Daily Fantasy Football Week 7: DraftKings, FanDuel Top Picks, Best Value Plays

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorOctober 19, 2018

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) catches a touchdown pass against the Arizona Cardinals during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Vikings won 27-17. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)
Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

The Denver Broncos crushed the Arizona Cardinals, 45-10, on Thursday Night Football to kick off Week 7 of the NFL season. The game somehow felt more lopsided than the score indicates, as Denver was up 21-3 after one quarter and 35-3 at halftime.

The rest of the Week 7 slate looks more competitive and entertaining, and daily-fantasy players have some intriguing options on the main slate, which encompasses games starting between 1 p.m. and 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Here's a look at some top picks and value plays for quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end on DraftKings and FanDuel for Week 7. 


Top Quarterback Picks

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (at Philadelphia Eagles): $8,200 FanDuel, $5,900 DraftKings

Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff (at San Francisco 49ers)$8,300 FanDuel, $6,600 DraftKings

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton's rushing upside helps make him a top quarterback play, as he's rushed 45 times for 208 yards and three touchdowns in five games.

Other top signal-callers are off the main slate (e.g. the Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes and the Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan) or have difficult matchups (e.g. the New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees), so Newton is in line to be the No. 1 quarterback for Sunday afternoon.

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff could be No. 1 as well. He caught fire from Weeks 2 through 5 with a 76.7 percent completion rate and an average of 374 passing yards per game. The Rams do a good job protecting Goff, and he has three weapons (running back Todd Gurley and wideouts Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods) playing Sunday that could find themselves in the Pro Bowl (wideout Cooper Kupp is out with a knee injury).


Best Quarterback Value Plays

Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield (at Tampa Bay Buccaneers): $7,100 FanDuel, $5,800 DraftKings

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees (at Baltimore Ravens): $8,600 FanDuel, $5,700 DraftKings

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have allowed the most points per game and just fired defensive coordinator Mike Smith. Perhaps new defensive coordinator Mark Duffner makes a difference, but the team's player personnel is still the same. That could mean a big game for Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who struggled last Sunday versus the Los Angeles Chargers but can turn things around quickly here.

Brees may be facing a Baltimore Ravens team that has the No. 1 scoring defense in the league, but this might be a time to take advantage of the fact that he's under $6,000 on DraftKings. You won't see a salary like that for one of the game's top signal-callers again this season. 


Top Running Back Picks

Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley (at San Francisco 49ers): $10,200 FanDuel, $9,800 DraftKings

Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (at Philadelphia Eagles)$8,000 FanDuel, $7,700 DraftKings

Gurley has 11 touchdowns through six games and is now facing the San Francisco 49ers, who have given up the fourth-most points in the league. Gurley has the highest salary on both sites, but he's worth it given the number of scoring opportunities he'll likely see.

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey has touched the ball 21 times per game on average this year, with a low of 15 and a high of 30. Not only will McCaffrey amass a large number of touches, but he's on pace for 109 catches.

He's facing the Philadelphia Eagles, who just had issues stopping another talented pass-catching running back in the New York Giants' Saquon Barkley (229 yards from scrimmage).


Best Running Back Value Plays

Cleveland Browns RB Duke Johnson Jr. (at Tampa Bay Buccaneers): $5,100 FanDuel, $4,000 DraftKings

Houston Texans RB Lamar Miller (at Jacksonville Jaguars): $5,700 FanDuel, $4,200 DraftKings

Browns running back Duke Johnson Jr. doesn't see many touches (no more than six in a game all season), but his matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may call for more looks.

The Bucs have been trounced by pass-catching running backs, most notably the Chicago Bears' Tarik Cohen (seven catches, 121 yards, one touchdown). Johnson led Cleveland with 74 receptions in 2017.

Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller only has 350 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown through six games (in addition to just 3.7 yards per carry), but he hasn't touched the ball fewer than 14 times per game and has a super cheap salary industry-wide.

He's worth a flyer in some tournament lineups, although he's risky in cash games given his low floor on the road against a good Jacksonville Jaguars defense.


Top Wide Receiver Picks

Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (at New York Jets): $8,700 FanDuel, $8,600 DraftKings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (vs. Cleveland Browns): $7,800 FanDuel, $7,700 DraftKings

The New York Jets may be without three key members of their secondary on Sunday as cornerbacks Trumaine Johnson and Buster Skrine and safety Marcus Maye all missed practice Thursday with injuries.

Maye has already been declared out, but if Skrine and/or Johnson can't go, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen could have a huge day as he strives to top 100 receiving yards for the seventh straight week.

Thielen is the clear No. 1 wideout option, but Buccaneers wideout Mike Evans could challenge him. Evans had a relatively quiet Week 6 versus the Atlanta Falcons (four catches on five targets for 58 yards), but he had 29 receptions for 426 yards and three scores in four weeks before then. Now he faces a Browns defense that's going in the wrong direction following a 38-14 home loss to the Chargers.


Best Wide Receiver Value Plays

Cleveland Browns WR Damion Ratley (at Tampa Bay Buccaneers): $5,100 FanDuel, $3,600 DraftKings

Carolina Panthers WR DJ Moore (at Philadelphia Eagles): $4,900 FanDuel, $3,900 DraftKings

Browns rookie wide receiver Damion Ratley made his first career start Sunday and immediately made an impact, catching six passes (on eight targets) for 82 yards against the Chargers.

Ratley was on the field for 88 percent of the snaps and could see similar opportunities as fellow wideout Rashard Higgins is out with a sprained MCL.

A breakout game from Panthers rookie wideout DJ Moore feels like it's on the horizon. A first-round pick in this year's draft, Moore has seen more playing time of late and caught eight passes for 108 yards in his last two games. He's arguably the most talented Panther wideout, and a matchup with an Eagles secondary that has been hit or miss could be an opportunity to take advantage of his low salary.


Top Tight End Picks

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (at Chicago Bears): $7,600 FanDuel, $6,000 DraftKings

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz (vs. Carolina Panthers)$7,500 FanDuel, $7,100 DraftKings

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski may have a tough matchup against the Chicago Bears defense (No. 4 in fewest points allowed in the league), but he's arguably the game's best tight end and a clear top-two pick considering that the Chiefs' Travis Kelce is playing Sunday night. He's also great value on DraftKings, where his salary is a manageable $6,000.

Fantasy players don't get a discount on Eagles tight end Zach Ertz's salary on either site, however, as he's simply dominated with 48 catches for 480 yards and two touchdowns. Remarkably, Ertz hasn't seen fewer than nine targets in a game all season and has caught a minimum of five passes each game.


Top Tight End Value Plays

Miami Dolphins TE Nick O'Leary (vs. Detroit Lions): $4,500 FanDuel, $2,600 DraftKings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard (vs. Cleveland Browns): $5,800 FanDuel, $3,600 DraftKings 

Miami Dolphins tight end Nick O'Leary played more than two-thirds of the snaps and caught all four of his targets for 49 yards and a touchdown against the Bears on Sunday. If those snap and target counts are around the same range versus the Detroit Lions in Week 7, O'Leary could be a steal at the near-minimum price tag on both sites.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard is a top fantasy value on DraftKings only, where he has a salary of just $3,600 (just 10th-highest at his position on the main slate).

Howard saw the field more than half the time in his return from an MCL sprain last Sunday and caught four passes for 62 yards and a score. He can also make big plays, as noted by his career yards-per-reception average of 17.5 yards.