Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders
Projected Vegas Score: Chiefs 24.5, Raiders 21.25
Quarterbacks- Normally we see an uglier product on Thursday Night Football compared to typical Sunday's but Vegas likes this game a lot with a healthy 45.5 O/U. I'm not in love with this game on the Thursday-Monday slate because the Thursday game is always over-owned but there are some solid options within the game. Alex Smith has ranked as a fantasy QB1 in all but one game this season and now lines up against a Raiders secondary that ranks 29th against the pass in terms of DVOA. He's a GPP option as is Derek Carr. It's really hard for me to trust Carr with his back injury, but if you read my weekly takeaways article you know how down I am on this Chiefs defense. They're giving up almost 250 yards per game through the air this season.
Running Backs- Kareem Hunt is a guy that I'm perfectly fine playing in cash games on the Thursday-Monday slate. He is the front-runner for ROY and is off to an amazing start to his NFL career with 100+ all-purpose yards in every game this season. Charcandrick West is out with a concussion for the Chiefs which means Hunt should see even more work than usual and the Raiders run defense has been below average this season. I can't trust anyone from the Raiders backfield despite how #bad the Chiefs run defense has been the past couple weeks. I was very bearish on Marshawn Lynch coming into the season and after a great first two weeks it looks like I was mainly right, but only due to the fact that he isn't getting the workload we need out of our fantasy RBs.
Wide Receiver/Tight Ends- Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are both in fantastic spots on Thursday night with Kelce being my favorite target. Hill is always a boom or bust GPP option, but Kelce is viable in all formats. We have talked about how bad the Raiders Linebackers are all season and Kelce should have no problem feasting on them in this game like Thanksgiving came early. If you're looking for a GPP dart to cram in on your team for the Monday-Thursday slate you can look at DeMarcus Robinson who played over 90% of the snaps last week with Chris Conley injured. Both Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are in good spots against this Chiefs secondary. Crabtree projects to see the most Marcus Peters coverage, but he has not been himself this season and is not someone I am worried about at this point. You guys know about my bias towards Amari Cooper by this point, but just trust me when I say that his big game is coming. Could it be tonight? Yes. Do I know if it will be? No. He's seeing deep balls and had a big gain negated by penalty last week, R-E-L-A-X.
Overall Outlook- This game is filled with tourney options outside of Kareem Hunt. Travis Kelce is my favorite play from this game after Hunt, but these Raiders pass catchers are interesting and I think this could be a high scoring game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Buffalo Bills
Projected Vegas Score: N/A
Quarterbacks- We don't know at this point who will start for the Bucs, Ryan Fitzpatrick or Jameis Winston. I think we can safely avoid either of them this week on the road in Buffalo. The Bills have allowed the lowest amount of touchdown passes this season (2) and are notorious for playing well at home. I do have some interest in Tyrod Taylor as a GPP option this week despite his lack of pass catching options. He has dealt with limited options all season long and has still been capable of putting up some big fantasy games. The Bucs are giving up over 300 yards per game through the air...yes, you read that right.
Running Backs- Doug Martin is in play as a GPP option, but I wish he was at home. The place to attack the Bills this season has been on the ground and Martin has looked fantastic since coming off suspension. He dealt with a terrible game script last week and this game should at least be close enough for him to get some work early. LeSean McCoy is a fantastic option, especially in tournaments this week. Recency bias will already make him low owned just due to the fact that he hasn't had a huge game yet this season. The Bucs have been horrible against the run over the last 3 weeks allowing almost 5 YPC and they just got bludgeoned by the ghost of Adrian Peterson last week. We should see an even bigger uptick in passing game work for Shady this week and he's one of my favorite RB plays.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- I don't love the matchup for Mike Evans as rookie corner Tre'Davious White has been fantastic for the Bills this season but at the end of the day it's Mike Evans and he has 6 inches on White. Evans has had a rough stretch of match ups and he will eventually have a blow up game. DeSean Jackson is always in play as a boom or bust GPP option, but I think I would just spend up and risk it with Evans. I really have no idea who will catch the ball for the Bills outside of Shady and I don't really want to guess.
Overall Outlook- This game is kind of like the Thursday one as there is one clear play (McCoy) and the rest are GPP options. I could see Tyrod having a big game along with Shady and have no issues stacking those two up together and bringing it back with Evans or Jackson.
New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers
Projected Vegas Score: Saints 26, Packers 21.5
Quarterbacks- This game is going to be fun to watch as it's expected to be high scoring with a nice 47.5 O/U and we get to watch preseason legend Brett Hundley square off with Drew Brees. Brees is a solid option given how bad the Packers secondary is, but due to his home/road splits I think I like him better in GPPs. I think Brett Hundley is interesting in GPPs based off his price and the fact that people don't think this guy is good. He has had a few monster preseasons for the Packers, he has weapons and he knows the offense well. McCarthy seems confident in him and the Saints are giving up over 260 yards per game through the air. He also adds a new dynamic to the Packers offense with his rushing ability.
Running Backs- I have interest in both backs for the Saints just as I did last week. I was correct with my Ingram > Kamara prediction and I'm sticking with it again this week. I think people simply forgot how good Mark Ingram can be when given work and the fact that he just isn't a sexy name. He has been a top 10 PPR back before and he has that type of upside moving forward. Alvin Kamara is a tournament option only because Ingram is still going to get the majority of the work but Kamara has big play ability and has the ability to pile up points in full PPR formats. Aaron Jones out-snapped Ty Montgomery last week and I'm not sure I can fully trust either of them. I like both Jones and Montgomery a lot as players but I don't really want them in a split, despite the good match up. Watch for news on their back field situation this week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- Given how bad the secondaries are there are loads of options in the passing game. Davante Adams should draw rookie Marshon Lattimore who has been amazing for the Saints this season and I'm not looking to target him. If I'm looking to pair up someone with Hundley, I would use Jordy Nelson as the Saints have been vulnerable to the slot this season but surprisingly solid on the outside. Michael Thomas is a get right spot this week and I could see a big game coming from him. Ted Ginn is a boom or bust GPP option, but I really like the spot for Thomas and I think this is the spot to use him.
Overall Outlook- I really like this game as Brees, Hundley, Ingram, Thomas and Jordy are all pretty much viable in all formats with Kamara as a GPP only option.
Baltimore Ravens @ Minnesota Vikings
Projected Vegas Score: Vikings 22.75, Ravens 17.25
Quarterbacks- This is one of the uglier games on the slate and I don't have much DFS interest here at all outside of a few plays. I've been off Joe Flacco all season and I don't see myself using him on the road against a tough Vikings defense on an offense only implied for 17 points. Case Keenum has played solid in Sam Bradford's absence, but they are just biding time as Teddy Bridgewater is set to return in a few weeks after missing over a year of action. Despite being at home, I don't have a ton of interest in Keenum against a team that's only giving up 190 yards per game through the air.
Running Backs- One of my biggest whiffs last week was moving some McKinnon shares to Buck Allen on Sunday morning and that took what should of been a $10K+ weekend down to around $2k. I simply can't trust him or Alex Collins especially against a really strong Vikings run defense. I was really excited to use Jerick McKinnon again this week, but now it looks like Ravens DT Brandon Williams is going to be back for this game. If he ends up being active, McKinnon makes for a great fade as the Ravens splits with/without him are pretty drastic. With him in their yards per carry allowed drops over a full yard.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- Given my lack of interest in Joe Flacco, I will follow suite with his pass catchers. Jeremy Maclin is banged up and missed last week's game, there's just not much to like here. The one guy I really like in this game is Adam Thielen. Thielen has been a monster this season for the Vikings as he currently in top 5 in the NFL in receiving yards and is averaging over 5 catches per game. Stefan Diggs still hasn't practiced this week, and if he is out again that vaults Thielen to a top play in all formats once again this week.
Overall Outlook- All we can do here is hope for two things. 1. Hope that Brandon Williams plays for the Ravens in which it makes Jerick McKinnon a great GPP ownership fade. 2. Hope that Diggs is still banged up and misses this game as well in which Thielen becomes a top WR play. If Diggs is still in I still like Thielen, but not as much as I would if he is out.
Tennessee Titans @ Cleveland Browns
Projected Vegas Score: Titans 26, Browns 20.5
Quarterbacks- Marcus Mariota was a full participant at practice the past two days for the first time since he injured his hamstring. All signs point to him not being limited at all on Sunday and I have this weird feeling he is going to go a bit overlooked. Obviously the Browns are a plum matchup for opposing QBs and pass catchers and Mariota is one of my favorite plays on the slate. DeShone Kizer is expected to return to the starting role for the Browns this week but we can't trust him at this point even if his matchup is good.
Running Backs- DeMarco Murray was limited at practice this week with a hamstring injury, the same one that has plagued him since the preseason started yet he refuses to just take a few weeks off. I like both him and Derrick Henry as players, but the Browns have been surprisingly good against the run this season ranking 3rd in rushing DVOA and I'd rather target the through the air. Duke Johnson is clearly the Browns best player and best playmaker but he played a season-low in snaps last Sunday and they just refuse to give him the workload he deserves. I am off the Brown backfield, and pretty much the Browns in general.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- Let's just get the Browns out of the way by saying no to all of them. Great, thanks! Jason McCourty has graded out as one of the top corners this season according to PFF with a 92 grade and he was been fantastic in coverage. Rishard Matthews has a fantastic rapport with Mariota and Matthews should largely avoid McCourty this Sunday making him my favorite option on this team. Delanie Walker is also a strong option given that the Browns are one of our go-to targets for Tight Ends each week.
Overall Outlook- Mariota-Matthews and Mariota-Walker are my two favorite options from this game. I really, really like Matthews and I think he is playable in all formats this week even if you don't use Mariota.
New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins
Projected Vegas Score: Dolphins 20.75, Jets 17.75
Quarterbacks- Another ugly game here with a booming total of 38.5! Josh McCown is honestly in play as a tournament option against a Dolphins defense that's giving up over 230 yards per game. Jay Cutler has been so bad this season, I think anyone that has watched the NFL at all this season knows I don't want to recommend him.
Running Backs- Bilal Powell is expected to be back for the Jets this season which pretty much takes the Jets backfield out of consideration with their three-headed monster all available to play. As for the Dolphins, Jay Ajayi is banged up still and he hasn't looked healthy to me all season, but he saw 26 carries last week. I simply can't trust him at this point but this is a great matchup for him and if he gets 24+ touches again that would make him a solid tourney play at his price.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- The one guy that we can use in all formats from the Jets is none other than Austin Seferian-Jenkins. ASJ has truly looked like the guy we all thought he could be this season and McCown is making a point to feed him in the red zone. Jarvis Landry is always in play as a volume option, especially in full point PPR formats and if DeVante Parker happens to miss this game that just boosts him even more.
Overall Outlook- This game is really ugly and Ajayi and Landry are the only two I have any tournament interest in.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts
Projected Vegas Score: Jaguars 23.25, Colts 20.25
Quarterbacks- The Jaguars are actually a solid football team this season but it's mainly due to the way that they play, not because of Bortles. I'm sorry Bobby, but I have no interest in Bortles once again. Jacoby Brissett looks like a legit NFL caliber Quarterback and while I'm pretty bullish on him in terms of his career I cannot target him against this buzzsaw like Jags secondary.
Running Backs- We need to monitor the status of Leonard Fournette, but all signs are pointing to him playing. Fournette has been in play pretty much every week just based off pure volume, he ranks 2nd in the NFL in rushing attempts. The Colts have had a better rushing defense than their passing defense this season but given the fact that Fournette sees so much volume that's not going to worry me whatsoever. The Colts RBBC backfield doesn't interested me at all despite how great of a matchup the Jags have been for opposing running backs.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- Remember what I wrote about Blake Bortles? Yeah, that kind of applies to his pass catchers as well...T.Y. Hilton has been fantastic at home since Jacoby Football took over as his QB, but we can't target him against the best secondary in the NFL so far this year. I expect the Jags to implement their game plan of run the ball + defense once again this game and I wouldn't be shocked if they won handily.
Overall Outlook- Fournette, if he plays, is in a solid matchup and is the top play in the game by far.
Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams (London Game)
Projected Vegas Score: Rams 24.5, Cardinals 21
Quarterbacks- This game threw me off a little because it takes place at 1PM EST but it is taking place in London. I think both of these QB's are in consideration for GPPs, but I'm not sure if I'm going to put them over a guy like Mariota. Of the two, I prefer Jared Goff. The Cardinals have already allowed 13 touchdowns through the air this season and I can definitely see Goff burning them across the pond this Sunday.
Running Backs- I know that Anthony is on Adrian Peterson a good bit in this spot but I'm a bit more bearish myself. Everything ran pure for AP in his Cardinals debut and I don't think they can jump all over the Rams from the start this week, thus hurting his value when they have to throw the ball. Todd Gurley is in play week in and week out due to the volume he is seeing but there are other high dollar RBs in better spots.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- Larry Fitzgerald just won't quit! He is top five in the NFL in receiving yards and FIRST in red zone targets! The Rams secondary leaves a lot to be desired and he is in play again this week. I also like John Brown in tournaments, for the first time all season he wasn't on the injury report at all and he is always capable of a big play. The Rams pass catching situation is nothing amazing, but Robert Woods will see the combo of Justin Bethel and Tramon Williams putting him in play as the top stacking partner with Goff along with Gurley.
Overall Outlook- Another game that seems full of tourney plays with Gurley, Goff, Woods and Brown/Fitz topping the list.
Carolina Panthers @ Chicago Bears
Projected Vegas Score: Panthers 22, Bears 19
Quarterbacks- This is the last of the "uglier" games before we get to the good stuff. Despite my feelings on Mitch Trubisky in terms of his career, I can't use him in DFS against the Panthers at this point. Cam Newton is very interesting, I professed that I was back on the #CamTrain last week because he is finally running again. I don't think I want to use him on the road against an underrated Bears defense, but if he is going to keep running like he has the past two weeks he is always a GPP option.
Running Backs- Both Jordan Howard and Christian McCaffrey are interesting as GPP plays, but I don't feel uber confident in either of them. Howard had an astonishing 36 rushing attempts last week, yes you read that correct. 36 RUSHING ATTEMPTS. That type of volume you can't ignore, but I don't see them getting ahead of the Panthers far enough to give him that type of workload. McCaffrey is seeing a crazy marketshare of his team's targets. He literally cannot run between the tackles though and that kind of only makes him an option on DK. He's interesting for GPPs, but the Bears have a solid front seven and I think you can do better.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- The Bears have literally nobody to catch the ball at this point and I feel really bad for their rookie QB. Kevin Benjamin fully expects to play this week and the Panthers are pretty healthy at their skill positions outside of Greg Olsen. Someone will score the points for the Panthers, but I;m not confident in any of them enough for DFS. There are much better options in faster paced games.
Overall Outlook- Outside of maybe CMC or Howard in a tourney just pass this game.
Dallas Cowboys @ San Francisco 49ers
Projected Vegas Score: Cowboys 27, 49ers 21
Quarterbacks- You will notice that a lot of these later games have some of the most fantasy goodness and I like both sides of this game for DFS. Dak Prescott has ranked as a QB1 in all but one start this year and gets a fantastic matchup with a 49ers defense that has been arguably the worst in the NFL against the pass. He's playable in all formats this week. C.J. Beathard is a guy that I've been crazy high on since #preseason and he is also in a good spot in his first start at home against the Cowboys. He's a legitimate GPP play this weekend and is priced cheap across the industry.
Running Backs- It turns out that Zeke Elliot is actually going to play, wait no he's not, in fact yes he is! The 49ers have been better against the run than the pass, but we cannot ignore this spot as such a huge favorite and he's one of the top RB options on the slate. Carlos Hyde found the box twice last week but the Cowboys have only allowed 2 rushing touchdowns this season. I prefer attacking them through the air, but when looking at their advanced stats their run defense is due for huge regression given how bad they are and It won't surprise me to see Hyde in the end zone again this week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- All of the Dallas pass catchers are in play this week with the 49ers secondary being absolutely destroyed this season by everyone they have played. Des Bryant is obviously the top play but you can look at guys like Witten in tournaments. THE IOWA CONNECTION! George Kittle has been my guy for multiple weeks now and he is in a great spot this week playing with is former college Quarterback. I like Pierra Garcon a lot too as the X receiver in Shanahan's offense and you can use either of these guys in Cowboys stacks.
Overall Outlook- Love this game! Love Zeke, Garcon and Kittle and Beathard is one of my favorite GPP plays of the week. Dak and Dez are fine as well, but I like spending down at QB this week. Beathard-Kittle-Dez/Zeke stacks!
Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Projected Vegas Score: Steelers 23, Bengals 17
Quarterbacks- This game is not attractive from a DFS perspective when talking about the QB position. The Steelers shut down the undefeated Chiefs last week and I don't want to use Andy Dalton against a team that barely is giving up 150 yards through the air. Ben Roethlisberger doesn't look like himself this season, not even at home. The Bengals defense is #good and I'm not using Ben in this matchup.
Running Backs- This is one area we can look at in this game. Joe Mixon isn't going to play a massive amount of snaps due to the three headed monster for Cincy, but he's going to see the most carries and is in play for tournaments against a defense giving up almost 5 YPC this season. Le'Veon Bell needs no introduction and honestly I don't need to write about him for you to know he is a good play. The Bengals defense is stout, but the Steelers know that they need to feed Bell to win and he should be in line for 28+ touches once again.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- A.J. Green is always in play, but he is a GPP option at his price point this week with the other cash WR options costing less. He hasn't had that huge A.J. Green-like game this season and I think it honestly could come this week but I don't see him making his way into a lot of my lineups so far. The Bengals have had the antidote when it comes to Antonio Brown and it's a large enough sample size that I believe in it. He's a fine GPP play because he is going to be low owned and has tremendous home splits, but I prefer Bell by a good margin especially in cash games.
Overall Outlook- Play Le'Veon Bell, cash games or GPPs just play him. Outside of that you can look at Green and AB in tournaments and move along to the more sexy games.
Seattle Seahawks @ New York Giants
Projected Vegas Score: Seahawks 21, Giants 18
Quarterbacks- Seattle is coming off their bye week so I'm not totally worried about them traveling to New York, but I am worried that Russ Wilson normally performs better at home and so do his pass catchers. There is some sharp line movement in favor of the Giants and this whole game is concerning to me and I think going with Wilson is a bit thin this week. Eli Manning also isn't in the picture with so many of his top pass catching options injured.
Running Backs- The Seahawks backfield is fully healthy and I have no honest idea who we can trust between Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, J.D. McKissick and C.J. Prosise. I will be avoiding the Seattle backfield. Orleans Darkwa looks like the guy not for the Giants and despite the "tough" matchup on paper against Seattle they actually have struggled against the run a ton this year. They are surrounding just under 5 YPC to opposing backs and allowing 127 yards per game on the ground. Call me crazy but Darkwa is in play for tournaments this week at extreme low ownership.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- If we get news that Janoris Jenkins will shadow Doug Baldwin that completely takes me off him, if he will avoid him on some snaps then he's in play for tournaments but he also has significant negative road splits along with Wilson. The one Seattle pass catcher we can use is our old friend Jimmy Graham. Graham finally found the end zone in their last game and the Giants are one of the top Tight End matchups in the NFL. Sterling Shepard is expected back for the Giants but the gut I'm on a ton this week is Evan Engram. He saw a ridiculous 40% target share last week and is now 3rd in the NFL among Tight Ends in terms of targets. I don't care if he's against Seattle, volume is king.
Overall Outlook- Engram is playable in all formats and one of my favorite plays of the entire week. I like Darkwa in tournaments and really that's it. The whole line movement in this game is throwing me off.
Denver Broncos @ Los Angeles Chargers
Projected Vegas Score: Broncos 20.25, Chargers 20.25
Quarterbacks- This game is expected to be close in Vegas and honestly I see the same thing. I think it's safe to say that I'm going to pass on a somewhat banged up Trevor Siemian, especially when the way to attack the Chargers is on there ground. Philip Rivers is always a guy I consider in fantasy, but it's hard to use him against the #NoFlyZone secondary of the Broncos.
Running Backs- This is pretty much where I want to attack this game from a tournament perspective. NOBODY in their right mid is going to play C.J. Anderson this week after that dud he put up on Sunday night football last week. The Chargers are giving up the most yards per game on the ground this season and I think the Broncos have realized that they are in a much better position when CJA gets 20+ touches. He's one of my favorite GPP plays this week and will fly under the radar. Melvin Gordon has had success against the Broncos even this season and he has racked up over 13 catches in the last two weeks. He's getting fed at an extreme rate and I don't think he's a cash game play but you can make the case in tournaments.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- I will largely be avoiding the pass catchers in this game due to the quality of the secondaries playing. Demaryius Thomas should draw shadow coverage from Casey Hayward which is enough for me to eliminate him from my player pool. You can make the case for an extreme GPP dart in Bennie Fowler or Jordan Taylor playing in the absence of Emmanuel Sanders but that's strictly tournaments only. Keenan Allen was added to the injury report and is now questionable and I don't really want to use him against Denver anyways. Hunter Henry is the one guy you can look at in GPPs for the Chargers as he has finally been playing 80+% of the snaps and the Chargers must have remembered he is good.
Overall Outlook- Outside of the running backs this game is a pretty much a clunker in terms of DFS.
Atlanta Falcons @ New England Patriots
Projected Vegas Score: Patriots 30, Falcons 26.5
Quarterbacks- This is the premier game of week seven as we get a Super Bowl rematch in primetime. It's also going to be very interesting because this game is not included on the Draftkings main slate, but is included on the Fanduel main slate. Matt Ryan has not looked great this season but the Patriots have allowed over 300 yards through the air in EVERY GAME this season and if there was a spot for Ryan to succeed it's this one. The Falcons defense is better than the Patriots, but this is Tom Brady we are talking about. His fantasy appeal just continues to balloon upward due to the fact that he's in a shootout literally every week and this is no different. I don't need to sell you on playing Tom Brady.
Running Backs- Devonta Freeman is always in play as the Falcons workhorse, but I mainly want to attack the Patriots through the air and that moves him to just a tournament play for me. The Patriots have quite the cast of characters in their backfield and with this being a fast-paced game I would stick with the pass catching backs in James White and Dion Lewis. Both played over 40% of the snaps in their last game and it's really hard to trust them outside of a GPP flier.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- YES! YES! IT'S HAPPENING! Okay, how many times have I said that about Julio Jones this season? But, like I said, if there is a spot for Julio to go bonkers this season it is right here...in primetime. He was well on his way to going full Julio in primetime against the Packers a month ago but the Falcons were up so big that they didn't have to throw in the 2nd half...I'm not so sure that Tom Brady will struggle to put up points. The supplementary options are in play for tourneys as well, Taylor Gabriel especially, but that's more of a short slate play to me and I'm focusing on Julio Jones. All of the Patriots pass catchers are in play, as with everyone in this game. Chris Hogan, Brandin Cooks and Rob Gronkowski are all playable in pretty much everything. I really like Gronk again this week, he helped me cash out last week and nobody ever wants to pay up at Tight End. He has perennially smashed in games with a total of 50+ points and that's exactly what this falls under.
Overall Outlook- Just stack this game up, I don't think I really have to tell you that. If you're playing on there sites where this game is on the main slate you will need exposure to this game or you will watch you winnings fall further and further on Sunday night.
Analysis for the Monday Night Football will be posted on Monday afternoon!
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)