Daily Fantasy Football Advice: Matchups to Avoid and Exploit in Week 7
Week six was pretty crazy in daily fantasy football. We don’t need to get in all of the “Jay Ajayi went nuts” narratives, as they don’t even stop with the Miami Dolphins running back. However, it’s not just hyperbole. Daily fantasy football was nuts last week and if you somehow worked your way through the madness and won, a tip of the cap to you.
Hopefully some of our matchup breakdowns helped you out – namely avoiding Mark Ingram and Dwayne Allen and targeting LeSean McCoy and Odell Beckham Jr.
There are plenty more situations to consider as you gear up for daily fantasy football leagues in week seven. Let’s take a look at the top matchups to target and avoid on the main slate at DraftKings:
Matchups to Avoid
Carson Wentz vs. Vikings Defense
There is a double-sided narrative in this week’s Eagles/Vikings clash in Philadelphia. One is that the Minnesota Vikings can’t win forever and the other is that Carson Wentz eventually needs to snap out of this two-game funk he’s been in.
I’m doubting both, as Minnesota’s defense is rather legit and Wentz is starting to show some of his flaws as a rookie passer. It won’t help that he gets the best defense in football in week 7 – one that ranks #1 against quarterbacks over the last four weeks (#5 on the year).
Matt Forte vs. Ravens Run Defense
It probably isn’t going out on a limb to fade Matt Forte in NFL DFS contests this week. New York has struggled immensely and Forte has fallen on tough times with less than 10 fantasy points in each of his last three contests.
If you’re looking for him to turn things around, you may want to try a different week, as week seven brings a nasty matchup with a good Baltimore run defense. The Ravens have completely stifled opposing running backs in 2016, ranking tops against RBs over the last four weeks and #2 on the season.
Antonio Brown vs. Patriots Pass Defense
I’m not saying Antonio Brown will do nothing in week seven, but I am saying I won’t be paying up for his sans-Ben Roethlisberger production. Brown has already delivered two lackluster performances in 2016 and he has a rough history of putting up stats without Big Ben:
Antonio Brown Career Touchdown Receptions – By Quarterback
Ben Roethlisberger 43
All others 0
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 17, 2016
It can’t help matters that he draws a tough matchup against a solid Patriots defense this week, either. New England has been very strong against receivers in 2016 (8th on the year), but have really turned it up a notch lately (ranking 3rd over last four weeks).
Brown can go off in any matchup, but New England is a tough draw with Landry Jones operating under center. We’ll pass.
DeAndre Hopkins vs. Broncos Pass Defense
Ditto for Nuk, who struggled with a tough matchup against the Titans just two games ago and in week seven faces a Broncos secondary that ranks #1 against fantasy wide receivers in 2016.
Denver has lost their last two games, but they still stifled receivers in both losses. It’s going to be Lamar Miller – not Nuk – who could be in for a big day when the Texans and Broncos clash on Monday Night Football this week.
It probably doesn’t help that the Broncos get former quarterback Brock Osweiler in this matchup, who they know all too well.
Jimmy Graham vs. Cardinals Pass Defense
Graham might be a tough tight end to fade in daily fantasy football leagues right now, seeing as he’s corralled six receptions for 89+ yards in each of his last three games.
He’s probably headed for a stinker this week, though, as he’s got a brutal matchup in Arizona. Road divisional games can be dicey, but it’s even worse when Graham’s DraftKings salary jumps up to $5.8k against a defense that is dominating tight ends. To be more specific, Arizona is #1 against tight ends over the last four weeks.
Matchups to Target
Andy Dalton vs. Browns Secondary
Andy Dalton has quietly been pretty awesome in 2016, as he’s put up 21+ fantasy points in four of six games and has done so despite not having stud tight end Tyler Eifert at his disposal.
Even if Eifert can’t make it back this week, things project to go well for Dalton when he takes on a bad Cleveland Browns defense. Cleveland is 0-6 and going nowhere fast, but they specifically can’t stop the pass and have awarded the second most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks over the last four weeks. They’re not much better (30th) on the year, either.
If Dalton doesn’t have a big day at home this week, it’d be truly shocking.
Buccaneers RB vs. 49ers Run Defense
Doug Martin sat out of practice on Monday and is not yet a guarantee to be back for week seven, but one way or another, you’re going to want to fire up a Tampa Bay running back this week.
If it’s The Muscle Hamster, all the better, but Jacquizz Rodgers (35 touches) showed us in week five he can also get the job done if he gets the chance.
This week’s matchup with the 49ers tells us all we need to know, though, as they just got done giving up well over 100 yards and 3 TDs to LeSean McCoy and have been getting burned on the ground all year. They rank 30th against running backs on the year, but have been a special kind of terrible (dead last) over the last four weeks.
Devonta Freeman vs. Chargers Run Defense
The Chargers are another run defense you’ll definitely want to target, whether it ends up being via Freeman or teammate, Tevin Coleman.
We prefer Freeman because he runs the ball a bit more and out-touched Coleman last week, but San Diego’s 28th ranked defense against RBs has to be exploited somehow.
DeSean Jackson vs. Lions Pass Defense
The Lions have been brutal defensively in 2016, as they enter week seven ranking dead last against fantasy quarterbacks, 30th against tight ends and 29th against wide receivers.
None of that means good things for them this week, especially after seeing Case Keenum and Kenny Britt of all people torch them last week. That means all systems are a full go for deep threat D-Jax and Washington’s passing attack in what should be an insane shootout.
Things could go even better for DeSean Jackson if star tight end Jordan Reed (concussion) remains out for the second week in a role. No Reed translated into 9 targets last week and helped to get D-Jax going again:
DeSean Jackson happier with targets, wants ball ‘in right people’s hands’ https://t.co/4UOJK6Vsmd
— John Keim (@john_keim) October 18, 2016
A big role against a soft pass defense could have D-Jax truly blowing up in week seven.
Gary Barnidge vs. Bengals Pass Defense
One more NFL DFS player to consider targeting is Cleveland tight end Gary Barnidge, who is closing in on his first score of the 2016 season.
Barnidge scored 9 times last year, so we know the dude is a red-zone monster. It’s been slow going for him thus far, but the price ($3.2k), role (5+ targets in each of his last five games) and matchup (Bengals rank 28th at stopping tight ends) all equate to a solid play.
There is clear risk here, but the Bengals don’t cover the tight end very well and it’s fair to say the Browns will be throwing from behind in this one.
That does it four our look at NFL DFS matchups to avoid and exploit in week seven. Hopefully our insight helps you use or avoid the right plays to win big this week!
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