Getting to the Halfway Point

We’re heading into Week #7 of the NFL season and fantasy football is heating up. Week #6 saw some upsets but was still a successful fantasy weekend for most that followed my advice. If you’re trying to put together the best daily fantasy football team that you can, you’ve come to the right spot. Here, I take a look at the three most heavily used positions, and a couple of the top rated players in each. Oftentimes, especially this week, there are great players who are not necessarily the best fantasy choice. By looking at matchups and expected value, my goal is to help you to make better predictions than other fantasy managers in your league.

Good luck this week!

Look for the Right Player with the Right Matchup

Picking the right lineup isn’t easy, but you just have to be in the mix to have a chance.

The Right Quarterback

Drew Brees: Brees has the highest fantasy point total average of any QB scheduled to play going into Week #7 standing at 27.0. This is a well-deserved honor for Brees. He has had a great start to his season with 11 touchdowns and 1,658 passing yards. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that he has not thrown a single interception so far this season. The thing that is likely to get a lot of people drafting Brees this weekend is his price. At $5,700, he is incredibly cheap for a top ranked QB. It barely gets him into the top ten as far as most expensive QBs for the weekend. The reason why he’s so cheap is his opponent. The Baltimore Ravens have been the third best team in the NFL this season when it comes to limiting the fantasy points of a QB. While Brees is good, he’s likely to see a steep drop off in his fantasy production this weekend. The great deal that he appears to be is actually much worse than it seems at first.

Cam Newton: Let’s get this out of the way quickly: Newton is not in the same class as Drew Brees. However, I am not just evaluating QB capability when making this judgment call. Really, that’s one of the hardest parts for many people when it comes to DFS football. Just because someone is a good player does not mean that they are the best fantasy choice. In this case, that gives you an advantage. Let’s look at why that is. First, Newton is a little more expensive than Brees at $5,900. That will immediately draw attention away from him. His stats aren’t as impressive, either. He’s only thrown 1,158 yards, 9 TDs, and has 4 interceptions. However, his fantasy point total is pretty impressive considering all of this, standing at a respectable 24.4 points per game. The main reason is that Newton is able to pick up more fantasy points through running the ball than most other QBs. In many leagues, like DraftKings, a rushing TD or a rushing yard is worth more than a passing TD or yard. That gives Newton a distinct edge. With the Philadelphia Eagles having one of the worst QB protective defenses in the NFL, Newton comes out ahead here, despite having some factors seeming to work against him.

QB Start: Newton

QB Sit: Brees

Running Back is Critical

Todd Gurley: Gurley appears to be unstoppable this week. However, his price tag of $9,800 is going to immediately dissuade most people who would want to draft him. But, looking back at the fantasy rule that helped me to pick Newton, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Gurley should be your number one choice at RB this weekend. He’s expensive, but he’s definitely worth the price tag. He is averaging 103.8 yards per game, has 11 TDs, and is quickly making a strong case for why he will be the MVP this season. If your league offers bonus points for putting up more than 100 yards in a game, Gurley will be even more valuable to you. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Rams are taking on the San Francisco 49ers this season who have struggled defensively, especially against the rushing game. It puts Gurley in a place where his average numbers—an already impressive 31.0 fantasy points per game—will likely be on the low side for this game.

Alvin Kamara: Kamara has similar fantasy numbers to Gurley, but at a much lower price. He is averaging 30.4 points per game and is priced at $8,500. This might make him seem like a steal, but he’s in a similar boat as his QB, Drew Brees. The Baltimore Ravens are even better at restricting RB points than they are at restricting QB points, which means that Kamara will likely struggle to come near his averages. He has scored 6 TDs and has averaged 59.8 yards rushing per game, but against a #1 ranked Baltimore defense, Kamara is not the value play that he seems like.

RB Start: Gurley

RB Sit: Kamara

Wide Receiver Jump for the Ball

Adam Thielen: Thielen is ranked at #1 this week of all receivers, with a salary of $8,600 and an average of 28.5 fantasy points per game to back that up. He has caught 4 TDs and has over 118 yards per game. The issue with Thielen is that he’s not the only great passing option on the team. The Vikings also have Stefon Diggs, who is averaging an impressive 19.0 fantasy points per game. Thielen will be a heavy target, but thanks to the depth that the Vikings have, there’s no guarantee that he will be given the preferential treatment that you want someone who is so expensive to have. He’s worth every penny that you spend on him but do know that he may see less action than normal if defenses are playing him more heavily. With the Vikings going against the #30 ranked passing defense in the New York Jets, the odds of this happening are smaller, but they are still there.

Mike Evans: I expect consistency from Evans this week. He is priced at $7,700, which makes him a good deal compared to Thielen, but is still averaging 20.9 fantasy points per game. He has 96.8 yards per game and 3 TDs but appears to be more reliable this week thanks to the fact that the Browns take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is less expensive but should still produce similar results.

WR Start: Evans

WR Sit Thielen