FantasyFeud Week 7 Values & Top Plays
Welcome to Week 7.
You’ll be without the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Matt Forte, Demaryius Thomas, and yes, even Andy Dalton this week as the Packers, Bears, Broncos and Bengals are all on a bye. We still have plenty of options available, however as injuries (I’m looking at guys like you, Ben Roethlisberger, Dez Bryant and Jeremy Maclin) have opened up the potential for some solid value this weekend. I think you almost have to get some Saints-Colts exposure this week, but let’s see if we can find some other options to round out the rest of our rosters.
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Week 7 Plays
Step 1: Teddy Bridgewater ($102,800) at DET
While Landry Jones will be a popular punt play this week, I’m taking a long look at Teddy B as he takes on a Lions team coming in at 28th in aFPA to quarterbacks this season. Bridgewater struggled to take advantage of an even better matchup last week, but he’s developing a rapport with Stefon Diggs and even Kyle Rudolph decided to reappear from the milk carton. While Bridgewater frankly isn’t doing a whole lot statistically to support this play, we’re going to differentiate in terms our punt plays, and I don’t mind being a little different with Bridgewater and his plus-matchup.
Step 2: Ryan Tannehill ($118,900) vs. HOU
Remember when Ryan Tannehill was everyone’s favorite preseason breakout player? Andy Dalton may have made you forget about that, but it was a “thing” just seven weeks ago. Seven weeks and one Joe Philbin firing later, Tannehill may finally be ready to deliver on his potential, coming off a solid two-touchdown performance against the Titans. With a new head coach and a matchup against a weak Texans pass defense, I’m a big fan of Tannehill and his (relatively) low price this week.
Step 3: Carson Palmer ($141,300) vs. BAL
I normally wouldn’t be interested in paying up for the most expensive quarterback on the slate, but Palmer is only $10,000 more than this week’s eighth-most expensive quarterback so the cost savings aren’t THAT great in the lower tiers. Furthermore, you’re paying a small increase for this week’s best possible matchup as the Ravens rank dead-last in the NFL in aFPA to quarterbacks. Palmer has seen his torrid pace slow a bit over the last few weeks, but he’s still throwing to what might be the best trio of receivers in the league (with Michael Floyd finally coming on as of late). You’ll have to find cost savings elsewhere, but don’t hesitate to pay up for Palmer this week.
Step 1: Branden Oliver ($35,000) at OAK
By all accounts, Melvin Gordon (ankle) will be ready to play this Sunday, but we’re looking for punt plays here and Oliver probably has the best chance to see touches of any minimum-priced running back. Oakland’s run defense isn’t bad, but I’m mostly looking at the fact that Oliver saw increased playing time after Gordon got hurt (or benched?) last week, totaling 63 yards on 11 touches. He’s a complete lottery ticket that is somewhat dependent on Gordon, but we really don’t need that much production from him in order to pay off this low, low price.
Step 2: Frank Gore ($103,500) vs. NO
After a slow start to the season, Frank Gore is finally coming on with three double-digit fantasy point performances on FantasyFeud in the past four weeks (including three touchdowns). Even more promising, Gore is tied for the league-lead in carries inside the five-yard line during that span. Sure, Ahmad Bradshaw’s presence makes Gore a little riskier than he was two weeks ago, but it’s hard to find a better value in the 100k range.
Step 3: Adrian Peterson ($126,400) at DET
Todd Gurley is going to be a popular play among the high-priced running backs this week (as he should be), but I’m looking $2,500 lower towards Adrian Peterson. He’s the only Vikings running back who has seen a red zone carry in the last four weeks and gets to face a Lions defense that is giving up over 100 rushing yards and 1.5 rushing touchdowns per game to opposing running backs. While Peterson hasn’t looked otherworldly this season, we’re still talking about arguably the game’s best running back who you can get as the fifth most expensive running back this week.
Step 1: Albert Wilson ($38,900) vs. PIT
(Insert joke about Chiefs wide receivers here). Now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at the fact that Wilson might be Alex Smith’s top wide receiver this week and Jeremy Maclin is iffy with a concussion. Wilson hasn’t done much this season (and Pittsburgh’s pass defense isn’t bad in terms of aFPA to wide receivers), but Wilson is coming off his best game of the season last week as he racked up three catches for 57 yards and a touchdown. He’s not safe for cash games, but if Maclin is out, fire up Wilson and his dirt-cheap price tag.
Step 2: Mike Evans ($89,800) at WAS
Washington’s pass defense isn’t bad, and Mike Evans hasn’t had a great start to the season. But we’re looking for the intersection between price and opportunity and Evans gives us exactly that. He looks to be over his hamstring injury and he’s still seeing plenty of targets (10 oer game over his last three, including a whopping 17 in Week 3), so I wouldn’t be scared off by his early season production – or lack thereof. There will be some growing pains as rookie QB Jameis Winston matures, but Evans’ price tag is just too good to pass up this week as his upside far outweighs any potential risk.
Step 3: Antonio Brown ($121,400) at KC
Six weeks ago, no one would have blinked at paying top price for Antonio Brown. A few Michael Vick-induced weeks later and you can now have him for the 10th-highest salary of any wide receiver. All bets are off if Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t play (and pivot to Larry Fitzgerald or Brandon Marshall if that happens), but it sounds like we may see Big Ben this week. Brown is still the same exact player he was before Roethlisberger got hurt (aka, arguably the best receiver in the NFL) and now is the time to take advantage of his price drop if Big Ben makes it back this week – especially since he’s facing a Chiefs team that is dead-last in aFPA to wide receivers.
Step 1: Josh Hill ($30,000) at IND
If you watched Thursday Night Football last week, you’re probably laughing at me because you saw Ben “Jimmy Graham” Watson go bonkers. But before you start laughing, just hear me out. To start, we’re talking about a punt play at minimum price who nobody is going to use this week. Hill has seen more targets inside the five-yard line than Watson over the past four weeks, and actually saw just as many red zone targets as Watson last week. There’s always bust potential with anyone at this price, but Hill is worth a shot as a tourney play.
Step 2: Larry Donnell ($62,300) vs. DAL
The Cowboys have been very good against tight ends this season (they’ve only allowed one touchdown to the position), but the rubber has to meet the road here as Donnell has seen the second-most red zone targets among all tight ends this season. With more red zone love than any tight end not named Greg Olsen or Tyler Eifert, Donnell has been able to translate two of his eight red zone targets into touchdowns. He’s not an automatic cash game play, but Donnell isn’t the worst option if he helps you fit the rest of your targets into the salary cap.
Step 3: Gary Barnidge ($105,200) at STL
Yes, Antonio Gates is facing the Raiders and their woeful defense against tight ends this week. Yes, Travis Kelce might be the only person Alex Smith throws to. Both are good options, but I’m looking at Barnidge for a cheaper price this week as he has a decent matchup against the Rams, and more importantly, has seen more red zone targets than any tight end besides Greg Olsen over the last four games (good for 30 percent of the Browns red zone targets during that span). His five touchdowns over the last month are easily the most at the position, as Barnidge’s five scores dwarf the next highest (three by Olsen and Eifert). The wheels may fall off at some point, but we might as well ride the Barnidge train while we can as he comes as a cheaper price than any of the other tight ends who are currently producing at an elite clip.
Step 1: New York Jets ($44,100) at NE
Starting a defense against the Patriots is either a great way to differentiate yourself or dumb, and I’m hoping it’s the former this week. It’s not often you can get a defense as talented as the Jets at such a low price, and they have a defense that has historically given Tom Brady fits. This will either pay dividends or blow up in my face, but that sounds like a perfect tourney play to me!
Step 2: Minnesota Vikings ($61,700) at DET
I’d like this better if they were at home, but the Vikings get to a Lions team that leads the NFL in giveaways (by a lot). Minnesota have been decent on defense this season (averaging 8.2 fantasy points per game on FantasyFeud) and comes in tied for 11th in the NFL in takeaways. They’re not a super-safe cash game play, but the Vikings are worth a look if they help square off your budget.
Step 3: Carolina Panthers ($63,200) vs. PHI
I like the Panthers quite a bit this week as they get a home game against an Eagles team that has given up the ball 14 times this season (‘good” for second in the league). With Luke Kuechly healthy and Josh Norman balling, the Panthers are in a nice spot (at a nice price) to provide solid value this weekend.
That’s it for me this week, folks. Good luck out there!