Week 7 Game Scripts to Target in Daily Fantasy Football
Considering game scripts should be a huge part of your process when building lineups in NFL daily fantasy.
How will the game play out? Will it be high paced with lots of potential for fantasy points to be scored? Does it set up well for one team, both teams, or neither? A running back could go from a lock one week as a home favorite to a complete avoid the next week as a double-digit road underdog, because the game scripts in these games are completely different.
Projecting these outcomes can be extremely difficult for one person. We can use the lines and totals to see what oddsmakers think and go from there. A great resource is numberFire's Daily Fantasy Matchup Heat Map, which provides those numbers that are used for sports betting, as well as custom metrics that show how the teams will match up against each other. This will give us a much better handle on how games are likely to play out, and how we can take advantage of that in our lineups.
Here are some game scripts to target this week in DFS.
Los Angeles Rams vs Atlanta Falcons
Rams Implied Team Total: 28.75
Falcons Implied Team Total: 25.75
The Atlanta Falcons have been featured regularly in this column because of a bad defense and an efficient offense. By numberFire's Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, the Falcons are the third-ranked offense and the 31st-ranked defense. They play at a fast pace due to having to throw so much. The Los Angeles Rams also play fast, ranking second in both seconds per play and situational-neutral pace, according to Football Outsiders. This sets up nicely for a game to stack here in Week 7.
The Rams' offense has not looked quite the same this season, due to weakened offensive line play. Luckily they get a break this week. After facing the San Francisco 49ers' defense, which ranks first in adjusted sack rate, they will face the Falcons, who rank dead last in the same metric. Atlanta has gone up against weak offensive lines the last two weeks and still didn't record a sack in any of those games.
QB pressure rate vs #Falcons
Week 5 - Deshaun Watson: 16.7% (2nd lowest)
•Prior pressure rate: 48.1%
Week 6 - Kyler Murray: 17.1% (2nd lowest)
•Prior pressure rate: 30.2%
Week 7 - Jared Goff:
— Pat Thorman (@Pat_Thorman) October 15, 2019
The added time to throw should help Jared Goff ($7,800 on FanDuel) get back on track. Goff is typically better at home than on the road, but against a soft pass defense that won't pressure him, that shouldn't be as much of a problem this week as it normally has been. Another thing going for Goff is his weapons in the pass game and the matchups they have.
When your quarterback only throws for 78 yards in a game, you won't have a good game as a wide receiver. That killed Cooper Kupp ($7,800) last week, as he had by far his worst game of the season. Now with Goff presumably having more time to throw, Kupp should get back to the receiver that we have known him to be, as he had more than 100 yards in the prior four games with four touchdowns over that span. Using Pro Football Focus' matchup chart, Kupp has the fifth best matchup on the slate against Falcons slot cornerback Damontae Kazee.
Robert Woods ($7,300) disappointed fantasy owners last week, as well. He hasn't been the same reliable fantasy asset like Kupp but is still getting good opportunities. Woods is seeing a 21% target share and 24% of the team's air yards. Woods also has a favorable matchup, as PFF gives him a 21% advantage over Falcons cornerback Kendall Sheffield.
Matt Ryan ($7,900) continues to put up 300-yard games week in and week out. He's second in passing yards and first in passing touchdowns with 15. Atlanta is the team with the most passing attempts and the second highest pass/run ratio in the NFL. The Rams' defense is below average against the pass, ranking 18th in Defensive Passing NEP. All of these stats point to Ryan throwing the ball a ton again this week and being a great fantasy option.
The number-one tight end on the season is Austin Hooper ($6,600). Believe it or not, he has more catches and yards than Julio Jones ($8,200). Hooper is reasonably priced among a thin tight end position this week and is a good way to get exposure to the game with the highest total of Week 7.
Others to Consider
Julio Jones is still someone we want to think about in Atlanta games even though he hasn't been good as usual. The threat of Jalen Ramsey shadow coverage looms, but Julio has shown the ability to win in any matchup and with Ryan probably going to throw a lot once again, could see the ball come his way regardless of coverage.
Gerald Everett ($5,900) suffered from the overall disaster that the Rams offense went through last week. He could be worth looking at again though because of how many targets he got in the past two games and, again, there aren't a ton of exciting tight end plays this week.
Arizona Cardinals vs New York Giants
Cardinals Implied Team Total: 23.75
Giants Implied Team Total: 26.75
Another game with a total over 50, and it features a favorite of this article -- the Arizona Cardinals. Still ranking first in seconds per play and situation-neutral pace, with the 27th-ranked defense, Arizona is an easy target both with players on their team and the opposing team. That opponent this week is the New York Giants, who have a number of intriguing options that we can go to.
Daniel Jones ($7,200) hasn't lit the world on fire in his last two games. The defenses he faced in those games were the sixth-ranked passing defense of the Minnesota Vikings and the top-ranked defense of the New England Patriots. With this game against the fantasy-friendly Cardinals, he could easily have another outing like his debut against the 20th-ranked Tampa Bay Buccaneers. What also helps is getting the weapons back that he didn't have in that game against the Patriots.
Saquon Barkley ($8,600) looks set to return for this game after missing the last three. Arizona has been bad against the run as they are 27th in Defensive Rushing NEP against. Barkley continued his big role in the passing game in the three games he appeared in, seeing at least five targets in each game, including the one he left early. With the matchup and the pass game work, Barkley makes for a top option at the running back position.
Kyler Murray ($7,700) had his best game through the air last week, torching Atlanta for 340 yards. He had the second most Passing NEP in the league in Week 6. He has been the great dual-threat quarterback that fantasy players have wanted, with double digit rushing attempts in the last two games. Murray is offering a ceiling that most quarterbacks can't match due to how fast Arizona plays and his ability with his arm and his legs.
A player whose price never seems to rise on FanDuel is Larry Fitzgerald ($5,600). He has yet to have a huge game, but he has been fairly consistent throughout the season. He also has eight red zone targets, which are the most on the team. Arizona is 30th in red zone efficiency, but if they could ever get going inside the 20, Fitzgerald seems likely to be the beneficiary.
Others to Consider
Evan Engram ($6,800) is the tight end play if you follow the flow chart of just playing tight ends against the Cardinals. They've allowed the most points to opposing tight ends this year, and Engram has the highest target share on the Giants.
David Johnson ($7,400) has been better in the passing game than when running the football. He is second on the team in receptions and receiving yards. His $7,400 price tag doesn't really match the upside he has in a game like this.
Baltimore Ravens vs Seattle Seahawks
Ravens Implied Team Total: 22.75
Seahawks Implied Team Total 26.25
Two teams with a reputation of being good defensively combine to have the third highest total on this slate. That defensive reputation is not warranted in 2019, according to our metrics. The Baltimore Ravens are 28th in total defense, and the Seattle Seahawks are 23rd. The public has picked up on this, as 62% of the bets on the total for this one have been on the over, according to oddsFire. The offenses have been driving each team's early success this season, so let's look at who could benefit from that.
Lamar Jackson ($8,400) doesn't need a good matchup or a good game script to have value. Now going up against an efficient pass attack like the Seahawks, Jackson might have to match that and throw the ball deep more often. He also could get more opportunities if Seattle moves the ball quickly down field.
By the same token, Jackson and the Ravens moving the ball well would be good news for people who want to roster Russell Wilson ($8,500). Wilson has his big games when the Seahawks are forced to throw to keep up with the other teams or to catch up in games. The last two games were back-and-forth affairs, and Wilson put up nearly 30 fantasy points in both. If this game goes that way, Wilson has great upside and is worth rostering in tournaments.
Chris Carson ($7,600) has seen a huge workload in recent games. He has more than 25 carries plus targets in three straight games. The passing-game usage is encouraging as it was a knock on Carson's fantasy value in the past. He's third on the team with 19 catches. Baltimore is 26th in rushing D, per our schedule-adjutest metrics, and allowed Nick Chubb to run for 165 yards in Week 4.
Mark Andrews ($6,700) seems to be the preferred target for Jackson, especially if Marquise Brown were to miss the game. Andrews saw 24% of the targets last week with Brown out. His consistent usage is something to value at a tight end position where targets seem to fluctuate more than other positions.
Others to Consider
Tyler Lockett ($6,500) is not only the big-play threat he has been in the past; he's the number-one receiver on the Seahawks. He makes for a good stack with Wilson for tournament lineups that want to get in pieces from this game.
D.K. Metcalf ($6,200) is another player you could use with Wilson as he should be due for some positive regression. He has eight red zone targets but has not caught any of them.
Willie Snead ($4,600) saw five targets in each of the last two games. If Baltimore is less in control than they were last week and Brown doesn't suit up, Snead could see even more.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.