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RealTime DFS Strategy: Week 7

Fri Oct 23 9:52am ET
Contributing Writer

Murray is setup for big numbers

Offense might not be hard to come by in Week 7 with seven games having an over/under of at least 50 points. That leaves us with a lot of options to wade through in DFS, so let’s get right to it and discuss some players to consider at various price points, as well as a few to possibly avoid.


Kyler Murray, ARI vs. SEA ($6,700): Murray has turned into a touchdown machine. His 10-passing touchdowns through six games might not seem great, but he also has six rushing touchdowns, which brings him to another level. He had 544 rushing yards during his rookie season and he’s set to blow past that mark with 370 rushing yards already this year. In a great matchup against a Seahawks team that has allowed the most passing yards per game in the league, Murray could thrive.

Justin Herbert, LAC vs. JAC ($5,900): If you don’t want to spend a ton at quarterback, Herbert is a great option. He’s fresh coming off of a bye and he’s thrown seven touchdown passes over his last two games. He’s faced some tough opponents in his rookie campaign with two of his four starts coming against the Bucs and Chiefs, who rank eighth and ninth in the league, respectively, in terms of fewest points allowed per game. This matchup is at the other end of the spectrum with the Jaguars allowing the eighth-most points per game and the seventh-most passing yards per contest.

Player to Avoid

Jared Goff, LAR vs CHI ($6,000): The Bears are off to a surprising 5-1 start, in large part, because of their defense. They have only allowed 19.3 points per game with the Falcons being the only team to score at least 30 points against them. They have been particularly adept at stopping the pass, allowing just four passing touchdowns all season. That’s not good news for Goff, who has also thrown an interception in three of his last four games. Considering Herbert’s salary is $100 cheaper, taking a chance on Goff seems unnecessary.

Running Backs

Aaron Jones, GB at HOU ($7,600): It doesn’t get much better than this for Jones. He’s already been racking up touchdowns in bunches, totaling seven of them through five games. The Texans have not only allowed eight rushing touchdowns, but they’ve also allowed the most rushing yards per game in the league. In what could be a high-scoring game between two struggling defenses, Jones could be left with a couple of opportunities to find his way into the end zone while also generating plenty of yards on the ground.

Justin Jackson, LAC vs. JAC ($5,900): The Chargers aren’t likely to get Austin Ekeler (hamstring) back anytime soon. With him sidelined, Jackson and Joshua Kelley will split the duties out of the backfield. Jackson looked like the far superior option in their last game against the Saints, finishing with 94 total yards on 15 carries and six targets. Meanwhile, Kelley only had 38 total yards on 11 carries and one target. Jackson’s ability to be a dual threat makes him an extremely appealing option at such a reduced salary.

Player to Avoid

Josh Jacobs, LV vs. TB ($7,300): This was already slated to be a tough matchup for Jacobs with the Bucs allowing fewest rushing yards per game. To further complicate matters, it’s unclear how many of the Raiders’ starting offensive lineman will be available for this game after Trent Brown was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Even if Brown is the only one that can’t play, his absence alone would still be huge. Given that their salaries are so similar, it doesn’t make much sense to roll with Jacobs over Jones.

Wide Receivers

Kenny Golladay, DET at ATL ($7,500): Targeting the Falcons’ defense is usually a sound strategy. They have allowed 30.7 points per game and the second-most passing yards per contest. On top of that, they have allowed 18 touchdown passes. That could all add up to a huge afternoon from Golladay, who has 224 yards and two touchdowns in only three games. It should also help his cause that the Lions’ defense has also played poorly, which could make this game a shootout.

Mike Williams, LAC vs. JAC ($5,500): As far as players who are available at a cheap salary, few are as appealing as Williams, regardless of their position. He’s coming off of his best performance of the season, torching the Saints for 109 yards and two touchdowns Week 5. Talent has never been a question with him, but his inability to stay healthy has been a problem. Now fresh coming off of a bye, Williams could feast here.

Player to Avoid

JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT at TEN ($7,100): For those who play in season-long fantasy leagues, Smith-Schuster has been one of the biggest disappointments at wide receiver. After posting 69 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1, he has 125 yards and one touchdown over his last four games combined. Just as concerning is that he’s received five or fewer targets three straight contests. With Diontae Johnson (back) expected to make his return and Chase Claypool playing extremely well, targets may continue to be hard to come by for Smith-Schuster.

Tight Ends

Hunter Henry, LAC vs. JAC ($5,200): A Charger at every position? It’s not all that crazy given the matchup and their salaries. Much like Williams, the only question surrounding Henry has been his ability, or lack thereof, to stay healthy. That hasn’t been a problem for him so far this year, which has enabled him to receive 35 targets across five games. He is also second on the team in red zone targets behind only Keenan Allen.

Logan Thomas, WAS vs. DAL ($4,600): As much as I like Henry, going with Thomas at an even cheaper salary might be a good way to load up at other spots while still receiving intriguing upside from the tight end spot. The Cowboys have allowed 36.3 points per game, so Washington might be more productive than we are used to seeing. Like Henry, Thomas is also a popular red-zone target considering he leads Washington with six of them this season.

Player to Avoid

Tyler Higbee, LAR vs. CHI ($5,100): This is an easy pass. As previously discussed, the Bears have thrived at keeping opposing pass catchers out of the end zone. Higbee scored three touchdowns against the Eagles in Week 2, but he hasn’t scored in any of his other five games. He’s also seen his opportunities to catch passes dwindle, in general, leaving him with four or fewer targets in each of his last four contests.

Mike Barner has been covering fantasy sports since 2007. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, SportsLine and RotoWire. Mike was also a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. Follow Mike on Twitter @rotomikebarner.

Top Headlines

Five Fantasy Takeaways from Week 11

The Paur Report
Player Notes
Cam Akers Nov 24 12:30am ET

Los Angeles Rams rookie running back Cam Akers couldn't get much going in the running game on Monday night and he's been marginalized in the offense all season. However, in Week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he found his way into the end zone. He finished with five carries for 15 yards to go with one reception for four yards and a touchdown. This isn't enough volume for fantasy managers to have confidence in Akers, though. From a football perspective, it's great to see him get involved in the offense. If he can see more volume in future weeks and take more of the workload from Darrell Henderson, he might be able to provide some more fantasy upside to close out the year.

From RotoBaller

Cooper Kupp Nov 24 12:30am ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp didn't have a great matchup in Week 11 on Monday night, but it didn't matter, as he went off for a big night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He caught 11 of his 13 targets for 145 yards. Unfortunately, he couldn't get into the end zone on the night, but this was still a fantastic night regardless. The matchups that the Rams are dealing with over the next few weeks aren't great, but Kupp gets enough volume to maintain fantasy value. He's firmly in the WR2 conversation with the volume that he's seeing and he can have WR1 upside with games like this.

From RotoBaller

Robert Woods Nov 24 12:30am ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods took advantage of his team's perfect game plan in Week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night en route to a third-place finish among wideouts for the week. He caught 12 of his 15 targets for 130 yards and a touchdown. After seeing his targets trend downwards for the last four weeks, he led the team in targets and had nine more than teammate Josh Reynolds, who had been outperforming Woods over that span of games. Woods will rarely present this type of ceiling, but his floor is generally one of the safest in football as a WR2.

From RotoBaller

Jared Goff Nov 24 12:20am ET

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff saw a terrible matchup in Week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday, but he shrugged it off in a big way. He finished the game 39 of 51 for 376 yards to go with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He finished as the QB4 on the week and he would have jumped to third if it weren't for the pair of interceptions. Despite losing left tackle Andrew Whitworth to a likely season-ending injury, the Rams kept their passing game on schedule with a quick passing attack. Goff has been a decent start this year, but his fantasy playoff schedule leaves a lot to be desired.

From RotoBaller

Darrell Henderson Nov 24 12:20am ET

Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson Jr. has been trending down of late, and he crashed hard in Week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night. He finished with eight carries for five yards to go with two receptions for four yards. Henderson was a solid RB2 about a month ago, but that value has vanished with the resurgence of teammates Malcolm Brown and rookie Cam Akers. With a difficult slate of games upcoming and a lack of consistent volume ahead of him, Henderson has become even hard to trust as an RB3/flex.

From RotoBaller

Rob Gronkowski Nov 24 12:10am ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski had two receptions for 25 yards on six targets in Monday's loss to the Rams. After a terrific stretch of games just a few weeks ago, Gronk has declined a bit recently and now has below 30 yards in two of the past three games. Still, he has seen at least six targets in two of the past three games as well and remains a favorite target of Tom Brady. Add this all up and Gronk should still be considered a low-end TE1 going forward.

From RotoBaller

Chris Godwin Nov 24 12:00am ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin compiled seven receptions for 53 yards and a score on 10 targets in Monday's loss to the Rams. The WR has seen at least six targets and has accumulated over 41 yards in all seven games he has played this season. His role is large and his production is generally consistent. This makes him a low-end WR1/high-end WR2 candidate each week going forward.

From RotoBaller

Antonio Brown Nov 24 12:00am ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown finished Monday's loss to the Rams with eight receptions for 57 yards on 13 targets. It was certainly an encouraging performance for Brown, who led the team in every receiving category. In addition, his rapport with Tom Brady is proving to be very strong. Though he will have to fight with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski each week for targets, Brown is proving he deserves some of those targets. The WR should be considered a WR3/flex going forward and there is room for his fantasy value to go up should he continue to thrive.

From RotoBaller

Leonard Fournette Nov 23 11:50pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette had seven carries for 17 yards and a score and one reception for nine yards on four targets in Week 11. Fournette continues to play behind Ronald Jones II and now has 16 rushes for 36 yards in the past three games total. Fournette should not be considered a worthy fantasy starter going forward given his smaller role in this offense and lack of production.

From RotoBaller

Mike Evans Nov 23 11:50pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans finished with five receptions for 49 yards and a score on nine targets in Monday's loss to the Rams. Evans continues to remain a big part of this offense and though his yardage doesn't always reflect that, he has seen at least six targets and gotten three touchdowns in the past four games. The WR should be considered in the low-end WR1/high-end WR2 tier each week going forward.

From RotoBaller

Tom Brady Nov 23 11:40pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady went 26-for-48 for 216 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in Week 11. Brady struggled most of the game against a powerful Rams defense and thus had a bit of an off-day. Nevertheless, the QB should remain in the low-end QB1 tier going forward as he has also had some terrific games as well. Based on his previous games though, it seems Brady does well only in favorable matchups rather than being consistent.

From RotoBaller

Ronald Jones II Nov 23 11:40pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II finished with 10 carries for 24 yards in the loss to the Rams on Monday. Jones fell flat after a 192-yard performance last week but ended up with more carries than Leonard Fournette on the bright side. It seems Jones will remain the workhorse back going forward, which makes him the safer option to start. The only problem seems to be consistency, as Jones cannot put together a long string of decent games. He has now rushed for less than 35 yards in four of the past five games, so the RB should be considered a mid to low RB2 going forward.

From RotoBaller

Tommy Sweeney Nov 23 10:40pm ET

Buffalo Bills tight end Tommy Sweeney (heart) will miss the rest of the season after a cardiologist discovered that he has myocarditis, which is a heart condition. Sweeney started the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list with a foot injury, and he was nearing a return when his condition was discovered during an NFL-mandated checkup. He was also placed on the COVID-19 list in Week 7 after being a high-risk close contact to teammate Dawson Knox, who tested positive for the virus. The 25-year-old caught eight passes for 114 yards in six games in his rookie season in 2019. Knox remains the team's top pass-catching tight end, with Lee Smith, rookie Reggie Gilliam and Tyler Kroft backing him up.

From RotoBaller

Nick Mullens Nov 23 9:50pm ET

San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams tested positive for COVID-19 last week and has landed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list along with eight of his teammates. Williams, who is considered a high-risk individual after a fight with cancer, said he was feeling OK and expects to recover. It's unknown if the blind-side protector for quarterback Nick Mullens will be available in Week 12 against the division-rival Rams. It's Williams' second stint on the COVID-19 list after he was previously deemed a high-risk close contact. If Williams doesn't clear the league's protocol in time, it'll make Mullens more vulnerable against a good Rams pass rush next Sunday.

From RotoBaller

J.K. Dobbins Nov 23 9:40pm ET

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh confirmed that defensive lineman Brandon Williams was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday after he was considered a close contact of running backs Mark Ingram II and J.K. Dobbins, who tested positive for coronavirus. Williams will have to quarantine for five days and will miss the Thanksgiving tilt on Thursday against the undefeated Steelers. As of now, the contest remains on schedule for Thursday night. Williams, a third-round pick in 2013, has just 20 tackles (13 solo) in eight games for Baltimore this season. The Ravens Defense has basically been a must-start fantasy unit all year long, but they'll face a tough Steelers offense on Thursday and should be faded in DFS.

From RotoBaller

James Morgan Nov 23 8:30pm ET

Despite New York Jets head coach Adam Gase all but saying that 2020 fourth-round pick James Morgan is essentially getting a redshirt year as a rookie, the organization made the call Monday to release quarterback Mike White, who had been serving as Joe Flacco's backup. While Sam Darnold (shoulder) continues to battle injuries, Morgan may now slot into the backup role without White on the roster. New York's quarterback situation continues to remain fluid, but Morgan could get a look in the final weeks of the year if the team's losing woes continue and Darnold remains embattled with his shoulder injury. White, who has not yet thrown an NFL pass, will be looking for a new home prior to the conclusion of the year.

From RotoBaller

Joe Burrow Nov 23 8:20pm ET

The New York Giants Defense could have both safety Xavier McKinney (foot) and linebacker Oshane Ximines (shoulder) back in the mix Sunday versus Cincinnati after having designated both to return from injured reserve Monday. McKinney was the team's second round Draft choice in 2020, although he would likely play a limited role in his first game, per head coach Joe Judge. Ximines has started three of the four contests that he has appeared in this year, combining for five tackles and three quarterback hits. Their availability will become clearer following Wednesday's practice. While not a standout group in their own right, the Giants' defense should receive sizable season-long streamer appeal due to its matchup versus Ryan Finley and Co., who will be navigating their first game all year without Joe Burrow.

From RotoBaller

Ryan Fitzpatrick Nov 23 8:10pm ET

Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jesse Davis (COVID-19/reserve list) has been placed on the COVID-19/reserve list as of Monday, and will reportedly not be available for Sunday's game versus the Jets. (Players do not have to test positive to be added to the list.) Davis' absence likely means that Rob Hunt will slide over to man the right tackle spot, blocking for Tua Tagovailoa, who is expected to start after being removed late in Week 11 in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick. The loss of Davis means that Tagovailoa will have a new blind spot protector, while Salvon Ahmed is expected to lead the backfield once again, albeit with a shifting o-line in front of him. At this time, it appears as if Sunday's matchup between Miami and New York is in no danger of being shifted, although the situation will remain fluid throughout the week.

From RotoBaller

Kenny Golladay Nov 23 8:00pm ET

Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hip) has been sidelined since Week 8 due to a hip ailment, but despite the quick turnaround ahead of a Week 12 matchup versus Houston, the team's top receiver was listed as a would-be limited practice participant Monday. While he will likely need to log some actual practice time in order to suit up Thursday, his status is beginning to trend in the right direction for potentially facing an exploitable Texans secondary. Golladay has exceeded the 100-yard plateau as a receiver in each of his last two full contests in 2020, making him a must-start asset should he eventually get the green light to suit up. Check back over the coming days to get a better read on his status with the Lions taking the field for practice Tuesday.

From RotoBaller

Randall Cobb Nov 23 8:00pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Randall Cobb (toe) would not have been available to participate in Monday's practice had there been one. After leaving Sunday's win over New England due to a toe injury, Cobb is not trending in the right direction to return for Thursday's matchup with the Lions. Keke Coutee earned praises in the slot in place of Cobb, and would figure to continue seeing an increased usage with the veteran sidelined. The Lions Defense is allowing the fifth-most receiving yards to opposing wide receivers this season, putting Coutee, Brandin Cooks, and Will Fuller V in line for increased usage should Cobb ultimately not make it back in time for the contest.

From RotoBaller