DraftKings points in his last game, but it felt like he still left some fantasy points on the table. He finished with 12 targets and 40.65% of Washington’s total air yards in that contest.
He had a difficult matchup vs. Giants cornerback James Bradberry last week, but he should have no issues vs. the Cowboys. Dallas’ defense has been anemic to start the year, and it has allowed at least 34 points in each of its past five games. McLaurin owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.5 on DraftKings, which trails only the Cardinals’ WRs this week.
Top Ownership: Keenan Allen vs. JAX — $6,200 on DraftKings, $7,000 on FanDuel
The ownership at WR is expected to be spread out this week. Adams should command solid ownership, as well as DeAndre Hopkins for the Cardinals. You can also expect the Seahawks’ WRs to be chalky, as well as Kenny Golladay and Julio Jones.
You can add Allen to that list as well. He’s currently projected for 17-20% ownership across the industry thanks to an elite matchup vs. the Jaguars. Jacksonville ranks dead last in pass defense DVOA this season and has struggled in particular against slot WRs. Tre Herndon has been the primary slot corner, and he owns the worst PFF grade in their secondary. Allen spends a lot of time in the slot, and he should be able to feast in that matchup.
Top Ceiling: Travis Kelce @ DEN — $6,300 on DraftKings, $7,900 on FanDuel
It wouldn’t surprise me if the Chiefs flew a bit under the radar this week. The weather forecast in Denver is currently calling for freezing temperatures and snow, and the total on this game has already dropped by four points. Add in the fact that Denver has historically been a tough place to play and I think most people will likely look to go in a different direction.
Still, it’s impossible to deny Kelce’s upside. He’s coming off back-to-back games with at least 22.5 DraftKings points, and he leads all players at the position in ceiling projection in Week 7. Denver has also been merely mediocre in terms of defending TEs this season.
Top Value: Hunter Henry vs. JAX — $4,500 on DraftKings, $5,800 on FanDuel
Henry should be a very popular target this week vs. the Jaguars. Not only does he benefit from the same elite matchup as Allen, but he’s also very affordable across the industry. It’s much easier to jam in his $4,500 salary on DraftKings than pay up for someone like Kelce or George Kittle.
Henry is also coming off one of his best games of the season in his last outing. He played on all but four snaps and finished with eight targets and a touchdown.
Top Ownership: George Kittle @ NE — $6,500 on DraftKings, $7,100 on FanDuel
Kittle currently owns the top projected ownership at the position on FanDuel, which makes sense given his Bargain Rating of 97%. He’s also coming off a big performance in his last game, finishing with 10 targets, seven receptions, 109 yards and one touchdown.
That said, his ownership may come in a little lower than expected. Paying down at TE has been the optimal strategy for most of the season, and there are plenty of other positions that people are going to want to spend up at. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick also has the reputation for limiting the opposing team’s No. 1 option, and that would clearly be Kittle for the 49ers.
Pictured above: Russell Wilson
Photo credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images