Top Tier :
Kirk Cousins @ New York Jets ($6400)
The QB position is interesting this week as most of the best matchups involve the QBs in the mid-to-lower price ranges, and the highest priced guy is Jared Goff, who comes with some worry of having Todd Gurley vulture touchdowns. If you do want to pay up, Cousins is a great play this week.
The Vikings run game hasn't been very successful yet this season, and it's largely been abandoned. They have the eighth fewest rushing attempts in the league after six weeks, and have attempted the fourth most passes. The Jets have faced the fourth most pass attempts, as that's how teams have found success against them. They've allowed the tenth most passing yards, and the sixth most touchdown passes. That's 292 pass yards, and 1.83 touchdowns per game. Cousins is averaging 320 pass yards and 2 touchdowns per game.
Slot receivers have done the most damage against the Jets so far, and I'm pretty sure the guy who runs the majority of the slot routes for the Vikings is pretty good at it, so this matchup sets up very nicely for Cousins. He might be the safest QB play on the entire main slate.
Baker Mayfield @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($5800)
This is tier is filled with great QB matchups this week. It's harder to find plays I don't like than those I do in this tier. Every week, since week 2, we've talked about picking on the Bucs pass defense, and it has to be talked about yet again in week 7. If Mayfield is going to have a big, breakout game, this should be it.
The Bucs are on pace to have the worst pass defense in over a decade. They rank 32nd in pass yards allowed per game – 367; passing touchdowns allowed per game – 3.2; completion rate – 76.8%, and QB rating – 128. They're also tied for 32nd in interceptions, with 1, and have the second fewest sacks in the league, with 9.
Mayfield had his worst game as a pro last week, but the Buccaneers defense in no way resembles that of the Chargers. He should not only have a bounce back game, but he's in line to have the best game of his young career.
Lower Tier :
C.J. Beathard vs. Los Angeles Rams ($4800)
Last week, there was no one worthy of mentioning in this tier at QB. This week there are two, at least. Beathard seems to carry some stigma with him for some, but he's been good in his starts, and at $4800, he definitely deserves consideration; especially if you really want to play RBs that cost $9800 because you like winning money.
In three starts, Beathard has scored 19.8, 27.6 and 18.9. That's a very solid floor for cash games, in a game where hes's going to have to throw. A LOT. The Rams secondary can certainly be had, as over the past four weeks, they've allowed 23.25 Draftkings points per game to QBs – the eight most over that span – and that includes giving up 292 passing yards per game, which is eleventh most.
Marcus Goodwin had a break-out game last week, and George Kittle is emerging as one of the better TE receiving threats in the league. If you like jamming those elite players in your cash games, and you should, of course, playing Beathard in your cash game lineups will help you do it. You need to save somewhere to play guys that cost, say, $9800, and QB is one of the best spots to do that.
Top Tier :
Ezekiel Elliott @ Washington Redskins ($8100)
“Todd Gurley is good at football.” This is the third consecutive week I've opened the RB section with that statement. It's still true this week. It's not only true, but it's so completely obvious that Gurley doesn't need to be talked about here. Todd Gurley is the #1 RB play this week, and every week moving forward. Just put him in your lineups. If you're looking to pay up for two elite guys, Zeke is the other guy you'll want.
Elliott is second in the league in rushing, and is getting a league-high 50% of his team's touches. 50%. That's pretty ridiculous usage, and makes him basically matchup proof on volume alone. The Redskins have been decent against the run, though they've faced the second fewest rush attempts per game over the last four weeks – 15. Last week, Mark Ingram had 73 total yards and scored twice vs. the ‘Skins on 18 total touches. Zeke hasn't had as few as 18 touches since week 1, and over the last three weeks has seen 29, 27 and 25 respectively.
No matter how this game goes, for Dallas it goes through Zeke. It may be difficult to pay $17,900 to fill your two RB spots, but if you decide to, you can rest easy with Elliot in your lineup.
Tarik Cohen vs. New England Patriots ($5100)
The Bears' DST wrecked everyone last week. Well, I guess it was Brock Osweiler who wrecked the Bears' DST, so technically, Brock Osweiler wrecked everyone last week. To say that was surprising would be a gross understatement. What wasn't all that surprising was Tarik Cohen; they got him the ball, and he produced.
The first three games, Cohen didn't touch the ball more than 8 times in any of the games – 8, 5 and 8 – and never really got anything going, even though they had good matchups for him. The last two weeks, he's seen 20 touches and 12. In those two games, he has 14 catches for 211 yards and 84 rushing yards and two total touchdowns. He's looking like a consistent player, and not just an ‘electric, gadget-type' player. Jordan Howard has fallen to the way-side the last couple of weeks, and hasn't looked good at any point this year, besides.
The Patriots struggle with pass-catching RBs. Over the last four weeks, they're allowing 63 receiving yards per game – the fourth most in the league. They're allowing 154 total yards to the RB position over their last games, including 4.5 yards per carry. Cohen was in a great spot last week vs. Miami, they gave him the ball, he produced. That was the second week in a row, and he's in another great spot here in a game where the Bears will be looking to redeem themselves after the ‘Osweilering' they got last week. I would expect another 12 – 15 touches for him this week, at minimum, and good cash game value with tournament upside.
Lower Tier :
Peyton Barber vs. Cleveland Browns ($3800)
If I said you could play a team's lead RB in a home game where his team is favored, against a team that is allowing 142 rushing yards per game at a 5.9 yards per carry clip over the last 4 weeks (30th in the league), another 50 yards in the passing game and 1.3 total touchdowns per week for $3800 – Is that something you might be interested in? Does it matter that it's Peyton Barber? It shouldn't. I think this should interest all of us.
The Browns rush defense has been horrendous. 246 yards allowed last week, and 167 per game in their last three games. The Bucs finally had some success last week. Yes, they were playing Atlanta, but now they play the Browns, and there's little difference in regards to allowing points to RBs. Over the last four weeks, the Falcons allow 35.7 Draftkings points per game to RBs – fourth most in the league. Right on their heels, are the Browns, allowing 32.5 – the sixth most per game.
Does clicking the button to the right of Barber's name make you uncomfortable? That would be reasonable, but dismissing the great spot and even nicer price simply because of the name associated with it, isn't very reasonable. The spot plus the price make him a borderline cash game play for me this week.
Top Tier :
Jarvis Landry @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($7300)
Adam Thielen is the top play here. Like Todd Gurley, I don't have to explain why, right? 28.5 Draftkings points per game on 13.5 targets. He's on pace to break all-time receiving records and he's playing the Jets. I mentioned the great matchup for Kirk Cousins in the QB section above. IF you'd like to save $1300 and play the WR in the best possible matchup, Jarvis Landry is your guy.
Landry has had a tough three week stretch, catching only 11 of 29 targets. Facing the Bucs secondary is the best medicine. He lines up in the slot 76% of the time, and M.J. Stewart – one the worst rated defensive backs in the league – plays 93% of his snaps in the slot.
There isn't a whole lot to sell here. Landry is in a dream spot, he's had double digit targets in every week but one, and that was week 2, and he needs to bounce back this week. I think he's a cash game lock at this price.
Devin Funchess @ Philadelphia Eagles ($5300)
Jalen Mills. Does that name ring any bells? I may have mentioned him before. Maybe even every week. The Eagles are an extreme pass funnel defense, and when teams look to target the secondary, they target Mr. Mills because it works. A lot. This week, he'll be chasing Devin Funchess around the field about half of the day.
Mills has allowed more touchdowns than any other defensive back since the beginning of last season. He's allowing a 112 QB rating on the season this far. Considering just how good the Eagles are against the run, Cam Newton will be looking down the field on Sunday. Eli Manning threw for 280 yards; Kirk Cousins threw for 301 yards and a score, and Marcus Mariota threw for 344 yards and 2 touchdowns, and ran for 44 yards and another score. Funchess is projected to be 7.5% owned in tournaments this week. I think that's too low, and I'll definitely have him in a few lineups.
Lower Tier :
Jermaine Kearse vs. Minnesota Vikings ($4100)
Forty-three targets through the first five weeks. That's what Quincy Enunwa saw from Sam Darnold. Enunwa is now out with an ankle injury, and when Kearse took over that role last week, he got targeted early and often.
Kearse had 9 receptions on 10 targets for 94 yards. With the boom or bust nature of Robby Anderson on the outside and facing a Vikings run defense that allows virtually nothing on the ground, Kearse is almost a lock to get double-digit targets again this week. For $4100, he's a cash game play, and I like him for tournaments, as well at his current 1% projected ownership. Yes, please.
David Njoku @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($4200)
You know I love Zach Ertz. He's an elite WR, just listed as a TE. He's playable every single week. He's the only ‘top-tier' TE I would consider this week. But, he's not the best play. Don't overthink it; don't worry about ownership, or anything else. David Njoku is the best TE play on the main slate this week.
He's seen 23 targets over the last two weeks. The Bucs allow the most points to TEs this season. The average game for a TE against them is 7 receptions for 97 yards and 0.6 touchdowns; 21.12 points. He would reach more than 5x value if he simply gets the average. Play NJoku in all formats this week.
Lower Tier :
Charles Clay @ Indianapolis Colts ($2800)
It's Derek Anderson Week! Are you excited? You probably shouldn't be. However, I'm excited to get a chance to play a healthy Charles Clay in a plus matchup, for $2800.
Over the last four weeks, the Colts have allowed the fourth most Draftkings points to TEs, surrendering an average line of 6 receptions for 84 yards and 0.5 touchdowns; 18.65 points.
Do you think Derek Anderson will look to check down to McCoy and Clay in his first action off the couch? I think he will, and for $2800, I'll be betting on it because I like rostering players that cost $9800.
Good luck this week!