Guest of the League
Let's do this
FFL: Week 12 | NFL: Week 12

RealTime DFS Strategy: Week 7

Fri Oct 23 9:52am ET
By MIKE BARNER
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.

Quarterbacks

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 Hot Plays: Week 12

The Paur Report
Player Notes
Dallas Cowboys Nov 26 5:10pm ET

The Houston Texans Defense played their best game of the year against the Lions on Thanksgiving. Houston recorded four sacks, two recovered fumbles, and an interception, which was returned for a touchdown. J.J. Watt did the honors, snatching an errant Matthew Stafford throw and waltzing into the end zone. This was an impressive effort by the Texans, though they should still be left off the fantasy radar next week against a Colts' offense that is starting to put it together.

From RotoBaller

Keke Coutee Nov 26 5:00pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Keke Coutee caught two of three targets for 17 yards in a 41-25 win over Detroit. Coutee nearly hauled in a deep pass from Deshaun Watson early in the game, but it was just out of his reach. Other than that, the 23-year-old took a backseat to Will Fuller V and Brandin Cooks. With Randall Cobb (toe) on the injured reserve, Coutee could again be looking at increased playing time. However, the matchup with the Colts next week is a tough one.

From RotoBaller

Jordan Akins Nov 26 5:00pm ET

Houston Texans tight end Jordan Akins saw two targets and failed to record a catch in a Week 12 win over Detroit. Unfortunately for his fantasy managers, both targets grazed off his hands in the end zone- so the day could have been a fruitful one. The good news is, Akins seems to have a pretty decent hold on the tight end room. Houston will probably continue to rotate players in and out, but Deshaun Watson clearly trusts the veteran tight end. A Week 13 matchup with Indianapolis will make it hard to feel comfortable starting Akins, though.

From RotoBaller

Brandin Cooks Nov 26 4:50pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks caught all five targets for 85 receiving yards in a 41-25 win over the Lions. That makes back-to-back 85-yard games for Cooks, who is thriving with Deshaun Watson throwing him passes. The two connected over the middle of the field on several occasions, as the porous Lions' secondary had no answers for the passing game. The 27-year-old has exceeded 50 yards in seven of 11 contests this year and has three touchdowns to go along with those numbers. He's become a weekly starter and one who will be hard to take out of the lineup in Week 13, even against a tough Colts' defense.

From RotoBaller

Will Fuller Nov 26 4:40pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller V had a monster game in a Thanksgiving day win over the Lions. Fuller caught six of seven targets for a season-high 171 yards and two touchdowns. A strong game from the 26-year old turned into a beastly one in the fourth quarter, as he torched the Lions' defense on two deep balls for scores, showcasing his great connection with quarterback Deshaun Watson. Fuller has at least 80 yards in three of his last four games and has found the end zone three times in that span. The Colts' 4th-ranked pass defense awaits in Week 13, though Fuller is too good to have on the bench.

From RotoBaller

Duke Johnson Nov 26 4:30pm ET

Houston Texans running back Duke Johnson enjoyed a bounce-back game in a win over Detroit. Johnson carried the ball eight times for 37 rushing yards and caught three of four targets for 43 receiving yards and a touchdown. He couldn't get much going on the ground against a beatable run defense, which was a bit disappointing, though it was nice to see him find the end zone. He did have a touchdown stolen by backup C.J. Prosise, though that shouldn't take away from Johnson's good effort. There's a chance that starter David Johnson (head) returns next week, which would put Duke Johnson back in a complementary role. Either way, a Week 13 matchup with Indianapolis is not one to target for running backs.

From RotoBaller

Deshaun Watson Nov 26 4:20pm ET

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson completed 17 of 25 passes for 318 passing yards with four scores and added 24 rushing yards in a 41-25 win over the Lions on Thanksgiving. Watson had it all working today, though his deep-ball connection with Will Fuller V stole the show, as the two hooked up for two touchdowns of 30 yards or more. The 25-year-old is playing on another level right now, with 16 total touchdowns and no interceptions in his last six games. No one is benching Watson next week, though expectations should be tempered a bit when he faces off with the Colts' 4th-ranked pass defense.

From RotoBaller

Marvin Jones Nov 26 4:10pm ET

Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. caught six passes for 48 yards in the Lions 41-25 loss to the Texans on Thanksgiving. The veteran led the Lions with 12 targets but the Lions passing offense really struggled after a promising start. Jones Jr. also left the game in the final minutes with an apparent leg injury and the extent is unknown at this time. Jones Jr. deserves a fantasy roster spot in deeper leagues but the return of Kenny Golladay next week and a possible injury could hamper an already middling value moving forward.

From RotoBaller

Mohamed Sanu Nov 26 4:10pm ET

Detroit Lions wide receiver Mohamed Sanu caught four passes for 32 yards with one touchdown and a two-point conversion reception in the Lions 41-25 loss to the Texans on Thanksgiving. The veteran got an opportunity with the injury to Kenny Golladay and was able to secure a pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford for a 14-yard touchdown late in the game. Sanu possesses very little fantasy appeal but could siphon touchdowns away from Golladay and tight end T.J. Hockenson in the coming weeks if he continues to see the field.

From RotoBaller

Adrian Peterson Nov 26 4:00pm ET

Detroit Lions running back Adrian Peterson carried the ball 15 times for 55 yards with two touchdowns in the Lions 41-25 loss to the Texans on Thanksgiving. Peterson punched in two short-yardage scores before the Texans ran away with the game and led the team in carries. With starting running back D'Andre Swift out with a concussion, the veteran back ran hard but was unable to break off any big gains. Swift's status heading into Week 13 will determine Peterson's fantasy value moving forward.

From RotoBaller

Matthew Stafford Nov 26 4:00pm ET

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 28-of-42 passes for 295 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the Lions 41-25 loss to the Texans on Thanksgiving. The Lions offense simply is not the same without star receiver Kenny Golladay and a strong first half was wasted by stagnant offensive play in the second half. The veteran also was the victim of a fantastic interception by the Texans J.J. Watt, who took it to the house for 19-yard touchdown. Stafford was able to rack up some passing yards with the game out of reach but consistently struggled in the red zone. Stafford will continue to lack QB1 appeal heading into Week 13.

From RotoBaller

T.J. Hockenson Nov 26 4:00pm ET

Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson caught five passes for a team-high 89 receiving yards in the Lions 41-25 loss to the Texans on Thanksgiving. Hockenson got off to a promising start, coming down with a 51-yard reception. The talented tight end saw eight targets in the game but his production dissipated in the second half with the Lions down multiple scores. The Lions season is going off the rails but Hockenson continues to be a bright spot. He didn't find the end zone but should continue to be one of the main focal points in the passing offense moving forward.

From RotoBaller

Sam Darnold Nov 26 3:40pm ET

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (shoulder) practiced in full on Thursday, which is a sign he's heading toward a return in Week 12 against the Dolphins. Darnold was limited on Wednesday and appears to be on track to play on Sunday after missing the team's last two games in Weeks 9 and 11. The 23-year-old could be a bit more intriguing as a low-end QB2 in superflex leagues now that wide receivers Breshad Perriman, Jamison Crowder and rookie Denzel Mims are all healthy, and Miami's defense also allows the 10th-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Veteran Joe Flacco gave the winless Jets a chance in the last two games as the starter, but he'll go back to holding the clipboard for Darnold if he plays. Crowder will have more upside if Darnold returns, too.

From RotoBaller

Mitch Trubisky Nov 26 3:20pm ET

For the second straight day, Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder) practiced in full on Thursday, while Nick Foles (hip) did not practice. Head coach Matt Nagy hinted on Wednesday that Trubisky was on track to start in Week 12 against the division-rival Packers, and that is even closer to happening with Foles still unable to practice. It's not like Foles has been good since replacing Trubisky in Week 3. While neither QB is more than a low-end QB2 in superflex leagues in this stagnant offense, but at least Trubisky can offer fantasy managers a little something with his legs. The Packers Defense has also allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game to signal-callers, so whoever starts under center for Chicago won't be a great fantasy option. Trubisky threw for 562 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in two games against Green Bay in 2019.

From RotoBaller

Tom Brady Nov 26 2:30pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers center A.Q. Shipley (neck), who has been filling in as a starter the last two weeks, may be dealing with a career-ending neck injury, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Shipley left the Monday night loss to the Rams in the fourth quarter. It's bad news for a Tampa offensive line that is already without starting left guard Ali Marpet, who has missed three games with a concussion. Starting center Ryan Jensen was moved to left guard because of Marpet's injury after Joe Haeg struggled in the blowout loss to the Saints. Left tackle Donovan Smith (ankle) also missed practice this week. It's something to watch for quarterback Tom Brady's protection heading into Week 12 in their contest against the Chiefs.

From RotoBaller

D.J. Chark Nov 26 2:20pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark Jr. (ribs) did not practice on Thursday for the second straight day. Chark is now in danger of sitting out in Week 12 against a vulnerable Browns Defense unless he gets in at least a limited practice on Friday. As of right now, the 24-year-old should be considered a shaky WR3/flex with quarterback Mike Glennon making his first start under center since 2017 with the Bears. If Chark is unable to suit up on Sunday, it'll boost the values of Keelan Cole, Chris Conley and rookie Laviska Shenault Jr. (if he plays). But the bottom line is it's tough to trust any Jacksonville pass-catcher with the team on their third starting QB in 2020. Running back James Robinson is the team's only real safe fantasy play against Cleveland.

From RotoBaller

Los Angeles Rams Nov 26 2:20pm ET

The Los Angeles Rams placed linebacker Micah Kiser (knee) on Injured Reserve on Thursday. Kiser has been really solid on the interior of the Rams Defense this year, recording 77 tackles (44 solo), three passes defensed and one forced fumble in nine games this season. The 25-year-old from Virginia suffered the knee injury in the Monday night win over the Buccaneers. While LA will miss his presence for at least the next three games, their defensive unit as a whole should remain fantasy relevant. The Rams defense should be considered a top-five fantasy unit this weekend against the division-rival 49ers and backup quarterback Nick Mullens.

From RotoBaller

Hayden Hurst Nov 26 2:10pm ET

Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley II (knee) and tight end Hayden Hurst (ankle) were held out of practice for the second straight day on Thursday. Fantasy managers definitely don't want to see Gurley and a knee injury mentioned in the same sentence. He played a season-low 36 percent of the snaps in Week 11, too, and has a well-documented history with knee issues. He'll need at least a limited practice on Friday to have a chance at facing the Raiders in Week 12. Whoever is the team's primary back, though, will have some upside against a Raiders defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to running backs. Gurley owners might want to run to the waiver wire and add Brian Hill right now. Hurst had no catches last week and is in danger of missing Sunday's game. If he cannot play, Luke Stocker and Jaeden Graham would split repetitions at the tight end position for Atlanta. Hurst is a very shaky low-end TE1 at this point.

From RotoBaller

Calvin Ridley Nov 26 1:50pm ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receivers Julio Jones (hamstring) and Calvin Ridley (foot) were limited in practice on Thursday. The Falcons announced earlier this week that Jones would be a game-time decision in Week 12 against the Raiders, but the good news is that he's been limited in two practices this week. However, he played only 22 snaps in Week 11 as he continues to play through nagging injuries. We'd say he's on the right side of questionable, but the 31-year-old All-Pro receiver should be viewed as a shaky WR2/3 if he continues to be limited. Ridley should be fine to play and has clear WR1 upside if Jones is limited again or out entirely against Las Vegas. The Raiders have allowed five receivers to go over 100 yards receiving this year, setting up Ridley as a must-start this weekend.

From RotoBaller

Jerry Hughes Nov 26 1:33pm ET

The Buffalo Bills did not practice Thursday, Nov. 26, and the following participation reports are estimations. WR John Brown (ankle) did not participate. OG Cody Ford (ankle) and QB Jake Fromm (non-injury) were limited. DE A.J. Epenesa (concussion), DE Jerry Hughes (back), RB Taiwan Jones (hamstring), TE Dawson Knox (hamstring) and CB Josh Norman (illness) were full participants.

From TheHuddle