DFS Core Plays and Value Stacks: Week 7

Oct 22, 2021
DFS Core Plays and Value Stacks: Week 7

This Week 7 NFL DFS article consists of two parts, the "Core Four" and value stacks. The Core Four are my four favorite plays on the main slate for any game format, regardless of price or projected percent rostered. All four will almost assuredly be in my cash lineup and be an integral part of my GPP core plays (though they probably won't all be in the same GPP lineup).

For the value stacks, I’ll be using 4for4's Stack Value Reports to find stacks that can take down a tournament. I like building contrarian stacks around my chalkier core of players because you only have to get one instance correct for it to hit. Though there may be a chalkier player or two within the value stack, I will usually add a piece from the game that makes the stack a bit contrarian.

For example, if we hit on a contrarian quarterback play while having a pass-catcher or two from that same game, the positive correlation of those stacks is technically getting one contrarian play correct despite filling multiple roster slots. I feel this is easier than having a chalkier stack while trying to hit multiple individual low-rostered plays throughout the rest of your lineup. Keep in mind that these are contrarian stacks, so you don’t have to use these stacks in a large percentage of lineups to be overweight on the field. They should be used in tandem with a chalkier core of players.

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More GPP Strategy: GPP Stacks, Fades, and Leverage Plays | WR/CB Matchups


Core Four Plays

QB Lamar Jackson ($8,400 FD/$7,400 DK)

Despite the lackluster performance last week in terms of fantasy football, Lamar remains a core four play in all formats. The salary structure and value at other positions may be difficult to get to him, but he is one the best plays on the slate for his price. He had a bit of touchdown variance go against him last week against a Chargers team that schemes to take away a team's passing attacks. It was a fear we had going into last week that the Chargers would defend Lamar in such a way that his read would be to hand the ball off for the entire game and that's what happened. It led to all three running backs getting in the end zone.

This week against the Bengals, two things will work in Lamar's favor. The first is that the Bengals will be able to push the Ravens a bit more than the Chargers did, as surprising as that seems. The game script should be in his favor—at the very least I don't see this being a blowout with a clock-killing fourth quarter. The other is that Latavius Murray is out. I don't think they'll lean on Devonta Freeman and LeVeon Bell. We know Lamar can have massive 40-point ceiling games as he did two weeks ago—the recency of some run-bad against the Chargers shouldn't stop us from slotting him in this week.

RB Derrick Henry ($11,000 FD/$9,200 DK)

Every week I'm waiting for Henry to fall off, but at this point, I don't know if it's coming. He continually racks up 30 touches and produces monster fantasy numbers with those touches. He's been involved in the passing game a bit more than in recent years as well. He has two or more receptions in all but one game this season which adds an element of safety to rostering him that we didn't have in previous years. He isn't going to catch eight balls like Christian McCaffrey but 3-30 can go a long way in raising the floor. In years past the concern in this matchup with the Chiefs would be the game script. The Chiefs would be dynamic on offense in the first quarter and the Titans would be playing from behind. However, I don't see that being the case this season. And even if they do get out to a lead, the Titans have shown a willingness to give the ball to Henry even when trailing. Especially on DraftKings, Henry's price hasn't been elevated enough to turn me away just yet.

RB Darrell Henderson ($8,000 FD/$6,600 DK)

Henderson faced three of the top five defenses in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to running backs in his first three games and still managed to score 15 or more fantasy points. His schedule has eased up a bit and that resulted in a 24-point fantasy day last week against the Giants. The Rams are currently 16-point favorites in a home matchup with the Lions in Week 7. Though there is some narrative that Matthew Stafford will be allowed to chuck the ball against his former team, there is going to be enough for Henderson to eat, too. He's averaging nearly 20 opportunities a game between carries and targets. What seals this for me is the Rams' offensive line advantage over the Lions' defensive line. Henderson should have massive holes and a favorable game script down the stretch.

WR Ricky Seals-Jones ($5,400 FD/$3,700 DK)

Seals-Jones returned to practice today, so it seems he'll be all set for a meeting with the Packers. He has been dynamic in replacing Logan Thomas, especially over the last two weeks. Washington has gone out of their way to design plays for him to get open. The touchdown he scored last week was a fake wide receiver screen in which Seals-Jones leaked out down the seam after faking a block. It was a clear play drawn up to get him the ball and it resulted in a touchdown. Those types of plays earn guys more snaps and targets. With Antonio Gibson banged up and the Packers being a favorite in this game, I can see Washington having to abandon the run early in this contest. He's played all but one snap since Logan Thomas was injured three weeks ago. His price is just too cheap especially for the projected game environment against the fourth-best tight end matchup in terms of aFPA

Value Stacks to Target

QB Tom Brady, Buccaneers ($8,000 FD/$7,700 DK)

WR Mike Evans, Buccaneers ($7,100 FD/$6,500 DK)

WR Chris Godwin, Buccaneers ($6,700 FD/$5,900 DK)

WR Darnell Mooney, Bears ($5,900 FD/$4,600 DK)

This stack ranks eighth in projected ceiling points in our Stack Value Report. Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski are out and O.J. Howard is also banged up. Brown being out of the lineup leaves 20% of the teams' total targets up for grabs along with 30% of the air yards share. Currently, Evans and Godwin combine for 36% of targets and 48% of the air yards, at their current salaries They are somewhat underpriced, which is exacerbated even more with the injuries to their other pass-catchers. Brady has hit 30 DraftKings points in four-of-six games so far this season.

Darnell Mooney is extremely inexpensive and a very nice correlated bring-back here. The Bears will most likely be forced to throw the ball despite not doing so in previous contests. Being down a few scores to the Buccaneers early is a probable outcome for this game, requiring Justin Fields to have to sling it a bit more. Mooney leads the Bears in target share with a healthy 27% and is also nearly tied with Allen Robinson in air yards share at 34%. If you juxtapose Mooney's usage from Andy Dalton versus Fields, you'll see a fairly drastic rise in target share and average depth of target, so there is a story there that the season-long numbers don't tell. I like Mooney over Allen Robinson despite the fact that Robinson has almost come down to the same salary as Mooney.

QB Matthew Stafford, Rams ($8,100 FD/$7,100 DK)

RB Darrell Henderson, Rams ($8,000 FD/$6,600 DK)

WR Cooper Kupp, Rams ($8,8000 FD/$8,400 DK)

There is some narrative playing into this recommendation as I think Sean McVay will try to get Matthew Stafford a big stat line against his former organization. Though this stack takes up a large percentage of salary, it will be somewhat popular. The way I propose to make it different is to exclude any skill player from the lowly Lions. Nearly half of the winning lineups in large-field tournaments don't run it back with an opponent. Last year, the Chiefs exploded offensively and were the most obvious team to stack in Week 8 of last season. However, the Jets couldn't muster up one relevant fantasy performance. Everyone that forced a bring-back ended up taking one or two terrible scores in their lineup. We can learn from that and get different by not rostering Lions here.

Stafford hasn't had a true ceiling game yet this season despite being consistently ranked as a QB1 throughout the first third of the season. This could be that game. We've seen it before where the play-calling at the goal line will favor a player that has some type of narrative going for them in a game. Sure this is anecdotal/qualitative, but I do think it's actionable. Darrell Henderson has been involved enough in the passing game that he is a correlative piece in this contest. The Rams could score enough in this contest for Henderson to get there on the ground and not hinder Stafford/Kupp's upside. The Rams have a 33-point implied total in a contest they are favored by more than two touchdowns. Kupp needs little convincing as he has been a monster this season. He owns a 34% target and air yard market share.

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