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One of the many reasons why I love the game of football and the National Football league. You can never predict what is going to happen each week in this league.

Of course, everyone predicted the Miami Dolphins to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers. Thank god I went with the Cardinals in my eliminator challenge! Still going strong, I might add. We also saw the Buffalo Bills light up the 49ers, putting up 45 points.

How about rookie quarterback Dak Prescott outplaying Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau field? Here come the statements of… “Well, ever since deflategate, where has Rodgers been?” (In a Boston accent)

No, this introduction isn’t an excuse for some of my week six DFS picks, but I guess let’s look back at them based off of price.

Big Hitter:

  • Cole Beasley 23.8 DK, 20.8 FD

Solid Buys:

  • Jordan Howard 12 DK, 11 FD

  • Jason Witten 8.2 DK, 6.2 FD

Swing and Miss:

  • James Starks (Out) 0 DK & FD

  • Jalen Richard 3.3 DK, 2.3 FD

  • Carson Wentz 7.4 DK 7.4 FD

I picked on that Patriots vs. Steelers matchup quite a bit from both sides. With two Fantasy friendly teams on a bye in the Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys, I still found some interesting matchups out there. Lets get into it with the sleepers and busts for Week 7 in the NFL.

 

Week 7 DFS Sleepers and Busts

Quarterback Sleepers

Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans, Home vs. Indianapolis Colts (6,000 DK, 7,900 FD)

 

You have to love the matchup here against the Colts. No quarterback this season has thrown under 266 passing yards against the Colts thus far. The Colts allowed the third most passing yards, tied for last in interceptions and have given up the fourth most completions.

The personnel surrounding Andrew Luck’s Colts is pretty atrocious, especially on the defensive side of the ball. All of that information adds up to game flow being in favor for the offense. The Titans have been great defensively over the last few weeks but Luck should be able to put up some points to force a shootout. Also, Marcus Mariota has been fantastic over the last two weeks.

To be fair, his play had been against awful defenses, but I think it’s safe to say we can put the Colts on that list of bad defenses. A 6-1 touchdown to interception ratio, 14 rushes for 124 yards, a score and an average of 125.05 QBR over his last two games. The key is the rushing, which just furthers Mariota’s value. With a great matchup and big time talent, I would plug Mariota into a lineup or two this weekend.

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals, Home vs. Cleveland Browns (6,000 DK, 8,100 FD)

Again, a great matchup for the red rifle here. He is 10th in passing attempts through six games and even with Andy Dalton’s team hitting a rough patch, the guy has been pretty consistent. His completion percentage is sitting at 67.4%, tied for sixth. This game should get them back on track, led by the scope of the red rifle. Let’s see if I will be able to fit in another red rifle statement by the end of this article.

Last season, Dalton had the Browns number as well, throwing five touchdowns, zero picks, a rushing touchdown and a 143.3 average QBR in those two games. Hue Jackson is back in his old stomping ground. Look for the Bengals to get back in the win column. Should be a big hit from the red rifle. Had to sneak it in one more time.

 

Quarterback Busts

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints, Road vs. Kansas City Chiefs (7,400 DK, 8,500 FD)

 

The price is way too high for Brees this week. “On the road again, I can’t wait to get on the road again.” See where I’m going with this? After this game, Brees will for sure be singing this tune.

I just have never liked dome quarterbacks. Matt Ryan is showing it this year, but Drew Brees has never shown for a consistent number of games recently. Quarterbacks who can only play inside makes me shake my head.  Brees has never been able to adjust to playing on the road, it is truly unbelievable. At home, he has 80 more touchdowns, 10 QBR points higher, and 20 yards more per game.

The Chiefs are ninth best in terms of Fantasy points against quarterbacks and that even takes into account the five touchdown game by Ben Roethlisberger. Even with the bye and one less game, they still are tied for first with nine interceptions and second in total turnovers at 12. I’d fade Brees this weekend.

Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars, Home vs. Oakland Raiders (6,200 DK, 7,400 FD)

No thank you in DraftKings this weekend. That price is way too high for me. Save yourselves a few hundred bucks and go get one of the quarterbacks I talked about above.

I hear you, the Oakland Raiders have been pretty putrid on the defensive side of the ball, but they should be better. They have taken on some of the top offenses in the league for one. I also don’t think the Jaguars are a great offense and Bortles has really struggled this season. The king of garbage time, however, could put up some points late, but you can never rely on that sort of thing. Thank you, but come again.

 

Running Back Sleepers

New England Patriots Running Backs, Road vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

 LeGarrette Blount (4,900 DK, 7,100 FD) James White (4,600 DK, 6,100 FD)

I could not pick between these two backs this weekend. We have seen running back splits this season, where both backs have had big games. The Falcons, Bengals, Chiefs, etc. The case for White is that the speed, pass catching backs have torched the Steelers. In Week 2 and 3, the Steelers allowed a running back over 100 yards receiving.

In Week 5, Bilal Powell caught six passes for 41 yards as well. I think Tom Brady is a little bit better than now backup quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick. A guy who lost his job to Geno Smith.

Here is why I think Blount will be a solid start. Last season, he was with the Steelers, so he may have something to prove. I can also see the Ben Roethlisberger less Steelers falling behind late in the game and having the closer, Blount, get a garbage time touchdown to seal the deal.

Both backs should be usable in this game and the price is pretty decent. Both can be used in tourney and double up formats.

Mike Davis, San Francisco 49ers Home vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3,000 DK, 4,500 FD)

A minimum salary on both sites for a guy who could be the starting running back for an NFL team. That means something and is of great value in DFS. Davis is a real interesting tourney play. He is 5’9” and weighs about 216 lbs. He is more of a downhill guy and should be the go-to player in the red zone over Shaun Draughn. Maybe a touchdown dependent option but for the price, not a bad idea to punt at the RB2 spot this weekend.

Running Back Busts

LeVeon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers, Home vs. New England Patriots (8,000 DK, 8,600 FD)

Based off of price, I would find other options over Bell. I think that the loss of Ben Roethlisberger hurts Bell’s value tremendously, in the sense that teams will stack the box and force Landry Jones to beat them. I know this is how the New England Patriots will defend the Pittsburgh Steelers, that is for certain.

The Patriots give up the sixth fewest points to running backs and that may be misleading, based off of game flow, which is another reason to fade Bell. The Patriots could very well get up big which may force Jones to throw the ball a lot more. Bell can catch passes but Jamie Collins and others will be shadowing him all game long.

Being one of the best backs in the league, Bell will get his, but you can find better value at the running back spot.

Matt Forte, New York Jets, Home vs. Baltimore Ravens (5,000 DK, 6,700 FD)

 

Knee injury, time share, Ravens defense.

I can list off more random things, but I won’t bore you. Well those three random things actually really matter to Matt Forte owners. A knee injury has cropped up and forced him to be limited during Wednesday’s practice. Reports are that it is just precautionary but the combination of Forte not being 100% and Bilal Powell creeping into his work load is not worth this price on either site.

As I talked about last week, Powell had been getting more and more work. This past week was no different in Powell’s snap count. Powell had 18 more offensive snaps than Forte. Oh, and the Baltimore Ravens give up the second fewest points to running backs. First in rushing yards allowed for teams who have played six total games and have allowed only two rushing touchdowns this season. I will pass on Matt Forte this weekend.

 

Wide Receiver Sleepers

Golden Tate, Detroit Lions, Home vs. Washington Redskins (4,900 DK, 6,600 FD)

The Washington Redskins have actually been pretty good against the pass this season. They have allowed the 10th fewest Fantasy points to wide receivers but I would buy on Tate before his DFS price rises. It was at $7,300 on Draftkings in Week 1 for a reason. I am hoping that this past game gave him the boost he needed to get him going and can build off of that performance. I do not think the Redskins will have the golden ticket in their sites on Sunday.

This also looks to be one of those shootout kind of games. Theo Riddick wasn’t practicing as of Wednesday, which is one less mouth to feed if he is out. Like Matthew Stafford has done in the past, expect him to attempt 40 passes in this game. Hopefully Tate sees 10 or more of those passes this weekend.

Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings, Road vs. Philadelphia Eagles (3,200 DK, 4,900 FD)

 

This is a home run waiting to happen and I am not talking about the Cubbies. If they don’t make it to the world series with this club, the curse is real. Look at that, got to love some baseball talk!

Anywho, Patterson has seen 12 targets in his last two games and with the Vikings coming of a bye, you’ve got to think offensive coordinator Norv Turner has some more plays drawn up to get him more involved.

I was listening to the Fantasy Focus Football podcast with Matthew Berry, Field Yates and Stephania Bell the other day. Matthew Berry was talking about that during the off season, he was discussing with Norv about Patterson and he started drawing up plays on a napkin, specifically for him. They like him a lot and he is one big play from winning you a week. You got to love the price as well. Get him in a lineup or two.

Wide Receiver Busts

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers, Home vs. New England Patriots (9,300 DK, 9,000 FD)

 

Patriots fan here, but come on, the price is outrageously high for a guy who just lost his quarterback, and will be doubled all game. Similar to LeVeon Bell’s commentary, I think Brown will get his as well but will not be worth his price tag. I do remember the season opener of 2015 very well where Brown torched Malcolm Butler but that was with Ben Roethlisberger and Butler is a much better player now. I don’t think you will be seeing any twerking going on this weekend, at least in this game.

 

Sleeper Tight End

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Road vs. San Francisco 49ers (2,900 DK, 5,200 FD)

I love his price in both DraftKings and FanDuel. The matchup is quite nice as well. With Vincent Jackson recently being put on IR, you have to expect more volume for Brate. He had a stretch between Weeks 3 and 4 where he saw 18 total targets and caught two touchdowns in that span. Jameis Winston has to get better and he has a great schedule coming up which will only help. Feed the Brate monster.

Tight End Bust

Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints, Road vs. Arizona Cardinals (5,800 DK, 6,700 FD)

 

I have a lot of Graham shares in a bunch of leagues but I would not go anywhere near the graham cracker in DFS formats. Not saying to avoid graham crackers this weekend. You can’t go wrong with a nice honey maid graham cracker. Graham cracker > Jimmy Graham only for this Sunday. Not a fan of the matchup either. Looks like the Cardinals may be back on track, albeit against an abysmal Jets team on Monday night but I think Jimmy is a bit soft and I can see the Cardinals, at home, sending a message early on. Stay away from Jimmy Graham.

 

Sleeper Defense

Baltimore Ravens, Road vs. New York Jets (2,800 DK, 4,800 FD)

The Ravens will probably be owned in a lot of leagues this weekend with that price, especially in DraftKings. You may have to look elsewhere in a tournament lobby. It is as good as it gets for the Baltimore Ravens defense, going against Geno Smith, the turnover machine. The Jets look like an absolute mess right now. The Ravens have the second most interceptions and the fifth most turnovers forced in the league. Wrong place, wrong time for Geno.

Defensive Bust

Buffalo Bills, Road vs. Miami Dolphins (3,400 DK, 4,700)

This is a bit of a hunch, but I simply can’t trust a defense who gave up 37 points to a New York Jets team in 2016. Always tough to travel, especially to Miami from Buffalo. I feel this is a trap play and could see the Dolphins putting up some points.

 

Josh Carlson

Josh recently graduated in 2015 with his Bachelor's in Business Administration, from Husson University. He currently works for Sports Radar covering professional teams in the Texas area. You can also find him blowing money on DraftKings and FanDuel. Always remember the motto: Numbers do tell a story. Find him on facebook as well as twitter @Josh_Carls0n. Yes, that is the number zero in my last name. I love numbers.

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