This article is a data-driven deep dive on strategic decision-making and roster construction for DFS cash games and tournaments. It relies heavily upon FantasyLabs’ extensive suite of analytical DFS tools, as well as advanced metrics and film study. First, I walk through narrowing down the player pool at each position. Then, I lay out how to choose the highest-floor lineup combinations for cash games. Finally, I go game-by-game to present the biggest edges (stacks, pivots, leverage opportunities, etc.) in each.
Week 7 shmoney time.
- Kyler Murray ($6,700 DK, $7,700 FD) at NYG
It comes down to Kyler Murray, Matt Ryan, and Russell Wilson. Twelve of Ryan’s 16 TDs (75%) and 1,205 of his 2,011 passing yards (60%) have come in the second half, so I would rather not rely on Ryan going against a defense with multiple game wreckers (defensive tackle Aaron Donald, cornerback Jalen Ramsey, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips) or Wilson going against a Ravens defense that limited Murray to a season-low four rushing yards. Murray is the best bet going against the Giants’ bottom-two pass defense and is available for a similar price.
For more on QBs, check out Matthew Freedman’s Week 7 Fantasy QB Breakdown.
- Joe Mixon, Bengals ($5,000 DK, $6,100 FD) vs. JAC
- Josh Jacobs, Raiders ($5,000 DK, $6,700 FD) vs. GB
- Leonard Fournette, Jaguars ($7,000 DK, $7,900 FD) at CIN
- Dalvin Cook, Vikings ($8,000 DK, $8,300 FD) at DET
Bengals-Jaguars is a showdown of swiss-cheese run defenses: The Bengals rank 28th in run defense DVOA, and the Jaguars rank 31st. Leonard Fournette is still priced too cheaply for his 91% snap rate and 23.5-touch per game average. Joe Mixon is a perfect buy-low candidate ahead of this game.
Josh Jacobs has a favorable matchup on the ground against the Packers (28th). He should have multiple avenues to success after upping his route participation from 30% per dropback and 1.0 targets per game in Weeks 1-3 to 45% of dropbacks and 2.5 targets per game in Weeks 4-5. Our NFL Player Models have Jacobs with a top-eight floor projection — better than a dozen RBs priced above him.
Fournette, Mixon, and Jacobs are each within the 2.6-2.9 projected DK point per dollar range on DK, a tier which has produced 17.4 DK points, a +4.4 Plus/Minus, and 64% Consistency Rating since the start of 2018, according to our NFL Trends tool.
Pricing on DraftKings favors going cheap at RB, but Dalvin Cook profiles as a smash play on FanDuel. He fits a trend of RBs priced $8,000 or more projected for at least 2.0 FD points per dollar, which has returned an average of 21.5 FD points, a +6.9 Plus/Minus, and 71% Consistency since the start of last season. Similar results should ensue against a Lions run defense that is ranked fourth-worst in yards per carry (5.1) and sixth-worst in yards per game (133.8).
For more on running backs, check out Matthew Freedman’s Week 7 Fantasy RB Breakdown.
- John Brown, Bills ($5,500 DK, 5,900 FD) vs. MIA
- Larry Fitzgerald ($6,100 DK, $5,600 FD) at NYG
- T. Y. Hilton, Colts ($5,900 DK, $7,600 FD) vs. HOU
- Cooper Kupp ($7,100 DK, $7,800 FD) vs. SF
John Brown has been valuable in every game as a member of the Bills, with no less than four catches or 51yards in any game. That should continue against a Dolphins defense that is ranked 32nd in DVOA vs. No. 1 wide receivers, per Football Outsiders.
Larry Fitzgerald has caught at least five passes in every game and now gets a matchup with a GIants defense that has allowed the seventh-most catches (82) to wide receivers —along with the most yards (1,260).
T.Y. Hilton has a similarly favorable matchup against the Texans, who have allowed the third-most grabs (86) and seventh-most yards (1,111) to the position. Hilton has made it a habit of dragging the Texans, piling up 22.6 DK points per contest with just one game under 13.5 over their last six meetings.
As Matthew Freedman details in our Rams-Falcons betting guide, Cooper Kupp should be able to create mismatches and gobble up high-percentage looks inside. With the absence of Keanu Neal (Achilles) creating a void on the back end cornerback Desmond Trufant (toe) out this week as well, Dan Quinn won’t have the luxury of devoting as many resources to stopping Kupp (the used Trufant in single coverage on Will Fuller a few weeks ago to focus on DeAndre Hopkins; Fuller went 14-217-3 and Hopkins went 7-89–0).
For more on WRs, check out Matthew Freedman’s Week 7 Fantasy WR Breakdown.
- Mark Andrews, Ravens ($4,900 DK, $6,700 FD) at SEA
- Evan Engram, GIants ($6,500 DK, $6,800 FD) vs. ARI
Mark Andrews has the highest floor projection among all TEs on DK. Seattle has been torched by pedestrian tight ends (C.J. Uzomah 4-66, Vance McDonald 7-38-2, Gerald Everett 7-136-0, Ricky Seals Jones 3-47-1). so especially in a game that projects to be close and relatively high scoring, Andrews is an an underrated smash spot.
The smash spot for Evan Engram is anything but underrated: They’ve given up 102 more yards (599) and three more TDs (seven) to the position than any other defense in the league.The return of Patrick Peterson should free up resources to devote toward limiting Engram inside, but he still projects for the top floor and points per dollar on FanDuel, where TDs are more important and his salary isn’t as inflated as on DraftKings.
For more on TEs, check out Matthew Freedman’s Week 7 Fantasy TE Breakdown.
- Indianapolis Colts ($2,000 DK, $3,600 FD)
- Minnesota Vikings ($3,100 DK, $3,800 FD)
The Colts are cheap enough to punt with on DraftKings. Deshaun Watson didn’t take a sack over his last two games against the Falcons and Chiefs, but after losing top-25 pass blocker Tytus Howard (MCL), that should regress. Our models have the Colts projected for the most sacks (2.9) and second-best DK Plus/Minus (+2.09).
The Vikings haven’t given up more than 21 points a game and have shown a knack for going into other opponent’s buildings and circuiting their offenses: The Vikings under has gone 27-15-1 (64%) on the road since Mike Zimmer took over in 2014, per our Bet Labs Data.
On DraftKings, Fournette-Mixon-Jacobs and Kupp-Hilton-Fitzgerald at WR fit along with Andrews at TE and any QB $6,700 or under if you punt with Colts DST.
On FanDuel, Murray, Cook, Fournette, Mixon, Fitzgerald, Brown, Engram, and Vikings DST enable a choice of either Kupp or Hilton at WR1 Kupp gets the edge due to the Rams’ scoring potential; even on the road coming up single-digit output, the Rams’ implied team total of 28 points is second-highest on the slate.
Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants
Daniel Jones has a top-two ceiling projection on DK, and like Goff, will go under-owned due to the surplus of options in his price range. Golden Tate is also projected for single-digit ownership and is a nice pivot off Evan Engram. Tate should avoid Patrick Peterson in the slot in three-wide sets.
For the Cards, a questionable tag for David Johnson (ankle) should ensure his ownership stays below double digits despite a top-two ceiling projection.
Baltimore Ravens at Seahawks
Interestingly enough, this is the one game where there aren’t any under-owned players to exploit. The only players with positive leverage scores are Seahawks DST and Ravens DST on Fan Duel, which means this is actually the highest-leverage game to fade.
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins
Cole Beasley is a nice pivot off of John Brown. Both have drawn more than 20% of Bills targets this season, and as Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic points out, he could be used in two-wide sets this week as he was back in Week 1 to take advantage of the Dolphins plus-sized corners. Beasley is expected to appear in between 25-50% fewer lineups than Brown.
Even with Devin Singletary (hamstring) back, Frank Gore is an underrated play. Gore is a good bet to lead the Bills in carries against a defense that has been gashed for the second-most rushing yards per game (169.6) and will be running behind an offensive line that ranks first in Adjusted Line yards (5.05, per Football Outsiders).
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
DeAndre Hopkins has the third-best ceiling projection among WRs, but unlike last week when he was projected to generate ownership relative to his ceiling, this week he’s projected to be owned in the low to mid-teens. He’s one of the top WR Leverage Plus/Minuses on the slate.
The Houston DST is popping with the highest Leverage Plus/Minus on FD and fourth-highest on DK.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals
The focus on the RBs in this game and an injury tag for Dede Westbrook (shoulder, questionable) will cause him to go overlooked against a Bengals secondary missing both of their top two cornerbacks in William Jackson (shoulder) and Dre Kirkpatrick (knee). Westbrook pops with a +13 Leverage Plus/Minus on FanDuel, fourth among wide receivers.
Los Angeles Rams at Atlanta Falcons
Jared Goff is projected for the top DK ceiling among QBs, but the other available options in his price range (Murray, Wilson, Ryan, Josh Allen) make it a virtual lock Goff will be no higher than the fifth-highest owned QB.
Oakland Raiders at Green Bay Packers
Aaron Jones is essentially in a 50-50 timeshare with Jamaal Williams at this point, but with the Packers banged up at WR and his price still above $7,000, sub-5% ownership doesn’t properly represent Jones’ ceiling potential. Jones’ season-high for touches with Williams in the lineup is 27.
Los Angeles Chargers at Tennessee Titans
As I talk about in our Chargers-Titans betting guide, whether the Titans should actually be favorites is debatable. But it’s still worth noting that Derrick Henry is averaging 18.4 DK points, a +7.1 Plus/Minus in nine games as a favorite since the start of last season and the Chargers are ranked 22nd in Football Outsiders‘ run-defense DVOA.
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions
With the over/under dropping in this game, no wide receiver in this game is expected to exceed 9-12% ownership. Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Kenny Golladay, and Marvin Jones all have positive mars in Leverage Plus/Minus.
New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears
Michael Thomas should get peppered with targets in the absence of Alvin Kamara and Jared Cook, to the point where he leads all WRs in ceiling by over 5 points on DK and over 3 points on FD. His ownership isn’t expected to climb beyond 12% or so, making him a top-five leverage play despite the high price and tough matchup.
San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins
History tells us a letdown spot may be in order for the 49ers as they travel to Washington: According to our Bet Labs data, 9-10 point favorites have gone 7-38-1 against the spread since 2015. Especially with Chris Thompson (knee) out, a closer game than anticipated would work to the benefit of Adrian Peterson, who posted season-highs in snaps () and carries (23) in Washington’s first game under interim head coach Bill Callahan. AP is projected for sub-5% ownership.
For the 49ers, George Kittle has the top Leverage Plus/Minus on both sites. With Engram going against the Cardinals and Hunter Henry available for cheap, Kittle is projected for single-digit ownership despite the top ceiling at the position.
Let’s get this shmoney!
Chris Raybon is a Senior Editor at the Action Network and a host of “The Action Network” on Sirius XM Fantasy Radio every Wednesday-Friday at 10 a.m. ET. He also hosts the weekly NFL Betting edition of The Action Network Podcast and is featured each week on The Fantasy Flex edition of the pod, as well. He has watched every snap of every NFL game since 2010 — even the kneel downs. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisRaybon and read about how he quit his accounting job and got paid to watch sports.