Week 7 Player Grid
This Player Grid will hold little value for you without first reading this.
Note: Players in a given tier are not listed in any particular order.
FantasyDraft Players :: I’ve added a FantasyDraft Addendum to the bottom
A few thoughts added onto the Player Grid in the video. I’m getting a better feel at this point for what my own roster(s) will look like. Probably read the Player Grid first, then check out the video
Same as last week (Jameis Winston // Matt Ryan), I’m not putting too much thought into the QB position this week, as I am comfortable attacking the Tampa defense with a talented, underpriced quarterback in Baker Mayfield. I don’t see any of these guys as a lock for a monster game, but I like the floor and ceiling on all of them.
- Baker Mayfield :: The Bucs have the worst pass defense in the NFL, and the Browns play at one of the fastest paces in football. Mayfield has posted respectable games against the tough Chargers and Ravens pass defenses, and I’m comfortable giving him a high floor and a high ceiling in this spot.
- Carson Wentz :: Wentz has looked awesome the last couple weeks, and this is a solid matchup against a Panthers secondary that he should be able to pick apart. He doesn’t pop off the page, but he’s unlikely to fail, and his ceiling is as high as any quarterback on the slate.
- Kirk Cousins :: The wind is a slight concern, but the matchup is not. Realistically, I’m not playing either of Cousins or Wentz this week on my main team; but if Mayfield weren’t available, these two would be my favorite raw plays on the slate.
Tier 1 is thin this week — as things are narrowed down pretty nicely for me. There are only three guys I feel have a high floor and a legitimate shot at 22+ FanDuel points or 30+ DraftKings/FantasyDraft points.
- Todd Gurley :: Gurley has the most bankable role in the NFL, with more carries inside the five-yard-line than any player in football, and with 32 touches in the red zone (first in the NFL — double what the third-place guy has). This is not his best matchup on the year, but the Rams should have no trouble moving the ball, and Gurley will be a big part of finishing off drives. He should also see a small boost in pass game responsibilities with Cooper Kupp out of action.
- Ezekiel Elliott :: Washington does not have the pieces to slow down Zeke on the ground, and we know that he is going to touch the ball 20 to 25 times. The only concern here is the slowed-down pace of this game (which may keep Zeke on the lower end of that touch range). If he ends up with 20 touches, he likely has a solid game. If he ends up with 25 or more touches, he likely smashes.
- Tarik Cohen :: Cohen feels off the board here in Tier 1, so ignore this if you’d like. There is definitely some guesswork involved. But Cohen sets up great in this spot, as the best way for Chicago to move the ball against the slow Patriots defense. If game script goes according to plan, the Bears will be forced to the air — and when that happens, Cohen will be a big part of the game plan. I like him on FanDuel as well, as it’s not just about the catches; this guy can rack up big yardage totals as well.
There is a ton to like at wide receiver this week, but there are only a couple guys I love. Fitting one or two of these will be a priority for me this week.
- Adam Thielen :: The wind probably bumps down Thielen’s projections by one or two catches and 15 to 25 yards, but he still carries the highest raw projection on the slate among wide receivers. No receiver in football has been as involved in his offense as Thielen has been in his, and you could make a case that no one has been more dominant on the field. He’s a high-floor, high-ceiling play once again. (Diggs can also be considered alongside Thielen in tourneys — or even as a pivot off Thielen in large-field GPPs.)
- Robert Woods :: Woods has been one of the highest-floor, highest-ceiling wide receivers on the season, and now he gets to take on a few extra looks with Cooper Kupp sidelined — against a 49ers defense that can be hammered away from Richard Sherman. This passing offense will flow through Woods, giving him big floor and ceiling. (Cooks can also be considered alongside Woods in tourneys — or even as a pivot off Woods in large-field GPPs.)
- David Njoku :: Njoku has shown the most chemistry with Mayfield, and he runs that routes that are most difficult for the Tampa defense to stop. Njoku will be chalky, but he remains one of my favorite plays on the slate.
- Zach Ertz :: Ertz is somehow going a bit overlooked this week, but he has at least nine targets in every game, and he and Wentz have picked up where they left off last year — with an unstoppable connection. He has a bankable floor and a high ceiling this week.
- Colts :: Derek Anderson lacks arm strength, and the Colts’ defense is built around speed and attacking the ball. This game is a great setup for sacks, interceptions, and potential defensive touchdowns.
- Jaguars :: Deshaun Watson has gifted points to defenses all season, taking sacks and throwing interceptions; and while the Jags’ pass rush has suffered, this is a good spot for them to get back on track. I like the Colts more, but the Jags are not far behind, and it seems likely they go a bit overlooked this week.
- Nick Chubb :: As broken down here, this play literally comes down to whether or not Chubb scores a touchdown. At his price, it’s difficult to fade him in cash games. But at his ownership, it’s difficult to roster him in tourneys. I used the front portion of this week’s #OWSChatPod to dive into the nuances of this setup, but to simplify things here: because Chubb is touchdown-dependent (and because touchdowns are the least predictable element in NFL DFS), it makes sense from a strategy perspective play him in cash and to fade him in tourneys. On a different week, the answer would likely be different; but with so much strong value available this week, the “tourney fade” would put you in position to gain a big edge on the field if Chubb fails to score (and if you grab a higher score from your low-priced piece). I actually do think Chubb gets into the end zone this week, if that helps. I may yet play him on my own Main Team — even though “strategy” would call for a different approach. I’m leaning 65/35 away from playing him, but because I expect a solid score from him even without the touchdown (and because I expect the touchdown to hit), I may swing back toward him anyway. (I wish I knew more at this point, regarding how I plan to play this myself! But realistically, I probably won’t have a final decision here for my own roster until minutes before kickoff. The best I can do is lay out all the facts. May the force be with you.)
- Kerryon Johnson :: This comes completely down to usage. I expect Kerryon to smash if the usage is there, but it seems likeliest that his role stays fairly similar to what it has been. Perhaps add one or two additional receptions for him, but that’s the most bankable growth we can expect for his role — and anything over that is bonus. With that said: he has been posting strong price-considered numbers even without additional work. Like Chubb: he has a solid floor even if he doesn’t hit. If he hits, he’ll be a great play.
- Jermaine Kearse :: Certainly not monster upside here, but with Xavier Rhodes on Robby Anderson and no real number three receiver to speak of on the Jets, Kearse should be heavily targeted in the middle of the field, where the Vikings are most beatable. You can lock in Kearse for floor, and hope his ceiling hits.
- Willie Snead :: Same as Kearse: lock in Snead for floor, and hope his ceiling hits. Snead should see seven to nine targets in a good matchup — giving him a floor similar to what he has shown every week this season. If he gets into the end zone, he’ll suddenly become one of the better price-considered plays on the slate.
- Alshon Jeffrey :: Alshon’s chances of a touchdown are lower in this spot than normal — and since box score production is all about the touchdowns for Alshon, he’s Tier 2, rather than Tier 1. But he gets bankable work in the pass game, and he’s going to pick up some catches and yards. He’s a safe play, and his ceiling will show itself if he cracks the end zone this week.
- Devin Funchess :: The only way to beat the Eagles is through the air, which should lock Funchess into seven to 10 targets this week. Because he’s such a low YAC guy, it is difficult for him to ever post a true monster game; but the floor is nice, and the ceiling will pop if he scores.
- Blake Bortles :: If coming off the top tier, Bortles is a guy with a lower floor, but with a genuine shot at outscoring the guys above. He’s an interesting way to go in tourneys.
- Mitch Trubisky :: If coming off the top tier, Trubisky is a guy with a lower floor, but with a genuine shot at outscoring the guys above. He’s an interesting way to go in tourneys.
- Chris Thompson :: With Paul Richardson and Jamison Crowder out, the Redskins are going to try to go run-heavy. But given how good Dallas is at stopping the run, there should be a shift to the pass throughout the game — and this means that Thompson should have a shot at another one of his spiked-target games. The guesswork here prevents this from being a safe play, but the ceiling is great.
- All the rest :: There are a number of other guys who “could” post a strong score for tourneys — Duke Johnson, LeSean McCoy, even Christian McCaffrey in a difficult matchup — but none of them stand out to me above the guys listed. As always: this is my list. Your list may be a bit different than mine.
- Browns wide receivers :: One of Damion Ratley, Jarvis Landry, and Antonio Callaway will likely have a strong game. Each should see north of seven or eight targets, and it really just comes down to drops. I like all three, and am a bit scared to pull the trigger on any — making them tourney options for me. Ratley is my favorite of the bunch, with price factored in. Then Landry, then Callaway.
- Lions wide receivers :: Golden Tate should be in line for a small bump in targets with Theo Riddick out, and as explored in the NFL Edge, all three of these guys actually have a solid matchup on a per-target basis. The tough thing is that available volume in this game dictates that probably only one of these guys will post a truly strong score. Because we are left guessing, they move into the “tourney only” bucket for me, but I do expect one of them to hit.
- Taylor Gabriel :: The way to really beat the Patriots is with speed — setting up a great spot for Taylor Gabriel, whose role in this offense has been very reliable this season. Gabriel has some “bust” to his game, but the “boom” is definitely there.
- Josh Gordon :: With Rob Gronkowski not traveling with the team, I have no idea how the Patriots are going to attack on offense — and they have enough weapons (and have enough of a track record of doing something completely different from what we expect) that this feels a bit too thin to be in Tier 1. But we do know that Gordon will be on the field most of the game, and we do know that the best way to attack the Bears is with wide receivers. If Gordon sees eight or nine targets, he’ll have a shot at a big game this week.
- All the rest :: If moving off the board this week, I’ll likely be targeting players who can “post a big score in one play.” The guys who stand out to me in this area are :: DeSean Jackson // Albert Wilson // Keke Coutee // Tre’Quan Smith // John Brown // Marquise Goodwin
- George Kittle :: Njoku and Ertz stand out so much higher at tight end to me than any other players, I don’t have an expansive list this week. If we played out this slate a hundred times, I feel confident that most of the remaining options on the slate would have a difficult time outscoring both of those guys with regularity — but one guy who could smash the slate wide open is George Kittle, who ranks first in the NFL in expected YAC per reception, and who is in a great matchup against a Rams team that can get hit by tight ends.
- All the rest :: If going off the board (low floor, but still a high ceiling), O.J. Howard is also standing out to me. He’s not a priority play, given how difficult it is to project him to see more than four or five targets, but he does set up great in this matchup vs the Browns, and he has just as much upside as these other names.
- All the rest :: If paying down at defense, the Bills and the Dolphins are the teams standing out to me. The Bills have a strong pass rush and a great pass defense, while the Dolphins are getting back Cameron Wake on the defensive line and have been aggressive on balls in the air. I don’t have a strong feel for the DST position this week, but these two stand out to me for savings.
Hopefully this gives you a great opportunity to compare your thoughts against my own.
I’ll see you at the top of the leaderboards this weekend; and I’ll see you on the site next Thursday morning for the Week 8 edition of the NFL Edge!
If playing the Full-Sunday slate on FantasyDraft:
Start your rosters from scratch!
Patrick Mahomes and Andy Dalton are both Tier 1 QBs.
Joe Mixon is a Tier 1 RB, while Kareem Hunt is Tier 3 (the same upside as the Tier 1 guys, but lower floor).
Tyler Boyd and A.J. Green become Tier 1 plays as well, while Tyreek Hill is Tier 3 for his lower floor, but he has as much upside as any player on the slate. (Chris Conley and Sammy Watkins are not in play for me on the full slate, but either could score a touchdown — and Watkins in particular could pop off for an unpredictable big game, if you are wanting to chase.)
Travis Kelce would become a Tier 1 tight end. C.J. Uzomah falls shy of the other tight ends I love this week, but he’s a solid option as well.