The 2020-21 NFL season is in full swing and there are huge Week 7 DFS contests being offered on DraftKings with big prize money up for grabs.
In this weekly column, we will identify the best plays, values, and tournament options for your NFL DFS lineups. We’ll also offer the best “fades” at each position, indicating which players to avoid when building your lineups.
Keep in mind that some of the plays offered are better for “Cash” games, i.e. 50/50, H2H, and Double-Up formats that require a more conservative approach. Some plays are recommended for GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) tournaments where it’s necessary to take more risk in the hopes of separating from a large field. Those GPP plays can also be ideal for Best Ball formats where players with higher upside are valuable.
For those interested in the DFS Single-Game Slate contests, here’s a quick recap:
In the “Showdown” mode on DraftKings, there are five utility spots and a “Captain” slot, who receives 1.5x multiplier for all DK points accrued. Pricing differs for players when selected in the Captain spot versus the FLEX spots, with all players required to fit under a $50k salary cap. All options are in play from QBs, RBs and WRs, to kickers and D/ST from each team.
Keep an eye on injury news right up until kickoff since things can change quickly in the NFL. Please note any player listed as questionable may see limited action or not suit up at all if he doesn’t respond well in warm-ups.
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Best Play: Kyler Murray ($7.1k)
Murray’s rushing ability gives him a fantastic floor while almost guaranteeing that he can keep the Cardinals offense on the field. The Seahawks rank 26th in adjusted sack rate (4.8%) and are coughing up a league-high 370.4 passing YPG. With Pete Carroll unwilling to change his defensive scheme, Seattle has allowed 468 rushing yards and 6 TDs to opposing QBs since the start of last season. With Russell Wilson forcing the action, Murray should see plenty of volume as a passer and runner.
Value Play: Justin Herbert ($6.4k)
The Jaguars got several key defenders back for a Week 6 tilt against Detroit and still showed little resistance while coughing up 180 rushing yards and 3 scores on the ground. Jacksonville is even more vulnerable against the pass and the Chargers established a dangerous downfield attack prior to their bye week, with Herbert hitting Mike Williams and Jalen Guyton for huge gains at New Orleans. Herbert is averaging 8.5 yards per attempt and will get Keenan Allen back in the lineup in time to face a team that ranks dead last in DVOA pass defense and adjusted sack rate (3.0%).
GPP Play: Aaron Rodgers ($7.0k)
After getting battered and beaten by the Bucs fearsome defense, Rodgers is likely to see low ownership in a bounce-back spot. The Texans are producing beautiful game scripts for DFS while ranking 8th in pace and 20th in DVOA pass defense. Rodgers is averaging 277.6 passing YPG with 77 TDs over 36 career games under domes or retractable roofs.
Fade: Josh Allen ($7.7k)
The Bills (-13.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook) will almost certainly bounce back from two rough outings to dominate the Jets. But the Jets have become such a walkover that Allen is unlikely to approach the volume (33-for-46 passing, 312 yards) he posted in a Week 1 win over a team that went scoreless last week and will be a sitting duck against a fired up Bills defense if Joe Flacco starts again.
Best Play: Alvin Kamara ($8.9k)
Michael Thomas is expected to return this week for the Saints, but Kamara should still see heavy work as a receiver. The most versatile back in football leads his position with 38 receptions, 395 receiving yards, and a 25.9% target share. Drew Brees is living in the short areas while averaging 7.6 yards per attempt and he’ll look for Kamara to make plays against a Panthers team that’s allowed a league-high 47 receptions to RBs.
Value Play: Justin Jackson ($4.9k)
Joshua Kelley may be the Chargers preferred goal-line back, but Jackson played 42 snaps to Kelley’s 25 in Week 5. He’s clearly the preferred receiving back with Austin Ekeler (hamstring) out and the Jaguars have allowed 36 receptions to RBs this season. The Chargers have an implied total of 28.5 points, but rank 31st in DVOA rush offense, so their pass-catching back should do more damage.
GPP Play: Mike Davis ($6.6k)
Don’t forget how the Panthers use their lead back just because they struggled against the fierce Bears defense last week. Davis has stepped into the Christian McCaffrey role and owns a 23.7% target share with a 64.6% route participation rate. The Saints allowed the sixth-most receptions (95) to RBs last season thanks to positive game scripts and the Panthers (+7.5) could pepper Davis with targets if they wind up in comeback mode.
Fade: Derrick Henry ($7.5k)
The prideful Steelers defense will be geared up to stop Henry after his 264-yard eruption last Sunday. Henry can be stopped if prevented from gaining a full head of steam and the Steelers have done that to most backs while yielding the second-fewest rushing YPG (66.2) this season. They just held the Browns second-ranked rushing attack to 75 yards on 22 carries and Tennessee lost stud LT Taylor Lewan (ACL) for the season.
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Best Play: Julio Jones ($7.1k)
The Falcons played with joy and vigor in their first game following Dan Quinn’s dismissal. Jones looked very spry in his return from a hamstring strain and is line for another big performance at home this week against a Lions secondary that may once again be without former Falcons CB Desmond Trufant (hamstring). Rookie CB Jeff Okudah has been a disaster in coverage so far and Jones is an impossible cover for any single defender.
Value Play: Terry McLaurin ($5.8k)
Unless the Cowboys come up with some ingenious schemes following their embarrassing loss on Monday, they’ll continue to give up huge lines to opposing receivers. Dallas has given up 11 TDs to receivers and is coughing up 12.3 yards per reception. This is easily the best matchup of the year for McLaurin, who has the second-highest share of Air Yards (44.2%) despite facing nothing but top CBs in all 6 outings this season.
GPP Play: Tyler Lockett ($6.6k)
While the Cardinals defense is riding high after dominating the disastrous Cowboys, they face a much tougher challenge this week against the MVP frontrunner. Patrick Peterson matches up well against D.K. Metcalf, but the Cardinals have no easy answer for Lockett. Wilson has a 139.3 passer rating when targeting Lockett, who was quiet in consecutive games after posting a 24-259-4TD line through his first 3 games this season.
Fade: DeAndre Hopkins ($8.2k)
Until we see Murray and Hopkins develop a consistent rapport, it makes sense to fade the most expensive WR on this slate. Hopkins is not seeing many downfield targets and ranks 47th among qualified WRs with 144 unrealized Air Yards. He’s doing most of his damage with a league-leading 295 YAC, but the Seahawks unchanging base defense is capable of clamping down on short passes.
Best Play: Travis Kelce ($6.3k)
Kelce caught 17-of-21 targets for 186 yards over 2 meetings against the Broncos last season and Denver can’t do much to stop his production while preparing for an absurdly loaded Chiefs offense. Kelce leads all TEs in Air Yards (422), red zone targets (10), and YAC (186) and is getting force fed targets in Andy Reid’s complex scheme.
Value Play: Robert Tonyan ($4.6k)
The entire Packers offense is primed to bounce back this week and Tonyan is a low-cost option with excellent upside to pair with Rodgers. The athletic TE caught 13-of-14 targets for 173 yards and 5 TDs over 3 outings before Green Bay’s bye week and he could thrive in a shootout against a Texans team that’s allowed the sixth-most receiving yards (376) to TEs this season.
GPP Play: Jonnu Smith ($4.7k)
Exposure should be limited to Smith depending on his practice reps this week. He departed a juicy Week 6 matchup with an ankle injury and watched Anthony Firsker ($3.0k) take off for a 8-113-TD line in an OT win. Firsker could be a cheap punt to consider if Smith is limited by his injury, but Smith has far more upside against an aggressive Pittsburgh defense that is vulnerable against play action.
Fade: T.J. Hockenson ($5.0k)
The Falcons secondary was a disaster all season, but looked decent under the leadership of interim HC Raheem Morris and new DC Jeff Ulbrich. The Lions are clearly moving away from its pass-happy history and has the eighth-highest rushing play percentage (46.8%) over their last 3 games. Hockenson has seen a consistent red zone role, but has only seen 25 targets and 1 deep target this season.